bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Poland and Slovakia to the west, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively.

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It has a population of about 44.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world.

The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC.

Nonetheless it formed a limited military partnership with the Russian Federation and other CIS countries and a partnership with NATO in 1994.

In the 2000s, the government began leaning towards NATO, and a deeper cooperation with the alliance was set by the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan signed in 2002.

Ukrainian is the official language of Ukraine; its alphabet is Cyrillic.

The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodoxy, which has strongly influenced Ukrainian architecture, literature and music.At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, and the Khazars took over much of the land.Kievan Rus' was founded by the Rus' people, who came from Scandinavia across Ladoga and settled in Kiev around 880 AD.The Goths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s AD.In the 7th century AD, the territory of eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria.After this began a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan, which later escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ultimately resulted in the overthrowing of President Yanukovych and his cabinet and the establishment of a new government.