Most of Ukraine consists of fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus, mountains being found only in the west (the Carpathians), and in the Crimean Peninsula in the extreme south
Temperate continental; Mediterranean only on the southern Crimean coast; precipitation disproportionately distributed, highest in west and north, lesser in east and southeast; winters vary from cool along the Black Sea to cold farther inland; summers are warm across the greater part of the country, hot in the south
Population: 44,573,205 (July 2013 est.)
Language: Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian 24%, other (includes small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities) 9%
Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyiv Patriarchate 50.4%, Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate 26.1%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic 8%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 7.2%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, Protestant 2.2%, Jewish 0.6%, other 3.2%
After Russia, the Ukrainian republic was the most important economic component of the former Soviet Union, producing about four times the output of the next-ranking republic. Its fertile soil generated more than one-fourth of Soviet agricultural output. Its farms provided substantial quantities of meat, milk, grain, and vegetables to other republics. Its diversified heavy industry supplied the unique equipment and raw materials to industrial and mining sites.
Energy & Agriculture (:33)
US Commercial Investments (2:11)
Russian Oil & Gas As a Political Tool (1:07)
Approximately two-thirds of Ukraine's population live in cities. High-rise apartments built during the Soviet era (1920–91) are the most common dwellings. Living quarters are often poorly constructed, overcrowded, and small by Western standards. In small villages and homesteads, farming is the most common occupation. The standard of living in rural areas is lower than in cities. Recently, many rural dwellers have migrated to cities to find more profitable work.
Political Corruption (:58)
US Military Presence/Support
The U.S. provides support to advance democratic principles, human rights and rule of law; enhance energy independence, economic growth and public health; secure the damaged Chornobyl nuclear power site; and promote the Ukrainian military’s ability to work with western forces.
US Military Relationship (:30)