Things to Know Before You Visit Ukraine


You have likely seen the horrific images from Ukraine on your television and news feeds, but this beautiful country is more than just a conflict zone. Historically, Ukraine was home to a rich culture that is still evident today in the food and art. Here are a few things to know before you visit this European nation.

Located at the crossroads of central and eastern Europe, Ukraine is a land of level plains and the Carpathian Mountains that stretch through the western region for more than 150 mi (240 km). The Dnieper (Dnipro), Southern Buh (Pivdennyy Buh), Donets, and other rivers flow through this land of extreme natural beauty. Iron ore, coal, petroleum, natural gas, and natural fertilizer are among the key resources in Ukraine, which is a leading producer of winter wheat and sugar beets.

The current Ukrainian Republic, established after the overthrow of the former president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, is a unitary multiparty state with one legislative body, the Parliament of Ukraine, or Rada, and a presidential system of government. Despite ongoing Russian interference, the Rada is currently controlled by a reformist slate led by Petro Poroshenko and other members of the Opposition Bloc for Change. President Petro YUSHCHENKO is committed to building a strong, stable, and unified country that supports democratic values and a future in the European Union and NATO.

Although Russia has invaded Ukraine and annexated Crimea, the people of Ukraine remain fiercely independent. The president is using the language of civic identity, not ethnicity or linguistic background, to unite Ukraine behind its goals of ending the war and advancing the country’s bid to join the EU and NATO.

Authentic Ukrainian cuisine is as delicious as it is complex. Many of the dishes are based on family recipes passed down from generation to generation. Borscht, varenyky, holubtsi, and cabbage rolls are staples in this country considered to be one of the traditional breadbaskets of the world.

Whether you want to grab lunch on the go or enjoy a hearty dinner with family and friends, there are many great places in New York City that serve up traditional Ukrainian cuisine. From restaurants that specialize in just a few dishes to those offering an extensive menu, you’re sure to find the perfect place for your next meal. The best part? You can enjoy your meal surrounded by all the gorgeous traditional artwork and handiwork that Ukraine is known for.