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Ukraine, a country in Eastern Europe located on the Black Sea, shares borders with Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova. Historically, Ukraine’s geographic location on the borderland between various powerful empires; its lack of natural barriers; and its fertile, agricultural lands have repeatedly made it a target of advancing armies. Ukraine’s present-day territorial boundaries and ethnic makeup have largely been shaped by its relationship with its powerful neighbors and the tragic events of the 20th century. Particularly, World War II and the German occupation stand out as important moments in the history of Ukraine, whose legacies continue to influence the social and political life of the country.

Background

Like its neighbors Russia and Belarus, Ukraine traces its linguistic and cultural heritage to Kievan Rus, a ...

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