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UKRAINE is located in Central — Eastern Europe. It occupies southwest part of Eastern European Plato and part of Carpathians and Crimean mountains. South borders of Ukraine are washed by Black and Azov seas.

The geopolitical location of Ukraine bordering west and east nations and cultures has significantly influenced the historical and present development of the state.

National Symbols of Ukraine: State Flag and Emblem
National Symbols of Ukraine: State Flag and Emblem

TERRITORIALLY it is larger than France, Spain, Sweden, and Poland, but it slightly smaller than Texas. About 90% of the territory is taken up by wide rolling plains. However, there are also mountains in Ukraine: the Carpathians in the west and the Crimean Range in the south. Neither are very high, but gorgeously picturesque.

The Dnipro is the longest of the rivers in Ukraine (2285 km, or 1520 miles), and third largest in Europe.

Map of the Ukraine
Ukraine Map

POPULATION is 49 million as of January 1, 2004, Ukraine ranks fifth in Europe after Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

THE CLIMATE in Ukraine is similar to the wheat-producing regions of Canada and is characterized by abundant precipitation and cloudy skies, especially in fall and winter. The mean temperature in summer is 67°F (19°C) and in winter 21°F (–6°C).


January 1 — New Year
January 7 — Christmas
March 8 — Women's Day
May 1, 2 — Labor Day
May 5 — Easter
May 9 — Victory Day
June 23 — Whitsunday
June 28 — Constitution Day
August 24 — Independence Day


The capital of Ukraine is Kiev a scenic city of close to 3 million people. Kiev suffered severely during World War II, and many irreplaceable architectural and art treasures were destroyed. Earlier in the 1930's the Soviet authorities systematically destroyed many churches. Extensive restoration has revived much of historic Kiev. The city hit the headlines in April 1986, when the nuclear reactor at nearby Chernobyl exploded, but scientists generally agree that the city is now safe from radiation effects.

The modern center with surviving parts of the old city are on the hilly west, or right bank, of the Dnipro River. The main street, Khreschatik, runs between two steep hills.

Kiev center map
The Kiev founders Kiy, Schek, Khoriv and their sister Lybid'
The Kiev founders Kiy, Schek, Khoriv and their sister Lybid'


Odessa — Perl of the Black Sea. Odessa has always shown more color, spunk, and irreverence than other cities of the Ukraine. There's an excitement, a verve, an anything-is-possible feeling in its streets. It's a sea port with bathing and boardwalks, a resort city with health spas. With its balmy climate, seaside vistas and sandy beaches, and year-round street life, Odessa has an ambience more Mediterranean than Slavic.

It has a rich multi-ethnic legacy and its population of 1,000,000 is one of the largest in Ukraine.

Odessa center map
Duke de Richelieu — First Odessa Govener
Duke de Richelieu — First Odessa Govener

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