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Know Ukraine

15 April 2017

  • Know Ukraine
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A sovereign state in Eastern Europe, Ukraine was once part of the former Russian Empire. It is located in the northwest of the Black Sea with Russia in the east, Belarus to the north, Poland in the northwest, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, and Romania to the southwest and south with Moldova in between.

Ukraine is known as the continent’s largest county at 603,628 square kilometres. Its capital Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational and cultural centre of Eastern Europe. The city is home to various high-tech industries, higher education institutions and globally recognised landmarks.

The city has an extensive infrastructure and possesses highly developed public transport system including the Kiev Metro. Arsenalna, a station on Kiev’s Sviatoshynsko-Brovarska line, is known as the world’s deepest station at 105.5 metres below ground.

The country was once known as the breadbasket of Europe due to its massive agricultural industries. Currently, the economy of Ukraine is an emerging free market that relies on services (59.3%), industry (26.3%) and agriculture (14.4%) according to the CIA World Factbook.

The country’s modern industries rely on coal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals and food processing. Its agriculture products focuses on grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables, beef and milk.

Ukraine was the centre for much of 19th century history, especially during the Second World War. Ukraine played host during the Yalta Conference in 1945 whereby Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Theodore Roosevelt met to discuss the organisation of post-war Europe.

Modern Ukraine offers numerous attractions for visitors including culture, history and winter activities such as skiing. Ukraine has a handful of exotic ski resorts including the Bukovel in the Carpathian Mountains with 55km slopes and 15 lifts.

Odessa is Ukraine’s popular tourist destination due to its numerous summer festivals. Other preferred attractions include Lviv for its jazz festival, Kiev for the street-food festival and the Odessa International Film Festival.

The country is home to seven Unesco World Heritage Sites including the 11th century Saint-Sophia Cathedral in Kiev, the ancient city of Chersonesus, and the primeval beech forests of the Carpathians.

Aside from its world heritage sites, it is home to several Orthodox cathedrals including St Michael’s in Kiev. One of the most famous landmark is the Tunnel of Love, a private rail road for a train that provides wood for a local factory.

Another one of these sites is a Struve Geodetic Arc, one of 34 commemorative plaques or obelisks that marks the first accurate measurement of a meridian through ten countries. This links Hammerfest in Norway through the Black Sea in Ukraine. Ukraine has five separate markers.

The country is home to the world’s biggest airplane, the Antonov An-225 Myriya. This one of a kind vehicle has the largest wingspan of any aircraft at 88.4 metres and weights 640,000kg.

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