SPECIAL REGIONAL CONSIDERATIONS - UKRAINE
ADOPTION NOTICE from the U.S. Department of State.
Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe. Ukraine borders Russia to the east, Belarus to the north, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, Romania, Moldova (including the breakaway Pridnestrovie) to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south. The city of Kiev is both the capital and the largest city of Ukraine.
From the 14th century on, the territory of 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. Ukraine emerged in 1922 as one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union, after a chaotic period of incessant warfare and several attempts at independence (1917-21) following World War I and the Russian Civil War. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic's territory was enlarged westward shortly before and after World War II, and again 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 in 1991. This began a period of transition to a market economy, in which Ukraine was stricken with an eight year recession. The economy stabilized by the end of the 1990s. Since 2000, the country has enjoyed steady economic growth averaging about seven percent annually.
Since the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine continues to maintain the second largest military in Europe, after that of Russia. Following independence, Ukraine declared itself a neutral state. The country has had a limited military partnership with Russia, other CIS countries and a partnership with NATO since 1994.
Note: The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics.
1 Ukraine, Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine