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Ukraine

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Geography. Ukraine is a state in Central Eastern Europe which borders on Belarus in the north, Poland and Slovakia in the west, Hungary, Geography. Ukraine is a state in Central Eastern Europe which borders on Belarus in the north, Poland and Slovakia in the west, Hungary, Romania and Moldova in the south-west, Russia in the east. Ukraine is washed by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the south. The largest Black Sea ports are Odessa, Illichevsk, Kherson, Sevastopol with Mariupol, Berdyansk, Kerch being the biggest Azov Sea ports.
The total area of Ukraine is 603.7 thousand square kilometers that makes up 5.7% territory of Europe and 0.44% of the world territory. Ukraine is the biggest country the borders of which do not go beyond the territory of Europe. The geographical centre of Europe is located on the territory of Ukraine near Rakhiv town in the Transcarpathian region.
The flatland constitutes the major part of the territory of Ukraine, while the west and the extreme south are mountainous represented by the Carpathian Mountains and the Crimean Mountains respectively. The capital of Ukraine is Kiev.
Political system. Ukraine is a unitary republic. The President is the head of the state. Administratively the territory of Ukraine is divided into the autonomous republic of Crimea and 24 provinces; two cities Kiev and Sevastopol have special status.
Climate. The climate of Ukraine is temperate continental, and the one of the Southern Coast of Crimea is subtropical of Mediterranean type.
The average temperature depending on the region ranges from +5° to -12°C in winter and from +18° to +25°C in summer, though in the afternoon it can be as high as +35°C. The warmest region of Ukraine is the Southern Coast of Crimea. In summer the temperature of water in the Black Sea is +22° - + 24° С and +25°- +30° С in the Sea of Azov. Precipitation is disproportionately distributed; its annual quantity diminishes from the west and northern west to the south and south-east. The mountains receive the highest precipitation. The annual quantity of precipitation is: the flatland – 300-700 mm, the Crimean Mountains – 1000-1200 mm, the Carpathian Mountains – more than 1500 mm.
The population. Ukraine is a multi-national country. The population is 47.5 mln people, among them the Ukrainians compose approximately 80%, the rest are the Russians, the Belorussians, the Jews, the Crimean Tatars, the Moldavians, the Bulgarians, the Poles, the Hungarians, the Romanians, the Greeks, the Armenians, the Georgians and others.
Religion. The main religion is Christianity (Orthodoxy is dominating), other religions that have a rather strong presence in Ukraine are Judaism and Islam.
Language. The national language is Ukrainian. Russian language is also widely spoken.
Money. The currency unit of Ukraine is hryvna. One hryvna contains 100 kopecks. The currency can be exchanged for hryvnas in banks and exchange offices which operate from Monday till Friday from 9:00 till 19:00 and on Saturday from 9:00 till 14:00. Big cities have twenty-four-hour exchange offices.
Holidays.
1 January – the New Year Day.
7 January – Christmas.
8 March – the International Women’s Day.
Easter – the date changes according to the church calendar.
1,2 May – the International Labour Day
9 May – the Victory Day.
The Trinity – the date changes according to the church calendar.
28 June – the Constitution Day of Ukraine.
24 August – the Independence Day of Ukraine.
Cuisine. The Ukrainian cuisine is lavish and varied. The traditional dishes are Ukrainian borshch (beet-root soup) with pampushkas (buns spread with garlic); dumplings stuffed with cream cheese, potatoes, cabbage, cherries; stuffed cabbage leaves; roast meat; stewed fruit.
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