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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

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday said Ukrainian forces would respond to the shelling of Marhanets. Ukraine's military said Russia also bombarded several other areas in the Zaporizhzhia region including the coal-mining town of Vuhledar.

PHOTO GALLERY

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MORE HEADLINES

With a dozen EU countries already facing lower Russian supplies, Brussels is urging member states to save gas and store it for winter, fearing Russia will completely cut off flows in retaliation for sanctions over the Ukraine war.
Soaring energy costs and the threat of hunger faced by millions in poorer nations show how the biggest conflict in Europe since World War Two, now in its sixth month, is having an impact far from Ukraine.
Friday's deal means around $10 billion worth of grain will be available for sale with roughly 20 million tons of last year's harvest that can now be exported, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
Nearly five months since President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Russia's neighbor, its forces are grinding through the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine and occupy around a fifth of the country.
Zelenska, the wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, showed videos of children she said had been wounded or killed, including a three-year-old boy now in Germany learning how to use prosthetic limbs.
Unveiling what he said was U.S. intelligence, John Kirby, the chief National Security Council spokesman, told a White House news briefing that the Russians are preparing to install proxy officials, establish the ruble as the default currency and force residents to apply for citizenship.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired the head of Ukraine's powerful domestic security agency, Ivan Bakanov, and Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, who led the effort to prosecute Russian war crimes, saying many of their employees were collaborating with Russia.
Rockets hit the northeastern town of Chuhuiv in Kharkiv region overnight, killing three people including a 70-year-old woman and wounding three others.
Late on Friday, Russian missiles hit Dnipro, killing three people and wounding 15 others, the local governor said on Telegram. Rockets hit an industrial plant and a street next to it, he said. Footage on social media showed thick black smoke rising from the buildings and burning cars.