Ukraine is definitely a destination to be discovered. It is the largest country in Europe with 0.41% of the world’s territory and 0.85% of the world’s population. It borders the Russian Federation, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova, with the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south.
Ukraine is a place with fabulous nature, architectural landmarks and golden-domed churches. It is on the crossroads between Central and Eastern Europe, between the north and south. It has mountain ranges – the Carpathian mountains are good for skiing, hiking, fishing and hunting. The coastline on the Black Sea is a popular summer destination for vacationers.
Today, Ukraine is a cradle of well-wishing people and a country of sunflowers and endless blue skies.
August, 24, 1991
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Location: Central-Eastern Europe, part of the East-European plain, between 44”20′ and 52”20′ N and 22”5′ and 41”15’E.
Area: 603 700 km2
Climate: moderately continental.
Average winter temperature is from -8° to -12° C (from +17.6° F to +3° F). In the Southern regions average winter temperature is 0° C (+32° F).
Average summer temperature is from +18° to +25° C (from +64.4° F to +77° F), although maximum temperature can be more than +35°C (+95° F).
Best time to visit Ukraine: summer, late spring and early autumn.
Internet top-level domain: ua
International phone code: 380
Ukrainian culture and customs of Ukraine and ethnic Ukrainians. Ukraine has a shared culture and history with neighboring nations, dating back to the 9th century and the Land of Rus. Mutual customs are shared among the cultures of Ukraine, Belarus, Ukrainian Cossacks and Turkic peoples of Central Asia. Ukrainian customs are heavily influenced by the Eastern Orthodox Church and traditions from Slavic mythology. The Soviet era unified the cultures of many unrelated nations with a common language.
Food is an important part to the Ukrainian culture. Special foods are used at Easter, as well as Christmas. During Christmas, for example, people prepare kutia, which is a mixture of cooked wheat groats, poppy seeds, honey, and special sweet breads.
An average Ukrainian diet consists of fish, cheese, and a variety of sausages. Head cheese is also quite popular in Ukraine, as well as Kolbasa (Ukrainian: Ковбаса́, Kovbasa), a type of sausage. Typically bread is a core part of every meal, and must be included for the meal to be “complete.” During Christmas, for example, it is the tradition to have a twelve-course meal. Included at Easter are the famous pysanky, which are colored and patterned eggs. Making these eggs is a long process, and they are used for display at the center of the table rather than consumed.
Ukrainians often toast to good health, linger over their meal, and engage in lively conversation with family and friends. Often they will drink tea (chai), wine, or coffee afterwards with a simple dessert, such as a fruit pastry. Popular foods include salo, borscht, chicken. Kiev, pierogi, and pilaf.
Ukrainian architecture reflects distinct features of that particular location and time period. Design and architecture are influenced by the existing political and economic climate.
Ukrainian literature had a difficult development because, due to constant foreign domination over Ukrainian territories, there was often a significant difference between the spoken and written language. At times the use of the Ukrainian language was even partly prohibited to be printed. However, foreign rule by Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Turkey, left behind new words thereby enriching Ukrainian. Despite tsarist and soviet repression, Ukrainian authors were able to produce a rich literary heritage.
Many Ukrainians also contributed to the closely related literature in Russian language.
Ukraine greatly benefitted from the Soviet emphasis on physical education, which left Ukraine with hundreds of stadiums, swimming pools, gymnasiums, and many other athletic facilities.
Football is the most popular sport in Ukraine. The top professional league is the Vyscha Liha, also known as the Ukrainian Premier League. The two most successful teams in the Vyscha Liha are rivals FC Dynamo Kyiv and FC Shakhtar Donetsk. Although Shakhtar is the reigning champion of the Vyscha Liha, Dynamo Kyiv has been much more successful historically, winning the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup two times, the UEFA Super Cup once, the USSR Championship a record 13 times, and the Ukrainian Championship a record 12 times; while Shakhtar only won four Ukrainian Championships and one and last UEFA Cup.
Ukrainian brothers Vitaliy Klychko and Volodymyr Klychko have held world heavyweight champion titles in boxing.
Ukraine made its debut at the 1994 Winter Olympics. So far, Ukraine has been much more successful in the Summer Olympics (96 medals in four appearances) than in the Winter Olympics (Five medals in four appearances).