Official language: Ukrainian (the 2nd after Italian for its melodiousness). The Russian language is widely spoken, especially in eastern and southern parts of Ukraine. The Ukrainian language is mainly spoken in western and central parts of the country.
Independence: 24 August, 1991
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: 603,7 km²
Climate: moderately continental. In the Carpathian Mountains the climate is mild, with warm winter and rainy summer. June and July are the warmest months; February is the coldest month of the year.
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: late spring, summer and early autumn.
Population: 47 732 079 million of people (80 people per km²).
Religion: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (the most common), the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Roman Catholic Church (mostly in the western regions) and Muslims community.
Currency: hryvnia (letter code — UAH, digital code — 980)
Time zone: GMT+2 (UTC+2). You should bear in mind that Ukraine observes Daylight Saving Time. Daylight Saving Time starts on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October.
Internet top-level domain: ua
International phone code: 380
The territory of Ukraine has been inhabited for at least 44 000 years. In prehistoric times the land was inhabited by different tribes. Ukraine figured in history in the Middle Ages. During the 11th and 12th centuries the territory of present-day Ukraine became the centre of the powerful state of Kievan Rus which disintegrated due to internal wars and unfavourable external factors.
By the middle of the 14th century the territory was contested and divided by a variety of powers, including Lithuania, Poland, the Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungary, Russia and Romania. The 16th and 17th centuries were characterized by heroic events when Ukrainian Cossacks fought for independence and created their own republic. The further periods were marked by Ukrainian territories being divided between the two powerful empires — Austro-Hungarian and Russian.
A chaotic period of warfare ensued after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Civil War of 1917-1921. Subsequently all the Ukrainian lands were consolidated into a Soviet republic. Ukraine was a part of the USSR till 1991.
Ukraine became independent on 24 August, 1991. In the referendum on 1 December, 1991 more than 90% of the electorate expressed their support for the sovereignty. It gave the country an opportunity of nation-building and international cooperation. International relations of Ukraine focus on European integration. Ukraine is a member of different international organizations including the United Nations Organization (UNO), WTO, IMF, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and many others.