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Ukraine ( ; , [transliterated] : , ) is a country in [Eastern Europe] . It is bordered by [Russia] to the east; [Belarus] to the north; [Poland] , [Slovakia] , and [Hungary] to the west; [Romania] and [Moldova] to the southwest; and the [Black Sea] and [Sea of Azov] to the south. The city of [Kiev] is both the capital and the largest city of Ukraine.

Ukraine's modern history began with the [East Slavs] . From at least the 9th century, Ukraine was a center of the medieval [living area of the East Slavs] . This state, known as [Kievan Rus'] , became a large and powerful nation, but disintegrated in the 12th century. After the [Great Northern War] , Ukraine was divided among a number of regional powers, and by the 19th century, the largest part of Ukraine was integrated into the [Russian Empire] , with the rest under [Austro-Hungarian] control.

After a [chaotic period] of incessant warfare and several attempts at independence (1917–21) following [World War I] and the [Russian Civil War] , Ukraine emerged in 1922 as one of the founding [republics of the Soviet Union] . The [Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic] 's territory was enlarged westward shortly before and after [World War II] , and southwards in 1954 with the . In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the co-founding members of the [United Nations] .

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