Useful country information
Total area: 233,089 sq mi (603,700 sq km)
Population (2020 est.): 43,733,762 (growth rate: ?0.6%); birth rate: 9.41/1000; infant mortality rate: 8.1/1000; life expectancy: 69.14; density per sq mi: 191
Other large cities: Kharkiv, 1,441,622; Odessa, 1,003,705; Dnipropetrovsk, 1,001,962; Donetsk, 962,024;
Monetary unit: Hryvna
National name: Ukrayina
Languages: Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian (regional language) 24%, other (includes small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities) 9%
Ethnicity/race: Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belorussian 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)
Religions: Orthodox (includes Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox (UAOC), Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP), Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), Ukrainian Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish
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 UOC-KP 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 (2013 est.)
Literacy rate: 99.7% (2011 est.)
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe and the second-largest country in Europe after Russia. The Crimean Autonomous Republic - encompassing the Crimean Peninsula, or Crimea, in the south was part of Ukraine but is now occupied by Russia.
The country is rich in natural resources, Ukraine has been fought over and subjugated for centuries. Its 20th-century struggle for liberty is not yet complete. Short-lived independence from Russia (1917-1920) was followed by brutal Soviet rule that engineered two artificial famines (1921-22 and Holodomor 1932-33) in which over 8 million died. In World War II, German and Soviet armies were responsible for some 7 million more deaths.
Although independence was achieved with the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, true freedom remains difficult to grasp as many of the former Soviet elites remain deeply rooted and block efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civil rights.
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