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Discover Ukraine (Україна) with Timothy Tye

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View of the Black Sea and the village of Gaspra from Mount Ai-Petri in the Crimea, UkraineView of the Black Sea and the village of Gaspra from Mount Ai-Petri in the Crimea, Ukraine
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authorshipDmitry A. Mottl
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Ukraine (Україна) is the largest country entirely within the European continent. It covers 603,628 sq km (233,090 sq mi) and has a population of 46 million people (2011 estimate). The capital and largest city is Kiev. The country is bordered by Belarus to the north, Russia to the east, Moldova and Romania to the south, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland to the west. Ukraine also has a coastline facing the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to the south and southeast of the country.

View of Kiev from Dniepr RiverView of Kiev from Dniepr River
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authorshipDmitry A. Mottl
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Ukraine is a republic. Its official language is Ukrainian, with Russian and Crimean Tatar being recognized regional languages. 77.8% of its population regard themselves as ethnic Ukrainian. Ukraine observes the Eastern European Time, which is two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2) and three hours in summer. Its official currency is known as Hryvnia. Traffic is driven on the right here. The phone IDD code is +380.

In 2010, Ukraine had an estimated nominal GDP of $136.561 billion, and a per capita nominal GDP of $3,003. The per capita GDP at purchasing power parity stood at $6,656. As such, by European standards, Ukraine is still trailing behind many of its neighbors, including the Baltic states.

Cathedral of Vinnytsia, UkraineCathedral of Vinnytsia, Ukraine
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Much of Ukraine is composed of fertile lowlands drained by a number of rivers that empty into the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The Danube Delta forms the border with Romania. The only mountain range of any significance in Ukraine are the Carpathian Mountains, which includes the tallest peak in the country, Hora Hoverla, at 2,061 m (6,762 ft). The country experiences a temperate continental climate. The areas near the Black Sea are moderated by the body of water, whereas farther inland the temperature is more extreme.

While human settlement in Ukraine dates back to at least 4,500 BC, a kingdom of Kievan Rus tribes was formed in AD 880. It grew to become one of the most powerful states in Europe by the 10th century. However it was brought down by Mongol invasion in the 13th century, with the city of Kiev totally destroyed in 1240. Succeeding it were the principalities of Halych and Volodymyr-Volynskyi, which merged to establish the state of Galicia-Volhynia. By the mid-14th century, Poland and Lithuania extended their territory to absorb Galicia-Volhynia.

Lighthouse in Crimea, UkraineLighthouse in Crimea, Ukraine
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The Russo-Turkish War of 1768-74 brought Ukraine and Crimea into the Russian Empire. During this period, the territory saw an influx of German-speaking immigrants to dilute the Turk population of the area. On the other hand, in the 19th century, there was a migration of settlers from the Ukraine to different parts of the Russian Empire.

When the Russian Empire collapsed following World War I, Ukraine pushed for self-determination, forming different states between 1917 and 1920 known as the Ukrainian People's Republic and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

St Michael's Monastery, Kiev, UkraineSt Michael's Monastery, Kiev, Ukraine
photo source,_Kiev.jpg
authorshipChristopher Walker
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During the Second World War, the Invasion of Poland by German and Soviet troops resulted in Eastern Galicia and Volhynia reuniting with the rest of Ukraine. There were some changes in border line after the war, such as the ceding of territories to form the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The collapse of the Soviet Union brought a declaration of independence for Ukraine on 24 August, 1991, just one month ahead of Russia itself. The post-independence era was marked by a period of economic instability. The country experienced five-digit inflation between 1991 and 1999, when a new currency, the hryvnia, was introduced. In the new millennium, the country has enjoyed steadier growth.

Old wooden church from Zelene, relocated to the Museum of Folk Architecture and Ethnography in Pyrochiv, UkraineOld wooden church from Zelene, relocated to the Museum of Folk Architecture and Ethnography in Pyrochiv, Ukraine
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Planning your visit to Ukraine

Visitors no longer needing a tourist visa to visit the Ukraine include the citizens of the European Union, citizens of CIS countries (except Turkmenistan), Andorra, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, Montenegro, San Marino, South Korea, Switzerland, United States, and Vatican City.

St Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, UkraineSt Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine
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authorshipწმინდა სოფიას კათდრალი კიევში
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The Boryspil International Airport (KBP), located 29 km (18 mi) from Kiev is the biggest airport in the Ukraine. It is one of the three airports serving the city, the other being the older Zhuliany Airport (IEV) and Gostomel Airport (GML). Boryspil Airport is the main airport. it receives flights from Budapest, Frankfurt, Milan, Munich, Prague, London, Rome, Vienna and Warsaw, among others.

Preparing Money for your trip to the Ukraine

The currency used in the Ukraine is the Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH).

Major Cities in Ukraine

Places of Interest in Ukraine

  1. Carpathians
  2. Crimea
  3. Ivano-Frankivsk
  4. Simferopol
  5. Sumy
  6. Svyatogorsk
  7. Uzhhorod

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