Slovakia, landlocked republic in Central Europe, bounded on the northwest by the Czech Republic, on the north by Poland, on the east by Ukraine, on the south by Hungary, and on the southwest by Austria. Bratislava is its capital and largest city.
Slovakia existed as part of Hungary from the beginning of the 10th century until 1918, when it united with the Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia, in addition to a small part of Silesia, to form Czechoslovakia. In 1939, shortly before the start of World War II, Slovakia declared its independence under pressure from German dictator Adolf Hitler, but in 1945 it was reunited with the rest of Czechoslovakia. From 1948 until 1989 Czechoslovakia was ruled by a Soviet-style Communist regime. In 1993 the country broke apart, and Slovakia and the Czech Republic became independent.