Religion in Ukraine
Most of the population of Ukraine professes Orthodox Christianity, while 37% of believers belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 12% to the Kyiv Patriarchate, 4% to the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church, 12% to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, 3% to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants are 27% of believers. Other religions account for 4%.
Plant and Animal World in Ukraine
The nature of Ukraine is very diverse and picturesque. About 70,000 species of living organisms live here, while it is believed that a third has not yet been described. In the forests there are bear, elk, roe deer, wild boar, wolf, fox, lynx, badger. Deer, polecat, ground squirrel, marten, wild boar are found in the forest-steppe zone; from birds – partridge, magpie oriole. White storks are often found in the villages. Wild animals are preserved mainly in reserves and reserves, the most famous of which is Askania-Nova in the south of the country, formed in 1898 and covering an area of 11 thousand hectares. It is inhabited by both local animals and species that are not typical for Ukraine: wolf, jackal, Przewalski’s horse, wildebeest, ostrich, steppe eagle, black vulture; more than 150 species of trees and shrubs grow in the arboretum of the reserve. In the forests in the north of the country there are deer,
There are about 16,000 plant species on the territory of Ukraine. The northern part of the country is located in the zone of mixed forests, represented by oak-pine, hornbeam-oak-pine and oak-hornbeam forests. In the forest-steppe zone, beech, linden, ash, and maple appear in the forests. The steppes are mostly plowed up. The natural steppe vegetation has been preserved only in reserves. In the Carpathians, up to an altitude of 500 – 600 m, mixed forests grow, higher – coniferous forests of spruce, fir and pine. Oak, beech, and pine forests predominate on the slopes of the Crimean Mountains; oak-juniper forests with an admixture of deciduous and evergreen plants of the Mediterranean type (strawberry tree, wild pistachio, butcher’s needle, etc.) dominate on the southern coast of Crimea. In Crimea, there is the Nikitsky Botanical Garden, where a huge number of different plant species from different parts of the world are collected.
Minerals in Ukraine
Iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, rock salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, wood are mined in Ukraine.
Banks in Ukraine
Most banks are open from 8.00 – 9.00 to 17.00. In resort areas, banks are open until 19.00 – 20.00, and exchange offices – until 20.00 – 21.00.
Money in Ukraine
The national currency is hryvnia (UAH). There are 100 kopecks in 1 hryvnia. Banknotes are used in denominations of 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 hryvnia, both old and new (since 1997) samples; coins in denominations of 1 hryvnia, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 kopeck.
Traveler’s checks and credit cards can only be used in major cities. American Express, MasterCard and Visa cards are accepted.
Rate: 10 Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) = 0.34 USD
Political State in Ukraine
According to politicsezine, Ukraine is a democratic republic. The head of state is the president, who is elected every 5 years. The head of government is the prime minister. The legislative body is the Supreme Council (Verkhovna Rada). The Republic of Crimea, which has its own Supreme Council, Council of Ministers, Supreme and Arbitration Courts, local representative and state authorities, is part of the country on the basis of autonomy.
Population in Ukraine
47 million 732 thousand people live in Ukraine. Most of the population (77.8%) are Ukrainians, the second largest ethnic group are Russians (17.3%). The rest of the population is represented by Belarusians, Moldovans, Crimean Tatars, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Romanians, Poles, Jews.
Ukrainian has been the state language since 1990. The Russian language is widely spoken. Most of the population of Eastern Ukraine and Kyiv consider Russian as their mother tongue, in contrast to Western Ukraine, where the Ukrainian language is most widely spoken. There are also Crimean Tatar, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian languages spoken by ethnic groups.
Cuisine in Ukraine
Among Slavic cuisines, Ukrainian cuisine rightfully has the status of the most diverse and rich. Due to historical circumstances and geographical location, it was influenced by German, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Tatar and other cuisines. Most dishes are multicomponent and use complex cooking technologies, often with several processing methods.
The favorite and most used product in Ukrainian cuisine is lard in all forms. Its use is extremely varied. Salo is eaten raw, salted, smoked, fried, boiled, stewed and is the fat base of most dishes. It is even used in sweet dishes in combination with sugar and molasses. For example, such a confectionery product as verguns is fried, or rather scalded in lard.
Of the meat dishes, the most popular are various cutlets, roast or “liver”, cue balls, boiled pork stuffed with garlic and lard, pork stewed with cabbage and lard, lamb stewed with prunes, goose with apples, chicken rolls with mushroom filling, chicken stew with dumplings, shish kebab, pork belly with beet “shpundra”, cabbage rolls, stuffed poultry. Meat dishes in pots, various goulash and sausages, scrambled eggs with bacon and sausage, as well as zrazy with various fillings and meat stew with various vegetables are especially tasty.
Fish dishes are no less diverse – herring in Kiev, carp baked in sour cream, pike stewed with horseradish, carp stuffed with mushrooms and buckwheat porridge, carp stewed with onions or in sour cream, carp in Uzhgorod, carp with honey, baked with mushrooms and pike perch, ram with honey, fish rolls, stewed pollock in sauce, etc.
One of the Ukrainian dishes included in the menu of international cuisine is borscht. Up to 20 types of different products are usually used to prepare real Ukrainian borscht, which achieves its especially high taste and nutritional value.
Another visiting card of Ukraine is a variety of dumplings stuffed with cottage cheese, potatoes, stewed cabbage, and in summer – with berries, traditionally used with sour cream and other dairy products.
Sweet dishes and pastries are also very original – a variety of sweet pies, puhkeniki, shortbreads, apple pickles, pampukhi and cookies.
Non-alcoholic drinks of the country are good – kvass, kissels, muselets, the famous uzvar (dried fruit compote) and honey, as well as Ukrainian liqueurs – slivyanka, cherry, blackthorn, casserole. Many varieties of first-class wines are produced in the Crimea and the Carpathians (Muscat, Carnelian Taurida, Sersial, Tokay, Massandra, Alminskoye, Sherry, Madera, Yalta, Swallow’s Nest “etc.), as well as champagne.