Kharkiv or Kharkov, is the second-largest city in Ukraine. Located in the north-east of the country, it is the largest city of the Slobozhanshchyna historical region. The city was founded in 1654 and after a humble beginning as a small fortress grew to be a major centre of Ukrainian industry, trade and culture within the Russian Empire. Kharkiv was the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic December 1917 - January 1935, after which the capital relocated to Kiev.
Presently, Kharkiv operates as a major cultural, scientific, educational, transport and industrial centre of Ukraine, with many scientific institutes, higher education universities and institutions, museums, theatres and libraries.