Form of Government: Republic
Area: 576 500 sq km
Population: 42 079 547 inhab. (estimate 2019)
Density: 72.99 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 52° - 44° N; long. 22° - 40° E
Capital: Kiev=Kyiv (capital) 2 951 482 inhab. (2019);
Currency: hryvnia (100 kopiyok)
Human development index: 0.751 (rank: 88)
President: Volodymyr Zelensky (Servant of the People), elected 21 April 2019, in office since 20 May 2019
Prime Minister: Oleksiy Honcharuk (independent), since 29 August 2019
Parliament: seats based on the elections of 21 July 2019: Servant of the People (pro-European, anti-corruption), 254; Opposition Platform-For Life (pro-Russian), 43; All-Ukrainian Union “Fatherland” (conservative, pro-European), 26; European Solidarity (Petro Poroshenko movement, pro-European), 25; Voice (liberal pro-European), 20; Mixed group, 10; independents, 46; vacant, 26
Internet: www.ukrstat.gov.ua (State Statistics Service)
Member of Council of Europe, EBRD, OAS observer, OSCE, UN, WTO
International license plate code UA
International dialling code 0038
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 220
Driving side rigth
Internet code .ua
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October
Annual average temperature (°C) Kiev 7.9
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Kiev -7/20
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Kiev 9/1
Annual average precipitation (mm) Kiev 612
Days of rainfall (annual average) Kiev 115
Politics and current affairs
On 21 April 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky was elected president in the run-off, taking 77.2% of the votes, defeating the outgoing president, Petro Poroshenko (24.4%). Zelensky, a television presenter, promised to take a hard line on corruption. During the parliamentary elections on 21 July 2019, the new president’s party, Servant of the People, won by a landslide, taking 43.2% of the votes and 254 seats. The pro-Russian Opposition Platform — For Life won a lot less votes (13%), as did other parties from the political establishment.
The country also had to tackle the worsening crisis with Russia when, on 25 November 2018, Russian forces captured three Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait, near Crimea, on their way to the Sea of Azov, which is managed by the two countries. In response, then-president Poroshenko declared Martial Law on 26 November. Negotiations continue for the release of prisoners, while Russian influence in Crimea is increasing five years on from its annexation, with economic investments, the assignment of military planes and the opening of new power plants.
Tensions were further fed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s separation from the Russian Orthodox Church, formalized on 6 January 2019.
Ukraine is bordered by Russia to the east and north-east, by Moldova and Romania to the south-west, by Hungary and Slovakia to the west, by Poland and Belarus to the north-west and to the south by the Black Sea and the Azov Sea. The country includes a vast stretch of the East European Plain, broken up by the Donets Hills to the south-east and by the Podolian Upland to the west. The Carpathian mountains are at the western border. The main rivers are the Donets, the Dnieper, the Dniester and the Danube. The climate is semi-continental inland, with cold winters and hot, humid summers; it is milder in the southern coastal areas.
A former Soviet republic, the Ukraine declared its independence on 24 August 1991. The country’s first president Leonid Kravchuk was followed in the role by another former member of the Soviet Communist Party, Leonid Kuchma, who was elected in 1994 and in 1999. At the presidential elections of 21 November 2004, the news of the victory of the pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych sparked mass public demonstrations by supporters of the pro-western candidate Viktor Yushchenko (the so-called “Orange Revolution”); on 27 November, Parliament declared that the elections were not valid, and the new elections of 26 December were won by Yushchenko. Following the legislative elections of 26 March 2006, which were won by the pro-Russian bloc, Yanukovych was elected Prime Minister, but friction between him and the President led to the calling of new elections (30 October 2007), after which a pro-western coalition led by Yulia Tymoshenko took office. Russia’s political and economic pressure led to new presidential elections in 2010, won again by V. Yanukovych. In 2012, Y. Tymoshenko, defeated in the ballot, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for abuse of public funds. The European Court of Human Rights overturned the verdict and she was released on 22 February 2014.
In light of the suspension requested by Yanukovich of the procedure for the association agreement of the EU, protests and outbreaks of violence (Euromaidan) began in late 2013, culminating in Yanukovich’s flight on 22 February 2014.
The country’s pro-European turn provoked Russia into intervening in Crimea and backing the Russian-speaking republics in eastern Ukraine, leading to the current armed conflict and to secessionist claims by the eastern regions of Donbass, where general elections were held on 11 November 2018 which were not recognized by Ukraine or the international community. Starting in July 2019, Russia made it easier to obtain Russian citizenship for residents of the separatist regions.
The Association Agreement with the EU was officially ratified in July 2017 and has been in force since 1 September 2017.
According to the Constitution of 28 June 1996, amended in 2004 (the amendments were canceled in 2010 and then restored in 2014), the President of the Republic is elected by direct suffrage for a five-year term; the Prime Minister is appointed by the Parliament (the Supreme Council, consisting of 450 members, elected for five years). New presidential and parliamentary elections must take place by 2019.
In 1994 the Ukraine ratified the START I Treaty (forcing it to transfer its nuclear weapons to Russia) and signed the Treaty of Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In 2015, following the outbreak of conflict in the eastern provinces, the US sent about 300 extra troops to the Ukraine to train regular forces, and in 2017, they provided a new system of anti-tank missiles.
|Kiev=Kyiv||2 951 482||inhab.||2019|
|Kharkiv||1 450 082||inhab.||2018|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2018)|
In 2018, economic growth hovered around 3.3%, in acceleration compared to 2017, favoured by good results in the agriculture sector and private consumption that was supported by increases in salaries, pensions and remittances. Many doubts remain, however, about future outlooks due to tensions with Russia, widespread corruption and a lack of transparency in governance in the banking and energy sectors. In absence of reforms, the World Bank believes that growth could drop below 2%.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||153.04||index||2016|
|Balance of trade||-9 698||M US$||2018|
|Active population||17 939 500||units||2018|
|Active population, Females||47.6||%||2018|
|Unemployment rate, Females||40.3||%||2018|
|Expenses||985 851.8||M LCU||2018|
|Revenues||928 114.9||M LCU||2018|
|Currency in circulation||400.12||BN LCU||2018|
|International reserves||20 817.9||M US$||2018|
The main agricultural products are cereal crops (wheat, barley, maize, rye, oats, millet) which have some international investment; there are also large amounts of potatoes, sugar beet, and various vegetables. Livestock is also important, especially cattle, pigs and sheep, providing meat, dairy products, eggs and wool.
|barley||8 284.89||1000 t||2017|
|cereals, total||60 686.033||1000 t||2017|
|potatoes||22 208.22||1000 t||2017|
|roots and tubers, total||22 208.22||1000 t||2017|
|cabbages||1 673.36||1000 t||2017|
|carrots and turnips||839.01||1000 t||2017|
|beans, dry||64.33||1000 t||2017|
|beans, green||3||1000 t||2017|
|rapeseed||2 194.79||1000 t||2017|
|soybeans||3 899.37||1000 t||2017|
|mustard seed||31||1000 t||2017|
|sugar beet||14 881.55||1000 t||2017|
|flax fibre and tow||1.32||1000 t||2017|
|hemp tow waste||0.748||1000 t||2017|
|apples||1 076.18||1000 t||2017|
|barley||2 501.5||1000 ha||2017|
|maize||4 480.7||1000 ha||2017|
|potatoes||1 323.2||1000 ha||2017|
|carrots and turnips||42.7||1000 ha||2017|
|beans, dry||40.4||1000 ha||2017|
|beans, green||0.14||1000 ha||2017|
|soybeans||1 981.9||1000 ha||2017|
|mustard seed||39.5||1000 ha||2017|
|sugar beet||313.6||1000 ha||2017|
|flax fibre and tow||1.4||1000 ha||2017|
|hemp tow waste||1.565||1000 ha||2017|
|timber||18 337 000||m³||2017|
|cattle||3 682.3||1000 heads||2017|
|cattle and buffaloes||3 682.3||1000 heads||2017|
|pigs||6 669.1||1000 heads||2017|
|asses and mules||11.974||1000 heads||2017|
|birds||200 970||1000 heads||2017|
|crustaceans and molluscs||10 509||t||2017|
The country has large coal deposits in the Donets basin, as well as iron ore. The reserves of natural gas and crude oil, on the other hand, are largely insufficient to meet the internal consumption needs. Ukraine is a crucial transit country for natural gas moving from Russia to Europe, and it was at the centre of constant tension with the former, exacerbated by the current political crisis. The contract for the transit of gas is in a phase of renegotiation. The country is crossed by an extensive network of strategic gas pipelines to Europe, in addition to the Druzhba oil pipeline. Other important mineral resources include manganese, magnesite, ilmenite and rutile, uranium, graphite, sulfur, salt, gypsum and peat.
Almost half of the electrical energy produced in Ukraine comes from nuclear power plants (15 reactors located in four nuclear power plants in Yuzhnoukrainsk, Rivne, Khmel’nyts’kyi and Zaporizhzhia); the Chernobyl plant (the site of the accident in 1986) ceased production in 2000.
The ongoing crisis and armed conflict have reduced industrial production significantly. Heavy industry, especially steel and metal-working, is well developed. Steel production, in particular, is very high. The chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and the synthetic fibre production industry are also noteworthy. At Lysychans’k, Kremenchuk, Kherson, Drohobych, Nadvirna and Odessa there are oil refineries. There is some mechanical industry: cars, tractors, agricultural machinery, locomotives, and bicycles. Ship-building is concentrated at Odessa, Mykolaiv, Kiev and Kherson. The electronics industry is also important. At Amvrosiivka, Kramators’k and Dnipropetrovs’k there are cement works. Other important industries include textiles, timber, paper, tobacco, rubber and tanneries. Another important and developing industrial area is found at Kharkiv, in the north-east, where machinery, pharmaceuticals and food products are all produced.
|coal||34 445.9||1000 t||2018|
|coal, total||34 445.9||1000 t||2018|
|iron ore||60 500||1000 t||2018|
|kaolin||1 800||1000 t||2018|
|- nuclear||76 078||M kWh||2016|
|- thermal||68 299.46||M kWh||2016|
|- thermal||36 475||1000 kW||2016|
|- nuclear||13 107||1000 kW||2016|
|total net generation||153 552.46||M kWh||2016|
|total installed capacity||57 275||1000 kW||2016|
|alumina||1 660||1000 t||2017|
|watches and clocks||2 319||no.||2014|
|air conditioners||79 000||no.||2016|
|caustic soda||62.9||1000 t||2013|
|carpets||3 506||1000 m²||2016|
|cotton fabrics||7.9||M m²||2016|
|footwear||20 900 000||pairs||2018|
|beer of barley||2 422.4||1000 t||2014|
|fish, frozen||12.3||1000 t||2016|
|cigarettes||84 100||M units||2018|
|cigars and cigarettes||84 100||M units||2018|
|other paper||923||1000 t||2017|
|cement||9 200||1000 t||2018|
|chemicals production||1 067.3||M US$||2016|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||3 553||M US$||2016|
Due to trade restrictions with Russia and new agreements with the EU, the EU has become the country’s largest trading partner.
Main exports (M US$ - 2017) iron and steel 9 562, cereals 6 502, vegetable oils 4 514, iron ores 2 589, electrical and electronic equipment 2 548, oil seeds 2 060, machinery 1 693, timber 1 205, residues and wastes of food industry 1 052, chemicals 1 028, furniture and accessories 543, meat 532, apparel and accessories 501, plastics 466, paper 451, fruit and vegetables 432
Finance and banking.
Financial services are particularly important; there is an active stock exchange in Kiev.
|manufactures||48.808||% of goods exports||2018|
|food products||39.125||% of goods exports||2018|
|Russia||3 660||M US$||2018|
|Poland||3 259||M US$||2018|
|Russia||8 091||M US$||2018|
|China||7 600||M US$||2018|
|Expenditures||7 543||M US$||2017|
|Number of arrivals||14 230 000||units||2017|
|Civil aviation, km flown||54 400 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||6 821.1||1000 units||2017|
|Broadband subscribers||125.542||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Computers||45.3||per 1000 pop.||2008|
Social and welfare
|Expected years of schooling||15||years||2014|
|Teachers, primary level||126 535||units||2017|
|Teachers, secondary level||324 041||units||2017|
|Social protection spending||40.6||% of total expenses||2016|
|Hospital beds||7.3||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Physicians||4.4||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|HIV||0.9||% of adults||2017|
|Museums, visitors||16 400 000||units||2017|
|Research and development spending||0.4||% of GDP||2017|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||95.73||%||2016|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2017|