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During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kievan Rus' forming the basis of Ukrainian identity.Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, the territory was contested, ruled and divided by a variety of powers, including Lithuania, Poland, the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary, and Russia.
Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic.Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world.The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC.The first of these periods occurred briefly during and immediately after the German occupation near the end of World War I and the second occurred, also briefly, and also during German occupation, during World War II.However, both of these first two earlier periods would eventually see Ukraine's territories consolidated back into a Soviet republic within the USSR.Kievan Rus' included the central, western and northern part of modern Ukraine, Belarus, far eastern strip of Poland and the western part of present-day Russia.
According to the Primary Chronicle the Rus' elite initially consisted of Varangians from Scandinavia.
bordered by Russia to the east and northeast; Belarus to the northwest; Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia to the west; Romania and Moldova to the southwest; and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively.
Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014 making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world.
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.
In 2013, after the government of President Yanukovych had decided to suspend the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and seek closer economic ties with Russia, a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan began, which later escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that led to the overthrow of President Yanukovych and his cabinet and the establishment of a new government.