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It was later agreed that the question of joining NATO should be answered by a national referendum at some point in the future.
In 2013, after the government of President Yanukovych had decided to suspend the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and seek closer economic ties with Russia, a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan began, which later escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that led to the overthrow of President Yanukovych and his cabinet and the establishment of a new government.
Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic.
The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodoxy, which has strongly influenced Ukrainian architecture, literature and music.
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.
A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was eventually split between Poland and the Russian Empire, and later merged fully into Russia.
It is a member of the United Nations since its founding, the Council of Europe, OSCE, GUAM, and one of the founding states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
read more Visit the Beekeeping Museum in Kiev Located in Kiev, the Beekeeping Museum pays tribute to the pioneers of the art of beekeeping, a practice which has been an integral part of Ukraine's economy for centuries.
Visitors to this fascinating museum will note that th...
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.
In the 7th century AD, the territory of eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria.
At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, and the Khazars took over much of the land.