Статья 'Проблемы становления промышленного потенциала Приднестровья (1917 - 1940)' - журнал 'Genesis: исторические исследования' - NotaBene.ru
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Genesis: Historical research

Problems of the formation of the industrial potential of Pridnestrovie (1917 - 1940).

Kulbidiuk Ruslan Viktorovich

Postgraduate Student of the Department of History of neighboring countries, Faculty of History, Lomonosov Moscow State University

125047, Russia, Moscow, 2nd brestskaya str., 30, office 1

Other publications by this author










Abstract: The article is devoted to the analysis of the problems of the formation of the industry of Pridnestrovie in the period after the Revolution of 1917 and before the creation of the MSSR in August 1940. The purpose of the study is to characterize the actions of local authorities to restore and establish industrial enterprises on the territory of the MASSR, as well as to identify the main directions of industrial development of the region during this period, the features of the formation of industrial potential, the analysis of attracted resources, comparison with the industry of the occupied part of Moldova - Bessarabia. The study used such methods of historical research as retrospective analysis, comparative analysis, as well as a systematic approach and the method of expert assessments. As a result of the research, the author came to the following conclusion: the industry of modern Pridnestrovie is characterized by a broad industry structure due to the titanic work on its creation in the era when the territory of the modern PMR was part of the MASSR/ MSSR, as well as the needs of the internal market of the USSR in the interwar period. Its foundation was laid under the leadership of the Communist Party and thanks to the help of the fraternal peoples of the USSR in 1920-1930. Against the background of the impoverished Bessarabia, the MASSR, relying on the historically developed specialization of the region, created a developed industry in a relatively short time, and also formed a working class of many thousands. During the same period in Bessarabia, as a result of a sharp decline in the number of industrial enterprises, the working class also declined, the agrarian character of the region became even more pronounced. The economy of Bessarabia during the years of occupation by Boyar Romania was brought to a complete decline and got a chance to recover only after the creation of the MSSR. After the reunification of both banks of the Dniester, the industrial potential of the MASSR became the basis for the development of the united Soviet Moldavia. According to the results of the study, the assessment of the process of formation and development of industrial enterprises of the region, the specifics of their functioning, helped to better understand the process of formation and development of self-identity of the region.


MASSR, industry, industrial potential, Transnistria, Bessarabia, Moldova, Dniester, Tiraspol, Left - bank Moldova, Right - bank Moldova

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The study of the industrial history of modern Transnistria is impossible without immersion in the history of the region before the 1917 Revolution, as well as the periods when the region was part of the Moldavian Autonomous SSR (1924-1940) and the MSSR (1940-1991). Since it was the successes of economic and cultural development, "achieved during the years of Soviet power, the experience gained in socialist construction, had a positive impact on the reconstruction of the national economy and cultural construction" [1, p. 161] on both banks of the Dniester, on the further development of the economy and culture.

There was no established industrial production in pre-revolutionary Moldova. Before the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917, the territory of modern Transnistria and Moldova was one of the most backward suburbs of the Russian Empire with a pronounced agricultural orientation in the economy. The small industry was mainly represented by small artisanal workshops, mainly of the food sector, where agricultural raw materials were processed. In 1913, 35,000 people were employed in enterprises and handicraft production in Bessarabia, mainly artisans, and in left-bank Moldavia (mainly the territory of modern Transnistria) there were only 647 workers in the censorship industry [2, p.32].At the same time, the only largest enterprise on the Left Bank was the Rybnitsa Sugar Factory [1, p. 162] built in 1898.  "Strictly speaking, this was a natural result of the tsarist policy towards Bessarabia and Transnistria, as well as other national suburbs, a policy whose essence was to use them as a sales market and a source of raw materials for exploitation by "domestic" capital" [2, p. 32]. In fact, this is one of the main reasons for the economic backwardness of this region, including the weak development of industry and as a result of the small number of the working class.

Due to the historical events that took place in 1917 and the prevailing special conditions, the transition to socialist industrial relations on different banks of the Dniester took place at different times. "The revolution of 1917, having made a radical turn in the life of the peoples of the Russian Empire, also freed the workers of Pridnestrovie from oppression and exploitation" [3, p.3]. Under the leadership of the Bolshevik Party, Soviet power was established in Moldavia on January 1 (14), 1918. "However, taking advantage of the temporary weakness of the young Soviet republic, having received support from the Western powers, boyar Romania invaded the Republic of Soviets, and harshly suppressing the resistance of the workers, occupied Bessarabia (the right-bank part of Moldova) in January - March 1918" [4, p.4]. And if the territory of modern Transnistria (including part of the Odessa region of Ukraine) after the Revolution of 1917, starting from the period of activity of the first Soviets in late 1917 – early 1918, and then after the formation of the MASSR in 1924 as part of the Ukrainian SSR, carried out this transition, step by step, together with the rest of the USSR, then the right-bank part Moldavia - Bessarabia, after the occupation of the royal boyar Romania, remained in the power of initial capitalism for almost two decades. For the same reason, "the development of industry, as well as the entire economy of the region, took place in two different directions" [5], each of which differed from each other not only by its socio-economic and political nature, but also by the internal policy pursued, including in industry and agriculture. From that moment, the history of the formation of the Moldavian Soviet statehood began, which became a solid foundation for the emergence and revival of the industry of the Transnistrian region.

After the formation of the USSR in 1922, continuing the implementation of Lenin's principles of national policy, and taking into account the fact that the right-bank part remained occupied, the national Soviet statehood of the Moldavian people could be formed only within the left bank of the Dniester. In the interests of the national movement of the Moldavian people, as well as on the basis of "countless resolutions and appeals to the VUCIK with a request for the organization of the Moldavian Republic" adopted at numerous civil gatherings [5], on October 12, 1924, by a resolution of the CEC of the Ukrainian SSR, as a result of the merger of three districts of two provinces (almost the entire former Baltic district, part of the Odessa district – both of the Odessa province and part of the Tulchinsky district, Podolsk province [6, p. 5]) the Moldavian ASSR was formed. Thus, on the initial path of socialist construction, left-bank Moldavia (Transnistria) was part of the Ukrainian People's Republic of Soviets proclaimed on December 11 (24), 1917. It was an act of great historical importance that marked "the creation of the Soviet national statehood of the Moldovan people and laid a solid foundation for the successful elimination of its age-old economic and cultural backwardness" [4, p. 5].

The restoration of the industry of left-bank Moldavia (Transnistria) began from the first days of the establishment of Soviet power in the region, since as a result of the imperialist and Civil wars, as well as foreign military intervention, many industrial enterprises, even small ones, were largely destroyed. The population of the Left Bank, under the leadership of the Soviet government, actively began to restore the national economy and "eliminate the backwardness of the peoples of the outskirts of the former tsarist Russia" [1, p. 162]. The state of industry in Pridnestrovie was briefly described at the first regional party conference by the chairman of the SNK MASSR G.I. Stary: "Our industry is very insignificant ... one sugar factory, one brick factory – both are inactive. A couple of creameries. That's all" [7, p.7]. This is also confirmed in his book by a well-known participant in the revolutionary movement of Bessarabia, the author of one of the first books about Soviet Moldavia - "Moldavia" (1926), Mark Naumovich Bochacher. In the chapter on industry, cooperation and trade, he notes: "Since Moldova is a purely agricultural republic, the industry in it is very insignificant. Of the large enterprises, it is worth noting the gosmaslozavod and the Rybnitsa sugar Factory. There are very few private enterprises" [6, p.28].

The right-bank part of Moldova, Bessarabia, in parallel "developed as part of Romania, which had its own historically established traditions and peculiarities, in the conditions of a bourgeois, private-entrepreneurial system" [5], which left its imprint on its economic and social appearance and actually predetermined its future for the next decades.

From the very first days of the formation of the MASSR, the young Soviet government was faced with the urgent task of quickly restoring and reconstructing all available industry on a new material and technical basis. The current industry at the time of the formation of the republic consisted of the following enterprises (without flour milling) [2, p.8]:

Table 1:






Production of building materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Tannery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 



Polygraphic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Electricity generation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Metalworking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Total. . . . . . . . . . .




The heavy legacy received by the Soviet government from Tsarist Russia created incredibly difficult conditions in which the young republic had to begin work on the construction of socialist industry. Industrial construction required a significant number of qualified personnel of working specialties. Due to the weak development of the factory industry before 1917, as well as taking into account the peculiarities of the region (during the first All-Russian population census, Bessarabia was a province mainly agricultural, but not exclusively agrarian [8, p.43]) in which only 10.1% of the able-bodied population of the region was employed in manufacturing and urban crafts, An enormous achievement for the MASSR at the beginning of its path was the active formation of the personnel reserve of the working class.

 A new stage in the history of the region's industry came after the historic XIV Party Congress held in December 1925, which confirmed Lenin's conclusion that "our country, the country of the dictatorship of the proletariat, has everything necessary to build a socialist society" [4, p.31]. The party set the task of turning the USSR into an industrial power producing everything necessary for economic prosperity and strengthening its defense capability. The leading component of this plan was socialist industrialization, as well as the nationalization of private enterprises. "Expropriation of unproductive classes (bourgeoisie and nobility), cancellation of debts, concentration of income from industry, state trade (internal and external) and the entire credit system in the hands of the state, etc., in themselves make it possible for such accumulation within the country, which provides the pace of development of industry necessary for socialist construction" [9, p. 155]- it was indicated in the resolution of the April (1926) Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b). It was precisely these opportunities that the Communist Party mobilized the working masses of the republic after the XIV Congress to realize.

The need for industrialization was dictated by both internal and external conditions. The country was agrarian, backward, and the industry was poorly developed. The republic did not have the underground wealth to create and develop heavy industry. This threatened dependence on more developed capitalist states. Most of the machinery and equipment in the country was not produced and imported from abroad. As K.V. Stratievsky points out, "it was possible to get rid of all this, to turn into a power producing everything necessary for economic prosperity and strengthening defense capability, to become independent only by creating its own industry" [4, p.31].  

In the Moldavian ASSR, work has been actively launched on the reconstruction of existing enterprises, the construction of a number of new ones. Speaking about the difficulties of recovery, it should be noted that it was actually necessary to start industrialization in the absence of industry and qualified personnel. The selfless role of the peoples of the USSR played an invaluable role in the development of Moldavia's industry. It was the systematic assistance of fraternal peoples, and above all the Russian and Ukrainian, in solving complex tasks that made it possible to successfully carry out large-scale transformations and achieve significant success in industrial construction.

Summing up the first results of the work carried out at the second regional party conference held in November 1925, the delegates noted: "Something has already been done in the field of industry: the Tiraspol Brick Factory has been put into operation, the Pisarevsky Distillery, the Rybnitsa Sugar Factory will soon be put into operation" [7, p.8]. The construction of the Tiraspol distillery was coming to an end. The Tiraspol Iron Foundry has resumed its work. His small cupola "Samovar" then gave out 30-40 tons of cast iron. Enterprises for the extraction of raw materials for building materials have noticeably revived.

The rapid construction and restoration of industry raised the question of centralized management. As a result, in 1926, most of the industrial enterprises of the republic were united under the leadership of the industrial management center of the Moldavian Industrial Plant established in Tiraspol. The first set of the republican association included the Tiraspol and Ananyevsky brick factories, the Tiraspol Iron Foundry, the Tiraspol Distillery (Pisarevsky), the Birzul creamery, 9 lime kilns and 49 mills and other enterprises operating at that time.

Further prospects for the development of the region's industry were determined by the IV Regional Party Conference in November 1927. Then a course was taken for the socialist industrialization of the republic and a decision was made to draw up the first five-year plan for the development of the national economy of the MASSR. Under the prevailing on-farm circumstances, the key component of the socialist industrialization of Moldova was the food industry, the leading branch of which was canning. The beginning of it was laid by the launch in 1926 of the Tiraspol Cannery named after him. Tkachenko. During the years of the first and second pre-war five-year plans (mainly on the territory of modern Transnistria), canneries named after May 1 (which at that time occupied the 3rd place in the Soviet Union in terms of capacity), named after Mikoyan [7, p.10], several wineries and more than 30 points of primary winemaking, as well as a number of other food-oriented enterprises. As a result, in 1939, the canning industry of the MASSR gave the country 47 million conventional cans of canned food, which was about half of the canning production of pre-revolutionary Russia and 7% of the total canning production of the USSR [1, p.163].

Taking into account the great opportunities in the industrial processing of fruits and vegetables, a fruit processing plant was established in the republic. 11 butter and dairy factories, two vodka factories (Ananyevsky and Pisarevsky), a meat processing plant, bakeries, a number of factories and mechanized points of primary winemaking, and other food enterprises have been recreated and built. The year 1938 became a landmark for the canning industry of the entire USSR, as the first mechanized tomato juice production line and the country's first fruit and vegetable freezing shop were installed at the May 1 plant in Tiraspol. By the end of 1939, there were already 343 enterprises and cooperative artels in the MASSR [1, p.162]. Such a rapid development of industry required a sharp increase in electricity production. Before the Revolution, small electric motors were available and used for industrial production only in Tiraspol and Balta.

In the first years of active industrial construction and the restoration of the national economy, the electrification of Moldova was also initiated. Back in July 1922, "the workers of Tiraspol sent a telegram to V.I. Lenin about the construction of the first 300 kilowatt power plant in their city" [7, p.12]. At the initial stage, existing facilities in Tiraspol and Balta were re-equipped. At the beginning of 1935, the Tiraspol thermal power plant with a capacity of 1200 kW was put into operation. In 1939, this power plant generated more than 12 times more electricity than in the whole of Moldova in 1913 (the borders of the MSSR) and as many times more than all power plants in Bessarabia during the occupation of the territory by Romania [1, p.163].

A number of enterprises of the local manufacturing industry entered into operation – the Birzul woodworking Factory and the Tiraspol Forestry Plant. In 1932, the first grader elevator in the country was produced at the Tiraspol Mechanical Plant [9, p.168]. It also mastered the production of equipment for mills and other food industry enterprises, spare parts for agricultural machinery. The enterprise has left a deep mark on the enterprises of the fraternal republics for many years. It produced steel filling mills for the Dnepropetrovsk Metallurgical Combine named after Lenin, equipment for the Azovstal and Zaporizhstal plants, enterprises of Lugansk, Makeyevka, as well as cast-iron fittings for the Moscow Metro. The iron casting of the Kirov plant was also in demand on the international market (in the Mongolian People's Republic and Turkey).

The construction materials industry was also developing successfully. In the vicinity of the city of Rybnitsa, in the Krutyansky, Tiraspol, Ananyevsky and Kamensky districts, the reserves of rubble stone, kotelets, clays suitable for the production of bricks and tiles amounted to hundreds of millions of cubic meters. In the underground storerooms were hidden large deposits of gypsum, trepel, crushed stone, gravel and sand. Even before the revolution, Rybnitsa stone mines supplied many sugar factories in Ukraine with scarce raw materials. In a short time, 7 new lime kilns were built, the Kodym brick and tile factory, the Birzul brick factory, and the development of the Gidirim shell quarries began.  The importance and share of the building materials industry in the economy of the republic can be judged by the following data: "Moldovan building materials enterprises accounted for 5.4% in the system of the People's Commissariat of the Ukrainian SSR, and for lime production – 38.2%" [10, p.29]!

The industrial development of the republic would be impossible without capital investments and sustainable financing. The issue of funds for the creation and development of industry was very acute for the young Soviet government. The nature, scope, and pace of construction, primarily heavy and resource-intensive industry, depended on its successful solution. The elimination of private ownership of tools and means of production and its transformation into a national treasure had a decisive influence on the formation of sources of financing.

Given the complete absence of initial capital as a basis for the emergence and development of industry characteristic of capitalist industrialization, the necessary funds for the construction of socialist industry had to be sought within the country. As a result, fundamentally new sources of financing were found. They consisted of income from other sectors of the national economy, savings of the population, as well as subsidies from the republican and state budgets. Certain funds for these purposes were spent "directly by enterprises at the expense of their own profits that remained at their disposal, depreciation charges and other mobilized internal resources" [12, p.73].

From five-year plan to five-year plan, the volume of capital investments directed to the national economy of the republic by the union center also increased. This assistance has significantly accelerated and facilitated the implementation of plans for the industrialization of the republic, ensuring a noticeable growth rate of industry against the backdrop of a distressed Bessarabia, and in fact predetermined the future of the industrial sector of the region. Only during the first five-year plan, relying on internal resources and fraternal assistance of the peoples of the USSR, logistical and financial support of the Soviet state, "the republic was able to invest 61.4 million rubles in the national economy, including 20.9 million rubles in industry" [10, p.21], which eventually led to the fact that for "1924-1937, the volume of gross industrial output increased 84 times" [13, p.76].

Thus, these data show that the industrial development of the republic was financed through three main channels – at the expense of internal savings of enterprises, republican and all-Union state budgets. The decisive role in financing belonged to the state budget. It was through the state budget that the Soviet state directed the main funds for the development of the republic's industry. At the same time, a special role belongs to the state budget of the USSR, which not only directly subsidized various areas of industrial development, but also indirectly, through an increase in deductions from national revenues to the state budget of the republic, direct subsidies to the republican, etc., contributed to the industrial development of the MASSR. Without the active participation of the state budget of the USSR, this development at such a rapid pace would have been impossible. 

At the end of the 1930s, the MASSR industry was developing at a higher rate than in the Union republics as a whole. If in 1939 the volume of industrial production in the USSR increased by 7.7 times compared to 1913, then in the Moldavian ASSR – by 33 times. Gross output in 1939 amounted to 169.6 million rubles [7, p.11].

The achieved successes opened up huge prospects for the expansion of the industrial sector of the republic in the following years. From the agrarian outskirts of tsarist Russia, the Left Bank of Moldova turned into a highly developed agrarian-industrial republic. The age-old backwardness was eliminated in a short time in all areas of economy and culture. The MASSR has created an industry designed for the widest use of local raw materials. Such branches of the food industry as canning and wine-making have acquired all-Union importance and occupied the main place in the industry of Soviet Moldavia.

The achievements of the economic development of the MASSR should also include fundamental, deeply progressive shifts in the sectoral structure of the republic's industry. It has changed qualitatively, new industries of great national economic importance have appeared: forestry, woodworking and pulp and paper, electric power, mechanical engineering and metalworking, and others. The production of internal combustion engines, centrifugal pumps, stone-cutting machines, pneumatic hammers, woodworking machines, planting machines and other equipment so necessary for the country has been mastered [14, p.278]. All this indicates that in a fairly short time, thanks to the joint efforts of the local population and the peoples of the USSR, the MASSR turned into an administrative unit with highly developed industrial production, large-scale mechanized agriculture and a high level of welfare of the population.

The opposite picture was observed in the right-bank regions of Moldova, where "from 1918 to 1940 the Romanian boyars and capitalists dominated" [1, p. 164].Although industry occupied a leading place in terms of specific gravity here, but in absolute numbers production was systematically falling, and the existing reserves of natural resources were used extremely poorly. The economy of right-bank Moldavia (Bessarabia) during the years of occupation by Boyar Romania was brought to a complete decline. Even the historically dominant and relatively developed food industry of Bessarabia did not meet the needs of the region. 

One of the features of the development of the territory of Bessarabia as part of Romania, as well as many other European states after the end of the First World War, was the "revival of the national economy" [5]. This required significant material and financial resources. Romania, which was a relatively small and predominantly agrarian country, where the rural population, as the 1930 census showed, was about 80%, had limited opportunities to accumulate funds within the country. The picture in occupied Bessarabia was even more gloomy. So S.F. Kustriabova in her article on the socio-class structure of the urban population of occupied Bessarabia for the period 1918-1940, based on the materials of official Romanian statistics, notes: "If we compare some comparable data from the Russian census of 1897 and the Romanian census of 1930, we can see that the delay in the development of the productive forces of occupied Bessarabia was expressed in an increase in the specific the share of the self-employed population employed in agricultural production increased from 64.6% to 86.7%, while the share of the same category of the population employed in industry decreased from 10.1% to 3.7%, in trade from 7.2% to 2.7%, in transport from 1.5% to 0.7%. The share of the urban population of the region decreased from 15.2% to 12.9%" [8, p.45].

At the same time, there was an abnormal increase in the proportion of the urban population engaged in agricultural production (almost three times compared to the pre-occupation period), which became destructive for the city's economy, which led to the final degradation of Bessarabian cities as industrial centers. Capitalism, aggravated by the Romanian-Boyar occupation, was unable to provide work for everyone who wanted and needed it, so the percentage of the employed population in industry, construction, transport, communications has significantly decreased.

As a result of the predatory policy, the Romanian imperialists turned Bessarabia "into a colony, a source of cheap raw materials, a market for their industrial goods" [15, p.180]. The development of productive forces was deliberately delayed. Under these conditions, the industry of the region not only did not grow, but degraded. A contemporary of those events, the Romanian economist-researcher N.P. Arkadian, had to admit in his book "On the Industrialization of Romania after the First World War": "Considering industry as a whole and comparing it between provinces, it can be seen that if, compared with 1919, industrial intensity increases in the Old Kingdom, Transylvania and Bukovina, in the Banat it remains at the same level, then in Bessarabia the agricultural character is even more evident, as a result of a drop in its industrial level" [15, p.181].

Most of the industrial enterprises of Bessarabia were small, equipped with old, primitive equipment. Neither Romanian, nor Western European and American entrepreneurs imported into Bessarabia either production tools or raw materials. As a result, Bessarabian entrepreneurs were forced to direct their efforts to the development of small and domestic industry.

Many owners, unable to withstand the competition of imported goods (history repeats today), closed their businesses. Thus, the Chisinau textile and knitting factories, factories for the production of building materials, etc. ceased to exist. "Most of the industrial enterprises, railway workshops, textile and knitting factories were relocated to Romania. The cities have fallen into decay" [13, p. 76]. A significant part of the enterprises did not work at full capacity or were completely inactive. During 1919 – 1937, the number of industrial enterprises in Bessarabia decreased "by 25%, and the number of employees in them by 22.3%" [16, p.5].

Unlike the MASSR, the echoes of the economic shocks that affected the entire world capitalist economy during the crisis of the 1930s reached Bessarabia - unemployment, bankruptcy of enterprises, ruin of peasant farms, falling living standards and subsequent migration (including to the territory of the USSR). As M.N. Bochacher points out, "out of 300,000 Bessarabian refugees who fled from Bessarabia after the Boyar invasion, 200,000 settled in the USSR. Of this mass, approximately 100,000 remained in the current AMSSR" [6, p.9]. According to a contemporary of those events, the Romanian economist-researcher N.P. Arkadian, which are relevant today: "Bessarabia is increasingly acquiring an agricultural character as a result of a decrease in its industrial level" [15, p.181].

The reduction in total production was accompanied by a sharp deterioration in the sectoral structure of industry. The structure changed according to the policy of the Romanian authorities aimed at turning Bessarabia into an agrarian and raw material appendage of royal Romania. The share of the metalworking industry decreased from 5.3% in 1926 to 0.9% in 1937, the textile industry from 3.6% to 1.7%, the construction materials industry accounted for 0.1%. During the same time, the share of the food industry increased from 77.1% to 92.4% [17, p. 45]. At the same time, it is important to note that the growth of output in this industry in absolute terms was not observed. At the same time, the reverse process took place in Romania itself: the share of the food industry in the overall structure of the entire industry decreased from year to year.

Another reason for the catastrophic situation with the industry of Bessarabia was its complete isolation from the huge Soviet (before 1917, Russian) market, of which it was previously a part. For example, the Romanian economist R. Rakovice, who studied the state of Bessarabia's industry in the early 1920s, noted: "Bessarabia is a typical province with small and domestic industry, this is the result of its complete isolation from Russia." He immediately added that "this industry is in a state of decline today due to a shortage of machinery, mechanical equipment, labor, capital, vehicles and especially due to a shortage of fuel" [18].

The energy economy of Bessarabia was also in a depressing state. Most of the power plants required major repairs. Three power plants did not work at all. As a result, the power of electric motors actually used by the industry of Bessarabia was only 130 thousand hp at the time of the reunification of the territories [15, p.183], which indicates both the catastrophic state of the region's industry and its meager industry structure.

The economic policy of the Romanian authorities was also dictated by political considerations. For fear of revolutionary actions of the working class, its controlled reduction was a guarantee of maintaining influence in the region, and also allowed to control the political situation in the province.

After the economic crisis of 1929-1933, there was some revival in the industry of bourgeois-landowner Romania, primarily associated with the militarization of the economy. The growth of militarization significantly intensified the process of capital concentration, which led to some revival of production activity. In the conditions of the global crisis, the struggle for survival among producers of goods and services was unequal. The Romanian state, followed by capital, gave preference to the industry of the "old" part of Romania, completely excluding Bessarabia from circulation. Significant credit restrictions, increased transport tariffs and customs restrictions, special fiscal policy, etc. are only part of the "controlled" competition and increased oppression of financial capital. As a result, only in 1935, in Bessarabia, according to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, "more than 1/4 of the enterprises of the census industry were closed, in subsequent years their number increased. The largest of them, such as the railway workshops in Tigina (over 600 workers), the knitting and textile factories in Chisinau (over 400 workers), the railway depot in Floresti and others in 1935-1938 were dismantled and taken to Romania" [5].

In the pre-war period, the production capacities of the operating enterprises of Bessarabia were used insignificantly: in 1937, the enterprises of the milling industry were used by 30-35%, the vegetable oil industry by 50% of its capacity. In the same year, metalworking enterprises were loaded by only 5%, leather, textile by the same amount from 5 to 20%, woodworking by 10-12%.

The fact of the continuous curtailment of Bessarabia's industry had to be recognized by the "new" authorities themselves. The report on the state of industry in Bessarabia in 1938 states: "The industry of the Dniester region, as well as the entire industry of Bessarabia ..., unable to withstand the competition of the industry of other areas that are in more favorable conditions, instead of development and in 1938 is stagnant, and some of the enterprises stopped production (distilleries and wineries), others the same (leather factories) are on the way to liquidation or have already been liquidated (knitting factory in Chisinau)" [9, p. 312].   

A comparison of the trends in the development of the economies of the two banks of the Dniester in the 20-30 years of the XX century clearly shows the dependence of the direction and pace of economic transformations on the nature of the prevailing industrial relations. In the shortest historical time, thanks to the help of the whole country, industry was actually re-created in the MASSR, agriculture was co-operated.  At the same time, under the conditions of occupation, the economy of Bessarabia objectively degraded. If in 1919 the share of Bessarabia in Romania's industrial production was 9%, capital investments — 6%, energy security — 3%, productive personnel — 3%, the cost of raw materials — 4%, fuel — 3%, products — 4%, then in 1937 these figures were respectively 5.7%, 1.6 %, 1,5 %, 2,8 %, 1,4%, 2,3% [5].

The actual state of the industrial sector of the economy on both banks of the Dniester by 1940 predetermined the vector of future transformations of the economy of the united Moldavia for decades to come, determining in the future the structure, nature and direction of its development.


Thus, summing up, it should be noted that until the reunification of the Moldovan people into a single socialist state (in August 1940), the process of restoration and development of industry took place mainly only in its left-bank areas. It was the policy of the Soviet government that was crucial for the development of industry throughout Moldova. During the years of Soviet power, the once backward agrarian region was completely transformed, especially since the late 1920s and during the 1930s, when accelerated industrialization took place in the USSR, taking into account the union division of labor, and the use of an extensive raw material base.

An industry was created in the MASSR, designed for the widest use of local raw materials and mastered the production of many types of new products. Dozens of enterprises have been restored and rebuilt.

A huge achievement for the MASSR was the formation of the cadres of the working class. By the time of the reunification of the Moldovan people, 6175 workers were already working at the MASSR industrial enterprises (1939), 5604 in cooperation, 2477 workers and employees were employed in railway transport, which together numbered over 14,000 people, which is 20 times more than before the Revolution. Only under the conditions of Soviet power, with the great help of the fraternal peoples of the USSR in previously backward agrarian regions, it became possible to create industry and a working class of many thousands in a relatively short time.

It should be noted that in Bessarabia in the same years, as a result of a sharp decline in industry, the number of the working class decreased. If in 1925 5.4 thousand workers worked at the censorship enterprises of Bessarabia, then in 1937 only 3.5 thousand worked. Unemployment has increased markedly. All this worsened the situation of the working masses, led to a decrease in their standard of living.

Analyzing the overall state of the industrial potential of Bessarabia at the time of reunification with the MASSR, it is impossible not to agree with the conclusions of researchers in this region that the industry of Bessarabia was mainly dominated by small handicraft production with a small number of workers and poor technical equipment. The share of products produced by Bessarabian enterprises in the industrial production of Romania was insignificant. Under the conditions of the Romanian occupation, the industry of the region could not use all its potential and eventually fell into decline.

 Thus, under the leadership of the Communist Party, thanks to the help of the fraternal peoples of the USSR and, first of all, the great Russian and Ukrainian peoples, the working masses by the time of the reunification of the Moldovan people successfully carried out socialist transformations and achieved significant success in economic and cultural construction. From the agrarian outskirts of tsarist Russia, the Left Bank of Moldova turned into a highly developed agrarian-industrial autonomous republic, significantly ahead of Bessarabia, where small-scale handicraft production prevailed. In the pre-war period, the development of the MASSR industry went in two main directions: food (primarily canning and wine production), and building materials. These industries have actually predetermined the industrial specialization of the republic for years to come. The age-old backwardness was eliminated in all areas of economy and culture.

All this allowed the left-bank regions after the formation of the MSSR in August 1940, especially in the first post-war years, to determine the parameters of the further economic development of Soviet Moldova and to have a further positive impact on the course of the socialist reconstruction of the national economy and cultural construction of the right-bank regions of the republic. Given the specifics of the development of economies in the left-bank and right-bank regions of Moldova before reunification, enormous human and financial resources were required, the supplier of which was mainly the fraternal republics of the USSR. 




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When serious socio-political changes began during the years of Perestroika, described by a foreign observer as "everything was in motion," hardly anyone could have imagined that they would lead to serious problems and, ultimately, to the collapse of the Soviet Union. As it turned out, it was relatively easy to destroy the harmony of interethnic relations on 1/6 of the land: This was clearly demonstrated by both Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria. It is noteworthy that the situation in these "hot spots" has not been fully normalized even today. These circumstances determine the relevance of the article submitted for review, the subject of which is the industrial sector of Transnistria in 1917-1940. The author aims to show the differences in the development of Bessarabia and Transnistria during this period, analyze individual successes in the industrialization of the region, as well as identify sources of financing. The work is based on the principles of analysis and synthesis, reliability, objectivity, the methodological basis of the research is a systematic approach, which is based on the consideration of the object as an integral complex of interrelated elements. The comparative method is also used in the work. The scientific novelty of the article lies in the very formulation of the topic: the author seeks to characterize the formation of Transnistria, which was decisive for the development of Moldova in the 1920s and 1930s. Considering the bibliographic list of the article, its scale and versatility should be noted as a positive moment: in total, the list of references includes 18 different sources and studies. From the sources attracted by the author, we will point to published documents on the history of industrialization of the USSR. Among the studies used, we note the works of K.V. Stratievsky, Z.G. Romanov, V.V. Tsaranov, which focus on various aspects of the history of Moldova in the 1920s and 1930s. Note that the bibliography is important both from a scientific and educational point of view: after reading the text, readers can turn to other materials on its topic. In general, in our opinion, the integrated use of various sources and research contributed to the solution of the tasks facing the author. The style of writing the article can be attributed to scientific, at the same time understandable not only to specialists, but also to a wide readership: to anyone interested in both the history of Pridnestrovie, in general, and the development of the region's industry, in particular. The appeal to the opponents is presented at the level of the collected information received by the author during the work on the topic of the article. The structure of the work is characterized by a certain logic and consistency, it can be distinguished by an introduction, the main part, and conclusion. At the beginning, the author defines the relevance of the topic, shows that before 1917, "the territory of modern Transnistria and Moldova was one of the most backward outskirts of the Russian Empire with a pronounced agricultural orientation in the economy." The author draws attention to the differences between Soviet Transnistria and Romanian-occupied Bessarabia, which differed "not only in their socio-economic and political nature, but also in their domestic policies, including in industry and agriculture." Based on various examples, the author shows that "the industrial development of the republic was financed through three main channels – at the expense of internal savings of enterprises, republican and all-Union state budgets." The author comes to the correct conclusion that "the actual state of the industrial sector of the economy on both banks of the Dniester by 1940 predetermined the vector of future transformations of the economy of the united Moldavia for decades to come, further determining the structure, nature and direction of its development." The main conclusion of the article is that "from the agrarian outskirts of tsarist Russia, the Left Bank of Moldova has turned into a highly developed agrarian and industrial republic." The article submitted for review is devoted to an urgent topic, will arouse readers' interest, and its materials can be used both in training courses and within the framework of the strategy of relations between Russia and Pridnestrovie. In general, in our opinion, the article can be recommended for publication.
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