Ukraine

Swallow's Nest Castle

Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to the east, Poland and Hungary to the west, Romania and the Black Sea to the south. The nation's modern history began with the East Slavs. From the 9th century it was a center of the Viking-led Kievan Rus' state (also the parent of Russia). This empire disintegrated in the 12th century and from the 14th century on, the territory of Ukraine was divided among a number of regional powers. With the ascendancy of the Tsars based in Moscow, by the 19th century the largest part of Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire. After several attempts at independence following World War I, in 1922 Ukraine became one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. Ukraine became independent again after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The city of Kiev is both the capital and the largest city of Ukraine. The country is home to 46.4 million people, of whom 80% are ethnic Ukrainians.  The Ukrainian language is the only official language, and the dominant religion is Eastern Orthodox Christianity, which has heavily influenced Ukrainian architecture, literature and music.

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Swallow's Nest Castle