Bordering both Catholic Poland and Orthodox Russia, Ukraine has long had a split identity, as well as having the largest population of Catholic adherents in the former Soviet Union: around 3.7 million. Known also as Eastern Rite or Latin Rite Catholics, many live in western Ukraine, which at one point was known as Galicia and fell under the control of Poland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire over the years, both of which were predominantly Catholic. In Lviv, western Ukraine’s largest city, Catholics predominate. John Paul II’s visit in 2001 to Ukraine was in fact the closest he ever got to visiting Russia. During that visit, he received a rapturous welcome throughout the country. For both the Kremlin and the Russian church, that was worrisome since Ukraine, in addition to being the birthplace of Russian Christianity, is viewed as being a historic appendage to Russia, politically, economically, socially. Having a sizable number of Ukrainians looking to the Vatican for guidance and authority, and not Moscow, undermines that unity.