Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a sovereign state in Eastern Europe, 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 but which Ukraine and most of the international community recognise as Ukrainian. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km², making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world. 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. 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.