- Population: 42.2 million (2018), down from 46.2 million (2008)
- Younger than 15 yo: 15.4%
- 65+ yo: 16.2%
- Languages: Ukrainian (official), Russian
- Few people speak English.
- A significant minority of the population uses Russian as its first language, particularly in the industrialised east.
- Religion: Christianity
- Life expectancy: 67 years (men), 77 years (women) (Increasing)
- Currency: Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH)
- Area: 603,700 sq km (233,090 sq miles)
- Europe’s second largest country.
- Ukraine is ranked the second poorest country in Europe
- Corruption is widespread. Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perception Index ranks the country in 120th place out of 180 countries. [Wikipedia]
- Kiev, the capital city, is a very inexpensive city
- Ukraine is off the beaten trail. Consequently, it is not the easiest country to get around in for the independent traveller
- A land of wide, fertile agricultural plains, with large pockets of heavy industry in the east.
- English is not widely spoken in Ukraine
- The concept of customer service hasn’t caught on in Kiev’s shops, restaurants and hotels
- Kiev boasts about 950 places of worship
- St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery reopened in 1999
- World heritage-listed St Sophia’s Cathedral is the oldest church in Kiev
- Kiev’s main thoroughfare, Khreshchatyk Street, is closed to traffic on weekends
- Great for exploring the sights
- Chernobyl is a two-hour drive north of Kiev and is itself 15km away from ground zero: the ghost town of Pripyat, where on April 26, 1986, nuclear reactor overheated and exploded.
- Unfortunately, handsome 18th and 19th century buildings – the kind that would be restored in other places – have been left to decay
- Winters in Kiev are brutally cold
- The streets icy or buried under snowdrifts
Safety & Security
- In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula which Ukraine and the greatest section of the international community recognize to be part of Ukrainian territory.
- Eastern Ukraine (along the Russian border) is considered one of the world’s most dangerous destinations for travellers. (2019)