Ukraine is the second-largest European country in area after Russia. It borders Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, Russia and the Black Sea in Eastern Europe.
Ukraine is geographic center of Europe
The geographic center of Europe is on the territory of Ukraine not far from Rakhiv in Zakarpatia oblast. As far back as 1887, experts of Austria Hungary had determined this point, stele and land-surveying sign marking it. In Latin, the following words were engraves there: LОСUS РЕRЕNNІS. Dilicentissime cum lіbеllа lіbrаtіоnіs guае еst іп Аustrіа еt Нungаrіа соnfесtа сum mеnsurа grаdum mеrіdіоnаlіum еt раrаllеlоumіеrum Еurореum. МD ССС LХХХVІІ, “that translated state such a thing: “Permanent, exact, and eternal place. Very precisely, using special apparatus made in Austria and Hungary, with scale of meridians and parallels, set the Center of Europe. 1887.”
Official currency : hryvnia (hrn)
Time: 2 pm = noon GMT.
Area: 603,550 sq km (slightly smaller than Texas)
Capital: Kiev (Kyiv)
Ethnic Groups: Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, and other 1.8% (2001 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $353 billion (2016 est.)
GDP per capita: $8,300 (2016 est.)
Unemployment: 10% (2016 est.)
Government : Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic
Drives on the right
Calling code +380
ISO 3166 code UA
Internet TLD : .ua, .укр
Prior to the 20th century, Ukrainian territories were controlled at different times by Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Mongols, Cossacks and others.
From the 18th to 20th centuries, Russia and the Soviet Union carried out a program of Russification to discourage Ukrainian national identity.
Unlike many cultures around the world, Ukrainians wear wedding rings on the right hand not the left.
The world’s longest musical instrument also originates from Ukraine. The pipe piece is aptly named Trembita.
Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt met at the Yalta Conference in 1945, which was hosted by Ukraine. The meeting was aimed at charting the way forward in relation to the organization of post-war Europe. The venue, Livadia Palace is now a museum.
Catherine the Great and some of her successors advocated increasing German immigration into Ukraine following the Russo-Turkish War in the late 1700s. The primary objective was to dilute the country’s demographic, which was characterized by a dominant Turk population.
World’s First Constitution
In 1710, Ukrainian Hetman Pylyp Orlyk introduced “Pacts and Constitutions of Rights and Freedoms of the Zaporizhian Host”, at that time a super-progressive document which meant to separate powers into three branches and regulate the rights and responsibilities of the government and citizens. Some researchers believe that this document is one of the world’s first constitutions. For example, U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1787 and French and Polish in 1791.
The world’s heaviest aircraft
The world’s heaviest aircraft is An-225 Mriya is created by the Kyiv-based Antonov design bureau. The plane was designed to airlift space shuttles and rocket boosters, however is now carrying oversized payloads.
Ukranians love Hamburgers!