Population: 44,291,413 (July 2014 est.)
Median age: 40.6 years
Capital: Kiev (Kyiv)
Ethnic Groups: Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, and other 1.8% (2001 census)
Religion: Ukrainian Orthodox – Kyiv Patriarchate 50.4%, Ukrainian Orthodox – Moscow Patriarchate 26.1%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic 8%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 7.2%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, Protestant 2.2%, Jewish 0.6%, and other 3.2% (2006 est.)
GDP: $337.4 billion (2013 est.)
GDP per capita: $7,400 (2013 est.)
Unemployment: 8% (2013 est.)
Prior to the 20th century, Ukrainian territories were controlled at different times by Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Mongols, Cossacks and others.
From the 18th to 20th centuries, Russia and the Soviet Union carried out a program of Russification to discourage Ukrainian national identity.
1917-1920 – Following the 1917 Russian Revolution and toward the end of World War I, Ukraine is briefly an independent nation.
April 14, 2014 – Acting President Turchynov issues a promise of amnesty for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine but warns that anyone who continues to support the takeover of government buildings will be held responsible for their actions. He adds a warning to “terrorists,” that they would be subject to an army anti-terrorism operation if they do not comply by 2 a.m. ET Monday, but the deadline passes without any sign it was heeded.
April 15, 2014 – Turchynov tells the country’s Parliament an “anti-terrorist operation” is under way in Ukraine’s restive eastern Donetsk region. Tensions have soared in recent days in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels have seized government and police buildings in as many as 10 towns and cities.
May 25, 2014 – Petro Poroshenko declares victory in Ukraine’s presidential election, following preliminary exit polls that suggested he got 56% of the vote.
May 27, 2014 – Authorities announce that a battle between pro-Russian rebels and government forces at Donetsk airport has claimed 40 lives.
June 7, 2014 – Poroshenko is sworn-in as Ukraine’s new president.
June 27, 2014 – Ukraine signs a trade deal with the European Union, the same agreement that former president Viktor Yanukovych backed out of in 2013.
July 17, 2014 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashes in eastern Ukraine after being shot down by a surface-to-air missile, according to the United States. All 298 people aboard are killed.
July 24, 2014 – Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his cabinet announce their resignation. Yatsenyuk and his cabinet will remain in place as an acting government until elections in October.
October 26, 2014 – Ukrainians vote in parliamentary elections. Ukrainian citizens in Russia-annexed Crimea and the eastern areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists did not participate in the elections because of ongoing violence. President Petro Poroshenko hails exit poll results and says the projected outcome gives “a powerful and irreversible backing to Ukraine’s path to Europe.”
January 26, 2015 – President Poroshenko announces the Ukraine will ask the Hague tribunal to investigate alleged “crimes against humanity” in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, after a surge in fighting between Ukraine government forces and pro-Russian separatists in recent days.