Ukraine (; , transliterated:) is a country in Eastern Europe. Ukraine borders the Russian Federation to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, Romania and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. It has an area of , making it the largest country entirely within Europe.
The territory of Ukraine was first inhabited at least forty-four thousand years ago. It is a candidate site for both the domestication of the horse and for the origins of the Indo-European language family.
In the Middle Ages, the area was a key center of East Slavic culture, before being divided between a variety of powers. A Cossack republic flowered for a century in the early modern period, but Ukraine remained otherwise divided until its consolidation into a Soviet republic in the twentieth century, becoming independent in 1991.
Ukraine has long been a world breadbasket due to its fertile conditions. The country, as of 2011, was the world's third-largest grain exporter. In 2011, the harvest was much larger than average harvest, and export fees had been lowered. Ukraine is one of ten most attractive agricultural land acquisition regions.
Ukraine is a unitary state composed of 24 oblasts (provinces), one autonomous republic (Crimea), and two cities with special status: Kiev, its capital and largest city, and Sevastopol, which houses the Russian Black Sea Fleet under a leasing agreement. Ukraine is a republic under a semi-presidential system with separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine continues to maintain the second-largest military in Europe, after that of Russia. The country is home to 46 million people, 77.8 percent of whom are ethnic Ukrainians, with sizable minorities of Russians (17%), Belarusians and Romanians. Ukrainian is the official language of Ukraine; its alphabet is Cyrillic. Russian is also widely spoken. The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity, which has strongly influenced Ukrainian architecture, literature and music.
Scholars disagree on whether the origin of the name of Ukraine meant "borderland" or "homeland". The form "the Ukraine" was once usual in English. In 1993 the Ukrainian government requested that the article be dropped, and it has become rarer.
How places in Ukraine are organized
All places in Ukraine
Further information on historical place organization in Ukraine
The Archives of Sevastopol, Ukraine