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Chisinau (Kishinev) Capital of Moldova, in the centre of the country, on the River Byk. Founded in the early 15th century, it came under Turkish then Russian rule. Romania held the city from 1918 until the Soviet Union annexed it in 1940. In 1991 it became capital of independent Moldova. It has a 19th-century cathedral and a university (1945). Industries: plastics, rubber, textiles, tobacco. Pop. (2002 est.) 776,700.