At a Glance

Geographic location
  • Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland, Romania, and Moldova in the west and Russia in the east
  • Area: 603,700 sq km
  • Border countries: Belarus 891 km, Hungary 103 km, Moldova 940 km, Poland 428 km, Romania (south) 176 km, Romania (southwest) 362 km, Russia 1,576 km, Slovakia 90 km
  • Coastline: 2,782 km

Capital: Kiev

Total Population: 45871738(1/06/2010)

Density: 80 Inhabitants/km²

Urban Population: 68.0%

Population of main cities (including suburbs): Kiev (3,400,000); Charkiv (1,830,000); Dnipropetrovsk (1,360,000); Odessa (1,080,000); Donetsk (1,850,000).

Ethnic Origins: Ukrainians 77.8%, Russians 17.3%, Others 4.9%.

Official Language: Ukrainian

Other Languages Spoken: The Constitution protects minority languages, especially Russian which is spoken in the center, south and in the east of the country. Indeed, Russian speaking people are the most significant national minority in Ukraine (43%). Otherwise, the administration only uses Ukrainian. However, the majority of civil servants are bilingual, even if some of them prefer using Russian. In Crimea, the language spoken is Tatar. It is highly recommended to speak only Ukrainian in the western part of the country.

Business Language: Russian remains the language of business except in the west of the country. Although there are more and more people with some knowledge of English, an interpreter is often required.

Religion: Orthodox: 83,7% (Kyiv Patriarchate: 50,4%, Moscow Patriarcate: 26,1%, Autocephalous Orthodox: 7,2%), Ukrainian Greek Catholic: 8%, Roman Catholic 2,2%, Protestant: 2,2%, Jewish: 0,6%, Other: 3,3%.

Literacy Rate: 99.4%


  • Temperate continental
  • Mediterranean only on the southern Crimean coast
  • Winters vary from cool along the Black Sea to cold farther inland
  • Summers are warm across the greater part of the country, hot in the south

Natural resources

  • iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber, arable land

Environment - current issues

inadequate supplies of potable water; air and water pollution; deforestation; radiation contamination in the northeast from 1986 accident at Chernobyl' Nuclear Power Plant

Exchange Rate on July 27, 2010:

National Currency:
Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH)
1 UAH = 0.1249 USD, 1 USD = 8.0044 UAH
1 UAH = 0.0965 EUR, 1 EUR = 10.3646 UAH

Legal system

  • Ukraine is a civil law country; judicial review of legislative acts
  • The Constitution, adopted in June 1996, sets out the structure and power of the national government.

Legislative branch

  • Unicameral Supreme Council or Verkhovna Rada
  • 450 seats
  • proportional basis of members allocation to those parties that gain 3% or more of the national electoral vote to serve five-year terms
  • elections: last held 30 September 2007

Executive branch

  • Chief of state: President Viktor Yanukovich (Since Feb 2010)
  • Head of government: Prime Minister Nicolay Azarov (Since March 2010)
  • Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers selected by the prime minister; but foreign and defense ministers are chosen by a President
  • Note: there is also a National Security and Defense Council created in 1992

Judicial branch

  • Constitutional Court sole organ of constitutional jurisdiction
  • Court system has 3 branches:
  • Commercial Court (disputes between legal entities)
  • District Court (civil disputes and criminal cases)
  • Administrative Court (state authorities disputes)
  • Supreme Court can review decisions of all 3 branches of the court system
  • Arbitration is an alternative to litigation