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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.
But the Crimea differs greatly from the other parts of the territory. The climate there is subtropical. One can see the difference even in the average summer and winter temperatures. The average summer temperature is 21-22 degrees above zero, but it is usually 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 in1648-1654 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