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Ukraine (Ukrainian: Україна, romanized: Ukrayina, pronounced [ʊkrɐˈjinɐ] (listen); Russian: Украина, romanized: Ukraina, lit. 'ʊkrɐˈinə') is a country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the east and north-east; Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west; and Romania, Moldova, Crimea, and the Black Sea to the south. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), and is the second-largest country in Europe after Russia. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42 million, making it the eighth-most populous country in Europe. Its capital and largest city is Kyiv.
The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kievan Rus' forming the basis of Ukrainian identity. Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, the territory was contested, ruled and divided by a variety of powers, including the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was eventually split between Poland and the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, a Ukrainian national movement for self-determination emerged and the internationally recognized Ukrainian People's Republic was declared on 23 June 1917. After World War II the western part of Ukraine merged into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and the whole country became a part of the Soviet Union. Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Following its independence, Ukraine declared itself a neutral state; it formed a limited military partnership with Russia and other CIS countries while also establishing a partnership with NATO in 1994. In 2013, after the government of President Viktor Yanukovych had decided to suspend the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement and seek closer economic ties with Russia, a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan began, which later escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that led to the overthrow of Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government. These events formed the background for the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014, and the War in Donbass in April 2014. On 1 January 2016, Ukraine applied the economic component of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union.
Ukraine is a developing country ranking 74th in the Human Development Index. It is the poorest country in Europe alongside Moldova, and suffers from a very high poverty rate as well as severe corruption. However, because of its extensive fertile farmlands, Ukraine is one of the world's largest grain exporters. It also maintains the third-largest military in Europe after Russia and France. Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system with separate powers: legislative, executive and judicial branches. The country is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the GUAM organization, and one of the founding states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
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