The Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to the northeast, Belarus to the north, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, Romania and Moldova to the southwest and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south. The capital is Kiev. Ukraine has to Russia over the area the second largest territory in Europe. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine is independent. A swift EU accession is envisaged by the Ukrainian government, although a decision on the part of the EU institutions is not currently foreseeable.
The historic East Slavic word Ukraina has the meaning “border area, military frontier” and forms a counterpart to the Western concept of Mark. It is found in many medieval chronicles relating to different geographical regions of the Rus, the first time in 1187. In the 16th and 17 Century, particularly among the Southern Territories of the Tsardom Russia called, along the Verhaulinie against the Crimean Tatars, as Ukrainzy were designated accordingly people who were in the border areas of military service and lived. With the shift of this line to the southwest, first in the Sloboda Ukraine, then moved into the Central Ukraine, gradually the use of the term Ukraine. As an ethnonym or ethnic territory, the words were Ukrainians and Ukraine, but only in the late 19 Century, and finally spread to the founding of the Ukrainian SSR in 1922. Before that, the Ukrainian people, “Little Russians” (in the Russian Empire) or “Ruthenians” (in Austria-Hungary called). The (self-) description of the Ukrainians had hitherto Russyny or Malorossy.
Some modern Ukrainian scientists are trying to the origin of the word Ukraine from the Ukrainian word Krajina (country, state) to explain where Ukraine “domestic” to mean. The accompanying claims that Ukraine always in this sense of the importance of “fringe” (the modern incarnation Okraina distinction was made), however, form a contradiction to many historical sources.