Ukraine is an Eastern European country. Located in southeastern Europe, it is the second largest country on the continent, after Russia, with an area of 603 700 km2. It is bordered by Belarus and Russia to the north, Moldova and Romania to the south, Hungary to the southwest, and Slovakia and Poland to the west, being bathed in the south by the Black and Azov seas. The main cities in Ukraine are Kiev, the capital, with 2 598 000 residents (2004), Kharkov (1 420 100 residents), Dnipropetrovsk (1 009 100 residents), Odessa (1 012 600 residents) And Donetsk (969 800 residents).
Western Ukraine is formed by the fertile platinum of Volhinia, while in the North the Dniepre and Donetz river basins dominate, with good agricultural land and swamps; this is where the capital is located. The plains to the west of Kirovograd have a black soil called chernozem; those in the eastern part, although less fertile, support many rural communities. These soils were largely contaminated by radioactivity after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. In the extreme south of Ukraine, the dry plains of the Azov and Negro seas are located. Crimea is one of the most famous tourist regions in the country and is further south.
The climate is temperate continental, with severe winters.
The main mining and energy products in the country are iron, coal, manganese, oil and natural gas. Agricultural production includes wheat, barley, rye, maize, sugar beet, sunflower seed, cotton, potatoes and vegetables. In the industry, the food, metal products, mechanical construction and chemical industries deserve mention. Ukraine’s main trading partners are Russia, Germany and China.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita (metric tons, 1999), is 7.5.
This republic of the former Soviet Union had, in 2006, 46 710 816 residents. The birth and death rates are, respectively, 8.82% and 14.39%. Average life expectancy is 69.98 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.766 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.761 (2001). It is estimated that in 2025, the population will decrease to 43 293 000 residents. Ethnically, the population is made up of Ukrainians (73%) and Russians (22%), among other peoples from neighboring countries. In terms of religion, the Ukrainian Orthodox (of the Russian Patriarchate, of the Kiev Patriarchate and the Autocephalus) stands out, with around 60% of the population, the Ukrainian Catholic (7%) and the Protestant (4%). The official language is Ukrainian.
Different parts of Ukraine were occupied before the era of Christ. In the first millennium after Christ, this territory did not escape invasions either. Goths, Huns, Bulgarians and Magyars were some of the peoples who invaded this region. The people who contributed most to its development in this period were the Ukrainian (Ruthens), Eastern Slavs, in the 5th and 6th centuries. Ukraine was the birthplace of the medieval state of Kievan Rus, which emerged in the 9th century and had its heyday in the 10th and 11th centuries, ruled by Vladimir I and his son Yaroslav I. The Ukrainians, together with Russian Muscovites and Belarusians, they became leaders in Eastern Europe. For Ukraine democracy and rights, please check intershippingrates.
The 12th and 13th centuries saw the decline of Kiev. The power of Kievan Rus was destroyed by the Mongol invasion in the 13th century, although the principality of Galicia, in western Ukraine, which emerged in 1200, continued to exist until the 14th century. In the middle of the 14th century Lithuania annexed much of the land of Ukraine and the principality of Galicia passed to the kingdom of Poland. The south of the country was ruled by the Golden Horde. After the Union of Lublin in 1569, Ukraine was transferred from Lithuania to Poland. In 1596 Ukrainians were divided between Catholics and Orthodox by the union of Brest-Litovsk. In 1648 there was a revolt by runaway slaves against Polish oppression led by the Cossacks.
During the 18th century, the Russian Empire obtained the western zone of the Dnieper, with the exception of Galicia, which came to belong to Austria. The Ukrainian nationalist movement developed in the 19th century but was subject to repression and restrictions on the part of the Russians, due to the fact that nationalists continue to use the Ukrainian language. During this century and until the first years of the 20th century, there was rapid economic and urban development.
After the Russian Revolution in 1918, Ukraine proclaimed independence. Then the Ukrainian and Bolshevik forces fought for control of the country until 1921, when the Soviet government was victorious. In 1924 the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine became part of the republics of the Soviet Union. In the 1930s the Soviet government pursued a policy of rapid industrialization and collectivization of agriculture in the Republic of Ukraine. The collectivization process encountered resistance from farmers. Soviet authorities confiscated grain and as a result the people went hungry, leading to the death of five million people. In this decade, the Soviet regime started to completely control the country’s cultural life and all demonstrations were suppressed.
The German-Soviet Non-Aggression Treaty (1939) caused the territories that were still under Polish rule to pass into the hands of the Soviet Republic of Ukraine. Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, thus breaking the treaty, and quickly conquered Ukraine. Initially, he found some support, but soon Ukrainian farmers realized that they were being exploited and formed a resistance guerrilla. After the defeat of the Germans in 1945, the lands that had been part of Poland, Romania and Czechoslovakia between the two Great Wars became part of the Socialist Republic of Ukraine.
Only with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and the introduction of glasnost and perestroika reformsin national politics in the 1980s, Ukrainian nationalists awoke. The Ukrainian political system changed in the early nineties when the country gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. After gaining autonomy, the legislation of the Supreme Soviet was converted into a democratic parliamentary system, whose members are elected for four years. in free and multiparty elections, a decision made by referendum. Ukraine and Belarus were the only Soviet republics to have an independent vote in the United Nations other than the vote of the former USSR as a whole. Since independence, in the early nineties, Ukraine has been recognized internationally.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Ukraine, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Ukraine. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Ukraine
Browse a collection of city, country, political, shaded relief and historical maps of this former Soviet Republic. Check out the maps of Kiev and Odessa cities.
Expedia.com Maps – Ukraine
View a concise color map of Ukraine, highlighting cities, bordering states and land features. Also features zoom, email and print options.
Ukraine – Atlapedia Online
Well-rendered pair of maps offers visitors a view of the Ukraine from a political and physical map perspective. Includes country facts.
Ukraine – InfoPlease.com Map
View a color map of this former Soviet republic, and located key cities and towns. Also, access country facts.
Ukraine – Kyiv.org
Clickable map of Ukraine broken down into regions. Find atlas maps, photographs and facts and figures for each region.
Ukraine – MapQuest.com
Peruse this interactive map to click on cities and regions of the Ukraine to get more information. Features country details as well.
Ukraine – Merriam-Webster Atlas
Features a map showing most of the country’s major cities. Also find diagrams, country facts and a historical summary.
Ukraine – National Geographic Map Machine
Supplies a blow-up map of the former Soviet republic, along with basic statistics on its population, commerce and literacy rate.
Ukraine – Perry-Casta eda Library Map Collection
University of Texas offers a collection of topographical, regional and administrative maps for this former Soviet Union country.
Ukraine – VirtualTourist.com
Presents different types of maps, photographs, postcards and feature articles related to tourist activities in the Ukraine.