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Kosovo (Albanian: Kosovë, Kosova; Serbian: Косово or Косово и Метохија, Kosovo or Kosovo i Metohija[6]) is a disputed territory following the collapse of Yugoslavia. The partially recognised Republic of Kosovo (Albanian: Republika e Kosovës; Serbian: Република Косово, Republika Kosovo), a self-declared independent state, has de facto control over most of the territory, with North Kosovo being the largest Kosovo Serb enclave.[7] Serbia does not recognise the unilateral secession of Kosovo[8] and considers it a United Nations-governed entity within its sovereign territory, the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (Serbian: Аутономна Покрајина Косово и Метохија, Autonomna Pokrajina Kosovo i Metohija), according to the 2006 Constitution of Serbia.[9]

Kosovo is landlocked and borders Central Serbia north and eastward, the Republic of Macedonia to the south, Albania to the west and Montenegro to the northwest (the latter three recognise it as independent). The largest city and the capital of Kosovo is Pristina (alternatively spelled Prishtina or Priština), while other cities include Peć (Albanian: Peja), Prizren, Đakovica (Gjakova), and Kosovska Mitrovica (Mitrovica).

During classical antiquity, the territory roughly corresponding to present-day Kosovo was inhabited by the Dardani.[10] Subsequently, Dardani were conquered by the Roman, Byzantine, Bulgarian and Serbian empires. As a region within the Serbian medieval state, Serbs came to consider Kosovo as the cradle of Serbian culture, religion and national identity;[11][12][13][14] despite the fact that medieval Serbia did not evolve from Kosovo itself.[15] Following the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, it became part of the Ottoman Empire; this brought the region into close contact with the Middle East and subsequently introduced Islam to the population. During the late 19th century, Kosovo was the centre of the Albanian national awakening. In 1912, the Ottoman province was divided between Montenegro and Serbia, both of which became part of Yugoslavia in 1918. During World War II, the majority of Kosovo was part of Italian-occupied Albania, followed by a Nazi German Occupation before becoming an autonomous province of the SR Serbia under the Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[16]

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