Ukraine is the second largest country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by the Russian Federation to the east; Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; Romania and Moldova to the southwest; and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south. Ukraine is a member of the CIS. From 1923 to 1991 most of the country was a constituent republic within the USSR. The city of Kiev is both the capital and the largest city of Ukraine.
Ukraine's modern history began with the East Slavs. From at least the 9th century, Ukraine was a centre of the medieval living area of the East Slavs. This state, known as Kievan Rus', became a large and powerful nation, but disintegrated in the 12th century. After the Great Northern War, Ukraine was divided among a number of regional powers, and by the 19th century, the largest part of Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire, with the rest under Austro-Hungarian control.
After a chaotic period of incessant warfare and several attempts at independence (1917–21) following World War I and the Russian Civil War, Ukraine emerged on December 30, 1922 as one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic's territory was enlarged westward shortly before and after World War II, and southwards in 1954 with the Crimea transfer. In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the co-founding members of the United Nations.
Ukraine became independent again after the dissolution of the Soviet Union...