It was largely undiscovered; a country many placed the word “the” in front of and a place dominated by outdated stereotypes.
But Ukraine has come of age.
Ukraine turned 21 in 2012 and finally appears to be shaking off the ghosts of the Soviet Union, this year also marked the country sharing hosting right with neighbors Poland for the Euro 2012 UEFA European Football Championship – the world’s third-largest sporting event.
The eyes of the sporting world turned toward Eastern Europe as the continent’s top 16 national teams battled in the four-week football festival. But it was away from the soccer pitch that Ukraine won hearts.
Largely overlooked and undiscovered by tourists, that looks set to change as the world is beguiled and charmed by this country set in the center of Europe.
Here are Ukraine’s top cities.