Ukraine is a state in Eastern Europe. The capital is Kiev. The population, according to the 2001 census, was 48,240,902 permanent residents and 48,457,102 actual population, according to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine on November 1, 2017 – 42,248,598 permanent residents and 42,418,235 actual population, the territory within constitutional structure of the country – 603,549 km². It ranks 32nd in the world in terms of population, 44th in the territory. Ukraine is the second largest state in Europe.
The state language is Ukrainian. In the eastern and southern regions, communication in Russian predominates; in the western and south-western regions (Eastern Galicia), Polish is widespread; in the north (Polesie) the influence of Belarus is noticeable; in Transcarpathia, Hungarian, Slovak, and Ruthenian play a significant role; Romanian / Moldavian, Bulgarian and Gagauz languages are used in the Chernivtsi region and the southern part of the Odessa region. National languages are actively used in the appropriate environment – Yiddish, Greek, Crimean Tatar, and others.
Ukraine is a unitary state and a parliamentary-presidential republic.
It borders with Belarus in the north, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary – in the west, Romania, and Moldova – in the south-west, Russia in the east, northeast and, de facto, the south. In the south and southeast, it is washed by the Black and Azov seas, it has sea borders with Romania in the Black Sea and with Russia in the Black and Azov seas.
The climate is temperate continental throughout Ukraine. The degree of continentality increases in the direction from the west and north-west to the east and southeast. As continentality grows, the summer becomes hotter, and the winter colder, and the amount of precipitation decreases. For the Carpathians is the typical mountain climate. Summer in the whole of Ukraine is warm and long, in the east and south – hot and dry, in the west – warm and humid. Winter is highly dependent on the region. Mild winter is observed in the south and west, the coldest winters are observed in northeastern Ukraine.
In an independent Ukraine, a political system was established, enshrined in the 1996 Constitution.
At the time of the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine was one of the most developed union republics – in terms of education, a network of scientific and industrial enterprises, in Ukraine there was one of the most developed agriculture in the USSR, as well as a very powerful military-industrial complex, including enterprises leading in the USSR the release of “rocket armament”, “heavy transport aircraft”, tanks. Ukraine had a sufficient number of scientific, engineering and managerial personnel.
Transport, infrastructure, communication
There are international airports in Kiev, Kharkov, Dnieper, Vinnitsa, Mariupol (since 2009 there are no regular flights), Lviv, Odessa and Chernivtsi, Zaporozhye.
The aviation sector in Ukraine is developing very fast. This is facilitated by a visa-free regime for citizens of several countries. In addition, the Euro 2012 football tournament prompted the government to invest huge amounts of money in transport infrastructure, in particular, in airports in Donetsk, Lviv, and Kiev. Ukraine has a number of airlines, the largest of which is Ukraine International Airlines.
Railway transport began to actively develop at the end of the XIX century (the first railway was laid in 1861). As of 2009, the length of railway tracks is 22,300 km – the 7th place in the world. Electric railway 9752 km. A track 1520 mm wide has been adopted as the national standard. The development of the railway network is characterized by the same regional disparities as for the road network. Currently, the state has a monopoly on the provision of passenger rail transport, and all trains, except for those cooperating with other foreign companies on international routes, are operated by Ukrzaliznytsia.
Water transport, mainly river, provides passenger services on the Dnieper, Danube, Pripyat and their tributaries. Most major cities have river ports. International sea travel is carried out mainly through the port of Odessa, from where ferries regularly sail to Istanbul, Varna, and Haifa.
The national health system has fully experienced the effects of the collapse of the USSR. By the beginning of the 2000s, the government launched a large-scale program to restore and further improve its efficiency, the key element of which is to set up decentralization and transfer the maximum responsibility for the provision of health care to regional authorities. Within the framework of this program, in particular, within the structure of the Ministry of Health, special units responsible for the work in the regions were established, the powers and, accordingly, the financial support of health services operating within the framework of provincial and district administrations were significantly expanded. In particular, hospitals, clinics, and specialized clinics are under the jurisdiction of the provincial and district authorities.
The education system consists of educational institutions, scientific, scientifically-methodical and methodical institutions, research-and-production enterprises, state and local education authorities and self-government in the field of education. The system of preschool education includes a network of preschool educational institutions, scientific and methodological institutions, educational authorities, and the family. In the direction of the formation of a network of educational institutions, the state guarantees the constitutional right for every citizen to the availability and free of charge of obtaining a complete general secondary education.
The network of general educational institutions is formed taking into account the demographic, ethnic and socio-economic situation by educational levels. In accordance with the educational level, there are secondary educational institutions of the I degree (elementary school); Grade II (primary school); Grade III (high school). General educational institutions of all three degrees can function integrated or independently. Education in a secondary school begins at the age of six or seven.
Culture and art
Ukrainian culture has developed as a folk culture over long periods of its history. A great place in it was occupied by folklore and folk traditions. This was manifested most vividly in art – folk thoughts, songs, dances, decorative and applied arts. It was thanks to the preservation and continuation of traditions, the roots of which go back to the culture of Kievan Rus, that the rise of Ukrainian culture in the 16th — 17th centuries became possible, and the cultural revival in the 19th century.
At the same time, the negative consequences of this nature of the development of Ukrainian national culture are palpable. For a long time many talented people who were born and raised in Ukraine, then left her, tied their future life and work with Russian, Polish and other cultures. In addition, progress in the natural sciences was less pronounced than in the humanities.
At the same time, the original and ancient education system, which reached its height during the Cossacks and provided almost complete literacy of the population, a long tradition of book writing, focus on the leading centers of Europe, in particular, Byzantine cultural traditions, the role of Western Russia as a center of science and higher education thanks to a developed network of collegia, the Ostrog and Kiev-Mohylyanska Academy; patronage and state support of culture by a number of prominent statesmen – Konstantin Ostrozhsky, Peter Konashevich-Sagaidachny, Ivan Mazepa, and others – all allowed to raise Ukrainian culture to the world level, to create a number of classical masterpieces in the field of typography, architecture, literature, to achieve significant successes in science .