Ukraine [Country Flag of Ukraine]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Ukraine]



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

Geographic coordinates: 49 00 N, 32 00 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

total: 603,700 sq km
land: 603,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries:
total: 4,558 km
border countries: Belarus 891 km, Hungary 103 km, Moldova 939 km, Poland 428 km, Romania (south) 169 km, Romania (west) 362 km, Russia 1,576 km, Slovakia 90 km

Coastline: 2,782 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: 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

Terrain: 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

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Hora Hoverla 2,061 m

Natural resources: iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber

Land use:
arable land: 58%
permanent crops: 2%
permanent pastures: 13%
forests and woodland: 18%
other: 9% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 26,050 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment—current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; air and water pollution; deforestation; radiation contamination in the northeast from 1986 accident at Chornobyl' Nuclear Power Plant

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea

Geography—note: strategic position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia; second-largest country in Europe


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Population: 50,125,108 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19% (male 4,852,461; female 4,656,688)
15-64 years: 67% (male 16,096,737; female 17,481,600)
65 years and over: 14% (male 2,284,960; female 4,752,662) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.64% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 9.53 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 16.31 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.43 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 21.8 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 65.84 years
male: 60.08 years
female: 71.89 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.35 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Ukrainian(s)
adjective: Ukrainian

Ethnic groups: Ukrainian 73%, Russian 22%, Jewish 1%, other 4%

Religions: Ukrainian Orthodox—Moscow Patriarchate, Ukrainian Orthodox—Kiev Patriarchate, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox, Ukrainian Catholic (Uniate), Protestant, Jewish

Languages: Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 100%
female: 97% (1989 est.)


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Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Ukraine
local long form: none
local short form: Ukrayina
former: Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

Data code: UP

Government type: republic

National capital: Kiev (Kyyiv)

Administrative divisions: 24 oblasti (singular—oblast'), 1 autonomous republic* (avtomnaya respublika), and 2 municipalities (mista, singular—misto) with oblast status**; Cherkas'ka (Cherkasy), Chernihivs'ka (Chernihiv), Chernivets'ka (Chernivtsi), Dnipropetrovs'ka (Dnipropetrovs'k), Donets'ka (Donets'k), Ivano-Frankivs'ka (Ivano-Frankivs'k), Kharkivs'ka (Kharkiv), Khersons'ka (Kherson), Khmel'nyts'ka (Khmel'nyts'kyy), Kirovohrads'ka (Kirovohrad), Kyyiv**, Kyyivs'ka (Kiev), Luhans'ka (Luhans'k), L'vivs'ka (L'viv), Mykolayivs'ka (Mykolayiv), Odes'ka (Odesa), Poltavs'ka (Poltava), Avtonomna Respublika Krym* (Simferopol'), Rivnens'ka (Rivne), Sevastopol'**, Sums'ka (Sumy), Ternopil's'ka (Ternopil'), Vinnyts'ka (Vinnytsya), Volyns'ka (Luts'k), Zakarpats'ka (Uzhhorod), Zaporiz'ka (Zaporizhzhya), Zhytomyrs'ka (Zhytomyr)
note: oblasts have the administrative center name following in parentheses

Independence: 1 December 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 24 August (1991)

Constitution: adopted 28 June 1996

Legal system: based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Leonid D. KUCHMA (since 19 July 1994)
head of government: Prime Minister Valeriy PUSTOVOYTENKO (since 16 July 1997), First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoliy HOLUBCHENKO (since 8 August 1997), and three deputy prime ministers
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president and approved by the Supreme Council
note: there is also a National Security and Defense Council or NSDC originally created in 1992 as the National Security Council, but significantly revamped and strengthened under President KUCHMA; the NSDC staff is tasked with developing national security policy on domestic and international matters and advising the president; a Presidential Administration that helps draft presidential edicts and provides policy support to the president; and a Council of Regions that serves as an advisory body created by President KUCHMA in September 1994 that includes chairmen of the Kiev and Sevastopol city councils and the chairmen of Oblast
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 26 June and 10 July 1994 (next to be held NA October 1999); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and approved by the People's Council
election results: Leonid D. KUCHMA elected president; percent of vote—Leonid KUCHMA 52.15%, Leonid KRAVCHUK 45.06%

Legislative branch: unicameral People's Council (before 1996 the Supreme Council) or Narodna Rada (450 seats; under Ukraine's new election law, half of the Rada's seats are allocated on a proportional basis to those parties that gain 4% of the national electoral vote; the other 225 members are elected by popular vote in single mandate constituencies; all serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 27 March 1994 with repeat elections continuing through December 1996 to fill empty seats (next to be held 29 March 1998)
election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—Communists 91, Rukh 22, Agrarians 18, Socialists 15, Republicans 11, Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists 5, Labor 5, Party of Democratic Revival 4, Democrats 2, Social Democrats 2, Civil Congress 2, Conservative Republicans 1, Party of Economic Revival of Crimea 1, Christian Democrats 1, independents 225; note—most recent repeat election held in April 1996 filling 422 of 450 seats as follows: independents 238, Communist 95, Rukh 22, Agrarians 18, Socialist 15, Republicans 11, Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists 5, Labor 5, Party of Democratic Revival 4, Democratic Party of Ukraine 2, Social Democrats 2, Civil Congress 2, Conservative Republicans 1, Party of Economic Revival of Crimea 1, Christian Democrats 1, vacant 28 (in February 1997 there were 35 vacant seats)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Constitutional Court

Political parties and leaders: Communist Party of Ukraine [Petro SYMONENKO]; Hromad [Pavlo LAZARENKO]; Ukrainian Popular Movement or Rukh [Vyacheslav CHORNOVIL, chairman]; Socialist Party of Ukraine or SPU [Oleksandr MOROZ, chairman]; Peasant Party of Ukraine or SelPU [Serhiy DOVAN]; People's Democratic Party or NDPU [Valeriy PUSTOVOYTENKO, chairman]; Reforms and Order Party [Viktor PYNZENYK]; United Social-Democratic Party of Ukraine [Vasyl ONONENKO]; Christian Democratic Party of Ukraine [Vitaliy ZHURAVSKYY]; Christian People's Union [Victor MUSIYAKA]; Ukrainian National Assembly [Oleh VITOVYCH]; Democratic Party of Ukraine or DPU [Volodymyr Oleksandrovych YAVORIVSKYY, chairman]; Agrarian Party of Ukraine or APU [Kateryna VASHCHUK]; Liberal Party of Ukraine or LPU [Volodymyr SHCHERBAN]; Party of Labor [Valentyn LANDYK, chairman]; Social Democratic Party of Ukraine or SDPU [Yuriy BUZDUHAN]; Interregional Reforms Bloc [Volodymyr HRYNYOV; Republic Christian Party [Mykola POROVSKYY]; Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists or KUN [Yaroslava-Anna STETSKO]; Ukrainian Conservative Republican Party or UKRP [Yuriy VOSKOVNYUK, chairman]; Ukrainian Republican Party [Bohdan YAROSHYNSKYY]; Green Party of Ukraine or PZU [Vitaliy KONONOV, leader]; Progressive Socialist Party [Natalya VITRENKO]; State Independence of Ukraine [Roman KOVAL]; All-Ukrainian Labor Party [Leonid VERNIYHORA]; Regional Revival Party of Ukraine [Volodymyr RYBAK]; Liberal Democratic Party of Ukraine or LDPU [Andriy KOVAL, chairman]; Ukrainian Peasant Democratic Party or USDP [Viktor PRYSYAZHNYUK]; Ukraine Regional Revival Party [Volodymyr RYBAK]
note: approximately 30 parties are registered to take part in the 29 March 1998 elections

Political pressure groups and leaders: New Ukraine (Nova Ukrayina); Congress of National Democratic Forces

International organization participation: BSEC, CCC, CE, CEI, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MINUGUA, NSG, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNPREDEP, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Yuriy Mykolayovych SHCHERBAK
chancery: 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 333-0606
FAX: [1] (202) 333-0817
consulate(s) general: Chicago and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Steven Karl PIFER
embassy: 10 Yuria Kotsubynskoho, 254053 Kiev 53
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [380] (44) 244-7345
FAX: [380] (44) 244-7350

Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of azure (top) and golden yellow represent grainfields under a blue sky


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Economy—overview: 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 equipment and raw materials to industrial and mining sites in other regions of the former USSR. Ukraine depends on imports of energy, especially natural gas. Shortly after the implosion of the USSR 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 in 1992-97 fell to less than half the 1991 level. Loose monetary policies pushed inflation to hyperinflationary levels in late 1993. Since his election in July 1994, President KUCHMA has pushed economic reforms, maintained financial discipline, and tried to remove almost all remaining controls over prices and foreign trade. Implementation of KUCHMA's economic agenda is encountering considerable resistance from parliament, entrenched bureaucrats, and industrial interests; and an environment of corruption continues to discourage foreign investors. One signal achievement has been the reduction of the inflation rate to 10% by yearend 1997. If KUCHMA succeeds in implementing aggressive market reforms during 1998, the economy should reverse its downward trend, with real growth occurring by late 1998 and into 1999.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$124.9 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: -3.2% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,500 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 14%
industry: 30%
services: 56% (1997 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 10% (yearend 1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 22.8 million (yearend 1997)
by occupation: industry and construction 32%, agriculture and forestry 24%, health, education, and culture 17%, trade and distribution 8%, transport and communication 7%, other 12% (1996)

Unemployment rate: 2.6% officially registered; large number of unregistered or underemployed workers (December 1997)

revenues: $18 billion
expenditures: $21 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

Industries: coal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food-processing (especially sugar)

Industrial production growth rate: -1.8% (1997 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 52 million kW (1997)

Electricity—production: 177 billion kWh (1997)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 3,431 kWh (1997)

Agriculture—products: grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables; meat, milk

total value: $15.2 billion (1997 est.)
commodities: ferrous and nonferrous metals, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment, food products
partners: Russia, China, Belarus, Turkey, Germany (1997)

total value: $20.2 billion (1997 est.)
commodities: energy, machinery and parts, transportation equipment, chemicals, plastics and rubber
partners: Russia, Turkmenistan, Belarus, Germany, China

Debt—external: $9.6 billion (including $2.1 billion to Russia) (yearend 1997 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $220 million (1993)
note: commitments, 1992-95, $4.5 billion ($4.1 billion drawn)

Currency: on 2 September 1996, Ukraine introduced the long-awaited hryvnia as its national currency, replacing the karbovanets (in circulation since 12 November 1992) at a rate of 100,000 karbovantsi to 1 hryvnia

Exchange rates: hryvnia per US$1—1.9359 (February 1998), 1.8617 (1997), 1.8295 (1996), 1.4731 (1995), 0.3275 (1994), 0.0453 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: NA

Telephone system: system is unsatisfactory both for business and for personal use; 3.56 million applications for telephones had not been satisfied as of January 1991; electronic mail services have been established in Kiev, Odessa, and Luhans'k by Sprint
domestic: an NMT-450 analog cellular telephone network operates in Kiev (Kyyiv) and allows direct dialing of international calls through Kiev's digital exchange
international: calls to other CIS countries are carried by landline or microwave radio relay; calls to 167 other countries are carried by satellite or by the 150 leased lines through the Moscow international gateway switch; satellite earth stations—NA Intelsat, 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean Regions), and NA Intersputnik

Radio broadcast stations: 2 radio broadcast stations of NA type

Radios: 15 million (1990)

Television broadcast stations: at least 2

Televisions: 17.3 million (1992)


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total: 23,350 km
broad gauge: 23,350 km 1.524-m gauge (8,600 km electrified)

total: 172,565 km
paved: 163,937 km (including 1,875 km of expressways); note—these roads are said to be hard-surfaced, meaning that some are paved and some are all-weather gravel surfaced
unpaved: 8,628 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 4,400 km navigable waterways, of which 1,672 km were on the Pryp''yat' and Dnistr (1990)

Pipelines: crude oil 2,010 km; petroleum products 1,920 km; natural gas 7,800 km (1992)

Ports and harbors: Berdyans'k, Illichivs'k, Izmayil, Kerch, Kherson, Kiev (Kyyiv), Mariupol', Mykolayiv, Odesa, Reni

Merchant marine:
total: 202 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,498,653 GRT/1,709,393 DWT
ships by type: barge carrier 3, bulk 13, cargo 122, chemical tanker 2, combination bulk 1, container 3, multifunction large-load carrier 2, oil tanker 19, passenger 7, passenger-cargo 4, railcar carrier 2, refrigerated cargo 6, roll-on/roll-off cargo 13, short-sea passenger 5
note: Ukraine owns an additional 41 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 515,743 DWT operating under the registries of The Bahamas, Cyprus, Liberia, Malta, Panama, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1997 est.)

Airports: 706 (1994 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 163
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 55
1,524 to 2,437 m: 34
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 57 (1994 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 543
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 37
under 914 m: 476 (1994 est.)


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Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Force, Internal Troops, National Guard, Border Troops

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 12,431,318 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 9,733,193 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 367,160 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: 1.71 billion hryvni (Ukrainian Government's forecast for 1998); note - conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the current exchange rate could produce misleading results

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: dispute with Romania over continental shelf of the Black Sea under which significant gas and oil deposits may exist; agreed in 1997 to two-year negotiating period, after which either party can refer dispute to the International Court of Justice; has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other nation; certain territory of Moldova and Ukraine—including Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina—are considered by Bucharest as historically a part of Romania; this territory was incorporated into the former Soviet Union following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1940

Illicit drugs: limited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; limited government eradication program; used as transshipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs to Western Europe and Russia