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 languages of Ukraine are Ukrainian and Russian.
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 fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine, while nominally an independent country, was caught in the Russian sphere of influence, but some elements looked westward to Europe.
- What are Middle-Income Countries?. The World Bank - (IEG). URL accessed on 2008-01-03.