15 Facts You Didn’t Know About Ukraine

1. Ukraine is the largest country located entirely within Europe with the total area of 603,500 km2, followed by France, Spain and Sweden.

2. It’s called just Ukraine, without “the”. The name of the country had been a point of contention for many years, but today most English sources choose to abandon “the”.

3. For some time in 1990s, Ukraine was a third largest nuclear power in the world. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine ended up with a staggering amount of warheads – nearly 1700. It’s the only nuclear country which voluntarily chose to give up the nuclear arms too, in 1994.

4. Kyiv has the deepest metro station in the world. The Arsenalna station is 105.5 meters deep! It’s built beneath a hill and some say that it has secret bunkers for Soviet leaders inside.

5. The third most visited McDonald’s in the world is located in Ukraine, near the train station in Kyiv. The first and second place for the busiest McDonald’s restaurant are both in Moscow.

6. Most of the country is bilingual. More people speak Ukrainian and Russian, and less speak Ukrainian and Polish or Ukrainian and Hungarian. Some segments of the population speak a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian, called “Surzhik”

7. The longest musical instrument in the world is trembita – traditional instrument of Ukrainian Hutsul ethnicity from Carpathian mountains. This really long pipe was used in Ruslana’s Eurovision-winning performance in 2004.

8. The largest and heaviest airplane in the world is Ukrainian. An-225 “Mriya”, built by Antonov Design Bureau, can carry up to 250 tonnes of cargo.

9. Ukrainian Yuzhmash bureau in Dnipropetrovsk makes the most environmentally friendly rocket launch vehicles in the world.

10. Ukrainian Hetman introduced one of the first constitutions in the world in 1710 which included three separate branches of power: a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary.

11. One of the most popular Christmas songs “The Carol of the Bells” was actually written by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovich based on Ukrainian folk song “Schedryk”.

12. Some of the oldest shelters constructed by a pre-historic man were found in Mezhyrich, Ukraine. These dwellings are dated more than 15,000 years back. An old map inscribed on the bone was also found on the site, as well as remains of the drum and amber ornaments.  

13. In the 10th and 11th centuries the country was known as Kievan Rus. At the time it was the most powerful nation in Europe.

14. It’s really fertile. Ukraine accounts for circa 25% of the world’s richest black soil. Currently Ukraine is a world market leader in exports of sunflower oil and barley and 7th in the world in wheat production.

15. It's educated. Ukraine is in the top five countries in the world with the largest number of certified IT professionals. The country occupies the 4th number in the world by the number of IT professionals.

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