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Ukraine is situated in the south-eastern part of Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km² making it the largest contiguous country on the European continent. It borders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Belarus and Russia. Ukraine is a major industrial and agricultural producer. Ukraine is well endowed in natural resources and is known as Europe’s breadbasket.

Ukraine consists almost entirely of level plains and occupies a large portion of East European Plain. Central part of Ukraine consists of Dnipro Lowland, through which Dnipro River runs from north to south. Other lowlands extend along the shores of Black and Azov seas in southern Ukraine, while Crimean Peninsula, in the extreme south, has both lowlands and low mountains. Western Ukraine has some uplands, and Carpathian Mountains extend through that region for more than 240 km (150 miles).

Ukraine lies in temperate climatic zone and receives 16 to 24 inches (400 to 600 mm) of precipitation annually. Winter is rather mild, with no severe frosts but with regular snowfalls everywhere except the south. The rivers and lakes freeze in winter. Summer is quite hot and dry, with occasional showers. The fertile black soil is well watered in spring and autumn and gets plenty of sunshine in summer. Due to favorable climatic conditions, Ukraine is traditionally an agricultural area. It grows wheat, maize, buckwheat and corn, red and green vegetables, different kinds of fruit, melons and berries.

The country is rich in natural resources, such as iron ore, coal, color metal, oil, gas, mineral salts, clay and potential water power. It has developed a varied industry, concentrated mostly in and around big cities, such as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Dniprodzerzhinsk, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Cherkasy and others. It produces planes and ships, lorries and buses, cars and heavy-locomotives, computers and electronic-equipment, precision instruments and agricultural machines, TV and radio set, chemicals and textiles, and various consumer goods. Odesa, Sevastopil, Mykolaiv, Kherson and Kerch are main Ukrainian ports.

Ukraine is a democratic republic. Country citizens elect their president, parliament (Verkhovna Rada), city mayors and deputies of local regional and city councils by means of direct ballot vote. Ukrainian Constitution and laws guarantee that Ukrainian citizens cannot be discriminated or prosecuted for their political views or nationality.


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