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Europe :: Ukraine
page last updated on October 28, 2009
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Introduction ::Ukraine
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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. Weakened by internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, Kyivan Rus was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The cultural and religious legacy of Kyivan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century after an uprising against the Poles. Despite continuous Muscovite pressure, the Hetmanate managed to remain autonomous for well over 100 years. During the latter part of the 18th century, most Ukrainian ethnographic territory was absorbed by the Russian Empire. Following the collapse of czarist Russia in 1917, Ukraine was able to bring about a short-lived period of independence (1917-20), but was reconquered and forced to endure a brutal Soviet rule that engineered 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. Although final independence for Ukraine was achieved in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy remained elusive as the legacy of state control and endemic corruption stalled efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civil liberties. A peaceful mass protest "Orange Revolution" in the closing months of 2004 forced the authorities to overturn a rigged presidential election and to allow a new internationally monitored vote that swept into power a reformist slate under Viktor YUSHCHENKO. 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. An early legislative election, brought on by a political crisis in the spring of 2007, saw Yuliya TYMOSHENKO, as head of an "Orange" coalition, installed as a new prime minister in December 2007.
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Geography ::Ukraine
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Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland, Romania, and Moldova in the west and Russia in the east
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49 00 N, 32 00 E
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total: 603,550 sq km
country comparison to the world: 45
land: 579,330 sq km
water: 24,220 sq km
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slightly smaller than Texas
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total: 4,566 km
border countries: Belarus 891 km, Hungary 103 km, Moldova 940 km, Poland 428 km, Romania (south) 176 km, Romania (southwest) 362 km, Russia 1,576 km, Slovakia 90 km
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2,782 km
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territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 m or to the depth of exploitation
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temperate continental; Mediterranean only on the southern Crimean coast; precipitation disproportionately distributed, highest in west and north, lesser in east and southeast; winters vary from cool along the Black Sea to cold farther inland; summers are warm across the greater part of the country, hot in the south
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most of Ukraine consists of fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus, mountains being found only in the west (the Carpathians), and in the Crimean Peninsula in the extreme south
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lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Hora Hoverla 2,061 m
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iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber, arable land
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arable land: 53.8%
permanent crops: 1.5%
other: 44.7% (2005)
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22,080 sq km (2003)
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139.5 cu km (1997)
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total: 37.53 cu km/yr (12%/35%/52%)
per capita: 807 cu m/yr (2000)
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NA
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inadequate supplies of potable water; air and water pollution; deforestation; radiation contamination in the northeast from 1986 accident at Chornobyl' Nuclear Power Plant
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party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
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strategic position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia; second-largest country in Europe
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People ::Ukraine
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45,700,395 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
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0-14 years: 13.8% (male 3,238,280/female 3,066,594)
15-64 years: 70.3% (male 15,399,488/female 16,742,612)
65 years and over: 15.9% (male 2,422,311/female 4,831,110) (2009 est.)
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total: 39.5 years
male: 36.3 years
female: 42.7 years (2009 est.)
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-0.632% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 230
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9.6 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
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15.81 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
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-0.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
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urban population: 68% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: -0.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.5 male(s)/female
total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 8.98 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 158
male: 11.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 68.25 years
country comparison to the world: 150
male: 62.37 years
female: 74.5 years (2009 est.)
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1.26 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211
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1.6% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
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440,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
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19,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
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noun: Ukrainian(s)
adjective: Ukrainian
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Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8% (2001 census)
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Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyiv Patriarchate 50.4%, Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate 26.1%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic 8%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 7.2%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, Protestant 2.2%, Jewish 0.6%, other 3.2% (2006 est.)
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Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian 24%, other 9% (includes small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities)
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.4%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.2% (2001 census)
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total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2006)
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6.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 36
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Government ::Ukraine
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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Ukraine
local long form: none
local short form: Ukrayina
former: Ukrainian National Republic, Ukrainian State, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
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republic
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name: Kyiv (Kiev)
geographic coordinates: 50 26 N, 30 31 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
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24 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast'), 1 autonomous republic* (avtonomna respublika), and 2 municipalities (mista, singular - misto) with oblast status**; Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Crimea or Avtonomna Respublika Krym* (Simferopol'), Dnipropetrovs'k, Donets'k, Ivano-Frankivs'k, Kharkiv, Kherson, Khmel'nyts'kyy, Kirovohrad, Kyiv**, Kyiv, Luhans'k, L'viv, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Poltava, Rivne, Sevastopol'**, Sumy, Ternopil', Vinnytsya, Volyn' (Luts'k), Zakarpattya (Uzhhorod), Zaporizhzhya, Zhytomyr
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
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24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
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Independence Day, 24 August (1991); note - 22 January 1918, the day Ukraine first declared its independence (from Soviet Russia) and the day the short-lived Western and Central Ukrainian republics united (1919), is now celebrated as Unity Day
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adopted 28 June 1996
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based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: President Viktor A. YUSHCHENKO (since 23 January 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Yuliya TYMOSHENKO (since 18 December 2007); First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr TURCHYNOV (since 18 December 2007); Deputy Prime Ministers Hryhoriy NEMYRYA and Ivan VASYUNYK (since 18 December 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers selected by the prime minister; the only exceptions are the foreign and defense ministers, who are chosen by the president
note: there is also a National Security and Defense Council or NSDC originally created in 1992 as the National Security Council; the NSDC staff is tasked with developing national security policy on domestic and international matters and advising the president; a Presidential Secretariat helps draft presidential edicts and provides policy support to the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); note - a special repeat runoff presidential election between Viktor YUSHCHENKO and Viktor YANUKOVYCH took place on 26 December 2004 after the earlier 21 November 2004 contest - won by YANUKOVYCH - was invalidated by the Ukrainian Supreme Court because of widespread and significant violations; under constitutional reforms that went into effect 1 January 2006, the majority in parliament takes the lead in naming the prime minister
election results: Viktor YUSHCHENKO elected president; percent of vote - Viktor YUSHCHENKO 52%, Viktor YANUKOVYCH 44.2%
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unicameral Supreme Council or Verkhovna Rada (450 seats; members allocated on a proportional basis to those parties that gain 3% or more of the national electoral vote; serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 30 September 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party/bloc - Party of Regions 34.4%, Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc 30.7%, Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense 14.2%, CPU 5.4%, Lytvyn bloc 4%, other parties 11.3%; seats by party/bloc - Party of Regions 175, Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc 156, Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense 72, CPU 27, Lytvyn bloc 20
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Supreme Court; Constitutional Court
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Christian Democratic Union [Volodymyr STRETOVYCH]; Communist Party of Ukraine or CPU [Petro SYMONENKO]; European Party of Ukraine [Mykola KATERYNCHUK]; Fatherland Party (Batkivshchyna) [Yuliya TYMOSHENKO]; Forward Ukraine! [Viktor MUSIYAKA]; Labor Party of Ukraine [Mykola SYROTA]; Our Ukraine [Viktor YUSHCHENKO]; Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs [Anatoliy KINAKH]; Party of the Defenders of the Fatherland [Yuriy Karmazin]; People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh) [Borys TARASYUK]; People's Party [Volodymyr LYTVYN]; Peoples' Self-Defense [Yuriy LUTSENKO]; PORA! (It's Time!) party [Vladyslav KASKIV]; Progressive Socialist Party [Natalya VITRENKO]; Reforms and Order Party [Viktor PYNZENYK]; Party of Regions [Viktor YANUKOVYCH]; Sobor [Anatoliy MATVIYENKO]; Social Democratic Party [Yevhen KORNICHUK]; Social Democratic Party (United) or SDPU(o) [Yuriy ZAHORODNIY]; Socialist Party of Ukraine or SPU [Oleksandr MOROZ]; Ukrainian People's Party [Yuriy KOSTENKO]; United Center [Ihor Krill]; Viche [Inna BOHOSLOVSKA]
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Committee of Voters of Ukraine [Ihor POPOV]
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Australia Group, BSEC, CBSS (observer), CE, CEI, CIS, EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MONUC, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
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chief of mission: Ambassador Oleh V. SHAMSHUR
chancery: 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 333-0606
FAX: [1] (202) 333-0817
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York, San Francisco
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chief of mission: Ambassador William B. TAYLOR Jr.
embassy: 10 Yurii Kotsiubynsky Street, 01901 Kyiv
mailing address: 5850 Kiev Place, Washington, DC 20521-5850
telephone: [380] (44) 490-4000
FAX: [380] (44) 490-4085
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two equal horizontal bands of azure (top) and golden yellow represent grain fields under a blue sky
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Economy ::Ukraine
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After Russia, the Ukrainian republic was far and away the most important economic component of the former Soviet Union, producing about four times the output of the next-ranking republic. Its fertile black soil generated more than one-fourth of Soviet agricultural output, and its farms provided substantial quantities of meat, milk, grain, and vegetables to other republics. Likewise, its diversified heavy industry supplied the unique equipment (for example, large diameter pipes) and raw materials to industrial and mining sites (vertical drilling apparatus) in other regions of the former USSR. Shortly after independence was ratified in December 1991, the Ukrainian Government liberalized most prices and erected a legal framework for privatization, but widespread resistance to reform within the government and the legislature soon stalled reform efforts and led to some backtracking. Output by 1999 had fallen to less than 40% of the 1991 level. Ukraine's dependence on Russia for energy supplies and the lack of significant structural reform have made the Ukrainian economy vulnerable to external shocks. Ukraine depends on imports to meet about three-fourths of its annual oil and natural gas requirements. Ukraine concluded a deal with Russia in January 2006 that almost doubled the price Ukraine pays for Russian gas. Disputes with Russia over pricing have led to periodic gas cut-offs. Outside institutions - particularly the IMF - have encouraged Ukraine to quicken the pace and scope of reforms. Ukrainian Government officials eliminated most tax and customs privileges in a March 2005 budget law, bringing more economic activity out of Ukraine's large shadow economy, but more improvements are needed, including fighting corruption, developing capital markets, and improving the legislative framework. Ukraine's economy was buoyant despite political turmoil between the prime minister and president until mid-2008. Real GDP growth exceeded 7% in 2006-07, fueled by high global prices for steel - Ukraine's top export - and by strong domestic consumption, spurred by rising pensions and wages. The drop in steel prices and Ukraine's exposure to the global financial crisis due to aggressive foreign borrowing has lowered growth in 2008 and the economy probably will contract in 2009. Ukraine reached an agreement with the IMF for a $16.5 billion standby arrangement in November 2008 to deal with the economic crisis. However, political turmoil in Ukraine as well as deteriorating external conditions are likely to hamper efforts for economic recovery.
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$339.8 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
$330.9 billion (2007 est.)
$306.6 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$179.7 billion (2008 est.)
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2.7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
7.9% (2007 est.)
7.3% (2006 est.)
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$7,400 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
$7,100 (2007 est.)
$6,600 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 9.3%
industry: 31.7%
services: 58.9% (2008 est.)
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21.57 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
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agriculture: 19.4%
industry: 24.2%
services: 56.4% (2005)
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3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
2.3% (2007 est.)
note: officially registered; large number of unregistered or underemployed workers
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37.7% (2003)
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lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 25.7% (2006)
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31 (2006)
country comparison to the world: 107
29 (1999)
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27.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
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revenues: $56.55 billion
expenditures: $59.24 billion; note - this is the planned, consolidated budget (2008 est.)
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10.3% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
24.7% of GDP (2004 est.)
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25.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
12.8% (2007 est.)
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12% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 53
8% (31 December 2007)
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11.68% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 71
11.33% (31 December 2007)
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$29.24 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 32
$35.97 billion (31 December 2007)
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$37.32 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 39
$41.51 billion (31 December 2007)
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$101.1 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 45
$87.13 billion (31 December 2007)
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$24.36 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 45
$111.8 billion (31 December 2007)
$42.87 billion (31 December 2006)
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grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables; beef, milk
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coal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food processing (especially sugar)
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-5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
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185.2 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
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153.1 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
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12.55 billion kWh (2007 est.)
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3.383 billion kWh (2007 est.)
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101,300 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
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353,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
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97,200 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
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354,100 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
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395 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
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19.8 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
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84 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
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3.2 billion cu m (2007)
country comparison to the world: 31
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64.2 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
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1.104 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
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$-12.93 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
$-5.918 billion (2007 est.)
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$67.72 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
$49.84 billion (2007 est.)
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ferrous and nonferrous metals, fuel and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment, food products
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Russia 23.3%, Turkey 8.2%, Italy 5% (2008)
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$84.65 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
$60.41 billion (2007 est.)
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energy, machinery and equipment, chemicals
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Russia 27.4%, Germany 10.5%, China 8.6%, Poland 7.1%, Turkmenistan 4.7% (2008)
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$31.54 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
$32.48 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$101.7 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 36
$79.96 billion (31 December 2007)
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$41.77 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
$31.08 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$1.905 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$895 million (31 December 2007 est.)
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hryvnia (UAH) per US dollar - 4.9523 (2008 est.), 5.05 (2007), 5.05 (2006), 5.1247 (2005), 5.3192 (2004)
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Communications ::Ukraine
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13.177 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 20
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55.695 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 19
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general assessment: Ukraine's telecommunication development plan emphasizes improving domestic trunk lines, international connections, and the mobile-cellular system
domestic: at independence in December 1991, Ukraine inherited a telephone system that was antiquated, inefficient, and in disrepair; more than 3.5 million applications for telephones could not be satisfied; telephone density is rising and the domestic trunk system is being improved; about one-third of Ukraine's networks are digital and a majority of regional centers now have digital switching stations; improvements in local networks and local exchanges continue to lag; the mobile-cellular telephone system's expansion has slowed, largely due to saturation of the market which had reached 120 mobile phones per 100 people by 2008
international: country code - 380; 2 new domestic trunk lines are a part of the fiber-optic Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) system and 3 Ukrainian links have been installed in the fiber-optic Trans-European Lines (TEL) project that connects 18 countries; additional international service is provided by the Italy-Turkey-Ukraine-Russia (ITUR) fiber-optic submarine cable and by an unknown number of earth stations in the Intelsat, Inmarsat, and Intersputnik satellite systems
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524 (station frequency types NA) (2006)
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647 (2006)
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.ua
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706,485 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 46
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10.354 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 30
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Transportation ::Ukraine
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425 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 18
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total: 189
over 3,047 m: 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 51
1,524 to 2,437 m: 24
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 96 (2009)
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total: 236
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 214 (2009)
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7 (2009)
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gas 33,327 km; oil 4,514 km; refined products 4,211 km (2008)
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total: 21,655 km
country comparison to the world: 13
broad gauge: 21,655 km 1.524-m gauge (9,729 km electrified) (2008)
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total: 169,422 km
country comparison to the world: 30
paved: 165,611 km (includes 15 km of expressways)
unpaved: 3,811 km (2007)
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2,176 km (most on Dnieper River) (2007)
country comparison to the world: 42
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total: 189
country comparison to the world: 36
by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 141, chemical tanker 1, container 3, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 9, refrigerated cargo 11, roll on/roll off 7, specialized tanker 2
foreign-owned: 2 (Luxembourg 1, Russia 1)
registered in other countries: 204 (Belize 7, Cambodia 34, Comoros 8, Cyprus 4, Dominica 4, Georgia 18, Liberia 25, Lithuania 1, Malta 30, Moldova 5, Mongolia 1, Panama 10, Russia 11, Saint Kitts and Nevis 9, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 11, Sierra Leone 10, Slovakia 12, Tuvalu 1, unknown 3) (2008)
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Feodosiya, Kerch, Kherson, Mariupol', Mykolayiv, Odesa, Yuzhnyy
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Military ::Ukraine
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Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces (Viyskovo-Povitryani Syly, VPS) (2009)
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18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months for Army and Air Force, 24 months for Navy (2004)
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males age 16-49: 11,457,562
females age 16-49: 11,767,357 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 7,056,742
females age 16-49: 9,234,591 (2009 est.)
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male: 269,311
female: 257,656 (2009 est.)
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1.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
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Transnational Issues ::Ukraine
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1997 boundary delimitation treaty with Belarus remains un-ratified due to unresolved financial claims, stalling demarcation and reducing border security; delimitation of land boundary with Russia is complete with preparations for demarcation underway; the dispute over the boundary between Russia and Ukraine through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov remains unresolved despite a December 2003 framework agreement and ongoing expert-level discussions; Moldova and Ukraine operate joint customs posts to monitor transit of people and commodities through Moldova's break-away Transnistria Region, which remains under OSCE supervision; the ICJ gave Ukraine until December 2006 to reply, and Romania until June 2007 to rejoin, in their dispute submitted in 2004 over Ukrainian-administered Zmiyinyy/Serpilor (Snake) Island and Black Sea maritime boundary; Romania opposes Ukraine's reopening of a navigation canal from the Danube border through Ukraine to the Black Sea
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limited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; some synthetic drug production for export to the West; limited government eradication program; used as transshipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs from Africa, Latin America, and Turkey to Europe and Russia; Ukraine has improved anti-money-laundering controls, resulting in its removal from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) Noncooperative Countries and Territories List in February 2004; Ukraine's anti-money-laundering regime continues to be monitored by FATF
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The online Factbook is updated bi-weekly. ISSN 1553-8133
For additional information on government leaders in selected foreign countries, go to World Leaders.