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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: 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. (from the CIA)


Economic 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 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. a dispute with russia over pricing in late 2005 and early 2006 led to a temporary gas cut-off; ukraine concluded a deal with russia in january 2006 that almost doubled the price ukraine pays for russian gas. 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 remains buoyant despite political turmoil between the prime minister and president. real gdp growth reached about 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. although the economy is likely to expand in 2008, long-term growth could be threatened by the government's plans to reinstate tax, trade, and customs privileges and to maintain restrictive grain export quotas.

Environmental Issues

Inadequate supplies of potable water; air and water pollution; deforestation; radiation contamination in the northeast from 1986 accident at chornobyl' nuclear power plant

Government Type



45,994,288 (july 2008 est.)


Eastern europe, bordering the black sea, between poland, romania, and moldova in the west and russia in the east


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

Slightly smaller than texas

Country Aliases

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


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

Military Service

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)

International Disputes

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

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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