Ukraine is a country located in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Poland and Slovakia to the west, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. It has a population of around 43 million people. The official language is Ukrainian but Russian is also widely spoken. The capital city is Kyiv (Kiev). Ukraine has a rich history spanning centuries and its culture blends traditional Ukrainian elements with influences from other parts of Europe. Its economy relies heavily on agriculture and exports of steel, machinery, coal, chemicals, food products etc. Tourism is also an important part of its economy as Ukraine boasts many natural attractions such as Carpathian Mountains in the southwest region which are popular for skiing and hiking. The country’s infrastructure has been improved significantly over recent years with major highways connecting all major cities in Ukraine. See countryaah.com for other countries that start with letter U.
According to Countryaah data, in the 9-12th century, most of present-day Ukraine was subject to Kiev, which at the same time had a number of alliances with the Slavic peoples of the East. The most important of these was the alliance between the Russians and Kiev. The ancient Russian people were the originators of the three most important Slavic nations in the East: Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. In the 12th century, the kingdom of Kiev collapsed and was divided into the principals of Kiev, Chernigov, Galich and Vladimir-Volinski. In the 13th century, the Tartar invasion took place, and in the 14th century, the Grand Principality annexed Lithaunthe areas of Chernigov, Novgorod-Severski, Podolia, Kiev and a large part of Volin. In the southern part of Ukraine and in Crimea arose the khanate (kingdom) of Crimea, which began to invade Galitzia and Podolia. The Transcarpathian territories were conquered by Hungary in the 11th century.
In the 15th century the Ukrainian people were formed (by the word krai, border). This was called in 1187 the expansive frontier area populated by polovtsi (kipchakers). In 1213, krai was the name for the border area with Poland. In the 16th century the word was used throughout the area of Ukraine. Historically, close relations existed between Ukrainians and Russians – as during the battles against the feudal Polish and Lithuanian kingdoms and against the Tartars in Crimea. In the 16th century, the Ukrainian territories (Volin and Podolia, Kiev and parts of the left bank of the Dnieper River) were incorporated into Rzecz Pospolita (union of Poland and Lithaun), and the new rulers forced the population to Roman Catholicism.
In the first half of the 17th century, the liberation struggle against Poland and Lithaun intensified. The war of the Ukrainian people (1648-54) under Bogdán Jmelnitski’s leadership ended with the merger of Ukraine and Russia. In 1654, Ukraine was made autonomous territory within the Russian Empire. In the 17th century, Ukrainian settlers began to settle in the present Jarkov (Char’cov) region. In the official Russian documents, Ukraine appeared as Malo Rossiya (small Russia).
In the second half of the 18th century, southern Ukraine developed into the empire’s main supplier of wheat. In 1783, the Crimean khanate – where the Tartars lived – was conquered by Russia. After Poland was divided between Russia, Prussia and Austria (1793-95), the right bank of the Dnieper River was laid under Russia. At the end of the 18th century, Ukraine’s autonomy was abolished, and in 1796 Ukraine on the left bank of the Dnieper was transformed into the province of Malo Rossiya.
Following the collapse of Russian Zarism in February 1917, a double power situation in Ukraine arose between the Provisional Government of St. Petersburg. Petersburg and the Ukrainian Central Council (Rada) in Kiev. It had been established in March 1917 with the support of the bourgeoisie and nationalist circles. Following the October Revolution, the first congress of the Ukrainian Soviets was held in December 1917, and it decided to proclaim Soviet power. In turn, the Ukrainian Central Council supported the German-Austrian forces that invaded the country in the spring of 1918. Until 1920 Ukraine was the scene of fierce fighting between the Soviet power and its internal and external enemies. In December 1922, Ukraine participated in the first Alrussian Soviet Congress held in Moscow, where it was decided to establish the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
According to thesciencetutor, in the interwar period, the Soviet government carried out extensive industrialization of Ukraine and collectivized agriculture.
In accordance with secret supplemental protocols of the 1939 Non-Attack Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, the same year, western Ukraine was incorporated into the Soviet Union. It had until then belonged to Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania. In 1940, Ukraine was further expanded with Besarabia and northern Bukovina. In 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Ukraine, triggering widespread partisan activity. At the end of the World War, the Transcarpathians were incorporated into Ukraine, and all areas of Ukrainian people were now incorporated into the Soviet Union. Ukraine participated as a separate state at the establishment of the UN.
Relations with Russia
Ukraine is economically very dependent on Russia, especially when it comes to energy supplies. Due to the economic problems in Ukraine in the 1990s, the authorities were unable to pay in full for gas supplies, and the debt to Russian energy companies gradually grew very large. Russian authorities also accused the Ukrainian side of draining gas which was intended for transit to the European market. The conflict peaked on January 1, 2006, when an agreement on what the Ukrainians should pay for Russian gas led to gas exports to Ukraine being temporarily halted. As the Ukrainians responded by continuing to drop gas (gas intended for the European market), this created a ripple effect on large parts of the European gas grid and led to the issue of European energy security being put on the agenda.
In May 2018, it opened the bridge over the Kresh Strait to give the Crimean Peninsula a land connection to Russia.
It got to the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia in 2018 when Russian ships prevented Ukrainian ships to get through Kerch -stredet between the Black Sea and Azov Sea. A Russian gunboat shot at a Ukrainian vessel and injured several of the seafarers on board.
Around the turn of 2018-2019 became an autocephalous Ukrainian church recognized by the Patriarch of Constantinople. Since 1686, the Ukrainian church had been under the patriarch of Moscow.
Relations with other countries
When it comes to relations with the western neighbors, relations with Poland and Hungary have been good ever since independence, while relations with Romania have long been strained as a result of semi-compliant Romanian demands for border changes. In June 1997, however, a Ukrainian-Romanian bilateral agreement was signed in which the full territorial integrity of both countries was established.
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Ukraine is increasingly seeking cooperation with Western countries. Most Western countries were positive to the Orange Revolution. Ukraine joined the World Trade Organization in the spring of 2008 and has established cooperation agreements with both NATO and the EU. The country has strong aspirations for EU membership, which in the short term is unrealistic. Ukraine also wants NATO membership, although Russia is very negative about Ukraine becoming a NATO member and its population divided. In 2019, President Prorchenko signed a constitutional amendment stipulating that the country should seek both EU and NATO membership.