Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Ukraine


1. Ukraine is bordered by Seven countries: Russia to the east, Belarus to the north, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west and Romania and Moldova to the southwest.

2. Although Ukraine became independent on July 16, 1990, from Russia, there is still a special leasing agreement which allows the Ukranian city Sevastopol to house the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

3. Ukraine occupies eighth place in the world by the number of tourists visiting, according to the World Tourism Organisation rankings. The main selling points are the “Seven Wonders of Ukraine”, which include a park, a monastery of caves, an ancient Greek colony and a fortress.

4. The estimated population of Ukraine is 46,179,226. England’s population is an estimated 51,446,000.

5. The country’s anthem says: “Shche ne vmerla Ukrayiny i slava i volya”: Ukraine's glory has not perished, nor her freedom.

6. One of the great Ukranians was Sergei Korolev, born in 1907, and a colonel in the Red Army. Born in Zhytomyr, now part of Ukraine, he was the head Soviet rocket engineer and designer during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s. He is considered by many as the father of practical astronautics.

7. A referendum and the first presidential elections took place on Dec 1, 1991. That day, more than 90 per cent of Ukranians expressed their support for the Act of Independence and elected the chairman of the parliament, Leonid Kravchuk, as their first President.

8. The currency of Ukraine is the hryvnia, adopted on Sept 2, 1996. It replaced the karbovanets at the rate of 1 hryvnia = 100,000 karbovantsiv. The hryvnia is subdivided into 100 kopiyok. One GB pound is worth just over 13 hryvnia.

9. The dominant religion in Ukraine is Eastern Orthodox Christianity, which is currently split between three Church bodies: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church autonomous church body under the Patriarch of Moscow, and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

10. The current president is Viktor Yushchenko, the one-time hero of the so-called "Orange Revolution" who became seriously ill in early Sept 2004. He claimed he had been poisoned by government agents; after the illness, his face was greatly disfigured.

Source

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