Ukraine is a country located in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to the east, Belarus to the north, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, Romania and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to the south. The capital is the city of Kiev (Kyiv), the largest in the country. The name of the country comes from the term krajina, which in Slavic can have two meanings: “border territory” or “country”. In modern Ukrainian (kraína) it means “country”. It has an area of 603 550 km 2.
Ukraine has about 46 million residents, which gives an average density of about 76 h / km². It is a modern population that ended the demographic transition during the communist period. It is a moderately aged population, 13% of the population is under 15 years old, 71% between 15 and 65 years old and 16% over 65 years old. Ukraine is losing population at a rate of -0.6% annually. The birth rate is low, less than 10 ‰, which gives a fertility rate of 1.3 children per woman. The mortality rate is low, 16 ‰, and the infant mortality rate is even lower, less than 9 ‰. Life expectancy at birth is around 68 years.
As a country located in Europe according to ETHNICITYOLOGY, Ukraine is a preferably urban population. 68% of the population lives in cities. The main ones are:
- Kiev, 2,740,312 h
- Kharkiv, 1,459,908 h
- Dnepropetrovsk, 1,044,770 h
- Odessa, 988,612 h
- Donetsk, 987,453 h
- Zaporozhie, 784,572 h
- L’viv, 735,337 h
- Krivoi Rog, 730,739 h
- Mikolayov, 507,190 h
The Donbass river basin is the most populated in the country, with densities that exceed 600 h./km².
Ukraine, in times of the Soviet Union, underwent an intense process of Russification, so that almost a quarter of the Ukrainian population is of Russian origin, or from other former Soviet republics, in addition to minorities of Bulgarians, Hungarians and Romanians.
After the independence of the Soviet Union, migration has been a constant in Ukraine. In the early years it became a destination for emigration from other former Soviet republics, due to its higher rate of industrialization, and a more stable economy. However, Ukraine also could not escape the general crisis that hit all the former Soviet republics and many Ukrainians emigrated, especially to the countries of the European Union.
Today Ukraine has an essentially service economy. Agriculture contributes 9% of GDP and welcomes 19% of the workforce, industry accounts for 31% of GDP and 24% of workers, and services account for 60% of GDP and 57% of the force. labor.
Ukraine is one of the world’s major cereal producers, thanks to the black lands of its steppe, which are especially rich with these crops. In addition, it is a producer of sugar beet, sunflower and fruit, vine and cotton crops on the shores of the Black Sea.
Livestock production is also important, especially cattle and pigs, thanks to the large pastures.
Despite the remarkable flatness of the country, Ukraine obtains a good part of its electricity from hydroelectric plants, located along the Dnieper, but it also has thermal and nuclear power plants, which remain active despite the [[Chernobyl] disaster.]
Ukraine has important mining resources, such as coal from the Donbass basin, which is also the main industrial region of the country, thanks to the steel industry. It also has natural gas, in Shebelinka and Dashava, iron ore, manganese, rock salt, etc.
The main industrial axis of the country is located between Yuzovka and Lugansk, in the Donbass basin, which is followed by the Dnipropetrovsk-Krivói Rog axis. However, the main cities are also important industrial centers, as well as the main ports, such as Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson and Sevastopol.
Especially important is the motor industry, with world-famous products such as spaceships, missiles, Antonov aircraft and KPa3 trucks. Ukraine has its own space agency, which has launched six of its own satellites and many launch vehicles.
Ukraine is a major tourist destination for neighboring countries, thanks to the Mediterranean climate found on the Crimean peninsula and the shores of the Black Sea. These destinations were already important in the time of the Soviet Union.
Ukraine is essentially a low plain. The only mountain formations are the foothills of the Carpathians to the west of the country, and the mountains of the Crimean peninsula. Its highest point is Mount Goverla, 2,061 meters high.
The plain is a continuation of the Great Russian Plain and is slightly inclined towards the Black Sea, although its gradient is so low that it can barely evacuate rainwater, which is why we find numerous lakes and swamps. Most are black lands, very fertile for cereal agriculture.
On this low plain, extensive slightly higher plateaus develop.
Ukraine tributes to the Baltic Sea to the north and the Black Sea to the south. The main rivers of Ukraine are the Dnieper (Dnipro), the Donéts, the Dniester and the Southern Bug. The Dniester and the Bug flood the western region of the country, the Dnieper the center and the Donets, which is a tributary of the Don, the east. Ukrainian rivers are slow and mighty, and navigable for most of their length.
The Dnieper River is born in Russia. It has a length of 2,290 km of which 1,900 km are navigable. Ukraine is responsible for the lower course of the river, slow and mighty. On its banks there are three important river ports: Kiev, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporozhie. The last 800 kilometers are an almost interrupted succession of reservoirs. At its mouth we find a large estuary. Its main tributary in Ukraine is the 1,130 km Desná River.
The Donets River is one of the main tributaries of the Don. It is 1,050 km long, and runs mostly in Ukraine.
The Dniester River is 1,352 km long. It is born near Lvov and empties into the Black Sea. Oats much of the west of the country.
The Southern Bug River, is born in the heights of Podolia, and empties into the Black Sea. It has a length of 806 km. Its importance lies in the intense commercial traffic of its route.
Ukraine has a humid continental climate, with very contrasting temperatures and the rainy season in summer. However, the shores of the Black Sea have a cold Mediterranean climate. The hottest month is July, in which the average temperature is over 25ºC. In winter the averages are between -8 ° C inland and north and 2 ° C on the Crimean coast. However, the Ukrainian shores of the Black Sea freeze in winter.
Rainfall decreases from north to south and from west to east. They are between 700 and 300 mm, although in the Carpathian mountains they rise up to 1,500 mm per year.
The typical forest of Ukraine is the mixed flatland and coniferous forest, although steppes and peat are most abundant in the worst-drained regions. We can find the temperate hardwood forest, in the subtypes of central Europe, in the north and northwest, Eastern Europe, in the center and northeast, Pannonia, in the extreme southwest and the sub-Mediterranean forest complex in southern Crimea. The temperate coniferous forest, in the Carpathian montane subtype, in the southwest mountains, and the steppe prairie in the south and east of the country.
The serious accident at the Chernovil nuclear power plant has conditioned an enormous extension of the country around the city. These are areas that are polluted or with high levels of radiation in which about three million people live, suffering from deforestation and lack of drinking water.