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Gagauzia (Gagauz/Russian: Гагаузия, Gagauziya), officially known as the Republic of Gagauzia, is a republic of the Soviet Union that is located in Eastern Europe. With an area well over 2,500 km2, Gagauzia is the smallest republic within the USSR. The republic was formally proclaimed in August 1990 as an area for the ethnic Gagauz people. While the broader Parade of Sovereignties was a major factor in the establishment of the republic, many have also attributed this to the ongoing nationalism which gaining strength within the Moldavian SSR (which Gagauzia was a part of at the time).
The breakaway regions of Gagauzia and Transnistria would proclaim their support for continued integration with the Soviet Union as Moldova moved towards independence and later unification with Romania. These lingering border disputes became full war in 1992, during which Soviet troops backed and later occupied much of Gagauzia. The conflict ended within months, with Gagauzia (as well as Transnistria) formally being annexed into the USSR later in the year. The vague borders of the republic were finalized shortly before the unification of Moldova and Romania in 1994.
The majority of those living in the republic are ethnically Gagauz, who are a Turkic-speaking people who mostly adhere to the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christianity. Making up about a fifth of the population are ethnic Bessarabian Bulgarians, whose ancestry dates back to Ottoman rule. Moldovans/Romanians, Russians, and Ukrainians are the largest minorities within the republic.
The Gagauzian economy is centered around agriculture (especially viticulture); with the republic's main exports being wine, sunflower oil, non-alcoholic beverages, wool, leather, and textiles. Following the independence of Georgia and Moldova, Gagauzia has become one the largest wine producing regions within the Soviet Union. Due in part to it's working-dominated population, Gagauzians have politically supported the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since the 1990s.