Saturday, May 1, 2010

UKRAINE - Country profile

Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe.
It borders Russia to the north-east, Belarus to the north,
Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west,
Romania and Moldova to the south-west
and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south.
The historic city of Kiev (Kyiv) is the country's capital.
From at least the ninth century the territory of present-day
Ukraine was a centre of medieval East Slavic civilization
forming the state of Kievan Rus, and for the following several centuries
the territory was divided between a number of regional powers.
After a brief period of independence (1917–1921)
following the Russian Revolution of 1917,
Ukraine became one of the founding Soviet Republics in 1922.
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic's territory was enlarged westward
after the Second World War, and again in 1954 with the Crimea transfer.
Ukraine became independent again after the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991.


The Flag of Ukraine (Ukrainian: державний прапор України), national flag of Ukraine, was officially adopted for the first time in 1918 by a short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic. At that time the commonly used yellow–blue flag had already turned into blue and yellow and sported a trident (tryzub) in the upper left corner. The insignia remained unchanged by the successive government of Pavlo Skoropadsky, and then by the Directorate of Ukraine. During the SovietBolsheviks had been using red and later red-blue flags as the official Flag of Ukrainian SSR. The blue and yellow flag was officially restored in 1992 following Ukrainian independence. era,

Article 20 of the Constitution of Ukraine states “the State Flag of Ukraine is a banner of two equally sized horizontal bands of blue and yellow colour.”

National Anthem of UKRAINE :

Words by : Paul Chubynskyi
Music by : Mikhail Verbytskyi
Adopted : 1991 (music), 2003 (lyrics)

In 1862, Ukrainian poet and ethnographer Paul Chubynskyi wrote a poem "Ще не вмерла Україна" "Shche ne vmerla Ukrayina" (Ukraine Is Not Dead Yet) in 1862 and gained a wide popularity among the Ukrainian intelligentsia of the time. It also caught the attention of Mikhail Verbytskyi, a priest, and was moved to compose music for the poem; it was first performed as a choral work in 1864 in the Ukraine Theatre in Lvov.

Upon the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1917, a number of patriotic works were used in the capacity of a national anthem, including Chubynskyi's work, but none of them were officially declared as the national anthem. In 1920, Ukraine was made part of the Soviet Union, and "Shche ne vmerla Ukrayina" and other patriotic works were officially discouraged. Upon the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine regained its independence and its anthem; when independence was declared no lyrics were officially mandated, the lyrics that were in common use at the time differed somewhat from Chubynskyi's original poem.

The lyrics were changed slightly in 2003 ; the most important change was made to the first line (and title), which were interestingly borrowed from the Polish anthem. In the new version, the case ending of the word "Ukraine" was changed, so that rather than saying "Ukraine hasn't yet died, nor has her glory or freedom," it now says that it's Ukraine's glory and freedom which haven't perished. Also, the current version of the anthem is limited to the first verse of Chubynskyi's poem (with the modification to the first line mentioned above) plus the chorus, which was the first half of Chubynskyi's original chorus; previously, three verses and a chorus were commonly used.

Ukrainian lyrics (Cyrillic script)

Ще не вмерла України і слава, і воля,
Ще нам, браття молодії, усміхнеться доля.
Згинуть наші воріженьки, як роса на сонці.
Запануєм і ми, браття, у своїй сторонці.

Душу й тіло ми положим за нашу свободу,
І покажем, що ми, браття, козацького роду
Душу й тіло ми положим за нашу свободу,
І покажем, що ми, браття, козацького роду

English translation :

Ukraine's glory hasn't perished, nor her freedom
Upon us, fellow compatriots, fate shall smile once more.
Our enemies will vanish, like dew in the morning sun,
And we too shall rule, brothers, in a free land of our own.

Chorus :
We'll lay down our souls and bodies to attain our freedom,
And we'll show that we, brothers, are of the Kozak nation.
We'll lay down our souls and bodies to attain our freedom,
And we'll show that we, brothers, are of the Kozak nation.

Location :

Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland, Romania, and Moldova in the west and Russia in the east.

Maps :

Area :

Total : 603 550 sq km
Land : 579 330 sq km
Water : 24 220 sq km

Coastline :

2 782 km

Elevation extremes :

Lowest point : Black Sea 0 m
Highest point : Hora Hoverla 2 061 m

Terrain :

Most of Ukraine consists of fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus, mountains being found only in the west (the Carpathians), and in the Crimean Peninsula in the extreme south.

Natural resources :

Iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber, arable land.

Climate :

Current weather : temperate continental ; Mediterranean only on the southern Crimean coast ; precipitation disproportionately distributed, highest in west and north, lesser in east and southeast; winters vary from cool along the Black Sea to cold farther inland ; summers are warm across the greater part of the country, hot in the south.

Population :

45 415 596 (Estimation 2010)

Nationality :

Demonym : Ukrainian

Ethnic groups :

Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8% (2001 census).

Religions :

Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyiv Patriarchate 50.4%, Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate 26.1%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic 8%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 7.2%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, Protestant 2.2%, Jewish 0.6%, other 3.2% (2006 est.).

Languages :

Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian 24%, other 9% (includes small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities).

Country name :

Conventional long form : None
Conventional short form : Ukraine
Local long form : None
Local short form : Ukrayina
Former : Ukrainian National Republic, Ukrainian State, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

ISO country code :


Government type :


Capital :

Kyiv (Kiev) (population : 2 819 566 - 2008 ; ukrainian largest city)

Other major cities :

Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa.

Administrative divisions :

24 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast'), 1 autonomous republic* (avtonomna respublika), and 2 municipalities (mista, singular - misto) with oblast status**; Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Crimea or Avtonomna Respublika Krym* (Simferopol'), Dnipropetrovs'k, Donets'k, Ivano-Frankivs'k, Kharkiv, Kherson, Khmel'nyts'kyy, Kirovohrad, Kyiv**, Kyiv, Luhans'k, L'viv, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Poltava, Rivne, Sevastopol'**, Sumy, Ternopil', Vinnytsya, Volyn' (Luts'k), Zakarpattya (Uzhhorod), Zaporizhzhya, Zhytomyr.

Note : administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses).

Independance :

24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union).

National holiday :

Independence Day, 24 August.

Note - 22 January 1918, the day Ukraine first declared its independence (from Soviet Russia) and the day the short-lived Western and Greater (Eastern) Ukrainian republics united (1919), is now celebrated as Unity Day.

Constitution :

Adopted 28 June 1996.

Executive branch :

Chief of state : President Viktor YANUKOVYCH (since 25 February 2010).

Head of government : Prime Minister Mykola AZAROV (since 11 March 2010) ; First Deputy Prime Minister Andriy KLYUYEV (since 11 March 2010) ; Deputy Prime Ministers Borys KOLESNIKOV, Volodymyr SIVKOVYCH, Viktor SLAUTA, Serhiy TIHIPKO, Viktor TYKHONOV (all since 11 March 2010).

Cabinet : Cabinet of Ministers selected by the prime minister ; the only exceptions are the foreign and defense ministers, who are chosen by the president.

Elections : president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term) ; election last held on 17 January 2010 with runoff on 7 February 2010 (next to be held in 2015) ; under constitutional reforms that went into effect 1 January 2006, the majority in parliament takes the lead in naming the prime minister.

Election results : Viktor YANUKOVYCH elected president ; percent of vote - Viktor YANUKOVYCH 48.95%, Yuliya TYMOSHENKO 45.5%.

Legislative branch :

Unicameral Supreme Council or Verkhovna Rada (450 seats ; members allocated on a proportional basis to those parties that gain 3 % or more of the national electoral vote ; members to serve five-year terms).

Judicial branch :

Supreme Court ; Constitutional Court.

Currency :

Hryvnia (UAH)

Agriculture products :
Grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables; beef, milk.

Industries :

Coal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food processing.

Exports partners :

Russia 21.1%, Turkey 5.3%, China 3.8% (2009 est.).

Imports partners :

Russia 28%, Germany 8.6%, China 6.1%, Kazakhstan 4.9%, Poland 4.9% (2009 est.).

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