Also commonly spelled Kharkov, Kharkiv is Ukraine’s second-largest city, and with about a million and a half people, and a main cultural, educational and industrial city for the country. Founded in the 17th century, the city is in Ukraine’s northeast (not far from the Russian border) and served briefly as its capital in the early 20th century, after it became a Soviet republic. Kharkiv’s top attractions include its zoo, its history museum, Freedom (Svoboda) Square and the Holy Shroud Cathedral.
Kharkiv Oblast (Ukrainian: Харківська область, translit. Charkivśka oblastj; also referred to as Kharkivshchyna – Ukrainian: Харківщина, Charkivščyna, Russian: Харьковская область) is an oblast (province) in eastern Ukraine. The oblast borders Russia to the north, Luhansk Oblast to the east, Donetsk Oblast to the south-east, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast to the south-west, Poltava Oblast to the west and Sumy Oblast to the north-west. The area of the oblast is 31,400 km², corresponding to 5.2% of the total territory of Ukraine. Population: 2,701,188 (2017 est.)
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