In 1940, the Soviet Union continued to execute the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact concluded with Nazi Germany and threatened Romania with war, forcing it to surrender the Northern Bukovina and Bessarabia regions. These were occupied and incorporated into the Soviet Union as the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, after being merged with the Moldavian ASSR that had fallen under communist rule already in 1917.
The Soviet occupation of Bessarabia resulted in mass terror. Some 32,000 people were arrested and sent to Siberian prison camps, 8,410 were executed or died in clashes with communist forces. More than 90,000 were deported to Siberia and 200,000 perished in a 1946-47 famine deliberately induced by the Soviet regime. The deported and famine dead were replaced by immigrants from other parts of the Soviet Union.
An intensive russification campaign was launched, bringing the number of Soviet immigrants to 35% of Moldavia’s population. Local culture, the Church and cultural and historical monuments fell under a threat. For example, the communists shut down at least 200 churches. After proclaiming the independent Republic of Moldova in 1991, a war broke out with the newly settled Russian population of Transnistria. This „frozen” conflict remains unsolved.