The Railway Station from Chernivtsi Chernivtsi (Ukrainian: Чернівці) is the administrative center of Chernivtsi Oblast (province) in western Ukraine. The city is situated on the upper course of the River Prut, a tributary of the Danube, in the northern part of historic region of Bukovina, which currently is divided between Romania and Ukraine. As of the 2001 Ukrainian Census, the population of the city was 240,600. The city is also known as Czernowitz in German, as Cernăuţi in Romanian, and as Chernovtsy in Russian. Many famous, well known historical figures were born in the city, such as poets and writers Paul Celan, Alfred Kittner, the former Speaker of the Parliament Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Vienna Secession artist Oskar Laske, physicist Radu Grigorovici, Maria Forescu. Many other famous people lived and worked in the city, such as Ukrainian national poet Ivan Franko, the first President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, Romanian national poet Mihai Eminescu, Eudoxiu Hurmuzachi, Aron Pumnul, Ciprian Porumbescu, Sextil Puşcariu, Ion Nistor, Gala Galaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Nikolai Vavilov, Avram Goldfaden, Avigdor Arikha, Aharon Appelfeld Together with the city of Lviv, Chernivtsi is viewed at present to be a cultural centre of western Ukraine. Chernivtsi is located in the historic region of Bukovina, which is currently shared between Romania (south) and Ukraine (north). The city lies 248 meters above sea level, and is surrounded by forests and fields. The River Prut runs through the city's landscape. When Austria-Hungary dissolved in 1918, the city and its surrounding area became a part of the Kingdom of Romania. In 1940, the Red Army occupied the area, which subsequently became a part of the Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union. Romanian and Nazi troops took the city and occupied much of southern Ukraine in 1941 as part of the Axis attack on the Soviet Union during World War II. In 1944, when Axis forces were driven out by the Red Army, the city rejoined the Ukrainian SSR. Since 1991, Chernitvtsi has been a part of independent Ukraine. In May 1999, Romania opened a consulate general in the city. Contemporary Chernivtsi is an important regional center, which is situated on the picturesque banks of Prut River and occupies an area of about 150 square kilometres (58 sq mi).