drapeau Ukraine Ukraine

carte Ukraine
© European Commission
  • Accession to the Council of Europe: 1995
  • Area: 603,7 sq km
  • Population: 45.25 million inhabitants (2014)
  • Capitala: Kyiv (Kiev)
  • Official language: Ukrainian
  • Predominant religion: Orthodox
  • Government type: Republic
  • Head of State: Pedro Poroshenko elected President on May 25, 2014
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Volodymyr Groïsman since April 14th, 2016
  • Official currency: Hryvnia
  • International code: +380
  • National holiday: August 24, independance of Ukraine


CarpatesOriginally a city-State, Ukraine was the center of the first eastern Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, which was the largest and most powerful state in Europe during the 10th and 11th centuries. Weakened by internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, Kyivan Rus progressively declined and during many centuries was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and eventually 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).

© picture : University of Tchernovtsi
text : CIA World Factbook 2009
  • 1917-1920 : Brief period of independence, proclaimed by the Rada Council after the fall of the Russian Empire. However, after a short period of time, Ukrainian sovereignty is lost and the country is divided between Russia, Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia. 1922-1991 : Ukraine is a Soviet Republic of the USSR.
  • 1922 : 7 million peasants peish in man-made famine during Stalin's collectivization campaign.
  • 1937-1938 : « Grandes Purges » : the arrests and execution of Ukrainian intellectuals. Those whose lives were spared were sent to work in Siberian work camps.
  • 1941 : Nazi Germany invades USSR.
  • 1943 : Soviet Forces retake Kiev after a bloody battle.
  • 1991 : Ukraine declares its independence after the fall of the USSR.
  • Nov. 9 1995 : accession to the Council of Europe.
  • Sept. 11 1997 : ratification of the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • 1998 : entry into force of the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA), within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).
  • 2004 : Orange revolution because of protests against the results of the second round of the presidential elections. Beggining of closer relations with the Western countries, NATO and EU.
  • 2008 : accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Beginning of negociations of the Association Agreement with the EU.
  • 2009 : Eastern Partnership, within the frame of the ENP.
  • A free trade area agreement between EU and Ukraine is implemented


KievLocated on the shores of the Dnepr River, Kiev is one of the biggest and oldest cities in Europe with invaluable historical and cultural monuments. The art and architecture of Kiev are considered world treasures. The most renowned landmarks include: Cathedral of St. Sophia with outstanding mosaics and frescoes dating back to the 11th century; Kievo-Percherskaya Lavra featuring several monasteries and cathedrals; Golden Gate of Kiev, which date back to 1037; Ukrainian Baroque Church of St. Andrew; the magnificent 19th-century Cathedral of St. Vladimir; and many other attractions. As the largest city of Ukraine, Kiev is a leading industrial and commercial center of the country. Kiev's major industries include: food processing , metallurgy, manufacture of machinery, machine tools, rolling stock, chemicals, building materials, and textiles. The development of Ukrainian economy gave impulse to business activity of the city.

Picture: view on the St André descent, Kiev © ukraine-découverte.com

Saint Sofia Cathedral

ste sophie Built in the times of Yaroslav Mudry, the cathedral was supposed to be the counterpart of Saint Sofia in Constantinople. It served as a social, political and cultural center of Kievan Rus, where foreign ambassadors were received. Yaroslav Mudry's ruling was the time when art, education and culture prospered. The construction of Sofia cathedral played an important role in Kiev's look formation. The cathedral was founded in 1037. Originally it had 5 naves and was surrounded with 2 circled galleries. Despite it was badly damaged during the Tatar yoke and burned many times, the Cathedral is still considered as a masterpiece. Nowadays the building of the cathedral combines constructions of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. For many years St. Sofia Cathedral served as a burial place of Kiev princes, such as Yaroslav Mudry, his son Vsevolod, and Vladimir Monomakh.

Picture : Saint Sophia cathedral © Ukrainian Ambassy in Paris


opéraLocated in southern Ukraine, Odessa is the biggest city and the major seaport of the shore of the Black Sea. The city is well know for its entertainment industry, with many theatres, concerts, museums. Visitors may find many activities on the shore such as cultural centres, restaurants, casinos and clubs which all contribute to the fun of the city. But one says its most beautiful jewel may its inhabitants : because they are always cheerful and optimistic, Odessa has been nicknamed "capital of humour". This is why humour contests and musical festivals eliven the city each year.

Picture: Odessa opera © ukraine-découverte.com


YaltaWell know for the famous agreements that were signed in 1945 to settle the fate of Europe after the fall of the Third Reich, Yalta is primarily a resort town known as the most popular in the periphery of the Black Sea after the Tsar Alexander II chose the closer city of Livavia as a summer residence. However, it had a relative economic decline after the fall of the Soviet regime, as rich people preferred to stay in the deserted stations resorts of Western Europe. Ideally located on the southern coast of Crimea, Yalta has many walks to be performed on pebble beaches, before visiting the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky, a fine example of neo-Byzantine, or the former summer residence of the Romanov palace in a Renaissance style surrounded by a beautiful French garden. Finally, the house in which the great Russian composer Chekhov spent the last five years of his life was converted into a museum, and has become a must for any admirer of the composer.

Picture : Yalta © Ukrainian ambassy in Paris

The Carpathians

CarpatesConsidered as the Green Pearl of Ukraine, Carpathian Mountains are located in western Ukraine, on the territory of four regions: Carpathian, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Chernivtsi. Carpal region forms the border with 4 countries of the EU, namely Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. It is also in the Ukrainian Carpathians that the geographical center of Europe is supposed to be located.
The Carpathians are a country of mountain rivers with clear water and fresh air, which probably explains why the people know how to be very hospitable. You will hardly find, even throughout Europe, a region in which power changed as often. It concentrates the remains of the different cultures that Ukraine has been subjected during its existence, including various historic sites and museums can testify. It is one of the most popular resorts and tourist centers of the country.

Picture : observatory on top of the Pip-Ivan 2028m © ukraine-découverte.com

Taras Chevtchenko

tarasTaras Chevchenko is of highly importance in the ukrainian culture as he spread the national liberation ideas in his poetic works. His poems reflected the Ukrainian national spirit and exalted secular aspirations of the Ukrainian people for freedom. He had kept intact the memory of Ukraine, which experienced severe ordeals in its history. His poetry marked the birth of modern Ukrainian literature and the national awakening in his country.

© Ukrainian ambassy in Paris

Did you know?

  • The Bandura
bandouraBandura refers to a Ukrainian plucked string folk instrument. It combines elements of a box zither and lute, as well as to its lute-like predecessor, the kobza.
The term is also occasionally used by when referring to a number of other Eastern European string instruments such as the hurdy gurdy and the 5 string guitar (commonly referred to by the diminutive bandurka).Musicians who play the bandura are referred to as bandurists. Some traditional bandura players, often blind, were referred to as kobzars.

© Ukrainien ambassy in Paris
text sources:
Ukrainian ambassy in Paris
C.I.A. World Factbook 2009
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