Moldova is a country of 3 million people, located in Eastern Europe, between Ukraine and Romania. Moldova used to be part of the Soviet Union; it became independent in 1991. The capital city is Chisinau. Moldova is a very poor country, whose economy is still completely dependent on Russia for supplies of energy, and Russia's government frequently intervenes in Moldovan politics. In addition, the separatist, eastern sliver of the country, called the Trans-Dniester region, is controlled by criminal gangs with close ties to the Russian government.