• 1.0Flag of Ukraine
    Basic Facts

    Country Name:
    Conventional Long Form: none
    Conventional Short Form: Ukraine

    Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland, Romania, and Moldova

    Population: 46,710,816

    Ethnic Groups: Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8%

    Languages: Ukrainian-official language 67%
    Romanian, Polish, and Hungarian (a minority speak these languages)

    Economy: The Ukrainian Republic was an important economic component of the former Soviet Union. It produced about four times the output of the next ranking republic. Shortly after its independence in 1991, the government liberalized most prices and began a legal framework for privatization. These changes met with great resistance. Soon the Ukraine economy was suffering. Ukraine began to depend on Russia for energy supplies. Currently, the structure is stabilizing and the surpluses they have now are being used to offset previous debt.

    Industries: coal,electric power, metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food processing (mostly sugar)

    Agriculture: grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables; beef, milk
    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. The cultural and religious legacy of Kyivan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century. The Hetmanate managed to remain autonomous for well over 100 years. During the latter part of the 18th century, most Ukrainian territory was taken over by the Russian Empire. Following the collapse of czarist Russia in 1917, Ukraine had a short-lived period of independence (1917-20). It was reconquered and forced to endure a brutal Soviet rule that brought about two artificial famines (1921-22 and 1932-33) in which over 8 million died. In World War II, German and Soviet armies were responsible for some 7 to 8 million more deaths. Independence for Ukraine was achieved in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR. Viktor YUSHCHENKO became the prime minister. Subsequent internal squabbles in the YUSHCHENKO camp allowed his rival Viktor YANUKOVYCH to stage a comeback in parliamentary elections and become prime minister in August of 2006.
    Family Life
    Ukranian families are close-knit. Before 1991 all citizens were expected to put the needs of the Soviet state ahead of their families. Communism and its organizations were created to take place of family in people's lives. Even though the Ukrainians did not always adopt communist attitudes, the Ukrainians are still recovering from the effects of Soviet domination.
    Families have also been affected by the shortage of housing in the Ukraine. When Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, the government maintained the houses. At this time, neither the government or the workers have the money to pay for housing. Many of the homes and apartments are old and in need of repair.
    Due to this, many of the homes and apartments are overcrowded. Two or more families may live in a space that is designed for only one family. The families love to entertain in their homes, despite the crowded conditions.
    School System
    Children begin their compulsory education at age 6 and continue until the age of 15. Elementary school lasts for 4 years. (Ages 6-10) Lower secondary begins at age 10 and ends at age 15. At the completion of these 5 years, a certificate is awarded. There are two types of upper secondary, one being more academic in nature. Both programs award a certificate at their completion. Vocational education opportunities and Special education opportunities are available.
    Classroom Applications
    • The Ukrainian population is communal in nature. They may choose not to socialize outside of their families. Interpreters may be needed during conferences and the language line can be used when language becomes a barrier.
    • Prompting may be required to help students work with partners outside of their culture.
Last Modified on January 4, 2013