Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe having an area of 233,000 sq. miles whose population as of October 2010 is approximately more than 45.7 million people. It is surrounded by Russia to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Hungary to the west and Romania to the southwest respectively. Situated in southeastern part of Central Europe, the country has its fair share of wonderful sights that will surely captivate every visitor. Crimean and Carpathian mountains covered with assorted variety of trees surround the country.
Before the 16th century, Ukraine was known as "Kievan Rus". Kiev was Eastern Europe's major political and cultural center in the 9th century. But it was only in the 10th century that Kievan Rus gained power at its peak and thereafter Byzantine Christianity was adopted. However, Kievan power ended in 1240 by the Mongols. Then from the 13th up to the 16th century, Poland and Western Europe manifested its influence in Kiev. In 1596, Ukrainians were divided into Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic as a result of the negotiation of the Union of Brest-Litovsk. To gain protection against Poland, Ukraine sought assistance from the czar of Moscovy in 1654. That same year marked the recognition of the suzerainty of Moscow when the Treaty of Pereyasav was signed. Part of the agreement was the right of Moscow to take over Kiev, thus the Russian Empire eventually absorbed the Ukrainian state.
On January 28, 1918, Ukraine declared its independence from Russia after the Russian Revolution but a number of wars with several groups followed as a result of such declaration. At last, the Red Army overpowered Kiev and then Ukraine became part of Soviet republic in 1920. In 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was founded and Ukraine was privileged to be one of the founders. But during 1930s, many peasants opposed the enforcement of collectivization mandated by the Soviet government. With this, Soviet authorities confiscated the agricultural products from the poor Ukrainian farmers; the aftermath was a devastating famine that claimed an estimated 5 million lives. Ukraine suffered tremendously like any other Soviet republic after World War II. On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred and was recorded as the world's worst nuclear accident ever that put Ukraine in bad light in world history.
Main Tourist Attractions
With its vast array of tourist attractions, Ukraine certainly has the right to entice visitors from other parts of the world for them to explore and enjoy everything that the country has to offer. One of the places to visit is Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine wherein one of the nation's remarkable attractions is located, the St. Sophia Cathedral and Monastery which was built during the 11th century. Some of the lovely sights that are also situated in Kiev are The Golden State, Andreyev Hill, Cathedral of St. Vladimir, the Opera House, Museum of Ukrainian Art and the Historical Museum of Ukraine. Other attractions tourists should visit are the National Museum, Pharmaceutical Museum, Antique Armory, Museum of History, Museum of Ethnography and Crafts and the Opera House of Ivan Franko.
Odessa is another city in Ukraine that is renowned for its Potemkin Stairway that has 192 steps. The city also takes pride with its well decorated opera house, the Archaeological Museum, a statue of the Duke of Richelieu and the Vorontsov Palace. The presence of opera houses simply tells us that many Ukrainians are musicians. These attractions catapulted Odessa as one of the places to visit in Ukraine. These along with the wonderful natural sceneries are just some of the captivating attractions in the country. Come and visit this fantastic country and you will definitely enjoy every moment that you will spend here.
Uniqueness of Ukraine
Just like any other country, Ukraine is unique in its own way. Despite of the debacles it experienced that tarnished its name for that matter, time and again it has proven to rise every time it falls and emerge victorious in its undertakings as a whole. The country's variety of cultures and traditions all the more make this country unique that even if this is the case, still the Ukrainians managed to live harmoniously. Indeed, Ukraine's history shaped the country as it is today; mighty and can compete globally in all aspects.
Nowadays, Ukrainian women tend to follow the footsteps of their Russian counterparts. If there are Russian brides being marketed even online, Ukrainians take part in this activity too. The models are tapped to be at their best to be selected by their target husband. Russian brides are literally meant to be given to marriage, especially for those who are very eager to find a mate. However, it is a requirement that every model should be of legal age to avoid complications along the way.
Ukrainian culture carries with it influences from other countries as well as traces from culturally identified ethnic groups. It can also be said that Christianity has a great impact too in molding the nation's customs. Numerous Christmas traditions abound in Ukraine but vary significantly at different parts of the country. Nevertheless, people usually prepare 12 different foods on their table. They have also the typical Christmas tree and St. Nicholas figure. Another notable Christmas tradition in Ukraine is the decoration Christmas egg which is somewhat similar to Easter egg. This is indeed purely an Ukrainian custom.
Naturism is also present in Ukraine which has pagan origins. The celebration of loanna Kupala is highlighted with nude people jumping over the fire then washing in the water. This ritual gives emphasis on the merger of a human with Nature. Purification is the main point why they keep on doing this naturism type of activity. The country also boasts of many fun-filled festivals that somehow make the Ukrainians more at peace with each other. One of the popular festivals is Shesory which is celebrated annually in early summer somewhere in Western Ukraine. Ethnic music can be heard all over the place. If you are a music lover, especially that of ethnic music, then you should come here next year and see for yourself the beauty of this festival.