Oh Ukraine. Misunderstood, shrouded in mystery, and undeniably enthralling. Your unique, and often tumultuous history has created a country that is not quite east, but not quite western. A smattering of different cultures, languages, and peoples can be found in Ukraine, making it both beautiful and complicated. Ukraine has a long history of being dominated by foreign powers. From Poland, Mongols, the Russians, Lithuania, to the Austrians, countless countries and powers fought over and across this borderland between east and west. Ukraine claimed its independence after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and prior to this had not experienced freedom as a country since the 1600s (unless you count the short blip in the inter-war years). This has forged Ukraine into a melting pot of languages and cultures, and also has left the country divided.