Ukraine is the second-largest European country and borders Russia to the east and northeast. The country covers 600,000 square kilometers and has over a million citizens.
In 1991, Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union. After a tumultuous 20th century, the country is now a modern and democratic state that is increasingly integrating into Europe. The United States is an important partner in this effort.
The United States maintains diplomatic relations with Ukraine, and encourages economic, energy and security cooperation to help Ukraine become a secure and prosperous country that is fully integrated into Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. As part of this commitment, the US Department of State has a number of offices and activities in Ukraine.
One such office is in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. In addition to serving as a center for U.S.-Ukrainian trade and business, this office is also responsible for the promotion of democracy and human rights in Ukraine.
Other major objectives of the office include: promoting a democratic and open society in Ukraine, ensuring the stability of the economy, and promoting international economic opportunities for Ukrainians.
In addition to providing a wide range of educational and professional services to its citizens, the office is also involved in fostering cultural exchanges with its sister nations. For example, the office is a sponsor of an annual Ukrainian-American film festival that takes place in New York City.
Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, is a large and beautiful city that is full of museums and historical landmarks. It is also home to a significant number of Ukrainians, who are a vital component of the local community.
A slew of ethnic restaurants have sprung up around the city, offering a taste of Ukraine’s traditional foods. For instance, Old Lviv, a small restaurant in the East Village, is popular among locals and offers a variety of traditional Ukrainian dishes.
Another restaurant that serves authentic Ukrainian cuisine is Traktir, located in the trendy Odessa neighborhood. The menu features borscht, varenyky (similar to dumplings), and other favorites. Other dishes to consider are the marinated herring salad called farshmak, a garlicky cured pork fat dish salo, and ground meat kotleti with mashed potatoes.
The staff at Traktir also specializes in a variety of alcoholic drinks, including a selection of flavored vodkas that vary from raspberry to horseradish. In addition to offering delicious food, the restaurant has a cozy atmosphere that can make for a great dinner out.
Inna’s Cuisine, located in Wenatchee, Washington, is a popular local restaurant that serves a wide variety of Eastern European cuisine. The menu includes many Ukrainian specialties, and Open Table reviews claim that Inna’s serves “Wonderful, authentic Ukrainian cuisine.”
Riel, a family-owned restaurant in Philadelphia, is known for its delicious borscht and pierogies. It also has a great alcoholic drink selection and has a very friendly staff.
If you are looking to support the Ukrainian community, a few local restaurants have started an initiative to donate money to the Ukrainian Red Cross. These restaurants have been selected to help in this cause because of their strong connections with the community and their desire to help the Ukrainian people.