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In 1991, Ukraine achieved independence with the dissolution of the USSR. On Feb. 23, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in what has been reported as "the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War II." Several world leaders have denounced the attack and promise sanctions against Russia.

Check this page regularly for updated news and information related to the invasion.


UKRAINE FACTS

A map of Ukraine showing the location of major cities.
Troy Becker / The Forum

  • Capital: Kyiv
  • Population: 43.7 million (July 2021 est.)
  • Population Growth: -0.49% (2021 est.)
  • Legislature: Unicameral Supreme Council or Verkhovna Rada (450 seats)
  • Area: 233,031 square miles
  • Historical: Ukraine was the center of the first eastern Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, which during the 10th and 11th centuries was the largest and most powerful state in Europe. Ukraine achieved independence in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR.
  • Economy: Lower middle-income non-EU Eastern European economy; major reforms after Maidan revolution; major wheat producer; industrial and energy exporter; persistent Russian interference and corruption weaken growth and investments; negatively impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Language: Ukrainian (official) 67.5%, Russian (regional language) 29.6%, other 2.9% (2001 est.)
  • Religion: Orthodox, Ukrainian Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish (2013 est.)
  • Natural resources: Ukraine has more recoverable reserves of uranium ores than any other European nation, and is second in the world in iron ore reserves (2010). The nation is third in Europe for shale gas reserves and has the world's fourth-largest natural gas pipeline system. “Roughly 20% of Europe’s gas passes through Ukraine and the country has the third-largest gas production and the fourth-largest gas market in Europe,” according to a 2007 Oxford Institue for Energy Studies report.
  • Agriculture: Ukraine has more arable land than any other nation in Europe. It is the number one exporter of sunflowers and sunflower oil in the world (2019). The country is the world's fourth-largest exporter of corn (2019-2020), third in potato production (2019), and the number five exporter of wheat in the world (2020).
  • More info about Ukraine.

Sources: CIA World Factbook; Snopes.com


LATEST RUSSIA/UKRAINE HEADLINES

Exactly three months after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces into Ukraine, authorities in its second-largest city Kharkiv re-opened the underground metro, where thousands of civilians had sheltered for months under relentless bombardment.

PHOTO GALLERY

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MORE HEADLINES

Ukraine has been retaking territory in its northeast, driving the Russians away from the second-largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
Ukrainian forces have driven Russia from the second-largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in their fastest advance since Kremlin troops pulled away from Kyiv and the northeast over a month ago to focus their offensive on the Donbas region bordering Russia.
Finland's plan to apply for NATO membership, announced on Thursday, and the expectation that Sweden will follow, would bring about the expansion of the Western military alliance that Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed to prevent. Abandoning the neutrality they maintained throughout the Cold War would be one of the biggest shifts in European security in decades.
U.N. data showed that 6.03 million had fled Ukraine as of Wednesday.
The advance appears to be the fastest that Ukraine has mounted since it drove Russian troops away from the capital Kyiv and out of northern Ukraine at the beginning of April. If sustained, it could let Ukrainian forces threaten supply lines for Russia's main attack force, and even put rear logistics targets in Russia itself within range of artillery.
Russian forces have pounded Ukrainian cities in a war that has killed thousands, forced more than 5 million people - mainly women, children and older people - to flee and could cause Ukraine's economy to contract by at least one-third in 2022.
Ukrainian troops in recent days recaptured the settlements of Cherkaski Tyshky, Ruski Tyshki, Borshchova and Slobozhanske, north of Ukraine's second-largest city, said Tetiana Apatchenko, a press officer with the main Ukrainian force in the area. Defense Ministry adviser Yuriy Saks said the Ukrainian successes were pushing Russian forces out of range of Kharkiv, located in the northeast, which has been under perpetual bombardment since the war began.
The counterattack could signal a new phase in the war, with Ukraine now going on the offensive after weeks in which Russia mounted a massive assault that Ukrainian troops mostly held off.
In Ukraine, there was no let up in fighting, with missile strikes destroying buildings in the southern port of Odesa and a renewed push by Russian forces to defeat the last Ukrainian troops holding out in a steelworks in ruined Mariupol.