Ukraine is located in the southeastern corner of Europe. It is a nation of more than 52 million people. Ukraine is bordered by Belarus on the north, by Russia on the north and east, by the Black Sea on the south, by Moldova and Romania on the south-west, and by Hungary, the Slovak Republic, and Poland on the west. The second-largest territory of any country in Europe, Ukraine encompasses 603,700 square kilometers.
On August 24th, 1991, Ukraine proclaimed its independence.. Ukraine's Parliament has reinstated the national symbols, previously adopted by Ukraine's National Assembly in 1917. The national flag consists of two horizontal bands, the upper being sky-blue, and the lower, yellow like the golden wheat fields. The coat of arms is the golden trident on a blue shield, a symbol used by the rulers of the powerful Kyivan Rus' during the tenth to twelfth centuries. The national anthem is "Shche ne vmerla Ukraina" (Ukraine still lives).The capital of the country is Kyiv.
Ukraine's topography consists of vast plains and plateaus that seldom rise higher than 305 meters above sea level. Rivers in Ukraine are mostly long arteries that flow slowly across the plains southward to the Black Sea. The largest rivers, Dnieper, Dniester and Boh, are navigable and provide a link to the Black Sea and Mediterranean ports. Ukraine's lakes are small and shallow and few in number and are found mostly in the northwest and in the south, near the Black and Azov seas.
Ukraine is favorably endowed with natural resources, including coal, natural gas, and petroleum. The Donets Basin is well known for its great coal deposits; this area also boasts rock salt and other salts, some iron ore, mercury, phosphorite, alumina, and many small deposits of other metals, including limestone, marl, dolomite, chalk, quartz sand, and building stone. Ukraine is the world's leading depository and producer of manganese-it has 25 to 30 percent of the world's reserves. The Carpathian Mountains have deposits of petroleum, mineral wax, salt, potassium, manganese ore, iron ore, graphite and coal.
Scientists of Ukraine make a great contribution in our science. The Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which employs over eighty-five thousand scientists, scholars and supporting staff, is the main promoter and coordinator of scientific and research activity. The Academy oversees many institutes dealing with pure and applied sciences, as well as those devoted to archeology, economics, history, literature, philosophy, and social sciences.
The scientific and academic institutions in newly independent Ukraine are adapting themselves to the requirements and opportunities of a free country. Intensive efforts are under way to broaden international contact; and to introduce new ideas into a country that was isolated for many decades from its European neighbors and the rest of the world.
One can also find similar changes in other areas of organized life. In the medical profession, the engineering and managerial fields, and such business sectors as tourism, cooperatives and banking, new institutions are faring formed. The story of Ukraine is a fascinating one, and the country's future promises to be bright.
Words and word combinations:
to encompass: оточувати
to reinstate: відновлювати
coat of arms: герб
favorably endowed: сприятливо наділено
to boast: вихвалятися
to isolate: відокремлювати