Quick facts about Ukraine
Ukraine is a country located in South Eastern Europe, the second largest of the continent after Russia.
Total area: 603,549 sq. km. (233,100 sq. mi.)
Boundaries: North - Belarus; East - the Russian Federation; South - the Black Sea; West - Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova.
Elevations: the highest point - Mount Hoverla (6,702 feet, or 2,043 meters); the lowest - Kyleutske, in the Crimea (59 feet, or 18 meters).
Population: 45,183,000 (2014).
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Total (2012) - 338.334 billion USD
Per capita - 7,421 USD
Total (2012) - 176.310 billion USD
Per capita - 3,467 USD
The largest cities: Kiev (the capital of Ukraine), Lviv, Odessa, Donetsk, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye.
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 the world map
Ukraine consists almost entirely of level plains and occupies a large portion of the East European Plain. The 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 the 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. The 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 its course for hydroelectric and irrigation purposes.
Ukraine economy and people
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.
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 the 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.
The country’s independence was proclaimed on August 24, 1991. From 1922 to 1991, Ukraine was a republic of the USSR. After 1991 and until the 1994-1996, Ukraine possessed the third largest nuclear strategic reserve after the US and Russia.