What Important Facts on Ukraine I Need to Know?

Capital of Ukraine: Kyiv
Population of Ukraine: 45 million
Population of Kyiv: 3 million
Official Language: Ukrainian
Ukrainian is an official language of Ukraine. However, Russian is widely in use in the country. Most people in Kyiv and in Eastern Ukraine speak Russian as a main language, while Ukrainian is a main language in Western Ukraine. If you are familiar with one of these languages you will be able to communicate with Ukrainians without any problems.
Currency: Ukrainian hryvnya (gryvnia, hryvna, hryvnia, UAH) = 100 Kopeks
Government of Ukraine: Ukrainian President is elected to a five year term by Ukrainian people 18 years old and older. Ukrainian Parliament is the nation’s lawmaking body and has 450 members. The name of current Ukrainian President is Victor Yanukovich
Religions in Ukraine: About 80% of Ukrainians are Orthodox Christians, 10% are Ukrainian Catholics.
Area of Ukraine: 603 700 km2 (233 090 sq. mi.)
Ukraine Country Phone Code: +380
Time: GMT/UTC + 2 hours. Eastern European Time. Daylight Saving Time is from late March till late October. Clocks are set one hour forward in the last week of March and one hour backward in the last month of October.
Working hours: Most offices and shops in Ukraine are open for eight hours a day, from Monday to Friday, with one hour for a lunch. One hour's interval is usually from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Banks are open to public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Most businesses start working at 9 a.m. and finish at 6 p.m. As regards grocery stores, there are a lot of such stores in Kyiv and other major cities that work 24 hours a day, without a break. Some cafes and restaurants are open until late at night.
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz. Standard European electric jacks. The plug-and-socket connection is different from one used in the United States. If you take appliances from your home, do not forget to take a converter and a plug adapter in order you could use your electrical appliance in Ukraine. For valuable equipment, it is recommended that you bring a surge protector to keep your electrical appliance safe. Note that devices not rated for 50 Hz will hardly operate properly.
Weights and Measures: Metric
Main products: manufacturing – iron and steel, machinery, transport, cars (local Tavria and Slavuta, Opel, Dacia, Daewoo, Mercedes, Skoda, VW), household equipment (TV sets, refrigerators, washing machines) chemical fertilizers, clothing and shoes, foods; mining – coal, iron ore, natural gas, oil, manganese; agriculture.
Food and drink in Ukraine: The Ukrainian diet includes chicken, pork, beef, fish and mushrooms. Ukrainians eat a lot of potatoes, grains, fresh and sour vegetables, different kinds of bread. Popular traditional dishes include varenyky (boiled dumplings with mushrooms, potatoes, sauerkraut, cottage cheese or cherries), borsch (soup made of beets, cabbage and mushrooms or meat) and golubtsy (stuffed cabbage rolls filled with rice, carrots and meat). Ukrainian specialties also include Chicken Kyiv and Kyiv Cake. Ukrainians drink stewed fruit, juices, milk, sour milk, mineral water, tea and coffee, beer, wine and vodka.
Tap water is chemically safe in Ukraine, but it is recommended to boil water before drinking it. It is even better to use bottled purified water available almost in every shop. However, we recommend that you buy water in supermarkets, so you can be assured that the water is not spurious. Note that hot water can be turned off for about one month during the summer time. Most hotels provide electrical heating facilities in a bathroom, so you will not face such problems.
Famous Ukrainians: Andriy Shevchenko (football player), Vitaliy and Volodymyr Klichko (boxers), Yana Klochkova (Olympic champion in swimming), Ruslana Lyzhichko (singer, winner of Eurovision 2004).
Climate in Ukraine: Inland Ukraine enjoys a moderate continental climate. The hottest month is July. Average temperature is July is 23C (74F). The cold month is January. Average temperature in January is -10C (14F). It is usually colder in the East and warmer in the west. Along the coast, Yalta and Odessa enjoy a subtropical climate and are much (especially Yalta and the Southern most part of Crimea) milder in the winter.

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