Serbia (Serbian: Србија, romanized: Srbija, pronounced [sř̩bija]),[note 1] officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија, romanized: Republika Srbija, pronounced [repǔblika sř̩bija]), is a country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. It borders Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest. The country claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo.[a] Serbia’s population numbers approximately seven million. Its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the longest inhabited and largest citiеs in southeastern Europe.
Inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the territory of modern-day Serbia faced Slavic migrations to the Southeastern Europe in the 6th century, establishing several regional states in the early Middle Ages at times recognised as tributaries to the Byzantine, Frankish and Hungarian kingdoms. The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by the Holy See and Constantinople in 1217, reaching its territorial apex in 1346 as the relatively short-lived Serbian Empire. By the mid-16th century, the entirety of modern-day Serbia was annexed by the Ottomans; their rule was at times interrupted by the Habsburg Empire, which began expanding towards Central Serbia from the end of the 17th century while maintaining a foothold in Vojvodina. In the early 19th century, the Serbian Revolution established the nation-state as the region’s first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory. Following disastrous casualties in World War I, and the subsequent unification of the former Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina (and other territories) with Serbia, the country co-founded Yugoslavia with other South Slavic peoples, which would exist in various political formations until the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. During the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbia formed a union with Montenegro, which was peacefully dissolved in 2006. In 2008, the parliament of the province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence, with mixed responses from the international community.