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Ukraine is a country of Central-Eastern Europe. It occupies the South-Western part of Eastern-
European Plains and a part of the Carpathian and Crimean mountains. The territory of Ukraine
is 603,700 square km, and 5.7% of the territory of Europe. It stretches for 893 km from North to
the South and 1,316 km from West to East. Ukraine borders Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Slovakia,
Romania, Hungary and Poland on land and Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey on
the sea. The country gained its independence from the Soviet Union on December 1, 1991. The
capital and largest city is Kyiv.
Ukraine is located in moderate latitudes and has outlets to Black and Azov Seas. The
geopolitical location on the boarder of Western and Eastern peoples and cultures considerably
influenced history and current development of the nation. In 1945, Ukraine became a member of
the United Nations (UN). In December 1991, it was a founding member of the CIS, and in
November 1995 it became a full member of the Council of Europe. It is also a member of the
Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In 1992, Ukraine became a
member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (World Bank). It also then became affiliated with the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Recently Ukraine has signed with the European
Union an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.
In terms of population, Ukraine has around 48 million people, ranks 5th in Europe (after
Germany, Italy, Great Britain and France) and 21st in the world. It has 7.3% of Europe's and 1%
of the global population. 68% of Ukrainians live in urban areas while 32% live in countryside.
The official language of the country is Ukrainian. A majority of the population adheres to Eastern
Orthodox Christianity. Other denominations include Roman Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and
After Russia, the Ukrainian Republic was far and away the most important economic component
of the Former Soviet Union, producing about four times the output of the next-ranking republic.
Ukraine is an industrial and agricultural country. It is rich in natural resources such as coal, iron
ore, manganese, nickel and uranium. Highly developed industries include metallurgy, mining,
power and fuel, machine-building, food production and textiles. The country's vast agricultural
potential, its highly educated population, its transportation networks and the technological
infrastructure provide Ukraine with excellent preconditions for strong economic growth.
Ukraine’s unique geographic position, linking East and West whilst also holding critical warm
water ports on the Black Sea, has made Ukraine a trade link of growing importance between the
Former Soviet Union and Europe. Ukraine has undertaken efforts to synchronize its trade
policies with its neighbours and trade partners in both directions. Ukraine is important to world
energy markets as it is a critical transit center for exports of Russian oil and natural gas to
Eastern and Western Europe. It is a major energy producer (including nuclear power) and
The national economy includes heavy machine building, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy,
shipbuilding, automotive industry, manufacturing of agriculture machinery, production of power
plants, oil extraction and equipment. Ukraine produces planes and ships, trucks and buses,
motorcars and trains, computer and electronic equipment, precision instruments and
agricultural machines, TVs and radios, and chemicals. Odessa, Sevastopol, Mykolaev, Kherson
and Kerch are the main Ukrainian sea ports.
Ukraine's biggest trade partners are Russia, Germany, USA, Turkey, Italy, Belarus, Poland,
China, Bulgaria and France.
Nature and climate of Ukraine
Ukraine's landscape is mostly flat. Approximately 95% of lands are plains and 5% are
mountains. Ukraine is located in two climatic zones: moderate and subtropical (southern shore
of Crimea). The weather and climate of Ukraine's territory positively influence economic activity,
tourism and recreation, as well as allow for use of ecologically clean resources of wind and sun.
Most of Ukraine has four distinct seasons and a moderate, continental climate, with cold winters
and warm summers. The Crimean coast, however, has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, wet
winters and hot, dry summers.
Ukraine is a sea power. In the south it is washed by the Black and Azov Seas. The Black Sea's
coastline in Ukraine is 1,540 km. Ukraine's territory is covered with a dense network of 73,000
large and small rivers and about 20,000 lakes. The biggest river systems are Dnipro, Danube,
and Dnistre. The Dnipro (Dnepr) is the largest river in Ukraine and the third largest and longest
river in Europe.
Due to favorable climatic conditions, Ukraine has traditionally been an agricultural paradise. It
grows wheat, maize, buckwheat and other corns, red and green vegetables, many kinds of fruit,
melons and berries. Ukraine is one of the world's main sugar producing counties. It produces
sugar both for its internal market as well as exports a considerable portion to Western countries.
Ukrainian vegetation includes about 30,000 plants used for cattle-breeding, beekeeping, hunting
and for the collection of wild medicinal herbs. Due to economic activity, flora of Ukraine
underwent considerable changes. A network of natural reserve fund establishments has been
created to preserve and rehabilitate it.
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