Bukovyna consists of the territory between the middle Dniester River and the main range of the Carpathian Mountains, around the source of the Prut River and the upper Seret (Siret) River, the border area between Ukraine and Romania. Today Bukovyna is divided between Ukraine (most of northern Bukovyna) and Romania (containing most of the Suceava region or southern Bukovyna). The name of this territory is derived from its great beech (buk) forests and dates back to the 14th century when it designated the lands on the Moldavian-Polish border.

Bukovyna is a transitional land between Ukraine and Romania. It is an ancient land, as it contained many neolithic towns from the Trypillian culture.  Bukovyna's transitional location has influenced its history; it belonged, at various times in history, to Kyivan Rus, the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia, Moldavia, the Tatars, Poland, Hungary and Austria. In 1919–40 and 1941–4 all of Bukovyna belonged to Romania. It was only in 1940 that Bukovyna was divided, along ethnic lines, between Ukraine and Romania.

The majority of the inhabitants of Bukovyna are of Ukrainian and Romanian ethnicity. The present political border between Ukraine and Romania does not coincide with the ethnic border: Romania contains the southern part of the Ukrainian ethnic peninsula with Seret and a string of mountain villages, while Ukraine contains the Romanian ethnic wedge that extends to Chernivtsi. Romanian Bukovyna has about 30,000 Ukrainians or 9 percent of the region's total population, while Ukrainian Bukovyna has almost 95,000 Romanians or 18 percent of the region's population.

Northern Bukovyna is now a part of an independent Ukraine, incorporated in Chernivtsi oblast, together with northern Bessarabia and a small part of old Romania containing the town of Hertsa.

An ethnographic map of Bukovyna, showing ethnic distribution.

The circles show the ethnic composition of the towns and villages.

(Black denotes Ukrainians, and white Rumanians)

An easier to read ethnographic map

The black line is the current border between Ukraine and Romania

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Map showing the location of Bukovyna within Ukraine’s modern borders

The Borderland