Not many people are looking for a bunch of boring facts about Ukraine.
So, take a break from Learning Russian and if you want to know what it's actually like, in Ukraine, here you go. We are strong believers of "The Visual Brain". Why don't you check out the real Ukraine by seeing these real pictures we took (here). They are not professional photographs. They are not staged. These are pictures of the real country as if you went over there right now. Real pictures of Ukraine = interesting!
-"Family Guy" The animated series is outlawed in Ukraine! Maybe because most Ukrainians are Christians (about 80%), maybe not?
-It's likely to see Ferrari's and so forth in Kiev, Ukraine's capital. Kiev also has a metro that goes what seems like miles underground. I am not claustrophobic, the LONG escalator ride down to me, was very exciting. You can see pictures of this and more on the photo page.
-There are more females than males. Ukraine, for what ever reason, has been called "a super model factory"! They like to shop to by the way, but what gils don't. Which reminds me, Ukraine's version of Wal-Mart is called "Big Pocket".
-Russian is more widely spoken in Ukraine than Ukrainian. Ukrainian language is used, however, more in West Ukraine.
-Ukraine has a lot of historical castles and is the largest country in Europe after, of coarse, Russia.
-You don't need a visa to go to Ukraine, just a passport. But watch out, if you think people here drive crazy... you have NO IDEA!
-The general life essentials, normal foods and clothes, cost a lot less than in America with meats like Steak and Pork being an exception. Tech items like cameras and TV's are however (in comparison with cost of living) much more expensive than in the United States.
Economy in Ukraine (they do not like being referred to as "The Ukraine")
Ukraine is not the richest country in Europe, but its market economy has been growing fast since 2000. Prior to 1991 Ukraine was in a depression because of the Soviet Union's control. Ukrainian street signs were replaced with Russian ones. The people were forced to speak Russian and not allowed their native tongue. Things like this caused a lot of Ukrainians to emigrate in search of work & better lives. During world war two some people made due for example by making breads of wheat, grass and saw dust! Things are different today. Kiev has shopping and culture compared to that of New York City, Los Angeles or Denver's Cherry Creek District. There seems to be a large gap between the rich and the poor or lower middle class. Corruption runs wild as well. Say you, an entrepreneur want to open a McDonalds in Ivano Frankivsk. You would be deterred from people forcing you to pay them, much like a strong arm from the Italian Mafia might have worked in the 20's and 40's in America. Anyway Ukraine's currency is called Hryvnia. Though this changes a lot (but not drastically) one U.S. dollars is equivalent to about 5 Ukraine "dollars". Euros and Dollars are also widely used.
Do we have to talk Politics?
Ukraine is a democratic country who tries hard to fight corruption and to mirror the United States being a positive role model. You may hear about something called "the Orange Revolution" but it's more hype than anything. Basically it's Ukraine's fourth of July that happened in Aug 1991, what else do you need to know about that.. Ukraine to this day, fights with Russia for control over Ukraine's vast natural resources and even for say starting
a business. Voters themselves are split between those who favor a European political course (mostly in the west and north) and those who
favor closer ties with Russia (mostly in the east and south). These two halves of Ukraine, as noted above, also have cultural and
Geography and tourism
Ukraine is a largely flat (but not flat flat like Nebraska) with rolling hills of fertile plains which are heavily farmed. You may see many
villages off the streets between the larger cities such as from Kiev to Nikolaev or Kherson. There is a large beautiful river called Dnipro,
which flows down into the Black Sea near Crimea. Which is Ukraine's peninsula. It is a popular summer destination with its many beaches
& resorts. The far west enjoys skiing comparable to Colorado and Utah in a mountain ranges called the Carpathian's. The tallest peak however
is only 6,762 feet (Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains for example is 14,000 ish). Ukraine enjoy's a white Christmas (celebrated about a week
after our's) with nice warm summers, MUCH like most states in North America's great plains (yes again a reference to Colorado but really the weather patterns are strikingly similar - as well, Minnesota, Iowa etc). Ukraine has really not been a common destination for most tourists but is growing in popularity. The most visited cities are Kiev and Odessa which have amazing history, buildings and streets. As well as the caste's and people of Ukraine, she also offers up amazing Orthodox and Catholic churches, ancient monasteries and fortresses. Ukraine's crime rate is quite low, especially violent crime, and is safe for tourists though not commonly visited by minority classes. You would want a tour guide or some sort of help if you don't speak Russian (or Ukrainian). More over you don't want to get lost, Ukraine is about the size of Texas with a population of about 46 million.
History, borders & Cities
Ukraine has close economic, political and cultural ties to Russia, but is its own country with its own political system and people. Countries that border Ukraine besides Russia are: Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and the black sea is shared with Georgia & Turkey who are otherwise close neighbors. The capital of Ukraine is amazing Kiev. Other mentionable cities are Kharkov (or Harkov), Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk (or D'nipropetrovsk), Chernobyl, Nicolaev, Kherson, Odessa, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk.
Learning Russian can be hard! Having an, online Russian tutor, can be the difference of success. With online Russian tutoring, you can go at your own pace. Free Russian, isn't really free because you have to put your heart into it. Learn about Russia, and discover, facts about Russia, to help you understand more about the culture, thus, the language. You can find all that here as well as facts about Ukraine, the real Ukraine, from people that live and love the land.!