Russian troops attacked the country, including reports of attacks in captial Kyiv, during the early hours of 24 February 2022.
Russia, who has already been hit with sanctions from the UK, US and EU, are expected to have even more economic restrictions put on them due to the escalation of the situation.
Here’s where Ukraine is located and how many people could be affected if a full invasion was to take place.
Where is Ukraine?
Ukraine is an eastern European country, located on the border with Russia.
Its neighbouring countries include Poland, Belarus, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova.
It has a coastline with the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea.
Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe in terms of size - around 233,062 square mile - placing behind Russia.
The country was formerly part of the Soviet Union after joining the country after the second world war.
Ukraine as we know it today became independent upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
How far away is Ukraine from the UK?
The country is located in eastern Europe and the capital city of Kyiv is 1325 miles away from London.
The distance to other key western European capital cities includes:
- Kyiv to Berlin - 748 miles
- Kyiv to Paris - 1257 miles
- Kyiv to Madrid - 1779 miles
- Kyiv to Rome - 1041 miles
Who are Ukraine’s neighbours?
Ukraine’s neighbouring countries include Poland, Belarus, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova.
It’s largest bordering neighbour is Russia.
What is the capital city of Ukraine?
The capital city of Ukraine is Kyiv.
It is located in the north of the country, near to the border with Belarus, along the Dnieper River.
How do you pronouce Kyiv?
The name Kyiv is said to come from Kyi, one of Ukraine’s four founders.
In traditional Ukrainian, it is pronounced as “KEE-eve”, although in English-speaking counties the common pronunciation is “KEE-yev”.
The alternative spelling of Kiev comes from the Russian language, with many Ukrainian people and others across the world choosing to use the traditional Ukrainian spelling instead.
How many people are there in Ukraine?
Currently, there are around 41,300,000 people living in Ukraine.
Kyiv is the largest city in the country, with a population of 2,962,180.
This makes Kyiv the seventh-most populous city in Europe, with the Ukraine being the eighth most-populous country in the continent.
Where is Donetsk and Luhansk?
Both Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic have seen Russian soldiers arrive after President Putin instructed troops into the regions on a “Peacekeeping operation”.
The two areas are located in eastern Ukraine, in the Donbas region near to the Russian border, and are often referred to as “separatist regions”.
This is because there are a high population of Russian-speaking people clashing with Ukrainian forces.
President Putin had previously made unsubstantiated claims that the Russian-speaking population were being targeted by Ukrainian forces in a “genocide”.
It was also believed by the West that Russia was undertaking ‘false flag’ operations in both of these regions to set a pretext for invasion.
Is Ukraine in NATO?
Ukraine is currently an aspiring member of NATO.
They have been formally working with the defence alliance since 2008 on a Membership Action Plan (MAP), with intentions to eventually join the group.
However, Russia have been vocally against the plans, saying that Nato should not expand any further eastwards.
Troops were initially placed on the Ukrainian border in November 2021 as the Kremlin stated that the possible membership caused “security issues” for Russia.
NATO has been admament that Russia will have no say in Ukraine’s membership.
Speaking previously, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “It’s only Ukraine and 30 NATO allies that decide when Ukraine is ready to join NATO. Russia has no veto, Russia has no say, and Russia has no right to establish a sphere of influence to try to control their neighbours.”
Despite the situation escalating, Ukraine has insisted that they will continued to persue membership of the group.
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