Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south. The largest part of Moldova lies between the two rivers, the Dniester and The Prut. Due to its strategic location on a route between Asia and Europe, Moldova has faced numerous invasions, including those by the Bastarns, Huns, Magyars, Kievan Rus' and the Mongols, and has especially in the 20th century been subjected to several invasions of the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union - it could declare its independence from the USSR on August 27, 1991. A strip of Moldova's internationally recognized territory on the east bank of the river Dniester is under de facto control of a breakaway government of Transnistria since 1990. Moldova is a parliamentary democracy. The official language is Moldovan / Romanian, although Russian is still widely spoken. It enjoys a favourable climate and good farmland. Moldova's rich soil and temperate continental climate (with warm summers and mild winters) have made the country one of the most productive agricultural regions since ancient times, and a major supplier of agricultural products in South Eastern Europe . Without major mineral deposits, Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe despite recent progress from its small economic base - about a quarter of the population lives with less than US $2 a day.