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Kosovo

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Facts & Figures

President: Atifete Jahjaga (since 2011)

Prime minister: Hashim Thaçi (since 2008)

Total area: 4,211 sq mi (10,908 sq km)

Population (2014 est.): 1,859,203

Capital and largest city (2007 est.): Pristina, 400,000 (2007 est.)

Other large cities: Prizren, 110,000; Peja, 70,000; Mitrovica, 70,000

Monetary unit: euro (EUR); Serbian Dinar (RSD) is also in circulation

More Facts & Figures

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Index
  1. Kosovo Main Page
  2. Albanians Strive for Independence
  3. Serb Attack on Civilians Becomes Human Rights Calamity
  4. Kosovo Gains Independence
  5. First Female Elected President
  6. Unrest along the Border of Kosovo and Serbia

Geography

Kosovo is land-locked and mostly mountainous. It borders Serbia to the north and east, Montenegro to the northwest, Albania to the west, and Macedonia to the south. Kosovo is roughly the size of Connecticut.

Government

Republic. Kosovo, a former territory of Serbia, declared independence in February 2008.

History

The first inhabitants on the Balkan Peninsula were the ancient people known as the Illyrians. The Slavs followed in the 6th and 7th centuries. Albanian speakers began moving into Kosovo from the Adriatic in the 8th century. Kosovo was ruled by Bulgaria from the 9th century until Serbs gained control of Kosovo in the 12th century. Kosovo was the site of the Serbs' defeat by the Ottoman Turks in 1389. Kosovo was then absorbed by the Ottoman Empire. The battle at Kosovo Field figures prominently in Serbian poetry and has great national significance as the cradle of Serbian civilization.

The Ottoman Empire ruled Kosovo for centuries, until 1913, when Serbia resumed control over the region. Under Ottoman rule, the region grew increasingly more populated by Albanian speakers as a large number of Christian Serbs emigrated. (Albanians are largely Muslim.) In 1918, Kosovo became part of the Yugoslav Federation.

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