Ukrainian people are warm and particularly friendly to visitors.
It is not at all uncommon for Ukrainians to invite strangers into
their own homes. Formal attire is rarely required, though people
dress smartly for the theatre. Visitors should avoid ostentatious
displays of wealth in public places.
There are about 35 million Ukrainian Orthodox faithful, although
the church is divided into a traditional pro-Moscow and a breakaway
pro-Kyiv faction. Five million Eastern-rite (Uniate) Catholics,
subservient to Rome, are concentrated in western Ukraine. There are
also Protestant and Muslim minorities.
Food and Drink
Ukraine, and specifically Kiev, boasts hundreds of restaurants
offering delicious meals and refreshing drinks with a friendly
service. There are often traditional Ukrainian restaurants where
you can taste the unique flavours.
• Borshch (beetroot soup)
• Varenniki (dough containing cheese, meat or fruit)
• Holubtsi (cabbage rolls)
• Chicken Kiev exists but is better known in the West
Drinking in Ukraine is an experience. The Ukrainian specialty is
horika (vodka), there is also an excellent
selection of wines from the Carpathian Region and Crimea. Ukrainian
beers are very tasty and of good quality, the best beers are brewed
by Lvivske and Obolon CJSC.
Human settlement in the region of actual Ukraine has been
documented into remote prehistory. The Neolithic
Cucuteni-Trypillian culture flourished between 5500 BC and 2750 BC
in an extensive area that covered parts of contemporary Ukraine
including the Dnieper-Dniester region.
From the 13th to the 16th century, Kiev was under the influence
of Poland and Lithuania.
Ukraine was one of the most devastated countries after World War
II; the total of victims among the Ukrainian population is
estimated between five and eight million.
Did you know?
Ukrainian language took the second place on melodic criteria
after Italian and it was ranked as the third most beautiful
language in the world on such criteria as phonetics, vocabulary,
phraseology and sentence structure after French and Persian at a
linguistic contest held in Paris in 1934.
Facts and figures
||Eastern European Time (UTC +2)
||Unitary semi-presidential republic
||603,628 km2 /
233,090 sq miles