Kharkiv (Ukrainian: Харків = Kharkiv, Russian: Харьков =Kharkov) is a major city in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine and is the second largest city in Ukraine with a population of over 1.5 million inhabitants.
The city is located in the northeast of the country. Kharkiv can seem very foreign for western travelers because of Cyrillic letters. It would be very useful to learn to read the Cyrillic alphabet before coming to Ukraine, although many street signs on the buildings are now also written in Western-Latin letters. Kharkivians generally speak both Ukrainian and Russian as it is situated only 30km from the Russian border, but in most cases the people mix the two languages together. English is spoken poorly, most often by young Ukrainians.