Ukraine has surprised many international observers. Few anticipated its declaration of independence in 1991 or its determination to move out of Russia's shadow. Dyczok redresses the continuing dearth of information on the country. Aimed at nonspecialists and specialists alike, it presents an overview of the main government policies, and the social and cultural issues facing the new state. These are placed within their historical, regional and global framework. In contrast with the generally bleak picture that international media reports present, the book suggests that Ukraine has actually accomplished a great deal in a short time. In seven years, from 1991 to 1998, Ukraine went from being a little-known nation within a non-democratic state to an internationally recognized independent country. During this period of change, it contributed to the geopolitical shift which occurred with the implosion of the Soviet Union. As such, it may be argued, Ukraine has a role to play in the search for the new international order.