Ukraine is a relatively large country in Eastern Europe, bordered on the east and north by its giant neighbour Russia, on the north also by Belarus, and on the west by Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova. Until 1991, it formed one of the constituent SSRs of the Soviet Union. As of January 2022, its population was approximately 41 million.
Large cities in Ukraine include Kyiv (the capital), Kharkiv, Odessa, Dnipro and Lviv.
Linguistically, roughly even numbers of Ukrainians speak Ukrainian or Russian as their primary language (and there are a number of minority languages spoken in various regions of Ukraine as well, of course). Most Ukrainians, especially in cities, are fully bilingual between Ukrainian and Russian, and can switch as the situation calls for it. There is also a mixed form of the language, Surzhyk, which is considerably more stigmatised and spoken more in rural areas by people without so much formal education.
In 2014, a separatist conflict broke out in far eastern Ukraine and the peninsula of Crimea was invaded and annexed by Russia. Eight years later, this unresolved conflict escalated when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.