Province (pop., 2004 est.: 2,022,257), within the Republic of Serbia. It covers 8,315 sq mi (21,536 sq km), and its chief city is Novi Sad. Slavs settled there in the 6th and 7th centuries, followed by Hungarian nomads in the 9th and 10th centuries. Ottoman Turks controlled the region from the 16th to the 18th century, until it became part of the Austrian Habsburg empire. By then it was a centre of Serbian Orthodox culture. In 1849 portions of the historic regions of Backa and Banat were united as the Vojvodina under Croatia-Slavonia. By 1873 the entire region had reverted to Hungary, and in 1918 it was made part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia). In 1945 it became an autonomous province of the Serbian republic, but in 1989 Slobodan Miloševic rescinded this status. In 1999, after receiving tens of thousands of Serbian refugees from Kosovo, it demanded restoration of its autonomy. Although denied full autonomy, it was granted some autonomous powers in 2002 by the Serbian parliament.
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