The Ukraine Portal - Портал України

Ukraine (Ukrainian: Україна, romanizedUkraïna, pronounced [ʊkrɐˈjinɐ] (listen)) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest European country after Russia, covering approximately 600,000 square kilometres (230,000 sq mi), and has a population of around 40 million people. It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast; by Belarus to the north; by Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; and by Romania and Moldova to the southwest; with a coastline along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. Kyiv is Ukraine's capital as well as its largest city. The country's language is Ukrainian, and many people are also fluent in Russian.

During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture under the state of Kievan Rus', which emerged in the 9th century and was destroyed by a Mongol invasion in the 13th century. Over the next 600 years, the area was contested, divided, and ruled by a variety of external powers, including the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Austrian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Tsardom of Russia. The Cossack Hetmanate emerged in central Ukraine in the 17th century, but was partitioned between Russia and Poland, and ultimately absorbed by the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, a Ukrainian national movement re-emerged, and formed the Ukrainian People's Republic in 1917. This short-lived state was forcibly reconstituted by the Bolsheviks into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which became a founding member of the Soviet Union in 1922. In the 1930s, millions of Ukrainians were killed by the Holodomor, a man-made famine of the Stalinist era.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine regained independence and declared itself neutral; forming a limited military partnership with post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States, while also joining the Partnership for Peace with NATO in 1994. In 2013, a series of mass demonstrations known as the Euromaidan erupted across Ukraine, eventually escalating into the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, which led to the establishment of a new government and pro-Russian unrest. During this period, unmarked Russian troops invaded the Crimean Peninsula, which was later annexed by Russia; and pro-Russia unrest in Ukraine's Donbas culminated in Russia-backed separatists seizing territory throughout the region, sparking the War in Donbas. This series of events marked the beginning of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, and in a major escalation of the conflict in February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Since the outbreak of war with Russia in 2014, Ukraine has continued to seek closer economic, political, and military ties with the Western world, including the European Union and NATO.

Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system and a developing country, ranking 74th on the Human Development Index. Despite having a growing free-market economy, Ukraine remains among the poorest countries in Europe by nominal GDP per capita, which some journalists have attributed to high corruption. However, due to its extensive fertile land, pre-war Ukraine was one of the largest grain exporters in the world. It is a founding member of the United Nations, as well as a member of the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization, the OSCE, and is currently in the process of joining the European Union. (Full article...)

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The history of Christianity in Ukraine dates back to the earliest centuries of the history of Christianity, to the Apostolic Age, with mission trips along the Black Sea and a legend of Saint Andrew even ascending the hills of Kyiv. The first Christian community on territory of modern Ukraine is documented as early as the 9th century with establishment of the Metropolitanate of Gothia centered in Crimean peninsula. However, on territory of the Old Rus in Kyiv it became the dominant religion since its official acceptance in 988 by Vladimir the Great (Volodymyr the Great), who brought it from Byzantine Crimea and installed it as the state religion of medieval Kyivan Rus (Ruthenia), with the metropolitan see in Kyiv.

Although separated into various Christian denominations, most Ukrainian Christians share a common faith based on Eastern Christianity. This tradition is represented in Ukraine by the Byzantine Rite, the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, which have been at various historic times closely aligned with Ukrainian national self-identity and Byzantine culture. (Full article...)
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In the news

3 July 2022 – 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
2022 Western Russia attacks
Three people are killed during explosions in Belgorod, Russia, near the border with Ukraine. Fifty buildings are partially destroyed. (BBC News)
2 July 2022 – Russo-Ukrainian War
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
The Mariupol City Council says that over 10,000 of the city's residents are being held prisoner by the separatist Donetsk People's Republic. (UkInterfax)
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claims that his country intercepted Ukrainian missiles directed at Belarus three days ago and says that Belarus "does not want war with Ukraine". (CNBC)
1 July 2022 – Russo-Ukrainian War
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Serhiivka missile strike
At least 21 civilians are killed and 38 others injured when two Russian missiles strike a multi-story building and a recreation centre in Serhiivka, Odessa Oblast. (The Guardian)
1 July 2022 – Ukrainian cultural heritage during the 2022 Russian invasion
UNESCO inscribes Ukraine's borscht culture into its list of endangered intangible cultural heritage. (Bangkok Post)
1 July 2022 – Capital punishment in Ukraine
Authorities in the Donetsk People's Republic announce that they will begin carrying out capital punishment in 2025, after three foreign fighters, two British and one Moroccan, who were arrested in the republic after joining the Ukrainian Army amidst the ongoing Russian invasion, are sentenced to death by the court. (Reuters)

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A 1943 Soviet stamp commemorating Lyudmila Pavlichenko.

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