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About Ukraine

Small coat of Arms of UkraineTrident (tryzub). The official coat of arms of Ukraine is a golden trident on an azure background. As a state emblem, the trident dates back to Kievan Rus when it was the coat of arms of the Riuryk dynasty.

Flag of UkraineThe Ukrainian flag is composed of two equal horizontal bands of azure and golden yellow colors. It represents ripe wheat growing under the blue sky.

Ukraine is a state in Eastern Europe, bounded on the north by Belarus (952 km), on the northeast by the Russian Federation (2,484 km), on the west by Poland (542 km) and Slovakia (98 km), and on the southwest by Hungary (135 km), Romania (608 km), and Moldova (1,194 km). The state border extends for a total of 7,698 km, and the length of Ukraine's sea coast is 1,758 km.

Total area: 603,700

Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe (after Russia). It is divided into 24 regions (oblasts) and an Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The country has an access to the Black Sea and the Azov Sea and two mountainsides: Carpathians in the West and the Crimean Mountains in the South.

Political System:
Form of government: Constitutional Democracy
Head of State: President
Legislative power: Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council)
Executive power: Cabinet of Ministers
Judicial power: Constitutional Court
Voting qualifications: 18 and older
Political Divisions: 24 oblasts (regions) and 1 autonomous republic (Crimea)

A nationally elected presidency was instituted on December 1, 1991. Ukrainian citizens elect the president for a five-year term. The head of the state appoints the prime minister and the cabinet, which Verkhovna Rada has to approve. People's deputies (members of Verkhovna Rada) are elected for a four-year term in multicandidate elections.

The territory of Ukraine is mostly a level, treeless plain, calls "steppe". 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 the mountains, but the thickest woods can still be found in the northern part of the republic, in Volyn. Kiev and Cherkassy lie in the midst of Ukrainian southernmost pine forest. The main Ukrainian river is the Dnieper. It is one of the longest European rivers and one of the republic's main source of hydroelectric power. The Dnieper and its tributary the Ross had been the cradle of the Ukrainian and Russian people in time immemorial.

The climate of the country is moderate. Winter is rather mild, with no severe frosts but with regular snowfalls everywhere except the south. The rivers and lakes freeze in winter. The average winter temperature varies -20 Centigrade in the north to -3-5 in the south. Summer is quite hot and dry, with occasional showers and thunderstorms. The fertile black soil is well watered in spring and autumn and gets plenty of sunshine in summer.

Due to favorable climatic conditions, Ukraine is traditionally an agricultural area. It grows wheat, maize, buckwheat and other corn, red and green vegetables, all kinds of fruit, melons and berries.

Ukraine is one of the world's main centers of sugar production. It produces sugar both for her own needs and for export.

The country is rich in natural resources, such as iron ore, coal, color metal, oil, gas, mineral salts, clay and potential water power. It has developed a varied industry, concentrated mostly in and around big cities, such as Kiev, Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Dnyeprodzerzhinsk, Odessa, Kharkov, Lviv, Nickolayev and other. It produces planes and ships, lorries and buses, motorcars and locomotives, computer and electronic equipment, precision instruments and agricultural machines, TV and radioset, chemicals and textiles and various consumer goods. Odessa, Sebastopol, Nickolayev, Kherson and Kerch are main ukrainian ports.