Facts in sheet
Ukraine is situated in the south-eastern part of Central Europe and has its own territory, government, national emblem, flag and anthem. It borders on Russia, Byelorussia, Moldova, Slovakia, Roumania, Hungary and Poland on land and Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Roumania and Turkey on sea.
Ukraine is mostly a level, treeless plain, calls "steppe". There are the
Mountains in the Crimean peninsula and the Carpathians in the west, but they are not very high. Mixed forests of pine and fir-trees, beeches, limes, oaks and elms cover the mountains, but the thickest woods can still be found in the northern part of the republic, in Volyn. Kiev and
Cherkassy lie in the midst of Ukrainian southernmost pine forest.
The main Ukrainian river is the
Dnieper . It is one of the longest European rivers and one of the republic's main source of hydroelectric power. The
Dnieper and its tributary the Ross had been the cradle of the Ukrainian and Russian people in time immemorial.
Population: 48 million (down from peak of 51 million in 1980s)
Area: 603,000 km2 (slightly larger than and slightly smaller than
Capital: Kyiv (or
A nationally elected presidency was instituted on December 1, 1991. Ukrainian citizens elect the president for a five-year term. The head of the state appoints the prime minister and the cabinet, which Verkhovna Rada has to approve. People's deputies (members of Verkhovna Rada) are elected for a four-year term in multicandidate elections.
Major cities (official populations): Kyiv - 2,635,300 (realistically approaching 4 million); Kharkiv - 1,575,900; Dnipropetrovsk - 1,161,200; Donetsk - 1,101,800; Odesa - 1,059,500; Zaporizhya - 887,400; Lviv - 805,900; Kryvyy Rih - 703,000; Mykolayiv - 519,000; Mariupol - 490,000; Luhansk - 493,300.
The climate of the country is moderate. Winter is rather mild, with no severe frosts but with regular snowfalls everywhere except the south. The rivers and lakes freeze in winter. The average winter temperature varies -20 Centigrade in the north to -3-5 in the south. Summer is quite hot and dry, with occasional showers and thunderstorms. The fertile black soil is well watered in spring and autumn and gets plenty of sunshine in summer.
Due to favorable climatic conditions, is traditionally an agricultural area. It grows wheat, maize, buckwheat and other corn, red and green vegetables, all kinds of fruit, melons and berries.
Ukraine is one of the world's main centers of sugar production. It produces sugar both for her own needs and for export.
Languages: Ukrainian and Russian*
*Ukrainian is 's single official government language.
In everyday use the languages are about equally popular across , though proportion of usage differs widely by region. However, the vast majority of the population is functionally bilingual.
Ukrainian Orthodox (Kiev Patriarchate 19%, Moscow Patriarchate 9%, no particular division 16%), Ukrainian Greek Catholic 6%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 2%, Protestant, Jewish, none 38%.
Ethnic Ukrainians make up 77.8% of the population. Other significant ethnic groups are Russians (17.3%), Belarusians (0.6%), Moldovans (0.5%), Crimean Tatars (0.5%), Bulgarians (0.4%), Hungarians (0.3%), Romanians (0.3%), Poles (0.3%), Jews (0.2%), Armenians (0.2%), Greeks (0.2%) and Tatars (0.2%).
The time in is set two hours ahead of the Universal time in
Greenwich (GMT +02:00). It is altered twice a year (the watches are set one hour forward in the last week of March and one hour backward in the last week of October)
National Currency - Hryvnia (UAH). There are bills for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Hryvnias. 1 Hryvnia = 100 kopiykas. There are coins for 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 kopiykas. Personal checks practically do not exist in , but many places in Kyiv accept major credit cards. Travellers’ cheques can be cashed in a number of banks. However, do nay rely solely on credit cards or travellers’ cheques. Cash is preferred.
January 1 - New Year's Day
January 7 - Christmas (Orthodox calendar)
March 8 - International Women's Day
May 1 and 2 - International Workers' Solidarity Day
May 9 - Victory Day
June 28 - Constitution Day
August 24 - Independence Day