Ukraine with an area of 603,000 km2 is the first country by its territory among the European countries. The population amounts to 42.5 million people.
The territory of Ukraine comps of 24 regions and Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The largest cities of Ukraine are Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Donetsk, Odesa, Zaporizhia, Lviv, Kryvyi Rih, Mykolaiv.
Ukraine is located in the central part of the Eastern Europe at the crossroads of transport routes from Europe to Asia and from the Scandinavian countries to countries of the Mediterranean region. To the south it is washed by the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. To the east and north Ukraine borders with the Russian Federation, to the northwest – with Belarus, to the west – with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova. The length of Ukraine’s borders is 8,215 km. The territory of Ukraine is mostly flat. In the extreme west there are the Ukrainian Carpathians (the highest point – mountain Goverla – 2,061 meters), and in the extreme south – the Crimean Mountains (the highest point – Mount Roman-Kosh – 1,545 meters).
Ukraine has a wide, more than 2,590 kilometers access to the Central and Western Europe, with which it is connected by nine railway lines. The Danube connects it with Romania, Bulgaria and other countries of the Danube basin. The ports of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov connect Ukraine with many countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. In the territory of Ukraine there are the Trans-European oil pipeline, gas pipeline, high-voltage power lines, electrified railways connecting our country with the neighboring states.
In Ukraine there are over 73 thousand rivers and more than 20,000 reservoirs, of which more than 3 thousand are lakes. Most of the rivers in Ukraine belong to the basins of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. Only the Western Bug and other right tributaries of the Vistula belong to the Baltic Sea.
Most of the territory of Ukraine is taken up by black soil. The belt of black soil corresponds to the steppe zone. The forest area includes a variety of mixed and deciduous forests with white (European) fir, pine, beech and oak. In the forest-steppe zone the forests consist mostly of oak. The Carpathian Mountains are covered in fir, mixed and pine forests of fir, oak and beech. The Southern Coast of Crimea has a large parkland with different types of Mediterranean flora; the orchards and vineyards are common there.
The climate is temperate continental. Seasonal differences are typical, winters are moderately cold, summer is long, warm or hot, the average temperature in July is 18-24°C, in January – from -8°C to 2-4°C (on the Southern Coast of Crimea). The total annual rainfall for most of Ukraine is 600 mm, in the Carpathians – up to 1600 mm, in the south and southeast – 400-300 mm. The Southern Coast of Crimea is characterized by subtropical Mediterranean climate.