Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north. The total area of Poland is 312,679 square... MORE
Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north. The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres, making it the 69th largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. With a population of over 38.5 million people, Poland is the 34th most populous country in the world, the sixth most populous member of the European Union, and the most populous post-communist member of the European Union. Poland is a unitary state divided into 16 administrative subdivisions. Many historians trace the establishment of a Polish state to 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of a territory roughly coextensive with that of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin, forming the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth gradually ceased to exist in the years 1772–1795, when the Polish territory was partitioned among Prussia, the Russian Empire, and Austria. Poland regained its independence at the end of World War I, in 1918. LESS
Russia's advances in Ukraine are the greatest threat to European security since the Cold War, NATO's chief said Wednesday, making clear that military alliance must refocus on risks closer to home after years of fighting in faraway war zones. "This is a wake-up call," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a Washington think tank. They include surveillance flights over Poland and Romania, and additional assets for an airspace protection mission over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Rasmussen also mentioned other NATO priorities, including the war in Afghanistan, peacekeeping in Kosovo and stopping piracy off Somalia.
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