Bender (Russ. Bendary), a fortified town of Russia, capital of a district in the province of Bessarabia, on the right bank and about 48 m. from the mouth of the Dniester, 35 m. S. E. of Kishenev; pop. in 1869, 24,443, including Jews, Russians, Tartars, Armenians, and Moldavians. The town is partly built in the shape of a crescent, and is separated from the strong citadel, which stands on an eminence, by a large space with a mound, called after Suvaroff. There are seven gates and several suburbs, and the small houses and numerous hovels extend far into the surrounding steppe. The streets are dirty and gloomy, and the town generally has an oriental aspect, enhanced by many mosques, which with one exception are now appropriated to secular purposes. The natives are mostly occupied in agriculture and grazing. Saltpetre, leather, and paper are manufactured to some extent. The Russians are the most industrious. The chief language is Roumanian. The transit business with Odessa, Jas-sy, and other places is very active, the principal trade being in grain, wine, wool, cattle, tallow, and timber. - The Genoese had a settlement here as early as the 12th century, but the town does not seem to have been thoroughly established till the 14th century.
In the 16th it passed with Moldavia into the hands of the Turks, who built the fortifications. After the battle of Poltava (July 8, 1709) Charles XII. escaped to Bender, and was permitted by the Turkish authorities to reside for several years in the neighboring village of Varnitza. The Russians under Panin stormed and burned the town Sept. 26, 1770, and massacred the garrisan and the inhabitants, killing about 30,000. The treaty of peace of 1774 restored the town to Turkey. It was again taken by the Russians under Potemkin, Nov. 15, 1789; but the Turks were once more reinstated till 1806, when Meyendorflf retook the place, and in 1812 it was by the treaty of Bucharest united to Russia together with the