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(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

42,418,235 (32nd )

• 2001 CENSUS 48,457,102

• DENSITY 73.8/km2 (191.1/sq mi) (115th )

GDP (PPP ) 2017 estimate

• TOTAL $366 billion (50th )

• PER CAPITA $9,125 (114th )

GDP (NOMINAL) 2017 estimate

• TOTAL $103 billion (62nd )

• PER CAPITA $2,599 (132nd )

GINI (2015) 25.5 low · 18th

HDI (2015) 0.743 high · 84th

CURRENCY Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH )

TIME ZONE EET (UTC +2 )

• SUMMER (DST ) EEST (UTC +3)

DRIVES ON THE right

CALLING CODE +380

ISO 3166 CODE UA

INTERNET TLD

* .ua * .укр

* An independence referendum was held on 1 December, after which Ukrainian independence was finalized on 26 December.

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS CYRILLIC TEXT . Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks or boxes , misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Cyrillic letters.

UKRAINE (/juːˈkreɪn/ ( listen ) yoo-KRAYN ; Ukrainian : Україна, translit. Ukrajina ), sometimes called THE UKRAINE , is a sovereign state in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
, bordered by Russia
Russia
to the east and northeast; Belarus
Belarus
to the northwest; Poland
Poland
, Hungary
Hungary
, and Slovakia
Slovakia
to the west; Romania
Romania
and Moldova
Moldova
to the southwest; and the Black Sea
Black Sea
and Sea of Azov
Sea of Azov
to the south and southeast, respectively. Ukraine
Ukraine
is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia
Russia
over the Crimean Peninsula
Crimean Peninsula
, which Russia
Russia
annexed in 2014 but which Ukraine and most of the international community recognise as Ukrainian. Including Crimea, Ukraine
Ukraine
has an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), making it the largest country entirely within Europe
Europe
and the 46th largest country in the world. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine
Ukraine
has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world.

The territory of modern Ukraine
Ukraine
has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kievan Rus\' forming the basis of Ukrainian identity. Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, the territory was contested, ruled and divided by a variety of powers, including Lithuania
Lithuania
, Poland, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
, Austria- Hungary
Hungary
, and Russia. A Cossack
Cossack
republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was eventually split between Poland
Poland
and the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
, and later merged fully into Russia.

During the 20th century three periods of independence occurred. The first of these periods occurred briefly during and immediately after the German occupation near the end of World War I
World War I
and the second occurred, also briefly, and also during German occupation, during World War II
World War II
. However, both of these first two earlier periods would eventually see Ukraine's territories consolidated back into a Soviet republic within the USSR
USSR
. The third period of independence began in 1991, when Ukraine
Ukraine
gained its independence from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in the aftermath of its dissolution at the end of the Cold War
Cold War
. Ukraine has maintained its independence as a sovereign state ever since. Before its independence, Ukraine
Ukraine
was typically referred to in English as "The Ukraine", but sources since then have moved to drop "the" from the name of Ukraine
Ukraine
in all uses.

Following its independence, Ukraine
Ukraine
declared itself a neutral state . Nonetheless it formed a limited military partnership with the Russian Federation and other CIS countries and a partnership with NATO in 1994. In the 2000s, the government began leaning towards NATO, and a deeper cooperation with the alliance was set by the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan signed in 2002. It was later agreed that the question of joining NATO should be answered by a national referendum at some point in the future. Former President Viktor Yanukovych considered the current level of co-operation between Ukraine
Ukraine
and NATO sufficient, and was against Ukraine
Ukraine
joining NATO. In 2013, after the government of President Yanukovych had decided to suspend the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and seek closer economic ties with Russia, a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan
Euromaidan
began, which later escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that led to the overthrow of President Yanukovych and his cabinet and the establishment of a new government. These events formed the background for the annexation of Crimea
Crimea
by Russia
Russia
in March 2014, and the War in Donbass in April 2014. On 1 January 2016, Ukraine applied the economic part of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union.

Ukraine
Ukraine
has long been a global breadbasket because of its extensive, fertile farmlands and is one of the world's largest grain exporters . The diversified economy of Ukraine
Ukraine
includes a large heavy industry sector, particularly in aerospace and industrial equipment.

Ukraine
Ukraine
is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system with separate powers : legislative , executive and judicial branches. Its capital and largest city is Kiev
Kiev
. Taking into account reserves and paramilitary personnel, Ukraine
Ukraine
maintains the second-largest military in Europe
Europe
after that of Russia. The country is home to 42.5 million people (excluding Crimea
Crimea
), 77.8 percent of whom are Ukrainians "by ethnicity", followed by a sizeable minority of Russians
Russians
(17.3 percent) as well as Georgians , Romanians
Romanians
/ Moldovans , Belarusians
Belarusians
, Crimean Tatars
Tatars
, Bulgarians
Bulgarians
and Hungarians
Hungarians
. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic . The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodoxy , which has strongly influenced Ukrainian architecture , literature and music . It is a member of the United Nations since its founding, the Council of Europe
Europe
, OSCE
OSCE
, GUAM , and one of the founding states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology

* 2 History

* 2.1 Early history * 2.2 Antes people * 2.3 Golden Age of Kiev
Kiev
* 2.4 Foreign domination * 2.5 Cossack Hetmanate
Cossack Hetmanate
* 2.6 19th century, World War I
World War I
and revolution * 2.7 Western Ukraine, Carpathian Ruthenia
Ruthenia
and Bukovina
Bukovina
* 2.8 Inter-war Soviet Ukraine
Ukraine
* 2.9 World War II
World War II
* 2.10 Post- World War II
World War II
* 2.11 Independence * 2.12 Orange Revolution * 2.13 Euromaidan
Euromaidan
and 2014 revolution * 2.14 Civil unrest and Russian intervention

* 3 Historical maps of states

* 4 Geography

* 4.1 Soil

* 4.2 Biodiversity

* 4.2.1 Animals * 4.2.2 Fungi

* 4.3 Climate

* 5 Politics

* 5.1 Constitution of Ukraine * 5.2 President, parliament and government * 5.3 Courts and law enforcement * 5.4 Foreign relations * 5.5 Administrative divisions * 5.6 Armed forces

* 6 Economy

* 6.1 Corporations * 6.2 Transport

* 6.3 Energy

* 6.3.1 Fuel resources * 6.3.2 Power generation * 6.3.3 Renewable energy use

* 6.4 Internet
Internet
* 6.5 IT * 6.6 Tourism

* 7 Demographics

* 7.1 Population decline * 7.2 Fertility and natalist policies * 7.3 Urbanisation * 7.4 Language * 7.5 Religion * 7.6 Famines and migration * 7.7 Health * 7.8 Education * 7.9 Regional differences

* 8 Culture

* 8.1 Weaving and embroidery * 8.2 Literature * 8.3 Architecture * 8.4 Music * 8.5 Cinema * 8.6 Media * 8.7 Sport * 8.8 Cuisine

* 9 See also * 10 Notes * 11 References

* 12 Print sources

* 12.1 Reference books * 12.2 Recent (since 1991)

* 12.3 History

* 12.3.1 World War II
World War II

* 13 External links

ETYMOLOGY

Main article: Name of Ukraine

There are different hypotheses as to the etymology of the name Ukraine
Ukraine
. According to the older and most widespread hypothesis, it means "borderland", while more recently some linguistic studies claim a different meaning: "homeland" or "region, country".

"The Ukraine" was once the usual form in English, but since the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine , "the Ukraine" has become much less common in the English-speaking world
English-speaking world
, and style-guides largely recommend not using the definite article . "The Ukraine" now implies disregard for the country's sovereignty, according to U.S. ambassador William Taylor .

HISTORY

Main article: History of Ukraine

EARLY HISTORY

Gold Scythian pectoral, or neckpiece, from a royal kurgan in Pokrov , dated to the 4th century BC

Neanderthal
Neanderthal
settlement in Ukraine
Ukraine
is seen in the Molodova archaeological sites (43,000–45,000 BC) which include a mammoth bone dwelling. The territory is also considered to be the likely location for the human domestication of the horse .

Modern human settlement in Ukraine
Ukraine
and its vicinity dates back to 32,000 BC, with evidence of the Gravettian culture
Gravettian culture
in the Crimean Mountains . By 4,500 BC, the Neolithic
Neolithic
Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture flourished in a wide area that included parts of modern Ukraine including Trypillia
Trypillia
and the entire Dnieper - Dniester
Dniester
region. During the Iron Age
Iron Age
, the land was inhabited by Cimmerians , Scythians , and Sarmatians . Between 700 BC and 200 BC it was part of the Scythian Kingdom, or Scythia
Scythia
.

Beginning in the sixth century BC, colonies of Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
, Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome
and the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
, such as Tyras , Olbia and Chersonesus , were founded on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea . These colonies thrived well into the 6th century AD. The Goths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s AD. In the 7th century AD, the territory of eastern Ukraine
Ukraine
was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria . At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, and the Khazars took over much of the land.

ANTES PEOPLE

In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Antes were located in the territory of what is now Ukraine. The Antes were the ancestors of Ukrainians : White Croats , Severians , Polans , Drevlyans , Dulebes , Ulichians
Ulichians
, and Tiverians . Migrations from Ukraine
Ukraine
throughout the Balkans established many Southern Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching almost to the Ilmen Lakes , led to the emergence of the Ilmen Slavs , Krivichs , and Radimichs , the groups ancestral to the Russians
Russians
. After an Avar raid in 602 and the collapse of the Antes Union, most of these peoples survived as separate tribes until the beginning of the second millennium.

GOLDEN AGE OF KIEV

Main article: Kievan Rus\' The baptism of the Grand Prince Vladimir led to the adoption of Christianity
Christianity
in Kievan Rus\' .

Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
was founded by the Rus\' people , who came from Scandinavia
Scandinavia
across Ladoga and settled in Kiev
Kiev
around 880 AD. Kievan Rus' included the central, western and northern part of modern Ukraine, Belarus
Belarus
, far eastern strip of Poland
Poland
and the western part of present-day Russia. According to the Primary Chronicle
Primary Chronicle
the Rus' elite initially consisted of Varangians from Scandinavia
Scandinavia
.

During the 10th and 11th centuries, it became the largest and most powerful state in Europe. It laid the foundation for the national identity of Ukrainians and Russians. Kiev
Kiev
, the capital of modern Ukraine, became the most important city of the Rus'. Principalities of Kievan Rus\' , 1054–1132

The Varangians later assimilated into the Slavic population and became part of the first Rus' dynasty, the Rurik Dynasty . Kievan Rus' was composed of several principalities ruled by the interrelated Rurikid knyazes ("princes"), who often fought each other for possession of Kiev.

The Golden Age of Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
began with the reign of Vladimir the Great (980–1015), who turned Rus\' toward Byzantine Christianity
Christianity
. During the reign of his son, Yaroslav the Wise
Yaroslav the Wise
(1019–1054), Kievan Rus' reached the zenith of its cultural development and military power. The state soon fragmented as the relative importance of regional powers rose again. After a final resurgence under the rule of Vladimir II Monomakh (1113–1125) and his son Mstislav (1125–1132), Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
finally disintegrated into separate principalities following Mstislav's death.

The 13th century Mongol invasion devastated Kievan Rus'. Kiev
Kiev
was totally destroyed in 1240 . On today's Ukrainian territory, the principalities of Halych and Volodymyr-Volynskyi arose, and were merged into the state of Galicia- Volhynia
Volhynia
.

Danylo Romanovych (Daniel I of Galicia or Danylo Halytskyi) son of Roman Mstyslavych , re-united all of south-western Rus', including Volhynia, Galicia and Rus' ancient capital of Kiev. Danylo was crowned by the papal archbishop in Dorohychyn 1253 as the first King of all Rus'. Under Danylo's reign, the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia was one of the most powerful states in east central Europe.

FOREIGN DOMINATION

See also: Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
, Crown of the Kingdom of Poland
Poland
, Crimean Khanate , Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
, and Russian Empire
Russian Empire
Following the Mongol invasion , much of Ukraine
Ukraine
was controlled by Lithuania
Lithuania
(from the 14th century on) and after the Union of Lublin
Union of Lublin
(1569) was included in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
, illustrated here in 1619.

In the mid-14th century, upon the death of Bolesław Jerzy II of Mazovia , king Casimir III of Poland
Poland
initiated campaigns (1340–1366) to take Galicia-Volhynia. Meanwhile, the heartland of Rus', including Kiev, became the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, ruled by Gediminas
Gediminas
and his successors, after the Battle on the Irpen\' River . Following the 1386 Union of Krewo
Union of Krewo
, a dynastic union between Poland and Lithuania, much of what became northern Ukraine
Ukraine
was ruled by the increasingly Slavicised local Lithuanian nobles as part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. By 1392 the so-called Galicia– Volhynia
Volhynia
Wars ended. Polish colonisers of depopulated lands in northern and central Ukraine
Ukraine
founded or re-founded many towns. In 1430 Podolia
Podolia
was incorporated under the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland
Poland
as Podolian Voivodeship . In 1441, in the southern Ukraine, especially Crimea
Crimea
and surrounding steppes, Genghisid prince Haci I Giray
Haci I Giray
founded the Crimean Khanate. Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Bohdan Khmelnytsky
, Hetman
Hetman
of Ukraine, established an independent Ukraine
Ukraine
after the uprising in 1648 against Poland
Poland
.

In 1569 the Union of Lublin
Union of Lublin
established the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and much Ukrainian territory was transferred from Lithuania
Lithuania
to the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, becoming Polish territory de jure. Under the demographic, cultural and political pressure of Polonisation , which began in the late 14th century, many landed gentry of Polish Ruthenia
Ruthenia
(another name for the land of Rus) converted to Catholicism and became indistinguishable from the Polish nobility . Deprived of native protectors among Rus nobility, the commoners (peasants and townspeople) began turning for protection to the emerging Zaporozhian Cossacks , who by the 17th century became devoutly Orthodox . The Cossacks did not shy from taking up arms against those they perceived as enemies, including the Polish state and its local representatives.

Formed from Golden Horde territory conquered after the Mongol invasion the Crimean Khanate was one of the strongest powers in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
until the 18th century; in 1571 it even captured and devastated Moscow . The borderlands suffered annual Tatar invasions . From the beginning of the 16th century until the end of the 17th century, Crimean Tatar slave raiding bands exported about two million slaves from Russia
Russia
and Ukraine. According to Orest Subtelny , "from 1450 to 1586, eighty-six Tatar raids were recorded, and from 1600 to 1647, seventy." In 1688, Tatars
Tatars
captured a record number of 60,000 Ukrainians. The Tatar raids took a heavy toll, discouraging settlement in more southerly regions where the soil was better and the growing season was longer. The last remnant of the Crimean Khanate was finally conquered by the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
in 1783. The Taurida Governorate was formed to govern this territory. The Cossack Hetmanate is considered as a direct ancestor of today's Ukraine.

In the mid-17th century, a Cossack
Cossack
military quasi-state, the Zaporozhian Host , was formed by Dnieper Cossacks and by Ruthenian peasants who had fled Polish serfdom . Poland
Poland
exercised little real control over this population, but found the Cossacks to be a useful opposing force to the Turks and Tatars
Tatars
, and at times the two were allies in military campaigns . However the continued harsh enserfment of peasantry by Polish nobility and especially the suppression of the Orthodox Church alienated the Cossacks.

The Cossacks sought representation in the Polish Sejm , recognition of Orthodox traditions, and the gradual expansion of the Cossack Registry . These were rejected by the Polish nobility, who dominated the Sejm.

COSSACK HETMANATE

The Battle of Poltava in 1709, as depicted by Denis Martens the Younger , 1726

In 1648, Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Bohdan Khmelnytsky
and Petro Doroshenko
Petro Doroshenko
led the largest of the Cossack
Cossack
uprisings against the Commonwealth and the Polish king John II Casimir
John II Casimir
. After Khmelnytsky made an entry into Kiev
Kiev
in 1648, where he was hailed liberator of the people from Polish captivity, he founded the Cossack Hetmanate
Cossack Hetmanate
which existed until 1764 (some sources claim until 1782).

Khmelnytsky , deserted by his Tatar allies, suffered a crushing defeat at Berestechko in 1651, and turned to the Russian tsar for help. In 1654, Khmelnytsky signed the Treaty of Pereyaslav , forming a military and political alliance with Russia
Russia
that acknowledged loyalty to the Russian tsar.

In 1657–1686 came "The Ruin ", a devastating 30-year war amongst Russia, Poland, Turks and Cossacks for control of Ukraine, which occurred at about the same time as the Deluge of Poland. The wars escalated in intensity with hundreds of thousands of deaths. Defeat came in 1686 as the "Eternal Peace " between Russia
Russia
and Poland
Poland
divided the Ukrainian lands between them.

In 1709, Cossack
Cossack
Hetman
Hetman
Ivan Mazepa
Ivan Mazepa
(1639–1709) defected to Sweden against Russia
Russia
in the Great Northern War
Great Northern War
(1700–1721). Eventually Peter recognized that to consolidate and modernize Russia's political and economic power it was necessary to do away with the hetmanate and Ukrainian and Cossack
Cossack
aspirations to autonomy. Mazepa died in exile after fleeing from the Battle of Poltava (1709), where the Swedes and their Cossack
Cossack
allies suffered a catastrophic defeat. The first page of the Bendery Constitution
Constitution
. This copy in Latin was probably penned by Hetman
Hetman
Pylyp Orlyk . The original is kept in the National Archives of Sweden
Sweden
.

The Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk or Pacts and Constitutions of Rights and Freedoms of the Zaporizhian Host was a 1710 constitutional document written by Hetman
Hetman
Pylyp Orlyk , a Cossack
Cossack
of Ukraine, then within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
. It established a standard for the separation of powers in government between the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches, well before the publication of Montesquieu 's Spirit of the Laws . The Constitution limited the executive authority of the hetman, and established a democratically elected Cossack
Cossack
parliament called the General Council. Pylyp Orlyk's Constitution
Constitution
was unique for its historic period, and was one of the first state constitutions in Europe.

The hetmanate was abolished in 1764; the Zaporizhska Sich abolished in 1775, as Russia
Russia
centralised control over its lands. As part of the partitioning of Poland
Poland
in 1772, 1793 and 1795, the Ukrainian lands west of the Dnieper were divided between Russia
Russia
and Austria. From 1737 to 1834, expansion into the northern Black Sea
Black Sea
littoral and the eastern Danube
Danube
valley was a cornerstone of Russian foreign policy. Kyrylo Rozumovskyi
Kyrylo Rozumovskyi
, the last Hetman
Hetman
of left- and right-bank Ukraine 1750–1764 and the first person to declare Ukraine
Ukraine
to be a sovereign state.

Lithuanians and Poles
Poles
controlled vast estates in Ukraine, and were a law unto themselves. Judicial
Judicial
rulings from Cracow
Cracow
were routinely flouted, while peasants were heavily taxed and practically tied to the land as serfs . Occasionally the landowners battled each other using armies of Ukrainian peasants. The Poles
Poles
and Lithuanians were Roman Catholics and tried with some success to convert the Orthodox lesser nobility. In 1596, they set up the "Greek-Catholic" or Uniate Church ; it dominates western Ukraine
Ukraine
to this day. Religious differentiation left the Ukrainian Orthodox peasants leaderless, as they were reluctant to follow the Ukrainian nobles.

Cossacks led an uprising, called Koliivshchyna , starting in the Ukrainian borderlands of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
in 1768. Ethnicity was one root cause of this revolt, which included Ukrainian violence that killed tens of thousands of Poles
Poles
and Jews. Religious warfare also broke out among Ukrainian groups. Increasing conflict between Uniate and Orthodox parishes along the newly reinforced Polish-Russian border on the Dnieper River in the time of Catherine II set the stage for the uprising. As Uniate religious practices had become more Latinized, Orthodoxy in this region drew even closer into dependence on the Russian Orthodox Church. Confessional tensions also reflected opposing Polish and Russian political allegiances.

After the Annexation of Crimea
Crimea
by the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
in 1783, New Russia
Russia
was settled by Ukrainians and Russians. Despite promises in the Treaty of Pereyaslav, the Ukrainian elite and the Cossacks never received the freedoms and the autonomy they were expecting. However, within the Empire, Ukrainians rose to the highest Russian state and church offices. At a later period, tsarists established a policy of Russification , suppressing the use of the Ukrainian language
Ukrainian language
in print and in public.

19TH CENTURY, WORLD WAR I AND REVOLUTION

Main article: Ukrainian War of Independence Further information: Ukraine
Ukraine
during World War I
World War I
, Russian Civil War , and Ukraine
Ukraine
after the Russian Revolution 1904 map showing administrative units of Little Russia, South Russia
Russia
and West Russia
Russia
within the Russian Empire prior to Ukrainian independence 1917–1921. Ukraine
Ukraine
according to an old postal stamp from 1919 that was reprinted in 2008

In the 19th century, Ukraine
Ukraine
was a rural area largely ignored by Russia
Russia
and Austria. With growing urbanization and modernization, and a cultural trend toward romantic nationalism , a Ukrainian intelligentsia committed to national rebirth and social justice emerged. The serf-turned-national-poet Taras Shevchenko
Taras Shevchenko
(1814–1861) and the political theorist Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841–1895) led the growing nationalist movement.

After the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774) , Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great
and her immediate successors encouraged German immigration into Ukraine and especially into Crimea
Crimea
, to thin the previously dominant Turk population and encourage agriculture.

Beginning in the 19th century, there was migration from Ukraine
Ukraine
to distant areas of the Russian Empire. According to the 1897 census, there were 223,000 ethnic Ukrainians in Siberia
Siberia
and 102,000 in Central Asia . An additional 1.6 million emigrated to the east in the ten years after the opening of the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1906. Far Eastern areas with an ethnic Ukrainian population became known as Green Ukraine
Green Ukraine
.

Nationalist and socialist parties developed in the late 19th century. Austrian Galicia , under the relatively lenient rule of the Habsburgs , became the centre of the nationalist movement.

Ukrainians entered World War I
World War I
on the side of both the Central Powers , under Austria, and the Triple Entente
Triple Entente
, under Russia. 3.5 million Ukrainians fought with the Imperial Russian Army , while 250,000 fought for the Austro-Hungarian Army
Austro-Hungarian Army
. Austro-Hungarian authorities established the Ukrainian Legion to fight against the Russian Empire. This became the Ukrainian Galician Army that fought against the Bolsheviks and Poles
Poles
in the post- World War I
World War I
period (1919–23). Those suspected of Russophile sentiments in Austria
Austria
were treated harshly. Ukraine
Ukraine
in 1918

World War I
World War I
destroyed both empires. The Russian Revolution of 1917 led to the founding of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
under the Bolsheviks , and subsequent civil war in Russia
Russia
. A Ukrainian national movement for self-determination re-emerged, with heavy Communist and Socialist influence. Several Ukrainian states briefly emerged: the internationally recognized Ukrainian People\'s Republic (UNR, the predecessor of modern Ukraine, was declared on 23 June 1917 proclaimed at first as a part of the Russian Republic; after the Bolshevik Revolution , the Ukrainian People's Republic proclaimed its independence on 25 January 1918), the Hetmanate , the Directorate and the pro- Bolshevik Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
(or Soviet Ukraine) successively established territories in the former Russian Empire; while the West Ukrainian People\'s Republic and the Hutsul Republic emerged briefly in the Ukrainian lands of former Austro-Hungarian territory.

Act Zluky
Act Zluky
(Unification Act) was an agreement signed on January 22, 1919 by the Ukrainian People\'s Republic and the West Ukrainian People\'s Republic on the St. Sophia Square in Kiev
Kiev
.

This led to civil war, and an anarchist movement called the Black Army or later The Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine developed in Southern Ukraine under the command of the anarchist Nestor Makhno during the Russian Civil War . They protected the operation of "free soviets " and libertarian communes in the Free Territory , an attempt to form a stateless anarchist society from 1918 to 1921 during the Ukrainian Revolution , fighting both the tsarist White Army under Denikin and later the Red Army
Red Army
under Trotsky , before being defeated by the latter in August 1921.

Poland
Poland
defeated Western Ukraine in the Polish-Ukrainian War
Polish-Ukrainian War
, but failed against the Bolsheviks in an offensive against Kiev
Kiev
. According to the Peace of Riga , western Ukraine
Ukraine
was incorporated into Poland, which in turn recognised the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
in March 1919. With establishment of the Soviet power, Ukraine
Ukraine
lost half of its territory to Poland, Belarus
Belarus
and Russia, while on the left bank of Dniester
Dniester
River was created Moldavian autonomy. Ukraine
Ukraine
became a founding member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
in December 1922.

WESTERN UKRAINE, CARPATHIAN RUTHENIA AND BUKOVINA

See also: Ruthenians and Ukrainians in Czechoslovakia (1918–1938) Hutsuls
Hutsuls
, living in Verkhovyna , c. 1930

The war in Ukraine
Ukraine
continued for another two years; by 1921, however, most of Ukraine
Ukraine
had been taken over by the Soviet Union, while Galicia and Volhynia
Volhynia
(West Ukraine) were incorporated into independent Poland. Bukovina
Bukovina
was annexed by Romania
Romania
and Carpathian Ruthenia
Ruthenia
was admitted to the Czechoslovak Republic as an autonomy. A map showing Ukraine's territory, circa 1930

A powerful underground Ukrainian nationalist movement arose in Poland in the 1920s and 1930s because of Polish national policies, which was led by the Ukrainian Military Organization and the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) . The movement attracted a militant following among students. Hostilities between Polish state authorities and the popular movement led to a substantial number of fatalities, and the autonomy which had been promised was never implemented. A number of Ukrainian parties, the Ukrainian Catholic Church, an active press, and a business sector existed in Poland. Economic conditions improved in the 1920s, but the region suffered from the Great Depression in the 1930s.

INTER-WAR SOVIET UKRAINE

See also: Holodomor
Holodomor
Urban population of Ukraine
Ukraine
in 1925 Ukrainian Russian Jewish Polish

The Russian Civil War devastated the whole Russian Empire
Russian Empire
including Ukraine. It left over 1.5 million people dead and hundreds of thousands homeless in the former Russian Empire
Russian Empire
territory. Soviet Ukraine
Ukraine
also faced the Russian famine of 1921 (primarily affecting the Russian Volga -Ural region). During the 1920s, under the Ukrainisation policy pursued by the national Communist leadership of Mykola Skrypnyk
Mykola Skrypnyk
, Soviet leadership encouraged a national renaissance in the Ukrainian culture and language . Ukrainisation was part of the Soviet-wide policy of Korenisation
Korenisation
(literally indigenisation). The Bolsheviks were also committed to universal health care , education and social-security benefits, as well as the right to work and housing. Women\'s rights were greatly increased through new laws. Most of these policies were sharply reversed by the early 1930s after Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
became the de facto communist party leader. Dnieper Hydroelectric Station under construction circa 1930

Starting from the late 1920s with a centrally planned economy , Ukraine
Ukraine
was involved in Soviet industrialisation and the republic's industrial output quadrupled during the 1930s. The peasantry suffered from the programme of collectivisation of agriculture which began during and was part of the first five-year plan and was enforced by regular troops and secret police . Those who resisted were arrested and deported and agricultural productivity greatly declined. As members of the collective farms were sometimes not allowed to receive any grain until unrealistic quotas were met, millions starved to death in a famine known as the Holodomor
Holodomor
or the "Great Famine".

Scholars are divided as to whether this famine fits the definition of genocide , but the Ukrainian parliament
Ukrainian parliament
and the governments of other countries have acknowledged it as such.

The Communist leadership perceived famine as a means of class struggle and used starvation as a punishment tool to force peasants into collective farms. Two future leaders of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
, Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
(pre-war CPSU chief in Ukraine) and Leonid Brezhnev (an engineer from Kamianske ), depicted together

Largely the same groups were responsible for the mass killing operations during the civil war, collectivisation, and the Great Terror . These groups were associated with Yefim Yevdokimov (1891–1939) and operated in the Secret Operational Division within General State Political Administration (OGPU ) in 1929–31. Evdokimov transferred into Communist Party administration in 1934, when he became Party secretary for North Caucasus Krai
North Caucasus Krai
. He appears to have continued advising Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
and Nikolai Yezhov
Nikolai Yezhov
on security matters, and the latter relied on Evdokimov's former colleagues to carry out the mass killing operations that are known as the Great Terror in 1937–38.

On 13 January 2010, Kiev
Kiev
Appellate Court posthumously found Stalin, Kaganovich and other Soviet Communist Party functionaries guilty of genocide against Ukrainians during the Holodomor
Holodomor
famine.

WORLD WAR II

See also: Eastern Front (World War II)
Eastern Front (World War II)
, Reichskommissariat Ukraine , and The Holocaust in Ukraine

Following the Invasion of Poland
Poland
in September 1939, German and Soviet troops divided the territory of Poland. Thus, Eastern Galicia and Volhynia
Volhynia
with their Ukrainian population became part of Ukraine. For the first time in history, the nation was united.

In 1940, the Soviets annexed Bessarabia
Bessarabia
and northern Bukovina
Bukovina
. The Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
incorporated the northern and southern districts of Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, and the Hertsa region . But it ceded the western part of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to the newly created Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic . These territorial gains of the USSR
USSR
were internationally recognized by the Paris peace treaties of 1947 . Marshal Timoshenko (born in the Budjak region) commanded numerous fronts throughout the war, including the Southwestern Front east of Kiev
Kiev
in 1941

German armies invaded the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
on 22 June 1941, initiating nearly four years of total war . The Axis initially advanced against desperate but unsuccessful efforts of the Red Army
Red Army
. In the encirclement battle of Kiev
Kiev
, the city was acclaimed as a "Hero City ", because of its fierce resistance . More than 600,000 Soviet soldiers (or one-quarter of the Soviet Western Front
Soviet Western Front
) were killed or taken captive there, with many suffering severe mistreatment .

Although the majority of Ukrainians fought in or alongside the Red Army and Soviet resistance , in Western Ukraine an independent Ukrainian Insurgent Army
Ukrainian Insurgent Army
movement arose (UPA, 1942). Created as forces of the Ukrainian Government in exile , it fell under the influence of the underground ( Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists , OUN) which had developed in interwar Poland
Poland
as a radical reaction to Polish policies towards the Ukrainian minority . Both supported the goal of an independent Ukrainian state on the territory with a Ukrainian ethnic majority. Although this brought conflict with Nazi Germany, at times the Melnyk wing of the OUN allied with the Nazi forces. Some UPA divisions also carried out massacres of ethnic Poles
Poles
, which brought reprisals. After the war, the UPA continued to fight the USSR
USSR
until the 1950s. At the same time, the Ukrainian Liberation Army , another nationalist movement, fought alongside the Nazis. Kiev
Kiev
suffered significant damage during World War II
World War II
, and was occupied by Nazi Germany
Germany
from 19 September 1941 until 6 November 1943.

In total, the number of ethnic Ukrainians who fought in the ranks of the Soviet Army is estimated from 4.5 million to 7 million. The pro-Soviet partisan guerrilla resistance in Ukraine
Ukraine
is estimated to number at 47,800 from the start of occupation to 500,000 at its peak in 1944, with about 50% being ethnic Ukrainians. Generally, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army's figures are unreliable, with figures ranging anywhere from 15,000 to as many as 100,000 fighters.

Most of the Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
was organised within the Reichskommissariat Ukraine
Ukraine
, with the intention of exploiting its resources and eventual German settlement. Some western Ukrainians, who had only joined the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in 1939, hailed the Germans as liberators. Brutal German rule eventually turned their supporters against the Nazi administrators, who made little attempt to exploit dissatisfaction with Stalinist policies. Instead, the Nazis preserved the collective-farm system, carried out genocidal policies against Jews
Jews
, deported millions of people to work in Germany
Germany
, and began a depopulation program to prepare for German colonisation. They blockaded the transport of food on the Kiev
Kiev
River.

The vast majority of the fighting in World War II
World War II
took place on the Eastern Front . By some estimates, 93% of all German casualties took place there. The total losses inflicted upon the Ukrainian population during the war are estimated at between 5 and 8 million , including an estimated one and a half million Jews
Jews
killed by the Einsatzgruppen , sometimes with the help of local collaborators. Of the estimated 8.7 million Soviet troops who fell in battle against the Nazis, 1.4 million were ethnic Ukrainians . Victory Day is celebrated as one of ten Ukrainian national holidays.

POST-WORLD WAR II

Further information: Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
, History of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
(1953–1964) , History of the Soviet Union (1964–1982) , and History of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
(1982–1991)

The republic was heavily damaged by the war, and it required significant efforts to recover. More than 700 cities and towns and 28,000 villages were destroyed. The situation was worsened by a famine in 1946–47, which was caused by a drought and the wartime destruction of infrastructure. The death toll of this famine varies, with even the lowest estimate in the tens of thousands. In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
became one of the founding members of the United Nations organization, part of a special agreement at the Yalta Conference . Sergey Korolyov , a native of Zhytomyr , the head Soviet rocket engineer and designer during the Space Race

Post-war ethnic cleansing occurred in the newly expanded Soviet Union. As of 1 January 1953, Ukrainians were second only to Russians among adult "special deportees ", comprising 20% of the total. In addition, over 450,000 ethnic Germans from Ukraine
Ukraine
and more than 200,000 Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars
were victims of forced deportations .

Following the death of Stalin in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
became the new leader of the USSR. Having served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
in 1938–49, Khrushchev was intimately familiar with the republic; after taking power union-wide, he began to emphasize "the friendship" between the Ukrainian and Russian nations. In 1954, the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Pereyaslav was widely celebrated. Crimea
Crimea
was transferred from the Russian SFSR
Russian SFSR
to the Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
.

By 1950, the republic had fully surpassed pre-war levels of industry and production. During the 1946–1950 five-year plan , nearly 20% of the Soviet budget was invested in Soviet Ukraine, a 5% increase from pre-war plans. As a result, the Ukrainian workforce rose 33.2% from 1940 to 1955 while industrial output grew 2.2 times in that same period.

Soviet Ukraine
Ukraine
soon became a European leader in industrial production, and an important centre of the Soviet arms industry and high-tech research. Such an important role resulted in a major influence of the local elite. Many members of the Soviet leadership came from Ukraine, most notably Leonid Brezhnev . He later ousted Khrushchev and became the Soviet leader from 1964 to 1982. Many prominent Soviet sports players, scientists, and artists came from Ukraine.

On 26 April 1986, a reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded, resulting in the Chernobyl disaster
Chernobyl disaster
, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history. This was the only accident to receive the highest possible rating of 7 by the International Nuclear Event Scale , indicating a "major accident", until the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011. At the time of the accident, 7 million people lived in the contaminated territories, including 2.2 million in Ukraine.

After the accident, the new city of Slavutych was built outside the exclusion zone to house and support the employees of the plant, which was decommissioned in 2000. A report prepared by the International Atomic Energy Agency and World Health Organization attributed 56 direct deaths to the accident and estimated that there may have been 4,000 extra cancer deaths.

INDEPENDENCE

Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
Leonid Kravchuk
and President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
signed the Belavezha Accords , dissolving the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
, on 8 December 1991.

On 16 July 1990, the new parliament adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine
Ukraine
. This established the principles of the self-determination, democracy, independence, and the priority of Ukrainian law over Soviet law. A month earlier, a similar declaration was adopted by the parliament of the Russian SFSR
Russian SFSR
. This started a period of confrontation with the central Soviet authorities. In August 1991, a faction among the Communist leaders of the Soviet Union attempted a coup to remove Mikhail Gorbachev and to restore the Communist party's power. After it failed, on 24 August 1991 the Ukrainian parliament
Ukrainian parliament
adopted the Act of Independence .

A referendum and the first presidential elections took place on 1 December 1991. More than 90% of the electorate expressed their support for the Act of Independence, and they elected the chairman of the parliament, Leonid Kravchuk
Leonid Kravchuk
as the first President of Ukraine . At the meeting in Brest , Belarus
Belarus
on 8 December, followed by the Alma Ata meeting on 21 December, the leaders of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine formally dissolved the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Ukraine
Ukraine
was initially viewed as having favourable economic conditions in comparison to the other regions of the Soviet Union. However, the country experienced deeper economic slowdown than some of the other former Soviet Republics . During the recession, Ukraine
Ukraine
lost 60% of its GDP from 1991 to 1999, and suffered five-digit inflation rates. Dissatisfied with the economic conditions, as well as the amounts of crime and corruption in Ukraine
Ukraine
, Ukrainians protested and organized strikes.

The Ukrainian economy stabilized by the end of the 1990s. A new currency, the hryvnia , was introduced in 1996. After 2000, the country enjoyed steady real economic growth averaging about seven percent annually. A new Constitution of Ukraine was adopted under second President Leonid Kuchma in 1996, which turned Ukraine
Ukraine
into a semi-presidential republic and established a stable political system. Kuchma was, however, criticised by opponents for corruption, electoral fraud , discouraging free speech and concentrating too much power in his office. Ukraine
Ukraine
also pursued full nuclear disarmament, giving up the third largest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world and dismantling or removing all strategic bombers on its territory in exchange for various assurances (main article: Nuclear weapons and Ukraine
Ukraine
).

ORANGE REVOLUTION

Main article: Orange Revolution Protesters at Independence Square on the first day of the Orange Revolution

In 2004, Viktor Yanukovych , then Prime Minister, was declared the winner of the presidential elections , which had been largely rigged, as the Supreme Court of Ukraine later ruled. The results caused a public outcry in support of the opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko , who challenged the outcome. During the tumultuous months of the revolution, candidate Yushchenko suddenly became gravely ill , and was soon found by multiple independent physician groups to have been poisoned by TCDD dioxin . Yushchenko strongly suspected Russian involvement in his poisoning. All of this eventually resulted in the peaceful Orange Revolution , bringing Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Yushchenko
and Yulia Tymoshenko to power, while casting Viktor Yanukovych in opposition.

Activists of the Orange Revolution were funded and trained in tactics of political organisation and nonviolent resistance by Western pollsters and professional consultants who were partly funded by Western government and non-government agencies but received most of their funding from domestic sources. According to The Guardian
The Guardian
, the foreign donors included the U.S. State Department and USAID along with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs , the International Republican Institute , the NGO Freedom House and George Soros 's Open Society Institute . The National Endowment for Democracy has supported democracy-building efforts in Ukraine
Ukraine
since 1988. Writings on nonviolent struggle by Gene Sharp contributed in forming the strategic basis of the student campaigns.

Russian authorities provided support through advisers such as Gleb Pavlovsky , consulting on blackening the image of Yushchenko through the state media, pressuring state-dependent voters to vote for Yanukovych and on vote-rigging techniques such as multiple 'carousel voting ' and 'dead souls' voting.

Yanukovych returned to power in 2006 as Prime Minister in the Alliance of National Unity
Alliance of National Unity
, until snap elections in September 2007 made Tymoshenko Prime Minister again. Amid the 2008–09 Ukrainian financial crisis the Ukrainian economy plunged by 15%. Disputes with Russia
Russia
briefly stopped all gas supplies to Ukraine
Ukraine
in 2006 and again in 2009, leading to gas shortages in other countries. Viktor Yanukovych was elected President in 2010 with 48% of votes.

EUROMAIDAN AND 2014 REVOLUTION

Main articles: Euromaidan
Euromaidan
and 2014 Ukrainian revolution
2014 Ukrainian revolution
For more details on the ongoing protests, see Timeline of the Euromaidan
Euromaidan
. Pro-EU demonstration in Kiev, 27 November 2013, during Euromaidan
Euromaidan

The Euromaidan
Euromaidan
(Ukrainian : Євромайдан, literally "Eurosquare") protests started in November 2013 after the president, Viktor Yanukovych , began moving away from an association agreement that had been in the works with the European Union
European Union
and instead chose to establish closer ties with the Russian Federation. Some Ukrainians took to the streets to show their support for closer ties with Europe. Meanwhile, in the predominantly Russian-speaking east, a large portion of the population opposed the Euromaidan
Euromaidan
protests, instead supporting the Yanukovych government. Over time, Euromaidan came to describe a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, the scope of which evolved to include calls for the resignation of President Yanukovych and his government .

Violence escalated after 16 January 2014 when the government accepted new Anti-Protest Laws . Violent anti-government demonstrators occupied buildings in the centre of Kiev, including the Justice Ministry building, and riots left 98 dead with approximately fifteen thousand injured and 100 considered missing from 18 to 20 February. On 21 February, President Yanukovych signed a compromise deal with opposition leaders that promised constitutional changes to restore certain powers to Parliament and called for early elections to be held by December. However, Members of Parliament voted on 22 February to remove the president and set an election for 25 May to select his replacement. Petro Poroshenko , running on a pro-European Union platform, won with over fifty percent of the vote, therefore not requiring a run-off election. Upon his election, Poroshenko announced that his immediate priorities would be to take action in the civil unrest in Eastern Ukraine
Eastern Ukraine
and mend ties with the Russian Federation. Poroshenko was inaugurated as president on 7 June 2014, as previously announced by his spokeswoman Irina Friz in a low-key ceremony without a celebration on Kiev
Kiev
's Maidan Nezalezhnosti square (the centre of the Euromaidan
Euromaidan
protests ) for the ceremony. In October 2014 Parliament elections , Petro Poroshenko Bloc "Solidarity" won 132 of the 423 contested seats.

CIVIL UNREST AND RUSSIAN INTERVENTION

Main articles: 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine
2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine
, Annexation of Crimea
Crimea
by the Russian Federation , War in Donbass , and Russian military intervention in Ukraine
Ukraine
(2014–present) Pro-Russian protesters in Donetsk
Donetsk
, 8 March 2014 Crimea
Crimea
, which is under Russian control, is shown in pink. Pink in the Donbass area represents areas held by the DPR /LPR separatists in September 2014 (cities in red)

The ousting of Yanukovych prompted Vladimir Putin to begin preparations to annex Crimea
Crimea
on 23 February 2014. Using the Russian naval base at Sevastopol
Sevastopol
as cover, Putin directed Russian troops and intelligence agents to disarm Ukrainian forces and take control of Crimea. After the troops entered Crimea, a controversial referendum was held on 16 March 2014 and the official result was that 97 percent wished to join with Russia. On 18 March 2014, Russia
Russia
and the self-proclaimed Republic of Crimea
Crimea
signed a treaty of accession of the Republic of Crimea
Crimea
and Sevastopol
Sevastopol
in the Russian Federation. The UN general assembly responded by passing resolution 68/262 that the referendum was invalid and supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Separately, in the Donetsk
Donetsk
and Luhansk
Luhansk
regions, armed men declaring themselves as local militia supported with pro-Russian protesters seized government buildings, police and special police stations in several cities and held unrecognised status referendums . The insurgency was led by Russian emissaries Igor Girkin and Alexander Borodai as well as militants from Russia
Russia
, such as Arseny Pavlov
Arseny Pavlov
.

Talks in Geneva
Geneva
between the EU, Russia, Ukraine
Ukraine
and USA yielded a Joint Diplomatic Statement referred to as the 2014 Geneva
Geneva
Pact in which the parties requested that all unlawful militias lay down their arms and vacate seized government buildings, and also establish a political dialogue that could lead to more autonomy for Ukraine's regions. When Petro Poroshenko won the presidential election held on 25 May 2014, he vowed to continue the military operations by the Ukrainian government forces to end the armed insurgency. More than 9,000 people have been killed in the military campaign. OSCE
OSCE
SMM monitoring the movement of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine, 4 March 2015

In August 2014, a bilateral commission of leading scholars from the United States
United States
and Russia
Russia
issued the Boisto Agenda indicating a 24-step plan to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. The Boisto Agenda was organized into five imperative categories for addressing the crisis requiring stabilization identified as: (1) Elements of an Enduring, Verifiable Ceasefire; (2) Economic Relations; (3) Social and Cultural Issues; (4) Crimea; and, (5) International Status of Ukraine. In late 2014, Ukraine
Ukraine
ratified the Ukraine– European Union
European Union
Association Agreement , which Poroshenko described as Ukraine's "first but most decisive step" towards EU membership. Poroshenko also set 2020 as the target for EU membership application .

In February 2015, after a summit hosted in Belarus, Poroshenko negotiated a ceasefire with the separatist troops. This included conditions such as the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the front line and decentralisation of rebel regions by the end of 2015. It also included conditions such as Ukrainian control of the border with Russia
Russia
in 2015 and the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Ukrainian territory. The ceasefire began at midnight on 15 February 2015. Participants in this ceasefire also agreed to attend regular meetings to ensure that the agreement is respected.

On 1 January 2016, Ukraine
Ukraine
joined the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with European Union, which aims to modernize and develop Ukraine's economy, governance and rule of law to EU standards and gradually increase integration with the EU Internal market .

HISTORICAL MAPS OF STATES

Several states have existed on the territory of present-day Ukraine since its foundation. Most of these territories have been located within Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
. However, as depicted in the maps here, they have at times extended well into Eurasia
Eurasia
and Southeastern Europe
Europe
. At other times there has been no distinct Ukrainian state, its territories having been annexed by its more powerful neighbours.

*

Historical map of Kievan Rus', last 20 years of the state (1220–1240) *

The Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia or Kingdom of Halych-Volynia (1245–1349) *

Historical map of Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
, Rus' and Samogitia until 1434 *

Proposed Polish–Lithuanian–Ruthenian Commonwealth or Commonwealth of Three Nations (1658) *

Ukrainian Cossack Hetmanate
Cossack Hetmanate
and territory of Zaporozhian Cossacks under rule of Russian Empire
Russian Empire
(1751)

GEOGRAPHY

Main article: Geography of Ukraine
Geography of Ukraine

At 603,628 square kilometres (233,062 sq mi) and with a coastline of 2,782 kilometres (1,729 mi), Ukraine
Ukraine
is the world's 46th-largest country (after South Sudan
South Sudan
and before Madagascar
Madagascar
). It is the largest wholly European country and the second-largest country in Europe (after the European part of Russia, before metropolitan France
France
). It lies between latitudes 44° and 53° N , and longitudes 22° and 41° E .

The landscape of Ukraine
Ukraine
consists mostly of fertile plains (or steppes ) and plateaus, crossed by rivers such as the Dnieper (Dnipro), Seversky Donets , Dniester
Dniester
and the Southern Bug as they flow south into the Black Sea
Black Sea
and the smaller Sea of Azov
Sea of Azov
. To the southwest, the delta of the Danube
Danube
forms the border with Romania. Ukraine's various regions have diverse geographic features ranging from the highlands to the lowlands. The country's only mountains are the Carpathian Mountains in the west, of which the highest is the Hora Hoverla at 2,061 metres (6,762 ft), and the Crimean Mountains on Crimea, in the extreme south along the coast. However Ukraine
Ukraine
also has a number of highland regions such as the Volyn-Podillia Upland (in the west) and the Near- Dnipro
Dnipro
Upland (on the right bank of Dnieper); to the east there are the south-western spurs of the Central Russian Upland over which runs the border with the Russian Federation . Near the Sea of Azov
Sea of Azov
can be found the Donets Ridge and the Near Azov Upland. The snow melt from the mountains feeds the rivers, and natural changes in altitude form sudden drops in elevation and give rise to waterfalls .

*

View of Carpathian National Park and Hoverla at 2,061 m (6,762 ft), the highest mountain in Ukraine
Ukraine
*

View of Carpathian National Park *

Dawn on South Demerdji, Alushta , Crimea
Crimea
*

Typical agricultural landscape of Ukraine, Kherson Oblast *

View of "Tykhaya Bay" near Koktebel on Crimea
Crimea
's Black Sea
Black Sea
coast *

Kinburn sandbar , Ochakiv Raion, Mykolaiv Oblast *

Balkhovitin, Zuivskyi regional landscape park, Donetsk
Donetsk
Oblast
Oblast

Significant natural resources in Ukraine
Ukraine
include iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulphur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber and an abundance of arable land. Despite this, the country faces a number of major environmental issues such as inadequate supplies of potable water; air- and water-pollution and deforestation, as well as radiation contamination in the north-east from the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant . Recycling toxic household waste is still in its infancy in Ukraine.

SOIL

From northwest to southeast the soils of Ukraine
Ukraine
may be divided into three major aggregations:

* a zone of sandy podzolized soils * a central belt consisting of the black, extremely fertile Ukrainian (chernozems ) * a zone of chestnut and salinized soils

As much as two-thirds of the country's surface land consists of the so-called black earth (chornozem ), a resource that has made Ukraine one of the most fertile regions in the world and well known as a "breadbasket". These (chornozem ) soils may be divided into three broad groups:

* in the north a belt of the so-called deep chernozems, about 5 feet (1.5 metres) thick and rich in humus * south and east of the former, a zone of prairie, or ordinary, chernozems, which are equally rich in humus but only about 3 feet (0.91 metres) thick * the southernmost belt, which is even thinner and has still less humus

Interspersed in various uplands and along the northern and western perimeters of the deep chernozems are mixtures of gray forest soils and podzolized black-earth soils, which together occupy much of Ukraine's remaining area. All these soils are very fertile when sufficient water is available. However, their intensive cultivation, especially on steep slopes, has led to widespread soil erosion and gullying.

The smallest proportion of the soil cover consists of the chestnut soils of the southern and eastern regions. They become increasingly salinized to the south as they approach the Black Sea.

BIODIVERSITY

Further information: Wildlife of Ukraine

Ukraine
Ukraine
is home to a diverse assemblage of animals, fungi, microorganisms and plants.

Animals

See also: List of fish in Ukraine and List of fish of the Black Sea
Black Sea
The speckled ground squirrel is a native of the east Ukrainian steppes White storks are native to south-western and north-western Ukraine
Ukraine

Ukraine
Ukraine
is divided into two main zoological areas. One of these areas, in the west of the country, is made up of the borderlands of Europe, where there are species typical of mixed forests, the other is located in eastern Ukraine, where steppe-dwelling species thrive. In the forested areas of the country it is not uncommon to find lynxes, wolves, wild boar and martens, as well as many other similar species; this is especially true of the Carpathian Mountains , where a large number of predatory mammals make their home, as well as a contingent of brown bears. Around Ukraine's lakes and rivers beavers, otters and mink make their home, whilst in the waters carp, bream and catfish are the most commonly found species of fish. In the central and eastern parts of the country, rodents such as hamsters and gophers are found in large numbers.

Fungi

More than 6,600 species of fungi (including lichen -forming species) have been recorded from Ukraine, but this number is far from complete. The true total number of fungal species occurring in Ukraine, including species not yet recorded, is likely to be far higher, given the generally accepted estimate that only about 7% of all fungi worldwide have so far been discovered. Although the amount of available information is still very small, a first effort has been made to estimate the number of fungal species endemic to Ukraine, and 2217 such species have been tentatively identified.

CLIMATE

Further information: Climate of Ukraine Ukraine
Ukraine
map of Köppen climate classification.

Ukraine
Ukraine
has a mostly temperate climate , with the exception of the southern coast of Crimea
Crimea
which has a subtropical climate . The climate is influenced by moderately warm, humid air coming from the Atlantic Ocean. Average annual temperatures range from 5.5–7 °C (41.9–44.6 °F) in the north, to 11–13 °C (51.8–55.4 °F) in the south. Precipitation is disproportionately distributed; it is highest in the west and north and lowest in the east and southeast. Western Ukraine, particularly in the Carpathian Mountains, receives around 1,200 millimetres (47.2 in) of precipitation annually, while Crimea
Crimea
and the coastal areas of the Black Sea
Black Sea
receive around 400 millimetres (15.7 in).

POLITICS

Main articles: Politics of Ukraine , Government of Ukraine , and Elections in Ukraine Further information: 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine
Ukraine
, Annexation of Crimea
Crimea
by the Russian Federation , and War in Donbass

Petro Poroshenko President Volodymyr Groysman Prime Minister

Ukraine
Ukraine
is a republic under a mixed semi-parliamentary semi-presidential system with separate legislative , executive , and judicial branches .

CONSTITUTION OF UKRAINE

Main article: Constitution of Ukraine In the modern era, Ukraine
Ukraine
has become a much more democratic country.

With the proclamation of its independence on 24 August 1991, and adoption of a constitution on 28 June 1996, Ukraine
Ukraine
became a semi-presidential republic. However, in 2004, deputies introduced changes to the Constitution, which tipped the balance of power in favour of a parliamentary system . From 2004 to 2010, the legitimacy of the 2004 Constitutional amendments had official sanction, both with the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, and most major political parties. Despite this, on 30 September 2010 the Constitutional Court ruled that the amendments were null and void, forcing a return to the terms of the 1996 Constitution
Constitution
and again making Ukraine's political system more presidential in character.

The ruling on the 2004 Constitutional amendments became a major topic of political discourse. Much of the concern was based on the fact that neither the Constitution
Constitution
of 1996 nor the Constitution
Constitution
of 2004 provided the ability to "undo the Constitution", as the decision of the Constitutional Court would have it, even though the 2004 constitution arguably has an exhaustive list of possible procedures for constitutional amendments (articles 154–159). In any case, the current Constitution
Constitution
could be modified by a vote in Parliament.

On 21 February 2014 an agreement between President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders saw the country return to the 2004 Constitution. The historic agreement, brokered by the European Union
European Union
, followed protests that began in late November 2013 and culminated in a week of violent clashes in which scores of protesters were killed. In addition to returning the country to the 2004 Constitution, the deal provided for the formation of a coalition government, the calling of early elections, and the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from prison. A day after the agreement was reached the Ukraine
Ukraine
parliament dismissed Yanukovych and installed its speaker Oleksandr Turchynov as interim president and Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Arseniy Yatsenyuk
as the Prime Minister of Ukraine .

PRESIDENT, PARLIAMENT AND GOVERNMENT

Presidential administration building Cabinet of Ministers building

The President is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and is the formal head of state . Ukraine's legislative branch includes the 450-seat unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada . The parliament is primarily responsible for the formation of the executive branch and the Cabinet of Ministers , headed by the Prime Minister . However, the President still retains the authority to nominate the Ministers of the Foreign Affairs and of Defence for parliamentary approval, as well as the power to appoint the Prosecutor General and the head of the Security Service .

Laws, acts of the parliament and the cabinet, presidential decrees, and acts of the Crimean parliament may be abrogated by the Constitutional Court , should they be found to violate the constitution. Other normative acts are subject to judicial review. The Supreme Court is the main body in the system of courts of general jurisdiction. Local self-government is officially guaranteed. Local councils and city mayors are popularly elected and exercise control over local budgets. The heads of regional and district administrations are appointed by the President in accordance with the proposals of the Prime Minister. This system virtually requires an agreement between the President and the Prime Minister, and has in the past led to problems, such as when President Yushchenko exploited a perceived loophole by appointing so-called 'temporarily acting' officers, instead of actual governors or local leaders, thus evading the need to seek a compromise with the Prime Minister. This practice was controversial and was subject to Constitutional Court review.

Ukraine
Ukraine
has a large number of political parties, many of which have tiny memberships and are unknown to the general public. Small parties often join in multi-party coalitions (electoral blocs) for the purpose of participating in parliamentary elections.

COURTS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

Main articles: Judicial
Judicial
system of Ukraine
Ukraine
and Law enforcement in Ukraine
Ukraine
Klovsky Palace , home to the Supreme Court of Ukraine

The courts enjoy legal, financial and constitutional freedom guaranteed by Ukrainian law since 2002. Judges are largely well protected from dismissal (except in the instance of gross misconduct). Court justices are appointed by presidential decree for an initial period of five years, after which Ukraine's Supreme Council confirms their positions for life. Although there are still problems, the system is considered to have been much improved since Ukraine's independence in 1991. The Supreme Court is regarded as an independent and impartial body, and has on several occasions ruled against the Ukrainian government. The World Justice Project
World Justice Project
ranks Ukraine
Ukraine
66 out of 99 countries surveyed in its annual Rule of Law Index. National Police of Ukraine was formed on 3 July 2015, as part of the post- Euromaidan
Euromaidan
reforms.

Prosecutors in Ukraine
Ukraine
have greater powers than in most European countries, and according to the European Commission for Democracy through Law 'the role and functions of the Prosecutor's Office is not in accordance with Council of Europe
Europe
standards". The criminal judicial system maintains an average conviction rate of over 99%, equal to the conviction rate of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
, with suspects often being incarcerated for long periods before trial. On 24 March 2010, President Yanukovych formed an expert group to make recommendations how to "clean up the current mess and adopt a law on court organization". One day later, he stated "We can no longer disgrace our country with such a court system." The criminal judicial system and the prison system of Ukraine
Ukraine
remain quite punitive.

Since 1 January 2010 it has been permissible to hold court proceedings in Russian by mutual consent of the parties. Citizens unable to speak Ukrainian or Russian may use their native language or the services of a translator. Previously all court proceedings had to be held in Ukrainian.

Law enforcement agencies in Ukraine
Ukraine
are organised under the authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs . They consist primarily of the national police force (Мiлiцiя ) and various specialised units and agencies such as the State Border Guard and the Coast Guard services. Law enforcement agencies, particularly the police, faced criticism for their heavy handling of the 2004 Orange Revolution . Many thousands of police officers were stationed throughout the capital, primarily to dissuade protesters from challenging the state's authority but also to provide a quick reaction force in case of need; most officers were armed. Bloodshed was only avoided when Lt. Gen. Sergei Popkov heeded his colleagues' calls to withdraw.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs is also responsible for the maintenance of the State Security Service ; Ukraine's domestic intelligence agency, which has on occasion been accused of acting like a secret police force serving to protect the country's political elite from media criticism. On the other hand, however, it is widely accepted that members of the service provided vital information about government plans to the leaders of the Orange Revolution to prevent the collapse of the movement.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Main articles: Foreign relations of Ukraine , International membership of Ukraine
Ukraine
, Ukraine– European Union
European Union
relations , and The World Bank
World Bank
in Ukraine
Ukraine

In 1999–2001, Ukraine
Ukraine
served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council . Historically, Soviet Ukraine
Ukraine
joined the United Nations in 1945 as one of the original members following a Western compromise with the Soviet Union, which had asked for seats for all 15 of its union republics. Ukraine
Ukraine
has consistently supported peaceful, negotiated settlements to disputes. It has participated in the quadripartite talks on the conflict in Moldova
Moldova
and promoted a peaceful resolution to conflict in the post-Soviet state of Georgia. Ukraine also has made a substantial contribution to UN peacekeeping operations since 1992. Leaders of Belarus
Belarus
, Russia
Russia
, Germany
Germany
, France
France
, and Ukraine
Ukraine
at Minsk II summit, 2015 In January 2016, Ukraine joined the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (green) with the EU (blue), established by the Ukraine– European Union
European Union
Association Agreement .

Ukraine
Ukraine
currently considers Euro-Atlantic integration its primary foreign policy objective, but in practice it has always balanced its relationship with the European Union
European Union
and the United States
United States
with strong ties to Russia. The European Union
European Union
's Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Ukraine
Ukraine
went into force on 1 March 1998. The European Union
European Union
(EU) has encouraged Ukraine
Ukraine
to implement the PCA fully before discussions begin on an association agreement, issued at the EU Summit in December 1999 in Helsinki
Helsinki
, recognizes Ukraine's long-term aspirations but does not discuss association. On 31 January 1992, Ukraine
Ukraine
joined the then-Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Europe
(now the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)), and on 10 March 1992, it became a member of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council . Ukraine–NATO relations
Ukraine–NATO relations
are close and the country has declared interest in eventual membership. This was removed from the government's foreign policy agenda upon election of Viktor Yanukovych to the presidency, in 2010. But after February 2014's Yanukovych ouster and the (denied by Russia) following Russian military intervention in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine
renewed its drive for NATO membership. Ukraine
Ukraine
is the most active member of the Partnership for Peace (PfP). All major political parties in Ukraine
Ukraine
support full eventual integration into the European Union. The Association Agreement with the EU was expected to be signed and put into effect by the end of 2011, but the process was suspended by 2012 because of the political developments of that time. The Association Agreement between Ukraine
Ukraine
and the European Union
European Union
was signed in 2014.

Ukraine
Ukraine
long had close ties with all its neighbours, but Russia–Ukraine relations
Russia–Ukraine relations
became difficult in 2014 by the annexation of Crimea
Crimea
, energy dependence and payment disputes.

Ukraine
Ukraine
is included in the European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer.

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS

Main articles: Administrative divisions of Ukraine and Ukrainian historical regions Further information: Political status of Crimea and Sevastopol
Sevastopol
and 2014 Crimean crisis

The system of Ukrainian subdivisions reflects the country's status as a unitary state (as stated in the country's constitution) with unified legal and administrative regimes for each unit.

Including Sevastopol
Sevastopol
and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea that were annexed by the Russian Federation in 2014, Ukraine
Ukraine
consists of 27 regions: twenty-four oblasts (provinces), one autonomous republic ( Autonomous Republic of Crimea ), and two cities of special status - Kiev
Kiev
, the capital, and Sevastopol
Sevastopol
. The 24 oblasts and Crimea
Crimea
are subdivided into 490 raions (districts) and city municipalities of regional significance, or second-level administrative units. The average area of a Ukrainian raion is 1,200 square kilometres (460 sq mi); the average population of a raion is 52,000 people.

Populated places in Ukraine
Populated places in Ukraine
are split into two categories: urban and rural. Urban populated places are split further into cities and urban-type settlements (a Soviet administrative invention), while rural populated places consist of villages and settlements (a generally used term). All cities have certain degree of self-rule depending on their significance such as national significance (as in the case of Kiev
Kiev
and Sevastopol), regional significance (within each oblast or autonomous republic) or district significance (all the rest of cities). City's significance depends on several factors such as its population, socio-economic and historical importance, infrastructure and others. Volyn Rivne Zhytomyr Kiev
Kiev
Khmeln- ytsky Ternopil Ivano- Frankivsk Zakarpattia Chernivtsi Vinnytsia
Vinnytsia
Cherkasy
Cherkasy
Kirovohrad Mykolaiv
Mykolaiv
Poltava Chernihiv
Chernihiv
Sumy Kharkiv
Kharkiv
Dnipropetrovsk Odessa
Odessa
Kherson
Kherson
Zaporizhia Donetsk
Donetsk
Crimea
Crimea
Luhansk
Luhansk
Kiev
Kiev
Sevastopol
Sevastopol
Lviv
Lviv
• •

OBLASTS

* Cherkasy
Cherkasy
* Chernihiv
Chernihiv
* Chernivtsi * Dnipropetrovsk * Donetsk
Donetsk

* Ivano-Frankivsk * Kharkiv
Kharkiv
* Kherson
Kherson
* Khmelnytskyi * Kiev
Kiev

* Kirovohrad * Luhansk
Luhansk
* Lviv
Lviv
* Mykolaiv
Mykolaiv
* Odessa
Odessa

* Poltava * Rivne * Sumy * Ternopil * Vinnytsia
Vinnytsia

* Volyn * Zakarpattia * Zaporizhia * Zhytomyr

AUTONOMOUS REPUBLIC CITIES WITH SPECIAL STATUS

* Autonomous Republic of Crimea

* City of Kiev
Kiev
* City of Sevastopol
Sevastopol

ARMED FORCES

Main article: Armed Forces of Ukraine Commander of the Ukrainian contingent in Multi-National Force – Iraq
Multi-National Force – Iraq
, kisses his country's flag.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine
Ukraine
inherited a 780,000-man military force on its territory, equipped with the third-largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world. In May 1992, Ukraine
Ukraine
signed the Lisbon Protocol in which the country agreed to give up all nuclear weapons to Russia
Russia
for disposal and to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state. Ukraine ratified the treaty in 1994, and by 1996 the country became free of nuclear weapons.

Ukraine
Ukraine
took consistent steps toward reduction of conventional weapons. It signed the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
Europe
, which called for reduction of tanks, artillery, and armoured vehicles (army forces were reduced to 300,000). The country plans to convert the current conscript -based military into a professional volunteer military . Ukrainian frigate Hetman
Hetman
Sahaydachniy (U130)

Ukraine
Ukraine
has been playing an increasingly larger role in peacekeeping operations. On Friday 3 January 2014, the Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sagaidachniy joined the European Union's counter piracy Operation Atalanta and will be part of the EU Naval Force off the coast of Somalia
Somalia
for two months. Ukrainian troops are deployed in Kosovo
Kosovo
as part of the Ukrainian-Polish Battalion . A Ukrainian unit was deployed in Lebanon
Lebanon
, as part of UN Interim Force enforcing the mandated ceasefire agreement. There was also a maintenance and training battalion deployed in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
. In 2003–05, a Ukrainian unit was deployed as part of the Multinational force in Iraq under Polish command. The total Ukrainian armed forces deployment around the world is 562 servicemen.

Military units of other states participate in multinational military exercises with Ukrainian forces in Ukraine
Ukraine
regularly, including U.S. military forces.

Following independence, Ukraine
Ukraine
declared itself a neutral state. The country has had a limited military partnership with Russian Federation, other CIS countries and a partnership with NATO since 1994. In the 2000s, the government was leaning towards NATO, and a deeper cooperation with the alliance was set by the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan signed in 2002. It was later agreed that the question of joining NATO should be answered by a national referendum at some point in the future. Recently deposed President Viktor Yanukovych considered the current level of co-operation between Ukraine
Ukraine
and NATO sufficient, and was against Ukraine
Ukraine
joining NATO. During the 2008 Bucharest summit , NATO declared that Ukraine
Ukraine
would eventually become a member of NATO when it meets the criteria for the accession.

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of Ukraine

This section needs to be UPDATED. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2014)

GNI per capita in 2016

In Soviet times, the economy of Ukraine
Ukraine
was the second largest in the Soviet Union, being an important industrial and agricultural component of the country's planned economy . With the dissolution of the Soviet system, the country moved from a planned economy to a market economy . The transition was difficult for the majority of the population which plunged into poverty. Ukraine's economy contracted severely following the years after the Soviet dissolution. Day-to-day life for the average person living in Ukraine
Ukraine
was a struggle. A significant number of citizens in rural Ukraine
Ukraine
survived by growing their own food, often working two or more jobs and buying the basic necessities through the barter economy .

In 1991, the government liberalised most prices to combat widespread product shortages, and was successful in overcoming the problem. At the same time, the government continued to subsidise state-run industries and agriculture by uncovered monetary emission. The loose monetary policies of the early 1990s pushed inflation to hyperinflationary levels. For the year 1993, Ukraine
Ukraine
holds the world record for inflation in one calendar year. Those living on fixed incomes suffered the most. Prices stabilised only after the introduction of new currency, the hryvnia , in 1996. The country was also slow in implementing structural reforms. Following independence, the government formed a legal framework for privatisation . However, widespread resistance to reforms within the government and from a significant part of the population soon stalled the reform efforts. A large number of state-owned enterprises were exempt from privatisation. The National Bank of Ukraine building

In the meantime, by 1999, the GDP had fallen to less than 40% of the 1991 level. It recovered considerably in the following years, but as at 2014 had yet to reach the historical maximum. In the early 2000s, the economy showed strong export-based growth of 5 to 10%, with industrial production growing more than 10% per year. Ukraine
Ukraine
was hit by the economic crisis of 2008 and in November 2008, the IMF approved a stand-by loan of $16.5 billion for the country.

Ukraine's 2010 GDP (PPP ), as calculated by the CIA
CIA
, is ranked 38th in the world and estimated at $305.2 billion. Its GDP per capita in 2010 according to the CIA
CIA
was $6,700 (in PPP terms), ranked 107th in the world. Nominal GDP (in U.S. dollars, calculated at market exchange rate) was $136 billion, ranked 53rd in the world . By July 2008 the average nominal salary in Ukraine
Ukraine
reached 1,930 hryvnias per month. Despite remaining lower than in neighbouring central European countries, the salary income growth in 2008 stood at 36.8%

As of 2016, Ukraine
Ukraine
had average wealth per adult, at $ 1,254. Antonov An-225 Mriya
Antonov An-225 Mriya
has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service.

Ukraine
Ukraine
produces nearly all types of transportation vehicles and spacecraft . Antonov
Antonov
airplanes and KrAZ
KrAZ
trucks are exported to many countries. The majority of Ukrainian exports are marketed to the European Union
European Union
and CIS . Since independence, Ukraine
Ukraine
has maintained its own space agency, the National Space Agency of Ukraine (NSAU). Ukraine
Ukraine
became an active participant in scientific space exploration and remote sensing missions. Between 1991 and 2007, Ukraine
Ukraine
has launched six self made satellites and 101 launch vehicles , and continues to design spacecraft.

The country imports most energy supplies, especially oil and natural gas and to a large extent depends on Russia
Russia
as its energy supplier. While 25% of the natural gas in Ukraine
Ukraine
comes from internal sources, about 35% comes from Russia
Russia
and the remaining 40% from Central Asia through transit routes that Russia
Russia
controls. At the same time, 85% of the Russian gas is delivered to Western Europe
Europe
through Ukraine. Trends in the Human Development Index
Human Development Index
of Ukraine, 1970–2010 Ukrainian administrative divisions by monthly salary . All figures are in the Ukrainian hryvnia.

Growing sectors of the Ukrainian economy include the information technology (IT) market, which topped all other Central and Eastern European countries in 2007, growing some 40 percent. In 2013, Ukraine ranked fourth in the world in number of certified IT professionals after the United States
United States
, India
India
and Russia
Russia
.

Ukraine's 2010 GDP, as calculated by the World Bank
World Bank
, was around $136 billion, 2011 GDP – around $163 billion, 2012 – $176.6 billion, 2013 – $177.4 billion. In 2014 and 2015, the Ukrainian currency was the world's worst performing currency, having dropped 80 percent of its value since April 2014 since the War in Donbass and the annexation of Crimea
Crimea
by Russia.

The World Bank
World Bank
classifies Ukraine
Ukraine
as a middle-income state. Significant issues include underdeveloped infrastructure and transportation, corruption and bureaucracy. The public will to fight against corrupt officials and business elites culminated in a strong wave of public demonstrations against the Victor Yanukovych's regime in November 2013. However, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index, Ukraine
Ukraine
is still the most corrupt country in Europe
Europe
being ranked 142nd out of 175 countries on the world, in the latest CPI report from 2014. In 2007 the Ukrainian stock market recorded the second highest growth in the world of 130 percent. According to the CIA, in 2006 the market capitalization of the Ukrainian stock market was $111.8 billion.

Ukraine
Ukraine
has managed to achieve certain progress in reducing absolute poverty, ensuring access to primary and secondary education, improving maternal health and reducing child mortality. The poverty rate according to the absolute criterion (share of the population whose daily consumption is below US$5.05 (PPP)) was reduced from 11.9 percent in 2000 to 2.3 percent in 2012, and the poverty rate according to the relative criterion (share of the population below the national poverty line) decreased at the same time from 71.2 percent to 24.0 percent.

The economy of Ukraine
Ukraine
overcame the heavy crisis caused by armed conflict in southeast part of country. At the same time, 200% devaluation of Ukrainian hryvnia (national currency) in 2014–2015 made Ukrainian goods and services cheaper and more сompetitive. In 2016, for the first time since 2010, the economy grew more than 2%. According to World Bank
World Bank
statement growth is projected at 2% in 2017 and 3.5% in 2018.

CORPORATIONS

A launch of Zenit-3SL rocket from the Sea Launch platform Ocean Odyssey

Ukraine
Ukraine
has a very large heavy-industry base and is one of the largest refiners of metallurgical products in Eastern Europe. However, the country is also well known for its production of high-technological goods and transport products, such as Antonov aircraft and various private and commercial vehicles. The country's largest and most competitive firms are components of the PFTS index
PFTS index
, traded on the PFTS Ukraine Stock Exchange .

Well-known Ukrainian brands include Naftogaz Ukrainy
Naftogaz Ukrainy
, AvtoZAZ , PrivatBank , Roshen , Yuzhmash
Yuzhmash
, Nemiroff
Nemiroff
, Motor Sich , Khortytsa , Kyivstar and Aerosvit .

Ukraine
Ukraine
is regarded as a developing economy with high potential for future success, though such a development is thought likely only with new all-encompassing economic and legal reforms. Although Foreign Direct Investment in Ukraine
Ukraine
remained relatively strong since recession of the early 1990s , the country has had trouble maintaining stable economic growth. Issues relating to current corporate governance in Ukraine
Ukraine
were primarily linked to the large scale monopolisation of traditional heavy industries by wealthy individuals such as Rinat Akhmetov , the enduring failure to broaden the nation's economic base and a lack of effective legal protection for investors and their products. Despite all this, Ukraine's economy was still expected to grow by around 3.5% in 2010.

TRANSPORT

Main articles: Transport in Ukraine and Ukrainian Railways The Kharkiv– Dnipro
Dnipro
motorway (M18)

In total, Ukrainian paved roads stretch for 164,732 kilometres (102,360 mi). Major routes, marked with the letter 'M' for 'International' (Ukrainian : Міжнародний), extend nationwide and connect all major cities of Ukraine, and provide cross-border routes to the country's neighbours. There are only two true motorway standard highways in Ukraine; a 175-kilometre (109-mile) stretch of motorway from Kharkiv
Kharkiv
to Dnipro
Dnipro
and a section of the M03 which extends 18 km (11 mi) from Kiev
Kiev
to Boryspil , where the city's international airport is located. HRCS2 multiple unit
HRCS2 multiple unit
. Rail transport is heavily utilised in Ukraine
Ukraine

.

Rail transport in Ukraine
Rail transport in Ukraine
connects all major urban areas, port facilities and industrial centres with neighbouring countries. The heaviest concentration of railway track is the Donbas region of Ukraine. Although rail freight transport fell by 7.4% in 1995 in comparison with 1994, Ukraine
Ukraine
is still one of the world\'s highest rail users . The total amount of railroad track in Ukraine
Ukraine
extends for 22,473 kilometres (13,964 mi), of which 9,250 kilometres (5,750 mi) is electrified. Currently the state has a monopoly on the provision of passenger rail transport, and all trains, other than those with cooperation of other foreign companies on international routes, are operated by its company 'Ukrzaliznytsia '.

Transport by air is developing quickly, with a visa-free programme for EU nationals and citizens of a number of other Western nations, the nation's aviation sector is handling a significantly increased number of travellers. The Euro 2012
Euro 2012
football tournament, held in Poland
Poland
and Ukraine
Ukraine
as joint hosts, prompted the government to invest heavily in transport infrastructure, and in particular airports. The Donetsk
Donetsk
airport, completed for Euro 2012
Euro 2012
, was destroyed by the end of 2014 because of the ongoing war between the government and the separatist movement.

Kiev
Kiev
Boryspil is the county's largest international airport; it has three main passenger terminals and is the base for the country's flag carrier, Ukraine International Airlines . Other large airports in the country include those in Kharkiv
Kharkiv
, Lviv
Lviv
and Donetsk
Donetsk
(now destroyed), whilst those in Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa
Odessa
have plans for terminal upgrades in the near future. In addition to its flag carrier, Ukraine has a number of airlines including Windrose Airlines , Dniproavia , Azur Air Ukraine , and AtlasGlobal Ukraine
AtlasGlobal Ukraine
. Antonov
Antonov
Airlines , a subsidiary of the Antonov
Antonov
Aerospace Design Bureau is the only operator of the world's largest fixed wing aircraft, the An-225 .

International maritime travel is mainly provided through the Port of Odessa
Odessa
, from where ferries sail regularly to Istanbul
Istanbul
, Varna
Varna
and Haifa
Haifa
. The largest ferry company presently operating these routes is Ukrferry .

ENERGY

Main article: Energy in Ukraine
Energy in Ukraine

In 2014, Ukraine
Ukraine
was ranked number 19 on the Emerging Market Energy Security Growth Prosperity Index, published by the think tank Bisignis Institute, which ranks emerging market countries using government corruption, GDP growth and oil reserve information.

Fuel Resources

Ukraine
Ukraine
produces and processes its own natural gas and petroleum . However, the majority of these commodities are imported. Eighty percent of Ukrainian natural gas supplies are imported, mainly from Russia
Russia
.

Natural gas
Natural gas
is heavily utilised not only in energy production but also by steel and chemical industries of the country, as well as by the district heating sector. In 2012, Shell started exploration drilling for shale gas in Ukraine—a project aimed at the nation's total gas supply independence.

Following the armed conflict in the Donbass, Ukraine
Ukraine
was cut off from half of coal and all of its anthracite extraction, dropping Ukrainian coal production by 22 percent in 2014. Russia
Russia
was Ukraine’s largest coal supplier, and in 2014 Russia
Russia
blocked its coal supplies, forcing 22 Ukrainian power plants to shut down temporarily.

After that, Ukraine
Ukraine
started to lower imports from Russia.

In 2017, Russia
Russia
accounted for 55.7 percent of total coal supplies, United States
United States
at 25 percent, the second-leading supplier.

In 2014, almost 100 percent of Ukraine’s natural gas supply came from Russia. From 2016, it all comes from the EU.

In 2014, all of Ukraine’s nuclear fuel came from Russia. By 2016, Russia’s share was down to 55 percent, Westinghouse supplying nuclear fuel for six of Ukraine’s VVER-1000 nuclear reactors.

Power Generation

Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant
Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant
, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe
Europe

Ukraine
Ukraine
has been a net energy exporting country, for example in 2011, 3.3% of electricity produced were exported, but also one of Europe's largest energy consumers. As of 2011 , 47.6% of total electricity generation was from nuclear power The largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant
Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant
, is located in Ukraine. Most of the nuclear fuel has been coming from Russia
Russia
. In 2008 Westinghouse Electric Company
Westinghouse Electric Company
won a five-year contract selling nuclear fuel to three Ukrainian reactors starting in 2011. Following Euromaidan
Euromaidan
then President Viktor Yanukovych introduced a ban on Rosatom nuclear fuel shipments to Europe
Europe
via Ukraine, which was in effect from 28 January until 6 March 2014. After the Russian annexation of Crimea
Crimea
in April 2014, the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company of Ukraine
Ukraine
Energoatom
Energoatom
and Westinghouse extended the contract for fuel deliveries through 2020.

Coal
Coal
and gas -fired thermal power stations and hydroelectricity are the second and third largest kinds of power generation in the country.

Renewable Energy Use

Perovo Solar Park
Perovo Solar Park

The share of renewables within the total energy mix is still very small, but is growing fast. Total installed capacity of renewable energy installations more than doubled in 2011 and as of 2012 stands at 397 MW. In 2011 several large solar power stations were opened in Ukraine, among them Europe's largest solar park in Perovo, (Crimea). Ukrainian State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Conservation forecasts that combined installed capacity of wind and solar power plants in Ukraine
Ukraine
could increase by another 600 MW in 2012. According to Macquarie Research, by 2016 Ukraine
Ukraine
will construct and commission new solar power stations with a total capacity of 1.8 GW, almost equivalent to the capacity of two nuclear reactors.

The Economic Bank for Reconstruction and Development estimates that Ukraine
Ukraine
has great renewable energy potential: the technical potential for wind energy is estimated at 40 TWh/year, small hydropower stations at 8.3 TWh/year, biomass at 120 TWh/year, and solar energy at 50 TWh/year. In 2011, Ukraine's Energy Ministry predicted that the installed capacity of generation from alternative and renewable energy sources would increase to 9% (about 6 GW) of the total electricity production in the country.

INTERNET

Main articles: Internet in Ukraine and Telecommunications in Ukraine

Ukraine
Ukraine
has a large and steadily growing Internet
Internet
sector, mostly uninfluenced by the financial crisis of 2007–08 . As of June, 2014, there were 18.2 million desktop Internet
Internet
users, which is 56% of the adult population. The core of the audience is the 25 to 34-year-old age bracket, representing 29% of the population. Ukraine
Ukraine
ranks 8th among the world's top ten countries with the fastest Internet
Internet
access speed.

IT

According to A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index, Ukraine ranks 24th among the best outsourcing locations, and is among the top 20 offshore services locations in EMEA, according to Gartner. In the first six months of 2017, the volume of export of computer and information services reached $1.256 billion, which is an 18.3% increase compared to the same period in 2016. The IT industry ranks third in the export structure of Ukraine
Ukraine
after agro-industry and metallurgy.

Ukraine’s IT sector employs close to 100,000 workers, including 50,000 software developers. This number is expected to surpass the 200,000 mark by 2020. There are over 1,000 IT companies in Ukraine. In 2017, 13 of them made it to the list of 100 best outsourcing service providers in the world. More than 100 multinational tech companies have R nature reserves of different ecosystems ; churches, castle ruins and other architectural and park landmarks; various outdoor activity points. Kiev
Kiev
, Lviv
Lviv
, Odessa
Odessa
and Kamyanets-Podilskyi are Ukraine's principal tourist centres each offering many historical landmarks as well as formidable hospitality infrastructure. Tourism used to be the mainstay of Crimea's economy but there has been a major fall in visitor numbers following the Russian annexation in 2014.

The Seven Wonders of Ukraine and Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine are the selection of the most important landmarks of Ukraine, chosen by the general public through an Internet-based vote.

DEMOGRAPHICS

Main article: Demographics of Ukraine
Demographics of Ukraine

COMPOSITION OF UKRAINE BY NATIONALITY

Ukrainians   77.8%

Russians
Russians
  17.3%

Belarusians
Belarusians
  0.6%

Moldovans   0.5%

Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars
  0.5%

Bulgarians
Bulgarians
  0.4%

Hungarians
Hungarians
  0.3%

Romanians
Romanians
  0.3%

Poles
Poles
  0.3%

Other   1.7%

Source: Ethnic
Ethnic
composition of the population of Ukraine, 2001 Census

Main ethnic groups of Ukrainian raions (2001)

According to the Ukrainian Census of 2001 , Ukrainians make up 77.8% of the population. Other significant groups have identified themselves as belonging to the nationality of Russians
Russians
(17.3%), Belarusians (0.6%), Moldovans (0.5%), Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars
(0.5%), Bulgarians
Bulgarians
(0.4%), Hungarians
Hungarians
(0.3%), Romanians
Romanians
(0.3%), Poles
Poles
(0.3%), Jews
Jews
(0.3%), Armenians (0.2%), Greeks
Greeks
(0.2%) and Tatars
Tatars
(0.2%). The industrial regions in the east and southeast are the most heavily populated, and about 67.2% of the population lives in urban areas.

Ukraine
Ukraine
has one of the most equal income distribution as measured by Gini index and Palma ratio .

POPULATION DECLINE

Ukraine's population (excluding Crimea) in 2017 was estimated at 42,418,235. The country's population has been declining since the 1990s because of its high death rate and low birth rate. The population has been shrinking by over 150,000 annually since 1993. The birth rate has recovered in recent years from a low level around 2000, and is now comparable to the European average. It would need to increase by another 50% or so to stabilize the population and offset the high mortality rate.

In 2007, the country's rate of population decline was the fourth highest in the world.

Life expectancy is falling, and Ukraine
Ukraine
suffers a high mortality rate from environmental pollution, poor diets, widespread smoking, extensive alcoholism and deteriorating medical care.

During the years 2008 to 2010, more than 1.5 million children were born in Ukraine, compared to fewer than 1.2 million during 1999–2001. In 2008 Ukraine
Ukraine
posted record-breaking birth rates since its 1991 independence. Infant mortality rates have also dropped from 10.4 deaths to 8.3 per 1,000 children under one year of age. This is lower than in 153 countries of the world.

FERTILITY AND NATALIST POLICIES

Population of Ukraine
Ukraine
(in thousands) from 1950 to 2012

The current birth rate in Ukraine, as of 2010 , is 10.8 births/1,000 population, and the death rate is 15.2 deaths/1,000 population (see Ukraine
Ukraine
demographic tables ).

The phenomenon of lowest-low fertility, defined as total fertility below 1.3, is emerging throughout Europe
Europe
and is attributed by many to postponement of the initiation of childbearing. Ukraine, where total fertility (a very low 1.1 in 2001), was one of the world's lowest, shows that there is more than one pathway to lowest-low fertility. Although Ukraine
Ukraine
has undergone immense political and economic transformations during 1991–2004, it has maintained a young age at first birth and nearly universal childbearing. Analysis of official national statistics and the Ukrainian Reproductive Health Survey show that fertility declined to very low levels without a transition to a later pattern of childbearing. Findings from focus group interviews suggest explanations of the early fertility pattern. These findings include the persistence of traditional norms for childbearing and the roles of men and women, concerns about medical complications and infertility at a later age, and the link between early fertility and early marriage.

To help mitigate the declining population, the government continues to increase child support payments. Thus it provides one-time payments of 12,250 hryvnias for the first child, 25,000 Hryvnias for the second and 50,000 Hryvnias for the third and fourth, along with monthly payments of 154 hryvnias per child. The demographic trend is showing signs of improvement, as the birth rate has been steadily growing since 2001. Net population growth over the first nine months of 2007 was registered in five provinces of the country (out of 24), and population shrinkage was showing signs of stabilising nationwide. In 2007 the highest birth rates were in the western oblasts. In 2008, Ukraine
Ukraine
emerged from lowest-low fertility, and the upward trend has continued since, except for a slight dip in 2010 because of the economic crisis of 2009 (see demographic tables ).

URBANISATION

Main article: List of cities in Ukraine
List of cities in Ukraine

In total, Ukraine
Ukraine
has 457 cities, 176 of them are labelled oblast-class, 279 smaller raion-class cities, and two special legal status cities. These are followed by 886 urban-type settlements and 28,552 villages.

* v * t * e

Largest cities or towns in Ukraine Geonames.org

RANK NAME REGION POP. RANK NAME REGION POP.

Kiev
Kiev

Kharkiv
Kharkiv
1 Kiev
Kiev
Kiev
Kiev
(city) 2,900,920 11 Luhansk
Luhansk
Luhansk
Luhansk
431,109

Odessa
Odessa

Dnipro
Dnipro

2 Kharkiv
Kharkiv
Kharkiv
Kharkiv
1,439,036 12 Vinnytsia
Vinnytsia
Vinnytsia
Vinnytsia
370,800

3 Odessa
Odessa
Odessa
Odessa
1,016,515 13 Makiivka
Makiivka
Donetsk
Donetsk
358,156

4 Dnipro
Dnipro
Dnipropetrovsk 979,046 14 Sevastopol
Sevastopol
Sevastopol
Sevastopol
(city) 340,297

5 Donetsk
Donetsk
Donetsk
Donetsk
929,063 15 Simferopol Crimea
Crimea
336,330

6 Zaporizhia Zaporizhia 757,650 16 Kherson
Kherson
Kherson
Kherson
302,526

7 Lviv
Lviv
Lviv
Lviv
727 968 17 Poltava Poltava 298,652

8 Kryvyi Rih
Kryvyi Rih
Dnipropetrovsk 654,900 18 Chernihiv
Chernihiv
Chernihiv
Chernihiv
296,836

9 Mykolaiv
Mykolaiv
Mykolaiv
Mykolaiv
498,518 19 Cherkasy
Cherkasy
Cherkasy
Cherkasy
286,037

10 Mariupol
Mariupol
Donetsk
Donetsk
486,856 20 Horlivka Donetsk
Donetsk
279,637

LANGUAGE

Main articles: Ukrainian language
Ukrainian language
, Russian language
Russian language
in Ukraine
Ukraine
, Languages of Ukraine , and Name of Ukraine Percentage of ethnic Ukrainians by subdivision according to the 2001 census (by oblast) Percentage of native Russian speakers by subdivision according to the 2001 census (by oblast)

According to the constitution, the state language of Ukraine
Ukraine
is Ukrainian. Russian is widely spoken, especially in eastern and southern Ukraine. According to the 2001 census , 67.5 percent of the population declared Ukrainian as their native language and 29.6 percent declared Russian. Most native Ukrainian speakers know Russian as a second language. Russian was the de facto official language of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
but both Russian and Ukrainian were official languages in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and in the schools of the Ukrainian SSR learning Ukrainian was mandatory. Effective in August 2012, a new law on regional languages entitles any local language spoken by at least a 10 percent minority be declared official within that area. Russian was within weeks declared as a regional language in several southern and eastern oblasts (provinces) and cities. Russian can now be used in these cities'/oblasts' administrative office work and documents. On 23 February 2014, following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution
2014 Ukrainian revolution
, the Ukrainian Parliament
Ukrainian Parliament
voted to repeal the law on regional languages, making Ukrainian the sole state language at all levels; however, the repeal was not signed by acting President Turchynov and current President Poroshenko.

Ukrainian is mainly spoken in western and central Ukraine. In western Ukraine, Ukrainian is also the dominant language in cities (such as Lviv
Lviv
). In central Ukraine, Ukrainian and Russian are both equally used in cities, with Russian being more common in Kiev
Kiev
, while Ukrainian is the dominant language in rural communities. In eastern and southern Ukraine, Russian is primarily used in cities, and Ukrainian is used in rural areas. These details result in a significant difference across different survey results, as even a small restating of a question switches responses of a significant group of people.

For a large part of the Soviet era, the number of Ukrainian speakers declined from generation to generation, and by the mid-1980s, the usage of the Ukrainian language
Ukrainian language
in public life had decreased significantly. Following independence, the government of Ukraine began restoring the image and usage of Ukrainian language
Ukrainian language
through a policy of Ukrainisation . Today, most foreign films and TV programs, including Russian ones, are subtitled or dubbed in Ukrainian.

According to the Constitution
Constitution
of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , Ukrainian is the only state language of the republic. However, the republic's constitution specifically recognises Russian as the language of the majority of its population and guarantees its usage 'in all spheres of public life'. Similarly, the Crimean Tatar language (the language of 12 percent of population of Crimea) is guaranteed a special state protection as well as the 'languages of other ethnicities'. Russian speakers constitute an overwhelming majority of the Crimean population (77 percent), with Crimean Tatar speakers 11.4 percent and Ukrainian speakers comprising just 10.1 percent. But in everyday life the majority of Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars
and Ukrainians in Crimea use Russian.

RELIGION

Main article: Religion in Ukraine
Religion in Ukraine

RELIGION IN UKRAINE AS OF 2016 (RAZUMKOV CENTER)

Orthodox   65.4%

Do not believe in one of the listed religions   16.3%

Simply Christianity
Christianity
  7.1%

Greek Catholicism   6.5%

Protestantism
Protestantism
  1.9%

Islam   1.1%

Roman Catholicism   1.0%

Judaism
Judaism
  0.2%

Hinduism
Hinduism
  0.2%

Other religions   0.2%

The Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev
Kiev
, a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site is one of the main Christian
Christian
cathedrals in Ukraine
Ukraine
St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral in Kiev
Kiev

A 2016 survey conducted by the Razumkov Centre found that 70% of Ukrainians declared themselves believers in any religion, while 10.1% were uncertain whether they believed or not, 7.2% were uninterested in beliefs, 6.3% were unbelievers, 2.7% were atheists , and a further 3.9% found it difficult to answer the question. The level of religiosity in Ukraine
Ukraine
is greatest in Western Ukraine (91%), and lowest in Eastern Ukraine
Eastern Ukraine
(56%) and the Donbass (57%).

CHANGES OVER TIME AND REGION IN THE PROPORTIONS OF PEOPLE IN UKRAINE IDENTIFYING THEMSELVES AS BELIEVERS, ETC.

WHETHER YOU ATTEND CHURCH OR NOT, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? UKRAINE

2016 SURVEY SPLIT BY REGION

2000 2010 2013 2014 2016 WEST CENTRE SOUTH EAST DONBASS

Believers 57.8% 71.4% 67.0% 76.0% 70.4% 91.0% 73.5% 65.7% 55.6% 57.2%

Those who hesitate between belief and disbelief 22.5% 11.5% 14.7% 7.9% 10.1% 4.7% 7.3% 8.3% 14.2% 19.5%

Not a believer 11.9% 7.9% 5.5% 4.7% 6.3% 0.9% 4.8% 7.4% 13.4% 7.2%

Atheist beliefs 3.2% 1.4% 2.0% 2.5% 2.7% 0.2% 2.6% 3.2% 3.5% 5.0%

Do not care 2.6% 4.4% 5.1% 4.9% 7.2% 1.2% 8.0% 13.0% 7.3% 9.4%

Difficult to answer 2.0% 3.3% 5.7% 3.9% 3.9% 1.9% 3.8% 2.3% 5.9% 1.6%

Of the Ukrainian population, 81.9% were Christians, comprising a 65.4% who declared to be Orthodox , 7.1% simply Christians , 6.5% Greek Rite Catholics , and 1.9% Protestants . A further 1.1% were Muslims and 1.0% Latin Rite Catholics . Judaism
Judaism
and Hinduism
Hinduism
were the religions of 0.2% of the population each. A further 16.3% of the population did not identify in one of those listed hitherto. According to the surveys conducted by Razumkov in the 2000s and early 2010s, such numbers have remained relatively constant throughout the last decade.

A 2006 survey of the same Razumkov Centre, found that: 62.5% of all respondents were not religious, not believers or not affiliated to any religious body, 33.6% were Christians (26.8% Orthodox, 5.9% Catholics, and 0.9% Protestants), 0.1% were Jewish, and 3.8% were members of other religions.

Among those Ukrainians who declared to believe in Orthodoxy, 38.1% declared to be members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kievan Patriarchate (a body that is not canonically recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church ), while 23.0% declared to be members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscovian Patriarchate (which is an autonomous Orthodox church under the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
). A further 2.7% were members of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church , which, like the Kievan Patriarchate, is not recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Among the remaining Orthodox Ukrainians, 32.3% declared to be "simply Orthodox", without affiliation to any patriarchate, while a further 3.1% declared that they "did not know" which patriarchate or Orthodox church they belonged to.

The second largest Christian
Christian
group in Ukraine, Catholicism , is predominantly represented by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church , an Eastern Catholic Church
Catholic Church
in communion with the Holy See
Holy See
of the Roman Catholic Church. It recognizes the primacy of the Pope
Pope
as head of the Church while still maintaining a similar liturgical and spiritual tradition as Eastern Orthodoxy. Additionally, there are a small number of Latin Rite Catholic communities (1.0%). The church consists mainly of ethnic Poles
Poles
and Hungarians
Hungarians
, who live predominantly in the western regions of the country. Protestants in Ukraine make up 1.9% of the population as of 2016. A further 7.1% of the population declares to be simply Christian.

FAMINES AND MIGRATION

The famines of the 1930s , followed by the devastation of World War II, created a demographic disaster. Life expectancy at birth fell to a level as low as ten years for females and seven for males in 1933 and plateaued around 25 for females and 15 for males in the period 1941–44. According to The Oxford companion to World War II, "Over 7 million inhabitants of Ukraine, more than one-sixth of the pre-war population, were killed during the Second World War."

Significant migration took place in the first years of Ukrainian independence. More than one million people moved into Ukraine
Ukraine
in 1991–92, mostly from the other former Soviet republics. In total, between 1991 and 2004, 2.2 million immigrated to Ukraine
Ukraine
(among them, 2 million came from the other former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
states), and 2.5 million emigrated from Ukraine
Ukraine
(among them, 1.9 million moved to other former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
republics). Currently, immigrants constitute an estimated 14.7% of the total population, or 6.9 million people; this is the fourth largest figure in the world. In 2006, there were an estimated 1.2 million Canadians of Ukrainian ancestry, giving Canada the world's third-largest Ukrainian population behind Ukraine
Ukraine
itself and Russia. There are also large Ukrainian immigrant communities in the United States
United States
, Poland
Poland
, Australia
Australia
, Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina
Argentina
.

HEALTH

Main article: Health in Ukraine
Health in Ukraine
The municipal children's hospital in Kremenchuk , Poltava Oblast
Oblast

The Ukrainian Red Cross Society was established in April 1918 in Kiev as an independent humanitarian society of the Ukrainian People\'s Republic . Its immediate tasks were to help refugees and prisoners of war, care for handicapped people and orphaned children, fight famine and epidemics, support and organize sick quarters, hospitals and public canteens. At present, society involves more than 6.3 million supporters and activists. Its Visiting Nurses Service has 3,200 qualified nurses. The organization takes part in more than 40 humanitarian programmes all over Ukraine, which are mostly funded by public donation and corporate partnerships. By its own estimates, the Society annually provides services to more than 105,000 lonely, elderly people, about 23,000 people disabled during the Second World War and handicapped workers, more than 25,000 war veterans, and more than 8,000 adults handicapped since childhood. Assistance for orphaned and disabled children is also rendered.

Ukraine's healthcare system is state subsidised and freely available to all Ukrainian citizens and registered residents. However, it is not compulsory to be treated in a state-run hospital as a number of private medical complexes do exist nationwide. The public sector employs most healthcare professionals, with those working for private medical centres typically also retaining their state employment as they are mandated to provide care at public health facilities on a regular basis.

All of the country's medical service providers and hospitals are subordinate to the Ministry of Health, which provides oversight and scrutiny of general medical practice as well as being responsible for the day-to-day administration of the healthcare system. Despite this, standards of hygiene and patient-care have fallen.

Hospitals in Ukraine
Ukraine
are organised along the same lines as most European nations, according to the regional administrative structure; as a result most towns have their own hospital (Міська Лікарня) and many also have district hospitals (Районна Лікарня). Larger and more specialised medical complexes tend only to be found in major cities, with some even more specialised units located only in the capital, Kiev
Kiev
. However, all oblasts have their own network of general hospitals which are able to deal with almost all medical problems and are typically equipped with major trauma centres; such hospitals are called 'regional hospitals' (Обласна Лікарня).

Ukraine
Ukraine
currently faces a number of major public health issues and is considered to be in a demographic crisis because of its high death rate and low birth rate (the current Ukrainian birth rate is 11 births/1,000 population, and the death rate is 16.3 deaths/1,000 population). A factor contributing to the high death rate is a high mortality rate among working-age males from preventable causes such as alcohol poisoning and smoking. In 2008, the country's population was one of the fastest declining in the world at −5% growth. The UN warned that Ukraine's population could fall by as much as 10 million by 2050 if trends did not improve. In addition, obesity, systemic high blood pressure and the HIV endemic are all major challenges facing the Ukrainian healthcare system.

As of March 2009 the Ukrainian government is reforming the health care system, by the creation of a national network of family doctors and improvements in the medical emergency services . former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko put forward (in November 2009) an idea to start introducing a public healthcare system based on health insurance in the spring of 2010.

Active reforming of Ukraine's healthcare system was initiated right after appointment of Ulana Suprun as a head of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine
Ukraine
. Assisted by deputy Pavlo Kovtoniuk, Ulana Suprun firstly changes the distribution of finances in healthcare . Funds must follow the patient. General practitioners will provide basic care for patiens. The patient will have the right to choose one. Emergency Medical Service is considered to be fully funded by state. Emergency Medicine Reform is also an important part of The Heathcare Reform. In addition, patients who suffer from chronic diseases, which cause high toll of disability and mortality, are provided with free or low price medicine.

EDUCATION

Main articles: Education in Ukraine and List of universities in Ukraine
Ukraine
The University of Kiev
Kiev
is one of Ukraine's most important educational institutions. Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans building by Josef Hlávka , 1882, now Chernivtsi University
Chernivtsi University

According to the Ukrainian constitution , access to free education is granted to all citizens. Complete general secondary education is compulsory in the state schools which constitute the overwhelming majority. Free higher education in state and communal educational establishments is provided on a competitive basis. There is also a small number of accredited private secondary and higher education institutions.

Because of the Soviet Union's emphasis on total access of education for all citizens, which continues today, the literacy rate is an estimated 99.4%. Since 2005, an eleven-year school programme has been replaced with a twelve-year one: primary education takes four years to complete (starting at age six), middle education (secondary) takes five years to complete; upper secondary then takes three years. In the 12th grade, students take Government tests, which are also referred to as school-leaving exams. These tests are later used for university admissions.

The first higher education institutions (HEIs) emerged in Ukraine during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The first Ukrainian higher education institution was the Ostrozka School , or Ostrozkiy Greek-Slavic-Latin Collegium, similar to Western European higher education institutions of the time. Established in 1576 in the town of Ostrog , the Collegium was the first higher education institution in the Eastern Slavic territories. The oldest university was the Kyiv Mohyla Academy , first established in 1632 and in 1694 officially recognised by the government of Imperial Russia
Russia
as a higher education institution. Among the oldest is also the Lviv
Lviv
University , founded in 1661. More higher education institutions were set up in the 19th century, beginning with universities in Kharkiv
Kharkiv
(1805), Kiev
Kiev
(1834), Odessa
Odessa
(1865) and Chernivtsi (1875) and a number of professional higher education institutions, e.g.: Nizhyn Historical and Philological Institute (originally established as the Gymnasium of Higher Sciences in 1805), a Veterinary Institute (1873) and a Technological Institute (1885) in Kharkiv
Kharkiv
, a Polytechnic Institute in Kiev
Kiev
(1898) and a Higher Mining School (1899) in Katerynoslav . Rapid growth followed in the Soviet period. By 1988 a number of higher education institutions increased to 146 with over 850,000 students. Most HEIs established after 1990 are those owned by private organisations.

The Ukrainian higher education system comprises higher educational establishments, scientific and methodological facilities under national, municipal and self-governing bodies in charge of education. The organisation of higher education in Ukraine
Ukraine
is built up in accordance with the structure of education of the world's higher developed countries , as is defined by UNESCO
UNESCO
and the UN. Ukraine
Ukraine
has more than 800 higher education institutions and in 2010 the number of graduates reached 654,700 people.

Ukraine
Ukraine
produces the fourth largest number of post-secondary graduates in Europe, while being ranked seventh in population. Higher education is either state funded or private. Students that study at state expense receive a standard scholarship if their average marks at the end-of-term exams and differentiated test suffice; this rule may be different in some universities. For highest grades, the scholarship is increased by 25%. For most students the government subsidy is not sufficient to cover their basic living expenses. Most universities provide subsidised housing for out-of-city students. Also, it is common for libraries to supply required books for all registered students. Ukrainian universities confer two degrees: the bachelor's degree (4 years) and the master's degree (5–6th year), in accordance with the Bologna process . Historically, Specialist degree (usually 5 years) is still also granted; it was the only degree awarded by universities in the Soviet times.

The Law of Ukraine On Higher Education came into force on 6 September 2014. It was approved in Ukrainian Parliament
Ukrainian Parliament
on 1 July 2014. The main changes in the system of higher education: a separate collegiate body to monitor the quality of education was established (Ukrainian: Національне агентство із забезпечення якості вищої освіти); each higher education institution has the right to implement its own educational and research programs; role of the student government was increased; higher education institution has the right freely administer own revenues; 5 following types of higher education qualifications were established: Junior Bachelor, Bachelor, Master, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Science; load on lecturers and students was reduced; academic mobility for faculty and students etc.

REGIONAL DIFFERENCES

See also: Demographics of Ukraine
Demographics of Ukraine
§ Regional differences , Central Ukraine
Ukraine
, Eastern Ukraine
Eastern Ukraine
, Southern Ukraine , and Western Ukraine Results of the 2012 parliamentary election Yanukovych's Party of Regions in blue. Batkivshchyna in purple.

Ukrainian is the dominant language in Western Ukraine and in Central Ukraine
Ukraine
, while Russian is the dominant language in the cities of Eastern Ukraine
Eastern Ukraine
and Southern Ukraine . In the Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
schools, learning Russian was mandatory; currently in modern Ukraine, schools with Ukrainian as the language of instruction offer classes in Russian and in the other minority languages.

On the Russian language
Russian language
, on Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and Ukrainian nationalism , opinion in Eastern Ukraine
Eastern Ukraine
and Southern Ukraine tends to be the exact opposite of those in Western Ukraine; while opinions in Central Ukraine
Ukraine
on these topics tend be less extreme.

Similar historical cleavages also remain evident at the level of individual social identification. Attitudes toward the most important political issue, relations with Russia
Russia
, differed strongly between Lviv
Lviv
, identifying more with Ukrainian nationalism and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Catholic Church
, and Donetsk
Donetsk
, predominantly Russian orientated and favourable to the Soviet era , while in central and southern Ukraine, as well as Kiev
Kiev
, such divisions were less important and there was less antipathy toward people from other regions (a poll by the Research "> A collection of traditional Ukrainian Easter
Easter
eggs – pysanky . The design motifs on pysanky date back to early Slavic cultures. Rushnyk
Rushnyk
, Ukrainian embroidery
Ukrainian embroidery

Ukrainian customs are heavily influenced by Orthodox Christianity
Christianity
, the dominant religion in the country. Gender roles also tend to be more traditional, and grandparents play a greater role in bringing up children, than in the West. The culture of Ukraine
Ukraine
has also been influenced by its eastern and western neighbours, reflected in its architecture , music and art.

The Communist era had quite a strong effect on the art and writing of Ukraine. In 1932, Stalin made socialist realism state policy in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
when he promulgated the decree "On the Reconstruction of Literary and Art Organisations". This greatly stifled creativity. During the 1980s glasnost (openness) was introduced and Soviet artists and writers again became free to express themselves as they wanted.

The tradition of the Easter egg , known as pysanky , has long roots in Ukraine. These eggs were drawn on with wax to create a pattern; then, the dye was applied to give the eggs their pleasant colours, the dye did not affect the previously wax-coated parts of the egg. After the entire egg was dyed, the wax was removed leaving only the colourful pattern. This tradition is thousands of years old, and precedes the arrival of Christianity
Christianity
to Ukraine. In the city of Kolomyia
Kolomyia
near the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in 2000 was built the museum of Pysanka
Pysanka
which won a nomination as the monument of modern Ukraine
Ukraine
in 2007, part of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine action.

WEAVING AND EMBROIDERY

Artisan textile arts play an important role in Ukrainian culture, especially in Ukrainian wedding traditions . Ukrainian embroidery
Ukrainian embroidery
, weaving and lace-making are used in traditional folk dress and in traditional celebrations. Ukrainian embroidery
Ukrainian embroidery
varies depending on the region of origin and the designs have a long history of motifs, compositions, choice of colours and types of stitches. Use of colour is very important and has roots in Ukrainian folklore . Embroidery motifs found in different parts of Ukraine
Ukraine
are preserved in the Rushnyk
Rushnyk
Museum in Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi .

National dress is woven and highly decorated. Weaving with handmade looms is still practised in the village of Krupove, situated in Rivne Oblast
Oblast
. The village is the birthplace of two famous personalities in the scene of national crafts fabrication. Nina Myhailivna and Uliana Petrivna with international recognition. To preserve this traditional knowledge the village is planning to open a local weaving centre, a museum and weaving school.

LITERATURE

Main article: Ukrainian literature Taras Shevchenko self-portrait Lesya Ukrainka
Lesya Ukrainka
, one of the foremost Ukrainian women writers

The history of Ukrainian literature dates back to the 11th century, following the Christianisation of the Kievan Rus'. The writings of the time were mainly liturgical and were written in Old Church Slavonic . Historical accounts of the time were referred to as chronicles , the most significant of which was the Primary Chronicle
Primary Chronicle
. Literary activity faced a sudden decline during the Mongol invasion of Rus\' .

Ukrainian literature again began to develop in the 14th century, and was advanced significantly in the 16th century with the introduction of print and with the beginning of the Cossack
Cossack
era, under both Russian and Polish dominance. The Cossacks established an independent society and popularized a new kind of epic poems , which marked a high point of Ukrainian oral literature . These advances were then set back in the 17th and early 18th centuries, when publishing in the Ukrainian language was outlawed and prohibited. Nonetheless, by the late 18th century modern literary Ukrainian finally emerged.

The 19th century initiated a vernacular period in Ukraine, led by Ivan Kotliarevsky 's work Eneyida, the first publication written in modern Ukrainian. By the 1830s, Ukrainian romanticism began to develop, and the nation's most renowned cultural figure, romanticist poet-painter Taras Shevchenko
Taras Shevchenko
emerged. Where Ivan Kotliarevsky is considered to be the father of literature in the Ukrainian vernacular; Shevchenko is the father of a national revival.

Then, in 1863, use of the Ukrainian language
Ukrainian language
in print was effectively prohibited by the Russian Empire. This severely curtailed literary activity in the area, and Ukrainian writers were forced to either publish their works in Russian or release them in Austrian controlled Galicia . The ban was never officially lifted, but it became obsolete after the revolution and the Bolsheviks' coming to power.

Ukrainian literature continued to flourish in the early Soviet years, when nearly all literary trends were approved (the most important literary figures of that time were Mykola Khvylovy
Mykola Khvylovy
, Valerian Pidmohylny , Mykola Kulish
Mykola Kulish
, Mykhayl Semenko
Mykhayl Semenko
and some others). These policies faced a steep decline in the 1930s, when prominent representatives as well as many others were killed by NKVD as part of the Great Purge . In general around 223 writers were repressed by what was known as the Executed Renaissance
Executed Renaissance
. These repressions were part of Stalin's implemented policy of socialist realism . The doctrine did not necessarily repress the use of the Ukrainian language, but it required that writers follow a certain style in their works.

In post-Stalinist times literary activities continued to be somewhat limited under the Communist Party. The most famous figures of Ukrainian post-war Soviet literature were Lina Kostenko , Dmytro Pavlychko , Borys Oliynyk (poet)
Borys Oliynyk (poet)
, Ivan Drach , Oles Honchar , Vasyl Stus , Vasyl Symonenko .

Literary freedom grew in the late 1980s and early 1990s alongside the decline and collapse of the USSR
USSR
and the reestablishment of Ukrainian independence in 1991. Among the most famous writers of the post-Soviet period are Oksana Zabuzhko , Yurii Andrukhovych
Yurii Andrukhovych
, Oleksandr Irvanets (uk), Serhiy Zhadan
Serhiy Zhadan
, Taras Prokhasko , Jaroslav Melnik , Yuriy Izdryk (uk), Yuriy Pokalchuk , Yuriy Vynnychuk
Yuriy Vynnychuk
, Andrey Kurkov
Andrey Kurkov
, Max Kidruk .

ARCHITECTURE

Main article: Ukrainian architecture Traditional Ukrainian village architecture in Curitiba
Curitiba
, Brazil, which has a large Ukrainian diaspora.

Ukrainian architecture includes the motifs and styles that are found in structures built in modern Ukraine, and by Ukrainians worldwide. These include initial roots which were established in the Eastern Slavic state of Kievan Rus\' . Since the Christianization of Kievan Rus\' for several ages Ukrainian architecture was influenced by the Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture
. After the 12th century , the distinct architectural history continued in the principalities of Galicia- Volhynia
Volhynia
. During the epoch of the Zaporozhian Cossacks , a new style unique to Ukraine
Ukraine
was developed under the western influences of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
. After the union with the Tsardom of Russia
Russia
, many structures in the larger eastern, Russian-ruled area were built in the styles of Russian architecture of that period, whilst the western Galicia was developed under Austro-Hungarian architectural influences . Ukrainian national motifs would finally be used during the period of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and in modern independent Ukraine.

The great churches of the Rus\' , built after the adoption of Christianity
Christianity
in 988, were the first examples of monumental architecture in the East Slavic lands. The architectural style of the Kievan state was strongly influenced by the Byzantine . Early Eastern Orthodox churches were mainly made of wood, with the simplest form of church becoming known as a cell church . Major cathedrals often featured scores of small domes, which led some art historians to take this as an indication of the appearance of pre- Christian
Christian
pagan Slavic temples.

Several examples of these churches survive; however, during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, many were externally rebuilt in the Ukrainian Baroque
Baroque
style (see below). Examples include the grand St. Sophia of Kiev
Kiev
– the year 1017 is the earliest record of foundation laid, Church of the Saviour at Berestove – built from 1113 to 1125 and St. Cyril\'s Church , circa 12th-century. All can still be found in the Ukrainian capital. Several buildings were reconstructed during the late-19th century, including the Assumption Cathedral in Volodymyr-Volynskyi , built in 1160 and reconstructed in 1896–1900, the Paraskevi church in Chernihiv
Chernihiv
, built in 1201 with reconstruction done in the late 1940s, and the Golden gates in Kiev
Kiev
, built in 1037 and reconstructed in 1982. The latter's reconstruction was criticised by some art and architecture historians as a revivalist fantasy. Unfortunately little secular or vernacular architecture of Kievan Rus\' has survived.

As Ukraine
Ukraine
became increasingly integrated into the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
, Russian architects had the opportunity to realise their projects in the picturesque landscape that many Ukrainian cities and regions offered. St. Andrew\'s Church of Kiev
Kiev
(1747–1754), built by Bartolomeo Rastrelli , is a notable example of Baroque
Baroque
architecture, and its location on top of the Kievan mountain made it a recognisable monument of the city. An equally notable contribution of Rasetrelli was the Mariyinsky Palace , which was built to be a summer residence to Russian Empress Elizabeth . During the reign of the last Hetman
Hetman
of Ukraine
Ukraine
, Kirill Razumovsky
Kirill Razumovsky
, many of the Cossack Hetmanate
Cossack Hetmanate
's towns such as Hlukhiv , Baturyn and Koselets
Koselets
had grandiose projects built by Andrey Kvasov . Russia
Russia
eventually conquered the south of Ukraine
Ukraine
and Crimea, and renamed them as New Russia
Russia
. New cities such as Nikolayev , Odessa
Odessa
, Kherson
Kherson
and Sevastopol
Sevastopol
were founded. These would contain notable examples of Imperial Russian architecture.

*

The Cathedral of Saints Boris and Gleb
Boris and Gleb
in Chernihiv
Chernihiv
dates to Kievan Rus\' . 1030. *

Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle
Castle
– one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine *

St Andrew\'s Church in Kiev
Kiev
, an example of Baroque
Baroque
*

Lviv\'s Old Town ; architecture there is much influenced by its history as part of Austria- Hungary
Hungary
and Poland
Poland
. *

Vorontsov Palace , at the foot of the Crimean Mountains , an example of Gothic / Moorish Revival architecture *

St. Michael\'s Golden-Domed Cathedral in Kiev
Kiev
, an example of Ukrainian Baroque *

Example of early 20th century architecture in Lviv
Lviv
*

Lviv. The Bernardine church in the style of Italian and Dutch mannerism *

Poltava museum, Ukrainian Modern architecture example. 1908. *

Central Department store in Kiev
Kiev
, Stalinist architecture example *

Modern residential architecture in Kharkiv
Kharkiv
*

Schönborn Palace. 1895

In 1934, the capital of Soviet Ukraine
Ukraine
moved from Kharkiv
Kharkiv
to Kiev
Kiev
. Previously, the city was seen as only a regional centre, hence received little attention. All of that was to change, at great price. The first examples of Stalinist architecture were already showing, and, in light of the official policy, a new city was to be built on top of the old one. This meant that much-admired examples such as the St. Michael\'s Golden-Domed Monastery were destroyed. Even the St. Sophia Cathedral was under threat. Also, the Second World War contributed to the wreckage. After the war, a new project for the reconstruction of central Kiev
Kiev
transformed Khreshchatyk avenue into a notable example of Stalinism in Architecture. However, by 1955, the new politics of architecture once again stopped the project from fully being realised.

The task for modern Ukrainian architecture is diverse application of modern aesthetics, the search for an architect's own artistic style and inclusion of the existing historico-cultural environment. An example of modern Ukrainian architecture is the reconstruction and renewal of the Maidan Nezalezhnosti in central Kiev. Despite the limit set by narrow space within the plaza, the engineers were able to blend together the uneven landscape, and use underground space for a new shopping centre.

A major project, which may take up most of the 21st century, is the construction of the Kiev
Kiev
City-Centre on the Rybalskyi Peninsula , which, when finished, will include a dense skyscraper park amid the picturesque landscape of the Dnieper .

MUSIC

Main article: Music of Ukraine Cossack
Cossack
Mamay playing a kobza

Music is a major part of Ukrainian culture, with a long history and many influences. From traditional folk music , to classical and modern rock , Ukraine
Ukraine
has produced several internationally recognised musicians including Kirill Karabits , Okean Elzy and Ruslana . Elements from traditional Ukrainian folk music made their way into Western music and even into modern jazz . Mykola Lysenko is widely considered to be the father of Ukrainian classical music.

Ukrainian music sometimes presents a perplexing mix of exotic melismatic singing with chordal harmony. The most striking general characteristic of authentic ethnic Ukrainian folk music is the wide use of minor modes or keys which incorporate augmented 2nd intervals.

During the Baroque
Baroque
period, music was an important discipline for those that had received a higher education in Ukraine. It had a place of considerable importance in the curriculum of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy . Much of the nobility was well versed in music with many Ukrainian Cossack
Cossack
leaders such as (Mazepa, Paliy, Holovatyj, Sirko) being accomplished players of the kobza , bandura or torban .

The first dedicated musical academy was set up in Hlukhiv, Ukraine
Ukraine
in 1738 and students were taught to sing, play violin and bandura from manuscripts. As a result, many of the earliest composers and performers within the Russian empire were ethnically Ukrainian, having been born or educated in Hlukhiv, or had been closely associated with this music school. See: Dmytro Bortniansky , Maksym Berezovsky and Artemiy Vedel . Ukrainian dance hopak

Ukrainian classical music falls into three distinct categories defined by whether the composer was of Ukrainian ethnicity living in Ukraine, a composer of non-Ukrainian ethnicity who was born or at some time was a citizen of Ukraine, or an ethnic Ukrainian living outside of Ukraine
Ukraine
within the Ukrainian diaspora . The music of these three groups differs considerably, as do the audiences for whom they cater.

Since the mid-1960s, Western-influenced pop music has been growing in popularity in Ukraine. Folk singer and harmonium player Mariana Sadovska is prominent. Ukrainian pop and folk music arose with the international popularity of groups and performers like Vopli Vidoplyasova , Dakh Daughters , Dakha Brakha
Dakha Brakha
, Ivan Dorn and Okean Elzy .

Modern musical culture of Ukraine
Ukraine
is presented both with academic and entertainment music. Ukraine
Ukraine
has five conservatories, 6 opera houses, five houses of Chamber Music, Philharmony in all regional centers.

Ukraine
Ukraine
hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 and the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 .

CINEMA

Main article: Cinema of Ukraine

Ukraine
Ukraine
has had an influence on the history of the cinema. Ukrainian directors Alexander Dovzhenko , often cited as one of the most important early Soviet filmmakers, as well as being a pioneer of Soviet montage theory , Dovzhenko Film Studios , and Sergei Parajanov , Armenian film director and artist who made significant contributions to Ukrainian, Armenian and Georgian cinema. He invented his own cinematic style, Ukrainian poetic cinema, which was totally out of step with the guiding principles of socialist realism. Kira Muratova

Other important directors including Kira Muratova , Larisa Shepitko , Sergei Bondarchuk , Leonid Bykov
Leonid Bykov
, Yuri Ilyenko
Yuri Ilyenko
, Leonid Osyka , Ihor Podolchak with his Delirium and Maryna Vroda . Many Ukrainian actors have achieved international fame and critical success, including: Vera Kholodnaya , Bohdan Stupka , Milla Jovovich , Olga Kurylenko , Mila Kunis .

Despite a history of important and successful productions, the industry has often been characterised by a debate about its identity and the level of European and Russian influence. Ukrainian producers are active in international co-productions and Ukrainian actors, directors and crew feature regularly in Russian (Soviet in past) films. Also successful films have been based on Ukrainian people, stories or events, including Battleship Potemkin , Man with a Movie Camera , Everything Is Illuminated .

Ukrainian State Film Agency owns National Oleksandr Dovzhenko Film Centre , film copying laboratory and archive, takes part in hosting of the Odessa
Odessa
International Film Festival , and Molodist is the only one FIAPF accredited International Film Festival held in Ukraine; competition program is devoted to student, first short and first full feature films from all over the world. Held annually in October.

MEDIA

Main article: Media of Ukraine

Ukrayinska Pravda was founded by Georgiy Gongadze in April 2000 (the day of the Ukrainian constitutional referendum). Published mainly in Ukrainian with selected articles published in or translated to Russian and English, the newspaper has particular emphasis on the politics of Ukraine. Freedom of the press in Ukraine
Ukraine
is considered to be among the freest of the post-Soviet states other than the Baltic states. Freedom House classifies the Internet in Ukraine as "free" and the press as "partly free". Press freedom has significantly improved since the Orange Revolution of 2004. However, in 2010 Freedom House perceived "negative trends in Ukraine".

Kiev
Kiev
dominates the media sector in Ukraine: the Kyiv Post is Ukraine's leading English-language newspaper. National newspapers Den , Mirror Weekly , tabloids, such as The Ukrainian Week or Focus (Russian), and television and radio are largely based there, although Lviv
Lviv
is also a significant national media centre. The National News Agency of Ukraine, Ukrinform was founded here in 1918. The Ukraine publishing sector, including books, directories and databases, journals, magazines and business media, newspapers and news agencies, has a combined turnover. Sanoma publishes Ukrainian editions of such magazines as Esquire , Harpers Bazaar
Harpers Bazaar
and National Geographic Magazine . BBC Ukrainian started its broadcasts in 1992.

Ukrainians listen to radio programming, such as Radio Ukraine or Radio Liberty , largely commercial, on average just over two-and-a-half hours a day. Several television channels operate, and many Websites are popular.

SPORT

Main article: Sport in Ukraine Ukrainian footballer Andriy Shevchenko celebrates a goal against Sweden
Sweden
at Euro 2012.

Ukraine
Ukraine
greatly benefited from the Soviet emphasis on physical education . Such policies left Ukraine
Ukraine
with hundreds of stadia, swimming pools, gymnasia and many other athletic facilities. The most popular sport is football . The top professional league is the Vyscha Liha ("premier league").

Many Ukrainians also played for the Soviet national football team , most notably Ihor Belanov and Oleh Blokhin , winners of the prestigious Golden Ball Award . This award was only presented to one Ukrainian after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Andriy Shevchenko . The national team made its debut in the 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
, and reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champions, Italy
Italy
. Ukrainians also fared well in boxing , where the brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko
Wladimir Klitschko
have held world heavyweight championships.

Sergey Bubka held the record in the Pole vault
Pole vault
from 1993 to 2014; with great strength, speed and gymnastic abilities, he was voted the world's best athlete on several occasions.

Basketball
Basketball
is becoming popular in Ukraine. In 2011, Ukraine
Ukraine
was granted a right to organize EuroBasket 2015 . Two years later the Ukraine national basketball team finished 6th in EuroBasket 2013 and qualified to FIBA World Cup for the first time in its history. Euroleague participant Budivelnyk Kyiv is the strongest professional basketball club in Ukraine.

Chess
Chess
is a popular sport in Ukraine. Ruslan Ponomariov
Ruslan Ponomariov
is the former world champion. There are about 85 Grandmasters and 198 International Masters in Ukraine.

Rugby league is played throughout Ukraine.

Ukraine
Ukraine
made its Olympic debut at the 1994 Winter Olympics . So far, Ukraine at the Olympics
Ukraine at the Olympics
has been much more successful in Summer Olympics (115 medals in five appearances) than in the Winter Olympics . Ukraine
Ukraine
is currently ranked 35th by number of gold medals won in the All-time Olympic Games medal count
All-time Olympic Games medal count
, with every country above it, except for Russia, having more appearances.

CUISINE

Main article: Ukrainian cuisine
Ukrainian cuisine

The traditional Ukrainian diet includes chicken, pork, beef, fish and mushrooms. Ukrainians also tend to eat a lot of potatoes, grains, fresh, boiled or pickled vegetables. Popular traditional dishes include varenyky (boiled dumplings with mushrooms, potatoes, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, cherries or berries), nalysnyky (pancakes with cottage cheese, poppy seeds, mushrooms, caviar or meat), kapuśniak (soup made with meat, potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, millet, tomato paste, spices and fresh herbs), borscht (soup made of beets, cabbage and mushrooms or meat), holubtsy (stuffed cabbage rolls filled with rice, carrots, onion and minced meat) and pierogi (dumplings filled with boiled potatoes and cheese or meat). Ukrainian specialties also include Chicken Kiev
Kiev
and Kiev
Kiev
cake . Ukrainians drink stewed fruit , juices, milk, buttermilk (they make cottage cheese from this), mineral water, tea and coffee, beer, wine and horilka .

* Varenyky topped with fried onion * Borscht soup with sour cream * Paska , Ukrainian Easter
Easter
bread

SEE ALSO

* General Secretariat of Ukraine * List of cultural icons of Ukraine * Outline of Ukraine
Outline of Ukraine
* Ukrainian karbovanets – the first official Ukrainian currency * Ukrainian oligarchs

NOTES

A.^ Among the Ukrainians that rose to the highest offices in the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
were Aleksey Razumovsky , Alexander Bezborodko and Ivan Paskevich . Among the Ukrainians who greatly influenced the Russian Orthodox Church in this period were Stephen Yavorsky
Stephen Yavorsky
, Feofan Prokopovich and Dimitry of Rostov .

B.^ Estimates on the number of deaths vary. Official Soviet data is not available because the Soviet government denied the existence of the famine. See the Holodomor
Holodomor
article for details. Sources differ on interpreting various statements from different branches of different governments as to whether they amount to the official recognition of the Famine
Famine
as Genocide
Genocide
by the country. For example, after the statement issued by the Latvian Sejm on 13 March 2008, the total number of countries is given as 19 (according to Ukrainian BBC
BBC
: "Латвія визнала Голодомор ґеноцидом"), 16 (according to Korrespondent , Russian edition: "После продолжительных дебатов Сейм Латвии признал Голодомор геноцидом украинцев"), "more than 10" (according to Korrespondent, Ukrainian edition: "Латвія визнала Голодомор 1932–33 рр. геноцидом українців") Retrieved 27 January 2008.

C.1 2 These figures are likely to be much higher, as they DO NOT include Ukrainians from nations or Ukrainian Jews, but instead only ethnic Ukrainians, from the Ukrainian SSR.

D.^ This figure excludes POW
POW
deaths.

E.^ Russia
Russia
and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
are the first and second largest but both these figures include European and Asian territories. Russia
Russia
is the only country possessing European territories larger than Ukraine.

F.1 2 3 According to the official 2001 census data (by nationality; by language ) about 75 percent of Kiev's population responded 'Ukrainian' to the native language (ridna mova) census question, and roughly 25 percent responded 'Russian'. On the other hand, when the question 'What language do you use in everyday life?' was asked in the 2003 sociological survey, the Kievans' answers were distributed as follows: 'mostly Russian': 52 percent, 'both Russian and Ukrainian in equal measure': 32 percent, 'mostly Ukrainian': 14 percent, 'exclusively Ukrainian': 4.3 percent. "What language is spoken in Ukraine?". Welcome to Ukraine. February 2003. Retrieved 11 July 2008.

G.^ Such writings were also the base for Russian and Belarusian literature.

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on the results of Census 2001" (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. Retrieved 8 January 2014.

PRINT SOURCES

REFERENCE BOOKS

* Encyclopedia of Ukraine (University of Toronto Press, 1984–93) 5 vol; partial online version, from Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies * Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia Vol.1 ed by Volodymyr E. KubijovyC; University of Toronto Press. 1963; 1188pp * Dalton, Meredith. Ukraine
Ukraine
(Culture Shock! A Survival Guide to Customs & Etiquette) (2001) * Evans, Andrew. Ukraine
Ukraine
(2nd ed 2007) The Bradt Travel Guide online excerpts and search at Amazon.com * Johnstone, Sarah. Ukraine
Ukraine
(Lonely Planet Travel Guides) (2005)

RECENT (SINCE 1991)

* Aslund, Anders, and Michael McFaul.Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine's Democratic Breakthrough (2006) * Birch, Sarah. Elections and Democratization in Ukraine
Ukraine
Macmillan, 2000 online edition * Edwards Mike: " Ukraine
Ukraine
– Running on empty" National Geographic Magazine March 1993 * Katchanovski, Ivan: Cleft Countries: Regional Political Divisions and Cultures in Post-Soviet Ukraine
Ukraine
and Moldova, Ibidem-Verlag, 2006, ISBN 978-3-89821-558-9 * Kuzio, Taras: Contemporary Ukraine: Dynamics of Post-Soviet Transformation, M.E. Sharpe, 1998, ISBN 0-7656-0224-5 * Kuzio, Taras. Ukraine: State and Nation Building Routledge, 1998 online edition * Shamshur O. V., Ishevskaya T. I., Multilingual education as a factor of inter-ethnic relations: the case of the Ukraine, in Language Education for Intercultural Communication, By D. E. Ager, George Muskens, Sue Wright, Multilingual Matters, 1993, ISBN 1-85359-204-8 * Shen, Raphael (1996). Ukraine's Economic Reform: Obstacles, Errors, Lessons. Praeger/Greenwood. ISBN 0-275-95240-1 . * Whitmore, Sarah. State Building in Ukraine: The Ukrainian Parliament, 1990–2003 Routledge, 2004 online edition * Wilson, Andrew , Ukraine's Orange Revolution (2005) * Wilson, Andrew, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation, 2nd ed. 2002; online excerpts at Amazon * Wilson, Andrew, Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990s: A Minority Faith, Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
, ISBN 0-521-57457-9 * Zon, Hans van. The Political Economy of Independent Ukraine. 2000 online edition

HISTORY

* UKRAINIAN UPPER PALAEOLITHIC BETWEEN 40/10.000 BP * Bilinsky, Yaroslav The Second Soviet Republic: The Ukraine
Ukraine
after World War II
World War II
(Rutgers UP, 1964) online * Hrushevsky, Michael. A History of Ukraine (1986) * Katchanovski Ivan; Kohut, Zenon E.; Nebesio, Bohdan Y.; and Yurkevich, Myroslav. Historical Dictionary of Ukraine. Second Edition. Scarecrow Press, 2013. 968 pp. * Kononenko, Konstantyn. Ukraine
Ukraine
and Russia: A History of the Economic Relations between Ukraine
Ukraine
and Russia, 1654–1917 (Marquette University Press 1958) online * Luckyj, George S. Towards an Intellectual History of Ukraine: An Anthology of Ukrainian Thought from 1710 to 1995. (1996) * Magocsi, Paul Robert , A History of Ukraine. University of Toronto Press , 1996 ISBN 0-8020-7820-6 * Reid, Anna. Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine (2003) online edition * Subtelny, Orest . Ukraine: A History, 1st edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press , 1988. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0 . * Yekelchyk, Serhy. Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation (Oxford University Press 2007) online

World War II

* Boshyk, Yuri (1986). Ukraine
Ukraine
During World War II: History and Its Aftermath. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. ISBN 0-920862-37-3 . * Berkhoff, Karel C. Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule. Harvard U. Press, 2004. 448 pp. * Cliff, Tony (1984). Class Struggle and Women's Liberation. Bookmarks. ISBN 0-906224-12-8 . * Gross, Jan T. Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia (1988). * Lower, Wendy. Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine. U. of North Carolina Press, 2005. 307 pp. * Piotrowski Tadeusz, Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic
Ethnic
Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide
Genocide
in the Second Republic, 1918–1947, McFarland & Company, 1998, ISBN 0-7864-0371-3 * Redlich, Shimon. Together and Apart in Brzezany: Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians, 1919–1945. Indiana U. Press, 2002. 202 pp. * Zabarko, Boris, ed. Holocaust In The Ukraine, Mitchell Vallentine padding:0.75em; background:#f9f9f9;"> Find more aboutUKRAINEat Wikipedia's sister projects

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