Photos of Ukraine

Closer view of the facade of the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, built between 1744 and 1752.

Introduction

Background

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 achieved a short-lived period of independence (1917-20), but was reconquered and endured a brutal Soviet rule that engineered two forced famines (1921-22 and 1932-33) in which over 8 million died. In World War II, German and Soviet armies were responsible for 7 to 8 million more deaths. Although Ukraine achieved independence in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy and prosperity remained elusive as the legacy of state control and endemic corruption stalled efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civil liberties.

A peaceful mass protest referred to as the "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 (Rada) elections, become prime minister in August 2006, and be elected president in February 2010. In October 2012, Ukraine held Rada elections, widely criticized by Western observers as flawed due to use of government resources to favor ruling party candidates, interference with media access, and harassment of opposition candidates. President YANUKOVYCH's backtracking on a trade and cooperation agreement with the EU in November 2013 - in favor of closer economic ties with Russia - and subsequent use of force against students, civil society activists, and other civilians in favor of the agreement led to a three-month protest occupation of Kyiv's central square. The government's use of violence to break up the protest camp in February 2014 led to all out pitched battles, scores of deaths, international condemnation, a failed political deal, and the president's abrupt departure for Russia. New elections in the spring allowed pro-West president Petro POROSHENKO to assume office in June 2014; he was succeeded by Volodymyr ZELENSKY in May 2019.

Shortly after YANUKOVYCH's departure in late February 2014, Russian President PUTIN ordered the invasion of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula falsely claiming the action was to protect ethnic Russians living there. Two weeks later, a "referendum" was held regarding the integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation. The "referendum" was condemned as illegitimate by the Ukrainian Government, the EU, the US, and the UN General Assembly (UNGA). In response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, 100 members of the UN passed UNGA resolution 68/262, rejecting the "referendum" as baseless and invalid and confirming the sovereignty, political independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine. In mid-2014, Russia began supplying proxies in two of Ukraine's eastern provinces with manpower, funding, and materiel driving an armed conflict with the Ukrainian Government that continues to this day. Representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the unrecognized Russian proxy republics signed the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum in September 2014 to end the conflict. However, this agreement failed to stop the fighting or find a political solution. In a renewed attempt to alleviate ongoing clashes, leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany negotiated a follow-on Package of Measures in February 2015 to implement the Minsk agreements. Representatives from Ukraine, Russia, the unrecognized Russian proxy republics, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe also meet regularly to facilitate implementation of the peace deal. More than 13,000 civilians have been killed or wounded as a result of the Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine.

 

 

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland, Romania, and Moldova in the west and Russia in the east

Geographic coordinates

49 00 N, 32 00 E

Map references

AsiaEurope

Area

total: 603,550 sq km

land: 579,330 sq km

water: 24,220 sq km

note: approximately 43,133 sq km, or about 7.1% of Ukraine's area, is Russian occupied; the seized area includes all of Crimea and about one-third of both Luhans'k and Donets'k oblasts

country comparison to the world: 48

Area - comparative

almost four times the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than Texas

<p>almost four times the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than Texas</p>

Land boundaries

total: 5,581 km

border countries (7): Belarus 1111 km, Hungary 128 km, Moldova 1202 km, Poland 498 km, Romania 601 km, Russia 1944 km, Slovakia 97 km

Coastline

2,782 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 m or to the depth of exploitation

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; warm summers across the greater part of the country, hot in the south

Terrain

mostly fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus, with mountains found only in the west (the Carpathians) or in the extreme south of the Crimean Peninsula

Elevation

highest point: Hora Hoverla 2,061 m

lowest point: Black Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 175 m

Natural resources

iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 71.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 56.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.5% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 13.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 16.8% (2018 est.)

other: 12% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

21,670 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

densest settlement in the eastern (Donbas) and western regions; noteable concentrations in and around major urban areas of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donets'k, Dnipropetrovs'k, and Odesa

Natural hazards

occasional floods; occasional droughts

Geography - note

strategic position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia; second-largest country in Europe after Russia

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Black Sea) Danube (795,656 sq km), Don (458,694 sq km), Dnieper (533,966 sq km)

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Ukrainian(s)

adjective: Ukrainian

Ethnic groups

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 est.)

Languages

Ukrainian (official) 67.5%, Russian (regional language) 29.6%, other (includes small Crimean Tatar-, Moldovan/Romanian-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities) 2.9% (2001 est.); note - in February 2018, the Constitutional Court ruled that 2012 language legislation entitling a language spoken by at least 10% of an oblast's population to be given the status of "regional language" - allowing for its use in courts, schools, and other government institutions - was unconstitutional, thus making the law invalid; Ukrainian remains the country's only official nationwide language

major-language sample(s):
Свiтова Книга Фактiв – найкраще джерело базової інформації. (Ukrainian)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Ukrainian audio sample:

Religions

Orthodox (includes the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), and the Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP)), Ukrainian Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish (2013 est.)

note: Ukraine's population is overwhelmingly Christian; the vast majority - up to two thirds - identify themselves as Orthodox, but many do not specify a particular branch; the OCU and the UOC-MP each represent less than a quarter of the country's population, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church accounts for 8-10%, and the UAOC accounts for 1-2%; Muslim and Jewish adherents each compose less than 1% of the total population

Age structure

0-14 years: 16.16% (male 3,658,127/female 3,438,887)

15-24 years: 9.28% (male 2,087,185/female 1,987,758)

25-54 years: 43.66% (male 9,456,905/female 9,718,758)

55-64 years: 13.87% (male 2,630,329/female 3,463,851)

65 years and over: 17.03% (male 2,523,600/female 4,957,539) (2020 est.)

This is the population pyramid for Ukraine. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 49.1

youth dependency ratio: 23.8

elderly dependency ratio: 25.3

potential support ratio: 4 (2020 est.)

note: data include Crimea

Median age

total: 41.2 years

male: 38.2 years

female: 44.3 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

Birth rate

9.23 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 201

Death rate

13.9 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

Net migration rate

-0.26 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 113

Population distribution

densest settlement in the eastern (Donbas) and western regions; noteable concentrations in and around major urban areas of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donets'k, Dnipropetrovs'k, and Odesa

Urbanization

urban population: 69.8% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: -0.27% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

3.001 million KYIV (capital), 1.426 million Kharkiv, 1.009 million Odesa, 952,000 Dnipropetrovsk, 899,000 Donetsk (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.76 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.51 male(s)/female

total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

26.2 years (2019 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

19 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 128

Infant mortality rate

total: 7.44 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 8.38 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 160

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 73.18 years

male: 68.51 years

female: 78.15 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 149

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.5% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 99.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.5% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0.6% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

2.99 physicians/1,000 population (2014)

Hospital bed density

7.5 beds/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.4% of population

rural: 96.3% of population

total: 98.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.6% of population

rural: 3.7% of population

total: 1.6% of population (2017 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.8%

male: 99.8%

female: 99.7% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 15 years

female: 15 years (2014)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 15.4%

male: 15.5%

female: 15.3% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 95

Environment

Environment - current issues

air and water pollution; land degradation; solid waste management; biodiversity loss; 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-Environmental Protection, Antarctic- Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 18.29 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 202.25 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 63.37 megatons (2020 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 2.397 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 3.577 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 3.206 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

175.28 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

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; warm summers across the greater part of the country, hot in the south

Land use

agricultural land: 71.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 56.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.5% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 13.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 16.8% (2018 est.)

other: 12% (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0.42% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

Urbanization

urban population: 69.8% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: -0.27% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 15,242,025 tons (2016 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 487,745 tons (2015 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 3.2% (2015 est.)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Black Sea) Danube (795,656 sq km), Don (458,694 sq km), Dnieper (533,966 sq km)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Ukraine

local long form: none

local short form: Ukraina

former: Ukrainian National Republic, Ukrainian State, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

etymology: name derives from the Old East Slavic word "ukraina" meaning "borderland or march (militarized border region)" and began to be used extensively in the 19th century; originally Ukrainians referred to themselves as Rusyny (Rusyns, Ruthenians, or Ruthenes), an endonym derived from the medieval Rus state (Kyivan Rus)

Government type

semi-presidential republic

Capital

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

etymology: the name is associated with that of Kyi, who along with his brothers Shchek and Khoryv, and their sister Lybid, are the legendary founders of the medieval city of Kyiv; Kyi being the eldest brother, the city was named after him

note: pronounced KAY-yiv

Administrative divisions

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), Dnipropetrovsk (Dnipro), Donetsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, Kirovohrad (Kropyvnytskyi), Kyiv**, Kyiv, Luhansk, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Poltava, Rivne, Sevastopol**, Sumy, Ternopil, Vinnytsia, Volyn (Lutsk), Zakarpattia (Uzhhorod), Zaporizhzhia, Zhytomyr

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses); plans include the eventual renaming of Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovohrad oblasts, but because these names are mentioned in the Constitution of Ukraine, the change will require a constitutional amendment

note: the US Government does not recognize Russia's illegal annexation of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the municipality of Sevastopol, nor their redesignation as the "Republic of Crimea" and the "Federal City of Sevastopol"

Independence

24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: ca. 982 (VOLODYMYR I consolidates Kyivan Rus); 1199 (Principality (later Kingdom) of Ruthenia formed); 1648 (establishment of the Cossack Hetmanate); 22 January 1918 (from Soviet Russia)

National holiday

Independence Day, 24 August (1991); note - 22 January 1918, the day Ukraine first declared its independence from Soviet Russia, and the date the short-lived Western and Greater (Eastern) Ukrainian republics united (1919), is now celebrated as Unity Day

Constitution

history: several previous; latest adopted and ratified 28 June 1996

amendments: proposed by the president of Ukraine or by at least one third of the Supreme Council members; adoption requires simple majority vote by the Council and at least two-thirds majority vote in its next regular session; adoption of proposals relating to general constitutional principles, elections, and amendment procedures requires two-thirds majority vote by the Council and approval in a referendum; constitutional articles on personal rights and freedoms, national independence, and territorial integrity cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2019

Legal system

civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Ukraine

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Volodymyr ZELENSKYY (since 20 May 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Denys SHMYHAL (since 4 March 2020)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, approved by the Verkhovna Rada

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 31 March and 21 April 2019 (next to be held in March 2024); prime minister selected by the Verkhovna Rada

election results:
2019: Volodymyr ZELENSKYY elected president; first round results: percent of vote - Volodymyr ZELENSKYY (Servant of the People) 30.2%, Petro POROSHENKO (BPP-Solidarity) 15.6%, Yuliya TYMOSHENKO (Fatherland) 13.4%, Yuriy BOYKO (Opposition Platform-For Life) 11.7%, 35 other candidates 29.1%; second round results: percent of vote - Volodymyr ZELENSKYY (Servant of the People) 73.2%, Petro POROSHENKO (BPP-Solidarity) 24.5%; Denys SHMYHAL (independent) elected prime minister; Verkhovna Rada vote - 291-59

2014: Petro POROSHENKO elected president in the first round; percent of vote - Petro POROSHENKO (independent) 54.5%, Yuliya TYMOSHENKO (Fatherland) 12.9%, Oleh LYASHKO (Radical Party) 8.4%, other 24.2%; Volodymyr HROYSMAN (BPP) elected prime minister; Verkhovna Rada vote - 257-50

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 administration helps draft presidential edicts and provides policy support to the president

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Supreme Council or Verkhovna Rada (450 seats; 225 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 225 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by closed, party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 21 July 2019 (next to be held in July 2024)

election results: percent of vote by party - Servant of the People 43.2%, Opposition Platform-For Life 13.1%, Batkivshchyna 8.2%, European Solidarity 8.1%, Voice 5.8%, other 21.6%; seats by party (preliminary) - Servant of the People 254, Oposition Platform for Life 43, Batkivshchyna 26, European Solidarity 25, Voice 20, Opposition Bloc 6, Samopomich 1, Svoboda 1, other parties 2, independent 46; note - voting not held in Crimea and parts of two Russian-occupied eastern oblasts leaving 26 seats vacant; although this brings the total to 424 elected members (of 450 potential), article 83 of the constitution mandates that a parliamentary majority consists of 226 seats

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of Ukraine or SCU (consists of 100 judges, organized into civil, criminal, commercial and administrative chambers, and a grand chamber); Constitutional Court (consists of 18 justices); High Anti-Corruption Court (consists of 39 judges, including 12 in the Appeals Chamber)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges recommended by the High Qualification Commission of Judges (a 16-member state body responsible for judicial candidate testing and assessment and judicial administration), submitted to the High Council of Justice, a 21-member independent body of judicial officials responsible for judicial self-governance and administration, and appointed by the president; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; High Anti-Corruption Court judges are selected by the same process as Supreme Court justices, with one addition – a majority of a combined High Qualification Commission of Judges and a 6-member Public Council of International Experts must vote in favor of potential judges in order to recommend their nomination to the High Council of Justice; this majority must include at least 3 members of the Public Council of International Experts; Constitutional Court justices appointed - 6 each by the president, by the Congress of Judges, and by the Verkhovna Rada; judges serve 9-year nonrenewable terms

 



subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; district courts

note: specialized courts were abolished as part of Ukraine's judicial reform program; in November 2019, President ZELENSKYY signed a bill on legal reforms

Political parties and leaders

Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) [Yuliya TYMOSHENKO]
European Solidarity (BPP-Solidarity) [Petro POROSHENKO]
Holos (Voice) [Sviatoslav VAKARCHUK]
Opposition Bloc or OB [Evgeny MURAYEV]
Opposition Platform-For Life [Yuriy BOYKO, Vadim RABINOVICH]
Radical Party [Oleh LYASHKO]
Samopomich (Self Reliance) [Andriy SADOVYY]
Servant of the People [Oleksandr KORNIENKO]
Svoboda (Freedom) [Oleh TYAHNYBOK]

International organization participation

Australia Group, BSEC, CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CEI, CICA (observer), CIS (participating member, has not signed the 1993 CIS charter), EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Oksana Serhiyivna MARKAROVA (since 7 July 2021)

chancery: 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 349-2963

FAX: [1] (202) 333-0817

email address and website:
emb_us@mfa.gov.ua; consul_us@mfa.gov.ua

https://usa.mfa.gov.ua/en

consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Kristina KVIEN (since January 2020)

embassy: 4 A. I. Igor Sikorsky Street, 04112 Kyiv

mailing address: 5850 Kyiv Place, Washington, DC 20521-5850

telephone: [380] (44) 521-5000

FAX: [380] (44) 521-5544

email address and website:
kyivacs@state.gov

https://ua.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of azure (top) and golden yellow; although the colors date back to medieval heraldry, in modern times they are sometimes claimed to represent grain fields under a blue sky

National symbol(s)

tryzub (trident); national colors: blue, yellow

National anthem

name: "Shche ne vmerla Ukraina" (Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished)

lyrics/music: Paul CHUBYNSKYI/Mikhail VERBYTSKYI

note: music adopted 1991, lyrics adopted 2003; song first performed in 1864 at the Ukraine Theatre in Lviv; the lyrics, originally written in 1862, were revised in 2003

Economy

Economic overview

After Russia, the Ukrainian Republic was 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 accounted for 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 unique equipment such as large diameter pipes and vertical drilling apparatus, and raw materials to industrial and mining sites in other regions of the former USSR.

 

Shortly after independence in August 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. Outside institutions - particularly the IMF encouraged Ukraine to quicken the pace and scope of reforms to foster economic growth. 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. From 2000 until mid-2008, Ukraine's economy was buoyant despite political turmoil between the prime minister and president. The economy contracted nearly 15% in 2009, among the worst economic performances in the world. In April 2010, Ukraine negotiated a price discount on Russian gas imports in exchange for extending Russia's lease on its naval base in Crimea.

 

Ukraine’s oligarch-dominated economy grew slowly from 2010 to 2013 but remained behind peers in the region and among Europe’s poorest. After former President YANUKOVYCH fled the country during the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine’s economy fell into crisis because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, military conflict in the eastern part of the country, and a trade war with Russia, resulting in a 17% decline in GDP, inflation at nearly 60%, and dwindling foreign currency reserves. The international community began efforts to stabilize the Ukrainian economy, including a March 2014 IMF assistance package of $17.5 billion, of which Ukraine has received four disbursements, most recently in April 2017, bringing the total disbursed as of that date to approximately $8.4 billion. Ukraine has made progress on reforms designed to make the country prosperous, democratic, and transparent, including creation of a national anti-corruption agency, overhaul of the banking sector, establishment of a transparent VAT refund system, and increased transparency in government procurement. But more improvements are needed, including fighting corruption, developing capital markets, improving the business environment to attract foreign investment, privatizing state-owned enterprises, and land reform. The fifth tranche of the IMF program, valued at $1.9 billion, was delayed in mid-2017 due to lack of progress on outstanding reforms, including adjustment of gas tariffs to import parity levels and adoption of legislation establishing an independent anti-corruption court.

 

Russia’s occupation of Crimea in March 2014 and ongoing Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine have hurt economic growth. With the loss of a major portion of Ukraine’s heavy industry in Donbas and ongoing violence, the economy contracted by 6.6% in 2014 and by 9.8% in 2015, but it returned to low growth in in 2016 and 2017, reaching 2.3% and 2.0%, respectively, as key reforms took hold. Ukraine also redirected trade activity towards the EU following the implementation of a bilateral Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, displacing Russia as its largest trading partner. A prohibition on commercial trade with separatist-controlled territories in early 2017 has not impacted Ukraine’s key industrial sectors as much as expected, largely because of favorable external conditions. Ukraine returned to international debt markets in September 2017, issuing a $3 billion sovereign bond.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$538.388 billion (2019 est.)

$521.524 billion (2018 est.)

$504.35 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 40

Real GDP growth rate

3.24% (2019 est.)

3.41% (2018 est.)

2.48% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 92

Real GDP per capita

$12,810 (2019 est.)

$12,338 (2018 est.)

$11,871 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 125

GDP (official exchange rate)

$155.082 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

7.9% (2019 est.)

11% (2018 est.)

14.4% (2017 est.)

note: Excluding the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol and part of the anti-terrorist operation zone

country comparison to the world: 200

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B (2019)

Moody's rating: B3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: B (2019)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 12.2% (2017 est.)

industry: 28.6% (2017 est.)

services: 60% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 66.5% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 20.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 16% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 4.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 47.9% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -55.6% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

maize, wheat, potatoes, sunflower seed, sugar beet, milk, barley, soybeans, rapeseed, tomatoes

Industries

coal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food processing

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 5.8%

industry: 26.5%

services: 67.8% (2014)

Unemployment rate

8.89% (2019 est.)

9.42% (2018 est.)

note: officially registered workers; large number of unregistered or underemployed workers

country comparison to the world: 135

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.2%

highest 10%: 21.6% (2015 est.)

Budget

revenues: 29.82 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 31.55 billion (2017 est.)

note: this is the planned, consolidated budget

Public debt

71% of GDP (2017 est.)

81.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: the total public debt of $64.5 billion consists of: domestic public debt ($23.8 billion); external public debt ($26.1 billion); and sovereign guarantees ($14.6 billion)

country comparison to the world: 49

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$4.124 billion (2019 est.)

-$6.432 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 179

Exports

$161.231 billion (2019 est.)

$151.075 billion (2018 est.)

$153.046 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 37

Exports - partners

Russia 9%, China 8%, Germany 6%, Poland 6%, Italy 5%, Turkey 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

corn, sunflower seed oils, iron and iron products, wheat, insulated wiring, rapeseed (2019)

Imports

$207.335 billion (2019 est.)

$195.071 billion (2018 est.)

$189.402 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Imports - partners

China 13%, Russia 12%, Germany 10%, Poland 9%, Belarus 7% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, packaged medicines, coal, natural gas (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$18.81 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$15.54 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 61

Debt - external

$117.41 billion (2019 est.)

$114.449 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 51

Exchange rates

hryvnia (UAH) per US dollar -

28.10001 (2020 est.)

23.7 (2019 est.)

27.80499 (2018 est.)

21.8447 (2014 est.)

11.8867 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 4,182,994

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 9.52 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 54,842,940

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 124.78 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Telecommunication systems

general assessment:

Ukraine’s telecom market continues to face challenges resulting from the annexation of Crimea by Russia and unrest in eastern regions; developing telecom market has attracted international investors from Russia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan; government plan emphasizes improvement of domestic trunk lines, international connections, and a national mobile-cellular system; operators moving from 3G services to 4G, but some areas still use 2G; LTE services available in cities; FttP networks taking over DSL platforms; government approved plan in 2020 for 5G migration and operator is developing IoT capabilities; improvement of licensing requirements for operators and positive reforms for users; importer of broadcasting equipment from China (2021)

(2020)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity is 10 per 100; the mobile-cellular telephone system's expansion has slowed, largely due to saturation of the market that is now 131 mobile phones per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 380; landing point for the Kerch Strait Cable connecting Ukraine to Russia; 2 new domestic trunk lines are a part of the fiber-optic TAE system and 3 Ukrainian links have been installed in the fiber-optic 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

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

Ukraine’s media landscape is dominated by oligarch-owned news outlets, which are often politically motivated and at odds with one another and/or the government; while polls suggest most Ukrainians still receive news from traditional media sources, social media is a crucial component of information dissemination in Ukraine; almost all Ukrainian politicians and opinion leaders communicate with the public via social media and maintain at least one social media page, if not more; this allows them direct communication with audiences, and news often breaks on Facebook or Twitter before being picked up by traditional news outlets

Ukraine television serves as the principal source of news; the largest national networks are controlled by oligarchs: TRK Ukraina is owned by Rinat Akhmetov; Studio 1+1 is owned by Ihor Kolomoyskyy; Inter is owned by Dmytro Firtash and Serhiy Lyovochkin; and StarlightMedia channels (ICTV, STB, and Novyi Kanal) are owned by Victor Pinchuk;  a set of 24-hour news channels also have clear political affiliations: 112-Ukraine and NewsOne tacitly support pro-Russian opposition and are believed to be controlled by political and business tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk; pro-Ukrainian government Channel 5 and Pryamyi are linked to President Petro Poroshenko; 24 and ZIK are owned by opposition, but not pro-Russian, politicians; UA: Suspilne is a public television station under the umbrella of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine; while it is often praised by media experts for balanced coverage, it lags in popularity; Ukrainian Radio, institutionally linked to UA: Suspilne, is one of only two national talk radio networks, with the other being the privately owned Radio NV

(2019)

Internet users

total: 25,883,509

percent of population: 58.89% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 6,784,185

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 15.44 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Communications - note

a sorting code to expeditiously handle large volumes of mail was first set up in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) in the 1930s; the sophisticated, three-part (number-letter-number) postal code system, referred to as an "index," was the world's first postal zip code; the system functioned well and was in use from 1932 to 1939 when it was abruptly discontinued

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 14 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 126

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 7,854,842 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 75.26 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 108

over 3,047 m: 13

2,438 to 3,047 m: 42

1,524 to 2,437 m: 22

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 28 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 79

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 69 (2013)

Heliports

9 (2013)

Pipelines

36720 km gas, 4514 km oil, 4363 km refined products (2013)

Railways

total: 21,733 km (2014)

standard gauge: 49 km 1.435-m gauge (49 km electrified) (2014)

broad gauge: 21,684 km 1.524-m gauge (9,250 km electrified) (2014)

country comparison to the world: 12

Roadways

total: 169,694 km (2012)

paved: 166,095 km (includes 17 km of expressways) (2012)

unpaved: 3,599 km (2012)

country comparison to the world: 32

Waterways

1,672 km (most on Dnieper River) (2012)

country comparison to the world: 46

Merchant marine

total: 409

by type: container ship 1, general cargo 85, oil tanker 15, other 308 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 46

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Feodosiya (Theodosia), Chornomosk (Illichivsk), Mariupol, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Yuzhnyy

river port(s): Kherson, Kyiv (Dnieper River), Mykolayiv (Buh River)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of Ukraine (Zbroyni Syly Ukrayiny, ZSU): Ground Forces (Sukhoputni Viys’ka), Naval Forces (Viys’kovo-Mors’ki Syly, VMS), Air Forces (Povitryani Syly, PS), Air Assault Forces (Desantno-shturmovi Viyska, DShV), Ukrainian Special Operations Forces (UASOF), Territorial Defense Forces (Reserves);  Ministry of Internal Affairs: National Guard of Ukraine, State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (includes Maritime Border Guard) (2021)

Military expenditures

3.2% of GDP (2020 est.)

3.9% of GDP (2019)

3.7% of GDP (2018)

3.1% of GDP (2017)

3.6% of GDP (2016)

country comparison to the world: 25

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 200,000 active troops (150,000 Army, including Airborne/Air Assault Forces; 12,000 Navy; 40,000 Air Force); approximately 50,000 National Guard (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Ukrainian military is equipped mostly with older Russian and Soviet-era weapons systems; since 2010, it has imported limited quantities of weapons from several European countries, as well as Canada, the US, and the United Arab Emirates; Ukraine has a broad defense industry capable of building Soviet-era land systems and maintaining and upgrading Soviet-era combat aircraft, as well as missile and air defense systems (2020)

Military deployments

250 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) (2021)

note - Ukraine contributes about 500 troops to the Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine joint military brigade (LITPOLUKRBRIG), which was established in 2014; the brigade is headquartered in Warsaw and is comprised of an international staff, three battalions, and specialized units

Military service age and obligation

conscription abolished in 2012, but reintroduced in 2014; 20-27 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months; note - the Ukrainian military has a mix of conscript and professional soldiers on contracts; by law, conscripts cannot serve on the frontlines but have the opportunity to sign short or long-term contracts upon the expiration of their terms of service
(2020)

Military - note

the Ukrainian military’s primary concern is Russia’s material support for armed separatist forces in the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk where the conflict has become stalemated along a 250-mile front known as the line of contact; since the cease-fire of October 2019, Ukrainian military casualties along the front line have fallen significantly despite continued sporadic exchanges of fire through 2020 and 2021

since 2014, the Ukrainian military has undertaken considerable efforts to improve its capabilities; it has sought to implement reforms in line with NATO standards, improve individual and unit training, revise doctrine, upgrade arms and equipment, streamline command and control, reduce reliance on conscripts, and expand elite units such as the Air Assault and Special Operations Forces; the military also has received considerable assistance and material support from NATO and the US

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

1997 boundary delimitation treaty with Belarus remains unratified due to unresolved financial claims, stalling demarcation and reducing border security; delimitation of land boundary with Russia is complete and demarcation began in 2012; the dispute over the boundary between Russia and Ukraine through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov is suspended due to the occupation of Crimea by Russia; Ukraine and Moldova signed an agreement officially delimiting their border in 1999, but the border has not been demarcated due to Moldova's difficulties with the break-away region of Transnistria; Moldova and Ukraine operate joint customs posts to monitor transit of people and commodities through Moldova's Transnistria Region, which remains under the auspices of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe-mandated peacekeeping mission comprised of Moldovan, Transnistrian, Russian, and Ukrainian troops; the ICJ ruled largely in favor of Romania in its dispute submitted in 2004 over Ukrainian-administered Zmiyinyy/Serpilor (Snake) Island and Black Sea maritime boundary delimitation; Romania opposes Ukraine's reopening of a navigation canal from the Danube border through Ukraine to the Black Sea

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 734,000 (Russian-sponsored separatist violence in Crimea and eastern Ukraine) (2020)

stateless persons: 35,875 (2020); note - citizens of the former USSR who were permanently resident in Ukraine were granted citizenship upon Ukraine's independence in 1991, but some missed this window of opportunity; people arriving after 1991, Crimean Tatars, ethnic Koreans, people with expired Soviet passports, and people with no documents have difficulty acquiring Ukrainian citizenship; following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, thousands of Crimean Tatars and their descendants deported from Ukraine under the STALIN regime returned to their homeland, some being stateless and others holding the citizenship of Uzbekistan or other former Soviet republics; a 1998 bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Uzbekistan simplified the process of renouncing Uzbek citizenship and obtaining Ukrainian citizenship

Illicit drugs

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