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The Goths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s AD.

In the 7th century AD, the territory of eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria.

During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kievan Rus' forming the basis of Ukrainian identity.

Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, the territory was contested, ruled and divided by a variety of powers, including Lithuania, Poland, the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary, and Russia.

The third period of independence began in 1991, when Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its dissolution at the end of the Cold War.

Ukraine has maintained its independence as a sovereign state ever since.

In the 2000s, the government began leaning towards NATO, and a deeper cooperation with the alliance was set by the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan signed in 2002.

Kievan Rus' was founded by the Rus' people, who came from Scandinavia across Ladoga and settled in Kiev around 880 AD.Danylo Romanovych (Daniel I of Galicia or Danylo Halytskyi) son of Roman Mstyslavych, re-united all of south-western Rus', including Volhynia, Galicia and Rus' ancient capital of Kiev.Danylo was crowned by the papal archbishop in Dorohychyn 1253 as the first King of all Rus'.Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system with separate powers: legislative, executive and judicial branches. Taking into account reserves and paramilitary personnel, 77.8 percent of whom are Ukrainians "by ethnicity", followed by a sizeable minority of Russians (17.3 percent) as well as Romanians/Moldovans, Belarusians, Crimean Tatars, Bulgarians and Hungarians.Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic.