Located in Eastern Europe, Ukraine has been seeking independence for over three decades. Although the country has been freed from the totalitarian regime of the Soviet Union, it has still not been able to achieve full independence. It is bordered by Russia to the east, Romania to the north, Belarus to the west, and Moldova to the south.
Ukraine has a rich history and is home to many cultural monuments. It is the second largest country in Europe, after Russia. The Carpathian Mountains are the country’s most notable national symbol. These mountains are protected by UNESCO. They also contain 7 national cultural reserves. These include the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, St. Sophia Cathedral, and the Sofiyivka Park.
The 1905 revolution led to the rebirth of Ukraine’s culture and national identity. Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1991. The Soviet Union tried to control food and land, which led to the disastrous Holodomor famine in 1932. It also tried to collectivize agriculture. Its five-year plan was designed to turn the Soviet Union into a working state, taking over agriculture from private farmers and smallholders.
After World War II, armed revolts against Soviet rule occurred in western regions of Ukraine, annexed from Poland. Russia also invaded Crimea, a peninsula that is part of Ukraine. The Russian government says that it is fighting for these regions. However, Putin has not shown any interest in settling the Donbas conflict. The Ukrainian government has been unable to overcome internal divisions. It is likely that Ukraine will maintain an anti-Russian sentiment for some time to come.
In recent years, Ukraine has sought to join Western institutions. Ukraine is a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). OSCE is a fully inclusive trans-Atlantic/European/Eurasian political organization that works to promote democracy, tolerance, pluralism, human rights, and media freedoms. It also provides assistance to Ukraine in its transition to democracy and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
After Soviet rule, Ukraine was ruled by the pro-Kreminate government until the Maidan Revolution in 2014. The revolution displaced the pro-Kreminate government and led to the establishment of a pro-European government. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has been seeking independence and has participated in a referendum on independence. The referendum was passed with a large majority across the country.
Ukraine’s national media has adopted a patriotic agenda. Russian-language editions of many newspapers are available. However, the leading Russian television networks are banned in the country. The national media also silences pro-Kyiv outlets in regions that are under Russian control.
The United States has maintained a policy towards Ukraine that focuses on strengthening democracy, security, and prosperity. It has also negotiated a bilateral investment treaty. It has also granted Ukraine permanent normal trade relations status. The United States supports Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
The United States has also encouraged Ukraine to join NATO. However, there is little support for Ukraine joining the alliance in the near future. The Ukrainian government has not provided any realistic support for membership.