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The third period of independence began in 1991, when Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its dissolution at the end of the Cold War.
Ukraine has maintained its independence as a sovereign state ever since.
According to the Primary Chronicle the Rus' elite initially consisted of Varangians from Scandinavia.
The Golden Age of Kievan Rus' began with the reign of Vladimir the Great (980–1015), who turned Rus' toward Byzantine Christianity.
In the 2000s, the government began leaning towards NATO, and a deeper cooperation with the alliance was set by the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan signed in 2002.
It was later agreed that the question of joining NATO should be answered by a national referendum at some point in the future.
These colonies thrived well into the 6th century AD.
Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system with separate powers: legislative, executive and judicial branches. Taking into account reserves and paramilitary personnel, 77.8 percent of whom are Ukrainians "by ethnicity", followed by a sizeable minority of Russians (17.3 percent) as well as Georgians, Romanians/Moldovans, Belarusians, Crimean Tatars, Bulgarians and Hungarians.
Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic.
At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, and the Khazars took over much of the land.
In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Antes were located in the territory of what is now Ukraine.