35+ Interesting Facts About Ukraine

  1. Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest country in Europe after Russia and the largest country wholly inside Europe.
  2. Ukraine was initially inhabited between mid-5th to 3rd millennia BC. The East Slavs arrived and settled in Ukraine between the 5th and 6th Centuries.
  3. Kievan Rus was the first great East Slavic dynasty, ruled from 879 to 1240 AD. Ukrainian capital Kyiv remained the capital of Kievan Rus from 882 to 1240 AD.
  4. After the disintegration of Kievan Rus, Ukraine was directly or indirectly ruled by several foreign powers. These include Golden Hordes, Polish-Lithuanian, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, and Russian Empire.
  5. Ukraine adopted its initial constitution in 1710. It happened more than 75 years before the American Constitution in 1787-89. (Source)
  6. The Soviet authorities deported more than 180,000 Crimean Tatars from Crimea to Uzbekistan and other parts of Central Asia in May 1944 for their alleged cooperation with Nazis during WW2. The Tatars fighting for the Red Army were sent to Siberia for forced labor. They were allowed to join their exiled families in 1953 after the death of Stalin. (Source)
  7. After WW1, Ukraine became part of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union after its disintegration.
    Destruction of Kiev during WW2
    Ukraine lost more than 5 million people in WW2

  8. Ukraine lost 5 to 7 million people during WW2. USSR completely annexed the country after WW2. Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
  9. Ukraine means borderland. The Ukrainians dislike using the article “the” before their country name and consider it insulting. “The” was used before the independence of Ukraine and represented the Soviet occupation of Ukraine. (Source)
  10. Ukraine has the 2nd largest military in Europe after Russia. The country has nearly 1.2 million military personnel.
  11. Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe. Its per capita income is less than 3,000 USD. The country suffered the world’s worst inflation in 1993. Recently, Ukraine has managed to reduce its poverty rate from 11.9% in 2012 to 2.3% in 2018. (Source)
  12. Ukraine was declared the 2nd most corrupt country in Europe after Russia in the CPI (corruption perception index) 2017. Ukraine was ranked 130th among 180 countries included in this ranking. (Source)
  13. Ukraine is the world’s biggest exporter of seed oils. The country is the biggest importer of used clothing and garnetted wool (or animal hair). (Source)
  14. Ukrainian public held mass protests from November 2004 to January 2005 against the outcome of the 2004 elections, won by a pro-Russian candidate. These protests remained successful and are known as the “Orange Revolution.”
  15. Ukrainians organized successful anti-Russian and pro-EU protests from November 2013 to February 2014. These protests are known as the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution or Revolution of Dignity.
  16. Soon after the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, Russia occupied Crimea, and pro-Russian militias started separatist activities in eastern Ukraine (Donbas). The War in Donbas is ongoing.
  17. The black “chernozem” soil covers more than 50% of Ukraine’s landmass. This highly fertile soil is rich in humus. It helps Ukraine in producing a range of cereals and oilseeds. However, soil erosion and climate change are harmful to this fertile soil. (Source)
  18. The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster contaminated several parts of Europe with radioactive material. This nuclear accident in Chernobyl, located in northern Ukraine close to the border with Belarus, was due to flaws in the reactor design and poor management. This accident caused dozens of deaths, around 5,000 cases of thyroid cancers, and the evacuation of 350,000 people. (Source)
  19. After independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine had the world’s 3rd largest nuclear arsenal, with over 1,800 nuclear warheads and 175 long-range missiles. In 1994, Ukraine agreed to remove all nuclear weapons in exchange for a guarantee that Russia would respect its sovereignty. Ukraine transferred all its nuclear warheads to Russia by 1996 and destroyed all its ICBMs by 2001. (Source)
  20. Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and the 5th largest in the world. It has a gross capacity of 6,000MW and a net capacity of 5,700MW.
  21. Ukraine has the world’s 5th best software developers, with a score index of 93.17%. The country has the highest number of C++ engineers and Unity3D game developers. 18 Ukrainian outsourcing companies are among the 100 best outsourcing companies in the world. (Source)
  22. More than 3.9 million Ukrainians died in 1932-33 after the man-made famine, locally known as Holodomor (hunger extermination). This famine happened due to Stalin’s policies of collectivization of agriculture and the deportation of kulaks (wealthy peasants). Furthermore, Ukrainians were forbidden to leave Ukraine in search of food, and whole towns were prevented from receiving food. The Soviet secret police used this famine to target Ukrainian politicians, intelligentsia, and religious leaders. (Source
    People dying of hunger in Ukraine
    Around 4 million Ukrainians died in Holodomor (1932-33)

  23. Around 78% population of Ukraine is comprised of Ukrainians. More than 17% are Russians, forming a majority in Crimea and a substantial minority in eastern provinces bordering Russia.
  24. Ukrainian is the official and majority language of the country. Russian is also widely spoken, particularly in areas bordering Russia.
  25. More than 55% of the population follows Christianity, with the majority Ukrainian orthodox. More than 40% are atheists.
  26. Ukraine has the 4th fastest-shrinking population in the world. According to projections, the Ukrainian population will decline by 19.5% between 2020 and 2050. This rate is less than only in three other European countries: Latvia, Lithuania, and Bulgaria. (Source)
  27. Elementary education in Ukrainian public schools is free of charge. Education is compulsory through grade 12.
  28. Yalta is a city in Crimea, Ukraine. It was the hosting place for Yalta Conference in February 1945. This conference between Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin decided the creation of the United Nations, the division of Germany, and other significant affairs related to WW2.
  29. Ukraine has participated in 5 Winter Olympics and 6 Summer Olympic Games since 1994. The country has won 32 gold medals in the summer Olympics and three gold medals in the winter Olympic Games. (Source)
  30. Ukraine has produced several world-renowned boxers. The most famous Ukrainian boxer is Vasyl Lomachenko. He won gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.
  31. The Antonov An-225 was built in the Ukrainian SSR. It is the heaviest aircraft ever built and has the longest wings of any currently-flying plane. This mammoth plane holds records for total airlifted payload and airlifting heaviest single-item payload. (Source)
  32. There are 7 UNESCO world heritage sites in Ukraine. These include one natural and six cultural sites. (Source)
  33. Arsenalna Metro Station in Kyiv is the world’s deepest metro station. It lies nearly 350 feet beneath the capital city of Kyiv. (Source)
  34. The tunnel of love, located in the western Ukraine town of Klevan, is a famous tourist attraction. This tree tunnel was built during Cold War to conceal a military base in this area. (Source)
  35. The Oleshky Sands in Ukraine is the largest desert in Europe. The vast sandy area is the outcome of uncontrolled sheep grazing during the 19th Century.
  36. The Ukrainian flag is horizontally divided between blue and yellow colors. The blue represents the sky over golden wheat fields. The initial flag, adopted in 1848, was yellow over blue. It was reversed to its current form in 1918. (Source)
  37. Ukraine is the birthplace of Hasidic Judaism, an orthodox movement based on spirituality. It was founded during the 18th Century and followed by most Eastern European Jews during the 19th Century. (Source)
  38. Like many other Eastern European countries, there are more women than men in Ukraine. The percentage of the female population in Ukraine is 53.7%, which is just behind Nepal, Latvia, and Lithuania. The main reasons for this gender imbalance are military conflicts and extensive smoking and alcoholism by Ukrainian men. (Source)

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