Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the east and northeast. It has a land area of approximately 600,000 square kilometres and is the second largest country in Europe after Russia. Its population is roughly 41 million. In pre-World War II, the country was the eighth most populous in Europe.
During this time, most of Ukraine was ruled by Poland and Lithuania. Their rule left deep cultural imprints on the territory. As a result, the Orthodox East Slavic population of Ukraine slowly developed a distinctive identity. During the dying years of Kievan Rus’, a distinct Ukrainian language emerged. According to Vladimir Putin, the first linguistic differences between Ukrainians and Russians were established in the 16th century.
The climate in Ukraine is generally mild. Summers are warm and days are long, although temperatures often dip below zero in the north. The highest peak in the country is Mount Howerla, which is 2,061 meters high. In winter, temperatures drop to -6degC. According to the International Monetary Fund, Ukraine is classified as a developing country, meaning that the economy is underdeveloped compared to its neighbor, Russia.
Ukraine was once part of the Soviet Union. In 1986, the country suffered a nuclear power plant explosion that was considered the worst nuclear disaster in history. The country gained full independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. It helped establish the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an association of former Soviet republics. However, the situation in Ukraine remains unstable and many people are concerned about the future of the country.
In 2013-14, Ukraine’s ties with the EU caused tensions with Russia. President Yanukovych acted under pressure from Moscow and scrapped plans to formalize a closer economic relationship with the EU. During this time, Russia also pressed Ukraine to become part of the EAEU. This move was regarded as a betrayal by many Ukrainians. It eventually led to protests across the country known as Euromaidan.
Humans have been living in the Ukraine since prehistoric times. Some archaeologists say that people were using stone tools in the country as early as 30,000 B.C. Later, the region was colonized by the Greeks and Romans, who traded silver and wine. The ancient Slavs and Varangians eventually joined forces and created the Kyivan Rus, the largest empire in Europe.
Ukraine is bordered by Russia to the north and Belarus to the east. The Black Sea and the Sea of Azov surround Ukraine on its western and southern shores. Its southern border is split by the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe.
The country’s diverse landscapes are ideal for a hiking holiday. Whether you want to trek through the Carpathians, take a hot-air balloon ride, or just relax in a city park, Ukraine is a great destination for outdoor activities.