Ukraine is located in the South-Eastern part of Central
Europe and has its national borders, territory,
government, national emblem, flag and anthem. On land Ukraine borders
Russia, Belarussia, Moldova, Slovakia, Roumania, Hungary and Poland
and Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Roumania and Turkey on the sea.
The territory of Ukraine is mainly flat plains called
"step." There are the Crimean Mountains in the Crimean
peninsula and the Carpathians in the west, but they are not very
high. Mixed forests of pine and fir-trees, beeches, limes, oaks
and elms cover these mountains, but the thickest woods can still
be found in the northern part of Ukraine, in Volyn. Kiev
and Cherkassy are located in the midst of Ukrainian southernmost
pine forests. The main Ukrainian river is called the Dnieper. It
is one of the longest rivers in Europe and one of Ukraine's main
sources of hydroelectric power. The Dnieper and the Ross river were
a historic cradle of the Ukrainian and Russian antient tribes.
Ukrainian climate is rather moderate. Winter is mild,
without severe frosts, but with regular snowfalls everywhere except
the souther part of the country. The rivers and lakes freeze during
winter. The average winter temperature varies from -25 C in the
North to -3 C in the South. Summer is very hot and dry, with occasional
showers and thunderstorms. The fertile black soil ("chernozem")
is well watered in spring and fall and gets plenty of sunshine in
Due to favorable climatic conditions, Ukraine has
traditionally been an agricultural paradise. It grows wheat, maize,
buckwheat and other corns, red and green vegetables, all kinds of
fruit, melons and berries.
Ukraine is one of the world's main sugar producing.
It produces sugar both for its internal market as well as exports
a considarable part to the Western countries.
The country is rich in natural resources, such as
iron ore, coal, metals, oil, gas, mineral salts, clay and water.
Ukraine has developed a varoius industries, concentrated mainly
in and around big cities, such as Kiev,
Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Dnyeprodzerzhinsk, Odessa,
Kharkov, Lviv, Yalta,
Nickolayev and others. It produces planes and ships, trucks and
buses, motorcars and trains, computer and electronic equipment,
precision instruments and agricultural machines, TVs and radios,
chemicals, textiles and various consumer goods. Odessa, Sebastopol,
Nickolayev, Kherson and Kerch are main ukrainian ports.
Ukrainian time: GMT / UTC +2
Phone dialling Code: +38
Electricity specs: 220 V, 50 Hz
Weight & measure system: Metric
See Map of Ukraine
Best time to visit Ukraine
The best time to go to Ukraine is spring (late April
to early June), when the trees and flowers are in bloom. During
this season attractions are less crowded and rainfall is lighter
than in summer. The beaches at Odessa and Crimea are packed in summer
(July and August). Winter (December and January) is cold and snowy,
so travellers should be prepared to don thick wool sweaters and
eat their vegetables pickled.
Ukrainians place gifts under fir trees and sing holiday
songs for New Year's Day. The country celebrates Orthodox Christmas
Day on 7 January. Paskha (Easter) is the main festival of the Orthodox
Church year, beginning with midnight services and continuing with
parades around village churches throughout the country. In Lviv,
the National Virtuoso fills the month of May with musical and theatrical
performances focussing on national themes. The capital celebrates
spring during Kiev Days, held the last weekend in May. In August,
Crimea fetes itself at Yalta's Crimean Stars. On 28 August, religious
pilgrims flock to the monastery in Pochayiv for the Feast of the
Assumption. Cities and towns honour Independence Day on 24 August
with performances and special events.