The capital is Kyiv (Kiev), located on the Dnieper River.
The capital, Kyiv (Kiev)
As one of the oldest cities in eastern Europe, Kiev is a place of incredible history that has managed to embrace Western influence in recent years without sacrificing its Slavic roots. Kiev’s story is one of transition and reinvention.
You’ll find museums alongside traditional markets, bouji brunch spots in the same street as restaurants who’ve been run by the same family for generations, parks and spas and shopping that holds its own against the rest of the European capitals.
In the late 20th century it emerged as a fully independent country, after long periods of successive domination by Poland-Lithuania, Russia, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.).
The country had experienced a brief period of independence in 1918–20, but portions of western Ukraine were ruled by Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia in the period between the two World Wars, and Ukraine thereafter became part of the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (S.S.R.).
When the Soviet Union began to unravel in 1990–91, the legislature of the Ukrainian S.S.R. declared sovereignty (July 16, 1990) and then outright independence (August 24, 1991).
With the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. in December 1991, full independence was gained. The country changed its official name to Ukraine, and it helped to found the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an association of countries that were formerly republics of the Soviet Union.
The country shares its borders with Belarus to the north, Russia to the east, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea to the south, Moldova and Romania to the southwest, and Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland to the west.