Ukraine

 

Ukraine was the center of the first eastern Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, which during the 10th and 11th centuries was the largest and most powerful state in Europe. Weakened by internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, Kyivan Rus was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The cultural and religious legacy of Kyivan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century after an uprising against the Poles. Despite continuous Muscovite pressure, the Hetmanate managed to remain autonomous for well over 100 years. During the latter part of the 18th century, most Ukrainian ethnographic territory was absorbed by the Russian Empire.

 

Geography:
Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland, Romania, and Moldova in the west and Russia in the east
Geographic coordinates: 49 00 N, 32 00 E
People:
Population: 44,854,065 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 13.7% (male 3,186,606/female 3,014,069)

15-64 years: 70.8% (male 15,282,749/female 16,673,641)

65 years and over: 15.5% (male 2,294,777/female 4,682,865) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Ukraine

local long form: none

local short form: Ukrayina

former: Ukrainian National Republic, Ukrainian State, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type: republic
Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 12.941 million (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 53.929 million (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 412 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 179

over 3,047 m: 13

2,438 to 3,047 m: 49

1,524 to 2,437 m: 22

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 89 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation – 12 months for Army and Air Force, 18 months for Navy (2010)

Economy:

After Russia, the Ukrainian republic was far and away the most important economic component of the former Soviet Union, producing about four times the output of the next-ranking republic. Its fertile black soil generated more than one-fourth of Soviet agricultural output, and its farms provided substantial quantities of meat, milk, grain, and vegetables to other republics. Likewise, its diversified heavy industry supplied the unique equipment (for example, large diameter pipes) and raw materials to industrial and mining sites (vertical drilling apparatus) in other regions of the former USSR. Shortly after independence was ratified in December 1991, the Ukrainian Government liberalized most prices and erected a legal framework for privatization, but widespread resistance to reform within the government and the legislature soon stalled reform efforts and led to some backtracking.

Transnational Issues:

1997 boundary delimitation treaty with Belarus remains un-ratified due to unresolved financial claims, stalling demarcation and reducing border security; delimitation of land boundary with Russia is complete with preparations for demarcation underway; the dispute over the boundary between Russia and Ukraine through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov remains unresolved despite a December 2003 framework agreement and on-going expert-level discussions; Moldova and Ukraine operate joint customs posts to monitor transit of people and commodities through Moldova’s break-away Transnistria Region, which remains under OSCE supervision; the ICJ gave Ukraine until December 2006 to reply, and Romania until June 2007 to rejoin, in their dispute submitted in 2004 over Ukrainian-administered Zmiyinyy/Serpilor (Snake) Island and Black Sea maritime boundary; Romania opposes Ukraine’s reopening of a navigation canal from the Danube border through Ukraine to the Black Sea