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Ukraine (Ukrainian: Україна, romanized: Ukraïna, pronounced [ʊkrɐˈjinɐ] (audio speaker iconlisten)) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest country by area in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; Romania and Moldova to the south; and has a coastline along the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. It spans an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi). With a population of 43 million, Ukraine is the eighth-most populous country in Europe. The nation's capital and largest city is Kyiv.
The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BCE. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture under the Kyivan Rus', which was destroyed by the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. Over the next 600 years, the area was contested, divided, and ruled by external powers, including the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Austrian Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and the Tsardom of Russia. The Cossack Hetmanate emerged in Central Ukraine in the 17th century but was partitioned between Russia and Poland, and ultimately absorbed by the Russian Empire entirely. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, a Ukrainian national movement re-surfaced and the Ukrainian People's Republic was formed in 1917. The short-lived state was forcibly reconstituted into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which became a founding member of the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1922. From 1932 to 1933 the Holodomor killed millions of Ukrainians. In 1939, following the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Western Ukraine was annexed by the USSR. Ukraine was the most populous and industrialised republic after the Russian Soviet Republic, until regaining its independence in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Following its independence, Ukraine formed a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system, with separation of powers into legislative, executive, and judicial branches. It declared itself a neutral state, forming a limited military partnership with Russia and other CIS countries while also establishing a partnership with NATO in 1994. In 2013, after President Viktor Yanukovych suspended the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement in favor of closer economic ties with Russia, mass protests and demonstrations known as the Euromaidan erupted, escalating into the Revolution of Dignity that led to the overthrow of Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government. These events formed the background for Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the War in Donbas the following month, a protracted conflict with Russian-backed separatists that culminated in a Russian invasion in February 2022. Ukraine has continued seeking closer economic, political, and military ties with the West amid continuing war with Russia.
Ukraine is a developing country with a lower-middle income economy, ranking 74th in the Human Development Index. Ukraine is among the poorest countries in Europe. As of 2020 it suffers from low life expectancy and widespread corruption. However, due to its extensive fertile land, Ukraine is one of the largest grain exporters in the world. It is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the GUAM organization, the Association Trio, and the Lublin Triangle.
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