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Introduction: 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. Weakened by internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, Kyivan Rus was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The cultural and religious legacy of Kyivan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century after an uprising against the Poles. Despite continuous Muscovite pressure, the Hetmanate managed to...

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Economic Overview: The transition to a market economy has been difficult for Ukraine, stricken with eight consecutive years of economic decline following its independence from the Soviet Union. It has since experienced economic growth but remains reliant on Russian energy imports, especially natural gas. Following independence, the Ukrainian Government freed up most prices and began a program of privatisation. These policies met with considerable domestic resistance. Industrial production in the period 1992-98 fell to less than half the 1991 level. A financial crisis in Russia in 1998 had a depressive effect on Ukraine's economic growth. However, from 2000 the ...

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History: The first identifiable groups to populate what is now Ukraine were Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Goths, among other nomadic peoples who arrived throughout the first millennium B.C. These peoples were well known to colonists and traders in the ancient world, including Greeks and Romans, who established trading outposts that eventually became city-states. Slavic tribes occupied central and ...

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International Relations: Ukraine's relations with neighbours


A major breakthrough in Russia-Ukraine relations occurred in May 1997 when Presidents Yeltsin and Kuchma signed an agreement on the Black Sea Fleet, whereby Ukraine undertook to lease the harbour of Sevastopol to Russia until 2017. The presidents also signed a Bilateral Treaty on Friendship and Co-operation, recognising each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity within their existing borders. In February 2003, the two countries agreed on the delimitation of their land border. However, this left the Azov Sea border undelimited and in October 2003 a ...

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