At 603,628 square kilometres (233,062 sq mi) and with a coastline of 2,782 kilometres (1,729 mi), Ukraine is the world's46th-largest country (after the Central African Republic, beforeMadagascar). It is the largest wholly European country and the second largest country in Europe (after the European part of Russia, before metropolitan France).[i] It lies between latitudes 44° and 53° N, and longitudes22° and 41° E.
The landscape of Ukraine consists mostly of fertile plains (or steppes) and plateaus, crossed by rivers such as the Dnieper (Dnipro), Seversky Donets, Dniester and theSouthern Buh as they flow south into the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov. To the southwest, the delta of the Danube forms the border with Romania. Its various regions have diverse geographic features ranging from the highlands to the lowlands. The country's only mountains are the Carpathian Mountains in the west, of which the highest is the Hora Hoverla at 2,061 metres (6,762 ft), and the Crimean Mountains on Crimea, in the extreme south along the coast. However Ukraine also has a number of highland regions such as the Volyn-Podillia Upland (in the west) and the Near-Dnipro Upland (on the right bank of Dnieper); to the east there are the south-western spurs of the Central Russian Uplands over which runs the border with Russia. Near the Sea of Azov can be found the Donets Ridge and the Near Azov Upland. The snow melt from the mountains feeds the rivers, and natural changes in altitude form a sudden drop in elevation and create many opportunities to form waterfalls.
Significant natural resources in Ukraine include iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulphur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber and an abundance of arable land. Despite this, the country faces a number of major environmental issues such as inadequate supplies of potable water; air and water pollution and deforestation, as well as radiation contamination in the north-east from the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Recycling toxic household waste is still in its infancy in Ukraine.
Ukraine has a mostly temperate continental climate, although the southern coast has ahumid subtropical climate. Precipitation is disproportionately distributed; it is highest in the west and north and lowest in the east and southeast. Western Ukraine receives around 1,200 millimetres (47.2 in) of precipitation annually, while Crimea receives around 400 millimetres (15.7 in). Winters vary from cool along the Black Sea to cold farther inland. Average annual temperatures range from 5.5–7 °C (41.9–44.6 °F) in the north, to 11–13 °C (51.8–55.4 °F) in the south.
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population in July 2013 was 2,847,200(though higher estimated numbers have been cited in the press), making Kiev the 8th largest city in Europe.
Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational, and cultural centre of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions and world-famous historical landmarks. The city has an extensive infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport, including the Kiev Metro.
The city's name is said to derive from the name of Kyi, one of its four legendary founders (see Etymology, below). Duringits history, Kiev, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages of great prominence and relative obscurity. The city probably existed as a commercial centre as early as the 5th century. A Slavic settlement on the great trade route between Scandinavia andConstantinople, Kiev was a tributary of theKhazars, until seized by the Varangians(Vikings) in the mid-9th century. Under Varangian rule, the city became a capital of the Kievan Rus', the first East Slavicstate. Completely destroyed during theMongol invasion in 1240, the city lost most of its influence for the centuries to come. It was a provincial capital of marginal importance in the outskirts of the territories controlled by its powerful neighbours; first the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, followed by Poland andRussia. Kiev(2,797,553), Kharkiv (1,430,885), Dnipropetrovsk (1,032,822), Donets'k (1,024,700), Odessa (1,001,558), Zaporizhzhya(796,217), L'viv (717,803).
A country profile (England)
Geographically England includes the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, plus such offshore islands as the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly. It is bordered by two other countries of the United Kingdom—to the north by Scotland and to the west by Wales. England is closer to the European continent than any other part of mainland Britain. It is separated from France by a 21-mile (34 km) sea gap, though the two countries are connected by the Channel Tunnel near Folkestone. England also has shores on the Irish Sea, North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
The ports of London, Liverpool, and Newcastle lie on the tidal rivers Thames, Mersey andTyne respectively. At 220 miles (350 km), the Severn is the longest river flowing through England. It empties into the Bristol Channel and is notable for its Severn Bore tidal waves, which can reach 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height. However, the longest river entirely in England is the Thames, which is 215 miles (346 km) in length. There are many lakes in England; the largest is Windermere, within the aptly named Lake District.
In geological terms, the Pennines, known as the "backbone of England", are the oldest range of mountains in the country, originating from the end of the Paleozoic Era around 300 million years ago. Their geological composition includes, among others, sandstone and limestone, and also coal. There are karst landscapes in calcite areas such as parts of Yorkshire and Derbyshire. The Pennine landscape is high moorland in upland areas, indented by fertile valleys of the region's rivers. They contain three national parks, the Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland, and thePeak District. The highest point in England, at 978 metres (3,209 ft), is Scafell Pike in Cumbria. Straddling the border between England and Scotland are the Cheviot Hills.
The English Lowlands are to the south of the Pennines, consisting of green rolling hills, including the Cotswold Hills, Chiltern Hills, North and South Downs—where they meet the sea they form white rock exposures such as the cliffs of Dover. The granite Southwest Peninsula in the West Country includes upland moorland, such as Dartmoor and Exmoor, and enjoys a mild climate; both are national parks.
England has a temperate maritime climate: it is mild with temperatures not much lower than 0 °C (32 °F) in winter and not much higher than 32 °C (90 °F) in summer. The weather is damp relatively frequently and is changeable. The coldest months are January and February, the latter particularly on the English coast, while July is normally the warmest month. Months with mild to warm weather are May, June, September and October.Rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the year.
Important influences on the climate of England are its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, its northern latitude and the warming of the sea by the Gulf Stream. Rainfall is higher in the west, and parts of the Lake District receive more rain than anywhere else in the country. Since weather records began, the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) on 10 August 2003 at Brogdale in Kent, while the lowest was −26.1 °C (−15.0 °F) on 10 January 1982 in Edgmond, Shropshire.
London is the capital city ofEngland and the United Kingdom. It is the most populous region, urban zoneand metropolitan area in the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named itLondinium. London's ancient core, theCity of London, largely retains its 1.12-square-mile (2.9 km2) mediaevalboundaries and in 2011 had a resident population of 7,375, making it the smallest city in England. Since at least the 19th century, the term London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core. The bulk of thisconurbation forms the London regionand the Greater London administrative area,[note 1] governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Major cities of England include London, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Coventry, Leicester, andNottingham. These cities are known world over for their magnificent structures, exquisite art galleries and museums, and as major shopping destinations. While traveling through these beautiful cities of England you will discover and rediscover a renewed feeling of excitement and adventure.