Geographically, Kiev belongs to the Polesia ecological zone (a part of the European mixed woods). However, the city’s unique landscape distinguishes it from the surrounding region. Kiev is completely surrounded by Kiev Oblast.
Kiev is located on both sides of the Dnieper River, which flows south through the city towards the Black Sea. The older right-bank (western) part of the city is represented by numerous woody hills, ravines and small rivers. It is a part of the larger Dnieper Upland adjoining the western bank of the Dnieper in its mid-flow. Kiev expanded to the Dnieper’s lowland left bank (to the east) only in the 20th century. Significant areas of the left-bank Dnieper valley were artificially sand-deposited, and are protected by dams.