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Introducing Uzhhorod

Formerly known as Ungvar, this border town and main conduit for road traffic into and out of Slovakia and Hungary is a pleasant, if rather untypical, introduction to Ukraine. With its interwar villas, faded Hungarian shop signs, A whole neighbourhood of 1920s Czech-built administrative edifices, pedestrianised streets, a lively vibe and a vibrant tourist industry, it's as if central Europe has forgotten to end at the border and spilt over into the former USSR. With its large Hungarian and Romanian minorities as well as a constant turnover of foreign tourists, this is by far Ukraine's most cosmopolitan regional capital. Kyiv feels a long way away from here in every way, Donetsk and Crimea like a different continent.