Archive for the ‘Ukraine’ Category


Friday, June 15th, 2007

When in central Europe be sure to consider visiting Ukraine that lies in the south east of Central Europe and is a newly formed independent country that borders Russia, Byelorussia as well as Moldova and Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and finally Poland on land. Ukraine also has Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey as its neighbors on the sea. The country itself is largely flat and without many trees and is best described as being a “steppe”. However, there are mountains know as the Crimean Mountains as also the Carpathians in the west, though you can be sure they do not rise too high into the sky.

Kiev, Ukraine

Tourists to Ukraine will find the climate appealing as it is mostly moderate and even winters do not see any extremes of weather though you would appreciate the regular falling of snow when rivers and lakes freeze up. Such a favorable climate has helped the Ukraine into having many agricultural areas where wheat, maize, corn as also buckwheat are often grown as too is red and green vegetables and many fruits, melons and the tasty berries. In fact, Ukraine is also a major producer of sugar, which is more than sufficient for home consumption with plenty remaining to be exported, which is why it is one of the main centers of sugar production in the world. There are also many natural resources found in the Ukraine.

The country owes its independence to the popularity of Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika especially around 1988-89 in which year the country saw the formation of the “People’s Movement of Ukraine”. Two years later, the country achieved its independence and much was expected of it in terms of economic wellbeing though it had to go through a severe economic slowdown that saw it reeling under the weight of five digit inflation during the 1990s. However, it turned the corner in 2000 and has since grown steadily in economic terms.

Ukraine is also the forty-fourth largest country in the world and is also Europe’s second largest and it currently also enjoys the status of being among the thirty largest economies of the world. Its population consists mostly of Ukrainians who constitute about 77.8 percent with another 17.3 percent being Russians with minute amounts of Belarussians, Moldovans, Crimean Tartars and Bulgarians and Hungarians along with Romanians, Poles, Jews, Armenians and Greeks and Tartars making up the remainder of its population.

As far as religion is concerned, the major religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity that is made up of three Church bodies and a lesser religion practiced in the country is Eastern Rite Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Most of its culture is an amalgamation of its eastern as well as western neighbor’s influences as seen in the architecture and music and dance of Ukraine. It is also a country with a pronounced food culture that goes back many thousands of years and the diet of the average Ukrainian would include pork, chicken, beef and fish and mushrooms. Also, included in the Ukrainian food are many potatoes, grains and also vegetables accompanied by various types of bread.