Kyiv (Kiev), the capital of Ukraine, is in fact the Mother City of the Russian peoples. During the Soviet period Ukrainians were never happy to play third fiddle to Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Ukraine is a vast country, much of it is flat arable land, although it becomes more mountainous in the west. The mighty River Dniepr cuts a swathe right through the centre of the country with Kyiv in the centre and Odesa (Odessa) near its mouth.
The bizarre almost-island of the Crimea is almost a country within a country, although in 2014 it was annexed into Russia the areas political status is still in dispute.
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