Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe, in the southwestern part of the East European Plain. Ukraine has an area of 603,628 sq. m (233,062 sq. mi), making it the largest country entirely within Europe. It is bordered by Belarus to the northwest, Poland and Slovakia to the west, Hungary, Romania and Moldova to the southwest, Russia to the east and northeast. There are two seas – the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. According to one study, the geographical centre of Europe is in Ukraine (Zakarpattya region).
Ukraine is a unitary republic with the population of 45.49 million people (in 2013). On January 1, 2014 there were 24 oblasts (regions) and one autonomous republic – Crimea, 490 raions (districts) and 460 towns/cities. Additionally, the cities of Kyiv, the capital, and Sevastopol, both have a special legal status. The country has a very varied terrain: 70% - lowlands, 25% - highlands, 5% - mountains. There are 63 thousand rivers; about 20 thousand lakes; forests, heaths, rocks and even a desert. More than 10,000 sq. km (3.9 sq. mi) are occupied by national parks.
The territory of Ukraine lays in the moderate continental climate zone with an increase from northwest to southeast. Southern coast of Crimea belongs to subtropical climate. The average annual temperature in Ukraine ranges from +5-7° C in the north to +11-13° C in the south. The average temperature of the coldest month (January) varies from -7°-8° C in the northeast to 0° +2° C in the south; the warmest (July) – from +17-19° C in the north to +23-25° C in the south.
Lands that make up the territory of modern Ukraine, once endured the Mongol invasion, were part of Poland, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires. Ukraine became an independent state in 1991, quitting from the USSR after 70 years. Ukraine has always been at the crossroads of Eastern and Western cultures, thus a lot of historical and cultural monuments have left from different times. Many of those are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH). Get current exchange rate on the website of National Bank of Ukraine.
Airports: more than 30 airports, half of them are international. Boryspil (KBP) is the largest airport in the country.
Visa: to enter Ukraine, visa is not required for citizens of EU countries and Switzerland, the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Turkey, Mongolia, Romania, Paraguay, CIS (except Turkmenistan). Details on visa issues can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
Clock zone: UTC+2 (November to March), UTC+3 (from April to October).
International dialling code: +380
Emergency number: 112
Capital: Kyiv (population - 2.8 million).
Kyiv telephone code: +380 44