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Ukraine is a former Soviet republic located in Eastern Europe. The country is a cultural cradle of Slavic peoples who inhabited much of Eastern Europe.Ukraine is the largest fully European country by land area. The Ukrainian territory is located in Eastern Europe and its history is strongly linked to the Slavic peoples who inhabited this part of the globe. Ukrainian culture also retains many Slavic traditions. Currently, Ukraine has about 44 million inhabitants, which are governed by a semi-presidential model.

The country has an economy based on agriculture and industry. Its infrastructure is poorly developed. Ukraine has sought, in recent years, a rapprochement with the western nations of Europe. However, it faces resistance from the Russian government, which still exerts strong political and cultural influence in the country.

Ukraine summary

  • Ukraine is located between Eastern Europe and Russia. The country’s name means “border”.
  • Ukraine’s independence officially took place in 1991, through the fragmentation of the former Soviet Union.
  • In the last decade, Ukraine was partially invaded by Russia. The Russians have occupied the Crimea region and are fomenting conflicts in eastern Ukraine.
  • Ukraine has one of the most fertile soils in the world, the so-called chernozion, which has a large amount of organic matter.
  • The Ukrainian population has low population growth rates and intense emigration to other European countries.
  • The Ukrainian economy is based on agricultural production and the diversity of industrial production.
  • The making of painted eggs, the pysanka, and wooden dolls, the babuskas, is typical of Ukrainian crafts.

General information about Ukraine

  • Official name: Ukraine.
  • Gentile: Ukrainian.
  • Territorial extension: 603,628 square kilometers.
  • Location: Eastern Europe.
  • Capital: Kiev.
  • Climate: temperate.
  • Government: semi-presidential republic.
  • Language: Ukrainian.
  • Religions:
    • Christianity: 80%;
    • atheism: 13%;
    • others: 7%.
  • Population: 44,130,000 inhabitants.
  • Population density: 75 inhabitants/square kilometer.
  • Human Development Index (HDI): 0.779 (high).
  • Currency: hryvnia.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): US$ 155.6 billion.
  • GDP per capita: US$ 3,726.
  • Gini: 24%.
  • Time zone: UTC+2.
  • External relations: United Nations (UN).
  • Administrative division: 24 regions, called oblasts, as follows:

Ukraine’s history

The millenary history of Ukraine runs through that of the Slavic peoples, who, together with other ancient tribes in the region, such as the Varangians, founded Rus. This kingdom was one of the most powerful in the entire world and is understood by some historians as the basis for the formation of Russia.

The Rus kingdom has been invaded over the years by:

  • Mongols;
  • Lithuanians;
  • Poles.

From the action of the Russians, the Ukrainian territory regained its autonomy, but was soon dominated by the Russian Empire. From then onwards, Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire, and more recently it has also been part of the Soviet Union. The country suffered heavy economic and human losses in both the Soviet period and the Nazi period, when Ukraine was hit hard by German attacks.

Ukraine achieved its official independence only in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This process resulted in profound economic and political reforms in the country, but also in internal crises.

In the last decade, Ukraine lost part of its territory, Crimea, through a Russian military invasion. There are also civil disturbances with strong Russian military support in eastern Ukrainian provinces. The border between Ukraine and Russia is one of the most militarized zones in the world.

Etymology of Ukraine
The word Ukraine comes from Slavic languages. The term Ukraine means “border” and refers to its geographical position, a border area between several European countries, especially Poland and Russia.

Ukraine geography
Ukraine is the largest fully European country by land area. It is located in the eastern part of Europe. Ukrainian territory borders:

  • Moldavia;
  • Romania;
  • Hungary;
  • Slovakia;

In terms of relief, the lands of Ukraine are predominantly low-lying, with the exception of the western portion of the country, which is partially located in the Carpathian Mountains. The vegetation of Ukraine is almost entirely formed by steppes. Its climate is temperate, specifically continental, with a record of large thermal amplitudes throughout the year.

Ukraine is also known for the presence of large tracts of highly fertile soils, the so-called chernozion, which are fundamental for the development of agriculture. These soils are typically dark due to the large amount of organic matter present in their constitution.