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Ukraine

Ukraine is one of the largest countries of Eastern Europe.

Ukraine occupies an area of 603,700 square kilometres. Its territory
stretches for 893 kilometres from north to south and for 1,316
kilometres from east to west.

It has state borders with Russia, Belarus and Moldova. It also borders
on Poland, Czehia, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. In the south it is
washed by the Black and the Azov Seas.

The major part of Ukraine is flat and only 5 % of it is mountainous. The
two mountainous areas in Ukraine are the Carpathians and the Crimean
Mountains.

The geographical position of Ukraine is very favourable because the
country lies on the crossroads of the ways from Asia to Europe.

Ukraine has deposits of iron, manganese, coal, natural gas, oil and
other mineral resources. The main branches of industry are: coal and ore
mining, iron and steel engineering, machine and ship building.

Besides, Ukraine has always been an agrarian country. Traditionally
crop-growing and cattle-breeding are being developed.

Geographical Position of Ukraine

Ukraine is situated in the south-east of Europe.

The territory of Ukraine is 603,700 square kilometres. The territory of
Ukraine is mostly flat. There are the Carpathian Mountains in the west
and the Crimean Mountains in the south, but they are not high.

It borders on Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Czehia, Slovakia, Hungary,
Poland and Romania.

The main rivers are the Dnieper, the Dniester, the Bug, the Donets and
others. The Dnieper is one of the longest European rivers and one of the
main sources of hydroelectric power in the country.

The coasts of the Azov Sea and the Black Sea are good for ports. We have
quite a lot of big sea ports, for example, Odesa, Kherson, Mykolaiv,
Izmail, Mariupol and Kerch.

The geographical position of Ukraine is very favourable because the
country lies on the crossroads of the ways from Asia to Europe. Since
the times of Kyivan Rus Ukrainian roads have been used for trade
contacts.

Due to favourable climatic conditions, Ukraine is traditionally an
agricultural country. Wheat, maize and other corns, vegetables, all
kinds of fruit are grown here.

The country is rich in natural resources, such as iron ore, coal,
non-ferrous metals, oil, gas. It has developed a varied industry,
concentrated mostly in and around big cities, such as Kyiv, Zaporizhia,
Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa, Kharkiv, Lviv, Mykolaiv and others.

Ukraine produces planes and ships, lorries and buses, electronic
equipment and agricultural machines, TV and radio-sets and other goods.

Climate of Ukraine

Ukraine occupies the territory that is situated in the eastern part of
Europe.

There are the Carpathian Mountains in the west and the Crimean Mountains
in the south. Ukrainian territory is washed by the Azov Sea and the
Black Sea. These factors influence the climate of Ukraine. It is mostly
moderately continental.

23-26 °С in the Crimea. The winter temperature in the Crimea is about 3
degrees above zero as the Crimean Mountains stop cold winds from the
north.

The Carpathian Mountains differ from the rest of the Ukrainian territory
in the amount of rains. The highest rainfall is noticed in this part.
Summer is usually dry and hot in Ukraine, but in the Carpathians there
often occur showers and thunderstorms. Sometimes storms bring hail,
which is very unfavourable for agriculture.

Winter is usually mild, without severe frosts. Sleet is quite usual for
Ukrainian cities and towns in winter. Still winter snow cover is typical
for the climate of Ukraine except the southern part.

Fogs are not frequent in this country, but they may happen in autumn or
spring.

Due to its favourable climatic conditions, such as winter snow cover,
enough amount of rains and hot days during the summer, Ukraine is
traditionally an agricultural country. It grows wheat, maize and other
corns, vegetables and nearly all kinds of fruit.

Animals and Plants in Ukraine

Ukraine has mostly coniferous and deciduous trees. Such as pine, oak,
fir, beech and birch. The wealth of the forest includes not only timber,
but also berries, mushrooms and medical herbs.

The wildlife of Ukraine is different. It has hundreds of species of
animals and birds. They are: wolf, fox, badger, deer, elk, hamster,
field mouse and so on. The birds are: the sparrow, titmouse, grouse,
owl.

Some fur animals, such as mink, silver-black fox, musk-rat, brought into
Ukraine have aclimatized well.

In the rivers and lakes there are perch, bream, pike and carp. The
Forest-Steppe zone contains the oak, elm, black poplar, willow, ash and
pine. The animals include squirrels, foxes, hares and roes.

It also should be said that the animal life of the Carpathians is
unique. Here you can find deer, brown bears, wild cats and pigs, black
squirrels. Bird life includes golden eagles and black woodpeckers.. The
plants of this region are also different and beautiful. It is well worth
visiting. Especially in spring.

An Outstanding Event in Ukrainian History

There are such events in the life of every country that are kept through
the passing centuries. Ukraine has a long history which reflects
different stages of its historical development, numerous periods of its
prosperity and decay.

For a long period our country lived under the rule of Poland, Lithuania
and Russia. Ukraine formed part of the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics under the name of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic from
1922 to 1991.

On the 16th of July 1990 the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian republic
adopted «The Declaration of the State Sovereignty of Ukraine».

Then on the 24th of August 1991 the Supreme Soviet adopted the «Act of
the Independence of Ukraine». It was a document of a great historical
importance. This document proclaimed the formation of the independent
Ukrainian state. From the moment of adoption of this act only the laws
of Ukraine remained in action. This historical decision was approved by
the all-Ukrainian referendum which was held on the 1st of December 1991.
The Ukrainian people confirmed their wish to live in the sovereign and
independent country.

Thus a new period in the history of Ukraine started. It was the third
attempt to achieve independence.

The first one was made by Bohdan Khmelnytsky in 1648 — 1654. The second
one may be considered the proclamation of the Ukrainian People’s
Republic in 1917—1919.

An Episode from the History of Ukraine

I’d like to tell you about one of the episodes from the history of
Ukraine.

During the war of independence of the Ukrainians in 1648-1654 the
leaders of the war realized, that without the military help of Russia
the complete victory over Poland is impossible. That’s why in 1648
Bohdan Khmelnytsky appealed to Russia with the request to admit Ukraine
as apart of Russia. The tsar’s government started to give some military
and economic help to Ukraine. In 1654 Khmelnytsky came to Pereyaslav,
where he met Russian embassy headed by boyarin Buturlin. General Rada
was convoked in the city square. All layers of the population
participated in it. Khmelnytsky in his speech at Rada explained the
necessity of the union of Ukraine and Russia. All the participants of
Rada vowed fidelity to Russia. Buturlin handed to Khmelnytsky the tsar’s
order about the consent to admit Ukraine.

Political and judicial status of Ukraine was determined by the terms of
the treaty — so called March articles. Khmelnytsky vowed fidelity in the
cathedral. The population vowed in their towns and villages.

Economical, political and cultural relationships promoted the union.
This union weakened the political role of Rech Pospolita, and defeated
the plans of Vatican to catholicize Ukraine.

It assisted the further development of Ukrainian people.

Ukrainian Places of Interest

Ukraine is a country with the glorious past.

It is rich in historical monuments and different places of interest.

Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine and one of the oldest cities in the
eastern Europe. It has already celebrated its 1500-th anniversary.
That’s why it is not surprising that a lot of interesting monuments are
situated there, for example, the well-known to all Slavonic world St.
Sophia’s Cathedral and Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra. It is breathtaking to
wander along the streets of the old town, to feel the breath of history.

But Ukrainian places of interest are situated not only in Kyiv. Near the
small town of Kanev the monument to the Ukrainian national genius Taras
Shevchenko is situated. The museum, where the books, drawings and
manuscripts of Shevchenko are kept, is situated in the village not far
from Kanev. Even the house, where he was born, is preserved. It is very
interesting to look at it.

One may come to Poltava and visit the museum of the famous Poltava
battle, the field where Peter the Great defeated the Swedes.

One may also go to Zaporizhia, to the island of Khortytsia, where the
Ukrainian Cossacks organization was born.

One can go to Odesa and walk along the boulevards, where Pushkin walked
a long time ago, and one can touch the trees, which Pushkin touched.

It is also possible to visit the last house of Chekhov (now the museum
in Yalta), where Chekhov lived, and where he wrote his last works, and
where he died.

One may visit the famous symbol of the Crimea — the castle «Swallow’s
Nest» or the residence of Russian tsars in Livadia.

It is possible to go through Gogol places in the Poltava region and see
Dickanka, Sorochintsy.

One can continue this list, because there is also Western Ukraine with
the Carpathians and their legends, feudals lords’ castles and
cathedrals, with their unique culture and nature.

There are a lot of places to see in Ukraine and to be proud of. And I am
glad to live in such a country, with all those beautiful monuments.

Health Service in Ukraine

In Ukraine medical help is available in hospitals, polyclinics, and also
in medical centres in such places as factories and schools.

Health service is based on local therapeutists as they are the first who
diagnose. Some certain district is appointed to a polyclinic and this
district is divided into several areas. Each area is appointed to a
certain therapeutist. All the people who live in that area visit their
appointed doctor. Average number of people, visiting their doctor every
day, is 20-25, but when there is an epidemic of cold, this number is
50-60 people a day. There is some tendency which is nowadays widely
discussed, that a person him- or herself can choose the doctor he or she
wants to visit. A person can call his local therapeutist so that the
doctor will come and see his patient. A therapeutist examines a patient,
assigns some treatment, prescribes some medicines and gives a medical
certificate.

In a hospital there is also a therapeutic department, where pneumonia,
bronchitis or asthma are treated. There also exists a wide network of
ambulance service in Ukraine. It was founded in Kharkiv in 1905.

Nowadays there are a lot of fee-paying clinics where one can get any
kind of medical help. Many of them are specialized: dentist offices,
optician centres, etc.

There also exist some medical associations in Ukraine, such as Ukrainian
Diabetes Association. About 1 million people in Ukraine suffer from this
disease. There people can get medical help or medicines free of charge.

Relations between Ukraine and English-Speaking Countries

There is no denying the fact that not so long ago Ukraine had very weak
connections with other countries in the world. But at present the
situation has changed for the better. As now Ukraine is a sovereign
state, it establishes new relations with the countries throughout the
world.

Ukraine is one of the members of the United Nations Organization and
participates in the work of many international organizations. We have
wide relations with Canada, the USA and Great Britain in policy,
economics and culture. Foreign Embassies of these countries work in
Kyiv.

We have some joint political projects with the United States of America
and Canada. A lot of joint ventures have appeared in Ukraine recently.
Such big plants of ours as Cherkasy joint-stock company «Azot», Gorlovka
chemical plant «Stirol», Kharkiv aircraft plant sell their products at
the international market.

Scientific cooperation is also very important. We have joint projects
for space exploration with the USA and Canada.

Cooperation in culture, education and sport is very important, too. We
exchange students and teachers with these countries. The Ukrainian
orchestras, pop and opera singers, ballet dancers are warmly received
abroad.

A lot of tourists from English-speaking countries visit Ukraine every
year.

It’s very important to mention that many people, who are Ukrainians by
origin, live in Canada. So we have particular relations with this
country. Canada was the first among the western states that recognized
the state independence of Ukraine. Many of the Ukrainians, living now in
Canada and other English-speaking countries, don’t lose connections with
Ukraine. A lot of public organizations, educational establishments,
religious organizations make considerable contribution to the
development of our culture, literature and art.

Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Ukraine has different relations with many countries of the world. We
have wide relations with Canada, the USA, Great Britain and other
countries. Recently a great number of various joint ventures and
economic, cultural and political projects have appeared in Ukraine. Our
specialists in different scientific fields improve their qualification
abroad.

We also have programmes of students’ and schoolchildren’s exchange.
English, Canadian and American children visit Ukrainian families, go to
Ukrainian schools, while Ukrainian children stay at their host families
abroad. These exchange programmes help us to understand each other
better, to study culture and traditions of other countries. A lot of
Ukrainians have emigrated to Great Britain. That’s why in 1947 the
Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain was founded. This association
has some Help Funds that sponsor different important actions. The
association gives help to the Ukrainian students who study in British
Universities. The same associations and societies exist in many other
countries.

From year to year the number of spheres of our relations with the
countries abroad grow. Every year a lot of tourists visit Ukraine, while
the Ukrainians go to the countries abroad. We hope that our relations
with other countries will go on growing.

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