from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- A city of southern Moldova on the Dniester River northwest of Odessa, Ukraine. A historically strategic gateway to Bessarabia, the city has been controlled at various times by Turkey, Russia, Romania, and the Soviet Union. Population: 128,000.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
(I have never been to Tighina/Bendery, but it is another interesting if lesser-known example which actually fits the geography of the novel rather well.)