Known for its beautiful women, classic babushkas and beet borscht, Ukraine maintains a unique location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Since gaining independence from Russia in 1991, Ukraine has endured severe depression, government corruption and national revolution. It is the largest whole country in Europe (Russia claims land in both Europe & Asia) and has a current population of over 45,000,000.
The official language of Ukraine is Ukrainian, although about 25% of the population still claim Russian as their native language and is widely spoken in the Eastern & Southern provinces.
The religious culture of Ukraine has dramatically evolved since the end of WWII and fall of the Soviet Union. Currently, over two thirds of the population identify as Orthodox Christians with less than 5% identifying as Jewish, Muslim or other.
Touristic highlights of Ukraine include:
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea – Officially the southern peninsula of Ukraine, Crimea boasts an ‘autonomous’ status from Ukraine and maintains its own parliament, constitution, and flag. The region is known for its deep Russian sentiment, beautiful beaches, high cliffs, and exotic feel.
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant – Known for accidental explosion in April 1986 which released vast amounts of radioactive material over much of Eastern Europe and Russia, the majority affecting Belarus. About 30 deaths are attributed to initial explosion and radiation. However, many estimate that thousands were affected across the region due to long term health complications.
Carpathian Mountains – Ukraine’s most significant mountain chain and border with Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. The region is considered the ‘greenest’ and most remote destination of Ukraine and is popular for hiking, camping, skiing and rafting.
For all things Ukrainian, stay updated with The Ukrainian Week, a monthly magazine discussing everything from politics to soccer.
Below is a short movie with some facts about Ukraine. Although it presents Ukraine in probably too ideal of a light, it accurately depicts the image most Ukrainians would like to have of their motherland. Hence, the last slide calls Ukrainians to “Wake Up! You are Ukraine”.