One definition describes Eastern Europe as a cultural entity: the region lying in Europe with the main characteristics consisting of Greek, Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox, Russian, and some Ottoman culture influences. Another definition was created during the Cold War and used more or less synonymously with the term Eastern Bloc. A similar definition names the formerly communist European states outside the Soviet Union as Eastern Europe. Some historians and social scientists view such definitions as outdated or relegated, but they are still sometimes used for statistical purposes.
Several other definitions of Eastern Europe exist today, but they often lack precision, are too general or outdated. These definitions vary both across cultures and among experts, even political scientists, as the term has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic connotations.
There are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region". A related United Nations paper adds that "every assessment of spatial identities is essentially a social and cultural construct".
While the eastern geographical boundaries of Europe are well defined, the boundary between Eastern and Western Europe is not geographical but historical, religious and cultural.