Quick facts about Ukraine
Total area: 603,549 sq. km. (233,100 sq. mi.)
Boundaries: North - Belarus; East - the Russian Federation; South - the Black Sea; West - Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova.
Elevations: highest - Mount Hoverla (6,702 feet, or 2,043 meters); lowest - Kyleutske, in the Crimea (59 feet, or 18 meters).
Population: 45,560,000 (2012).
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Total (2012) - 327.937 billion USD
Per capita - 12,198 USD
Total (2012) - 222.850 billion USD
Per capita - 10,574 USD
Main cities of Ukraine: Kiev, Lviv, Odessa, Donetsk.
Major languages: Ukrainian and Russian.
Major religious groups: Orthodox Christians, Greek Catholics (Uniates), Baptists, and Jews.
International phone code: +380.
Currency: Hryvnia (UAH).
Internet TLD: .ua
Time zone: UTC +2, UTC +3 (DST)
Ukraine on world map
Ukraine (Ukrainian spelling Ukraina) is a country in southeastern Europe, the second largest of the continent after Russia.
Economically, Ukraine is a major industrial and agricultural producer. The country is well endowed in natural resources and has long been known as Europe’s and later the USSR’s breadbasket.
Ukraine consists almost entirely of level plains and occupies a large portion of East European Plain. Central part consists of the Dnieper Lowland, through which the Dnieper River runs from north to south.
Other lowlands extend along the shores of the Black and Azov Seas in southern Ukraine, while Crimean Peninsula, in the extreme south, has both lowlands and low mountains. Western Ukraine has some uplands, and Carpathian Mountains extend through that region for more than 150 miles (240 km).
Ukraine lies in temperate climatic zone and receives 16 to 24 inches (400 to 600 mm) of precipitation annually. Dnieper, Don, Dniester and other rivers all drain southward through the plains to empty into the Azov-Black Sea Basin. Ukraine’s most important river, the Dnieper River, is extensively dammed along much of its course for hydroelectric and irrigation purposes.
Ethnic Ukrainians make up more than seven-tenths of the total population. Ukrainian language is closely related to Russian and Belorussian and belongs to Slavic group of languages.
Russians are the largest minority group, accounting for about two-tenths of the population. The highest population densities are found in industrialized Donets Coal Basin and the Dnieper regions and in agriculturally productive forest-steppe belt.
Illiteracy was virtually eliminated during the Soviet period, and education is now compulsory between the ages of 7 and 17. In higher education, Ukrainian is once again becoming main language of instruction after being displaced by Russian during the Soviet period. Primary and secondary schools using Russian still prevail in Donets Basin and in the southern part of Ukraine, where there are large Russian minorities.