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Geography

Geographical Location: Ukraine is located in southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea. Ukraine is situated between 44"20' and 52"20' north latitude, and 22"5' and 41"15' east longitude.

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States.

Area: Ukraine is the largest country in Europe among those with entire boundaries within the European continent. The total area of Ukraine is about 603,700 sq. km. It extends 1316 km from west to east, and 893 km north to south.

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

Neighboring Countries: Bordered by (clockwise) Romania (169 km), Moldova (939 km), Romania (362 km) and Hungary (103 km) on the southwest, Slovak Republic (90 km) on the west, Poland (428 km) on the northwest, Belarus (891 km) on the north, and Russia (1,576 km) on the north and on the east.

Total Land Boundaries: 4,558 km.

Coastline: 2,782 km.

Climate: The climate of Ukraine is mostly temperate continental. A subtropical Mediterranean climate is prevalent on the southern portions of the Crimean Peninsula. The average monthly temperature in winter ranges from -8° to 2° C (17.6° to 35.6° F), while summer temperatures average 17° to 25° C (62.6° to 77° F). The Black Sea coast is subject to freezing. Precipitation generally decreases from north to south; it is greatest in the Carpathians, where it exceeds more than 1500 mm (58.5 in) per year, and least in the coastal lowlands of the Black Sea, where it averages less than 300 mm (11.7 in) per year.

Terrain: Almost the entire country of Ukraine is a flat plain, with elevations generally below 350 m. The Carpathian Mountains intrude at the extreme west, and on the southern coast of the Crimean Peninsula the Crimean Mountains are located. The highest point in Ukraine is Mt. Hoverla in the Carpathians, with an elevation of 2061 m.

Land use: Ukraine has extremely fertile black-earth soils in the central and southern portions, totaling more than a half of the territory. According to the estimates, arable land is 56%, permanent crops: 2%, meadows and pastures: 12%, forest and woodland: 10%, other: 20%. In 1990 irrigated land was 26,000 sq. km.

Inland Waterways: Most major rivers flow south to the Black Sea; they include the Dnipro River in central Ukraine, the Southern Bug and Dnestr rivers in the west, the Donets River in the east, and the Danube in the far south. The Western Bug flows northward through the western part of the country and joins the Vistula, which empties into the Baltic Sea.

Natural resources: According to the experts, Ukraine contains approximately 5 per cent of the world's total mineral resources. Ukraine has deposits of more than 80 types of minerals. The Donetsk Basin contains huge reserves of high-quality coal and the nearby iron-ore deposits of Kryvy Rih are equally rich. Other Ukraine's mineral resources include manganese, mercury, titanium, chromium, nickel, bauxite, uranium, phosphate, sulfur and peat. Development of the above mentioned mineral resources under concession agreements along with transportation and refining of oil and gas are among the most promising areas for foreign investments.

Natural hazards: n/a

Environment (current issues): inadequate supplies of potable water air and water pollution deforestation radiation contamination in the northeast from 1986 accident at Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Environment (international agreements):
party to:
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution;
signed, but not ratified:
Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea.

Geography note: strategic position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia; second-largest country in Europe.

People

Population: 46,929,500 (January 2007)

Nationality:
        noun: Ukrainian(s),
        adjective: Ukrainian.

Ethnic groups: Ukrainian 73%, Russian 22%, Jewish 1%, other 4%.

Religion: predominantly Christian: Ukrainian Orthodox (Kiev Patriarchate), Ukrainian Catholic (Uniate), Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox, Protestant, Ukrainian Orthodox (Moscow Patriarchate). Other religions like Islam, Judaism etc. are also professed by some part of the population.

State language: Ukrainian.

Other languages: Russian, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian.

Conventional long form: none.
Conventional short form: Ukraine.

Local long form: none.
Local short form: Ukrayina.

Former: Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Data code: UA.


General Principles and State Power

Government type: Ukraine is a Republic.

Independence: December 1, 1991 (from Soviet Union).

National holiday: Independence Day - August 24, 1991.

Constitution: adopted on June 28, 1996.

Head of State: President

Head of Government: Prime Minister.

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) with 450 seats (Last elections held in March 1998).

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal.

Legal system: based on civil law system; no judicial review of legislative acts.

Administrative divisions:
        24 oblasts (Cherkaska, Chernihivska, Chernivetska, Dnipropetrovska, Donetska,
                             Ivano-Frankivska, Kharkivska, Khersonska, Khmelnytska, Kirovo-
                             hradska, Kyyivska, Luhanska, Lvivska, Mykolayivska, Odeska,
                             Poltavska, Rivnenska, Sumska, Ternopilska, Vinnytska, Volynska,
                             Zakarpatska, Zaporizka, Zhytomyrska)
,
        1 autonomous republic (The Autonomous Republic of Crimea),
        2 municipalities (misto) with oblast status (Kyiv and Sevastopol)

Capital of Ukraine: Kyiv

Economy

Currency: 1 hryvna=100 kopiykas       

Exchange rates: To view current exchange rates please click here:

Transportation

Railroads: total: 23,350 km (broad gauge - 1.524 m); 8,600 electrified

Highways: total: 273,700 km (paved and graveled: 236,400 km)

Inland waterways: 1,672 km perennially navigable (Prypyat and Dnipro Rivers)

Pipelines: crude oil 2,010 km, petroleum products 1,920 km, natural gas 7,800 km (1992)

Seaports: Berdiansk, Illichivsk, Izmayil, Kerch, Kherson, Mariupol, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Pivdenne, Sevastopol.

Inland port: Kyiv.


DID YOU KNOW…

Ukraine occupies an area of 603,700 square kilometers, and is among the largest European countries. Territorially it is larger than France (544,000 sq. km.), Spain (505,000 sq. km.), Sweden (450,000 sq. km.), and Poland (312,7000 sq. km.).

In its ethnic composition, Ukraine is a multi-ethnic Republic, inhabited by more than 110 ethnic groups, of which Ukrainian (72.7%) are the largest, followed by Russians, Jews, Belarussians, Moldovans, Bulgarians, Poles and Hungarians.

The easternmost point is in the township of Milove, Luhansk Region. The westernmost point is the city of Chop in Transcarpathia, the distance between them being 1,270 kilometers. In its widest central part, the distance between the northernmost village of Muravyi in the Chernihiv Region and the southernmost Sarych Promontory in Crimea equals 900 kilometers.

The largest mountain system is the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains, which are part of the Eastern Carpathians. The mountains stretch to the west within the territories of the Transcarpathian, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions.

The highest mountain peak, Hoverla, is in the Ukrainian Carpathians within the territories of Transcarpathian and Ivano-Frankivsk.

The Black Sea borders Ukraine to the south. The Dnieper is the country's largest river. The deepest river is the Danube. Yalpug is Ukraine's largest lake in the Danube delta of the Odesa Region.

The deepest lake is Svitiaz in the basin of the Southern Buh. It is one of the Shatsk Lakes in Volyn.

The highest mountain lake is Brebeneskul, between the Carpathian range of Chornohora and the Hutyn-Tamnatyk Mountain.

The considerable remoteness from oceans and continental Siberia tells favorably on the climate of Ukraine. Almost al of its territory is located in the temperate zone. On the whole, the climate is temperately continental, and only on the southern shore of Crimea is it subtropical.

As of January 1, 1990, Ukraine numbered 436 cities inhabited by more than 68% of the country's population. Over 75% of basic production assets and about 95% of scientific research institutions are concentrated in these metropolitan areas.
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