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Ukraine & Her People

Interesting Facts You May Not Know...



  • Ukraine is the second biggest country in Europe after Russia, with a total area of 603.550 square kilometers (an area about the size of Texas), yet the population is less than in France and Germany, around 45 million people. 


  • Ukraine's economy include agriculture, metallurgy, ship building, energy (Ukraine has nuclear power plants and large hydroelectric dams), chemical industry, and mining. 


  • Most Ukrainians today consider themselves Christians, with major religions being Orthodoxy and Catholicism.


  • It is correct to say “Ukraine” not “The Ukraine." “The Ukraine” can only be used when you refer to the times when Ukraine was part of the USSR, not a sovereign state. A lot of people actually find the usage of the article in front of their country's name to be offensive. Please, mind that as a respect to their sovereignty.


  • Ukraine has been independent since August 24, 1991 (Ukrainian Independence Day).


  • The official language is Ukrainian; however most people are bilingual and speak Russian and Ukrainian equally well, while people from most western regions are also fluent in Polish, Hungarian and Romanian.  Note: It is proper to write Kyiv, not Kiev,  since it is the correct transliteration from the Ukrainian language. 


  • Popular traditional Ukrainian dishes are borsht – yummy beef and meat soup and varenyky – dumplings filled with meat, potato or sweet berries.


  • The first gas lamp was invented in Lviv, Ukraine by a local pharmacist in a store named “At The Golden Star” and today there’s a cafe named “Gasova L’ampa” (gas lamp) situated in the same building.


  • The third most visited McDonald's in the world is located in Kiev, near the train station. This restaurant has always been in the top five most crowded McDonald's in the world. 


  • Ukrainian national costume is called “vyshyvanka” – a plain white shirt made of linen and decorated with floral or ornamental embroidery. Worn by both men and women on numerous occasions. The best ones are still hand-made. Another part of the female traditional costume is “vinok” – a wreath made of real or fake flowers with long colorful ribbons attached to the back of it.


  • For centuries Kyiv has been an important Orthodox spiritual center with pilgrims coming from far lands to visit Lavra, St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery and Sofia Kyivska church.


  • Ukrainians invented a plane with the largest freight-carrying capacity in the world - the An-225 "Mriya" (The Dream). Originally, it was designed for spacecraft transportation. Now it specializes in freight haulage and is capable of carry up to 559,577 pounds into the air.


  • The first constitution in the world was written and adopted in Ukraine in 1710 by a Cossak named Hetman Pylyp Orlyk.

    It was a progressive document separating three branches of power with numerous laws regulating the government and society.


  • The current President of Ukraine – Petro Poroshenko – is the former owner of the biggest candy factory in the country.


  • Arsenalnaya Metro Station located in Kiev is the deepest in the world (105 meters). The station was built in 1960, very close to the House of Parliament. According to some reports, the tunnels near Arsenalnaya house secret shelters built specially for the political elite.​


  • Ukraine has the world's largest reserves of manganese ore - 2.3 billion tons or about 11% of all deposits of the world.


  • ​One of the most famous Christmas songs "Schedrik" (a folk song written by a Ukrainian composer, Mykola Leontovich) is known to the rest of the world as "Carol of the Bells" or "Ring Christmas Bells".


  • Ukraine, on its own initiative, refused the third largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. At the moment of the declaration of independence, Ukraine had over a thousand nuclear warheads and the third largest nuclear potential after Russia and America. The warheads and missiles were given to Russia, silos were destroyed. In response, Ukraine received the money for disarmament, plus security guarantees from the nuclear powers.


  • On April 26, 1986, the nation's nuclear power plant at Chernobyl was the site of the world's worst nuclear accident. On Oct. 29, 1991, the Ukrainian parliament voted to shut down the reactor within two years' time and asked for international assistance in dismantling it.


  • Holodomor ("Extermination by hunger") was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1932 and 1933 that killed an estimated 2.5–7.5 million Ukrainians, with millions more counted in demographic estimates. It was part of the wider disaster, the Soviet famine of 1932–33, which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country.










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