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The origin of the name of the river is still not completely clarified.

There is an account (a legend) of prince Dragoş's naming the river after hunting an aurochs: After the chase, his exhausted hound During the Neolithic stone age era Moldova's territory was the center of the vast Cucuteni-Trypillian culture that stretched east beyond the Dniester River in Ukraine, and west up to and beyond the Carpathian Mountains in Romania.

In 1812, the eastern part of this principality was annexed by the Russian Empire and became known as Bessarabia.Moldova's hills are part of the Moldavian Plateau, which geologically originate from the Carpathian Mountains.Its subdivisions in Moldova include Dniester Hills (Northern Moldavian Hills and Dniester-Rāut Ridge), Moldavian Plain (Middle Prut Valley and Bălţi Steppe), and Central Moldavian Plateau (Ciuluc-Soloneţ Hills, Corneşti Hills (Codri Massive) - Codri, meaning "forests" -, Lower Dniester Hills, Lower Prut Valley, and Tigheci Hills).Its territory comprised the present-day territory of the Republic of Moldova, the eastern eight of the 41 counties of Romania, and the Chernivtsi oblast and Budjak region of Ukraine.Like the present-day republic, it is known to the locals as In 1812, according to the Treaty of Bucharest between the Ottoman Empire (of which Moldavia was a vassal) and the Russian Empire, the former ceded the eastern half of the territory of the Principality of Moldavia, along Khotyn and old Bessarabia (modern Budjak), despite numerous protests by Moldavians.

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