Believed to be the heart of Europe, Ukraine is the largest country in the continent.
Bordered by the Black Sea in the South, Poland in the West and Russia in the East, there are several interesting facts that not many know about Ukraine.
Spread around an area of 603,628 km2, Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe, second only to Russia, which is located on both Europe and Asia. Ukraine is only slightly smaller than the US state of Texas.
Kiev is the capital city of Ukraine, and it is the cultural, industrial, educational and scientific center of Eastern Europe.
Although the country is huge in size, the population here is smaller than that of Germany and France. The major part of the population are ethnic Ukrainians, while Russians, Bulgarians, Jews, Moldovans, Poles, Armenians, Tatars and Crimean Tatars make up for the minor ethnic communities.
Ruled by several kingdoms and countries, Ukraine has a complex history. The country has been ruled by Ottomans, Mongols, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire, the Habsburg Empire and the Soviet Union.
History and Independence
The country finally became independent from the Soviet Rule in 1991. It is considered to be one of the youngest countries in the world, younger than the millennials as well.
Ukraine enjoys a temperate climate, with the average temperatures varying from 5.5°C to 13°C depending on whether you are in the south or north. Still, winters are cold and snowy in the country, making it a wintry wonderland.
The official language of Ukraine is Ukrainian, while Russian is the second language and understood by most. Ukrainian is also considered as one of the most beautiful and melodious languages in the world.
Unlike popular belief, Chicken Kiev did not originate in the capital city of Ukraine (Kiev). Nevertheless, Ukrainian cuisine is quite interesting, which makes use of pork, chicken, mushrooms, beef, eggs, fish, pickled vegetables, potatoes, etc.
Some of the signature delicacies of Ukraine are varenyky (dumplings), holubtsy (stuffed cabbage rolls) and borscht (soup).
Ukrainians also love their drinks, and the country ranks 6th for alcohol consumption. Some of the most popular drinks here are horilka (vodka) with pepper, Zakarpattya wine, medovukha (horilka with honey). Lviv coffee is also very popular among Ukrainians.
Ukraine houses 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include Saint-Sophia Cathedral (11th century), the beech forests of the Carpathians, the ancient Chersonesus city, Lviv's historic center, etc.
Facts about Ukraine
The majority of Ukraine's population follows Orthodox Christianity.
The metro station at Arsenalna (on Kiev's Sviatoshynsko-Brovarska line) is the deepest metro station in the world, as it is located 105.5 meters below the ground.
Ukraine is home to the world's third-most busiest McDonald restaurants. It is located on Kiev's Vokzalna Square, next to the train station.
The country was known as The Ukraine before its independence in 1991.
The capital city of Kiev has the shortest, yet the broadest street in the world. At 1.2 km, Khreshchatyk is an important road in Kiev.
Ukraine is considered to be the café capital of the world, as it is believed to have the most number of cafes per capita.
The gas lamp was first invented in Ukraine by a local pharmacist at a store called At the Golden Star.
The country is one of the most educated countries in the world, where 99.4% of the population above the age of 15 can read and write.
It has the second largest military in Europe, largest after Russia.
Ukraine is one of the cheapest countries to travel in Europe.
Vyshyvanka is the national costume of Ukraine. It is a plain white linen shirt that is decorated with heavy embroidery and is worn by both men and women.