Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe. It gained its independence in 1991 after long years of being a part of the Soviet Union. The country has a very rich, albeit conflict-infused, history. Currently, Ukraine’s future looks promising, as it establishes closer ties with the European Union, resists Russian influence, and reimagines itself as the cultural center of Eastern Europe. Recently the country has also become a global mecca for IT outsourcing and it's economic growth is trending upward. However, political conflicts of the past still linger in the present.