Table of contents
Table of contents
I. General information about Ukraine
II. Industry and agriculture
III. Economy of Ukraine
IV. The Interesting places in Kyiv
The utillized literature
I. The nation's history began with that of the East Slavs. From at least the 9th century, the territory of Ukraine was a center of the medieval East Slavic civilization forming the state of Kievan Rus', which disintegrated in the 12th century. From the 14th century on, the territory of Ukraine was divided among a number of regional powers and by the 19th century the largest part of Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire with the rest under Austro-Hungarian control. After a chaotic period of incessant warfare and several attempts at independence (1917–1921) following the Russian Revolution and the Great War, Ukraine emerged in 1922 as one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic's territory was enlarged westward shortly before and after the Second World War, and again in 1954 with the Crimea transfer. In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the co-founding members of the United Nations. Ukraine became independent again after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. This began a transition period to a market economy, in which Ukraine was stricken with eight straight years of economic decline. But since about the turn of the century, the economy has been experiencing a stable increase, with real GDP growth averaging about seven percent annually.
Ukraine is a unitary state composed of 24 oblasts (provinces), one autonomous republic (Crimea), and two cities with special status: Kiev, its capital, and Sevastopol, which houses the Russian Black Sea Fleet under a leasing agreement. Ukraine is a republic under a semi-presidential system with separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches. At the end of 2004, the country underwent an extensive constitutional reform that has changed the balance of power among the parliament, the prime minister, and the cabinet, as well as their relationship with the president.
At 603,700 km² (233,074 sq mi) and with a coastline of 2,782 km (1,729 sq mi), Ukraine is the world's 44th-largest country (after the Central African Republic, before Madagascar). It is the second largest country in Europe (after the European part of Russia, before metropolitan France).
The Ukrainian landscape consists mostly of fertile plains (or steppes) and plateaus, crossed by rivers such as the Dnieper (Dnipro), Seversky Donets, Dniester and the Southern Buh as they flow south into the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov. To the southwest, the delta of the Danube forms the border with Romania. The country's only mountains are the Carpathian Mountains in the west, of which the highest is the Hora Hoverla at 2,061 m (6,762 ft), and those on the Crimean peninsula, in the extreme south along the coast.
Ukraine has a mostly temperate continental climate, although a more Mediterranean climate is found on the southern Crimean coast. Precipitation is disproportionately distributed; it is highest in the west and north and lesser in the east and southeast. Western Ukraine, receives around 1,200 mm of precipitation, annually. While Crimea, receives around 400 mm of precipitation. Winters vary from cool along the Black Sea to cold farther inland. Average annual temperatures range from 5.5–7 °C in the north, to 11–13 °C in the south.
According to 1887 estimates by Austro-Hungarian geographers, the Ukrainian city of Rakhiv (48°45′N, 18°55′E) is the site of the geographical centre of Europe. However, this is disputed by other European cities and the question has not yet been answered.
II. By the mid-80s a multi-branch, developed industry was created in Ukraine covering about 20 major industries, namely power generating, fuel, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, chemical and petrochemical and gas, machine-building and metal-working, forest, wood-working and wood pulp and paper, construction materials, light, food and others. In 1990, for instance, approximately 300 billion kWh of energy, approximately 40 million tons of ferrous metals rolled stock, and 6.5 million tons of steel pipes were produced; more than 100 million tons of iron ore were mined; 37 thousand metal cutting machine-tools, and more than 100 thousand tractors were manufactured in Ukraine.
Ukraine has five nuclear power stations with fifteen reactors with a total power output of 13.6 thousand MW (13 reactors of WWR type and 2 reactors of RBMK type in the Chernobyl NPS). In addition there are 47 thermal power stations with a total power output of 32.4 thousand MW, 6 large hydraulic power stations on the Dnieper and 55 small stations on other rivers.
In the coal-mining industry, more than 300 mines are operated in three coal-mining regions. Ukraine produces only 5.5 million tons of its own oil, but the ramified network of oil pipelines supports the operation of 10 petroleum plants. The Ukrainian gas pipelines transport the Russian gas to Central and Western Europe.
Approximately 200 large enterprises are operating in ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, pipe and rolling industry. These include the world largest complexes for the production of cast iron, steel, rolled stock and pipes in Dniepropetrovsk, Zaporozhje, Donetsk, Makeevka, Mariupol and other cities.
The mechanical engineering sector is represented by enterprises producing metallurgical, oil, chemical, mining, power generating, railway (locomotives, carriages, tank-cars, etc.), road construction and transportation (ships, aircraft, cars, city transport) equipment, machinery for agriculture, light and food industry, metal-cutting machine tools, instrumentation.
The Zaporozhje ‘Motor-Sich’ plant manufactures aircraft engines for all the CIS countries. One of the world largest aerospace concerns - ‘Pivdenny’ - is functioning in Dniepropet-rovsk; Kharkov turbines are known in many countries. A high-capacity chemical production complex is located in the city of Kaloush.
Altogether, the industry of Ukraine includes more than 10000 state and joint stock enterprises, and hundreds of private and collectively owned small and medium-sized businesses have been established over the last years, which operate in various industries.
Historically Ukraine was an agro-industrial country. Black-earth soil, which occupies 60% of Ukrainian land, is natural wealth of Ukraine. More, than 40% of all agricultural production of Ukraine is grown without using of any pesticides and, as a result, Ukrainian food is the most natural and safely in Europe. Among all the European countries Ukraine is a leader of growing of sugar beet, buckwheat and carrot; second place of growing of wheat (after Russia) and of tomato (after Poland). Ukraine is also famous because of corn, watermelon, tomato, apple and pear. 28% of all population of Ukraine works in agriculture sector. After destruction of USSR in Ukraine appear farms (average 350 hectares) and family households (0.3 – 5 hectares). Every year quantity of farms increases and, as a result, increases productivity. Farms are able to buy modern techniques and enough pesticides, but the food, which they produce, is not as natural as the food of family households.
There are many problems in agriculture in my country, but 4 - 5 of them are global, and their solution is very difficult. There are problems of land degradation, technological problem, pollution of environment and irrational using of lands.
High percentage of humus (more than 7 %) helped farmers to gather high harvest without using of any fertilizers. But about 60 years ago fertility of earth suddenly declined because of process of industrialization, which took place in Ukraine. As a result, now we have only 3,5% of humus and the process of land degradation is very actual problem in my country. Many farms still do not care that renovation of productivity of land will take hundreds or thousands of years, and they continue using land in incorrect way. We have also many problems with technology in farms. Many farms, which do not have enough money to buy new techniques, use old machines with low productivity. Those machines pollute environment much more, than the new ones. The system of recycling is not developed in Ukraine at all and it negatively influences on agriculture too. Farms throw out a lot of different things, which can be successfully used in other farms or in plants. In this case it appear many hills of rubbish which have negative influence not only on environment, but also on agriculture of areas which are closely located to those hills. But the biggest problem of agriculture in Ukraine is irrational using of land. After destruction of USSR collective farms were distributed completely incorrectly. Many households (family farms) have area more than 2 hectares, even more than 5 hectares, but their owners use only 1 hectare, and the other part of land is not in use.
Agricultural system in Ukraine is characterized as instable. Now Ukrainian government tries to realize Main Agriculture Law, according to which it will be possible to buy and sell land and also to rent land for long period. This law will increase in agriculture much and will allow foreign investors to organize farms with the highest productivity and profit. Owners, which do not use bigger part of their land, will be able to sell it. It will be very useful for both foreign investors and Ukrainian government.
III. In Soviet times, the economy of Ukraine was the second largest in the Soviet Union, being an important industrial and agricultural component of the country's planned economy. With the collapse of the Soviet system, the country moved from a planned economy to a market economy. The transition process was difficult for the majority of the population which plunged into poverty. Ukraine's economy contracted severely following the years after the Soviet collapse. Day to day life for the average person living in Ukraine was a struggle. A significant number of citizens in rural Ukraine survived by growing their own food, often working two or more jobs and buying the basic necessities through the barter economy.
In 1991, the government liberalized most prices to combat widespread product shortages, and was successful in overcoming the problem. At the same time, the government continued to subsidize government-owned industries and agriculture by uncovered monetary emission. The loose monetary policies of the early 1990s pushed inflation to hyperinflationary levels. For the year 1993, Ukraine holds the world record for inflation in one calendar year. Those living on fixed incomes suffered the most. Prices stabilized only after the introduction of new currency, the hryvnia, in 1996.
The country was also slow in implementing structural reforms. Following independence, the government formed a legal framework for privatization. However, widespread resistance to reforms within the government and from a significant part of the population soon stalled the reform efforts. A large number of government-owned enterprises were exempt from the privatization process. In the meantime, by 1999, the output had fallen to less than 40 percent of the 1991 level, but recovered to slightly above the 100 percent mark by the end of 2006.
Ukraine's 2006 GDP (PPP) is ranked 28th in the world and estimated at $364.3 billion.Nominal GDP (in U.S. dollars, calculated at market exchange rate) was $106.11 billion, ranked 51st in the world.
In the early 2000s, the economy showed strong export-based growth of 5 to 10 percent, with industrial production growing more than 10 percent per year. The growth was largely attributed to a surge in exports of metals and chemicals to China.
The World Bank classifies Ukraine as a middle-income state. Significant issues include underdeveloped infrastructure and transportation, corruption and bureaucracy. But the rapidly growing Ukrainian economy has a very interesting emerging market with a relatively big population, and large profits associated with the high risks. The Ukrainian stock market grew 10 times between 2000 and 2006, including 341 percent growth in 2004, 28 percent in 2005, and 24 percent in 2006. According to the CIA, in 2006 the market capitalization of the Ukrainian stock market was $42.87 billion. Growing sectors of the Ukrainian economy include the IT Outsourcing market, which was expected to grow over 25 percent in 2007.
By December 2007 the average nominal salary in Ukraine reached 1,675 hryvnias per month. Despite remaining lower than in neighboring central European countries, the annual growth of average salary income in real terms is about 20 percent for several years (2001-2006) in a row.
Ukraine produces nearly all types of transportation vehicles and spacecraft. Antonov airplanes and KrAZ trucks are exported to many countries. The majority of Ukrainian exports are marketed to the European Union and CIS.
The country imports most energy supplies, especially oil and natural gas, and to a large extent depends on Russia as an energy supplier. While 25 percent of the natural gas in Ukraine comes from internal sources, about 35 percent comes from Russia and the remaining 40 percent from Central Asia through transit routes that Russia controls. At the same time, 85 percent of the Russian gas is delivered to Western Europe through Ukraine.
After 15 years of negotiations, Ukraine was invited to join the World Trade Organization on February 5, 2008. Ukraine will have to ratify the agreements by July 4, 2008, and will become a WTO member 30 days after the ratification. It will become the 152nd member of the organization.
IV. It is said that one can walk from one end of Kiev to the other in the summertime without leaving the shade of its many trees. Most characteristic are the horse-chestnuts (Ukrainian: каштани, kashtany).
Kiev is known as a green city with two botanical gardens and numerous large and small parks. The green nature of the city is probably most notable by the green hills of the right bank along the Dnieper river that have been relatively untouched by development. The World War II Museum is located here, which offers both indoor and outdoor displays of military history and equipment surrounded by verdant hills overlooking the Dnieper river.
Among the numerous islands, Venetsianskyi (or Hidropark) is the most developed. It is accessible by metro or by car, and includes an amusement park, swimming beaches, boat rentals, and night clubs. The Victory Park (Park Peremohy) located near Darnytsia subway station is a popular destination for strollers, joggers, and cyclists.
Boating, fishing, and water sports are popular pastimes in Kiev. The area lakes and rivers freeze over in the winter and ice fishermen are a frequent sight, as are children with their ice skates. However, the peak of summer draws out a greater mass of people to the shores for swimming or sunbathing, with daytime high temperatures sometimes reaching 30 to 34 °C (86–93 °F).
The centre of Kiev (Independence Square and Khreschatyk Street) becomes a large outdoor party place at night during summer months, with thousands of people having a good time in nearby restaurants, clubs and outdoor cafes. The central streets are closed for auto traffic on weekends and holidays.
A wide variety of farm produce is available in many of Kiev's farmer markets with the Besarabsky Market located in the very centre of the city being most famous. Each residential region has its own market, or rynok. Here one will find table after table of individuals hawking everything imaginable: vegetables, fresh and smoked meats, fish, cheese, honey, dairy products such as milk and home-made smetana (sour cream), caviar, cut flowers, housewares, tools and hardware, and clothing. Each of the markets has its own unique mix of products with some markets devoted solely to specific wares such as automobiles, car parts, pets, clothing, flowers, etc.. There is also a popular book market by the Petrivka metro station.
At the city's southern outskirts, near the historic Pyrohiv village, there is an outdoor museum, officially called the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine It has an area of 1.5 square kilometres (1 sq mi). This territory houses several "mini-villages" that represent by region the traditional rural architecture of Ukraine.
Kiev also has numerous recreational attractions like bowling alleys, go-cart tracks, paintball venues, billiard halls and even shooting ranges. 100-year-old Kiev Zoo is located on 40 hectares and carries over 2,000 specimens.
The utillized literature
“Wikipedia”, the free encyclopedia.