Khotin (khətyēnˈ) [key], city, SW Ukraine, on the Dniester River. It lies in Bessarabia in an agricultural district and has agricultural and food-processing industries. Located on the site of an ancient fortified Slavic settlement, the city is named for Kotizon, a 3d-century Dacian chief. It was included in Kievan Rus in the 10th cent. and later became part of the Halych and Halych-Volhynian duchies. Khotin developed into an important trade and craft center and in the 13th cent. was the site of a Genoese trading colony. The city was included in the Hungarian and Moldavian states in the 14th and 15th cent. Its strategic location at an important Dniester River crossing caused the city to change hands frequently from the 16th to 18th cent. Seized by Russia in 1739, Khotin was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1812 as part of Bessarabia. The city was under Romanian rule from 1918 to 1940 and under German occupation from 1941 to 1944. Khotin has remains of an imposing fortified castle that was built (13th cent.) by the Genoese, enlarged (14th–15th cent.) by the Moldovans, and restored (18th cent.) by the Ottoman Turks.
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