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Introduction Ukraine
Ukraine was the center of the first eastern Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, which during the 10th and 11th centuries was the largest and most powerful state in Europe. Weakened by internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, Kyivan Rus was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The cultural and religious legacy of Kyivan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century after an uprising against the Poles. Despite continuous Muscovite pressure, the Hetmanate managed to remain autonomous for well over 100 years. During the latter part of the 18th century, most Ukrainian ethnographic territory was absorbed by the Russian Empire. Following the collapse of czarist Russia in 1917, Ukraine was able to bring about a short-lived period of independence (1917-20), but was reconquered and forced to endure a brutal Soviet rule that engineered two artificial famines (1921-22 and 1932-33) in which over 8 million died. In World War II, German and Soviet armies were responsible for some 7 to 8 million more deaths. Although final independence for Ukraine was achieved in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy remained elusive as the legacy of state control and endemic corruption stalled efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civil liberties. A peaceful mass protest "Orange Revolution" in the closing months of 2004 forced the authorities to overturn a rigged presidential election and to allow a new internationally monitored vote that swept into power a reformist slate under Viktor YUSHCHENKO. Subsequent internal squabbles in the YUSHCHENKO camp allowed his rival Viktor YANUKOVYCH to stage a comeback in parliamentary elections and become prime minister in August of 2006.
Geography Ukraine
Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland, Romania, and Moldova in the west and Russia in the east
Geographic coordinates:
49 00 N, 32 00 E
Map references:
Asia, Europe
total: 603,700 sq km
land: 603,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 4,663 km
border countries: Belarus 891 km, Hungary 103 km, Moldova 939 km, Poland 526 km, Romania (south) 169 km, Romania (west) 362 km, Russia 1,576 km, Slovakia 97 km
2,782 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m or to the depth of exploitation
temperate continental; Mediterranean only on the southern Crimean coast; precipitation disproportionately distributed, highest in west and north, lesser in east and southeast; winters vary from cool along the Black Sea to cold farther inland; summers are warm across the greater part of the country, hot in the south
most of Ukraine consists of fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus, mountains being found only in the west (the Carpathians), and in the Crimean Peninsula in the extreme south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Hora Hoverla 2,061 m
Natural resources:
iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 53.8%
permanent crops: 1.5%
other: 44.7% (2005)
Irrigated land:
22,080 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
inadequate supplies of potable water; air and water pollution; deforestation; radiation contamination in the northeast from 1986 accident at Chornobyl' Nuclear Power Plant
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
Geography - note:
strategic position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia; second-largest country in Europe
People Ukraine
46,710,816 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.1% (male 3,377,868/female 3,203,738)
15-64 years: 69.3% (male 15,559,998/female 16,831,486)
65 years and over: 16.6% (male 2,635,651/female 5,102,075) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 39.2 years
male: 35.9 years
female: 42.2 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.6% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
8.82 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
14.39 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.43 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.52 male(s)/female
total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 9.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 11.48 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69.98 years
male: 64.71 years
female: 75.59 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.17 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.4% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
360,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
20,000 (2003 est.)
noun: Ukrainian(s)
adjective: Ukrainian
Ethnic groups:
Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8% (2001 census)
Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyiv Patriarchate 19%, Orthodox (no particular jurisdiction) 16%, Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate 9%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic 6%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 1.7%, Protestant, Jewish, none 38% (2004 est.)
Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian 24%, small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.6% (2003 est.)
Government Ukraine
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Ukraine
local long form: none
local short form: Ukrayina
former: Ukrainian National Republic, Ukrainian State, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type:
name: Kyiv (Kiev)
geographic coordinates: 50 26 N, 30 31 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
24 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast'), 1 autonomous republic* (avtonomna respublika), and 2 municipalities (mista, singular - misto) with oblast status**; Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Crimea or Avtonomna Respublika Krym* (Simferopol'), Dnipropetrovs'k, Donets'k, Ivano-Frankivs'k, Kharkiv, Kherson, Khmel'nyts'kyy, Kirovohrad, Kyiv**, Kyiv, Luhans'k, L'viv, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Poltava, Rivne, Sevastopol'**, Sumy, Ternopil', Vinnytsya, Volyn' (Luts'k), Zakarpattya (Uzhhorod), Zaporizhzhya, Zhytomyr
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 24 August (1991); 22 January (1918), the day Ukraine first declared its independence (from Soviet Russia) and the day the short-lived Western and Central Ukrainian republics united (1919), is now celebrated as Unity Day
adopted 28 June 1996
Legal system:
based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Viktor A. YUSHCHENKO (since 23 January 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Viktor YANUKOVYCH (since 4 August 2006); First Deputy Prime Minister - Mykola AZAROV (since 5 August 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers selected by the prime minister; the only exceptions are the foreign and defense ministers, who are chosen by the president
note: there is also a National Security and Defense Council or NSDC originally created in 1992 as the National Security Council; the NSDC staff is tasked with developing national security policy on domestic and international matters and advising the president; a Presidential Secretariat helps draft presidential edicts and provides policy support to the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); note - a special repeat runoff presidential election between Viktor YUSHCHENKO and Viktor YANUKOVYCH took place on 26 December 2004 after the earlier 21 November 2004 contest - won by Mr. YANUKOVYCH - was invalidated by the Ukrainian Supreme Court because of widespread and significant violations; under constitutional reforms that went into effect 1 January 2006, the majority in parliament takes the lead in naming the prime minister
election results: Viktor YUSHCHENKO elected president; percent of vote - Viktor YUSHCHENKO 51.99%, Viktor YANUKOVYCH 44.2%
Legislative branch:
unicameral Supreme Council or Verkhovna Rada (450 seats; allocated on a proportional basis to those parties that gain 3% or more of the national electoral vote; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 26 March 2006 (next to be held March 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party/bloc in 2002 - Party of Regions 32.1%, Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc 22.3%, Our Ukraine 13.9%, SPU 5.7%, CPU 3.7%; seats by party/bloc - Party of Regions 186, Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc 129, Our Ukraine 81, SPU 33, CPU 21
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Constitutional Court
Political parties and leaders:
Communist Party of Ukraine or CPU [Petro SYMONENKO]; Fatherland Party (Batkivshchyna) [Yuliya TYMOSHENKO]; Lytyvn-led People's Bloc group [Ihor SHAROV]; Our Ukraine [Viktor YUSHCHENKO]; Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs [Anatoliy KINAKH]; People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh) [Borys TARASYUK]; People's Party [Volodymyr LYTVYN]; People's Trust group [Anton KISSE]; PORA! (It's Time!) party [Vladyslav KASKIV]; Progressive Socialist Party [Natalya VITRENKO]; Reforms and Order Party [Viktor PYNZENYK]; Party of Regions [Viktor YANUKOVYCH]; Republican Party [Yuriy BOYKO]; Social Democratic Party (United) or SDPU(o) [Viktor MEDVEDCHUK]; Socialist Party of Ukraine or SPU [Oleksandr MOROZ, chairman]; Ukrainian People's Party [Yuriy KOSTENKO]; United Ukraine [Bohdan HUBSKYY]; Vidrodzhennya (Revival) [Anton KISSE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Committee of Voters of Ukraine [Ihor POPOV]
International organization participation:
Australia Group, BSEC, CBSS (observer), CE, CEI, CIS, EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MONUC, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOVIC, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer), ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Oleh V. SHAMSHUR
chancery: 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 333-0606
FAX: [1] (202) 333-0817
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador William B. TAYLOR
embassy: 10 Yurii Kotsiubynsky Street, 04053 Kyiv
mailing address: 5850 Kiev Place, Washington, DC 20521-5850
telephone: [380] (44) 490-4000
FAX: [380] (44) 490-4085
Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of azure (top) and golden yellow represent grain fields under a blue sky
Economy Ukraine
Economy - overview:
After Russia, the Ukrainian republic was far and away the most important economic component of the former Soviet Union, producing about four times the output of the next-ranking republic. Its fertile black soil generated more than one-fourth of Soviet agricultural output, and its farms provided substantial quantities of meat, milk, grain, and vegetables to other republics. Likewise, its diversified heavy industry supplied the unique equipment (for example, large diameter pipes) and raw materials to industrial and mining sites (vertical drilling apparatus) in other regions of the former USSR. Ukraine depends on imports of energy, especially natural gas, to meet some 85% of its annual energy requirements. Shortly after independence was ratified in December 1991, the Ukrainian Government liberalized most prices and erected a legal framework for privatization, but widespread resistance to reform within the government and the legislature soon stalled reform efforts and led to some backtracking. Output by 1999 had fallen to less than 40% of the 1991 level. Loose monetary policies pushed inflation to hyperinflationary levels in late 1993. Ukraine's dependence on Russia for energy supplies and the lack of significant structural reform have made the Ukrainian economy vulnerable to external shocks. A dispute with Russia over pricing in late 2005 and early 2006 led to a temporary gas cut-off; Ukraine concluded a deal with Russia in January 2006 that almost doubled the price Ukraine pays for Russian gas, and could cost the Ukrainian economy $1.4-2.2 billion. Ukrainian Government officials eliminated most tax and customs privileges in a March 2005 budget law, bringing more economic activity out of Ukraine's large shadow economy, but more improvements are needed, including fighting corruption, developing capital markets, and improving the legislative framework for businesses. Reforms in the more politically sensitive areas of structural reform and land privatization are still lagging. Outside institutions - particularly the IMF - have encouraged Ukraine to quicken the pace and scope of reforms. GDP growth was 6% in 2006, up from 2.4% in 2005 mainly because of high steel prices worldwide and strong demand for Ukrainian goods. The privatization of the Kryvoryzhstal steelworks in late 2005 produced $4.8 billion in windfall revenue for the government. Some of the proceeds were used to finance the budget deficit, some to recapitalize two state banks, some to retire public debt, and the rest may be used to finance future deficits. Although the economy is likely to expand in 2007, long-term growth could be threatened by the government's plans to reinstate tax, trade, and customs privileges and to maintain restrictive grain export quotas.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$355.8 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$81.53 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
6% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$7,600 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17.5%
industry: 42.7%
services: 39.8% (2006 est.)
Labor force:
21.69 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 24%
industry: 32%
services: 44% (1996)
Unemployment rate:
2.9% officially registered; large number of unregistered or underemployed workers; the International Labor Organization calculates that Ukraine's real unemployment level is around 9-10% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:
29% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 24.8% (2005)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
29 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.5% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
22.7% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $33.41 billion
expenditures: $35.6 billion; note - this is the consolidated budget (2006 est.)
Public debt:
17.3% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:
grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables; beef, milk
coal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food processing (especially sugar)
Industrial production growth rate:
6.3% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:
177.3 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 48.6%
hydro: 7.9%
nuclear: 43.5%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
158.9 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
12 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
6 billion kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
85,090 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption:
370,000 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - exports:
8,891 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
444,600 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
395 million bbl (9 November 2004)
Natural gas - production:
19.2 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - consumption:
86.4 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - exports:
3.9 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - imports:
67.2 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
1.121 trillion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance:
$-1.933 billion (2006 est.)
$39.12 billion (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
ferrous and nonferrous metals, fuel and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment, food products
Exports - partners:
Russia 22.1%, Turkey 6%, Italy 5.6% (2005)
$44.81 billion (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
energy, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Russia 35.5%, Germany 9.4%, Turkmenistan 7.4%, China 5% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$20.69 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$41.57 billion (30 June 2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$637.7 million (1995); IMF Extended Funds Facility $2.2 billion (1998)
Currency (code):
hryvnia (UAH)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
hryvnia per US dollar - 5.05 (2006), 5.1247 (2005), 5.3192 (2004), 5.3327 (2003), 5.3266 (2002)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Ukraine
Telephones - main lines in use:
12.142 million (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
17.214 million (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: Ukraine's telecommunication development plan, running through 2005, emphasizes improving domestic trunk lines, international connections, and the mobile cellular system
domestic: at independence in December 1991, Ukraine inherited a telephone system that was antiquated, inefficient, and in disrepair; more than 3.5 million applications for telephones could not be satisfied; telephone density is rising slowly and the domestic trunk system is being improved; the mobile cellular telephone system is expanding at a high rate
international: country code - 380; two new domestic trunk lines are a part of the fiber-optic Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) system and three Ukrainian links have been installed in the fiber-optic Trans-European Lines (TEL) project that connects 18 countries; additional international service is provided by the Italy-Turkey-Ukraine-Russia (ITUR) fiber-optic submarine cable and by earth stations in the Intelsat, Inmarsat, and Intersputnik satellite systems
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 134, FM 289, shortwave 4 (1998)
45.05 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
at least 33 (plus 21 repeaters that relay broadcasts from Russia) (1997)
18.05 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
229,110 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
260 (2001)
Internet users:
5,278,100 (2005)
Transportation Ukraine
499 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 193
over 3,047 m: 13
2,438 to 3,047 m: 55
1,524 to 2,437 m: 27
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 93 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 306
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 18
under 914 m: 274 (2006)
10 (2006)
gas 19,951 km; oil 4,514 km; refined products 4,211 km (2006)
total: 22,473 km
broad gauge: 22,473 km 1.524-m gauge (9,250 km electrified) (2005)
total: 169,477 km
paved: 164,732 km (including 15 km of expressways)
unpaved: 4,745 km (2004)
2,253 km (most on Dnieper River) (2006)
Merchant marine:
total: 202 ships (1000 GRT or over) 782,456 GRT/911,201 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 151, container 4, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 9, refrigerated cargo 11, roll on/roll off 7, specialized tanker 2
foreign-owned: 1 (Russia 1)
registered in other countries: 160 (Belize 7, Cambodia 17, Comoros 14, Cyprus 4, Dominica 2, Georgia 22, Liberia 16, Malta 24, Moldova 3, Mongolia 1, Panama 8, Russia 11, Saint Kitts and Nevis 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 12, Sierra Leone 4, Slovakia 8, unknown 4) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Feodosiya, Kerch, Kherson, Mariupol', Mykolayiv, Odesa, Reni, Yuzhnyy
Military Ukraine
Military branches:
Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces (Viyskovo-Povitryani Syly), Air Defense Forces (2002)
Military service age and obligation:
18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months for Army and Air Force, 24 months for Navy (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 11,020,222
females age 18-49: 11,370,687 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 7,376,050
females age 18-49: 9,313,385 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 382,751
females age 18-49: 365,599 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$617.9 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.4% (FY02)
Transnational Issues Ukraine
Disputes - international:
1997 boundary treaty with Belarus remains un-ratified due to unresolved financial claims, stalling demarcation and reducing border security; delimitation of land boundary with Russia is complete and parties have renewed discussions on demarcation; the dispute over the maritime boundary between Russia and Ukraine through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov remains unresolved despite a December 2003 framework agreement and ongoing expert-level discussions; Moldova and Ukraine have established joint customs posts to monitor transit through Moldova's break-away Transnistria Region, which remains under OSCE supervision; in 2004 Ukraine and Romania took their dispute over Ukrainian-administered Zmiyinyy (Snake) Island and Black Sea maritime boundary to the ICJ for adjudication; Romania opposes Ukraine's reopening of a navigation canal from the Danube border through Ukraine to the Black Sea
Illicit drugs:
limited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; some synthetic drug production for export to the West; limited government eradication program; used as transshipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs from Africa, Latin America, and Turkey to Europe and Russia; Ukraine has improved anti-money-laundering controls, resulting in its removal from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) Noncooperative Countries and Territories List in February 2004; Ukraine's anti-money-laundering regime continues to be monitored by FATF

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007