Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe after Russia. The country covers an area of 600,000 km².
The country has a population of 41.6 million people, the capital and largest city is Kiev.
The official language is Ukrainian. A widely spoken language is Russian, especially in the eastern and southern parts of the country.
The national currency is the Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH).
Ukraine is heavily dependent on fossil fuels and nuclear power for its energy needs. Hydroelectricity accounts for less than 10 percent of the country’s electricity production, and the contribution of other renewable sources is negligible. Although coal production is substantial, Ukraine relies on imported oil and natural gas to satisfy its energy requirements. Thermal power stations are found in all parts of the country, though the largest are in the Donets Basin and along the Dnieper. A third electric energy-producing area is in the vicinity of the Lviv-Volyn coal basin, and in the Transcarpathian region there is a group of several power stations. Nuclear power stations are located near the cities of Khmelnytskyy, Rivne, and Zaporizhzhya, as well as along the Southern Buh river.
Nearly 65% of Ukraine’s total energy demand is covered by domestic production. This high self-sufficiency is explained by nuclear energy production, as Ukraine is the world’s seventh-highest producer (83 terawatt hours [TWh] in 2019).
Ukraine occupies the Southwestern portion of the East European Plain. The country consists almost entirely of level plains at an average elevation of 175 metres above sea level. Mountainous areas occur only on the country’s borders and account for barely 5 percent of its area. The Ukrainian landscape nevertheless has some diversity: its plains are broken by highlands—running in a continuous belt from northwest to southeast—as well as by lowlands.
The climate in Ukraine is continental with freezing winters and hot summers, the temperature is progressively warmer towards to Southern borders. The precipitation in Ukraine is quite frequent throughout the year. In the vast inland area occupied by plains and hills, the yearly precipitation is approximately 500-600 mm. The yearly sunshine hours are approximately 1845
After years of political and economic tension, the Ukrainian economy had started to stabilise, but the outbreak of COVID-19 reversed this trend. According to the IMF, GDP growth fell to an estimated -4.2% in 2020 (from 3.2% in 2019), and is expected to pick up to 4% in 2021 and 3.4% in 2022, subject to the post-pandemic global economic recovery. Manufacturing is an extremely important sector of the Ukrainian economy, in terms of productivity and revenue earned. Products manufactured in the country include ferrous metals, transportation equipment and other types of heavy machinery, a variety of chemicals, food products, and other goods. Partly because of rich soils and a favourable climate, Ukraine’s crop production is highly developed. Its output of grain and potatoes is among the highest in Europe, and it is among the world’s largest producers of sugar beets and sunflower oil. Services now employ the largest number of Ukrainian workers, though a significant number of labourers continue to work in agriculture and manufacturing.
The unemployment rate estimated 8,89% in 2019, with large numbers of unregistered or underemployed workers.
The flat relief of most of Ukraine presents few obstacles to transportation. Although by European standards the density of the country’s hard-surface road network is low, asphalt-paved highways connect all the regions and large industrial centres. River shipping is conducted primarily on the Dnieper and its tributaries (the Pripet and Desna), on the Southern Buh, and on the Danube, which is important in trade with other European countries.