Ukraine (please do not say “the Ukraine”) is spelled Україна and spoken as “ukra-eena” and is the second largest country in Europe. Ukraine borders the Russian Federation to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, Romania and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. Official languages are both Ukrainian and Russian. Both use the Cyrillic alphabet.
Ukraine has been ruled by the Greeks, the Turks, and Russia. Oddly enough, Ukraine was the birthplace of modern day Russia. The beautiful city of Kyiv (Kiev) was Russia’s first capital when the people were called the “kievan-Rus.” Today Ukraine is an independent country.