Ukraine

Capital: Kyiv (largest city)
Population: 46 million
Area: 233,089 sq. mi (Slightly smaller than Texas)
Currency: Hryvnia (UAH)
Language: Ukrainian
Religions: Byz. Catholic, Orthodox

President: Petro Poroshenko


Facts About Ukraine

  • The name "Ukraine" is derived from the word "krai" which means border

  • The first university in Europe, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy was founded in Ukraine in 1632

  • Ukraine is the largest country in Europe. It is bordered by Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, the Black Sea and Sea of Azov

  • Ukraine is often refered to as “Breadbasket of Europe”

  • Ukraine suffered from radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident which occurred in Ukraine (USSR) in 1986.

  • Ukraine declared independence in August 24, 1991.


Cuisine

  • The traditional Ukrainian diet includes chicken, pork, beef, fish and mushrooms. Ukrainians also tend to eat a lot of potatoes, grains, fresh and pickled vegetables

  • Popular traditional dishes include “varenyky” ( dumplings filled with potatoes & cheese), “borsch” (soup made of beets, cabbage and mush- rooms or meat) and “holubtsy” (stuffed cabbage rolls filled with rice, carrots and meat).


Easter Eggs

The tradition of the Easter egg, known as “Pysanky”, has ancient roots in Ukraine. Eggs are drawn on with wax to create a pattern; then, dye is applied to give the eggs their pleasant colors. After the entire egg is dyed, the wax is removed leaving only the colorful pattern. The colors, designs and symbols on the Pysanky all carry a different significance. Pysanky are usually made during the last week of Lent, and are typically given to family members and respected outsiders on Easter as a symbolic gift of life.


Ukrainian Dance

It is often described as energetic, fast- paced and entertaining. It is a characteristic example of Ukrainian culture instantly recognized and highly appreciated throughout the world.


Famous Ukrainians and people of Ukrainian Origin

  • Taras Shevchenko (poet and artist)

  • Stepan Bandera (Ukrainian politician)

  • Vitaly and Volodymyr Klitschko (boxers, multiple WBO title holders)

  • Sergey Korolev (Sputnik Inventor)

  • Ruslana Lyzhichko (pop-singer and activist, winner of 2004 Eurovision contest)

  • Sergey Prokofiev (composer)

  • Igor Sikorsky (Helicopter Inventor)

  • Milla Jovovich (Model and Actress, The 5th Element)

  • Vera Farmiga (actress)