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During the Iron Age, the land was inhabited by Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians.
Beginning in the sixth century BC, colonies of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, such as Tyras, Olbia and Chersonesus, were founded on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea.
In the 7th century AD, the territory of eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria.
At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, and the Khazars took over much of the land.
It is a member of the United Nations since its founding, the Council of Europe, OSCE, GUAM, and one of the founding states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
By 4,500 BC, the Neolithic Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture flourished in a wide area that included parts of modern Ukraine including Trypillia and the entire Dnieper-Dniester region.
According to the Primary Chronicle the Rus' elite initially consisted of Varangians from Scandinavia.
The Golden Age of Kievan Rus' began with the reign of Vladimir the Great (980–1015), who turned Rus' toward Byzantine Christianity.
The first of these periods occurred briefly during and immediately after the German occupation near the end of World War I and the second occurred, also briefly, and also during German occupation, during World War II.
It was later agreed that the question of joining NATO should be answered by a national referendum at some point in the future.
In 2013, after the government of President Yanukovych had decided to suspend the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and seek closer economic ties with Russia, a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan began, which later escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that led to the overthrow of President Yanukovych and his cabinet and the establishment of a new government.
Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic.
The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodoxy, which has strongly influenced Ukrainian architecture, literature and music.
The diversified economy of Ukraine includes a large heavy industry sector, particularly in aerospace and industrial equipment.