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, formally the Republic of Belarus, is a country in Eastern Europe. The country is an inland state and borders Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Ukraine.

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

2. Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a republic in southern Europe in the northeastern Balkans, bordering Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west and Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea coast to the east. Bulgaria has about 7.2 million residents and Sofia is the capital and largest city.

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

3. Czech republic

The Czech Republic, formally the Czech Republic, is a Central European country and a member of the European Union.

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

4. Hungary

Hungary is a republic in Central Europe. The capital of Hungary is Budapest. The country borders Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. Hungary dates back to the ninth century and the population speaks the Ugric language Hungarian.

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

5. Moldova

Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova, is a republic in Eastern Europe bordering Romania and Ukraine. The country has a population of 3.5 million.

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

6. Poland

Poland, formally the Republic of Poland, is a republic in Central Europe. Poland borders Germany to the west, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south, Ukraine and Belarus to the east, and Lithuania and Russia to the north.

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

7. Romania

Romania is a republic in Eastern Europe. The country is bordered to the north by Ukraine, to the east by Moldova and the Black Sea, to the south by Bulgaria, along the river Danube, and to the west by Hungary and Serbia.

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

8. Russia

Russia, formally the Russian Federation, is a federal republic that encompasses large parts of Eastern Europe and all of North Asia.

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

9. Slovakia

Slovakia is a republic in Central Europe bordering Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic.

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

10. Ukraine

Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It borders Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus and Russia. To the south, the country has a coast facing the Black Sea.

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

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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