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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ukraine

Photo: Kiev's Orthodox cathedral
Kiev's Orthodox cathedral was built in the 11th century to rival the Hagia Sophia.
Photograph by Steve Raymer
Roughly the size of Texas, Ukraine borders the Black Sea, with Romania, Poland, and Moldova to the west and Russiaóits political dominatrix for most of the past centuryóto the east. • The peaceful Orange Revolution in 2004 brought hope that the violence, oppression, and mass famines that had dominated so much of the previous century were, finally, things of the past. • Its economy is rising after a long plunge. • Kiev, the capital, and the country's Black Sea resorts beguile visitors.
Ukraine places
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
"Sevastopol" boat  Odessa
"Sevastopol" boat
Odessa
St. Vladimir s orthodox Cathedral  Kiev
St. Vladimir's
orthodox Cathedral
Kiev
Seaport marina  Odessa
Seaport marina
Odessa


Freedom Square  Kharkov
Freedom Square
Kharkov
"General Vatutin" ship  Odessa
"General Vatutin" ship
Odessa
Odessa Sea port
Odessa Sea port
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Archangel Michael  Kiev
Archangel Michael
Kiev
The Twelfth Chair  Odessa
The Twelfth Chair
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM
Kiev
Kiev
The Museum of the Great Patriotic War  Kiev
The Museum of the
Great Patriotic War
Kiev
Dnepr River view  Kiev
Dnepr River view
Kiev


Opera and Ballet Theatre  Odessa
Opera and Ballet
Theatre
Odessa
Monument to Cyrill, Methodius, St. Andrew and Princess Olga  Kiev
Monument to Cyrill,
Methodius, St. Andrew
and Princess Olga
Kiev
Lion Sculpture  Odessa
Lion Sculpture
Odessa
Kharkov Zoo
Kharkov Zoo


Kharkov Zoo
Kharkov Zoo
Kiev
Kiev
Seaport marina  Odessa
Seaport marina
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Catamaran Khadzhibey  Odessa
Catamaran Khadzhibey
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
The Colonnade  Odessa
The Colonnade
Odessa


Kiev
Kiev
Kiev
Kiev
The Vorontsov Lighthouse  Odessa
The Vorontsov
Lighthouse
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Archaeological Museum  Odessa
Archaeological Museum
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence Square
Kiev
The Odessa Hotel
The Odessa Hotel

















The Tug Boat "Trud"  Odessa
The Tug Boat "Trud"
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Khreschatyk Street  Kiev
Khreschatyk Street
Kiev
The Vorontsov Lighthouse  Odessa
The Vorontsov
Lighthouse
Odessa

The Taras Shevchenko river cruise ship  Odessa
The Taras Shevchenko
river cruise ship
Odessa
Vera Kholodnaya sculpture fragment  Odessa
Vera Kholodnaya
sculpture fragment
Odessa
The Museum of the Great Patriotic War  Kiev
The Museum of the
Great Patriotic War
Kiev
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev


Freedom Square  Kharkov
Freedom Square
Kharkov
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral
Odessa
Kiev
Kiev
Kiev
Kiev


The Twelfth Chair  Odessa
The Twelfth Chair
Odessa
The Odessa Hotel
The Odessa Hotel
Opera and Ballet Theatre  Odessa
Opera and Ballet
Theatre
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
The  Krasnaya  Hotel  Odessa
The 'Krasnaya' Hotel
Odessa
Railway Station  Odessa
Railway Station
Odessa
Freedom Square  Kharkov
Freedom Square
Kharkov


Kharkov Zoo
Kharkov Zoo
The Museum of the Great Patriotic War  Kiev
The Museum of the
Great Patriotic War
Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
The monument to the Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise  Kiev
The monument to
the Grand Prince
Yaroslav the Wise
Kiev


Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM
Griffon sculpture  Odessa
Griffon sculpture
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
The Museum of the Great Patriotic War  Kiev
The Museum of the
Great Patriotic War
Kiev


St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's
Monastery
Kiev
Deribasovskaya str  Odessa
Deribasovskaya str
Odessa
The Museum of the Great Patriotic War  Kiev
The Museum of the
Great Patriotic War
Kiev
Old Exchange Building  Odessa
Old Exchange Building
Odessa



St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's
Monastery
Kiev
Kiev
Kiev
Odessa
Odessa
Atlases at Gogol Street  Odessa
Atlases at Gogol Street
Odessa

Odessa Harbour view
Odessa Harbour view
Kiev
Kiev
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev
Saint Sophia
Cathedral in Kiev
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev


Kiev Sunrise
Kiev Sunrise
Kiev
Kiev
The Golden Gate of Kiev
The Golden Gate
of Kiev
Passenger Ferry "Caledonia"  Odessa
Passenger Ferry
"Caledonia"
Odessa


A Golden Boy  Odessa
A Golden Boy
Odessa
Kiev
Kiev
Lion statue by A.Ken  Odessa
Lion statue by A.Ken
Odessa
Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM


Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Arcadia Beach  Odessa
Arcadia Beach
Odessa
Kiev
Kiev
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence Square
Kiev


Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev
Saint Sophia
Cathedral in Kiev
Odessa
Odessa
The Odessa Hotel
The Odessa Hotel


The monument to the Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise  Kiev
The monument to
the Grand Prince
Yaroslav the Wise
Kiev
National Opera House  Kiev
National Opera House
Kiev
The Museum of the Great Patriotic War  Kiev
The Museum of the
Great Patriotic War
Kiev
A Golden Boy  Odessa
A Golden Boy
Odessa


Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky
Cathedral
Odessa
Dnepr River view  Kiev
Dnepr River view
Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Duke of Richelieu  Odessa
Duke of Richelieu
Odessa


Kharkov University
Kharkov University
Kiev
Kiev
The Museum of the Great Patriotic War  Kiev
The Museum of the
Great Patriotic War
Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Primorskiy Boulevard  Odessa
Primorskiy Boulevard
Odessa
Khreschatyk Street  Kiev
Khreschatyk Street
Kiev
Svyato-Pantelemonovskiy cathedral  Odessa
Svyato-Pantelemonovskiy
cathedral
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
The Museum of the Great Patriotic War  Kiev
The Museum of the
Great Patriotic War
Kiev
St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's
Monastery
Kiev
Dnepr River view  Kiev
Dnepr River view
Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's Monastery
Kiev
Ukraina Hotel  Kiev
Ukraina Hotel
Kiev
St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's
Monastery
Kiev
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence Square
Kiev


Svyato-Pantelemonovskiy cathedral  Odessa
Svyato-Pantelemonovskiy
cathedral
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Archaeological Museum  Odessa
Archaeological Museum
Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky
Cathedral
Odessa


A sailor s wife  Odessa
A sailor's wife
Odessa
Kiev
Kiev
National Opera House  Kiev
National Opera House
Kiev
Passage Mall  Odessa
Passage Mall
Odessa


Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Kharkov Zoo
Kharkov Zoo
A sailor s wife  Odessa
A sailor's wife
Odessa
"General Vatutin" ship  Odessa
"General Vatutin" ship
Odessa


The Museum of the Great Patriotic War  Kiev
The Museum of the
Great Patriotic War
Kiev
Catamaran Khadzhibey  Odessa
Catamaran Khadzhibey
Odessa
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Opera and Ballet Theatre  Odessa
Opera and Ballet
Theatre
Odessa


The October Palace   Kiev
The October Palace
Kiev
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky
Cathedral
Odessa
Dnepr River view  Kiev
Dnepr River view
Kiev
Kiev
Kiev


Sailing Vessel Druzhba  Odessa
Sailing Vessel
Druzhba
Odessa
Kiev
Kiev
Passenger Ferry "Caledonia"  Odessa
Passenger Ferry
"Caledonia"
Odessa
The bell tower of The Uspensky Cathedral  Kharkov
The bell tower of
The Uspensky Cathedral
Kharkov


A sailor s wife  Odessa
A sailor's wife
Odessa
Archangel Michael  Kiev
Archangel Michael
Kiev
St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's Monastery
Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
The Odessa Hotel
The Odessa Hotel
Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM
The Marriage Stone  Odessa
The Marriage Stone
Odessa
Globe monument  Kiev
Globe monument
Kiev


Dnepr River view  Kiev
Dnepr River view
Kiev
Dnepr River view  Kiev
Dnepr River view
Kiev
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral
Odessa
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev


Kiev
Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev
Kiev
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev
Saint Sophia
Cathedral in Kiev


Deribasovskaya street  Odessa
Deribasovskaya street
Odessa
Mozart Hotel  Odessa
Mozart Hotel
Odessa
Crimean War Cannon  Odessa
Crimean War Cannon
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Deribasovskaya street  Odessa
Deribasovskaya street
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Lion Sculpture  Odessa
Lion Sculpture
Odessa


St.Nicholas Church  Odessa
St.Nicholas Church
Odessa
Kiev
Kiev
Dnepr River view  Kiev
Dnepr River view
Kiev
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev
Saint Sophia
Cathedral in Kiev


Kiev
Kiev
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky
Cathedral
Odessa
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Opera and Ballet Theatre  Odessa
Opera and Ballet
Theatre
Odessa


Vera Kholodnaya sculpture  Odessa
Vera Kholodnaya
sculpture
Odessa
Crimean War Cannon  Odessa
Crimean War Cannon
Odessa
Opera and Ballet Theatre  Odessa
Opera and Ballet
Theatre
Odessa
The Odessa Hotel
The Odessa Hotel


Kharkov University
Kharkov University
Kiev
Kiev
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Duke of Richelieu  Odessa
Duke of Richelieu
Odessa
National Opera House  Kiev
National Opera House
Kiev


Arcadia Beach  Odessa
Arcadia Beach
Odessa
Seaport marina  Odessa
Seaport marina
Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky
Cathedral
Odessa
St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's
Monastery
Kiev


Monument to Vorontsov  Odessa
Monument to Vorontsov
Odessa
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Kiev
Kiev
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev


Old Exchange Building  Odessa
Old Exchange Building
Odessa
Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM
Monument to the Russian Empress Catherine II  Odessa
Monument to the
Russian Empress
Catherine II
Odessa
Odessa Harbour view
Odessa Harbour view


Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Opera and Ballet Theatre  Odessa
Opera and Ballet
Theatre
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kharkov Zoo
Kharkov Zoo


A Golden Boy  Odessa
A Golden Boy
Odessa
The Odessa Hotel
The Odessa Hotel
Globe monument  Kiev
Globe monument
Kiev
The Odessa Hotel
The Odessa Hotel


St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's
Monastery
Kiev
Bohdan Khmelnytsky  Kiev
Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Kiev
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence Square
Kiev
Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM


Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral
Odessa
Odessa
Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral
Odessa
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev


Independence Square  Kiev
Independence Square
Kiev
Kharkov Zoo
Kharkov Zoo
Opera and Ballet Theatre  Odessa
Opera and Ballet
Theatre
Odessa
Kiev
Kiev
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky
Cathedral
Odessa
The Twelfth Chair  Odessa
The Twelfth Chair
Odessa
The City Garden  Odessa
The City Garden
Odessa


Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM
Opera and Ballet Theatre  Odessa
Opera and Ballet
Theatre
Odessa
Khreschatyk Street  Kiev
Khreschatyk Street
Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Deribasovskaya str  Odessa
Deribasovskaya str
Odessa
The Odessa Hotel
The Odessa Hotel


Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev
Saint Sophia
Cathedral in Kiev
St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's Monastery
Kiev
Military exposition near  Kharkiv History museum  Kharkov
Military exposition near
Kharkiv History museum
Kharkov
Ukraina Hotel  Kiev
Ukraina Hotel
Kiev


Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM
The Fountain  Odessa
The Fountain
Odessa
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence Square
Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Lion Sculpture  Odessa
Lion Sculpture
Odessa
Kiev
Kiev
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence Square
Kiev
Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM


Lioness statue by A.Ken  Odessa
Lioness statue by A.Ken
Odessa
St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's
Monastery
Kiev
Dnepr River view  Kiev
Dnepr River view
Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Independence Square  Kiev
Independence Square
Kiev
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev
Saint Sophia
Cathedral in Kiev
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM


Globe monument  Kiev
Globe monument
Kiev
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
The Golden Gate of Kiev
The Golden Gate
of Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
A Golden Boy  Odessa
A Golden Boy
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence Square
Kiev


Vera Kholodnaya sculpture  Odessa
Vera Kholodnaya
sculpture
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Khreschatyk Street  Kiev
Khreschatyk Street
Kiev
The October Palace   Kiev
The October Palace
Kiev


Independence Square  Kiev
Independence Square
Kiev
Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM
Kiev
Kiev
The Odessa Hotel
The Odessa Hotel


The monument to  founders of the city  of Kharkov
The monument to
founders of the city
of Kharkov
Archaeological Museum  Odessa
Archaeological Museum
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
The Golden Gate of Kiev
The Golden Gate
of Kiev


Opera and Ballet Theatre  Odessa
Opera and Ballet
Theatre
Odessa
The monument to Alexander Pushkin  Odessa
The monument to
Alexander Pushkin
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Vera Kholodnaya sculpture  Odessa
Vera Kholodnaya
sculpture
Odessa


St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's Monastery
Kiev
To the coming Genius  Odessa
To the coming Genius
Odessa
The Odessa Hotel
The Odessa Hotel
The Museum of the Great Patriotic War  Kiev
The Museum of the
Great Patriotic War
Kiev


A Golden Boy  Odessa
A Golden Boy
Odessa
Kharkov Zoo
Kharkov Zoo
Kharkov University
Kharkov University
Monument to the Russian Empress Catherine II  Odessa
Monument to the
Russian Empress
Catherine II
Odessa


Missile Base museum ICBM
Missile Base museum ICBM
Dnepr River view  Kiev
Dnepr River view
Kiev
Kharkov Zoo
Kharkov Zoo
Kiev
Kiev


Richelieu statue, podium fragment  Odessa
Richelieu statue,
podium fragment
Odessa
St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's
Monastery
Kiev
Kiev
Kiev
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky
Cathedral
Odessa
the Vorontsov s Palace  Odessa
the Vorontsov's Palace
Odessa
Duke of Richelieu  Odessa
Duke of Richelieu
Odessa
Kiev
Kiev
The Vorontsov s Palace  Odessa
The Vorontsov's Palace
Odessa


St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's
Monastery
Kiev
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Dnepr River view  Kiev
Dnepr River view
Kiev
Globe monument  Kiev
Globe monument
Kiev


Opera and Ballet Theatre  Odessa
Opera and Ballet
Theatre
Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral
Odessa
St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's Monastery
Kiev
Crossroad of Lanzheronovskaya Street and Pushkinskaya Street  Odessa
Crossroad of
Lanzheronovskaya Street
and Pushkinskaya Street
Odessa


 Odessa Mama
'Odessa Mama'
The Gosprom complex  Kharkov
The Gosprom complex
Kharkov
Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Monument to the Russian Empress Catherine II  Odessa
Monument to the
Russian Empress
Catherine II
Odessa


Old Exchange Building  Odessa
Old Exchange Building
Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral
Odessa
Vera Kholodnaya sculpture  Odessa
Vera Kholodnaya
sculpture
Odessa
Opera and Ballet Theatre  Odessa
Opera and Ballet
Theatre
Odessa


Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky Cathedral
Odessa
Kharkov
Kharkov
Khreschatyk Street  Kiev
Khreschatyk Street
Kiev
The Monument to Nikolay Shchors  Kiev
The Monument to
Nikolay Shchors
Kiev


Kiev
Kiev
St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's
Monastery
Kiev
Memorial Plaque to N.Gogol  Odessa
Memorial Plaque
to N.Gogol
Odessa
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Independence Square  Kiev
Independence
Square
Kiev
Preobrazhensky Cathedral  Odessa
Preobrazhensky
Cathedral
Odessa
A sailor s wife  Odessa
A sailor's wife
Odessa
Duke of Richelieu  Odessa
Duke of Richelieu
Odessa


The Fountain  Odessa
The Fountain
Odessa
St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's
Monastery
Kiev
Old Exchange Building  Odessa
Old Exchange Building
Odessa
St. Michael s Monastery  Kiev
St. Michael's Monastery
Kiev

Fast Facts

Population:
47,110,000
Capital:
Kiev; 2,618,000
Area:
603,700 square kilometers (233,090 square miles)
Language:
Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian
Religion:
Ukrainian Orthodox, Ukrainian Catholic (Uniate), Protestant, Jewish
Currency:
Hryvnia
Life Expectancy:
68
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $4,500
Literacy Percent:
100
Flag: Ukraine
Map: Ukraine
The Carpathian Mountains rise in the west and the Crimean Mountains in the south, but the heartland of Ukraine—slightly larger than France—is the rich flat earth that stretches for 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles), known as the steppe. Once called the breadbasket of the Soviet Union, Ukraine also has huge deposits of coal and iron that feed heavy industry, particularly in the Donbas (Donets Basin) and Kryvyy Rih regions.
Such natural wealth tempted conquerors. In 988 Vladimir the Great adopted Christianity—which evolved into Russian Orthodoxy—to unify the Kievan Rus, a confederation of Slavic peoples. The Mongols overran the land in the 13th century, followed by the Lithuanians in the 14th century. Poland asserted dominion in 1569. Defying their Polish masters, rebel-minded peasants—the Cossacks—gathered under warlike leaders called hetmans in the vastness of the steppe. After a revolt led by Bohdan Khmelnytsky, the Cossacks formed their own state in 1649. But in 1654—still fighting the Poles—they entered a pact with Russia, which soon exerted control.
At its greatest extent, about 1880, the Russian Empire encompassed 85 percent of present-day Ukraine; the remainder was under the influence of Austria-Hungary. After the Russian Revolution, Ukraine enjoyed brief independence. Despite Lenin's promises, however, the Red Army invaded, and by 1920 most of Ukraine was Bolshevik ruled. Joseph Stalin, fearing Ukrainian nationalism, killed the intelligentsia, and, through his policy of collectivization, engineered a famine in 1932 and 1933 that took at least five million lives. Nazi occupation scourged the country during the "Great Patriotic War." The republic lost 7.5 million people, 4 million of them civilians and 2.2 million deported to Germany as laborers. After World War II, Soviet rule prevailed.
Ukraine suffered the world's worst recorded nuclear accident. On the morning of April 26, 1986, reactor No. 4 at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, 80 miles north of Kiev, exploded, sending radioactive contaminants three miles up into the atmosphere and out over parts of Europe, Asia, and North America.
A political meltdown occurred in December 1991, when 90 percent of Ukrainians voted for independence, in effect dissolving the Soviet Union. Now Ukraine faces ongoing border disputes with Russia. The new millennium has brought economic growth, with rising industrial output and falling inflation.
ECONOMY
  • Industry: Coal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment
  • Agriculture: Grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed; beef
  • Exports: Ferrous and nonferrous metals, fuel and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition  

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