Moldova is a small, Eastern European nation wedged between Romania and Ukraine. Moldova has a long history of being controlled by outside powers such as the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, and later the USSR. The nation was often exploited for agriculture because of its rich, fertile soil. Today, this history of colonization, as well as widespread corruption within the government of the now independent nation, make it the single poorest nation in all of Europe. In the city, Chisinau, Signs of urban decay due to lack of maintenance are everywhere, from the apartment buildings, to the well-trafficked streets, where people walk along broken glass, and missing tiles. In the many villages scattered across the countryside, people live a lot of the time without running water, and use horse-drawn carriages for transportation. In the countryside as well as in the middle of Chisinau, buildings half-built lay abandoned since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Although it may be economically poor, many Moldovans value their heritage and are striving to reclaim a cultural identity that many have viewed as lost in the past.