Backed by the U.S. and key European allies earlier but bitterly contested by Serbia and Russia, Kosovo declared itself a nation on Sunday 17 Feb 2008, mounting a historic bid to become an "independent and democratic state"
"Kosovo is a republic — an independent, democratic and sovereign state," parliament speaker Jakup Krasniqi said as the chamber burst into applause. Krasniqi, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and President Fatmir Sejdiu signed the declaration, which was scripted on parchment.
Kosovo (Albanian: Kosova or Kosovë, Serbian: Косово, Kosovo) is a self-declared independent republic in southeastern Europe. After international negotiations failed to reach a consensus on an acceptable constitutional status, Kosovo's provisional government unilaterally declared independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008. Source Wikipedia
The independent Republic of Kosovo (Albanian: Republika e Kosovës, Serbian: Република Косово, Republika Kosovo) is anticipated to receive partial international recognition. The Serbian government regards the territory as an integral part of Serbia, the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (Serbian: Аутономна покрајина Косово и Метохија, Autonomna pokrajina Kosovo i Metohija, also Космет, Kosmet; Albanian: Krahina Autonome e Kosovës dhe Metohisë). This is also the position of the remainder of the international community including United Nations.
Kosovo has an area of 10,887 square kilometers (4,203 sq mi) and a population of nearly two million. The largest cities are Priština, the capital, with an estimated 600,000 inhabitants, Prizren in the south west with a population of 165,000, Peć in the west with 154,000, and Kosovska Mitrovica in the north with 110,000. Five other towns have populations in excess of 97,000. Source Wikipedia