Country Info Ukraine

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Ukraine is one of the post-Soviet countries located in Eastern Europe. Ukraine is the second largest country on the European continent, after Russia, and the largest country located entirely in Europe. Ukraine is located on the bank of the Black Sea, is also has access to the Azov sea. The western part of Ukraine is flanked by the Carpathian mountains. Central parts of Ukraine are covered in plains and present great agricultural sites.

The country is home to 46 million people, almost 80% of them being ethnic Ukrainians. The second largest ethnic group is Russians, making up almost 17% of the total population.

Ukrainian is the official state language, however Russian is also widely spoken and understood virtually anywhere in Ukraine. If you don’t speak Russian or Ukrainian and want to travel the country, you may wish to hire a guide who can provide translation services for you, as English is rarely spoken outside of large cities, such as Odessa or Kiev.

Climate

Generally, Ukraine has a mild European climate with warm winters and cool summers. Since the country is situated in two climatic zones – moderate (most of Ukraine) and Mediterranean subtropics (southern parts, Crimea), average temperatures and the amount of rainfall vary significantly. Southern parts of Ukraine receive around 2400 hours of sunlight a year, while central and northern regions only get around 1700 hours. The amount of rainfall also decreases from north to south.

Those who are visiting Ukraine during summer should expect average temperatures of 22-25 C. Although winters are mild and most of the time the temperature stays around -6 C, it can get as cold as -20 C on occasion. Thankfully, such occasions are few and Ukrainians enjoy good weather most of the time.

Cuisine

Ukrainian cuisine is very diverse and will satisfy even the most requiring taste. If one was to describe Ukrainian dishes, he would say that it is a fine blend of simple peasantry food and exquisite European flavors. Ukrainian food is really the place where “east meets west”.

The country is known for its breads, it is also sometimes called the “breadbasket of Europe”. Wheat, barley and rye are the primary cultures that are grown in Ukraine and are one of Ukraine’s exports.

Ukraine has many heavily localized schools of culinary practices, influenced by ethnic groups that inhabit these areas. Southern parts of Ukraine have adopted many dishes that came from such places as Turkey, while western parts of Ukraine frequently presents dishes that are also known in such countries as Poland and Hungary.

Southern parts of Ukraine and its neighbor, Moldova, are also known for their wines and welcome those who are interested in submerging into the wine culture. Most of the larger wineries organize wine tasting tours to their cellars.

Dating

Ukrainian women are among the most beautiful women in the world. In fact, Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, was called a city with the most beautiful women in the world. Ukrainian women like dressing up and know how to take care of themselves, so they always present a great sight.

After the Soviet Union’s collapse, Ukrainian women set out to conquering the world and they were very successful at that. A large number of models and actresses all over the planet are from Ukraine and as the time goes by, more and more bright Ukrainian stars shine on the world’s stages.

The majority of Ukrainian women have higher education, are very sophisticated and are great conversationalists, but this does not prevent them from being great wives and taking care of the house. Traditionally, Ukrainian women are raised as the keepers of the house hearth, they are taught to help out with house matters from a very young age and, despite reaching great success in business or career, they still dedicate a lot of time to creating a warm and cozy environment at home.

At the moment, there are more women than men in Ukraine, which means there are many eligible women that are available for dating.

Entertainment

Ukraine is a great place to spend a vacation any time of the year, due to its advantageous geographical location. If you come to Ukraine in winter, you can visit one of numerous skiing resorts in Carpathian mountains. While there, you can get acquainted with the traditional culture of Hutsuls, a minor ethnic group that inhabits these regions of Ukraine.

Those who come to Ukraine in summer can take advantage of Ukraine’s many beaches, located on the bank of the Black sea or one of many rivers that cross Ukrainian plains. The southern part of Crimea is a great place to visit in summer, apart from enjoying the beaches, you can also visit one of many estates built there by the Russian elite in the 17th and 18th centuries. Crimea is also known for its ancient castles that come from the epoch when this area was colonized by the Greek and the Genoese .

Tourists who don’t imagine themselves without bars and nightclubs won’t be bored either. Most of large Ukrainian cities have a very active nightlife, some cities have entire districts dedicated to nightclubs, such as Arcadia in Odessa. In the summer, nightclubs of Arcadia are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Religion

Most of Ukrainians today are Orthodox Christians, however there are many ethnic groups that follow their own religious beliefs. Due to close ties of the western parts of Ukraine to Poland, Catholicism is the religion of choice in those regions. Judaism is also quite popular and almost every large city in Ukraine features a synagogue.

Official State Holidays

The following is the official list of public holidays in Ukraine. Note that most of the government agencies, museums and places of interest are closed on these days, you may need to adjust your plans accordingly.

  • 1 January – New Year’s Celebration
  • 7 January – Orthodox Christmas
  • 8 March – International Woman’s Day
  • 15 April – Easter
  • 1 May – Labor Day
  • 9 May – Victory Day
  • 3 June – Trinity
  • 28 June – Constitution Day
  • 24 August – Independence Day

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