Kharkiv (Ukrainian: Харків, pronounced [ˈxɑrkiw]), or Kharkov (Russian: Ха́рьков; IPA: [ˈxarʲkəf]), is the second-largest city of Ukraine. Located in the north-east of the country, it is the largest city of the Slobozhanshchyna historical region. By its territorial expansion on September 6, 2012 the city increased its area from about 310 square kilometers (almost 120 sq mi) up to 350 square kilometers (135 sq mi).
The city was founded in 1654 and was a major centre of Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire. Kharkiv became the first city in Ukraine to acknowledge the Soviet power in December 1917 and becoming later the capital of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Kharkiv remained the capital of the Ukrainian SSR until 1934, when it was moved to Kiev. Currently, it is the administrative centre of the Kharkiv Oblast as well as the administrative centre of the surrounding Kharkiv district, while the city itself has a special status within the region. As of 2006, its population was 1,461,300.