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Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe, a former part of the Soviet Union. Its capital is Kiev. Since the Soviet Union's collapse, the Ukrainian economy has been adjusting to newfound capitalism, which has sent many Ukrainians to New York City. Far too many Ukranian women have come to the Big Apple seeking a better life, only to end up as prostitutes to pimps like Alik.
In 2009, American-born child prodigy Elsa Lychkoff was murdered by a jealous classmate, Jennifer Banks, but the investigation initially focused on her abusive, alcoholic father, Ukrainian expatriot Joseph Lychkoff. (SVU: "Hothouse")