Rivne is a historic city in western Ukraine and the historical region of Volhynia. It is the administrative center of the Rivne Oblast (province), as well as the surrounding Rivne Raion (district) within the oblast. Before World War II the city was located in Poland and during the German occupation in 1941–44 the city was designated as a capital of the German Ukraine (Reichskommissariat Ukraine).
Rivne is an important transportation hub, with the international Rivne Airport, and rail links to Zdolbuniv, Sarny and Kovel, as well as highways linking it with Brest, Kiev and Lviv.
Rivne was first mentioned in 1283 as one of the inhabited places of Halych-Volhynia. From the second half of the 14th century it was under the Great Duchy of Lithuania and from 1569 in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1492 the city was granted Magdeburg rights. Following the partition of Poland, in 1793 Rivne became a part of Russian Empire, and in 1797 it was declared as a regional town of the Volhynian Governorate.
During World War I and the period of chaos shortly after, it was briefly under German, Ukrainian, Bolshevik, and Polish forces. In April–May 1919 Rivne served as the temporary capital of Ukrainian People’s Republic. At the conclusion of the conflict, in accordance with the Riga Peace Treaty of 1921 it became a part of Polish Volhynian Voivodeship for the period between the two World Wars.