Ukraine is the largest country, located entirely in Europe, and its internationally recognized border has a total length of over 5,6 thousand kilometers on land and 1,3 thousand kilometers in the sea. Ukraine shares the border with seven other countries: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Russia, and Belarus.
And not just the border: the country has many historical ties, cultural and economic relations with those neighbors. Ukraine’s location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia in many ways shaped the country’s history, and even today those connections have an impact on the country’s well-being. Not always for the best, though, as not all countries near Ukraine want to live peacefully: Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and has been violating the legal border since 2014.
The map of Ukraine and the surrounding countries
In the west, Ukraine borders Poland (land length – 542 km). The country became one of the most essential strategic partners and allies during Russia’s full-scale war. Poland, along with many other countries, simplified the entry for Ukrainians. Since February 2022, millions of Ukrainian women, children, and elderly people have fled to Poland (or through the territory of Poland) looking for safety. But they also found help and support there.
At the same time, a lot of support in the form of humanitarian aid and even essential military equipment has been going to Ukraine. The shared border became a symbol of support and a strong bond between the two countries rather than a divider.
Ukraine’s southwestern neighbors are Slovakia (98 km), Hungary (137 km), and Romania (581 km). Those countries (and Poland) are member states of the European Union. In 2017, the EU officially introduced a visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens, and since then, Ukrainians have the opportunity to cross those borders and travel to EU countries and the Schengen area without obtaining a visa.
In the southwest, Ukraine also shares the second-largest part of its land border with Moldova (1202 km).
But the largest part, in the east and northeast, happened to be with Russia: 1974 kilometers long on the land, zero of which the terrorist state respects. In 2014, Russia temporarily occupied Crimea and parts of the Donetsk and the Luhansk regions, and in 2022 launched a full-scale invasion. None of the Ukrainian regions close to the Russian border have been safe from Russian troops, constant shelling, and occupation.
Ukraine also borders Belarus in the north; 1084 km had to be marked with barbed wire and lines of defence rather than welcome signs after Russia used its territory to widen its attack on Ukraine and sent troops directly to the capital city of Kyiv.
Photo: Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine
The Ukrainian borders are not for negotiation
The borders of the modern Ukrainian state were established in 1991, when the country restored independence. They are internationally recognized, and have not changed since, despite any claims that Russia makes regarding the territories it occupied using military force.
The Ukrainian borders and territories are not subject to any negotiation. To establish just and long-lasting peace and restore the validity of international law, Russia must withdraw all its troops from Ukraine, and the legitimate state border must be restored.
Learn more about the inseparable parts of Ukraine, which we are fighting for right now with the special project on Ukraine.ua.