Countries in Eastern Europe

Eastern European countries are grouped according to their cultural and historical characteristics. On one hand, they bring together countries that came under the influence of the Orthodox Church and have the Slavic language. Many of them like Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia were dominated by the Turkish-Ottoman Empire. That is why we find a large number of Muslims established there several centuries ago.

On the other hand, regions such as Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They have a culture close to the west, although they were not occupied by the Roman Empire.

How Many Countries in Eastern Europe

As a region of Europe, Eastern Europe is composed of 10 independent countries (Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine). See below for the list of East European countries and dependencies by population.  Also, you can find all of them in alphabetical order at this end of this page.

1. Belarus

Belarus National Flag
  • Capital: Minsk
  • Area: 207,560 km²
  • Languages: Belarusian and Russian
  • Currency: Belarusian Ruble

2. Bulgaria

Bulgaria National Flag
  • Capital: Sofia
  • Area: 110,910 km²
  • Language: Bulgarian
  • Currency: Bulgarian Lev

3. Czech republic

Czechia National Flag
  • Capital: Prague
  • Area: 78,870 km²
  • Language: Czech
  • Currency: Czech Krone

4. Hungary

  • Capital: Budapest
  • Area: 93,030 km²
  • Language: Hungarian
  • Currency: Forinte

5. Moldova

Moldova National Flag
  • Capital: Chisinau
  • Area: 33,850 km²
  • Language: Romanian
  • Currency: Moldovan Leu

6. Poland

Poland National Flag
  • Capital: Warsaw
  • Area: 312,680 km²
  • Language: Polish
  • Currency: Zloty

7. Romania

Romania National Flag
  • Capital: Bucharest
  • Area: 238,390 km²
  • Language: Romanian
  • Currency: Romanian Leu

8. Russia

Russia National Flag
  • Capital: Moscow
  • Area: 17,098,242 km²
  • Language: Russian
  • Currency: Ruble

9. Slovakia

Slovakia National Flag
  • Capital: Bratislava
  • Area: 49,040 km²
  • Language: Slovak
  • Currency: Euro

10. Ukraine

Ukraine National Flag
  • Capital: Kiev
  • Area: 603,550 km²
  • Language: Ukrainian
  • Currency: Grivnia

List of Countries in Eastern Europe and Their Capitals

As noted above, there are 3 independent countries in the Eastern Europe. Among them, the largest country is Russia and the smallest is Moldova. The full list of Eastern European countries with capitals is shown in the table below, ranked by latest total population.

Rank Independent Country Current Population Capital
1 Russia 146,793,744 Moscow
2 Ukraine 42,079,547 Kiev
3 Poland 38,413,000 Warsaw
4 Romania 19,523,621 Bucharest
5 Czech Republic 10,652,812 Prague
6 Hungary 9,764,000 Budapest
7 Belarus 9,465,300 Minsk
8 Bulgaria 7,000,039 Sofia
9 Slovakia 5,450,421 Bratislava
10 Moldova 3,547,539 Chisinau

Map of Countries in Eastern Europe

Map of Countries in Eastern Europe

Eastern European Cities

Today, several Eastern European cities are undergoing a process of discovery by their own neighbors and tourists from around the world. All of them attract for the incredible cultural offer and also the cheaper prices than other capitals like London or Paris. In this way, we see Prague as the capital of the Czech Republic, Budapest, the capital of Hungary and recently and Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, are increasingly popular among travelers.

History of Eastern Europe

First World War

After World War I, the Empires that dominated this region crumbled. Several peoples now achieve their independence. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia is created and the countries Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Albania, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The Cold War and Eastern Europe

After World War II, the region was liberated from the Nazis by the Soviets. Thus, these nations adopted socialism as their governing regime. They also signed the Warsaw Pact in 1955 to establish a NATO- like union and defense system. The only exception was Yugoslavia, which did not align with Soviet policy even though it was socialist.

In any case, the term “Eastern Europe” was widely used to designate the countries of the continent that had adopted socialism as their governing regime. Due to the isolation and influence of the Soviet Union in these countries, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called this process the Iron Curtain.

Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989)

In 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, socialist regimes fell one after another in Eastern Europe. With the exception of Romania and Yugoslavia, the transition was made in a peaceful manner. In Romania, there was a dispute between the former socialist leaders, the army and the people. The popular uprising bombed Bucharest’s buildings and ended with leader Nicolai Ceausescu and his wife Elena Ceausescu, arrested and shot.

The former Yugoslavia would plunge into a bloody conflict where each of the nations of the former socialist republic wanted to constitute a sovereign country. The 1990s were especially harsh, as these nations had to move from a state economy to a market economy. Currently, some of the former Eastern European countries are part of the European Union making the term obsolete.

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