Kharkiv 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.
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 Region 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.
Kharkiv is a major cultural, scientific, educational, transport and industrial centre of Ukraine, with 60 scientific institutes, 30 establishments of higher education, 6 museums, 7 theatres and 80 libraries. Its industry specializes primarily in machinery. There are hundreds of industrial companies in the city. Among them are globally-important giants like the Morozov Design Bureau and the Malyshev Tank Factory (leaders in world tank production in the 1930s through 1980s); Khartron (aerospace and nuclear electronics); and the Turboatom turbines producer.
There is an underground rapid-transit system (metro) with about 38.1 km (24 mi) of track and 29 stations. A well-known landmark of Kharkiv is the Freedom Square (Maidan Svobody formerly known as Dzerzhinsky Square), which is currently the sixth largest city square in Europe, and the 12th largest square in the world.
Kharkiv was a host city for the UEFA Euro 2012, and hosted 3 group matches in Metalist Stadium