Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe and has a population of approximately forty-four million people. It shares a 1,944-kilometer (1,208mile) border with Russia, its neighbor to the east. This proximity has had a profound impact on the country's history. Ukrainian territory was absorbed into the Russian Empire under czarist rule during the late eighteenth century. Nearly seventy years of Russian domination under the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR; Soviet Union) defined Ukraine throughout the twentieth century. Ukraine declared its independence in 1991 following the collapse of the USSR.
In February 2014, Russian forces seized and occupied the Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine. Violent conflict broke out along the eastern border between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian military operating...Read more