Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe that was formerly a part of the Soviet Union. Russia lies to the east and northeast, Belarus and Poland to the northwest, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, Romania and Moldova (including the disputed territory of Transnistria) to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south. The capital of Ukraine is Kiev. According to the World Bank classification, Ukraine is a middle-income state. The official language of Ukraine is Ukrainian but many ethnic Ukrainians speak Russian as their first language particularly in the eastern cities of Kharkiv and Donetsk. The population of Ukraine, depopulated by transport of the Crimean Tatars during World War II is in large part ethnic Russians, many military retirees.
During the 20th century Ukraine, which for the most part was part of the Russian empire, developed a national identity, based in large part on opposition to Russian nationalism. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine, while nominally an independent country, was in the Russian sphere of influence, but some elements looked westward to Europe.
There is a strong communist party in Ukraine with roots in the Soviet party, the Communist Party of Ukraine. The Communist Party has strongly resisted the efforts by other Ukrainians to form closer relationships with Europe which resulted in assumption of power by the Euromaidan faction in 2014 during the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.
- What are Middle-Income Countries?. The World Bank - (IEG). URL accessed on 2008-01-03.