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Central and Eastern Europe

St Petersburg, RussiaSt Petersburg, RussiaCentral and Eastern Europe, extending eastwards from Germany and the Alpine regions to the south, is a patchwork of more than 20 countries. The Ural Mountains, Ural River and Caucasus Mountains mark the border between Europe and Asia. During the Cold War (1945–89), when Communist countries and capitalist countries were divided by deep distrust, many countries in Central and Eastern Europe were either part of the former Soviet Union or allied with it. The exceptions were Greece and Cyprus in the south, and the former Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia disintegrated in 1992, and its territory is now divided into seven independent states (one of which, Kosovo, is not recognized by Serbia).

Farmland in the Tatra Mountains, PolandFarmland in the Tatra Mountains, Poland

Central Europe

Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary make up Central Europe. East of Germany, the North European Plain fans out across Poland. In the south, the forested Sudetes and Carpathian mountain ranges rim the Czech Republic and cover much of Slovakia. Cereals, root vegetables and livestock are farmed in the valleys. The fertile lowlands along the River Danube in Hungary are scattered with orchards and vineyards. All four countries have economies based on industries such as mining, electronics, metal­working, car production and glass-making.

Hradcany, Prague CastleHradcany, Prague Castle

At 105.5 m (346 ft) below ground, Arsenalna Metro Station in Kiev, Ukraine, is the deepest underground station in the world. The station was built in 1960.

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