Ukraine

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

UKRAINE

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT
TOPOGRAPHY
CLIMATE
FLORA AND FAUNA
ENVIRONMENT
POPULATION
MIGRATION
ETHNIC GROUPS
LANGUAGES
RELIGIONS
TRANSPORTATION
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL PARTIES
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
JUDICIAL SYSTEM
ARMED FORCES
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
ECONOMY
INCOME
LABOR
AGRICULTURE
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
FISHING
FORESTRY
MINING
ENERGY AND POWER
INDUSTRY
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DOMESTIC TRADE
FOREIGN TRADE
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
BANKING AND SECURITIES
INSURANCE
PUBLIC FINANCE
TAXATION
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
FOREIGN INVESTMENT
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HEALTH
HOUSING
EDUCATION
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
MEDIA
ORGANIZATIONS
TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION
FAMOUS UKRAINIANS
DEPENDENCIES
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ukraina

CAPITAL: Kiev (Kyyiv)

FLAG: Equal horizontal bands of azure blue (top) and yellow.

ANTHEM: The National Anthem of Ukraine.

MONETARY UNIT: The official currency, introduced in early 1993, is the hryvnia (hrn), which consists of 100 shahy. $1 = hrn0.19493 (or $1 = hrn5.13) as of 2005.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is used.

HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 12 January; Christmas, 7 January; Women's Day, 8 March; Spring and Labor Day, 12 May; Victory Day, 9 May; Ukrainian Independence Day, 24 August.

TIME: 2 pm = noon GMT.

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT

Ukraine, the second-largest country in Europe, is located in Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland and Russia. Comparatively, Ukraine is slightly smaller than the state of Texas with a total area of 603,700 sq km (233,090 sq mi). Ukraine shares boundaries with Belarus on the n, Russia on the e, the Black Sea on the s, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, and Slovakia on the w, and Poland on the nw. Ukraine's location is one of strategic importance at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. Its land boundary totals 4,663 km (2,897 mi) and its coastline is 2,782 km (1,729 mi). Ukraine's capital city, Kiev, is located in the north central part of the country.

TOPOGRAPHY

The topography of Ukraine consists mainly of fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus. True mountains (the Carpathians) are found only in the west and in the Crimean Peninsula in the extreme south. The Dnieper Uplands run through a central region of the country. The Donets Hills and Azov Uplands are located along the eastern border.

The coastal region of the Black Sea is a lowland area. The indent of Karkint Bay nearly separates the Crimean Peninsula from the mainland. The Kerch Strait connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, which lies between Ukraine and Russia covering an area of 37,599 sq km (14,517 sq mi). An area of wetlands, the Polesye Marshes, is located near the northwest border.

The most important river in Ukraine is the Dnipro (Dnieper), the third longest river in Europe. It serves as a major source of hydro-electric power. Other major rivers include the Danube, Western Buh, the Tisza, the Pripyat, and the Desna. There are over 20,000 small lakes throughout the country, but the largest lakes are artificial, created by dams along the Dnipro.

CLIMATE

The climate is subtropical on the Crimean Peninsula. Precipitation is disproportionately distributed, highest in the west and north, least in the 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, except for the south where it becomes hot.

The rest of the country's climate is temperate. The mean temperature in July is about 10°c (66°f). In January, however, the mean temperature drops to -6°c (21°f). Average rainfall is 50 cm (20 in) a year, with variations in different regions.

FLORA AND FAUNA

The land's soil, chernozem (black soil), is very fertile. When the Ukraine was part of the former Soviet Union it was called the country's "bread basket." A steppe zone covers about a third of the southern region of the country. Mixed shrubs, grasses, and evergreens can be found along the Mediterranean-like zone of the Crimean coast. Forest regions include such tree species as beech, linden, oak, and spruce. European bison, fox, and rabbits can be found living on the vast steppes of the country. As of 2002, there were at least 108 species of mammals, 245 species of birds, and over 5,100 species of plants throughout the country.

ENVIRONMENT

Ukraine's environmental problems include the nuclear contamination which resulted from the 1986 Chernobyl accident. One-tenth of Ukraine's land area was affected by the radiation. According to UN reports, approximately one million people were exposed to unsafe levels of radiation through the consumption of food. Approximately 3.5 million hectare (8.6 million acre) of agricultural land and 1.5 million hectare (3.7 million acre) of forest were also contaminated.

Pollution from other sources also poses a threat to the environment. Ukraine releases polluted water, heavy metal, organic compounds, and oil-related pollutants into the Black Sea. The water supply in some areas of the country contains toxic industrial chemicals up to 10 times the concentration considered to be within safety limits.

Air pollution is also a significant environmental problem in the Ukraine. In 1992, Ukraine had the world's seventh-highest level of industrial carbon dioxide emissions, which totaled 611.3 million metric tons, a per capita level of 11.72. However, in 2000, the total of carbon dioxide emissions was at 342.8 million metric tons. The pollution of the nation's water has resulted in large-scale elimination of the fish population, particularly in the Sea of Azov.

As of 2003, only 3.9% of Ukraine's total land area was protected, including 33 Wetlands of International Importance. According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), threatened species included 14 types of mammals, 13 species of birds, 2 types of reptiles, 11 species of fish, 14 species of invertebrates, and 1 species of plant. Threatened species include the European bison, the Russian desman, and the Dalmatian pelican. The wild horse has become extinct.

POPULATION

The population of Ukraine in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 47,110,000, which placed it at number 26 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In 2005, approximately 16% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 15% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 85 males for every 100 females in the country. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for 200510 was expected to be 0.7%, a rate the government viewed as too low. The projected population for the year 2025 was 41,650,000. The population density was 78 per sq km (202 per sq mi), with the Dnieper Lowlands and the Donets Basin being the most densely populated regions.

The UN estimated that 68% of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and that population in urban areas was declining at an annual rate of -0.57%. The capital city, Kiev (Kyyiv), had a population of 2,618,000 in that year. Other cities and their estimated populations were Kharkiv, 1,436,000; Dnipropetrovs'k, 1,036,000; Odesa, 1,010,000; Donetsk, 992,000; Lvov, 876,000; and Zaporizhzhya, 798,000.

MIGRATION

Since the breakup of the former Soviet Union, tens of thousands of Ukrainians have returned to the Ukraine. Between 198995, 15,000 returned from Azerbaijan, and 39,000 returned from Kyrgyzstan. Between 199195, 15,000 returned from Belarus; 82,000 returned from Kazakhstan; and 30,000 returned from Tajikistan. There were still 150,000 ecological migrants internally displaced from the 1986 Chernobyl accident. As of February 1996, 250,000 Tatars had returned from Central Asia, mostly from Uzbekistan. These Tatars belong to the 500,000 Tatars that were forcibly deported from the Crimean peninsula under the Stalin regime. The signature of an agreement between Ukraine and Uzbekistan in 1998 on the simultaneous release from Uzbek citizenship and acquisition of Ukrainian citizenship enabled more than 38,000 Crimean Tatars to obtain Ukrainian citizenship. Many of the rest of the Crimean Tatars in Central Asia wish to return to the Crimea.

Due to a series of amendments to the Law of Citizenship and a naturalization campaign, all formerly deported stateless persons residing in Ukraine had acquired Ukrainian citizenship as of 1999. The total number of migrants living in the Ukraine in 2000 was 6,947,000. In 2004, there were 2,459 refugees and 1,838 asylum seekers in the Ukraine. In addition, in that same year there were 80,569 others of concern to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), made up of 2,809 Abkhazia, 6,500 Crimean Tartars (formerly deported persons), and 71,260 stateless persons. Also in 2004, 50,693 Ukrainians were refugees in Germany, and 28,484 in the United States, and over 5,000 Ukrainians sought asylum in 10 countries, in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The net migration rate was estimated as -0.63 migrants per 1,000 population in 2005. The government views the immigration level as too low, and the emigration level as too high. Worker remittances in 2003 were $185 million.

ETHNIC GROUPS

According to the latest census (2001), 77.8% of the total population is Ukrainian. Russians form 17.3%, mainly in eastern Ukraine. Belarussians, Moldovans, Crimean Tatars, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Romanians, Poles, and Jews each account for less than 1% of the population. About 700,000 Rusyns (Ruthenians) live within the country, but they are not an officially recognized ethnic group.

LANGUAGES

Like Russian, Ukrainian is an eastern Slavic language. It has several distinctive vowel and consonant sounds, however. It is written in the Cyrillic alphabet but has three extra letters. Ukrainian began to emerge as a separate language from Russian in the late 12th century. Ukrainian is the official language and is spoken by about 67% of the population. Russian is spoken by about 24% of the population. Other languages include Romanian, Polish, and Hungarian.

RELIGIONS

Ukraine was Christianized by St. Volodymyr in 988. Under Soviet rule, churches and religion were subject to suppression and political manipulation, a situation that ended with the declaration of independence in 1991. Based on a 2003 survey, over 90% of the population claim to be Christians, primarily from one of three denominations: the Ukrainian Orthodox ChurchMoscow Patriarchate (10.7%), the Ukrainian Orthodox ChurchKiev Patriarchate (14.8%), and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (1%).

About 6.4% of the religiously active population are members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, also known as the Uniate, Byzantine, or Eastern Rite church. Roman Catholics claim about 2% of the population and are largely concentrated in the formerly Austro-Hungarian and Polish western territories. Other Christian groups represented include Baptists, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Calvinists, Pentecostals and Evangelicals. The head of the Spiritual Directorate of the Muslims of Ukraine estimates that there are as many as two million members of the nation's Muslim community. Islam is practiced mainly by the Tatar population of the autonomous republic of the Crimea. There are an estimated 300,000 Jews in the country. Small communities of Buddhists, Baha'is, and Hare Krishnas are also present.

The constitution provides for freedom of religion and this right is generally respected. However, some smaller and nontraditional religious groups have reported problems in meeting government registration requirements. An All-Ukrainian Council, composed of members from various religions, meets regularly with the State Committee of Religious Affairs to discuss potential problems between religions.

TRANSPORTATION

As of 2004, there were 22,473 km (13,988 mi) of railway in the Ukraine, all of it 1.5 m (broad) gauge. Highways in 2002 totaled 169,679 km (105,540 mi), of which 164,249 km (102,162 mi) are hard-surfaced, including 1,770 km (1,100 mi) of expressways. In 2003, there were 5,603,800 passengers cars and 985,700 commercial vehicles registered for use.

The main marine ports are Berdyans'k, Illichivs'k, Kerch, Kherson, Mariupol', Mykolayiv, Odesa, and Sevastopol'. The merchant marine fleet had 201 ships of 1,000 GRT or over, for a total capacity of 675,904 GRT in 2005. There are 1,672 km (1,040 mi) of navigable inland waterways as of 2004. The Dnipro River is the primary inland waterway, but the Danube, western Pivd Buh, Pryp'yat', and Desna are also used for import-export traffic.

Ukraine had an estimated 656 airports in 2004. As of 2005 a total of 199 had paved runways, and there were also 10 heliports. The largest airports are in Kiev, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Odesa, and Simferopol'. In 2003, 1.477 million passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international airline flights.

HISTORY

Ukrainians, Russians, and Belarussians belong to the eastern branch of the Slavic peoples, all of which trace their origins to medieval Kievan Rus. Kievan Rus was established in the 9th century ad. St. Volodymyr the Great, one of the most celebrated rulers of Kievan Rus, adopted Christianity as the national faith in 988. Internal strife in the 12th century and the Mongol invasion in the 13th led to the ultimate destruction of Kievan Rus as a major power. Halych-Volhynia in Western Ukraine, however, became the new political center until it fell to Polish-Lithuanian rule in the 14th century. During the following centuries Ukraine found itself the object of power struggles among its more powerful neighbors.

In a protracted struggle against Poland, Ukrainian Cossacks were able to establish an independent state in the 16th and 17th centuries. To safeguard Ukrainian independence from the Poles, Ukraine concluded the Treaty of Pereyaslav in 1654 with Moscow. The nature of this agreement has generated much historical controversy: Russian historians claim that, as part of the agreement, Ukraine accepted Moscow's rule, while Ukrainians claim that Ukraine was to retain its autonomy. The ensuing war between Russia and Poland resulted in the partition of Ukraine. Most of the rest of Ukraine's territory was incorporated into the Russian Empire with the partition of Poland in 1795. Small parts of Ukrainian territory to the west were absorbed by the Hapsburg Empire.

A Ukrainian national movement arose in the 19th century. Later, the collapse of the Tsarist regime and the chaos of the Russian revolution in 1917 allowed Ukraine to assert its independence. In April 1917, the National Ukrainian Assembly met in Kiev and in November proclaimed the creation of the Ukrainian People's Republic. When the Bolsheviks formed a rival Ukrainian Communist government, the National Assembly proclaimed the independence for Ukraine on 22 January 1918.

On 1 November 1918, an independent Republic of Western Ukraine was declared after the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On 22 January 1919, the Ukrainian People's Republic and the Republic of Western Ukraine united and established an independent Ukrainian state, recognized by over 40 other nations.

The new government, however, could not maintain its authority in the face of civil strife and the threat of the approaching Bolshevik, pro-Tsarist, and Polish forces. By 1920, eastern Ukraine fell to the Bolsheviks and became the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic while Poland occupied most of western Ukraine. Small areas of the west went to Romania, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia.

Early Soviet policy allowed for cultural autonomy and local administration by Ukrainian Communists. But Stalin changed this liberal policy in the 1930s when he initiated strict Russification and persecution of Ukrainian nationalists. This policy culminated in the Soviet-engineered famine of 193233 that resulted in the death of 7 to 10 million Ukrainians.

The 1939 Nazi-Soviet pact assigned Poland's Ukrainian territory to the Soviet sphere of influence. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Ukrainian nationalists in L'vin proclaimed the restoration of the Ukrainian state. The Germans arrested these nationalists and turned Ukraine into a German colony. When it became clear that the Nazis wanted to enslave them and not liberate them, a resistance movement led by nationalists fought both the Soviet and German armies. During World War II, Ukraine lost six million people through death or deportation and a total of 18,000 villages were destroyed.

The Ukrainian resistance movement continued to fight in Soviet Ukraine (the western Ukraine which had been part of Poland had been incorporated into the Ukrainian S.S.R.). It was not until the 1950s that they were completely defeated by the better-equipped Soviet Red Army.

In March 1990, semi-free elections for parliament were held. The Communist-dominated parliament declared Ukraine a sovereign state on 16 July 1990. On 24 August 1991, following the failed coup in Moscow, the parliament proclaimed the independence of Ukraine and declared that only the constitution and laws of Ukraine were valid on its territory. On 1 December 1991 the citizens of Ukraine confirmed this proclamation with a 90.3% vote in favor of independence. At the time of this referendum, Leonid Kravchuk was elected as the first president.

Ukraine joined Russia and Belarus in creating the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in December 1991. This agreement was meant to facilitate coordination of policy in various fields. But despite their efforts, Ukrainian-Russian differences arose in several areas, including the command and control of nuclear weapons, the formation of a unified military command, and the character and pace of economic reform.

In light of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, Ukraine declared its intention to become a nuclear-free state. However, this process progressed much more slowly than expected. The lack of fuel resources and disagreements with Russia over pricing had induced the government to keep the Chernobyl plant running. The START I agreement received the Ukrainian parliament's conditional ratification in November 1993 and unconditional ratification in February 1994, but the transfer of nuclear weapons to Russia did not occur as smoothly as planned. On 6 May 1992 it was announced that all Ukrainian tactical nuclear weapons had been shipped to Russia for dismantling. However, Ukraine cited Russia's failure to dismantle these weapons, inadequate compensation, and security concerns as the reasons for not turning over its entire strategic arsenal.

The CIS countries agreed to a unified nuclear command, but Ukraine declared its intent to create its own national conventional military and opposed any efforts to create a unified CIS conventional force. President Kravchuk declared all conventional forces on Ukrainian territory to be the property of Ukraine. This has given rise to disputes and disagreements about the Black Sea fleet, to which Russia has also laid claim.

Since its independence, Ukraine has experienced unrest in some of the predominantly Russian areas in the east and southeast. Crimea is the most notable example, declaring independence on 6 May 1992. At the same time the Russian parliament approved a resolution that declared the 1954 Soviet grant of the Crimea to Ukraine unconstitutional and void. This resolution, however, was rejected by Russian president Boris Yeltsin. Demands for secession in Crimea have continued to complicate Ukrainian-Russian relations.

Ukraine adopted a new constitution in June 1996 establishing a presidency (elected for a five-year term) and a one-chamber parliament called the Supreme Council (elected for a four-year term). Under transitional provisions, President Leonid Kuchma, elected over incumbent Leonid Kravchuk in 1994, was to serve until elections in 1999. The Supreme Council adopted a new civil code in June 1997. In the same year, Ukraine signed a 10-year friendship treaty with Russia and an agreement with Western nations on shutting down the Chernobyl nuclear plant by 2005. It was shut down in 2000. Public discontent with the slow pace of economic reforms was evident in the strong showing by the Communist Party in the 1998 legislative elections, in which it won 25% of the vote (116 of 450 seats). However, support for the party did not translate into support for union with Russia, proposed by Petro Symonenko, the party's candidate in the 1999 presidential elections. Leonid Kuchma was reelected in a November 1999 runoff election with 56% of the vote and nominated central bank chairman Victor Yushchenko to be prime minister. Soon after taking office, Yushchenko reached a restructuring agreement with foreign bond holders to avoid default on the nation's $2.6 billion foreign debt. As the new century began, Ukraine's much-needed economic reforms remained stalled by the long-standing problems of corruption and political stalemate between reformists and their parliamentary opponents.

In November 2000, the body of Ukrainian journalist Georgiy Gongadze was found decapitated: opposition demonstrators alleged Kuchma was involved in the murder of the journalist who was critical of the administration, and there were calls for Kuchma's impeachment. Kuchma denied the allegations, but in February 2001, the EU called for an inquiry into the journalist's murder. In September 2002, an ad hoc commission set up by parliament to investigate Gongadze's murder recommended that criminal charges be brought against the president and other top officials, based on tape recordings of a meeting at which Kuchma allegedly asked security officials to "take care" of the journalist. Anti-Kuchma protests were held throughout the country to call for the president's resignation. All six national television stations were off the air on the morning of the 16 September demonstrations, purportedly for "maintenance." Many protesters were beaten and arrested. In October, the Kiev Court of Appeals opened a criminal case against Kuchma, based upon the allegations of his involvement in the murder.

In parliamentary elections held on 30 March 2002, Ukrainians voted for many opposition parties, although parties opposed to Kuchma alleged widespread fraud. In April, Yushchenko's government was dismissed following a no-confidence vote in parliament; he was replaced with Viktor Yanukovychthe governor of the eastern province of Donetsk Oblast.

Although Yushchenko is respected in the West for fighting corruption and furthering economic reforms, he is unpopular with many Ukrainian businessmen, who are seen to be corrupt. Presidential elections were scheduled for 2004, and Kuchma was constitutionally barred from running for a third term. In 2002, he announced plans to amend the constitution and weaken his executive powers. This was seen as a move to transfer power to parliament, in the event that a reformer such as Yushchenko would be elected president. Kuchma's plans also included splitting parliament into two chambers. In March 2003, Yushchenko stated he feared the new amendments would postpone presidential elections for two years, and extend Kuchma's rule until 2006. Tens of thousands of protesters nationwide took to the streets in March, calling once again on Kuchma to resign for abuse of office, arms dealing, vote-rigging, corruption, the involvement in Gongadze's murder, and for impoverishing the country.

For the 2004 presidential elections Yushchenko announced that he would be running as an independent. His main contender was the current prime minister Viktor Yanukovych. Since the latter was backed by Kuchma, and by most of the Ukrainian TV channels, Yushchenko relied heavily on direct interaction with the people for bringing his message across.

The initial vote was held on the 31 October 2004 and neither of the two candidates obtained a comfortable leadYushchenko won 39.87% of the votes, while Yanukovych won 39.32%. A second voting round was therefore staged on 21 November, with the final vote tally showing Yanukovych as the winner. However, observers noted several cases where the voting process was rigged to Yanukovych's favor. The suspicion that loomed over the October elections was strengthened by the major discrepancies between the exit poll results conducted by the observers, and the official vote count. As a result, Yushchenko called for the people from Kiev, and from all over the country, to take to the streets and protest. After 13 days, the so-called Orange Revolution (named so after the orange ribbons worn by Yushchenko's supporters) determined the Supreme Court to nullify the election results and order a re-run, to be held on 26 December 2004. This time, Yushchenko emerged victorious, by an 8% margin. Yanukovych contested the results but eventually stepped down from his post.

In January 2005, Yushchenko was sworn in as president, and in February 2005 he nominated Yulia Tymoshenkoone of his former deputies, and an ardent supporter of the Orange Revolutionas prime minister. Although there had been some controversy regarding her "oligarch status" (she is one of the wealthiest people in Ukraine), her nomination was accepted by the parliament with 373 out of 450 possible votes. On 8 September 2005, after only a couple of months as prime minister, and following several resignations and accusations of corruption, Tymoshenko and her government were ousted by Yushchenko. Yuriy Yekhanurov, head of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast state administration, was appointed as the new prime minister.

Drawing on the political capital he garnered in the West after winning the troubled 2004 elections (he was allegedly poisoned with dioxins that lead to severe facial disfigurements), Yushchenko pressed for EU and NATO integration. Both organizations cautioned, however, that the pace of political, economic and military reforms would have to be increased before Ukraine's candidacy could be seriously considered. Constitutional reforms went into effect on 1 January 2006.

GOVERNMENT

Ukraine is governed by a constitution adopted in June 1996, which allows for an elected parliament and president. The constitution was amended on December 2004 as a response to the presidential election crisis.

The Ukrainian parliament consists of a single chamber with 450 seats called the Rada (Supreme Council). Seats are allocated proportionally to the parties that acquire more than 3% of the electoral votes. Members of parliament currently serve four-year terms, while the president serves a five-year term. (Following the 2006 elections members of parliament will serve five-year terms.) The prime minister and cabinet are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Supreme Council. Although many parties participate in the elections, many candidates run as independents as well.

Ukraine's first postindependence presidential elections were held in two rounds on 26 June and 10 July 1994. In this election, the incumbent Leonid Kravchuk was defeated by his former prime minister, Leonid Kuchma, who was reelected in November 1999. In December 2004, following massive popular protests and after the Supreme Court ordered a re-run of the allegedly rigged November 2004 elections, Kuchma's former prime ministerViktor Yushchenkowas elected president.

POLITICAL PARTIES

There are some 120 political parties active in Ukraine. They fall roughly into four different categories: radical nationalist, democratic nationalist, liberal-centrist, and Communist-socialist.

The radical nationalist parties are fearful of Russia and advocate a strong presidency. Their commitment to democracyparticularly if regions of Ukraine seek to secedeis not firm. The democratic nationalist parties are also fearful of Russia, but also appear strongly committed to democracy, individual rights, and the protection of private property. The influential Rukh Party (Ukrainian Popular Movement), which won 43 seats in the 1998 elections, belongs to this group. The liberal-centrist parties are particularly concerned with promoting free market economic reform. They are also committed to democracy and individual rights. The communist-socialist parties oppose privatization and seek continued state control of the economy. They generally favor close relations with Russia. The most important party in this group, the Communist Party of Ukraine, won 116 seats in 1998.

In the March 2002 parliamentary elections, many parties grouped together into voting blocs. Winning the most seats in the Rada was the "Our Ukraine" coalition, led by Viktor Yushchenko, which took 23.6% of the vote and 112 of 450 seats. The coalition was registered in January 2002, and then included the Ukrainian People's Rukh Party (registered in 2003 as the Ukrainian People's Party), the People's Rukh of Ukraine, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Reforms and Order Party, Solidarity, the Liberal Party, the Youth Party of Ukraine, the Christian People's Union, the Go Forward, Ukraine! Party, and the Republican Christian Party. In March 2003, Yushchenko announced a "new political force" would be created that would form the basis for a Europeanstyle political party. Yushchenko was elected president in December 2004.

Also gaining seats in parliament in the 2002 elections were: the "For a United Ukraine" bloc, 101; the Communist Party, 67; the United Social-Democratic Party of Ukraine, 24; the Socialist Party of Ukraine, 23; the Yuliya Tymoshenko bloc, 21; the Democratic Party of Ukraine/Democratic Union liberal bloc, 4; the "Unity" bloc, 3; and independents and others held 95 seats.

On 8 September 2005, the government led by Yuliya Tymoshenko was ousted by Yushchenko after allegations of corruption made their way into the media.

Parliamentary elections were held on 26 March 2006. Yanukovych's Party of Regions won the most seats, taking 186 of 450 (32.1%). Tymoshenko's Bloc won 129 seats (22.3%); Our Ukraine, 81 seats (13.9%); the Socialist Party of Ukraine 33 seats (5.7%); and the Communist Party of Ukraine 21 seats (3.7%). The next parliamentary elections were scheduled for March 2011.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Ukraine is divided into 24 administrative regions (oblasts) plus the autonomous Republic of Crimea. In addition, the cities of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and Sevastopol, capital of Crimea, enjoy oblast status. The oblast is divided into districts, each of which has a representative in the Rada (Supreme Council).

A strong secessionist movement has risen up in Crimea. In a nonbinding referendum held in 1994, over 78% of the 1.3 million people who voted supported greater autonomy from Ukraine. In 1995 Ukraine's parliament and President Leonid Kuchma moved to contain secessionist elements in the region. Kuchma temporarily took direct control over the area and afterward decreed that he must approve all candidates for premier of the region. The Crimea adopted a new constitution in 1999 providing for additional budgetary autonomy from the rest of Ukraine.

In spite of the election of the reform-oriented Yushchenko in 2004, Ukrainian local government officials complained that budget expenditures were still done in a centralized and inefficient fashion. On 13 September 2005 the Constitutional Court of Ukraine enforced a series of constitutional amendments that shift most of the presidential clout to the parliament. The new laws came in effect on 1 January 2006 and were expected to give more power to local governments.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM

The court system, until 2001, remained similar to that which existed under the former Soviet regime. In July 2001, a series of laws were passed designed to bring existing legislation regarding the judiciary and the administration of justice more in line with the requirements for an independent judiciary. The three levels of courts are rayon (also known as regional or people's courts), oblast (provincial) courts, and the Supreme Court. All three levels serve as courts of first instance, the choice of level varying with the severity of the crime. A case heard in first instance at the rayon level can be appealed through the next two higher stages. A case heard in first instance in the Supreme Court is not subject to appeal or review. A 1992 law added a Constitutional Court to the existing system. The Constitutional Court consists of 19 members appointed for nine-year terms. It is the final interpreter of legislation and the constitution, and it determines the constitutionality of legislation, presidential edicts, cabinet acts, and acts of the Crimean autonomous republic.

The Rada (Supreme Council) selects judges on recommendation from the Ministry of Justice based partly upon government test results. Oblast and Supreme Court judges must have five years of experience in order to be appointed and may not be members of political parties.

A new constitution, adopted in 1996, and amended in 2004, provides that the judiciary is funded separately from the Ministry of Justice to ensure an independent judiciary. Because the courts are funded by the Ministry of Justice, however, they have been subject to executive influence, and have suffered from corruption and inefficiency.

ARMED FORCES

Ukraine was able to quickly organize an impressive national army, in part because it had always been an important contributor to the Soviet armed forces. In 2005 Ukranian armed forces numbered 187,600 active personnel with 1,000,000 reservists. Ground forces (Army) numbered 125,000 and was organized into three commands and a number of specialized brigades and regiments of artillery, special forces, air defense, rocket and missile, and attack helicopter units. It was equipped with 3,784 main battle tanks, 600 reconnaissance vehicles, 3,043 armored infantry fighting vehicles, 8,492 armored personnel carriers, and 3,705 artillery pieces. The Air Force and Air Defense Force had a combined total of 49,100 active personnel, that operated 444 combat capable aircraft, including 26 bombers, 280 fighters, and 187 fighter ground attack aircraft. The Air Defense force was outfitted with 825 surface-to-air missile batteries. The Navy numbered 13,500 personnel. Major naval units included one tactical submarine, one frigate, three corvettes, and five patrol/coastal vessels. A cruiser and another frigate are listed as nonoperational. The Navy's aviation arm had up to 2,500 active personnel. Equipment included 11 fixed wing and 72 rotary wing antisubmarine warfare aircraft. The Navy also had a single brigade of 3,000 naval infantry personnel.

Of greatest international concern has been the fate of the ICBMs and strategic bombers on Ukrainian soil, which are supposed to return to Russia for dismantling. As of 2000, the number of ICBMs had been reduced from 174 to 44. As of 2005 the number of strategic bombers had been cut to 26.

Paramilitary forces included an estimated 39,900 internal security troops, 45,000 border guards, 14,000 coast guard personnel, and more than 9,500 civil defense troops. The Ukraine participated in missions in eight foreign countries or regions. The defense budget for 2005 was $1.09 billion.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Ukraine became a member of the United Nations on 24 October 1945; the country is part of the ECE and several nonregional specialized agencies, such as the IAEA, the FAO, the World Bank, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, and the WHO. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Council of Europe, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Zone, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the OSCE. The nation has observer status in the WTO, the OAS, and the Nonaligned Movement. In 2001, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova formed a social and economic development union known as GUAAM. Uzbekistan withdrew from the partnership in 2005.

Ukraine is an active member of the NATO Partnership for Peace. The government has supported UN missions and operations in Kosovo (est. 1999), Lebanon (est. 1978), Ethiopia and Eritrea (est. 2000), Liberia (est. 2003), Sierra Leone (est. 1999), Georgia (est. 1993), and the DROC (est. 1999). Ukraine is a member of the Zangger Committee and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (London Group).

In environmental cooperation, Ukraine is part of the Basel Convention, the Conventions on Biological Diversity and Air Pollution, Ramsar, CITES, the London Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, the Montréal Protocol, MARPOL, and the UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea and Climate Change.

ECONOMY

Ukraine was central to the Soviet agricultural and industrial system. The rich agricultural land of this region (commonly called the "breadbasket" of the former Soviet Union) provided 46% of Soviet agricultural output in the 1980s, and also accounted for 25% of the USSR's coal production. Ukraine's economic base is dominated by industry, which accounts for over 45% of GDP (2005 est.). However, agriculture continues to play a major role in the economy, representing about 18% of GDP.

Real GDP declined 3% in 1990, 11% in 1991, and an estimated 15% in 1992. Recovery in 1997 was cut short by the effects of the Russian financial crisis of 1998. Real GDP fell -1.7% in 1998 and -0.2% in 1999. However, the economy has registered strong positive growth since 20005.9% in 2000; 9.1% in 2001, and a projected 5% in 2002despite the global slowdown beginning in 2001. Official unemployment since 1999 has averaged about 4.2%. Inflation, averaging 21.67% 1998 to 2000, was reduced to a single-digit rate (6%) in 2001, and reached 0.8% in 2002. Although still high, this is a marked improvement over the 400% hyperinflation that plagued the country in 1994. In response to the hyperinflation, the government introduced a new currency and instituted mass privatization in 1995. Yet the country remained plagued by a slow economic decline. A new civil code adopted by parliament in 1997 was expected to stabilize the country's business climate. Economic recovery beginning in 2000 is attributable to a number of factors: double-digit growth in industrial output in 2001; a good grain harvest resulting from good weather and reduced governmental controls; improved export competitiveness from the depreciation of the currency in 199899; the clearance of many wage and pension arrears; increased domestic demand as a result of wage and pension increases granted in 2000 and 2001; considerable idle capacity; and the expansion of export markets.

This economic expansion continued in the following years, with GDP growth rates of 5.2% in 2002, 9.6% in 2003, and an astonishing 12.1% in 2004; the economy was expected to grow by 6.0% in 2005. Inflation started growing again after 2002, reaching 12% in 2004, and being expected to reach 14.0% in 2005. The unemployment rate remained fairly stable, hovering around 3.5%.

Ukraine's economic dynamism was driven mainly by exports. The most effective growth engines in 200304 were manufactured goods, construction, oil and gas transport, services, private consumption, and government spending. The end of 2004 saw a hampering of this trend as three rounds of presidential elections and weeks of protesting throughout the country (the Orange Revolution), took their toll on the Ukrainian economy. The newly elected president has openly stated that Ukraine will take a clear course towards an open market economy, and that the mid-term goal is EU integration. His reign, although plagued by corruption and government inefficiency, promises great potential for the future.

INCOME

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2005 Ukraine's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $340.4 billion. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The per capita GDP was estimated at $7,200. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 4.4%. The average inflation rate in 2005 was 13.9%. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 18.5% of GDP, industry 45.2%, and services 36.1%.

According to the World Bank, in 2003 remittances from citizens working abroad totaled $330 million or about $7 per capita and accounted for approximately 0.7% of GDP. Foreign aid receipts amounted to $323 million or about $7 per capita and accounted for approximately 0.7% of the gross national income (GNI).

The World Bank reports that in 2003 household consumption in Ukraine totaled $28.07 billion or about $580 per capita based on a GDP of $50.1 billion, measured in current dollars rather than PPP. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings. It was estimated that for the period 1990 to 2003 household consumption fell at an average annual rate of -3.6%. In 2001 it was estimated that approximately 34% of household consumption was spent on food, 16% on fuel, 6% on health care, and 4% on education. It was estimated that in 2003 about 29% of the population had incomes below the poverty line.

LABOR

As of 2005, the Ukraine's labor force totaled an estimated 20.46 million persons. In 2003, the services sector accounted for 51.2% of the workforce, with 29.9% in industry and 18.9% in agriculture. For the year 2005, Ukraine's official unemployment rate was 3.8%. However, the International Labor Organization had calculated that the country's actual unemployment rate was around 910%, due to the large number of workers that were either underemployed or not registered as unemployed.

In November 1992, the official Soviet-era unions were renamed the Federation of Trade Unions (FPU), which began then to operate independently from the government. Since 1992, many independent unions have been formed, providing an alternative to the official unions in most sectors of the economy. As of 2002, estimates of independent union membership was estimated to be three million. Membership in the FPU was thought to be 14 million. The right to strike is protected, except for the military, police, and continuing process plants.

The minimum employment age is 17, although children aged 15 to 17 can be employed by businesses with governmental permission. However, child labor remains a problem. In 2002, the minimum wage was $22 per month, which was significantly below the cost of living. The maximum workweek is set at 40 hours; the law also provides for a minimum of 24 days of vacation per year. Ukraine's laws set forth occupational health and safety standards but these are frequently ignored in practice and are not sufficiently enforced by the government.

AGRICULTURE

About 57% of the total land area is arable, with another 14% utilized as permanent pasture land. Agriculture accounted for 14% of GDP in 2003. As in other former Soviet republics, total agricultural production dramatically declined after 1990. The average annual decline during 19902000 was 5.8%. By 1999, the agricultural sector was only producing 47% as much as it had during 198991. However, during 200204, crop production was 12.8% higher than during 19992001. Production amounts in 2004 included (in 1,000 tons): sugar beets, 16,502; potatoes, 20,755; wheat, 17,517; fruit, 2,131; sunflower seeds, 3,050; cabbage, 1,559; grapes, 500; raspberries, 20; rapeseed, 148; soybeans, 363; and tobacco, 4.

Ukraine's steppe region in the south is possibly the most fertile region in the world. Ukraine's famous humus-rich black soil accounts for one-third of the world's black soil and holds great potential for agricultural production. However, the soil is rapidly losing its fertility due to improper land and crop management. Ukraine typically produced over half of the sugar beets and one-fifth of all grains grown for the former USSR. In addition, two of the largest vegetable-oil research centers in the world are at Odessa and Zaporizhzhya. Agroindustry accounts for one-third of agricultural employment. To some extent, however, agroindustrial development has been hampered by the deteriorating environment as well as a shortage of investment funds due to the aftermath of the nuclear power plant disaster at Chernobyl. According to estimates, nearly 60,000 hectares (148,250 acres) of arable land in the Chernobyl vicinity are now unavailable for cultivation. Out of 33 million hectares (81.5 million acres) of total arable land, more than 17 million hectares (42 million acres) are depleted, 10 million hectares (24.7 million acres) are eroded, and another 10 million have excessive acidity. Furthermore, 17% of arable land is located in areas where there is risk of drought.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

Just under 14% of Ukraine's total land area is composed of permanent pasture land. As of 2005, there were 6.9 million head of cattle, 6.5 million pigs, 875,000 sheep, 894,000 goats, 120 million chickens, and 20 million ducks. Horses, turkeys, goats, ducks, and rabbits are also bred and raised. Between 1990 and 2000, livestock production declined by 50%. Lack of finances for buying fuel pushed farmers in the public sector to sell their cattle abroad, mostly to Asian buyers. During 200204, livestock production was up 7.2% from 19992001. In 2005, meat production included: beef, 556,000 tons (down from 1,986,000 tons in 1990); pork, 510,000 tons (1,576,000 tons in 1990); and poultry, 470,000 tons (708,000 tons in 1990). There are several factors involved with Ukraine's declining meat production: decentralization of meat processing, with greater use of processing facilities at the farms; lack of cheap credits to buy animals; and antiquated meat processing equipment. Milk and egg production in 2005 amounted to 14.3 million tons and 726,000 tons, respectively. In 2004, exports of meat and meat products were valued at $191.8 million; milk, dairy, and eggs, $438.5 million. In 2005, Ukraine produced 60,500 tons of honey, fifth highest in the world.

FISHING

Fishing occurs mainly on the Black Sea. In 2003, the total catch came to 248,198 tons, reflecting diminished landings since the 1990 catch of 1,048,360 tons. Mackerel and sardines together accounted for 22% of the 2003 catch. Exports of fish and fish products amounted to $17.6 million in 2003. Ukrainian fish consumption per capita amounts to 12.8 kg (28.2 lb) per yearless than half that of western Europe (24.2 kg/53.2 lb).

FORESTRY

About 16.5% of the total area was forest in 2000. While the radioactive contamination of forestland from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is well-known, there is also widespread land, water, and air pollution from toxic wastes, which has also adversely affected timberlands. Forestry production in 2004 included: roundwood, 4.8 million cu m (169 million cu ft); wood-based panels, 1,308,000 cu m (46.2 million cu ft); wood pulp, 27,000 tons; and paper and paperboard, 701,000 tons.

MINING

Ukraine is one of the world's leading producers of iron ore, as well as a major world producer of ferroalloys, ilmenite, steel, and manganese ore (with 75% of the former Soviet Union's reserves). The mining and metallurgical industry employed 500,000 persons; 270,000 worked in ironmaking, steelmaking, and ferroalloys enterprises. In 2002, over 60% by value of Ukraine's $18 billion in exports came from the "mineral products" category. Ferrous and nonferrous metals were Ukraine's top export commodities in 2002. Fuel and petroleum products were the country's second-leading export commodities.

Production outputs for 2002 included: marketable iron ore (gross weight), 58.9 million metric tons; manganese, mined in the Nikopol' and Bol'shoy Tokmak basins (metal content), 940,000 metric tons; rock salt, 2.3 million metric tons (estimated); and potash (at the Stebnik and Kalush mines), 60,000 metric tons. In addition, Ukraine produced alumina, mercury, titanium (ilmenite and rutile concentrates), zirconium (the FSU's only ore producer), cement, clays (bentonite and kaolin), graphite, nitrogen, and sulfur (from the Rozdol and Yavoriv deposits). Iron ore production, concentrated at seven mining and beneficiation complexes in the Krivyy Rih (Krivoy Rog) Basin, and at the Poltavskiy complex, fell by 50% from 1990 through 1995. Explored iron ore reserves totaled 33 billion tons, including 28 billion tons of industrial reserves; total capacity was 108.5 million tons per year. Manganese reserves totaled 2.2 billion tons, and annual capacity was 6 million tons. No antimony, cadmium lead, nickel, tin, zinc, zircon, dolomite, limestone fluxes, quartz, soda ash, talc, or uranium was mined in the past several years, the Ukraine having sharply reduced or ceased producing a number of these commodities as a result of the large reduction in demand following the breakup of the Soviet Union.

At the end of the 1980s, Ukraine mined 5% of the world's output of mineral products. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, production fell precipitously, and recovery of the mining sector was considered critical for the country's economic recovery. A 1999 law provided tax benefits for mining and metal industry firms for two and a half years. By 2000, the privatization of small-scale enterprises was virtually completed. The mining industry was a major source of waste, having accumulated 30 billion tons of mineral wastes.

ENERGY AND POWER

Ukraine has only modest reserves of oil and natural gas, but more robust reserves of coal.

As of 1 January 2004, Ukraine had proven oil reserves estimated at 395 million barrels, according to the Oil and Gas Journal. In 2003 and 2004, oil production was estimated at 86,800 barrels per day and 86,000 barrels per day, respectively. However, consumption outstripped output for both years. In 2003, demand for oil averaged an estimated 415,000 barrels per day, and at an estimated 422,000 barrels per day in 2004. Net imports of oil in 2003 were estimated at 328,200 barrels per day, and at an estimated 336,000 barrels per day in 2004. Imports in 2003 accounted for around 80% of demand, most of which came from Russia. Most of Ukraine's oil reserves are located in the eastern Dnieper-Donetsk basin.

Ukraine's six oil refineries have a combined crude oil refining capacity estimated as of 1 January 2004 at 1.05 million barrels per day. However, domestic consumption of refined oil products is just over 30% of capacity, and have even had problems securing enough crude oil to supply the country's needs.

Ukraine, as of 1 January 2004, had proven natural gas reserves estimated at 39.6 trillion cu ft, according to the Oil and Gas Journal. In 2003, natural gas production was estimated at 0.69 trillion cu ft, with consumption that year estimated at 3.03 trillion cu ft. As a result, Ukraine has had to resort to imports to make up the difference. In 2003, net imports of natural gas were estimated at 2.34 trillion cu ft. Turkmenistan has become its primary source for natural gas imports, following an agreement signed in 2001 that calls for 8.8 trillion cu ft per year to be provided from 2002 to 2006.

In 2004, Ukraine had coal reserves estimated at 37.6 billion short tons, of which 17.9 billion short tons consisted of anthracite and bituminous coal, and 19.7 billion short tons consisted of sub-bituminous coal and lignite. In 2003, coal production was estimated at 63.5 million short tons. However, demand for coal that year totaled 67 billion short tons, making Ukraine a net importer of coal. Most of the country's coal comes from the eastern region in the Donetsk/Donbas basin.

Ukraine's electric power generating capacity in 2002 totaled 52.811 million kW, of which conventional thermal plants accounted for 36.241 million kW of capacity, and nuclear power 11.835 million kW. Hydroelectric capacity in that year accounted for 4.731 million kW of capacity and geothermal/other 0.004 million kW. Electric power output in 2002 totaled 163.870 billion kWh, of which conventional thermal fueled plants provided 80.777 billion kWh, followed by nuclear plants with 73.380 billion kWh, hydroelectric with 9.691 billion kWh, and geothermal/other with 0.022 billion kWh. In 2003, electric power output rose to an estimated 177 billion kWh. Demand for electricity in 2002 totaled 149.284 billion kWh. In 2003, consumption rose to an estimated 156 billion kWh. As of January 2005, Ukraine had four nuclear power plants in operation, providing 40% of the country's electric power.

INDUSTRY

Ukraine, with strong scientific and technological sectors, is a major producer of heavy machinery and industrial equipment for sectors including mining, steelmaking, and chemicals. Significant products also include nonnumerically controlled machine tools, large electrical transformers, and agricultural machinery. Ukraine's industries are important suppliers of productsincluding automobiles, clothing, foodstuffs, timber, and paperto other former Soviet republics. Ukraine also retains much of the industry associated with the space program of the former USSR. Industry accounted for 40% of GDP in 2000, and the industrial production growth rate for 2001 was 14.2%. Industrial sectors slated for growth in the early 2000s were food processing and packing, textiles, woodworking, furniture and building materials, automotive parts, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and aerospace. The construction sector experienced growth during that period; construction spending grew by 9% in the first quarter of 2001. Ukraine produced 31,824 automobiles in 2001, and 1,417 heavy trucks in 2000, a 74% increase over 1999.

In 2004, the representation of industry in the GDP grew to 45.1%, while its representation in the labor force was 32%; agriculture made up 18% of the economy and 24% of the labor force, while services came in second with a 36.9% representation in the GDP and 44% in the labor force. The industrial production growth rate was 16.5% in 2004, with the fastest growing industries being: machine building (which registered a 30.7% growth as opposed to the previous year), construction (23.8%), wood processing, paper and printing (26%), processing industry (15.5%), and light industry (14%).

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, founded in 1919, has sections of physical engineering and mathematical sciences, and chemical engineering and biological sciences; it has 66 scientific and technical research institutes attached to it. The Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences has 13 research institutes, and the Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences has six research institutes. All three academies are headquartered in Kiev. A botanical museum is located in Kiev. Ukraine has 92 universities, polytechnics, and institutes that offer courses in basic and applied sciences. In 198797, science and engineering students accounted for 42% of university enrollment. In 2002, research and development (R&D) expenditures totaled $2,805.687 million, or 1.18% of GDP. Of that amount, government provided the largest portion at 37.4%, followed by the business sector at 33.4%, foreign sources at 26.2%, higher education and private nonprofit organizations at 0.4% each, with 2.3% listed as undistributed. In that same year, there were 1,749 scientists and engineers, and 456 technicians engaged in R&D per million people. High technology exports in 2002 were valued at $572 million, accounting for 5% of the country's manufactured exports.

DOMESTIC TRADE

As of 2002, nearly all of the previously state-owned retail establishments have been privatized. Chain stores, supermarkets, and brand-name specialty stores, many of which are owned by Ukrainians, have become more common in major cities. Department stores, smaller grocery and specialty stores, and bazaars are more common since prices at these establishments are more in line with lower and middle-class spending capabilities. About 4060% of consumer goods are domestically produced. There are some successful foreign franchises, but the practice of franchising has not become widespread. A value-added tax of 20% applies to most goods and services.

FOREIGN TRADE

Ukraine exports products to 140 countries of the world. Its main export products are ferrous metals and metal products, engines, transport and mechanical equipment, chemicals, and vehicles. Top import items include mineral products, automobiles, transportation equipment, chemicals, and textiles. Ukraine relies heavily on trade, particularly with the other former Soviet republics, although not nearly as much as it had before the breakup. Interrepublic trade accounted for 73% of its total imports in 1988 and 85% of its total exports. In 1991, imports from the other republics equaled 26% of GDP and exports to them amounted to 25% of GDP. However, trade with former USSR states has since rebounded, with Ukraine taking in 59% of its imports from them and selling 33% of its exports to them in 2000.

In 1991/92, inter-republic trade contracted severely, partly due to a breakdown in payment mechanisms, and trade with other countries dropped as well. Much of Ukraine's foreign trade has been carried out in the context of intergovernmental agreements. However, the government has since stabilized its foreign trade. In

Country Exports Imports Balance
World 17,927.4 16,975.9 951.5
Russia 3,148.7 6,299.1 -3,150.4
Turkey 1,235.1 195.3 1,039.8
Italy-San Marino-Holy See 839.3 460.4 378.9
Germany 735.7 1,627.0 -891.3
China 667.1 258.8 408.3
United Kingdom 531.8 259.0 272.8
Hungary 525.1 188.8 336.3
United States 505.0 464.0 41.0
Poland 505.0 536.7 -31.7
Spain 373.0 101.8 271.2
() data not available or not significant.

2000, total imports were valued at $14 billion, and total exports at $14.6 billion. Ukraine trades heavily with the other former Soviet republics, and since 1993 has had extensive trade ties with China.

In 2004, exports totaled $32.9 billion and imports $31.4 billion, making Ukraine one of the few countries in the region with a positive trade balance. Export commodities include ferrous and nonferrous metals, fuel and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment, and food products. The main export partners were Russia (where 18% of all exports went), Germany (5.8%), Turkey (5.7%), Italy (5%), and the United States (4.6%). Imports included energy, chemicals, machinery and equipment, and they mainly came from Russia (41.8%), Germany (9.6%), and Turkmenistan (6.7%). The current account balance in 2004 was $4.6 billion.

Current Account 2,891.0
   Balance on goods -269.0
      Imports -24,008.0
      Exports 23,739.0
   Balance on services 1,557.0
   Balance on income -581.0
   Current transfers 2,184.0
Capital Account -17.0
Financial Account 264.0
   Direct investment abroad -13.0
   Direct investment in Ukraine 1,424.0
   Portfolio investment assets 1.0
   Portfolio investment liabilities -923.0
   Financial derivatives
   Other investment assets -940.0
   Other investment liabilities 715.0
Net Errors and Omissions -965.0
Reserves and Related Items -2,173.0
() data not available or not significant.

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

The financial crisis of 1998 caused a large outflow of capital, and reserves fell to less than a third of their level in 1997. Due to a major exchange rate adjustment that made Ukrainian products more competitive in both external and internal markets, reserves recovered somewhat in 1999. From June 2000 to July 2001, reserves increased dramatically, back to pre-1998 levels. This growth is surprising in light of the fact that the country has received almost no external funding since 1998, when foreign investors began avoiding Ukraine. Following the 1998 devaluation of the hryvnia, trade surpluses drove the growth in reserves, and the balance of payments situation improved. Reserve growth also improved due to Ukraine's default on its sovereign debt. As of the early 2000s, Ukraine's balance of payments position was expected to be heavily influenced by its trade with Russia.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reported that in 2001 the purchasing power parity of Ukraine's exports was $17.3 billion while imports totaled $17.1 billion resulting in a trade surplus of $200 million. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that in 2001 Ukraine had exports of goods totaling $17.1 billion and imports totaling $16.9 billion. The services credit totaled $4 billion and debit $3.58 billion.

The exports of good and services increased steadily, growing from $28.9 billion in 2003, to 39.7 billion in 2004. At the same time, exports managed to stay above the level of imports, establishing Ukraine as one of the few export driven economies in the region. Imports of goods and services totaled 27.6 billion in 2003, and 34.8 billion in 2004, giving Ukraine a positive resource balance in both years: 1.3 billion and 4.9 billion respectively. Its reserves (including gold) grew from 6.9 billion in 2003 to 9.5 billion in 2004, covering almost four months of imports.

BANKING AND SECURITIES

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) is the country's national bank and was established in June 1991. It has since assumed the function of a central bank. The commercial banking sector is dominated by the big five banks of Prominvest Bank, Ukrania, Ukreximbank, Eximbank and Oshadbank. Of these, Ukreximbank and Oshchadbank remain state controlled. As of 2001, Ukraine had 195 banks, but of these, only 153 remained in operation. Of these banks, approximately a quarter have foreign exchange licenses, and one-third are members of the Ukrainian Interbank Currency Exchange. It is generally acknowledged that Ukraine has too many banks and that there will be numerous mergers and failures in the coming years. In 1995 alone more than 20 banks went out of business, almost 80 changed ownership, and only eight new banks entered the market. Foreign banks, however, have been slow to enter the market.

The NBU implements monetary control through reserve requirements and the interest rates it charges banks on funds transferred from the state savings bank. Before November 1992, the NBU was able to obtain additional rubles by running a surplus on transactions with other republics in the ruble zone. However, with inflation accelerating since early 1991, the supply of rubles proved insufficient to meet the economy's needs, and Ukraine consequently resorted to the use of coupons. The resulting rise in inflation was the main factor behind Ukraine's enforced departure from the ruble zone in November 1992.

The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand depositsan aggregate commonly known as M1were equal to $5.5 billion. In that same year, M2an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual fundswas $8.4 billion. The money market rate, the rate at which financial institutions lend to one another in the short term, was 16.57%. The discount rate, the interest rate at which the central bank lends to financial institutions in the short term, was 12.5%.

The Law on Securities and the Stock Exchange came into effect in January 1992. There are seven stock exchanges and seven commodities exchanges, although these are more like the auction houses that sprang up after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 as conduits for goods rather than the securities exchanges found in the West. Capital markets are undeveloped even by the standards of countries such as Russia. The Ukrainian Stock Exchange (USE), established in 1992, acts to coordinate primary and secondary market trading of Ukrainian securities. In 2001, the exchange had 131 companies listed and total market capitalization of $1.4 billion. Trading value was $226 million, with a turnover ratio of 13.9%. As of 2004, there were 155 companies listed with the country's First Securities Trading System (PFTS), which had a market capitalization of $11.778 billion. Trading value in that year totaled $201 million, with a turnover ratio of 2.5%.

INSURANCE

Among the insurance companies operating in Ukraine in 1997 were: Asko-Kiev Central Insurance Co.; Factotum Joint-Stock Insurance Co., First International Insurance Group; Ometa-Inster Joint-Stock Insurance Co.; Skide Insurance Co.; and Slavia. Beginning in August 1998, the Ukrainian government required that foreign visitors purchase mandatory "emergency medical insurance" from the Ukrainian State Insurance Company. In addition, personal accident insurance is required for all passengers on public transportation. Foreign shareholders in insurance companies may not exceed 49%. In 2003, the value of all direct insurance premiums written totaled $1.712 billion, of which nonlife premiums accounted for $1.699 billion. In that same year, Lemma was the top nonlife insurer, with gross written nonlife premiums for direct business only of $124.8 million, while Grawe Ukraina was the country's leading life insurer, with gross written life insurance premiums of $4.8 million.

PUBLIC FINANCE

Ukraine has displayed positive growth in recent years, but long term growth will require certain market reforms. The economy is burdened by excessive government regulation, and major sectors such as energy and telecommunications remain to be privatized. Corporate governance is weak, and corruption is rampant. In the early 2000s, the government sought ways to reform the tax code to eliminate corruption and legitimize economic activity. Ukraine receives aid from the IMF, although the relationship between those two entities has not always been successful; Ukraine has had problems adhering to IMF monetary conditions.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated that in 2005 Ukraine's central government took in revenues of approximately

Revenue and Grants 69,252 100.0%
   Tax revenue 31,646 45.7%
   Social contributions 24,083 34.8%
   Grants 3,269 4.7%
   Other revenue 10,254 14.8%
Expenditures 69,028 100.0%
   General public services 15,704 22.8%
   Defense 3,536 5.1%
   Public order and safety 4,677 6.8%
   Economic affairs 6,671 9.7%
   Environmental protection
   Housing and community amenities 36 0.1%
   Health 2,158 3.1%
   Recreational, culture, and religion 433 0.6%
   Education 4,981 7.2%
   Social protection 30,832 44.7%
() data not available or not significant.

$22.9 billion and had expenditures of $24.4 billion. Revenues minus expenditures totaled approximately -$1.5 billion. Public debt in 2005 amounted to 20.5% of GDP. Total external debt was $33.93 billion.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that in 2002, the most recent year for which it had data, central government revenues were hrn69,252 million and expenditures were hrn69,028 million. The value of revenues was us$13,001 million and expenditures us$12,959 million, based on an exchange rate for 2002 of us$1 = hrn5.3266 as reported by the IMF. Government outlays by function were as follows: general public services, 22.8%; defense, 5.1%; public order and safety, 6.8%; economic affairs, 9.7%; housing and community amenities, 0.1%; health, 3.1%; recreation, culture, and religion, 0.6%; education, 7.2%; and social protection, 44.7%.

TAXATION

In 1997/98 Ukraine reformed its tax system. As of 2005, the standard corporate tax rate was 25%, although preferential regimes are available for special economic zones. Capital gains for companies are taxed at the corporate rate. Withholding taxes on income from royalties and interest is 15%. Companies distributing dividends to residents and nonresidents are required to pay a 25% advance tax on the dividends. The tax can then be credited against the company's profits.

Personal income is taxed at a flat 13% rate. Capital gains received by individuals are subject to a 13% withholding tax. Dividends received by resident and nonresident individuals are subject to a 15% withholding tax.

The Ukraine's main indirect tax is its value-added tax (VAT), with a standard rate of 20%. A 0% VAT rate applies to exports and international transportation services. Some medicines, baby food, educational, medical and insurance services, and the sale of land are also exempt.

CUSTOMS AND DUTIES

Import licenses are required for all foreign trade activities in Ukraine. Ukraine has signed trade agreements with the United States, Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, and several other former Soviet republics. As of 2002, tariffs on imports range from 020%, with the tariff on automobiles being the highest. Preferential tariffs are given to developing countries and privileged tariffs are given to countries that have trade agreements with Ukraine. Other duties include a 20% VAT and excise taxes (up to 300%). In 2000, the number of categories of goods eligible for excise tax was reduced from 20 to five: alcohol, automobiles, jewelry, oil products, and tobacco.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

Among the transitional economies of Eastern Europe, nowhere has the gap between economic potential and economic performance been wider than in the Ukraine, and nowhere has the gap been more glaring than in the foreign investment statistics. By 2000, total foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Ukraine was still less than $4 billion, compared with $40 billion that had flowed into Poland and $20 billion into Hungary during the same period.

Independence was first greeted by a rush of inward investment. In 1991, the number of joint ventures operating in Ukraine rose from 76 in October 1990 to 189 in October 1991. Following the enactment in March 1992 of a more favorable foreign investment law, joint ventures jumped to 1,400 early in 1993. Most of these ventures were in industry, with a few engaged in foreign trade. The government's 1993 economic plan included tax incentives and other benefits for investors in specific areas including agro-industrial enterprises, energy, and production of consumer goods. However, by 1996 and 1997, rampant official graft and corruption were crippling foreign investment. Several significant multinational corporations withdrew from Ukraine after government decrees were issued that steered business to state-owned firms in which government officials were stakeholders. This action occurred despite the Foreign Investment Law of 1996, which purported to put foreign investors on an equal footing with Ukrainian nationals, and President Kuchma's pledge to battle corruption. The government had declared a need for $40 billion in foreign investment, but only $2.8 billion was invested between 1992 and 1998.

In 1997 the law "On Special (Free) Economic Zones" was adopted, establishing three types of special investment zones: free economic zones (FEZs), territories with a special investment regime (SEZs), and territories of priority development (TPDs). As of 2002, there were nine TPDs and eleven FEZs and SEZs. In 2002, the special zones attracted investment totaling $909 million, both domestic and foreign, but pressure has been brought by the IMF to either eliminate the special zones or curb their tax and regulatory exemptions.

Annual foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow peaked at $747 billion in 1998, up from $623 billion in 1997, before falling to $471 billion in 1999 in the wake of the Russian financial crisis. FDI inflow recovered to $593 billion in 2000, but then fell back to $531 million in the global economic slowdown of 2001. Contrary to the worldwide trend of reduced FDI flow after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, the Ukraine had its best year since independence, with inflow increasing over 15% to an estimated $738.7 million in 2002. As of October 2002, total FDI since 1992 amounted to almost $5 billion.

As of 1 October 2002, according the Ukraine State Statistics Committee, FDI had come from 112 countries. The United States remained the largest source of FDI, with $843 million or 17% of the total. US-based sources were also probably involved in some of the FDI flows from Cyprus (11% of the total) and the British Virgin Islands (6.4%). The United Kingdom accounted for 9.5% of total FDI in the Ukraine since 1992; the Netherlands, 7.8%; the Russian Federation, 6.5%; Germany, 5%; Switzerland, 4.2%; Austria, 3.9%; and Korea, 3.5%. The remaining 24.2% came from 102 other countries. Per capita FDI stock increased from $78 at the end of 2000 to $102 at the beginning of October 2002.

In 2004, Ukraine was a much more attractive market for foreign investments, receiving $1.4 billion of direct FDIan increase of 22% from the previous year. Most of this investment went to production machinery and equipment, with food processing, agricultural processing, machine building, coal, oil and gas, and light industry being other important recipients of foreign funds. This growth however was well under the potential of the Ukrainian market, especially if one considers that in the same year, its neighbor, Romania, received over 5 billion in direct FDI. At the end of 2004, the level of foreign investment since 1992 rose to 7.7 billionten times as low as the same figure in Poland. Major investors in 2004 included: Cyprus (14.1%), the United States (13.6%), the United Kingdom (10.4%), Germany (7.1%), the Netherlands (6.8%), Virgin Islands (6.1%), Russia (5.5%), Switzerland (4.9%), and Austria (4%).

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

In 1993, Ukraine's parliament tentatively approved a new economic reform plan to stabilize the republic's economy, attract more capital from abroad, and lay the groundwork for a market economy. Measures proposed included stricter monetary and banking regulation, and the elimination of monopolies in industries. A privatization program was underway in sectors including retail trade, services, the food industry, agriculture, and housing.

Since the election of President Kuchma in 1994, the government has implemented a far-reaching economic reform program. Almost all price and trade controls have been abolished in an effort to stabilize the new market economy. Privatization began in earnest in 1995, and a new convertible currency was adopted in 1996. In the 1990s, Ukraine continued to register negative growth. By the end of the 1990s, real gross domestic product (GDP) declined to 40% of its pre-independence level. In late 1998, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loaned Ukraine another $2.2 billion after Ukraine promised to introduce more fiscal discipline.

The economy started to grow in 2000; GDP growth in 2002 was over 4.5%. Small- and medium-sized enterprises were privatized by 2002, but the energy and telecommunications sectors had yet to be privatized. The government passed a foreign investment law, but bureaucratic hurdles, poor corporate governance, corruption, and the weak enforcement of contract law by courts all hamper investment. At the end of October 2002, total foreign direct investment into the country amounted to around $4.9 billion, which was one of the lowest figures in the region. In 2002, land reforms were ongoing, supporting growth in the agricultural sector.

The economy took off in 2003 and 2004, and was deemed one of the most dynamic in Europe (the GDP growth rate in 2004 was 12.1%). The election of Viktor Yushchenko at the end of 2004, and the political turmoil that preceded it, hampered this expansive pulse. The new president stated however that the country is on the right path and that the economy will start booming again. Ukraine boasts a highly qualified work force, cheap labor and competitive costs, a relatively well-developed transportation and communications infrastructure, and a strategic geographic location. In addition, the large market47 million peoplemakes it a prime location for foreign investment.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

The social security system provides all employees with old age, disability, and survivor's pensions. The program is funded primarily from employer contributions, with a small contribution from employees and government subsidies as needed. Retirement is normally at age 60 for men and 55 for women, although this is reduced by five years for those engaged in arduous work and mothers with five or more children. There is a dual system of medical benefits. Cash benefits for sickness are provided for employed persons, while a universal medical care system exists for all residents. Maternity benefits of 100% of wages for 70 days before and 56 days after the expected date of childbirth are payable to all employed women. Workers' compensation and unemployment benefits are also provided. Special provisions exist for Chernobyl victims. Family allowances are provided to families with large numbers of children.

The law provides women with the same employment rights as men, although they rarely attain high-level managerial or political positions. Women who are employed mostly work in low-paying jobs or in industries that have trouble paying their employees on time. Help wanted ads often specify gender. Violence against women, domestic abuse, and sexual harassment in the workplace are pervasive.

Human rights violations continue. Harassment of racial minorities and religious intolerance are increasing problems. Anti-Semitic incidents and societal discrimination of ethnic minorities are commonplace. The Roma population is subject to abuse by police and general intolerance by the public. Prisoners are mistreated by authorities and live in substandard conditions. The government interferes with freedom of the press and with the electoral process.

HEALTH

Deterioration of the economy and declining living standards have had a negative impact on birth and mortality rates and women's and children's health standards need much improvement. Although safe water was available to 96.5%, proper sanitation was available to only 70% of the urban population and 8% of the rural population in the mid-1990s. Poor nutrition is another major problem in the Ukraine, and a shortage of basic supplies exacerbates the health care situation.

The country has established 156 independent children's hospitals. Altogether there were a total of 700,000 hospital beds. In addition, there were 6,500 outpatient polyclinical institutions. As of 2004, there were an estimated 297 physicians, 766 nurses, and 39 dentists per 100,000 people.

Infant mortality was reported at 10.11 per 1,000 live births in 2005. Life expectancy was 69.68 years in 2005. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 10 and 16 per 1,000 people. Immunization rates for children up to one year old were: tuberculosis, 95%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 96%; polio, 97%; and measles, 97%.

The leading causes of death were cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer, traumas, and accidents. The HIV/AIDS prevalence was 1.40 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 360,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 20,000 deaths from AIDS in 2003.

The likelihood of dying after age 65 of heart disease in Ukraine was below the average for medium human development as defined by the World Bank. In the mid-1990s, that rate exceeded 300 per 1,000 for men and 295 per 1,000 for women. On the other hand, cancer rates for men were higher. Death after age 65 from cancer was 133 per 1,000 people in the mid-1990s.

HOUSING

Before 1994, most housing and utility costs were covered by the government through a policy which was causing major federal debt. Through an IMF approved program of economic reforms put in place in October 1994, residents were asked to contribute a much greater amount toward there own rent and utilities. Unfortunately, many households were unable to do so. An average three-person household, living in a three-room flat of about 500 sq m (5,381.96 sq ft) was charged expenses of about $30 per month. The average monthly income of such a family was $50. In 1995, the government put in place a subsidy program to assist low-income families in meeting rising housing costs, but funding for housing continues to be a problem.

At the 2001 census, there were 18,200,567 households counted representing 47,726,518 people. About 44% of all households lived in individual houses; another 44.6% lived in a separate apartment unit. The average amount of living space was 14 sq m (150.69 sq ft) per person.

EDUCATION

Most schools are state run. Education is compulsory for nine years, with students starting at age six or seven. These first nine years are completed through four years of elementary school and five years of lower secondary school. Students may continue in general secondary schools offering two- or three-year courses of study, or a specialized education secondary program of about three years. Vocational programs of four or five years are also available at the secondary level. While Ukrainian is the most commonly taught language and medium of instruction, other languages, such as Russian, Hungarian, Polish, Moldovan, or Crimean-Tatar, are offered based on the ethnic composition of the particular school district. The academic year runs from September to June.

In 2001, about 52% of children between the ages of three and six were enrolled in some type of preschool program. Primary school enrollment in 2003 was estimated at about 84% of age-eligible students. The same year, secondary school enrollment was about 85% of age-eligible students. It is estimated that about 97.6% of all students complete their primary education. The student-to-teacher ratio for primary school was at about 19:1 in 2003; the ratio for secondary school was about 13:1.

There are over 900 colleges, technical schools, vocational schools, universities, and other institutes of higher education. The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy was founded in 1632. Other universities are: Lviv University (1795), Kharkiv University (1804), Taras Shevchenko National University (1834), Odessa University (1868). In 2003, it was estimated that about 62% of the tertiary age population were enrolled in tertiary education programs. The adult literacy rate for 2004 was estimated at about 99.4%.

As of 2003, public expenditure on education was estimated at 5.4% of GDP, or 20.3% of total government expenditures.

LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

The largest library in the country is the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine in Kiev, which holds over 15 million items, including the collection of the Presidents of Ukraine, archive copies of Ukrainian printed documents from 1917, and the archives of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine in Kiev holds 65,000 volumes. Also in Kiev, the National Library of Ukraine for Children has a collection of over 440,000 volumes. Other large collections include the V.G. Korolenko State Scientific Library with 6.7 million volumes and the libraries at Lviv Polytechnic University (3 million), Franko State University in Lviv (2.5 million), Shevchenko Kiev University (2.7 million), and Kiev Polytechnic Institute (2.5 million). There are reported to be about 21,857 public libraries operating in Ukraine with an overall stock of about 336.7 million books.

Kiev has the Kiev State Museum of Russian Art, the Kiev State Museum of Ukrainian Art, the State Historical Museum, the Museum of Cultural Heritage, the National Museum of Medicine, the State Museum of Ukrainian Decorative Folk Art, and the Soros Center for Contemporary Art. There are also several small house museums in Kiev. There is a Museum of Fine Arts in Lugansk. Lviv houses the State Museum of Ethnography and Arts and Crafts and the Literary Museum of Ivan Franko. Odessa is home to the Odessa Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Literature, the Naval Museum, the Odessa Museum of Western and Oriental Art, the Odessa Archaeological Museum, and the Pushkin Museum.

MEDIA

In 2003, there were an estimated 216 mainline telephones for every 1,000 people; over 2 million people were on a waiting list for telephone service installation. The same year, there were approximately 136 mobile phones in use for every 1,000 people.

Most broadcast media is state-owned or controlled by political parties or other powerful business interests. In 2004, there were six national television stations. While there are many privately-owned radio and television stations, they are generally heavily influenced by the government and political parties. In 2000, there were 456 television sets for every 1,000 people. In 2003, there were an estimated 889 radios for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were 19 personal computers for every 1,000 people and 19 of every 1,000 people had access to the Internet. There were 53 secure Internet servers in the country in 2004.

Among the leading newspapers (with 2005 daily circulation) are: Segodnya (published in Russian, 849,000 circulation), Fakty I Commentarii (published in Russian, 761,000 circulation), Silski Visti (Ukrainian, 537,000), Vecherniye Vesti (Russian, 500,000), Ukrayina Moloda (Ukrainian, 163,000), and Den (Russian and Ukrainian, 62,500).

The constitution and a 1991 law provide for free speech and a free press. Criticism of the government is said to be tolerated, though some journalists practice self-censorship because of occasional pressures from the government.

ORGANIZATIONS

The Ukraine Chamber of Commerce and the Congress of Business Circles of Ukraine promotes the commercial and business activities of the country to the rest of the world. Many of Ukraine's trade unions belong to the umbrella organization called the Federation of Independent Trade Unions. Professional associations are active in several different fields. There is an active Ukrainian Consumers' Association.

National cultural organizations include the Ukrainian Cultural Educational Organization and Flamenko, which promotes cultural exchange programs. National youth organizations include the Council of Ukrainian Students, the Ukrainian Fund of International Youth Cooperation, Junior Chamber, Ukrainian Girl Guides and Girls Scouts Association, the Compass Club, and YMCA/YWCA. There are several sports associations promoting amateur competition for athletes of all ages.

National social action organizations include the Ukrainian Center for Human Rights, the Ukrainian Environmental Association, the Ukrainian Legal Foundation, Freedom House (advocating the development of democratic institutions), The Children's Fund, and Zhinocha Hromada, an organization focused on encouraging women to be active in economic and community development. International organizations with national chapters include Caritas, UNICEF, Amnesty International, and the Red Cross.

TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION

Kiev, Ukraine's major cultural center, is known for its beautiful churches and golden-domed cathedrals, although much of its classic architecture was destroyed or obscured by Communist planners in the 1930s. The cathedral of St. Sophia, built in the 11th century, is one of the finest examples of Russo-Byzantine architecture. Another major tourist attraction is the Golden Gate, an 11th-century fortification restored in 1982. Lviv (formerly Lvov) offers architectural sights ranging from late-13th-century Russian to 16th-century Gothic structures.

In 2003, about 12.5 million visitors arrived in Ukraine, over 5 million of whom came from Russia. There were 32,572 hotel rooms with 86,243 beds and an occupancy rate of 30%. Travelers stayed in Ukraine an average of three nights per trip. Tourism expenditure receipts totaled $1.2 billion. A valid passport is required for all travelers to enter Ukraine. Visas are not required for citizens of Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, the United States, and the European Union countries, for stays of up to 90 days. To visit the nation, all other travelers need a visa. Medical insurance which covers Ukraine is required for all US citizens.

According to 2005 estimates from the US Department of State, the cost of staying in Kiev was $271 per day, other areas were less at $177 per day.

FAMOUS UKRAINIANS

Leonid M. Kravchuk and Vitold P. Fokin were respectively the first president and prime minister of Ukraine. Leonid Brezhnev (Dneprodzershinsk, Ukraine, 190682) led the Soviet Union from 196682. Outstanding representatives of the culture and literature of Ukraine include poet Taras Shevchenko (181461) and the Jewish writer Sholom Aleichem (Solomon Rabinowitz, 18591916).

DEPENDENCIES

Ukraine has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aslund, Anders (ed.). Economic Transformation in Russia. New York: St. Martin's, 1994.

Buckley, Mary. Redefining Russian Society and Polity. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1993.

Dean, Martin. Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 194144. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.

Goncharenko, Alexander. Ukrainian-Russian Relations: an Unequal Partnership. London: Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies, 1995.

Kohut, Zenon E., Bohdan Y. Nebesio, and Myroslav Yurkevich. Historical Dictionary of Ukraine. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow, 2005.

Koropeckyj, I. S., (ed.). The Ukrainian Economy: Achievements, Problems, Challenges. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992.

Mandel, David. Labour after Communism: Auto Workers and Their Unions in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. New York: Black Rose Books, 2004.

McElrath, Karen (ed.). HIV and AIDS: A Global View. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002.

The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian, Soviet and Eurasian History. Gulf Breeze, Fla.: Academic International Press, 1994.

Otfinoski, Steven. Ukraine. 2nd ed. New York: Facts On File, 2004.

Schulz-Torge, Ulrich-Joachim (ed.). Who's Who in Russia Today: A Biographical Dictionary of More than 2,100 Individuals from the Russian Federation Including the Other Fourteen USSR Republics. New Providence: K.G. Saur, 1994.

Shen, Raphael. Ukraine's Economic Reform: Obstacles, Errors, Lessons. Westport, Con.: Praeger, 1996.

Solovev, Vladimir. Boris Yeltsin: A Political Biography. New York: Putnam, 1992.

Terterov, Marat (ed.). Doing Business with Ukraine. Sterling, Va.: Kogan Page, 2005.

Yeltsin, Boris Nikolayevich. The Struggle for Russia. New York: Times Books, 1994.

Zeilig, Leo and David Seddon. A Political and Economic Dictionary of Africa. Philadelphia: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2005.

views updated

Ukraine

Culture Name

Ukrainian

Orientation

Identification. Ukrainian nationhood begins with the Kyivan Rus. This Eastern Slavic state flourished from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries on the territory of contemporary Ukraine, with Kyiv as its capital. The name Ukraine first appeared in twelfth century chronicles in reference to the Kyivan Rus. In medieval Europe cultural boundary codes were based on a native ground demarcation. Ukraine, with its lexical roots kraj (country) and krayaty (to cut, and hence to demarcate), meant "[our] circumscribed land." The ethnonym Rus was the main self-identification in Ukraine until the seventeenth century when the term Ukraine reappeared in documents. This ethnonym of Rus people, Rusych (plural, Rusychi ), evolved into Rusyn, a western Ukrainian self-identification interchangeable with Ukrainian into the twentieth century. Ruthenian, a Latinization of Rusyn, was used by the Vatican and the Austrian Empire designating Ukrainians.

Location and Geography. Ukraine, Europe's second largest country during the twentieth century, occupies 232,200 square miles (603,700 square kilometers). Its main geographical features are the Polissya and Volyn northern forests, the central forest steppes, the Donetsk eastern uplands (up to 1,600 feet [500 meters] above sea level), and the coastal lowlands and steppes along the Black and Azov Seas. The Carpathian mountains in the west reach 6,760 feet (2,061 meters) at Mount Hoverla. Roman-Kosh in the Crimean peninsula reaches 5,061 feet (1,543 meters.) Alpine meadowscalled polonyna in the Carpathians and iajla in the Crimeaare another interesting geographical feature.

Ukraine's climate is moderate. The yearly average temperatures range from 40 to 49 degrees Fahrenheit (6 to 9 degrees Celsius)except for the southern steppes and in Crimea, where yearly average temperatures range from 50 to 56 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 13 degrees Celsius).

Ukraine has twenty-four administrative unitsoblastsalmost all named for their capitals. From east to west, they are Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Poltava, Zaporizhzhya, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odessa, Cherkasy, Kyiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsya, Rivne, Luts'k (Volyns'ka oblast'), Khmel'nyts'kyj, Ternopil', Lviv, Ivano-Frankivs'k, Uzhhorod (Zakarpats'ka oblast'), and Chernivtsi. The Crimean oblast became an autonomous republic in 1991.

Ukraine's regional ethnographic cultures, not always congruent with oblast boundaries are: Donbas, Slobozhanshchyna, Zaporizhzhya, Steppes Ukraine, Poltava, Cherkasy, Polissya, Podillya, Volyn, Halychyna, Bukovyna, Transcarpathia, and Crimea. Crimean Tatar culture predominates in Crimea, and the Hutsul highlanders live in Halychyna, Bukovyna, and Transcarpathia.

Demography. Ukraine's 1989 census showed a population of 51,452,000. A negative population growth was probably caused by economic and environmental crises, including the Chernobyl disaster. The 1989 census shows the following percentages of the population's ethnic composition: Ukrainians, 72.7 percent; Russians, 22.1 percent; Jews, 0.9 percent; Belorussians, 0.8 percent; Moldovans, 0.6; Poles, 0.5 percent; Bulgarians, 0.4 percent; Hungarians, 0.3 percent; Crimean Tatars, 0.2 percent; Romanians, 0.2 percent; Greeks, 0.2 percent; Armenians, 0.1 percent; Roma (Gypsies), 0.1 percent; Germans, 0.1 percent; Azerbaijanis, 0.1 percent; Gagauz, 0.1 percent; and others, 0.5 percent.

Linguistic Affiliation. Ukrainian is an Indo-European language of the Eastern Slavic group. Its Cyrillic alphabet is phonetic; its grammar is synthetic, conveying information through word modification rather than order. Contemporary literary Ukrainian developed in the eighteenth century from the Poltava and Kyiv dialects. Distinctive dialects are the Polissya, Volyn, and Podillya dialects of northern and central Ukraine and the western Boyko, Hutsul, and Lemko dialects. Their characteristics derive from normatively discarded old elements that reappear in dialectic usage. The surzhyk, an unstable and variable mixture of Ukrainian and Russian languages, is a by-product of Soviet Russification. A similar phenomenon based on Ukrainian and Polish languages existed in western Ukraine but disappeared almost completely after World War II.

In 1989 statistics showed Ukrainian spoken as a native language by 87 percent of the population, with 12 percent of Ukrainians claiming Russian as their native language. The use of native languages among ethnic groups showed Russians, Hungarians, and Crimean Tatars at 94 to 98 percent and Germans, Greeks, and Poles at 25 percent, 19 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Assimilation through Ukrainian language is 67 percent for Poles, 45 percent for Czechs, and 33 percent for Slovaks. As a second language Ukrainian is used by 85 percent of Czechs, 54 percent of Poles, 47 percent of Jews, 43 percent of Slovaks, and 33 percent of Russians.

Formerly repressed, Ukrainian and other ethnic languages in Ukraine flourished at the end of the twentieth century. Ukrainian language use grew between 1991 and 1994, as evidenced by the increase of Ukrainian schools in multiethnic oblasts. However, local pro-communist officials still resist Ukrainian and other ethnic languages except Russian in public life.

Symbolism. The traditional Ukrainian symbolstrident and blue-and-yellow flagwere officially adopted during Ukrainian independence in 19171920 and again after the declaration of independence in 1991. The trident dates back to the Kyivan Rus as a pre-heraldic symbol of Volodymyr the Great. The national flag colors are commonly believed to represent blue skies above yellow wheat fields. Heraldically, they derive from the Azure, the lion rampant or coat of arms of the Galician Volynian Prince Lev I. The 1863 patriotic song "Ukraine Has Not Perished," composed by Myxaylo Verbyts'kyi from a poem of Pavlo Chubyns'kyi, became the Ukrainian national anthem in 1917 and was reaffirmed in 1991. These symbols were prohibited as subversive under the Soviets, but secretly were cherished by all Ukrainian patriots.

The popular symbol of Mother Ukraine appeared first in Ukrainian baroque poetry of the seventeenth century as a typical allegory representing homelands as women. When Ukraine was divided between the Russian and Austrian empires, the image of Mother Ukraine was transformed into the image of an abused woman abandoned by her children. Mother Ukraine became a byword, not unlike Uncle Sam, but much more emotionally charged. After 1991 a new generation of Ukrainian writers began to free this image from its victimization aspects.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. Ukrainian nationhood begins with the Kyivan Rus realm, which arose from a unification of Antian tribes between the sixth and ninth centuries. Rus is mentioned for the first time by European chroniclers in 839 c.e. The Kyivan state experienced a cultural and commercial flourishing from the ninth to the eleventh centuries under the rulers Volodymyr I (Saint Volodymyr), his son Yaroslav I the Wise, and Volodymyr Monomakh. The first of these rulers Christianized Rus in 988 c.e. The other two gave it a legal code. Christianity gave Rus its first alphabet, developed by the Macedonian saints Cyril and Methodius. Dynastic fragmentation and Mongol and Tatar invasions in the thirteenth century caused Kyiv's decline. The dynastically related western principality of Halych (Galicia) and Volyn resisted the Mongols and Tatars and became a Rus bastion through the fourteenth century. One of its most distinguished rulers was Danylo Romanovich, the only king in Ukrainian history, crowned by the Pope Innocent IV in 1264.

After the fourteenth century, Rus fell under the rule of foreign powers: the Golden Horde Mongols, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the kingdom of Poland. Lithuania controlled most of the Ukrainian lands except for the Halych and Volyn principalities, subjugated after much struggle by Poland. The southern steppes and the Black Sea coast remained under the Golden Horde, an outpost of Genghis Khan's empire. The Crimean khanate, a vassal state of the Ottomans, succeeded the Golden Horde after 1475. Eventually northwestern and central Ukraine were absorbed into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which then controlled almost all of Ukrainegiving Ukrainians and Belorussians ample autonomy. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania adopted the administrative practices and the legal system of Rus and a state language that was Old Slavonic, heavily imbued with vernacular Ukrainian and Belorussian. However, Lithuaniaunited with Poland by a dynastic linkage in 1386gradually adopted Roman Catholicism and Polish language and customs. In 1569 the Lublin Union created the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Ukraine was annexed to Poland. The 1596 Brest-Litovsk Union divided Ukrainians into Orthodox and Uniate Catholics. Northern borderlands initially colonized by Rus princes increasingly diverged from the Kyivan culture with the rise of the Duchy of Muscovy.

In the fifteenth century Ukraine clashed with the Crimean Khanate. The 1490 chronicles mention Ukrainian warriors called kozaks defending Ukrainian lands from Crimean Tatar slave raids. Kozaks were based on the Zaporozhian Sich, an island fortress below the Dnipro River rapids. Nominally subject to the Polish crown, the Zaporozhian kozaks became symbols of Ukrainian national identity. Strife between the Ukrainians and their Polish overlords began in the 1590s, spearheaded by the kozaks. In 1648, led by the kozak hetman (military leader) Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Ukrainians rose against Poland, forming an independent state. Khmelnytsky sought help against the Poles in a treaty with Moscow in 1654, which was used as a pretext for occupation by the Muscovites. Poland recognized Moscow's suzerainty over Kiev and the lands east of the Dnipro, and the Ukrainian hetmanate was gradually subjugated by Moscow. Despite this, the hetmanate reached its pinnacle under Ivan Mazepa (16871709). Literature, art, architecture in the distinctive Kozak baroque style, and learning flourished under his patronage. Mazepa wanted a united Ukrainian state, initially under the tsar's sovereignty. When Tsar Peter threatened Ukrainian autonomy, Mazepa rose against him in alliance with Charles XII of Sweden. The allies were defeated in the Battle of Poltava in 1709. Fleeing from Peter's vengeance Mazepa and his followers became the first organized political immigration in Ukrainian history.

During the eighteenth-century partitions of Poland, the Russian Empire absorbed all Ukraine except for Galicia, which went to Austria. The empress Catherine II extended serfdom to the traditionally free kozak lands and destroyed the Zaporozhian Sich in 1775. During the nineteenth century all vestiges of nationhood were repressed in Russian-held Ukraine. The Ukrainian language was banned from all but domestic use by the Valuev Decree of 1863 and the Ems Ukase of 1876. Ukrainians opposed this policy by developing strong ties with Ukrainian cultural activists in the much freer Austrian Empire. An inclusive national movement arose during World War I, and in 1917 an independent Ukrainian state was proclaimed in Kyiv. In 1918 western Ukraine declared independence striving to unite with the East, but its occupation by Poland was upheld by the Allies in 1922.

After two years of war Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union in 1922. Its Communist party was subordinated to the Russian Communists. Only 7 percent of its 5,000 members were Ukrainian. Favoring city proletariansmostly alien in nationality and ideologythe Bolsheviks had very little support in a population 80 percent Ukrainian, and 90 percent peasant. However, Ukrainian communists implemented a policy of Ukrainization through educational and cultural activities. This rebirth of Ukrainian culture ended abruptly at the time of the Stalin's genocidal famine of 1933. This famine killed up to seven million Ukrainians, mostly peasants who had preserved the agricultural traditions of Ukraine along with an ethnic and national identity. The destruction of Ukrainian nationalism and intelligentsia lasted through the Stalinist purges of the late 1930s and continued more selectively until the fall of the Soviet Union.

When Germany and the Soviets attacked Poland in 1939, Galicia was united to the rest of Ukraine. The German-Soviet war in 1941 brought hopes of freedom and even a declaration of independence in western Ukraine. However, the brutal Nazi occupation provoked a resistance movement, first against the Germans and then against the Soviets. The Ukrainian Insurgent Army fought overwhelming Soviet forces that subjected western Ukraine to mass terror and ethnic cleansing to destroy the resistance. At the end of World War II almost three million Ukrainians were in Germany and Austria, most of them forced laborers and prisoners of war. The vast majority of them were forcibly repatriated to the Soviet Union, and ended up in Gulag prison camps. Two-hundred thousand refugees from Ukraine managed to remain in Western Europe and immigrated to the United States and to other Western countries.

In 1986, the Chernobyl accident, a partial meltdown at a Soviet-built nuclear power plant, shocked the entire nation. After Mikhail Gorbachev's new openness policy in the 1980s, the democratized Ukrainian parliament declared the republic's sovereignty in 1990. Following a failed coup against Gorbachev in the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian parliament declared independence on 24 August 1991, overwhelmingly approved by referendum and internationally recognized.

National Identity. National identity arises from personal self-determination shared with others on the basis of a common language, cultural and family traditions, religion, and historical and mythical heritages. There is a lively reassessment of these elements in contemporary Ukraine in a new stage of identity development. Language issues focus on the return of phonetics, purged from Soviet Ukrainian orthography by Russification, and on the macaronic Russo/Ukrainian surzhyk. A revival of cultural traditions includes Christian holidays, days of remembrance, and church weddings, baptisms, and funerals. The Ukrainian Catholic Church emerged from the underground and the exiled Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church united formally with the Kyivan patriarchy. Ukrainian Protestants of various denominations practice their religion unhampered.

The 988 baptism of the Rus melded Christian beliefs with existing customs, leading to a Rus identity connected to both homeland and religion. In the seventeenth century Ukrainian identity held its own against Polish identity and the Roman Catholic Church. In the Russian empire Ukrainians preserved their identity through culture and language because religion by itself integrated them with Russians.

Historical facts and myths as bases of national identity were first reflected in the literature of the Ukrainian baroque. In later times, the proto-Slavic origins of the Ukrainian people were ascribed to the settled branch of Scythians (500 b.c.e.100 b.c.e.) mentioned by ancient Greek and Roman historians. Recent theories connecting origins of Ukrainian culture with the first Indo-European tribes of the Northern Black Sea region and with the Trypillya culture (4,000 b.c.e.) are supported by plausible research.

Ethnic Relations. Ukraine, surrounded by diverse nations and cultures, is home to Belorussians in northern Polissia; Poles, Slovaks, Hungarians, and Romanians in western Ukraine; Moldovians and Gagauz in southern Ukraine; and Russians in eastern and northern Ukraine. The Russian Empire settled Germans, Swedes, Bulgarians, Greeks, Christian Albanians, and Serbs in southern steppes. Russian landlords brought ethnic Russian serfs to the steppes, and Russian Old Believers also settled there fleeing persecution. In 1830 and 1863 the Russian government exiled Polish insurgents to southern Ukraine. Serbs and Poles assimilated with Ukrainians, but the other groups retained their identities. Tatars, Karaims, and Greeks were native to Crimea. Since the Middle Ages Jews and Armenians settled in major and minor urban centers. Roma (Gypsies) were nomadic until Soviets forced them into collective farms. The last major immigration to Ukraine took place under the Soviets. Ethnic Russians were sent to repopulate the villages emptied by the 1933 genocide and again after 1945 to provide a occupying administration in western Ukraine.

Historically, ethnic conflicts emerged in Ukraine on social and religious grounds. The seventeenth century Ukrainian-Polish wars were caused by oppressive serfdom, exorbitant taxes, and discrimination or even elimination of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by Polish magnates. Their appointment of Jewish settlers as tax collectors in Ukrainian villages also led to strife between these ethnic groups. The settled Ukrainians and the nomadic steppe tribes conflicted since medieval times. From the fifteenth century on, Crimean Tatars raided Ukraine for slaves, and Zaporozhian kozaks were the only defense against them. Even so, Zaporozhians made trade and military agreements with the Crimean khanate: Tatar cavalry often assisted Ukrainian hetmans in diverse wars. Likewise, Ukrainian cultural and educational connections with Poles existed despite their conflicts: Bohdan Khmelnytsky and many other kozak leaders were educated in Polish Jesuit colleges, and initially Khmelnytsky considered the Polish king as his liege. Ukrainian Jewish relations of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries also cannot be wholly described in terms of ethnic strife. Jewish merchants regularly traded with kozaks and several high officers of the hetmanatesuch as members of the renowned Markevych/Markovych aristocratic familieswere of Jewish origin.

In contemporary Ukraine ethnic communities enjoy governmental support for their cultural development. Ethnic language instruction increased considerably in multicultural regions. The first center for preservation and development of Roma culture opened in Izmail near Odessa. Two prominent issues in ethnic relations concern the return to Crimea of the Crimean Tatars exiled in Soviet times and the problem of the Russian-speaking population. The Crimean Tatar Medjlis (parliament) demands citizenship for Tatars returning from Stalinist exile while the Russian-dominated parliament of the Crimean autonomous republic opposes that demand.

Pro-Russian elements identify Russophones with Russian ethnicity. However, statistics show a large number of Russophones who do not consider themselves Russian. In 1989, 90.7 percent of Jews, 79.1 percent of Greeks, and 48.9 percent of Armenians and other ethnic groups in Ukraine recognized Russian as a language of primary communication but not an indicator of ethnicity or nationality. Forcing a Russian ethnic identity onto non-Russian Russophones infringes on their human rights. Russians in Ukraine are either economic migrants from Soviet times, mostly blue-collar workers, or the former Russian nomenklatura (bureaucratic, military, and secret police elite). The latter were the upper class of Soviet society. Since losing this status after the Soviet Union collapsed, they have rallied around a neo-Communist, pro-Russian political ideology, xenophobic in the case of the Crimean Tatars.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

A prototypical architectural tradition was found by archeologists studying ancient civilizations in Ukraine. Excavations of the Tripillya culture (4,0003,000 b.c.e.) show one- and two-room houses with outbuildings within concentric walled and moated settlements. The sophisticated architecture of Greek and Roman colonies in the Black Sea region in 500 b.c.e.100 c.e. influenced Scythian house building. The architecture of later Slavic tribes was mostly wooden: log houses in forested highlands and frame houses in the forest-steppe. The Kyivan Rus urban centers resembled those of medieval Europe: a prince's fortified palace surrounded by the houses of the townsfolk. Tradesmen and merchants lived in suburbs called posad. Stone as a building material became widespread in public buildings from the tenth century, and traditions of Byzantine church architecturecross plan and domescombined with local features. Prime examples of this period are the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv (about 1030s) and the Holy Trinity Church over the Gate of the Pechersk Monastery (11061108). Elements of Romanesque style, half-columns and arches, appear in Kyivan Rus church architecture from the twelfth century, principally in the Saint. Cyril Church in Kyiv (middle-twelfth century), the Cathedral of the Dormition in Kaniv, and the Saint Elias Church in Chernihiv.

Ukrainian architecture readily adopted the Renaissance style exemplified by the Khotyn and Kamyanets'-Podil'skyi castles, built in the fourteenth century, Oles'ko and Ostroh castles of the fifteenth century, and most buildings in Lviv's Market Square. Many Ukrainian cities were ruled by the Magdeburg Law of municipal self-rule. This is reflected in their layout: Lviv and Kamyanets' Podil'skyi center on a city hall/market square ensemble.

Ukrainian baroque architecture was representative of the lifestyle of the kozak aristocracy. At that time most medieval churches were redesigned to include a richer exterior and interior ornamentation and multilevel domes. The most impressive exponents of this period are the bell tower of the Pechersk Monastery and the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, Saint George's Cathedral in Lviv, and the Pochaiv Monastery. A unique example of baroque wooden architecture is the eighteenth century Trinity Cathedral in former Samara, built for Zaporozhian kozaks. The neoclassical park and palace ensemble became popular with the landed gentry in the late eighteenth century. Representative samples are the Sofiivka Palace in Kamianka, the Kachanivka Palace near Chernihiv, and the palace in Korsun'-Shevchenkivskyi.

Ukrainian folk architecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries shows a considerable influence of baroque ornamentation and neoclassic orders while preserving traditional materials like wood and wattled clay. Village planning remained traditional, centered around a church, community buildings, and marketplace. The streets followed property lines and land contours. Village neighborhoods were named for extended families, clans, or diverse trades and crafts. This toponymy, dating from medieval times, reappeared spontaneously in southern and eastern Ukrainian towns and cities, such as Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Simferopol that were built in the eighteenth century.

Throughout the nineteenth century and into the beginning of the twentieth century, the empire architectural style came to Ukraine from the West. Modern urban planninga grid with squares and promenadeswas applied to new cities. At the beginning of twentieth century, there was a revival of national styles in architecture. A national modernism combined elements of folk architecture with new European styles. A prime exponent of this style is Vasyl' Krychevs'kyi's design of the 1909 Poltava Zemstvo Building.

Soviet architecture initially favored constructivism as shown in the administrative center of Kharkiv and then adopted a heavy neoclassicism pejoratively called totalitarian style for major urban centers. Post-World War II architecture focused on monobloc projects reflecting a collectivist ideology. However, contemporary Ukrainians prefer single houses to apartment blocs. The traditional Ukrainian house has a private space between the street and the house, usually with a garden. Striving for more private space people in apartment buildings partition original long hallways into smaller spaces. Dachas (summer cottages) are a vital part of contemporary Ukrainian life. Laid out on a grid, dacha cooperatives provide summer rural communities for city dwellers.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. Ukrainians prefer to eat at home, leaving restaurants for special occasions. Meal times are from 7:00 to 10:00 A.M. for breakfast, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 P.M. for dinner or lunch, and from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. for supper. The main meal of the day is dinner, including soup and meat, fowl, or a fish dish with a salad. Ukrainians generally avoid exotic meats and spices. A variety of soupscalled borshch collectivelyis traditional and symbolic, so it is never called "soup."

Menu items in restaurants are usually Eastern European. Expensive restaurants are patronized at supper time by a new breed of business executives who combine dining with professional interaction.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Culinary traditions in Ukraine are connected with ancient rituals. The calendar cycle of religious holidays combined with folk traditions requires a variety of specific foods. Christmas Eve supper consists of 12 meatless dishes, including borshch, cabbage rolls, varenyky (known in North America as pierogi), fish, mushrooms, various vegetables, and a wheat grain, honey, poppyseed, and raisin dish called kutya. The latter dish is served only at Christmas time. On Easter Sunday food that has been blessed previously is eaten after Resurrection services. It includes a sweet bread called paska, colored eggs, butter, meat, sausages, bacon, horseradish, and garlic. On the holiday of the Transfiguration (19 August), apples and honey are blessed and eaten along with other fruits of the season. Various alcoholic drinks complement the meals. It is customary to offer a drink to guests, who must not refuse it except for health or religious reasons.

Basic Economy. Traditional Ukrainian food products are domestic. Pressured by the economic crisis, people grow products in their home gardens and dachas. City and village markets are places of bartering consumer goods and food products. In the late 1990s, the development of the food industry was stimulated by economic reforms.

Land Tenure and Property. Private property rights were reinstated in Ukraine after 1991. Collective farms were abolished in 2000, and peasants received land titles. Privatization also has been successful in cities. Inheritance law in Ukraine, as in other countries, applies to transfers of property according to legal testaments.

Commercial Activities. The current government has decontrolled prices, reduced subsidies to factories, and abolished central economic planning. Ukraine imports chemicals, specialized metals, raw rubber, metalworking equipment, cars, trucks, electrical and electronic products, wood products, textiles, medicines, and small appliances. Ukraine exports aircrafts, ships, and agricultural and food products.

Major Industries. Heavy industry in Ukraine includes aircraft plants in Kharkiv; shipbuilding in Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Kerch; and steel and pig iron mills in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Zaporizhya oblasts. The latter depend on large supplies of coal and iron ore from Kryvbas and Donbas. Electronics, machine tools, and buses are produced in Lviv, and one of the world's largest agrochemical plants is located in Kalush. Other important industrial products include ferro-alloys, nonferrous metals, and building materials. Under the Soviet command economy, Ukraine's industry focused on raw materials and on the production of armaments and heavy machinery25 percent of all Soviet military goods. Lately, successful joint ventures with foreign partners produce consumer goods. Seventy percent of the land is in agricultural use.

Trade. The integration of Ukraine into the world economic system is indispensable for an effective export-oriented economic reform and for foreign investments. Establishing trade relations with the G7 countries (the seven largest industrialized countries: United States, Japan, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Canada) is a priority for Ukraine's international economic strategy.

Division of Labor. Contemporary Ukraine has a high level of both official and hidden unemployment, especially in industry and in research institutions formerly oriented to military needs. Equal opportunity employment rules have not been implemented at the end of the twentieth century.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. Soviet Ukrainian society was officially classless with three equal groups: workers, peasants, and working intelligentsia. In reality the Communist Party elite enjoyed an immensely preferential status, with several internal gradations. In contemporary Ukraine many former Soviet bureaucrats (nomenklarura ) retained their status and influence as members of the new administration or as newly rich business professionals. Education, health care, and research professionals, all dependent on state budgets, are in the lowest income bracket. Unemployment among blue-collar workers rose when heavy industry shifted its production focus. Farmers are in a transitionary phase in the re-institution of land property rights.

Symbols of Social Stratification. In Soviet times ownership of so-called deficit goods (scarce items available only to party elite in restricted stores) conferred a superior social status. The free market made prestigious goods available to anyone with cash. Social distinctions are popularly based on material status symbols such as cars, houses, luxury items, and fashionable attire. A more modest and traditional social and regional identification shows through apparel: many older suburban and country women wear typical kerchiefs, and Carpathian highlanders of any gender and age often wear characteristic sheepskin vests or sleeveless jackets.

Political Life

Government. Constitutionally, Ukraine is a democratic, social, law-based republic. The people exercise power through elected state and local governments. The right to amend the constitution belongs solely to the people and may be exercised only through popular referenda.

The office of president was instituted in 1917 in the Ukrainian National Republic and reinstated in 1991. The constitution vests executive power on the president and the prime minister and legislative power on the Verkhovna Rada, a unicameral body of 450 directly elected representatives. All suffrage is universal. The president is elected by direct vote for a five years' cadence. The president appoints the prime minister and cabinet members, subject to approval by the Verkhovna Rada.

Leadership and Political Officials. Ukraine has more than one hundred registered political parties. Right of center and nationalist parties include the National Front, Rukh, and UNA (Ukrainian National Association). The most prominent of them is Rukh, championing an inclusive national state and free market reforms. The leftist parties are the Communist, Progressive Socialist, Socialist, and United Socialist. Communists oppose land privatization and propose to revive the Soviet Union. Centrists are most numerous and include the Agrarian, Popular Democratic, Hromada, Greens, and Labor-Liberal parties. The Green Party became a political force because of its pro-active concern with ecology.

Political leaders and activists in Ukraine are generally accessible. However, most of them are used to old Soviet models of interaction. By contrast, younger politicians are much more attuned to a democratic style of communication.

Social Problems and Control. The Security Service of Ukraine, the Internal Affairs Ministry, and the Defense Ministry are responsible for national security, reporting to the president through his cabinet. The armed and security forces are controlled by civilian authorities. The Internal Affairs Ministry and its police, called militsia, deal with domestic crime and run correctional institutions. The Security Service succeeded the Soviet KGB. It deals with espionage and economic crimes. Public confidence in the authorities is gradually replacing the well-founded fear and mistrust of Soviet times.

Military Activity. The Ukrainian army conscripts males between the ages of eighteen and twenty five for eighteen months of compulsory service, with medical and hardship exemptions and student deferments. In 1992 the Ukrainian armed forces numbered 230,000. The Soviet Black Sea Fleet was incorporated into the Ukrainian naval forces. Ukrainian infantry participated in the United Nations peacekeeping effort in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ukrainian armed forces conduct frequent joint maneuvers with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

Ukrainian social welfare programs are in their beginnings. Unemployment assistance is available at governmental centers that offer professional retraining aided by nongovernmental organizations. International charity organizations provide assistance to the needy. Help to Chernobyl disaster victims is funded by taxes and by international charity. Statistics from 1995 show Chernobyl-accident compensations to 1.5 million persons, 662,000 of them children.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

Community associations have a long history in Ukraine. The Prosvita (Enlightenment) Society established in 1868 under the Austrian Empire and in 1905 under the Russian Empire promoted literacy in Ukrainian through reading rooms and lending libraries, publishing activities, amateur theatrics, and other cultural activities. It was closed by the Soviets but flourished in western Ukraine until 1939. Prosvita was re-established in independent Ukraine with its original mission. Many contemporary Ukrainian non-governmental organizations derive from the human rights movements of the 1970s. A society, Memorial, was organized in the late 1980s to collect evidence and memories of political persecution and to assist former political prisoners.

The Ukrainian Women's Association was established in 1884. Currently, this organization and its diasporan counterpart concentrate on the preservation of national culture, on education, on human issues, and on charity work. Ukrainian women participate in politics through the Ukrainian Women Voter organization. The nongovernmental organization, La Strada, supports services for victims of sexual trafficking and helps to run prevention centers in Donets'k, Lviv, and Dnipropetrovs'k.

Gender Roles and Status

Division of Labor by Gender. Ukrainian labor laws guarantee gender equality, but their implementation is imperfect. Few women work at higher levels of government and management, and those who do are generally in subordinate positions. As in the Soviet Union, women work in heavy blue-collar jobs, except for coal mining. Nevertheless, there still is a traditional labor division by gender: teachers and nurses are mostly women; school administrators and physicians are mostly men. Women in typically female jobs such as teachers and nurses are paid less and promoted more slowly than men.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. Males in positions of authority generally perceive women as the weaker sex. Women are welcome as secretaries or subordinates but not as colleagues or competitors. Women politicians and business executives are rare. They have to adopt a male style of interaction to function effectively. Sexual harassment in the workplace is widespread.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. Ukrainians favor endogamy. Traditionally, young people chose mates at social events. Historically, parental approval and blessing were sought. Marriages against parents' wishes were rare in the past, and matchmakers mediated between the two families. The parents' role in the marriage has been preserved in contemporary Ukrainian culture through their responsibilities to organize and finance the wedding ceremonies and festivities for their children. The festivities show the family's social status. Most marriage ceremonies today are both civil and religious.

In traditional society public opinion pressured young people to marry early. This still leads to many marriages between the ages of seventeen and twenty five. It also leads to a high number of divorces, very rare in the traditional past. The Ukrainian Catholic Church prohibits divorce and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church discourages it. Civil courts grant divorce, adjudicating property and custodial rights.

Domestic Unit. The traditional Ukrainian domestic unit is a single family. Elderly parents eventually lived with the child who inherited their property. The chronic housing shortage in the Soviet Union and the economic crisis in contemporary Ukraine forced young couples to live with their parents in close quarters. This reduction of personal space frequently caused familial dysfunction.

The Ukrainian agricultural tradition clearly defined men's and women's parallel responsibilities. Men were responsible for tilling the fields and for their sons' socialization. Women were housekeepers, who also took responsibility for home crafts and budgets and for the daughters' socialization.

Inheritance. Ukrainian customs and laws of property inheritance never discriminated by gender. Historically, sons and daughters inherited parents' property equally, and a widow was the principal heir of her deceased husband. At present, inheritance is granted by testament. Without a testament, an estate is divided regardless of gender between children or close relatives in court. Inheritances and deeded gifts are not subject to division in divorce cases.

Kin Groups. In Ukraine kinship beyond the immediate family has no legal standing, but it is an important aspect of popular culture. A kin group usually includes cognates of all degrees and godparents. A non-relative who is chosen as a godparent is thereby included into the kin group. Kin group reunions take place on family occasions such as marriages, baptisms, or funerals, and on traditional festive days.

Socialization

Infant Care. In 1992, 63 percent of children under age seven in urban areas and 34 percent in rural areas attended day care. These figures have decreased as current legislation provides paid maternity leaves for up to one year and unpaid leaves up to three years, recognizing Ukrainian women's preference for personal care of their children. Grandparents also provide care for grandchildren, especially in lower-income families. A well-cared for child is a traditional source of family pride. The decreasing number of births may be explained by the potential parents' inability to provide appropriate care for their children during economic crisis. An increasing number of children are abandoned by dysfunctional parents.

Child Rearing and Education. Ancient beliefs regarding child rearing still exist in contemporary Ukraine: a baby's hair is not cut until the first birthday; baptism is seen as a safeguard, and safety pins inside a child's clothing ward off evil spells.

Children attend school from age six. Education is compulsory and universal through nine grades. Students may graduate after the ninth grade at age sixteen and may work with special permission or enter vocational and technical schools. Since the number of specializations in these schools has decreased, most students finish the full eleven grades. A curricular revision is introducing new courses and programs for gifted children.

Higher Education. In post-secondary education undergraduate degrees are granted directly by universities. Candidate and doctor of sciences or arts degrees are granted by the Highest Attestation Commission of the Ministry of Education in a bureaucratically complicated system. Every major field of learning is covered in major universities. Every large and medium-sized urban center has at least one institution of higher learning.

Etiquette

Social interaction in Ukraine is regulated by etiquette similar to the rest of Europe. Some local idiosyncrasies are a personal space of less than an arm's length in business conversations and the habit of drinking alcohol at business meetings, a relic of Soviet times.

Religion

Religious Beliefs. Religious beliefs are central to Ukrainian culture. Ukraine experienced a revival of many religions: Ukrainian Orthodox, Ukrainian Catholic, Protestantism, Judaismincluding Hasidismand Islam. The constitution and the 1991 Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religion provide for separation of church and state and the right to practice the religion of one's choice.

Religious Practitioners. Ukrainian Orthodox clergy are educated in divinity schools such as the Kyiv Theological Academy. The Ukrainian Catholic Church, banned in Soviet times, needs priests and provides a wide array of educational programs at the Lviv Theological Seminary. Protestant denominations, principally Baptists and Seventh-Day Adventists, train their ministers with the assistance of American and Western European mission programs. The numerically small Roman Catholic clergy is assisted by pastoral visitors from abroad. Since the time of independence, Jewish rabbis have been completing their studies in Israel. Muslim clergy is educated in Central Asia and Turkey.

Rituals and Holy Places. Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic Churches share historic, ritual, and national heritages. Popular culture incorporated many ancient pagan rituals into a folk version of Christianity. Orthodox priests still perform exorcisms by the canon of Saint Basil the Great. The Holy Virgin icon and the spring of the Pochaiv Orthodox Monastery are believed to have miraculous healing powers. Zarvanytsia in western Ukraine is a place of holy pilgrimage for Ukrainian Catholics. The grave of the founding rabbi of Hassidism, situated near Uman', is a pilgrimage site for Hasidic Jews.

Death and the Afterlife. Ukrainians observe ancient funeral traditions very faithfully. A collective repast follows funeral services and is repeated on the ninth and fortieth days and then again at six and twelve months. An annual remembrance day called Provody on the Sunday after Easter gathers families at ancestral graves to see off once again the souls of the departed. Provody is widely observed in contemporary Ukraine. Under the Soviets it symbolized an ancient tradition. Its Christian symbolism represents Christ's victory over death. Its pre-Christian roots are attuned to the rebirth of nature in the spring and to an ancient ancestors' cult.

Medicine and Health Care

Ukraine's comprehensive and free health care includes primary and specialized hospitals and research institutions. Yet folk healing is not ignored by professional medicine. The popularity of folk healing is based on a distrust of standard medicine. The folk healers' knowledge of natural resources and lore is an ancient cultural heritage. Rituals, prayers, and charms are used by folk healers only as additional elements of healing. These healers prefer to work individually and let the patient determine the fee.

Another type of healer has become popular since the last days of the Soviet Union. These healers hold collective sessions eliciting mass hysteria from their audiences for an admission fee. Their popularity may be explained as a reaction among the less educated to stressful economic and social situations combined with the spiritual vacuum created by seventy-four years of compulsory atheism.

Secular Celebrations

There are several secular official holidays in Ukraine, some left over from Soviet times. The International Women's Day, 8 March, is celebrated now in the same context as Mother's Day: men present small gifts and flowers to all women family members and work colleagues. Victory Day, 9 May, became a day of remembrance of those who died in World War II. Constitution Day is 28 June. Independence Day, 24 August, is celebrated with military parades and fireworks.

The Arts and Humanities

Support for the Arts. The former Soviet Union provided governmental support for the arts through professional organizations such as unions of writers, artists, or composers. These organizations still exist and try to function despite a general lack of funds. Young and unconventional artists usually organize informal groups funded by individual sponsors and grants from international foundations.

Literature. Ukrainian literature begins with the chronicles of Kyivan Rus and the twelfth century epic The Tale of Ihor's Campaign. Principal authors in the baroque period were Lazar Baranovych (16201693), Ioannykii Galyatovs'kyi (d. 1688), Ivan Velychkovs'kyi (d. 1707), and Dymitrii Tuptalo (16511709), who wrote didactic poetry and drama. Kozak chronicles of the early eighteenth century include The Chronicle of the Eyewitness, The Chronicle of Hryhorii Hrabyanka, and The Chronicle of Samijlo Velychko.

Ivan Kotlyarevskyi (17691838) first used the proto-modern Ukrainian literary language in his 1798 poem Eneida (Aeneid). He travestied Virgil, remaking the original Trojans into Ukrainian kozaks and the destruction of Troy into the abolition of the hetmanate. Hryhorij Kvitka Osnov'yanenko (17781843) developed a new narrative style in prose.

In 1837 three Galician writers known as the Rus'ka Trijtsia (Ruthenian Trinity)Markiian Shashkevych (18111843), Ivan Vahylevych (18111866) and Yakiv Holovats'kyi (18141888)published a literary collection under the title Rusalka Dnistrovaya (The Nymph of Dnister). This endeavor focused on folklore and history and began to unify the Ukrainian literary language. The literary genius of Taras Shevchenko (18141861) completed the development of romantic literature and its national spirit. His 1840 collection of poems Kobzar and other poetic works became symbols of Ukrainian national identity for all Ukrainians from gentry to peasants. In his poetry he appears as the son of the downtrodden Mother-Ukraine. Later, his own image was identified with an archetypal Great Father, embodying the nation's spirit. This process completed the creation of a system of symbolic representations in Ukrainian national identity.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Ukrainian writers under the Russian EmpirePanteleimon Kulish (18191897), Marko Vovchok (18341907), Ivan Nechuj-Levyts'kyj (18381918), Panas Myrnyj (18491920), and Borys Hrinchenko (18631910)developed a realistic style in their novels and short stories. Osyp-Yurij Fed'kovych (18341888) pioneered Ukrainian literature in the westernmost Bukovyna under Austrian rule. Ivan Franko (18561916) is a landmark figure in Ukrainian literature comparable to Shevchenko. His poetry ranged from the most intimate introspection to epic grandeur. His prose was attuned to contemporary European styles, especially naturalism, and his poetry ranged from introspective to philosophical.

Mykhailo Kotsubynskyi (18641913); Vasyl Stefanyk (18711936), a master of short psychological stories in dialect; and Olha Kobylianska (18651942) all wrote in a psychologically true style. Lesya Ukrainka (18711913) saw Ukrainian history and society within a universal and emotionally heightened context in her neo-romantic poems like Davnya Kazka (The Ancient Tale, 1894) or Vila-Posestra (Sister Vila, 1911) and such dramas as U Pushchi (In the Wilderness, 1910), Boiarynia (The Noblewoman, 1910) and Lisova Pisnya (Song of the Forest, 1910). Popularly, Shevchenko, Franko, and Lesia Ukrainka are known in Ukrainian culture as the Prophet or Bard, the Stonecutter, and the Daughter of Prometheus, images based on their respective works.

After the Soviet takeover of Ukraine, many Ukrainian writers chose exile. This allowed them to write with a freedom that would have been impossible under the Soviets. Most prominent among them were Yurii Lypa (19001944), Olena Teliha (19071942), Evhen Malaniuk (18971968) and Oksana Liaturyns'ka (19021970). Their works are distinguished by an elegant command of form and depth of expression along with a commitment to their enslaved nation.

Ukrainian literature showed achievements within a wide stylistic spectrum in the brief period of Ukrainization under the Soviets. Modernism, avant-garde, and neoclassicism, flourished in opposition to the so-called proletarian literature. Futurism was represented by Mykhailo Semenko (18921939). Mykola Zerov (18901941), Maksym Rylskyj (18951964), and Mykhailo Draj-Khmara (18891938) were neoclassicists. The group VAPLITE (Vil'na Academia Proletars'koi Literatury [Free Academy of Proletarian Literature], 19251928) included the poets Pavlo Tychyna (18911967) and Mike Johansen (18951937), the novelists Yurij Yanovs'kyi (19021954) and Valerian Pidmohyl'nyi (19011937?), and the dramatist Mykola Kulish (18921937). The VAPLITE leader Mykola Khvyliovyi (18931933) advocated a cultural and political orientation towards Europe and away from Moscow. VAPLITE championed national interests within a Communist ideology and therefore came under political attack and harsh persecution by the pro-Russian Communists. Khvyliovyi committed suicide after witnessing the 1933 famine. Most VAPLITE members were arrested and killed in Stalin's prisons.

From the 1930s to the 1960s, the so-called social realistic style was officially mandated in Ukrainian Soviet literature. In 1960 to 1970 a new generation of writers rebelled against social realism and the official policy of Russification. Novels by Oles' Honchar (19181995), poetry by Lina Kostenko (1930) and the dissident poets Vasyl' Stus (19381985) and Ihor Kalynets' (1938) opened new horizons. Unfortunately, some of them paid for this with their freedom and Stus with his life.

Writers of 1980s and the 1990s sought new directions either in a philosophical rethinking of past and present Ukraine like Valerii Shevchuk (1939) or in burlesque and irony like Yurii Andrukhovych (1960). Contemporary culture, politics, and social issues are discussed in the periodicals Krytyka and Suchasnist'.

Graphic Arts. Ancient Greek and Roman paintings and Byzantine art modified by local taste were preserved in colonies in the Northern Black Sea region. The art of the Kyivan Rus began with icons on wooden panels in Byzantine style. Soon after the conversion to Christianity, monumental mosaics embellished churches, exemplified by the Oranta in Kyiv's Saint Sophia Cathedral. Frescoes on the interior walls and staircases complemented the mosaics. Frescoes of the period also were created for the Saint Cyril Church and Saint Michael Monastery in Kyiv.

Medieval manuscript illumination reached a high level of artistry and the first printed books retained these illuminations. Printing presses were established in Lviv and Ostrih in 1573, where the Ostrih Bible was published in 1581. In the seventeenth century Kyiv became a center of engraving. The baroque era secularized Ukrainian painting, popularizing portraiture even in religious painting: The icon Mary the Protectress, for example included a likeness of Bohdan Khmelnytsky. Kozak portraits of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries progressed from a post-Byzantine rigidity to a high baroque expressiveness.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, several Ukrainian artists worked in Saint Petersburg: Antin Losenko (17371773), Dmytro Levyts'kyi (17351825), Volodymyr Borovykovs'kyi (17571825), and Illia Repin (18441928). In 1844 Taras Shevchenko, a graduate of the Russian Academy of Arts, issued his lithography album Picturesque Ukraine. An ethnographic tradition of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is represented by Lev Zhemchuzhnikov (19281912) and Opanas Slastion (18551933).

Mykola Pymonenko (18621912) organized a painting school in Kyiv favoring a post-romantic style. National elements pervaded paintings of Serhii Vasylkyvs'kyi (18541917). Impressionism characterized the works of Vasyl (18721935) and Fedir Krychevs'ky (18791947). The highly individualistic and expressive post-romantics Ivan Trush (18691941) and Oleksa Novakivs'kyi (18721935) ushered western Ukrainian art into the twentieth century.

Yurii Narbut's graphics (18861920) combined Ukrainian baroque traditions with principles of modernism. Mykhailo Boichuk (18821939) and his disciples Ivan Padalka (18971938) and Vasyk Sedlyar (18891938) combined elements of Byzantine art with modern monumentalism. Anatol' Petryts'kyi (18951964), an individualistic expressionist, survived Stalinist persecution to remain a champion of creative freedom to the end of his life.

In Lviv of the 1930s Ukrainian artists worked in different modernist styles: Pavlo Kovzhun (18961939) was a symbolist and a constructivist. Several western Ukrainian artists between the two world warsSviatoslav Hordynsky, Volodymyr Lasovsky, Mykhailo Moroz, and Olena Kulchytskastudied in Paris, Vienna, Warsaw, and Cracow. Many artists, such as the neo-Byzantinist Petro Kholodnyi, Sr. (18761930) and the expressionist Mykola Butovych (18951962), left Soviet Ukraine for western Ukraine in the 1920s to avoid persecution. Old icons influenced Vasyl Diadyniuk (19001944) and Yaroslava Muzyka (18961973). Alexander Archipenko (18871966), the most prominent Ukrainian artist to emigrate to the West, attained international stature with paintings and sculptures that combined abstraction with expressionism. Akin to Grandma Moses are the folk painters Maria Pryimachenko (1908) and Nykyfor Drevniak (19001968).

After World War II many Ukrainian artists immigrated into the United States and other Western countries. Jacques Hnizdovsky (19151985) achieved wide recognition in engraving and woodcuts. The highly stylized sculpture of Mykhailo Chereshniovsky showed a unique lyrical beauty. Edvard Kozak (19021998), a caricaturist in pre-World War II Lviv, became a cultural icon in the diaspora.

After Stalin's genocide of the 1930s, social realism (a didactic kind of cliched naturalism applied to all literary and artistic media) became the only style allowed in the Soviet Union. In the 1960s some young Ukrainian artists and poets, who also defended civil rights, rejected social realism. For some of them this proved tragic: the muralist Alla Hors'ka was assassinated, and the painter Opanas Zalyvakha was imprisoned in the Gulag for long years. During the 1980s, modernism and postmodernism appeared in Ukraine in spontaneous art movements and exhibitions. Post-modern rethinking infused the works of Valerii Skrypka and Bohdan Soroka. An identity search in the Ukrainian diaspora showed in the surrealistic works of Natalka Husar.

Performance Arts. Ukrainian folk music is highly idiosyncratic despite sharing significant formal elements with the music of neighboring cultures. Epic dumas ancient melodies, especially those of seasonal ritualsare tonally related to medieval modes, Greek tetrachords, and Turkic embellishments. The major/minor tonal system appeared in the baroque period. Typical genres in Ukrainian folk music are solo singing; part singing groups; epic dumas sung by (frequently blind) bards who accompanied themselves on the bandura (a lute shaped psaltery); and dance music by troisty muzyky, an ensemble of fiddle, wind, and percussion including a hammered dulcimer. Traditional danceskozachok, hopak, metelytsia, kolomyika, hutsulka, and arkan differ by rhythmic figures, choreography, region, and sometimes by gender, but share a duple meter. Traditional folk instruments include the bandura, a variety of flutes, various fiddles and basses, drums and rattles, the bagpipe, the hurdy-gurdy, the Jew's harp, and the hammered dulcimer.

The medieval beginnings of professional music are both secular and sacred. The former was created by court bards and by skomorokhy (jongleurs). The latter was created by Greek and Bulgarian church musicians. Ukrainian medieval and Renaissance sacred a capella music was codified and notated in several Irmologions. The baroque composer and theoretician Mykola Dylets'kyi developed a polyphonic style that composers Maksym Berezovs'kyi (17451777), Dmytro Bortnians'kyi (17511825), and Artem Vedel (17671808) combined with eighteenth-century classicism. The first Ukrainian opera Zaporozhets za Dunayem (Zaporozhian beyond the Danube) was composed in 1863 by Semen Hulak-Artemovs'kyi (18131873). The Peremyshl School of western Ukraine was represented by Mykhailo Verbyts'kyi (18151870), Ivan Lavrivs'kyi (18221873), and Victor Matiuk (18521912). All three composed sacred music, choral and solo vocal works, and music for the theater.

A scion of ancient kozak aristocracy, Mykola Lysenko (18421912) is known as the Father of Ukrainian Music. A graduate of the Leipzig Conservatory, a pianist, and a musical ethnographer, Lysenko created a national school of composition that seamlessly integrated elements of Ukrainian folk music into a mainstream Western style. His works include a cyclic setting of Shevchenko's poetry; operas, including Taras Bulba; art songs and choral works; cantatas; piano pieces; and chamber music. His immediate disciples were Kyrylo Stetsenko (18831922) and Mykola Leontovych (18771919). Twentieth-century Ukrainian music is represented by the post-Romantics Borys Liatoshyns'kyi (18951968), Lev Revuts'kyi (18991977), Vasyl Barvins'kyi (18881963), Stanyslav Liudkevych (18791980), and Mykola Kolessa (1904). Contemporary composers include Myroslav Skoryk, Lesia Dychko, and Volodymyr Huba.

Many Ukrainian performers have attained international stature: the soprano Solomia Krushelnyts'ka (19731952), the tenor Anatoliy Solovianenko (19311999), and the Ukrainian-American bass Paul Plishka (1941).

The theater in Ukraine began with the folk show vertep and baroque intermedia performed at academies. The baroque style with its florid language and stock allegories lasted longer in Ukraine than in Western Europe. The eighteenth-century classicism featured sentimentalist plays presented by public, private, and serf theaters. Kotliarevs'ky's ballad opera Natalka-Poltavka (Natalka from Poltava ) and the comedy Moskal'-Charivnyk (The Sorcerer Soldier ) premiered in 1819 and began an ethnographically oriented Ukrainian theater. In 1864 the Rus'ka Besida (Ruthenian Club) in Lviv under Austria established a permanent Ukrainian theater, while in the Russian Empire Ukrainian plays were staged by amateurs until banned by the Ems Ukase. Despite this prohibition, Marko Kropyvnyts'kyi (18401910) staged Ukrainian plays in 1881 along with Mykhailo Staryts'kyi (18401904) and the Tobilevych brothers. The latter became known under their pen and stage names as the playwright Ivan Karpenko-Karyi (18451907) and the actors and directors Panas Saksahans'kyi (18591940) and Mykola Sadovs'kyi (18561933). They created an entire repertoire of historical and social plays. Sadovs'kyi's productions marked the beginning of Ukrainian cinema: Sakhnenko's studio in Katerynoslav filmed his theater productions in 1910.

From 1917 to 1922 numerous new theaters appeared in both Eastern and western Ukraine. The most prominent new figure in theater was Les' Kurbas, director of The Young Theatre in Kyiv and later of Berezil theater in Kharkiv. His innovative approach combined expressionism with traditions of ancient Greek and Ukrainian folk theaters and included an acting method based on theatrical synthesis, a psychologically reinterpreted gesture, and a rhythmically unified performance. The expressionist style was adopted in the cinema by the internationally recognized director Oleksandr Dovzhenko (18941956).

Berezil's leading dramatist Mykola Kulish (18921937) reflected in his plays the social and national conflicts in Soviet Ukraine and the appearance of a class that used revolution for personal purposes. In 19331934 Kurbas, Kulish, and many of their actors were arrested and later killed in Stalin's prisons. As in every other art, social realism became the only drama style, exemplified by the plays of the party hack Oleksander Korniichuk. In 1956 former members of The Young Theatre and Berezil formed The Ivan Franko Theatre in Kyiv, but without the innovative character of the former ensembles.

Some Berezil members who escaped from the Soviet Union during World War II brought Kurbas's style to western Ukraine. After World War II these and other Ukrainian actors found themselves in refugee camps in Western Europe and made theater an influential force for preservation of national culture and reconstitution of the refugees' identity after cultural shocks of war and displacement. Theaters led by Volodymyr Blavats'kyi (19001953) and former Berezil actor Josyp Hirniak continued their performances as professional companies in New York in the 1950s and 1960s.

New ideas appeared in Ukrainian cinema of the 1960s. Director Kira Muratova's work showed existentialist concepts. The impressionistic and ethnographically authentic Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964) by Sergij Paradzhanov and Jurii Ilienko was a prize-winner at Cannes. Ilienko is now a leading Ukrainian film director and cinematographer of post-modern style.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

The present National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine succeeds its Soviet eponym. It is an umbrella for research institutes, specializing in all fields of sciences and humanities. Most institutes are funded by the state, and unfortunately their budgets were cut by 38 percent in the year 2000. The scientific institutes usually sign independent contracts to provide research for industry. At present they have developed their own small enterprises in order to finance otherwise unfunded projects. Institutes in humanities and social sciences survive through publication grants from independent foundations. The National Academy of Medical Sciences and the National Academy of Pedagogy are similar to the Academy of Sciences and are financed by the state. Other research institutes are sponsored by diverse industries combining general research with product-oriented work. University-based research groups obtain funds from the Ministry of Education on the basis of open competition. The Ministry of Science has a yearly competition for project awards for research institutes. The competition concept is indicative of the transition from a centralized budget to funding through merit grants.

Bibliography

Armstrong, John A. Ukrainian Nationalism, 19391945, 1955.

Asyeyev, Yu S. Dzherela. Mystetstvo Kyivs'koi Rusi, 1980.

Before the Storm: Soviet Ukrainian Fiction of the 1920s, 1986.

Bilets'kyi, P. O. Ukrainske mystetstvo druhoi polovyny XYIIXVIII stolit', 1981.

Chirovsky, Nicholas L. Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Ukraine, 1986.

Constitution of Ukraine, 1996.

Contemporary Ukraine: Dynamics of Post-Soviet Transformation, 1998.

Conquest, Robert. The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine, 1986.

von Hagen, Mark. "The Russian Imperial Army and the Ukrainian National Movement in 1917." The Ukrainian Quarterly, 54, (34): 220256, 1998.

Hnizdovsky. Woodcuts, 19441975, 1976

Hordynsky, Sviatoslav. The Ukrainian Icon of the Twelfth to Eighteenth Centuries, 1973.

Hrushevs kyi, Mykhailo. History of Ukraine-Rus', 1997.

Iavornyts'kyi, D. I. Istoria zaporiz'kykh kozakiv, 1992.

, M. C. Samokysh, and S. I. Vasyl'kivs'kyi. Z Ukrains'koi starovyny,

Ilnytzkyj, Oleh S. Ukrainian Futurism, 19141930: A Historical and Critical Study, 1997.

Isajiw, Wsevolod W., Yury Boshyk, and Roman Senkus, eds. The Refugee Experience: Ukrainian Displaced Persons after World War II, 1992.

Knysh, George D. Rus and Ukraine in Medieval Times, 1991.

Kolessa, F. M. Muzykoznavchi pratsi, 1970.

Krypiakevych, Ivan, ed., Istoria ukrains'koi kul'tury, 1994.

Kulish, Mykola. Zona/ Blight 1996.

Kultura i pobut naseleniia Ukrainy, 1991.

Kuzio, Taras. Ukraine under Kuchma: Political Reform, Economic Transformation, and Security in Independent Ukraine, 1997.

Lavrynenko, Yurii. Rozstriliane vidrodzhennia, 1959.

Luckyj, George S. N. Ukrainian Literature in the Twentieth Century: A Reader's Guide, 1992.

Lobanovs'kyj, B.B., and P.I. Hovdia. Ukrains'ke mystetstvo druhoi polovyny XIXpochatku XX st., 1989.

Lohvyn, Hryhorii ed. Sophia Kyivs'ka. Derzhavnyj arkhitekturno istorychnyj zapovidnyk, 1971.

Magosci, Paul Robert. A History of Ukraine, 1996.

Maria Prymachenko, 1989.

Michaelsen, Katherine Janszky, and Nehama Guralnik, eds. Alexander Archipenko: A Centennial Tribute, 1986.

Motyl, Alexander J. Dilemmas of Independence: Ukraine after totalitarism, 1993.

Mudrak, Myroslava. The New Generation and Artistic Modernism in the Ukraine, 1986.

Natalka Husar's True Confessions, 1991.

Onyshkevych, Larissa M. L. Z. ed. Antolohia Modernoi ukrains'koi dramy, 1998.

Ovsijchuk, V. A. Ukrains'ke mystetstvo XIV-pershoi polovyny XVII stolittia, 1985.

Panibud'laska, V. F. ed. Natsional'ni protsesy v Ukraini. Istoria I suchasnist', 1997.

Reeder, Ellen, ed. Scythian Gold: Treasures from Ancient Ukraine, 1999.

Serech, Yury. Druha cherha. Literatura. Teatr. Ideolohii, 1978.

Sevcenko, Ihor. Ukraine Between East and West: Essays on Cultural History to the Early Eighteenth Century, 1996.

Shcherbak, Yurii. Chernobyl: A Documentary Story, 1989.

Shkandrij, Myroslav. Modernists, Marxists, and the Nation: Ukrainian Literary Discussion of the 1920s, 1992.

Sochor, Zenovia A. "No Middle Ground? On the Difficulties of Crafting a Political Consensus in Ukraine." Peoples, Nations, Identities: The Russian-Ukrainian Encounter. The Harriman Review 9 (12): 57-61.

Spirit of Ukraine: Five Hundred Years of Painting; Selections from the State Museum of Ukrainian Art, Kiev, 1991.

Subtelny, Orest. Ukraine: A History, 1988.

Szporluk, Roman. "Russians in Ukraine and Problems of Ukrainian Identity in the USSR." Ukraine in the Seventies, 1974.

Towards an Intellectual History of Ukraine: An Anthology of Ukrainian Thought from 1710 to 1995, 1996.

Ukrainian Painting, 1976.

Ukrains'kyi narodnyi odiah XVII-pochatku XIX st. v akvareliakh Yu.Hlohovs'koho, 1988.

Ukrains'kyi seredniovichnyj zhyvopys (Ukrainian Medieval Painting), 1976.

Voropaj, Oleksa. Zvychai nashoho narodu, 1958.

Vozniak, Mykhailo. Istoriia ukraïns koï literatury, 1992.

Wanner, Catherine. Burden of Dreams: History and Identity in Post-Soviet Ukraine, 1998.

Wolowyna, Oleh. "Ukrains'ka mova v Ukraini: Matirnia mova za natsional'nistiu I movoiu navchannia." Essays on Ukrainian Orthography and Language, 1997.

Hanna Chumachenko

views updated

Ukraine

PROFILE
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-UKRAINIAN RELATIONS
TRAVEL

Compiled from the March 2007 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:

Ukraine

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 233,000 sq. mi., the largest country wholly in Europe.

Cities: Capital—Kyiv (also transliterated as Kiev, pop. 2.8 million). Other cities—Kharkiv, Dnipropetro-vsk, Donetsk, Odesa, Lviv.

Terrain: A vast plain mostly bounded by the Carpathian mountains in the southwest and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the South.

Climate: Continental temperate, except in southern Crimea, which has a sub-tropical climate.

People

Population: (est.) 46.9 million.

Nationality: Noun—Ukrainian(s); adjective—Ukrainian.

Ethnic groups: Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians, Moldovans, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Jews, Poles, Crimean Tatars, and other groups.

Religions: Ukrainian Orthodoxy, Ukrainian Greek Catholicism, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, others.

Languages: Ukrainian (official), Russian, others.

Education: Literacy—99.7%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—9.9/ 1,000; life expectancy—64.71 yrs. males, 75.59 yrs. females.

Work force: 22.3 million. Industry and construction—32%; agriculture and forestry—24%; health, educa-tion, and culture—17%; transport and communication—7%.

Government

Type: Parliamentary-presidential.

Independence: August 24, 1991.

Constitution: First post-Soviet constitution adopted June 28, 1996, amended January 1, 2006.

Government branches: Executive—president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative—450-member unicameral parliament, the Supreme Rada (members elected to 4-year terms from party lists by proportional vote). Judicial—Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, local courts, and Constitutional Court.

Political parties: Wide range of active political parties and blocs, from leftist to center and center-right to ultra-nationalist.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Political subdivisions: 24 provinces (oblasts), Crimean autonomous republic, and two cities with special status—Kyiv and Sevastopol.

Economy

PPP GDP: (2006 est.) $355.8 billion.

Nominal GDP: (2006 est.) $81.53 billion.

Annual growth rate: (2006 gov. est.) 7.0%.

PPP per capita GDP: (2006 est.) $7,600.

Nominal per capita GDP: (2006 est.) $1,746.

Natural resources: Vast fertile lands, coal, ironstone, complex ore, various large mineral deposits, timber.

Agriculture: Products—Grain, sugar, sunflower seeds.

Industry: Types—Ferrous metals and products, oil and gas transport, coke, fertilizer, airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, tractors.

Trade: (2006) Exports of goods and services—$38.88 billion: Ferrous and nonferrous metals, mineral products, chemicals, energy transport services, machinery, transport equipment, grain, and textiles. Imports—$44.11 billion: Energy, mineral fuel and oil, machinery and parts, transportation equipment, chemicals, textiles, and paper.

PEOPLE

The population of Ukraine is about 46.9 million. Ethnic Ukrainians make up about 73% of the total; ethnic Russians number about 22%, ethnic Belarusians number about 5%. The industrial regions in the east and southeast are the most heavily populated, and the population is about 67% urban. Ukrainian and Russian are the principal languages. Although Russian is very widely spoken, in the 1989 census (the latest official figures) 88% of the population identified Ukrainian as their native language. There are also small Tatar and Hellenic minorities centered mainly in Crimea. The dominant religions are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (which practices Orthodox rites but recognizes the Roman Catholic Pope as head of the Church). The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is divided between a Moscow Patriarchate and a separate Kyiv Patriarchate, which was established after Ukrainian independence and which declared independence from Moscow. In addition to these, there are also the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

The birth rate in Ukraine is declining. About 70% of adult Ukrainians have a secondary or higher education. Ukraine has about 150 colleges and universities, of which the most important are in Kyiv, Lviv, and Kharkiv. There are about 70,000 scholars in 80 research institutes.

HISTORY

The first identifiable groups to populate what is now Ukraine were Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Goths, among other nomadic peoples who arrived throughout the first millennium B.C. These peoples were well known to colonists and traders in the ancient world, including Greeks and Romans, who established trading outposts that eventually became city-states. Slavic tribes occupied central and eastern Ukraine in the sixth century A.D. and played an important role in the establishment of Kyiv. Kievan Rus Prince Volodymyr converted the Kievan nobility and most of the population to Christianity in 988. Situated on lucrative trade routes, Kyiv quickly prospered as the center of the powerful state of Kievan Rus. In the 11th century, Kievan Rus was, geographically, the largest state in Europe. Conflict among the feudal lords led to decline in the 12th century. Mongol raiders razed Kyiv in the 13th century.

Most of the territory of what is modern Ukraine was annexed by Poland and Lithuania in the 14th century, but during that time, Ukrainians began to conceive of themselves as a distinct people, a feeling that survived subsequent partitioning by greater powers over the next centuries. Ukrainian peasants who fled the Polish effort to force them into servitude came to be known as Cossacks and earned a reputation for their fierce martial spirit and love of freedom. In 1667, Ukraine was partitioned between Poland and Russia. In 1793, when Poland was partitioned, much of modern-day Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire.

The 19th century found the region largely agricultural, with a few cities and centers of trade and learning. The region was under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the extreme west and the Russian Empire elsewhere. Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were inspired by the nationalistic spirit stirring other European peoples existing under other imperial governments and were determined to revive Ukrainian linguistic and cultural traditions and reestablish a Ukrainian state. Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), national hero of Ukraine, presented the intellectual maturity of the Ukrainian language and culture through his work as a poet and artist. Imperial Russia, however, imposed strict limits on attempts to elevate Ukrainian culture, even banning the use and study of the Ukrainian language.

When World War I and the Russian revolution shattered the Habsburg and Russian empires, Ukrainians declared independent statehood. In 1917 the Central Rada proclaimed Ukrainian autonomy and in 1918, following the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd, the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence under President Mykhaylo Hrush-evsky. After three years of conflict and civil war, however, the western part of Ukrainian territory was incorporated into Poland, while the larger, central and eastern regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922 as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The Ukrainian national idea persevered during the twenties, but with Stalin's rise to power and the campaign of forced collectivization, the Soviet leadership imposed a campaign of terror that ravaged the intellectual class. The Soviet government under Stalin also created an artificial famine (called the Holodomor in Ukrainian) as part of his forced collectivization policies, which killed millions of previously independent peasants and others throughout the country. Estimates of deaths from the 1932-33 famine alone range from 3 million to 7 million.

When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, some Ukrainians, particularly in the west, welcomed what they saw as liberation from Communist rule, but this did not last as they quickly came to understand the nature of Nazi rule. Nazi brutality was directed principally against Ukraine's Jews (of whom an estimated 1 million were killed), but also against many other Ukrainians. Babyn Yar in Kyiv was the site of one of the most horrific Nazi massacres of Ukrainian Jews, ethnic Ukrainians, and many others. Kyiv and other parts of the country were heavily damaged.

After the Nazi and Soviet invasions of Poland in 1939, the western Ukrainian regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union. Armed resistance against Soviet authority continued as late as the 1950s. During periods of relative liberalization—as under Nikita Khrushchev from 1955 to 1964 and during the period of “perestroika” under Mikhail Gorbachev—Ukrainian communists pursued nationalist objectives. The 1986 explosion at the Chornobyl (Chernobyl in Russian) nuclear power plant, located in the Ukrainian SSR, and the Soviet Government's initial efforts to conceal the extent of the catastrophe from its own people and the world, was a watershed for many Ukrainians in exposing the severe problems of the Soviet system. Ukraine became an indepen-

dent state on August 24, 1991, and was a co-founder of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, although it has not officially joined the organization.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Ukraine has a parliamentary-presidential system of government with separate executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The president nominates the defense and foreign ministers, and the Prosecutor General and Chief of the State Security Service (SBU), each of whom must be confirmed by the parliament. Beginning in 2006, the 450-member unicameral parliament (Supreme Rada) names the prime minister, who in turn nominates other ministers. The Supreme Rada initiates legislation, ratifies international agreements, and approves the budget. Its members are elected to five-year terms. Following free elections held on December 1, 1991, Leonid M. Krav-chuk, former chairman of the Ukrainian Rada, was elected to a five-year term, and became Ukraine's first president. At the same time, a referendum on independence was approved by more than 90% of the voters.

Shortly after becoming independent, Ukraine named a parliamentary commission to prepare a new constitution, adopted a multi-party system, and adopted legislative guarantees of civil and political rights for national minorities. A new, democratic constitution was adopted on June 28, 1996, which mandates a pluralistic political system with protection of basic human rights and liberties. Amendments that took effect January 1, 2006, shifted significant powers from the president to the prime minister and Supreme Rada.

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by law, although religious organizations are required to register with local authorities and with the central government. Minority rights are respected in accordance with a 1991 law guaranteeing ethnic minorities the right to schools and cultural facilities and the use of national languages in conducting personal business. According to the constitution, Ukrainian is the only official state language. In Crimea and some parts of eastern Ukraine—areas with substantial ethnic Russian minorities—local and regional governments permit Russian as a language for local official correspondence.

Freedom of speech and press are guaranteed by law and by the constitution, and authorities generally respect these rights. Prior to the “Orange Revolution,” however, authorities sometimes interfered with the news media through intimidation and other forms of pressure. In particular, the failure of the government to conduct a thorough, credible, and transparent investigation into the 2000 disappearance and murder of independent journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, in which then-government officials have been credibly implicated, negatively affected Ukraine's international image. Freedom of the media and respect for citizens’ rights have increased markedly since the government of President Yushchenko took office in January 2005.

Ethnic tensions in Crimea during 1992 prompted a number of pro-Russian political organizations to advocate secession of Crimea and annexation to Russia. (Crimea was ceded by the RFSSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954, in recognition of historic links and for economic convenience, to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine's union with Russia.) In July 1992, the Crimean and Ukrainian parliaments determined that Crimea would remain under Ukrainian jurisdiction while retaining significant cultural and economic autonomy.

Official trade unions have been grouped under the Federation of Trade Unions. A number of independent unions, which emerged during 1992, among them the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine, have formed the Consultative Council of Free Trade Unions. While the right to strike is legally guaranteed, strikes based solely on political demands are prohibited.

In July 1994, Leonid Kuchma was elected as Ukraine's second president in free and fair elections. Kuchma was reelected in November 1999 to another five-year term, with 56% of the vote. International observers criticized aspects of the election, especially slanted media coverage; however, the outcome of the vote was not called into question. Ukraine's March 2002 parliamentary elections were characterized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as flawed, but an improvement over the 1998 elections. The pro-presidential For a United Ukraine bloc won the largest number of seats, followed by the reformist Our Ukraine bloc of Viktor Yush-chenko (who was then a former Prime Minister), and the Communist Party.

The campaign leading to the October 31, 2004 presidential election was characterized by widespread violations of democratic norms, including government intimidation of the opposition and of independent media, abuse of state administrative resources, highly skewed media coverage, and numerous provocations. The two major candidates—Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader (and former Prime Minister) Viktor Yushchenko—each garnered between 39% and 40% of the vote and proceeded to a winner-take-all second round. The November 21 runoff election was marred by credible reports of widespread and significant violations, including illegal expulsion of opposition representatives from election commissions, multiple voting by busloads of people, abuse of absentee ballots, reports of coercion of votes in schools and prisons, and an abnormally high number of (easily manipulated) mobile ballot box votes. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Kyiv and other cities to protest electoral fraud and express support for Yushchenko, and conducted ongoing peaceful demonstrations during what came to be known as the “Orange Revolution.”

The OSCE International Election Observation Mission found that the November 21, 2004 run-off presidential election “did not meet a considerable number of OSCE commitments and Council of Europe and other European standards for democratic elections. Overall, State executive authorities and the Central Election Commission (CEC) displayed a lack of will to conduct a genuine democratic election process.” Other independent observers were similarly critical. On November 24, 2004, the CEC declared Prime Minister Yanuk-ovych the winner with 49.46% compared to 46.61% for Yushchenko. The U.S. and Europe refused to accept the result as legitimate due to the numerous, uninvestigated reports of fraud. European leaders traveled to Kyiv to mediate a political solution between the parties. On November 27, Ukraine's Supreme Rada passed a resolution declaring that the election results as announced did not represent the will of the people. On December 1, the Rada passed a vote of “no confidence” in the government. On December 3, Ukraine's Supreme Court invalidated the CEC's announced results and mandated a repeat of the second round vote to take place on December 26. An agreement mediated by the European leaders resulted in new legislation being passed by the Rada and signed by the President December 8. The electoral law was reformed to close loopholes that had permitted pervasive electoral fraud. The constitution was amended, effective not earlier than September 2005, to transfer power, especially with respect to appointment of ministers, from the president to the cabinet. Yet another law was passed, in first reading, to devolve some powers of the central government to regional councils. In addition, Prime Minister Yanukovych requested and was granted a leave of absence, and Prosecutor General Hennadiy Vasilyev submitted his resignation.

The December 26 re-vote took place in an atmosphere of calm. While irregularities were noted, observers found no systemic or massive fraud. The OSCE Mission noted that “campaign conditions were markedly more equal, observers received fewer reports of pressure on voters, the election administration was more transparent and the media more balanced than in previous rounds in our collective view Ukraine's elections have moved substantially closer to meeting OSCE and other European standards.” On January 10, 2005, after the CEC and the Supreme Court had considered and rejected numerous complaints and appeals filed by the Yanukovych campaign, the CEC certified the results: Yush-chenko had won 51.99% of the votes, with 44.20% for Yanukovych. President Yushchenko was inaugurated January 23, 2005.

Ukraine held parliamentary and local elections on March 26, 2006. International observers noted that conduct of the Rada election was in line with international standards for democratic elections, making this the most free and fair in Ukraine's history. Unlike the first rounds of the 2004 presidential election, candidates and parties were able to express themselves freely in a lively press and assembled without hindrance. There was no systemic abuse of administrative resources as there had been under the previous regime. The Party of Regions and the bloc of former Prime Minster Tymoshenko, whose government the President dismissed in September 2005, finished ahead of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc. Other parties passing the 3% threshold to enter parliament were the Socialist Party of Ukraine and the Communist Party of Ukraine. No party held the majority of Rada seats needed to form a government. Following four months of difficult negotiations, a government led by Prime Minister Yanukovych and including representatives from the Party of Regions, Our Ukraine, and the Socialist Party took office on August 4, 2006.

This, the first government formed after the extensive constitutional amendments brokered as part of the Orange Revolution, has been the focus the Prime Minister's growing influence, sometimes at the expense of the President. Amid shifting political alliances, the “Anti-Crisis Coalition” formed by the Party of Regions, Socialist and Communist parties has grown into a “Coalition of National Unity,” as some members of the pro-presidential “Our Ukraine” bloc have moved into the Prime Minister's camp. Meanwhile, others have joined forces with Bloc Yuliya Tymoshenko.

Security forces are controlled by the president, although they are subject to investigation by a permanent parliamentary commission. Surveillance is permitted for reasons of national security.

After independence, Ukraine established its own military forces of about 780,000 from the troops and equipment inherited from the Soviet Union. Under defense reform legislation passed in 2004, Ukraine is strengthening civilian control of the military, professionalizing its noncommissioned officer (NCO) corps, modernizing force structure to improve interoperability with NATO, and reducing troop numbers, all with an eye toward achieving NATO standards. Current force levels are approximately 225,000 (plus 90,000 civilian workers in the Ministry of Defense). The Ministry of Defense plans to continue force reductions by approximately 20,000 personnel per year to reach a final end state of 143,000 by 2011. Ukraine's stated national policy is Euro-Atlantic integration, including with both NATO and the European Union. NATO offered Ukraine an “Intensified Dialogue on Membership Issues” in April 2005. Ukraine had previously signed an agreement with NATO on using Ukraine's strategic airlift capabilities and has been an active participant in Partnership for Peace exercises, in Balkans peacekeeping, and Coalition operations in Iraq. Ukrainian units have been serving in the U.S. sector in Kosovo, and served in the Polish-led division in Iraq. Currently, Ukraine participates in six United Nations peacekeeping missions and has up to 50 troops serving in supporting roles in Iraq.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 2/1/2008

Pres.: Viktor YUSHCHENKO

Prime Min.: Yuliya TYMOSHENKO

First Dep. Prime Min.: Oleksandr TURCHYNOV

Dep. Prime Min.: Hryhoriy NEMYRYA

Dep. Prime Min.: Ivan VASYUNYK

Min. of the Cabinet of Ministers: Petro KRUPKO

Min. of Agriculture: Yuriy MELNYK

Min. of the Coal Industry: Viktor POLTAVETS

Min. of Communal Services: Oleksiy KUCHERENKO

Min. of Culture & Tourism: Vasyl VOVKUN

Min. of Defense: Yuriy YEKHANUROV

Min. of Economics: Bohdan DANYLYSHYN

Min. of Emergencies: Volodymyr SHANDRA

Min. of Environmental Protection: Heorhiy FYLYPCHUK

Min. of Family, Children, & Sports: Yuriy PAVLENKO

Min. of Finance: Viktor PYNZENYK

Min. of Foreign Affairs: Volodymyr OHRYZKO

Min. of Fuel & Energy: Yuriy PRODAN

Min. of Health: Vasyl KNYAZEVYCH

Min. of Industrial Policy: Volodymyr NOVITSKYY

Min. of Internal Affairs: Yuriy LUTSENKO

Min. of Justice: Mykola ONISHCHUK

Min. of Labor & Social Policy: Lyudmyla DENYSOVA

Min. of Regional Development & Construction: Vasyl KUYBIDA

Min. of Science & Education: Ivan VAKARCHUK

Min. of Transport & Communications: Yosip VINSKYY

State Sec. of the Pres.: Viktor BALOHA

Sec., National Security & Defense Council: Ivan PLYUSHCH

Chmn., State Security Service of Ukraine (Acting): Valentyn NALYVAYCHENKO

Prosecutor Gen.: Oleksandr MEDVEDKO

Chmn., State Property Fund: Valentyna SEMENYUK

Chmn., National Bank: Volodymyr STELMAKH

Ambassador to the US: Oleh SHAMSHUR

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Yuriy SERHEYEV

Ukraine maintains an embassy at 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007 (tel. 202-349-2920).

ECONOMY

With rich farmlands, a well-developed industrial base, highly trained labor, and a good education system, Ukraine has the potential to become a major European economy. After eight straight years of sharp economic decline from the early to late 1990s, the standard of living for most citizens declined more than 50%, leading to widespread poverty. Beginning in 2000 economic growth has averaged 7.4% per year, reaching 12.1% in 2004 and 7.0% in 2006. Personal incomes are rising. The macro economy is stable, with the hyperinflation of the early post-Soviet period now reduced to just over 11.6% (2006). Ukraine's currency, the hryvnia, was introduced in September 1996 and has remained stable despite a small nominal appreciation in April 2005. While economic growth continues, Ukraine's long-term economic prospects depend on acceleration of market reforms. The economy remains burdened by excessive government regulation, corruption, and lack of law enforcement, and while the government has taken steps against corruption and small and medium enterprises have been largely privatized, much remains to be done to restructure and privatize key sectors such as energy and telecommunications and to allow the free sale of farmland.

Ukraine is rich in natural resources. It has a major ferrous metal industry, producing cast iron, steel, and steel pipe, and its chemical industry produces coke, mineral fertilizers, and sulfuric acid. Manufactured goods include airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, and tractors. It also is a major producer of grain, sunflower seeds, and sugar and has a broad industrial base, including much of the former U.S.S.R.'s space and rocket industry. Although proven onshore and off-shore oil and natural gas reserves are small, it has important energy sources, such as coal, and large mineral deposits, and is one of the world's leading energy transit countries, providing transportation of Russian and Caspian oil and gas across its territory.

Ukraine encourages foreign trade and investment. The foreign investment law allows Westerners to purchase businesses and property, to repatriate revenue and profits, and to receive compensation in the event that property were to be nationalized by a future government. However, complex laws and regulations, poor corporate governance, weak enforcement of contract law by courts and particularly corruption have discouraged broad foreign direct investment in Ukraine. While there is a functioning stock market, the lack of protection for minority shareholder rights severely restricts portfolio investment activities. Total foreign direct investment in Ukraine was approximately $21.2 billion as of January 1, 2007. At $447 per capita, this was one of the lowest figures in the region.

While countries of the former Soviet Union remain important trading partners, especially Russia and Turkmenistan for energy imports, Ukraine's trade is becoming more diversified. Europe is now the destination of over one third of Ukraine's exports, while around one quarter of Ukraine's exports go to Russia and the CIS. Exports of machinery and machine tools are on the rise relative to steel, which constitutes over 30% of exports. Ukraine imports over 80% of its oil and 73% of its natural gas. Russia ranks as Ukraine's principal supplier of oil and Russian firms now own and/or operate the majority of Ukraine's refining capacity. Natural gas imports come from Russia and Turkmenistan, which deliver the gas through a pipeline system owned and controlled by Gazprom, Russia's state-owned gas monopoly. In 2005 and 2006, Ukraine switched from barter to cash payments for gas imports. Ukraine controls the gas pipelines on its territory that are also used to transit Russian gas to Western Europe. The complex relationship between supplier, transporter, and consumer has led to some tensions, including Russia's decision to cut off gas supplies for three days in January 2006.

The Government of Ukraine's 12-month $605 million precautionary standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expired in March 2005, and Ukraine currently does not receive IMF financing. In Article IV Consultations, the IMF recommends fiscal discipline and structural reforms, particularly of Ukraine's pension system. In July 2005, the World Bank approved a $250 million Development Policy Loan (formerly a Programmatic Adjustment Loan) to support reforms to improve the investment climate, public administration and financial management, and social inclusion. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) project outlays more than doubled in 2005 to 530 million Euros, bringing its portfolio to 2.2 billion Euros.

In 1992, Ukraine became a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is a member of the EBRD but not a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ukraine applied for membership in the WTO in 1995. Progress on its application had been slow but picked up momentum in 2006. The government has made accession to the WTO a priority in 2007.

Environmental Issues

Ukraine is interested in cooperating on regional environmental issues. Conservation of natural resources is a stated high priority, although implementation suffers from a lack of financial resources. Ukraine established its first nature preserve, Aska-nia-Nova, in 1921 and has a program to breed endangered species.

Ukraine has significant environmental problems, especially those resulting from the Chornobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986 and from industrial pollution. In accordance with its agreement with the G7 and European Commission in 1995, Ukraine permanently closed the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in December of 2000. Urgent measures for radiation and worker safety as well as structural improvements to the “sarcophagus” erected by the Soviet Union are largely complete, and the contract for construction of the new shelter to be built around the sarcophagus is expected to be awarded in 2007.

Ukraine also has established a Ministry of Environment and has introduced a pollution fee system, which levies taxes on air and water emissions and solid waste disposal. The resulting revenues are channeled to environmental protection activities, but enforcement of this pollution fee system is lax. Ukraine ratified the Kyoto Protocol in April 2004.

Construction of a shipping canal through a UN-protected core biosphere reserve in the Danube Delta, which began in May 2004, is an environmental issue of international interest.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

The government has declared Euro-Atlantic integration to be its primary foreign policy objective and has sought to maintain good relations with Russia. The European Union's Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Ukraine went into force on March 1, 1998. After the 2004 round of EU expansion, the EU did not signal a willingness to consider Ukraine for an association agreement, as Ukraine had hoped for, but instead included it in a new “neighbor” policy, disappointing many Ukrainians. An agreement on intensified cooperation is possible after Ukrainian WTO accession. On January 31, 1992, Ukraine joined the then-Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (now the Organization for Security and Coop-eration in Europe—OSCE), and on March 10, 1992, it became a member of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Ukraine signed a Charter Agreement with NATO in 1997, sent troops to Kosovo in close cooperation with NATO countries, signed an agreement for NATO use of Ukrainian strategic airlift assets, and has declared interest in eventual membership. It is the most active member of the Partnership for Peace (PfP). In April 2005, NATO offered an “Intensified Dialogue on Membership Issues” to Ukraine.

Ukraine maintains peaceful and constructive relations with all its neighbors, though there are some unresolved maritime issues along the Danube and in the Black Sea with Romania; it has especially close ties with Poland and Russia. Relations with Russia are complicated by differing foreign policy priorities in the region, energy dependence, payment arrears, disagreement over compliance with the 1997 agreement on the stationing of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, and a dispute over bilateral boundaries in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. Ukraine co-founded the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on December 8, 1991, but in January 1993 it refused to endorse a draft charter strengthening political, economic, and defense ties among CIS members. Ukraine was a founding member of GUAM (Georgia-Ukraine-Azerbaijan-Moldova) and has taken the lead with Georgia to promote cooperation among emerging democracies in the Community for Democratic Choice, which held its first summit meeting December 1-2, 2005 in Kyiv.

In 1999-2001, Ukraine served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Soviet Ukraine joined the United Nations in 1945 as one of the original members following a Western compromise with the Soviet Union, which had asked for seats for all 15 of its union republics. Ukraine has consistently supported peaceful, negotiated settlements to disputes. It has participated in the five-sided (now “5+2”) talks on the conflict in Moldova and under President Yushchenko has actively boosted efforts to seek a resolution. Ukraine has also promoted a peaceful resolution to conflict in the post-Soviet state of Georgia and has advocated a return to democracy in neighboring Belarus. Ukraine has also made a substantial contribution to UN peacekeeping operations since 1992.

U.S.-UKRAINIAN RELATIONS

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 brought an end to the Cold War and created an opportunity to build bilateral relations with the New Independent States (NIS) as they began a political and economic transformation. On December 25, 1991, the United States officially recognized the independence of Ukraine. It upgraded its consulate in the capital, Kyiv, to embassy status on January 21, 1992. The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is William B. Taylor, the sixth U.S. ambassador since Ukrainian independence.

The United States attaches great importance to the success of Ukraine's transition to a democratic state with a flourishing market economy. Following a period of economic decline characterized by high inflation and a continued reliance on state controls, the Ukrainian Government began taking steps in the fall of 1999 to reinvigorate economic reform that had been stalled for years due to a lack of a reform majority in the Ukrainian parliament. The Ukrainian Government's stated determination to implement comprehensive economic reform is a welcome development, and the U.S. is committed to strengthening its support for Ukraine as it continues on this difficult path. Bilateral relations suffered a setback in September 2002 when the U.S. Government announced it had authenticated a recording of President Kuchma's July 2000 decision to transfer a Kolchuga early warning system to Iraq. The Government of Ukraine denied that the transfer had occurred. Ukraine's democratic “Orange Revolution” has led to closer cooperation and more open dialogue between Ukraine and the United States. U.S. policy remains centered on realizing and strengthening a democratic, prosperous, and secure Ukraine more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures.

U.S. Assistance to Ukraine

A cornerstone for the continuing U.S. partnership with Ukraine and the other NIS has been the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets (FREEDOM) Support Act (FSA), enacted in October 1992. Ukraine has been a primary recipient of FSA assistance. Total U.S. assistance since independence has been more than $3 billion. U.S. assistance to Ukraine is targeted to promote political and economic reform and to address urgent humanitarian needs. The U.S. has consistently encouraged Ukraine's transition to a democratic society with a prosperous market-based economy. For more detailed information on these programs, please see the “Annual Report to Congress on U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Eurasia,” which is available on the State Department's website at the following address: http://www.state.gov/p/eur/ace/. Information is also available on USAID's website at the address: http://www.usaid.gov.

In November 2006, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) selected Ukraine to be eligible to apply for compact assistance. Ukraine already participates in the MCC Threshold Program, and in December 2006 signed a $45 million Threshold Program agreement. This program, which began implementation in early 2007, aims to reduce corruption in the public sector through civil society monitoring and advocacy, judicial reform, increased government monitoring and enforcement of ethical and administrative standards, streamlining and enforcing regulations, and combating corruption in higher education. Ukraine is beginning the process of developing a Compact proposal, and successful implementation of the Threshold Program will be necessary before the MCC will enter into a Compact with Ukraine. Information is also available on the MCC website at the following address: http://www.mcc.gov/.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Last Updated: 2/19/2008

KYIV (E) 4 Hlybochtska, + (380) (44) 490-4000, Fax + (380) (44) 490-4085, Workweek: M-F 0830-1730, Website: http://kyiv.usembassy.gov.

DCM OMS:Dahlene Sprague
AMB OMS:Deborah Woodfin
DHS/ICE:Robert Olson
ECO:Douglas Kramer
FM:Alan Sprague
HRO:John Madden
MGT:Margaret Uyehara
AMB:William Taylor
CG:Landon Taylor
DCM:James Pettit
PAO:Michelle Logsdon
GSO:Russell Baum
RSO:Ron Catipon
AGR:Garth Thorburn
AID:Earl Gast
DAO:James Molloy
IMO:Barbara Debbage
IPO:Eqbal Hakim
ISO:Laura Leinow
ISSO:Alexander Miller
LEGATT:Christopher McMurray
MLO:Ltc.Robert Timm
POL:Kent Logsdon

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

August 16, 2007

Country Description: Ukraine is undergoing profound political and economic change as it moves from its Soviet past toward a market economy, multi-party democracy, and integration into Euro-Atlantic and other international institutions. In recent years, the availability of goods and services has increased along with increased rates of growth in Ukraine's economy, and facilities for travelers have improved somewhat. Nonetheless, the availability of travel and tourist services remains uneven throughout the country, and Ukraine still lacks the abundance of many of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries.

Entry Requirements: A passport valid for six months beyond the planned date of travel is required. According to Ukrainian Presidential Decree #1008, dated June 30, 2005, U.S. citizens traveling to Ukraine on short-term tourist, business, or private travel do not need a visa to enter Ukraine. (Visas are still required of other categories of travelers including those who intend to study, reside, or work in Ukraine.) Any requests for extension of stay due to extenuating circumstances should be directed to the Ministry of Interior's Department of Citizenship, Immigration, and Registration (formerly known as OVIR). Extensions are not automatic, however, and are valid only for continued presence in the country. It is not possible to depart Ukraine and return on the extension, nor can an adjustment to visa status be made from within Ukraine.

Visas may be obtained from the Consular Office of the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C., or from Ukrainian Consulates General in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. For additional information about Ukrainian visas and related policy, please contact the Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate nearest you.

Embassy of Ukraine
3350 M Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 333-0606
Fax: (202) 333-0817
Web site: http://www.mfa.gov.ua/usa/en/

Consulate General of Ukraine in New York 240 East 49th Street New York, NY 10017 Tel: (212) 371-5690 Fax: (212) 371-5547 Web site: http://www.ukrconsul.org

Consulate General of Ukraine in San Francisco
530 Bush Street, Suite 402
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: (415) 398-0240
Fax: (415) 398-5039
Web site: http://www.ukrainesf.com/

Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago
10 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Tel: (312) 642 4388
Fax: (312) 642 4385
Web site: http://www.ukrchicago.com/

The Government of Ukraine does not issue visas at the point of entry into Ukraine. Travelers whose purpose of travel puts them in a category that requires a visa must obtain the correct Ukrainian visa prior to arrival. Otherwise they will be turned back to the United States or will have to travel to another European country to obtain a visa. Please check your visa carefully upon receipt and pay careful attention to validity dates. Each traveler is responsible for understanding the type of visa issued and the provisions of the visa. Frequently, American citizens are refused entry to Ukraine because they thought they possessed a multiple entry visa, but in fact their visa was valid for only a single entry.

Alternatively, Americans try to reenter Ukraine after using their single-entry visa, believing they have unlimited travel for six months. In some cases, Americans attempt to enter Ukraine before their visa becomes valid. This is a common mistake, since in Ukraine the date is written day-month-year, not month-day-year. Thus, a visa issued on 01/05/05 is valid from May 1, 2005 and NOT from January 5, 2005. These travelers have been detained at the airport, refused entry and placed on the next available flight. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv is unable to assist travelers in these situations.

Ukrainian law requires that foreign residents of Ukraine register with local authorities. American travelers entering Ukraine under the visa-free regime do not have to register any stays of 90 days or less. Travelers entering Ukraine on a visa must register after six months’ stay in Ukraine. Registration is done at the local offices of the Department of Citizenship, Immigration, and Registration.

Travelers who intend to visit Russia from Ukraine must also have a Russian visa. The Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in Ukraine is located at Prospekt Kutuzova 8, tel.: (380-44) 284-6816, fax 284-7936, e-mail: [email protected], http://www.embrus.org.ua.

Safety and Security: Ukraine is largely free of significant civil unrest or disorders. However, occasionally, mass demonstrations occur in larger cities, such as Kyiv, usually sponsored by individual political forces. While the majority of these protests are small and peaceful, it is best to avoid such gatherings.

There also have been recurrent incidents of groups of skinheads targeting people of Asian, African, or other non-European descent in downtown Kyiv.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's web site where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, including the Worldwide Caution Travel Alert, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.

Crime: Ukraine is undergoing a significant economic, political and social transformation, and income disparities have grown sharply. As a result, visitors perceived to be wealthier are targets for criminals. Americans often stand out in Ukraine, and are therefore more likely to be targeted than in Western European countries where incomes are higher and Americans may blend in better.

Most street crime ranges from various scams, simple pocket picking and purse snatching, to mugging, armed robbery, or the drugging of unsuspecting victims at nightspots and bars (where they are then robbed). Cases of assaults in apartment building corridors and stairwells, as well as armed break-ins and crimes involving small caliber firearms have also been reported. For more information, please see the Embassy's web site for Security for Americans.

The most common scam in Kyiv is a wallet scam that involves a person dropping a wallet or a packet of money near you, then asking if it is yours. The scammers will then either threaten to call the police and try to get you to pay them not to call, or ask you to show them your wallet to ensure that you did not take their money. If you produce your wallet, they will grab your money and flee.

While most travelers do not encounter problems with crime in Ukraine, there has been an increase in the number of racially-motivated attack conducted by “skinheads” in Kyiv. These incidents, in which foreigners who are members of minority groups are specifically targeted for violence, have occurred without provocation in prominent areas of downtown Kyiv that are commonly frequented by tourists. While the majority of people targeted have been of Asian, African, or other non-European descent, all travelers should exercise caution. In addition to incidents of assault, persons of African or Asian heritage may be subject to various types of harassment, such as being stopped on the street by both civilians and law enforcement officials.

Credit card and ATM fraud is widespread. Ukraine operates as a cash economy, and money scams are widespread. Although credit card and ATM use among Ukrainians is increasingly common, it is nevertheless strongly recommended that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards.

Burglaries of apartments and vehicles represent the most significant threat to long-term residents. Although few cars are actually stolen, primarily because of increased use of alarm systems and security wheel locks, vehicular break-ins and vehicular vandalism are becoming more common.

Ukraine lacks tourist and travel services for foreign victims of crime. Transferring funds from the United States, replacing stolen traveler's checks or airline tickets, or canceling credit cards can be difficult and time consuming. There are few safe low-cost lodgings, such as youth hostels. Public facilities in Ukraine are generally not equipped to accommodate persons with physical disabilities.

Over the past several years, the Embassy has received a number of reports of harassment and intimidation directed against foreign businesspersons and interests. While these reports have become considerably less frequent in recent years, they have not ended entirely. Reported incidents range from physical threats (possibly motivated by rival commercial interests tied to organized crime), to local government entities engaging in such practices as arbitrary termination or amendment of business licenses, dilution of corporate stock to diminish U.S. investor interest, delays of payment or delivery of goods, and arbitrary “inspections” by tax, safety or other officials that appear designed to harm the business rather than a genuine attempt at good governance.

Computer fraud is also becoming more common in Ukraine. Internet scams appear to be on the rise. The Embassy suggests refraining from wiring money unless the recipient is well-known and the purpose of busi-nness is clear. American citizens have reported transferring money to Ukraine to pay for goods purchased from residents of Ukraine via on-line auction sites, but never receiving the goods in return. The Embassy regularly receives complaints from Americans regarding scams involving marriage and dating services. Numerous Americans have lost money to agencies and individuals that claimed they could arrange for student or fiancée visas to the U.S.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred.

Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: In December 2005, Ukraine reported the first cases of H5N1 (“avian influenza,” “avian flu,” “bird flu,” “chicken flu”) among birds in Crimea. Further outbreaks followed in 2006. There are no registered human cases of H5N1 in Ukraine.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of hospitals and clinics with some English-speaking staff. Many facilities have only limited English speakers. There are no hospitals in Ukraine that provide a level of medical care equal to that found in American hospitals, or which accept American health insurance plans for payment. Some facilities are adequate for basic services. Basic medical supplies are available; however, travelers requiring prescription medicine should bring their own. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities. When a patient is hospitalized, the patient, relative, or acquaintance must supply bandages, medication, and food. The Embassy recommends that ill or infirm persons not travel to Ukraine. The Embassy also recommends that travelers obtain private medical evacuation insurance prior to traveling to Ukraine.

Medical evacuation remains the best way to secure western medical care. This option, however, is very expensive and could take at least several hours to arrange. Travelers may wish to purchase medical evacuation insurance prior to travel, or have access to substantial lines of credit to cover the cost of medical evacuation. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy has information on various air ambulance companies that perform medical evacuations to Europe or to the U.S. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to other European countries can cost from $25,000 to $50,000, and to the U.S. as much as $70,000 or more.

Please note that while the Embassy can help American travelers and their families make contact with a medical evacuation service, the U.S. Government cannot pay for medical evacuation.

Travelers should make sure they have medical evacuation insurance, which is available from many private companies, or have funds available for evacuation, should the need arise.

Radiation And Nuclear Safety: In 1986, the Chernobyl incident resulted in the largest short-term unintentional accidental release of radioactive materials to the atmosphere ever recorded. The highest areas of radioactive ground contamination occurred within thirty kilometers of the Chernobyl nuclear power station. The city of Kyiv was not badly affected because of the wind direction, but it was not completely spared. The Chernobyl nuclear power station closed officially on December 15, 2000.

The Ukrainian government has an effective program of monitoring fresh foods and meats sold in local markets. Street purchase of produce should be avoided. Wild berries, mushrooms, and wild fowl and game should be avoided, as these have been found to retain higher than average levels of radiation. Background levels of radiation are monitored regularly by the Embassy and to date have not exceeded the level found on the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's web site. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) web site. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

The Ukrainian parliament passed a law in 1997 whereby all visitors to Ukraine are required to obtain mandatory health insurance. According to information from the Ukrainian authorities, the cost of this medical insurance depends on the anticipated length of a foreigner's stay in Ukraine. The cost for the insurance is approximately 25 cents per day (more for short stays). This required insurance can be purchased after arrival from the Ukrainian Department of Immigration, Citizenship, and Registration, and covers only the costs of basic medical care inside Ukraine; it does not cover medical evacuation. Failure to purchase mandatory health insurance often results in refusal of treatment at Ukrainian public hospitals and clinics. Private clinics do not require Ukrainian public health insurance but can be as expensive as similar clinics in the United States and may require payment in advance

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Ukraine is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Generally, roads in Ukraine outside major urban areas are in poor condition and poorly lighted. Visitors should drive defensively at all times, since drivers often disregard traffic rules. Drivers are often poorly trained or drive without a valid driver's license. Drivers can also be very aggressive, and they normally do not respect the rights of pedestrians, even at clearly marked pedestrian crossings. Pedestrians should also be aware of cars driving or attempting to park on sidewalks. Many cars do not meet the safety standards common in America.

Cross-country travel at night and in winter can be particularly dangerous. The Embassy strongly recommends that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from driving their private vehicles after dark outside of major cities. However, major roads are drivable during daylight hours. Roadside services such as gas stations and repair facilities are becoming more common, particularly on the main national and regional overland highways and in large and mid-size cities.

Nonetheless, such services are far from American standards, and travelers should plan accordingly. There have been isolated reports of carjackings of western-made or foreign-registered cars. There has also been an increase in the number of documented reports of criminal acts occurring on trains.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Ukraine's Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with Inter-national Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for the oversight of Ukraine's air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's web site.

Special Circumstances: Ukraine does not recognize dual nationality. American citizens entering Ukraine with a Ukrainian passport will be treated as Ukrainian citizens by the local authorities. This may include being required to perform mandatory military service. Also, Ukrainians who have immigrated to the U.S. without obtaining the proper exit visa from Ukrainian authorities may be subject to civil or criminal penalties, and will be required to obtain an exit visa before returning to the U.S.

Ukraine is a cash economy. Traveler's checks and credit cards are gaining wider acceptance in larger cities. Even in Kyiv, however, acceptance of credit cards is not nearly as wide-spread as in the U.S. or in Western European countries. Expect credit card use to be limited to some hotels, upscale restaurants, international airlines, and the rapidly growing, but still select number of up-market stores.

Exchanging U.S. dollars into the national Ukrainian currency, hryvnya, is simple and unproblematic, as licensed exchange booths are widespread, and exchange rates are normally clearly advertised. Currency exchange is only legal at such licensed exchange booths, banks, and currency exchange desks at hotels; anyone caught dealing on the black market can expect to be detained by the local militia.

There are many banks and licensed currency exchange booths located in major cities. ATMs (a.k.a. banko-mats) are becoming more common throughout Ukraine, particularly in Kyiv and in other larger cities. In smaller cities and towns, ATMs are still virtually non-existent. Most ATMs disperse cash only in the local currency, hryvnya. The difficulties of a currency shortage can be avoided by coming to Ukraine with a sufficient supply of hard currency to cover necessary obligations during travel. Funds may be transferred by wire, advances may be drawn on credit cards, and traveler's checks may be cashed at many locations. Again, the Embassy emphasizes that the incidence of credit card and ATM bank-card fraud is high, and strongly recommends that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATMs.

Customs regulations prohibit sending cash, traveler's checks, personal checks, credit cards, or passports or other forms of identification through the international mail system, as well as via courier mail (FedEx, DHL, etc.). Customs authorities regularly confiscate these items as contraband. Ukrainian customs authorities may also enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Ukraine of items such as firearms, antiquities, currency, etc. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, or one of Ukraine's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. As in many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/ or fines.

Ukrainian law requires that travelers declare all cash and jewelry, regardless of value, upon entering Ukraine. Travelers should fill out a customs declaration and ask customs officials to stamp it. According to Ukrainian law, foreign citizens may bring up to $15,000 in cash, or up to $30,000 in traveler's checks, into Ukraine without a special license. A traveler must declare the imported currency. If customs officials determine that a traveler entering or exiting the country is carrying undeclared currency, they can and often do confiscate the undeclared funds. When leaving the country, foreign travelers are only allowed to take out a maximum of $3,000 in cash, or as much cash as they declared upon their entry into Ukraine. If a traveler wants to take out more than $3,000, the traveler must have a customs declaration proving that he or she in fact brought the corresponding sum of money into the country.

Travelers desiring to bring more than $15,000 into Ukraine must obtain a special license AFTER entering the country.

Customs Regulations: Procedures for Transporting Currencies, Monetary Instruments, or Precious Metals” at http://kyiv.usembassy.gov/ amcit_travel_ukrcustoms_eng.html. Ukraine has strict limitations for the export of antiques and other goods and artifacts deemed to be of particularly important historical or cultural value. This includes any items produced before 1950.

It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, or one of Ukraine's consulates in the United States, for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Ukraine's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Ukraine are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration and Embassy Locations: Americans living or traveling in Ukraine are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration web site and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Ukraine. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located at #6 Mykoly Pymonenka St., 01901 Kyiv, Ukraine. Telephone: (38-044) 490-4422, fax 486-3393. The Embassy is located at #10 Yuriy Kotsyubynsky St. 01901 Kyiv, Ukraine. Tel.: (38-044) 490-4000.

International Adoption

October 2007

The information in this section has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and current understanding. It does not necessarily reflect the actual state of the laws of a child's country of birth and is provided for general information only. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

Patterns of Immigration: Please review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Adoption Authority: The State Department for Adoptions and Protection of Rights of the Child (SDAPRC), a part of the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports, is the only Ukrainian government entity authorized to facilitate intercountry adoptions. The SDAPRC maintains the database of adoptable children available for both domestic and intercountry adoptions, and is involved in the process from the moment prospective adoptive parents apply for registration until an adoption hearing is held in court.

State Department for Adoptions and Protection of Rights of the Child (SDAPRC)
14 Desyatynna Street
Kyiv, Ukraine 01025
Tel/Fax: (380)(44) 278-4045

Eligibility Requirements for Adoptive Parents: Married and single people may adopt from Ukraine. Prospective adoptive parents have to be at least 18 years old, and the age difference between the adopting parent(s) and adopted child must be at least 15 years, although this can be waived if circumstances warrant. If the child is adopted by a relative, the age difference is not considered.

According to the new Family Code of Ukraine (Article 213), if multiple prospective adoptive parents wish to adopt the same child, preference will be given first to a Ukrainian citizen, second to foreign couples who are married, and finally to foreign single parents. Hence, single foreign parents, while still allowed to register with the SDAPRC, have last preference and may wait significantly longer than other prospective adopive parents—even to the point that their application documents may expire before they receive an appointment date. However, each adoption application is considered by Ukrainian adoption authorities on an individual basis.

Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements to adopt in Ukraine.

Time Frame: Three to twelve months can pass between the prospective adoptive parents’ submission of their application dossier and the SDAPRC appointment date. In addition, there is usually a three-to-four-week wait between the initial filing of the adoption petition in the local court and issuance of the final adoption decree.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys: Some American parents have reported to the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv that their agents or facilitators may have engaged in questionable practices during the adoption process. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv and the Office of Children's Issues at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. want to hear about any such experiences. Please review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family for a list of agencies.

Adoption Fees: There are no Ukrainian fees except those for court filing, notarial, translation and similar services. Adoptive parents of Ukrainian children have reported paying between $2,000 and $20,000 to their adoption agencies for services rendered. These lump-sum payments have often included lodging, transportation, authentication of Ukrainian documents, fees for expedited services and interpretation/translation services.

Some adoptive parents have also reported facing additional and unexpected fees after arriving in Ukraine. American families should inform the U.S. Embassy or the Department of State if they encounter unexpected or seemingly inappropriate fees. In order to minimize the possibility of such situations, prospective adoptive parents should request a fee schedule from their adoption agency and discuss under what circumstances additional, unexpected fees may be charged. Prospective adoptive parents can further protect themselves by openly discussing all fees and expenses in detail before hiring a facilitator or interpreter. Recommendations from past adoptive families may also be helpful.

Adoption Procedures: Prospective adoptive parents must first register with the State Department for Adoptions and Protection of Rights of the Child. Families do not need to be present in Ukraine at this point in the process. The SDAPRC processes the documents submitted by adopting parents and enters them into its database within twenty working days. Once an application is approved, the prospective adoptive parents will receive an appointment (invitation) to visit the SDAPRC, at which time SDAPRC officials will show them information about orphans eligible for intercountry adoption and within the prospective parents’ specified age range (if any). The SDAPRC then issues a letter of referral to allow the prospective parents to visit an orphanage to meet and establish contact with a child. Once the SDAPRC issues permission for prospective parents to visit an orphanage, parents may go and meet a child, check medical records and establish personal contact with a child.

While meeting a child at an orphanage, prospective adoptive parents will be shown his/her medical history. If the prospective parents have questions or concerns, they have the right under Ukrainian law to request an additional medical check-up, including blood tests. Parents should make every effort to understand thoroughly any medical conditions the child may have. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, at the time of the child's immigrant visa interview, is required to confirm that the American parents are aware of the child's medical conditions, if any.

After prospective adoptive parents identify a child for adoption, the file for the case is presented to a judge in the region where the child lives. The power to approve or deny an adoption remains solely with an individual judge, who bases his/her decision on a review of various case-specific documents during the court hearing.

As a general rule, the judge's decision is announced and issued the day of the hearing. However, it does not take effect for 10 days, during which time the adoption can be appealed, although this is rare. Once the final decision takes effect, the child's new parents have full parental rights and legal responsibility for the child.

Once the final court decree has been issued, the local Vital Records Office (known by its Ukrainian abbreviation “RAGS”) issues the child a new birth certificate. The parents must submit both the court decree and the child's original Ukrainian birth certificate to the RAGS office in order to get the revised birth certificate.

Once the post-adoption birth certificate has been issued, the parents may apply for a Ukrainian passport for their child Office of Visas and Registration (known by the Ukrainian abbreviation “VVIR”).

Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Required Documents: The following documents must be part of the adoption application submitted to the Ukrainian adoption authority (SDAPRC):

  • Home Study
  • Entrance and permanent residence permit for the adopted child, issued by the competent authority in the adopting parents’ country
  • Proof of Income
  • Medical Information
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Identification Documents
  • Criminal Record
  • Registration Commitment

Please note that all eight documents must be separate documents; one cannot be part of another.

Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Embassy of Ukraine
3350 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: 202 333 0606
Fax: 202 333 0817
Website: www.ukremb.com

Ukraine also has Consulates General in Chicago (www.ukrchicago.com), New York (www.ukrconsul.org) and San Francisco (www.UkraineSF.com).

U.S. Immigration Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to consult USCIS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoptions. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

U.S. Embassy
6 Pymonenko Street
Kyiv, Ukraine
Tel: 380-44-490-4422
Immigrant Visa Unit Tel: 380-44-490-4079
Fax: 380-44-490-4040
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://kyiv.usembassy.gov

For further information on international adoption, contact the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 or visit its web site on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov/family. You may also direct inquiries to: Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-4811; Phone: (202) 736-9090; Fax: (202) 312-9743.

views updated

UKRAINE

Compiled from the August 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Ukraine


PROFILE

Geography

Area:

233,000 sq. mi.

Cities:

Capital—Kiev (often transliterated as Kyiv from Ukrainian, pop. 2.8 million). Other cities—Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Odesa, Lviv.

Terrain:

A vast plain mostly bounded by the Carpathian mountains in the southwest and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the South.

Climate:

Continental temperate, except in southern Crimea, which has a sub-tropical climate.

People

Population (est.):

47.42 million.

Nationality:

Noun—Ukrainian(s); adjective—Ukrainian.

Ethnic groups:

Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians, Moldovans, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Jews, Poles, Crimean Tatars, and other groups.

Religion:

Ukrainian Orthodoxy, Ukrainian Greek Catholicism, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, others.

Language:

Ukrainian (official), Russian, others.

Education:

Literacy—98%.

Health:

Infant mortality rate—22/1,000; life expectancy—61.6 yrs. males, 72.8 yrs. females.

Work force:

23 million. Industry and construction—32%; agriculture and forestry—24%; health, education, and culture—17%; transport and communication—7%.

Government

Type:

Presidential-parliamentary.

Independence:

August 24, 1991.

Constitution:

First post-Soviet constitution adopted June 28, 1996.

Branches:

Executive—president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative—450-member unicameral parliament, the Supreme Rada (members elected to 4-year terms). Judicial—Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, local courts, and Constitutional Court.

Political parties:

Wide range of active political parties and blocs, from leftist to center and center-right to ultra-nationalist.

Suffrage:

Universal at 18.

Administrative subdivisions:

24 provinces (oblasts), Crimean autonomous republic, and two cities with special status—Kiev and Sevastopol.

Economy

Nominal GDP (2004 est.):

$62.77 billion.

Annual growth rate (2004 gov. est.):

12.5%.

Nominal per capita GDP (2004 est.):

$1324.

Natural resources:

Vast fertile lands, coal, ironstone, complex ore, various large mineral deposits, timber.

Agriculture:

Products—Grain, sugar, sunflower seeds.

Industry:

Types—Ferrous metals and products, oil and gas transport, coke, fertilizer, airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, tractors.

Trade (2003):

Exports—$23.07 billion: Ferrous and nonferrous metals, mineral products, chemicals, energy transport services, machinery, transport equipment, grain, and textiles. Imports—$23.02 billion: Energy, mineral fuel and oil, machinery and parts, transportation equipment, chemicals, textiles, and paper.


PEOPLE

The population of Ukraine is about 47.42 million. Ethnic Ukrainians make up about 73% of the total; ethnic Russians number about 22%, ethnic Belarusians number about 5%. The industrial regions in the east and southeast are the most heavily populated, and the urban population makes up about 67% of the population. Ukrainian and Russian are the principal languages. Although Russian is very widely spoken, in the 1989 census (the latest official figures) 88% of the population identified Ukrainian as their native language. The dominant religions are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (which practices Orthodox rites but recognizes the Pope as head of the Church). The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is divided between a Moscow Patriarchy and a separate Kiev Patriarchy, which was established after Ukrainian independence and which declared independence from Moscow. In addition to these, there are also the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

The birth rate of Ukraine is declining. About 70% of adult Ukrainians have a secondary or higher education. Ukraine has about 150 colleges and universities, of which the most important are at Kiev, Lviv, and Kharkiv. There are about 70,000 scholars in 80 research institutes.


HISTORY

The first identifiable groups to populate what is now Ukraine were Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Goths, among other nomadic peoples who arrived throughout the first millennium B.C. These peoples were well known to colonists and traders in the ancient world, including Greeks and Romans, who established trading outposts that eventually became city-states. Slavic tribes occupied central and eastern Ukraine in the sixth century A.D. and played an important role in the establishment of Kiev. Situated on lucrative trade routes, Kiev quickly prospered as the center of the powerful state of Kievan Rus. In the 11th century, Kievan Rus was, geographically, the largest state in Europe. Christian missionaries, Cyril and Methodius, propagated the Christian faith and the Cyrillic alphabet. Kievan Rus Prince Volodymyr converted the Kievan nobility and most of the population to Christianity in 988. Conflict among the feudal lords led to decline in the 12th century. Mongol raiders razed Kiev in the 13th century.

Most of the territory of what is modern Ukraine was annexed by Poland and Lithuania in the 14th century, but during that time, Ukrainians began to conceive of themselves as a distinct people, a feeling that survived subsequent partitioning by greater powers over the next centuries. Ukrainian peasants who fled the Polish effort to force them into servitude came to be known as Cossacks and earned a reputation for their fierce martial spirit and love of freedom. In 1667, Ukraine was partitioned between Poland and Russia. In 1793, when Poland was partitioned, much of modern-day Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire.

The 19th century found the region largely agricultural, with a few cities and centers of trade and learning. The region was under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the extreme west and the Russian Empire elsewhere. Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were inspired by the nationalistic spirit stirring other European peoples existing under other imperial governments and were determined to revive Ukrainian linguistic and cultural traditions and reestablish a Ukrainian state. Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), national hero of Ukraine, presented the intellectual maturity of the Ukrainian language and culture through his work as a poet and artist. Imperial Russia, however, imposed strict limits on attempts to elevate Ukrainian culture, even banning the use and study of the Ukrainian language.

When World War I and the Russian revolution shattered the Habsburg and Russian empires, Ukrainians declared independent statehood. In 1917 the Central Rada proclaimed Ukrainian autonomy and in 1918, following the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd, the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence under President Mykhaylo Hrushevsky. After three years of conflict and civil war, however, the western part of Ukrainian territory was incorporated into Poland, while the larger, central and eastern regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922 as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The Ukrainian national idea persevered during the twenties, but with Stalin's rise to power and the campaign for collectivization, the Soviet leadership imposed a campaign of terror that ravaged the intellectual class. Stalin also created an artificial famine (called the Holodomor in Ukrainian) as part of his forced collectivization policies, which killed millions of previously independent peasants and others throughout the country. Estimates of deaths from the 1932-33 famine alone range from 3 million to 7 million.

When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, some Ukrainians, particularly in the west, welcomed what they saw as liberation from Communist rule, but this did not last as they quickly came to understand the nature of Nazi rule. Nazi brutality was directed principally against Ukraine's Jews (of whom an estimated 1 million were killed), but also against many other Ukrainians. Babyn Yar in Kiev was the site of one of the most horrific Nazi massacres of Ukrainian Jews, ethnic Ukrainians, and many others. Kiev and other parts of the country were heavily damaged.

After the Nazi and Soviet invasions of Poland in 1939, the western Ukrainian regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union. Armed resistance against Soviet authority continued as late as the 1950s. During periods of relative liberalization—as under Nikita Khrushchev from 1955 to 1964 and during the period of "perestroika" under Mikhail Gorbachev—Ukrainian communists pursued nationalist objectives. The 1986 explosion at the Chornobyl (Chernobyl in Russian) nuclear power plant, located in the Ukrainian SSR, and the Soviet Government's initial efforts to conceal the extent of the catastrophe from its own people and the world, was a watershed for many Ukrainians in exposing the severe problems of the Soviet system. Ukraine became an independent state on August 24, 1991, and was a co-founder of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, although it has not officially joined the organization.


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Ukraine has a presidential/parliamentary system of government with separate executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The president nominates the prime minister, who must be confirmed by the parliament. The 450-member unicameral parliament (Supreme Rada) initiates legislation, ratifies international agreements, and approves the budget. Its members are elected to four-year terms. Following free elections held on December 1, 1991, Leonid M. Kravchuk, former chairman of the Ukrainian Rada, was elected president for a five-year term. At the same time, a referendum on independence was approved by more than 90% of the voters. Political groupings in Ukraine include former communists, socialists, agrarians, liberals, nationalists, and various centrist and independent forces.

Shortly after becoming independent, Ukraine named a parliamentary commission to prepare a new constitution, adopted a multi-party system, and adopted legislative guarantees of civil and political rights for national minorities. A new, democratic constitution was adopted on June 28, 1996, which mandates a pluralistic political system with protection of basic human rights and liberties.

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by law, although religious organizations are required to register with local authorities and with the central government. Minority rights are respected in accordance with a 1991 law guaranteeing ethnic minorities the right to schools and cultural facilities and the use of national languages in conducting personal business. According to the constitution, Ukrainian is the only official state language. In Crimea and some parts of eastern Ukraine—areas with substantial ethnic Russian minorities—local and regional governments permit Russian as a language for local official correspondence.

Freedom of speech and press are guaranteed by law and by the constitution, but authorities have sometimes interfered with the news media through intimidation and other forms of pressure. In particular, the failure of the previous government to conduct a thorough, credible, and transparent investigation into the 2000 disappearance and murder of independent journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, in which government officials have been credibly implicated, has had a negative effect on Ukraine's international image. Freedom of the media and respect for citizens' rights have increased markedly under the new government of President Yushchenko.

Ethnic tensions in Crimea during 1992 prompted a number of pro-Russian political organizations to advocate secession of Crimea and annexation to Russia. (Crimea was ceded by the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954, in recognition of historic links and for economic convenience, to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine's union with Russia.) In July 1992, the Crimean and Ukrainian parliaments determined that Crimea would remain under Ukrainian jurisdiction while retaining significant cultural and economic autonomy.

Official trade unions have been grouped under the Federation of Trade Unions. A number of independent unions, which emerged during 1992, among them the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine, have formed the Consultative Council of Free Trade Unions. While the right to strike is legally guaranteed, strikes based solely on political demands are prohibited.

In July 1994, Leonid Kuchma was elected as Ukraine's second president in free and fair elections. Kuchma was reelected in November 1999 to another five-year term, with 56% of the vote. International observers criticized aspects of the election, especially slanted media coverage; however, the outcome of the vote was not called into question. In March 2002, Ukraine held its most recent parliamentary elections, which were characterized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as flawed, but an improvement over the 1998 elections. The pro-presidential For a United Ukraine bloc won the largest number of seats, followed by the reformist Our Ukraine bloc of former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko, and the Communist Party. There are 450 seats in parliament, with half chosen from party lists by proportional vote and half from individual constituencies. However, under a new law passed in 2004, all seats in the 2006 parliamentary elections will be chosen from party lists.

The campaign leading to the October 31, 2004 presidential election was characterized by widespread violations of democratic norms, including government intimidation of the opposition and of independent media, abuse of state administrative resources, highly skewed media coverage, and numerous provocations. The two major candidates—Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader (and former Prime Minister) Viktor Yushchenko—each garnered between 39% and 40% of the vote and proceeded to a winner-take-all second round. The November 21 runoff election was marred by credible reports of widespread and significant violations, including illegal expulsion of opposition representatives from election commissions, multiple voting by busloads of people, abuse of absentee ballots, and an abnormally high number of (easily manipulable) mobile ballot box votes. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Kiev and other cities to protest electoral fraud and express support for Yushchenko, and conducted ongoing peaceful demonstrations during what came to be known as the "Orange Revolution."

The OSCE International Election Observation Mission found that the election "did not meet a considerable number of OSCE commitments and Council of Europe and other European standards for democratic elections…Overall, State executive authorities and the Central Election Commission (CEC) displayed a lack of will to conduct a genuine democratic election process." Other independent observers were similarly critical. On November 24, 2004 the CEC declared Prime Minister Yanukovych the winner with 49.46% compared to 46.61% for Yushchenko. The U.S. and Europe refused to accept the result as legitimate due to the numerous, uninvestigated reports of fraud. European leaders traveled to Kiev to mediate a political solution between the parties. On November 27, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Parliament) passed a resolution declaring that the election results as announced did not represent the will of the people. On December 1, the Rada passed a vote of "no confidence" in the government. On December 3, Ukraine's Supreme Court invalidated the CEC's announced results and mandated a repeat of the second round vote to take place on December 26. An agreement mediated by the European leaders resulted in new legislation being passed by the Rada and signed by the President December 8. The Electoral law was reformed to close loopholes that had permitted pervasive electoral fraud. The Constitution was amended, effective not earlier than September 2005, to transfer power, especially with respect to appointment of Ministers, from the President to the Cabinet. Yet another law was passed, in first reading, to devolve some powers of the central government to regional councils. In addition, Prime Minister Yanukovych requested and was granted a leave of absence, and Prosecutor General Hennadiy Vasilyev submitted his resignation.

The December 26 re-vote took place in an atmosphere of calm. While irregularities were noted, observers found no systemic or massive fraud. The OSCE Mission, in a preliminary statement, noted that "campaign conditions were markedly more equal, observers received fewer reports of pressure on voters, the election administration was more transparent and the media more balanced than in previous rounds…in our collective view Ukraine's elections have moved substantially closer to meeting OSCE and other European standards." On January 10, 2005, after the CEC and the Supreme Court had considered and rejected numerous complaints and appeals filed by the Yanukovych campaign, the CEC certified the results. Yushchenko won 51.99% of the votes, with 44.20% for Yanukovych. 2.34% voted against both, and 1.45% of ballots were invalidated. The Yanukovych campaign filed one last appeal with the Supreme Court, which rejected it on January 20 and authorized the publication of the results in "Government Courier" and "Voice of Ukraine," rendering them official and final. President Yushchenko was inaugurated January 23, 2005.

Security forces are controlled by the president, although they are subject to investigation by a permanent parliamentary commission. Surveillance is permitted for reasons of national security.

After independence, Ukraine established its own military forces of about 780,000 from the troops and equipment inherited from the Soviet Union. Under defense reform legislation passed in 2004, Ukraine is strengthening civilian control of the military, professionalizing its noncommissioned officer (NCO) corps, modernizing force structure to improve interoperability with NATO, and reducing troop numbers, all with an eye toward NATO standards. Current force levels are approximately 350,000 (plus 90,000 civilian workers in the Ministry of Defense), with the goal of further reductions to around 200,000 by 2005. Ukraine's stated national policy is Euro-Atlantic integration, including with both NATO and the European Union. NATO offered Ukraine an "Intensified Dialogue on Membership Issues" in April 2005. Ukraine had previously signed an agreement with NATO on using Ukraine's strategic airlift capabilities and has been an active participant in Partnership for Peace exercises, in Balkans peacekeeping, and Coalition forces in Iraq. Ukrainian units have been serving in the U.S. sector in Kosovo, and in the Polish-led division in Iraq.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 10/26/2005

President: Viktor YUSHCHENKO
Prime Minister: Yuriy YEKHANUROV
First Dep. Prime Min.: Stanislav STASHEVSKYY
Dep. Prime Min. for Humanitarian Affairs: Vyacheslav KYRYLENKO
Dep. Prime Min. for Regional Policy: Roman BEZSMERTNYY
Dep. Prime Min. for Agriculture: Yuriy MELNYK
Min. of Agrarian Policy: Oleksandr BARANIVSKYY
Min. of Architecture & Construction: Pavlo KACHUR
Min. of the Coal Industry: Viktor TOPOLOV
Min. of Culture & Arts: Ihor LIKHOVYY
Min. of Defense: Anatoliy HRYTSENKO
Min. of Economics: Arseniy YATSENYUK
Min. of Emergencies: Viktor BOLOHA
Min. of Environmental Protection: Pavlo IHNATENKO
Min. of Family, Children, & Youth: Yuriy PAVLENKO
Min. of Finance: Viktor PYNZENYK
Min. of Foreign Affairs: Borys TARASYUK
Min. of Fuel & Energy: Ivan PLACHKOV
Min. of Health: Yuriy POLYACHENKO
Min. of Industrial Policy: Volodymyr SHANDRA
Min. of Interior: Yuriy LUTSENKO
Min. of Justice: Serhiy HOLOVATYY
Min. of Labor & Social Policy: Ivan SAKHAN
Min. of Science & Education: Stanislav NIKOLAYENKO
Min. of Transport & Communications: Viktor BONDAR
State Sec. of the President: Oleh RYBACHUK
Sec., National Security & Defense Council: Anatoliy KINAKH
Chmn., Security Services: Ihor DRIZHCHANYY
Prosecutor General: Chmn., State Property Fund: Valentyna SEMENYUK
Chmn., National Bank: Volodymyr STELMAKH
Ambassador to the US: Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Valeriy KUCHYNSKYY

Ukraine maintains an embassy at 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007 (tel. 202-349-2920).


ECONOMY

Ukraine has many of the components of a major European economy—rich farmlands, a well-developed industrial base, highly trained labor, and a good education system. After eight straight years of sharp economic decline from the early to late 1990s, the standard of living for most citizens declined more than 50%, leading to widespread poverty. Beginning in 2000 economic growth has averaged almost 9% per year, reaching 9.4% in 2003 and 12.5% in 2004. Personal incomes are rising. The macro economy is stable, with the hyperinflation of the early post-Soviet period having been tamed. Ukraine's currency, the hryvnia, was introduced in September 1996 and has remained stable until quite recently. While economic growth continues, Ukraine's long-term economic prospects depend on acceleration of market reforms. The economy remains burdened by excessive government regulation, corruption, and lack of law enforcement, and while the Yushchenko government has taken steps against corruption and small and medium enterprises have been largely privatized, much remains to be done to restructure and privatize key sectors such as energy and telecommunications.

Ukraine is rich in natural resources. It has a major ferrous metal industry, producing cast iron, steel, and steel pipe, and its chemical industry produces coke, mineral fertilizers, and sulfuric acid. Manufactured goods include airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, and tractors. It also is a major producer of grain, sunflower seeds, and sugar and has a broad industrial base, including much of the former USSR's space and rocket industry. Although oil and natural gas reserves are small, it has important energy sources, such as coal, and large mineral deposits, and is one of the worlds leading energy transit countries, providing transportation of Russian and Caspian oil and gas across its territory.

Ukraine encourages foreign trade and investment. The foreign investment law allows Westerners to purchase businesses and property, to repatriate revenue and profits, and to receive compensation in the event that property were to be nationalized by a future government. However, complex laws and regulations, poor corporate governance, weak enforcement of contract law by courts and corruption stymie large-scale foreign direct investment in Ukraine. While there is a functioning stock market, the lack of protection for minority shareholder rights severely restricts portfolio investment activities. Total foreign direct investment in Ukraine was approximately $7.72 billion as of October 1, 2004, which, at $162 per capita, was still one of the lowest figures in the region.

While countries of the former Soviet Union remain important trading partners, especially Russia and Turkmenistan for energy imports, Ukraine's trade is becoming more diversified. Europe is now the destination of over one third of Ukraine's exports, while around one quarter of Ukraine's exports go to Russia and the CIS. Exports of machinery and machine tools are on the rise relative to steel, which constitutes over 30% of exports. Ukraine imports 90% of its oil and most of its natural gas. Russia ranks as Ukraine's principal supplier of oil and Russian firms now own and/or operate the majority of Ukraine's refining capacity. Natural gas imports come from Russia, which delivers natural gas as a barter payment for Ukraine's role in transporting Russian gas to Western Europe.

The Government of Ukraine signed a 12-month $605 million precautionary standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in March 2004. The IMF, however, failed to complete its review of the agreement in July-August 2004, raising concerns about inflationary aspects of an increasing budget deficit at a time when revenues were growing (i.e., a pre-election spending surge), the accumulation of arrears of VAT refunds to exporters, and ongoing structural problems, especially in the financial sector. Ukraine received just $75 million of the $250 million Programmatic Adjustment Loan, second tranche, in 2003. The World Bank may grant the remaining $175 million to the Government of Ukraine this year, subject to energy sector financial reforms. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) project outlays, which often are tied to nuclear safety, totaled $120 million in 2003 and $206 million in 2002.

In 1992, Ukraine became a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is a member of the EBRD but not a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ukraine applied for membership in the WTO in 1995. Progress on its application has been slow, but picked up momentum in 2003 and early 2004. The new government has made accession to the WTO by the end of 2005 a priority.

Environmental Issues

Ukraine is interested in cooperating on regional environmental issues. Conservation of natural resources is a stated high priority, although implementation suffers from a lack of financial resources. Ukraine established its first nature preserve, Askanyia-Nova, in 1921 and has a program to breed endangered species.

Ukraine has significant environmental problems, especially those resulting from the Chornobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986 and from industrial pollution. In accordance with its previously announced plans, Ukraine permanently closed the Chornobyl Atomic Energy Station in December of 2000. Design work as well as structural improvements to the "sarcophagus" erected by the Soviet Union are largely complete, and construction on the new shelter to be built around the sarcophagus was expected to be awarded by the end of 2004.

Ukraine also has established a Ministry of Environment and has introduced a pollution fee system, which levies taxes on air and water emissions and solid waste disposal. The resulting revenues are channeled to environmental protection activities, but enforcement of this pollution fee system is lax. Ukraine ratified the Kyoto Protocol in April 2004.

Construction of a shipping canal through a UN protected core biosphere reserve in the Danube Delta, which began in May 2004, is an environmental issue of international interest.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

The previous Ukraine Government balanced Ukraine's relationship with Europe and the United States with strong ties with Russia, including pursuing the Single Economic Space project with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. The new Yushchenko government has sought to maintain good relations with Russia but has declared Euro-Atlantic integration to be its primary foreign policy objective. The European Union's Partner-ship and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Ukraine went into force on March 1, 1998. After the 2004 round of EU expansion, the EU did not signal a willingness to consider Ukraine for an association agreement, as Ukraine had hoped for, but instead included it in a new "neighbor" policy, disappointing many Ukrainians. On January 31, 1992, Ukraine joined the then-Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (now the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe—OSCE), and on March 10, 1992, it became a member of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Ukraine signed a Charter Agreement with NATO in 1997, sent troops to Kosovo in close cooperation with NATO countries, signed an agreement for NATO use of Ukrainian strategic airlift assets, and has declared interest in eventual membership. It is the most active member of the Partnership for Peace (PfP). In April 2005, NATO offered an "Intensified Dialogue on Membership Issues" to Ukraine.

Ukraine maintains peaceful and constructive relations with all its neighbors, though there are some unresolved maritime issues along the Danube and in the Black Sea with Romania; it has especially close ties with Poland and Russia. Relations with Russia are complicated by energy dependence, payment arrears, and a dispute over bilateral boundaries in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. The 1998 ratification of the bilateral Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and a series of agreements on the final division and disposition of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet have helped to reduce tensions. Ukraine co-founded the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on December 8, 1991, but in January 1993 it refused to endorse a draft charter strengthening political, economic, and defense ties among CIS members. Ukraine was a founding member of GUUAM (Georgia-Ukraine-Uzbekistan-Azerbaijan-Moldova).

In 1999-2001, Ukraine served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Historically, Soviet Ukraine joined the United Nations in 1945 as one of the original members following a Western compromise with the Soviet Union, which had asked for seats for all 15 of its union republics. Ukraine has consistently supported peaceful, negotiated settlements to disputes. It has participated in the five-sided talks on the conflict in Moldova and promoted a peaceful resolution to conflict in the post-Soviet state of Georgia. Ukraine has also made a substantial contribution to UN peacekeeping operations since 1992.


U.S.-UKRAINIAN RELATIONS

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 brought an end to the Cold War and created an opportunity to build bilateral relations with the New Independent States (NIS) as they began a political and economic transformation. On December 25, 1991, the United States officially recognized the independence of Ukraine. It upgraded its consulate in the capital, Kiev, to embassy status on January 21, 1992. The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is John E. Herbst, the fifth U.S. ambassador since Ukrainian independence.

The United States attaches great importance to the success of Ukraine's transition to a democratic state with a flourishing market economy. Following a period of economic decline characterized by high inflation and a continued reliance on state controls, the Ukrainian Government began taking steps in the fall of 1999 to reinvigorate economic reform that had been stalled for years due to a lack of a reform majority in the Ukrainian parliament. The Ukrainian Government's stated determination to implement comprehensive economic reform is a welcome development, and the U.S. is committed to strengthening its support for Ukraine as it continues on this difficult path. Bilateral relations suffered a setback in September 2002 when the U.S. Government announced it had authenticated a recording of President Kuchma's July 2000 decision to transfer a Kolchuga early warning system to Iraq. The Government of Ukraine denied that the transfer had occurred. Ukraine's democratic "Orange Revolution" has led to closer cooperation and more open dialogue between Ukraine and the United States. U.S. policy remains centered on realizing and strengthening a democratic, prosperous, and secure Ukraine more closely integrated into European and Euro-Atlantic structures.

U.S. Assistance to Ukraine

A cornerstone for the continuing U.S. partnership with Ukraine and the other NIS has been the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets (FREEDOM) Support Act (FSA), enacted in October 1992. Ukraine has been a primary recipient of FSA assistance. Total U.S. assistance since independence has been more than $3 billion. U.S. assistance to Ukraine is targeted to promote political and economic reform and to address urgent humanitarian needs. The U.S. has consistently encouraged Ukraine's transition to a democratic society with a prosperous market-based economy. For more detailed information on these programs, please see the "Annual Report to Congress on U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Eurasia," which is available on the State Department's website at the following address: http://www.state.gov/p/eur/ace/. Information is also available on USAID's website at the address: http://www.usaid.gov.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

KIEV (E) Address: 4 Hlybochtska; Phone: +(380) (44) 490-4000; Fax: +(380) (44) 490-4085; Workweek: M-F 0900-1800; Website: www.usembassy.kiev.ua.

AMB:John Herbst
AMB OMS:Mary Cross
DCM:Sheila Gwaltney
POL:Aubrey Carlson
CON:MaryKay Carlson
MGT:Jennifer Bonner
AGR:Garth Thorburn
AID:Chris Crowley
CLO:Rifat Awan
CUS:Robert Tine
DAO:Terron Nelson
ECO:Necia Quast
EEO:Lisa Heller
FCS:Robert Shipley
FMO:Joyce Coates
IMO:Rob Jennings
ISO:Laura Leinow
ISSO:Michael Pitts
MLO:Lee Gabel
PAO:Janet Demiray
RSO:George Nutwell
Last Updated: 9/27/2005

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

September 23, 2005

Country Description:

Ukraine is undergoing profound political and economic change as it moves from its Soviet past toward a market economy and multi-party democracy and integration into Euro-Atlantic and other international institutions. In recent years, the availability of goods and services has increased along with increased rates of growth in Ukraine's economy, and facilities for travelers have improved somewhat. Nonetheless, the availability of travel and tourist services remains uneven throughout the country, and Ukraine still lacks the abundance of many of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries.

Entry/Exit Requirements:

A passport valid for six months beyond the planned date of travel is required. According to Ukrainian Presidential Decree #1008 dated June 30, 2005, U.S. citizens traveling to Ukraine on short-term tourist, business or private travel do not need a visa to enter Ukraine. (Visas are still required of other categories of travelers including those who intend to study, reside, or work in Ukraine.) Any requests for extension of stay due to extenuating circumstances should be directed to the Ministry of Interior's Department of Citizenship, Immigration and Registration (formerly known as OVIR). Extensions are not automatic, however, and are valid only for continued presence in the country. It is not possible to depart Ukraine and return on the extension, nor can an adjustment to visa status be made from within Ukraine.

Visas may be obtained from the Consular Office of the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C. or from Ukrainian Consulates General in New York, Chicago or San Francisco. For additional information about Ukrainian visas and related policy, please contact the Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate nearest you.

Embassy of Ukraine
3350 M Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 333-0606
Fax: (202) 333-0817
Web site: http://www.ukraineinfo.us

Consulate General of Ukraine in New York
240 East 49th Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 371-5690
Fax: (212) 371-5547
Web site: http://www.ukrconsul.org/

Consulate General of Ukraine in San Francisco
530 Bush Street, suite 402
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: (415) 398-0240
Fax: (415) 398-5039
Web site: http://www.Ukrainesf.com

Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago
10 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Tel: (312) 642 4388
Fax: (312) 642 4385
Web site: http://www.ukrchicago.com/

The Government of Ukraine does not issue visas at the point of entry into Ukraine. Travelers whose purpose of travel puts them in a category that requires a visa must obtain the correct Ukrainian visa prior to arrival, otherwise they will be turned back to the United States or will have to travel to another European country to obtain a visa.

Please check your visa carefully upon receipt and pay careful attention to validity dates. Each traveler is responsible for understanding the type of visa issued and the provisions of the visa. Frequently, American citizens are refused entry to Ukraine because they thought they possessed a multiple entry visa, but in fact their visa was valid for only a single entry.

Alternatively, Americans try to reenter Ukraine after using their single entry visa, believing they have unlimited travel for six months. In some cases, Americans attempt to enter Ukraine before their visa becomes valid. This is a common mistake since in Ukraine the date is written day-month-year, not month-day-year. Thus, a visa issued on 01/05/05 is valid from May 1, 2005 and NOT from January 5, 2005. These travelers have been detained at the airport, refused entry and placed on the next available flight. The U.S. Embassy in Kiev is unable to assist travelers in these situations.

Travelers who intend to visit Russia from Ukraine must also have a Russian visa. The Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in Ukraine is located at Prospekt Kutuzova 8, tel.: (380-44) 294-7797 or 294-6816.

Visitors to Ukraine should also note that Ukrainian law requires them to obtain mandatory health insurance from the state joint-stock insurance company, Ukrinmedstrakh. For more information see the section on Medical Insurance below.

Visit the Embassy of Ukraine web site at http://www.ukraineinfo.us for the most current visa information. Also see Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' official web portal at http://www.ukraineinfo.org.

Safety and Security In November 2004, public outrage over fraudulent presidential elections brought hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets of Kiev and other Ukrainian cities for 17 days. This so-called "Orange Revolution" ended without bloodshed and led to a peaceful transition of power through a rerun election. With the exception of these mass demonstrations, Ukraine has been largely free of significant civil unrest or disorders. However, demonstrations intermittently occur in cities such as Kiev. While the majority of these protests are small and peaceful, it is best to avoid such gatherings. There also have been recurrent incidents of groups of skinheads targeting people of Asian, African or other non-European descent in downtown Kiev (see the section on Crime below).

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

Crime:

Ukraine is undergoing a significant economic, political and social transformation, and income disparities have grown sharply. As a result, visitors perceived to be wealthier are targets for criminals. Americans often stand out in Ukraine, and are therefore more likely to be targeted than in Western European countries where incomes are higher and Americans may blend in better. Most street crime is relatively low level, but crimes involving small caliber firearms have been reported. Street crime ranges from wallet scams, simple pick pocketing and purse snatching, to muggings, armed robbery, or drugging unsuspecting victims at nightspots and bars (where they are then robbed). Cases of assaults in apartment building corridors and stairwells, and armed break-ins have also been reported.

While most travelers do not encounter problems with crime in Ukraine, there has been an increase in the number of racially-motivated attacks conducted by "skinheads" in Kiev. These incidents, in which non-Caucasian foreigners are specifically targeted for violence, have occurred without provocation in prominent areas of downtown Kiev that are commonly frequented by tourists. While the majority of people targeted have been of Asian, African or other non-European descent, all travelers should exercise caution. In addition to incidents of assault, persons of African or Asian heritage may be subject to various types of harassment, such as being stopped on the street by both civilians and law enforcement officials.

Credit card and ATM fraud is widespread. Ukraine operates as a cash economy, and money scams are widespread. Although credit card and ATM use among Ukrainians is increasingly common, it is nevertheless strongly recommended that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards.

Burglaries of apartments and vehicles represent the most significant threat to long-term residents. Although few cars are actually stolen, primarily because of increased use of alarm systems and security wheel locks, vehicular break-ins and vehicular vandalism are becoming more common.

Ukraine lacks tourist and travel services for foreign victims of crime. Transferring funds from the United States, replacing stolen traveler's checks or airline tickets, or canceling credit cards can be difficult and time consuming. There are few safe, low cost lodgings such as youth hostels. Public facilities in Ukraine are generally not equipped to accommodate persons with physical disabilities.

Over the past several years, the Embassy has received a number of reports of harassment and intimidation directed against foreign businesspersons and interests. While these reports have become considerably less frequent in recent years, they have not ended entirely. Reported incidents range from physical threats (possibly motivated by rival commercial interests tied to organized crime), to local government entities engaging in such practices as arbitrary termination or amendment of business licenses, dilution of corporate stock to diminish U.S. investor interest, delays of payment or delivery of goods, and arbitrary "inspections" by tax, safety or other officials that appear designed to harm the business rather than a genuine attempt at good governance.

Computer fraud is also becoming more common in Ukraine. Internet scams appear to be on the rise. The Embassy suggests refraining from wiring money unless the recipient is well-known and the purpose of business is clear. American citizens have reported transferring money to Ukraine to pay for goods purchased from residents of Ukraine via on-line auction sites, but never receiving the goods in return. The Embassy regularly receives complaints from Americans regarding scams involving marriage and dating services. Numerous Americans have lost money to agencies and individuals that claimed they could arrange for student or fiancée visas to the U.S. Additional information is available on our web site in a document titled "Marriage Brokers" at http://usembassy.kiev.ua/amcit_marriage_brokers_eng.html.

Information for Victims of Crime:

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information:

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of hospitals and clinics with some English-speaking staff. Many facilities have only limited English speakers. There are no hospitals in Ukraine that provide a level of medical care equal to that found in American hospitals, or which accept American health insurance plans for payment (see the section on Medical Insurance below). Some facilities are adequate for basic services. Basic medical supplies are available; however, travelers requiring prescription medicine should bring their own. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities. When a patient is hospitalized, the patient, relative, or acquaintance must supply bandages, medication, and food. The Embassy recommends that ill or infirm persons not travel to Ukraine. The Embassy also recommends that travelers obtain private medical evacuation insurance prior to traveling to Ukraine.

Medical evacuation remains the best way to secure western medical care. This option, however, is very expensive and could take at least several hours to arrange. Travelers may wish to purchase medical evacuation insurance prior to travel, or have access to substantial lines of credit to cover the cost of medical evacuation. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy has information on various air ambulance companies that perform medical evacuations to Europe or to the U.S. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to other European countries can cost from $25,000 to $50,000, and to the U.S. as much as $70,000 or more. More information can be found on the U.S. Embassy's website in a separate document "Medical Services in Kiev" at http://usembassy.kiev.ua/amcit_medical_serv_eng.html.

Please note that while the Embassy can help American travelers and their families make contact with a medevac service, the U.S. Government cannot pay for medical evacuation. Travelers should make sure they have medical evacuation insurance, which is available from many private companies, or have funds available for evacuation, before the need arises.

Radiation and Nuclear Safety: In 1986, the Chernobyl incident resulted in the largest short-term unintentional accidental release of radioactive materials to the atmosphere ever recorded. The highest areas of radioactive ground contamination occurred within thirty kilometers of the Chernobyl station. The city of Kiev was not badly affected because of the wind direction, but it was not completely spared. The Chernobyl nuclear power station closed officially on 15 December 2000.

The Ukrainian government has an effective program of monitoring fresh foods and meats sold in local markets. Street purchase of produce should be avoided. Wild berries, mushrooms, and wild fowl and game should be avoided, as these have been found to retain higher than average levels of radiation. Background levels of radiation are monitored regularly by the Embassy and to date have not exceeded the level found on the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

The Ukrainian parliament passed a law in 1997 whereby all visitors to Ukraine are required to obtain mandatory health insurance from the state joint-stock insurance company, Ukrinmedstrakh. According to information from the Ukrainian authorities the cost of this medical insurance depends on the anticipated length of a foreigner's stay in Ukraine. The cost for the insurance is approximately 25 cents per day (more for short stays). More information can be found on U.S. Embassy's web site in a separate document, "Medical Insurance in Ukraine for Emergency Care" available at http://usembassy.kiev.ua/amcit_medical_ins_eng.html. This required insurance covers only the costs of basic medical care inside Ukraine and does not cover medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Ukraine is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Generally, roads in Ukraine outside major urban areas are in poor condition and poorly lit. Visitors should drive defensively at all times, since drivers often disregard traffic rules. Drivers are often poorly trained or drive without a valid driver's license. Drivers can also be very aggressive, and they normally do not respect the rights of pedestrians, even at clearly marked pedestrian crossings. Pedestrians should also be aware of cars driving or attempting to park on sidewalks. Many cars do not meet the safety standards common in America.

Cross-country travel at night and in winter can be particularly dangerous. The Embassy strongly recommends that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from driving their private vehicles after dark out-side of major cities. However, major roads are drivable during daylight hours. Roadside services such as gas stations and repair facilities are becoming more common, particularly on the main national and regional overland highways and in large and mid-size cities.

Nonetheless, such services are far from American standards, and travelers should plan accordingly. There have been isolated reports of carjackings of western-made or foreign-registered cars. There has also been an increase in the number of documented reports of criminal acts occurring on trains.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Ukraine as not being in compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards for the oversight of Ukraine's air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's Internet web site at www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Special Circumstances:

Ukraine does not recognize dual nationality. American citizens entering Ukraine with a Ukrainian passport will be treated as Ukrainian citizens by the local authorities. This may include being required to perform mandatory military service. Also, Ukrainians who have immigrated to the U.S. without obtaining the proper exit visa from Ukrainian authorities may be subject to civil or criminal penalties and will be required to obtain an exit visa before returning to the U.S.

Ukraine is a cash economy. Travelers' checks and credit cards are gaining wider acceptance in larger cities. Even in Kiev, however, acceptance of credit cards is not nearly as widespread as in the U.S. or in Western European countries. Expect credit card use to be limited to some hotels, upscale restaurants, international airlines and the rapidly growing, but still select number of up-market stores.

Exchanging U.S. dollars into the national Ukrainian currency hryvnya is simple and unproblematic, as licensed exchange booths are widespread, and exchange rates are normally clearly advertised. Exchanging U.S. dollars into Ukrainian currency or other currencies is legal only at banks, currency exchange desks at hotels, and licensed exchange booths; anyone caught dealing on the black market can expect to be detained by the local militia.

There are many banks and licensed currency exchange booths located in major cities. ATMs (a.k.a. Bankomats) are becoming available throughout Ukraine, particularly in Kiev and in other larger cities. In smaller cities and towns ATMs are still virtually non-existent. Most ATMs disperse cash only in the local currency hryvnya. The difficulties of a currency shortage can be avoided by coming to Ukraine with a sufficient supply of hard currency to cover necessary obligations during travel. Funds may be transferred by wire, advances may be drawn on credit cards and travelers checks may be cashed at many locations.

Again, the Embassy emphasizes that the incidence of credit card and ATM bankcard fraud is high and we strongly recommend that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards.

Customs regulations prohibit sending cash, travelers' checks, personal checks, credit cards, or passports through the international mail system. Customs authorities regularly confiscate these items as contraband. Ukrainian customs authorities may also enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Ukraine of items such as firearms, antiquities, currency, etc. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington or one of Ukraine's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. As in many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

Ukrainian law requires that travelers declare all cash and jewelry, regardless of value, upon entering Ukraine. Travelers should fill out a customs declaration and ask customs officials to stamp it. According to Ukrainian law, foreign citizens may bring up to $10,000 in cash or up to $50,000 in travelers' checks into Ukraine without a special license. A traveler must declare the cash or checks. If customs officials determine that a traveler entering or exiting the country has undeclared cash on him or her, they can and often do confiscate the undeclared funds. When leaving the country, foreign travelers are only allowed to take out a maximum of $1,000 in cash or as much cash as they declared upon their entry into Ukraine. If a traveler wants to take out more than $1,000, the traveler must have a customs declaration proving that he or she in fact brought the corresponding sum of money into the country.

Travelers desiring to bring more than $10,000 into Ukraine must obtain a special license AFTER entering the country. Details for obtaining this license are available on the Embassy's web site in a separate document "Ukrainian Customs Procedures for Transporting Currencies, Monetary Instruments, or Precious Metals" at http://usembassy.kiev.ua/amcit_travel_ukrcustoms_eng.html. Ukraine has strict limitations for the export of antiques and other goods and artifacts deemed to be of particularly important historical or cultural value. This includes any items produced before 1950.

Ukrainian Postal laws prohibit mailing of passports or other IDs across Ukrainian borders via regular mail as well as via courier mail (FedEx, DHL, etc.)

It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington or one of Ukraine's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Criminal Penalties:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Ukrainian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Ukraine are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues:

For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location:

Americans living or traveling in Ukraine are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov/, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Ukraine. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located at #6 Mykola Pymonenko St., 01901 Kiev, Ukraine. Telephone: (38-044) 490-4422, fax 236-4892. The Embassy is located at #10 Yuriy Kotsyubynsky St. 01901 Kiev, Ukraine. Tel.: (38-044) 490-4000.

International Adoption

January 2006

The information below has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer:

This adoption information is based on the latest guidance the embassy has received from the National Adoption Center of Ukraine (NAC). It is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific Ukrainian adoption laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel or your adoption service provider.

Availability of Children for Adoption:

Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans (IR-3 and IR-4 combined):*

FY-1999: 312
FY-2000: 653
FY-2001: 1233
FY-2002: 1104
FY-2003: 702

*Immediate Relative (IR)-3 visas are issued to orphans adopted in Ukraine. IR-4 visas are issued to orphans adopted or re-adopted in the United States. The visa requirements and paperwork are substantially the same.

Ukrainian children who have been registered with the Kiev-based National Adoption Center for one year are available for international adoption. The one-year waiting requirement may be waived only if children suffer from a disease listed with the Ministry of Public Health Protection.

Adopting parents who have registered with the Adoption Center may receive information about adoptable children only after they receive an invitation from the Adoption Center to travel to Ukraine. Under Ukrainian law, Ukrainian officials may not disclose information on adoptable children to agencies or other private citizens.

Adoption Authority:

Adoption Center in Kiev, Ukraine; 27-A Taras Shevchenko Boulevard; Kiev, Ukraine 252032; Tel # (380)(44) 246-54-31/32/37/49; Fax # (380)(44) 246-5452/62.

The Adoption Center, a part of the Ministry of Education, is the only legal Ukrainian authority for adoptions. It maintains the database of adoptable children available for both domestic and international adoptions. The Adoption Center is involved in the international adoption process from the moment prospective parents apply for registration until an adoption hearing is held in court. The National Adoption Center has a policy of direct contact with prospective adopting parents. Adopting parents must send their documents directly to the National Adoption Center. The Adoption Center will communicate with facilitators after an application is filed. Translators or interpreters are not available on the staff of the Adoption Center. Callers or visitors have to speak either Russian or Ukrainian, or have their own interpreters.

Age and Civil Status Requirements:

Married and single people may adopt from Ukraine. Prospective adopting parents have to be of legal age (18 years old and older), and the difference between the age of the adopting parent and adopted child must be at least 15 years, although this can be waived if circumstances warrant. If the child is adopted by a relative, the age difference is not considered.

Residential Requirements:

There are no residency requirements to adopt in Ukraine.

Time Frame:

It takes 2-6 months to be matched with a Ukrainian orphan after adopting parents submit their dossier with the National Adoption Center. Parents can also expect a three to four week wait between the initial filing of the adoption in the local court and issuance of the final adoption decree.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys:

Ukraine does not allow adoption agencies to operate or locate a child for adoption in Ukraine. However, facilitators are allowed to assist with translation and interpretation services. Prospective adopting parents can protect themselves by openly discussing all fees and expenses in great detail before hiring a facilitator or interpreter. Discuss recommendations with adoption agencies and with other families who hired these individuals in the past. The U.S. Embassy in Kiev has a list of translators known to work in Ukraine. These are general translation service providers and do not necessarily have experience with adoptions. Neither the U.S. Embassy nor the Department of State can vouch for the efficacy or professionalism of any agent, facilitator, or interpreter.

The U.S. Embassy in Kiev has received reports of questionable practices during the adoption process by adopting parents. Please see Important Notice Regarding Adoption Agents and Facilitators at the Web site for the Bureau of Consular Affairs at http://travel.state.gov.

Ukrainian Adoption Fees:

There are no Ukrainian fees except those for court filing, notarial, translation and similar services.

The U.S. Embassy in Kiev notes that adopting parents pay anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 lump sum fees to their adoption agencies for services rendered. This can include lodging, transportation, authentication of Ukrainian documents, fees for expedited services and interpreter's services. Adopting parents have also reported being charged additional fees for services rendered after arriving in Ukraine.

Prospective adopting parents are advised to request a fee schedule when meeting with their adoption agency and discuss under what circumstances additional, unexpected fees may be charged.

Registering with the Adoption Center:

Prospective adopting parents must first register with the National Adoption Center (see Documentary Requirements below). Once an application is approved, the prospective adopting parents will receive an invitation to visit the Adoption Center. When adopting parents arrive in Ukraine, the Adoption Center shows them information about orphans available for international adoption within the parents' specified age range. The Center then issues a letter of referral to allow the prospective parents to visit orphanages to meet, select, and establish contact with a child.

The National Adoption Center recommends prospective adopting parents who wish to adopt two or more children to submit a separate, authenticated dossier for each child. However, submission of two or more dossiers is not a guarantee adopting parents will allowed to adopt two or more children. Current adoption policy is for adopting parents to adopt one child at a time, unless you adopt a sibling group.

Please see the review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family for more details.

Meeting A Child:

Once the Adoption Center issues permission for prospective parents to visit orphanages, parents may go and meet a child, check medical records and establish personal contact with a child.

Pre-adoption Medical Examination:

While meeting a child at the orphanage, you will be shown his/her medical history. If any doubts arise, or if you would like to get more details on the child's health condition, you may request an additional medical check-up of the child (including blood tests etc.). According to the law, every prospective parent has the right for additional pre-adoption medical examination of the child conducted by a private physician in the presence of the orphanage staff member. The panel physicians of both the American Medical Center and Clinic of Oil Industry of Ukraine in Kiev have expressed their readiness to perform pre-adoption medical examinations. Please check with them directly on their services and fees. Parents should make every effort to thoroughly understand the medical conditions diagnosed by local physicians.

Court Hearing:

After prospective adopting parents identify a child for adoption, the file for the case is presented to a judge in the region where the child lives. The power to approve or deny an adoption remains solely with an individual judge. The judge's decision, in turn, is based on a review of various documents of each individual adoption case during the court hearing. Adopting parents must attend the hearing. In cases where one of the parents cannot be present at the hearing (e.g. major surgery, disability etc.), a judge may permit one parent to provide a power of attorney for the other parent.

Obtaining the Post-Adoption Birth Certificate and A Travel Document:

The local ZAGS office (Ukrainian abbreviation for Office of Vital Records) issues a post-adoption certificate of birth for an adopted child based on the final court decree and the original (pre-adoption) birth certificate. The pre-adoption birth certificate is not be returned to the adopting parents, so parents should make sure that they make a copy of the pre-adoption birth certificate before handing it over to the ZAGS authorities.

Adopting parents should make sure that there are no discrepancies in the spelling of names of the parents and children in the court decree. If noticed, please ask the court clerk to correct them immediately. Failure to do so may cause delays in issuing the post-adoption birth certificate and in authenticating Ukrainian documents.

Once the post-adoption birth certificate is obtained, parents may apply for a passport for their child at the local VVIR (Ukrainian abbreviation for Office of Visas and Registration). Please review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family for more details.

Documentary Requirements:

The following documents must be part of the adoption application:

  • Home Study, issued by a competent authority in the adopting parents' country, attesting to their eligibility, specifying their housing and living conditions, containing their curriculum vitae, and other information.
  • Entrance and permanent residence permit for the adopted child, issued by the competent authority in the adopting parents' country. For American citizens, the Form I-171H, Notice of Approval of Advance Processing issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) serves as this document.
  • Proof of income: Bank statements showing the adopting parents' yearly income, W-2 forms or tax returns and a statement from adopting parents' employer indicating salary.
  • Adopting parents are given a specific medical form to complete.
  • Copy of the marriage certificate (if applicable).
  • Copies of the passports or other identification papers of prospective adopting parents. A copy of the Permanent Resident Card should be included, if one of the parents is not an American citizen.
  • "No criminal record" statement supplied by a competent authority for each adopting parent, attesting to his/her having no criminal record at the State level.
  • Commitment to register their adopted child with the Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate in their new home country within one month of the completion of adoption. Adopting parents also agree to supply information about the adopted child's living conditions and educational progress to the Ukrainian consular office at least annually during the first 3 years following the adoption. Under Ukrainian law, an adopted child remains a Ukrainian citizen until age 18, at which time the child can decide to remain a Ukrainian citizen.

Please review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family for more details.

Authentication of Documents:

All U.S. documents submitted to the Ukrainian government/court must be authenticated. For additional information about authentication procedures, see the Judicial Assistance page of the Bureau of Consular Affairs Web site at http://travel.state.gov/law/info/judicial/judicial_702.html.

Ukrainian Embassy and Consulates in the United States:

3350 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: 202-333-0606
Fax: 202-333-0817
www.ukremb.com

Ukraine has Consulates General in New York and Chicago.

U.S. Immigration Requirements:

A child adopted by a U.S. citizen must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the U.S. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family.

U.S. Embassy in Ukraine:

Consular Section
U.S. Embassy
6 Pymonenko St.
Kiev. Ukraine
Telephone: (380)-44-490-4422/4000.
Fax: (380)-44-236-4892.
Email: [email protected]

Additional Information:

The Department of State publication International Adoptions can be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Web site, http://travel.state.gov, under "International Adoptions."

Questions:

General questions regarding international adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-404-4747 with specific questions.

Visa Processing:

Beginning April 19, 2004, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev will start processing immigrant visas for orphans adopted by U.S. citizens in Ukraine (immediate relative visas – IR-3 and IR-4). Previously, upon completion of the Ukrainian adoption, all American families had to travel to the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, for issuance of the immigrant visa to their child(ren). The opening of adoption immigrant visa processing in Kiev should represent a significant savings in terms of time and resources for American families.

This change does not alter the nature of the immigrant visa process for adopted orphans, which is initiated by an American citizen filing a petition I-600A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

Prospective adoptive parents who plan to complete an adoption in Ukraine after April 19 should contact the U.S. Embassy in Kiev to confirm that the I-600A approval notice (a Visas 37 cable) has been transferred from Warsaw to Kiev. Telephone numbers: (38-044) 490-4422; (38-044) 490-4079; Fax: (38-044) 236-4892; email: [email protected]

The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, will continue to process immigrant visas for children adopted in Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Additional information on U.S. immigrant visa processing for adopted children is available at http://www.usembassy.kiev.ua/amcit_adoptions_eng.html.

Note:

A new law came into effect on December 22, 2005, transferring authority over intercountry adoptions in Ukraine to the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports, which will establish a new central authority called the State Department for Adoption and Protection of Children.

Unfortunately, since the former central authority (the National Adoption Center under the Ministry of Education) no longer had jurisdiction over adoptions as of December 22, and the new adoption authority under the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports had not yet been established, a jurisdiction and processing gap was created, with no Ukrainian ministries' having the authority to handle adoptions.

Please continue to monitor the Embassy's web page for the current status of adoption processing in Ukraine: http://kiev.usembassy.gov/.

The Embassy will continue to track this and other adoption-related issues closely, and provide updates as appropriate. Any American adopting parents who are currently in Ukraine and affected by this abrupt closure are requested to e-mail the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine: ([email protected]) and provide your points of contact, if you have not already done so.

views updated

UKRAINE

Compiled from the February 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Ukraine


PROFILE

Geography

Area: 233,000 sq. mi.

Cities: Capital—Kiev (often transliterated as Kyiv from Ukrainian, pop. 2.8 million). Other cities—Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Odesa, Lviv.

Terrain: A vast plain mostly bounded by the Carpathian mountains in the southwest and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the South.

Climate: Continental temperate, except in southern Crimea, which has a sub-tropical climate.

People

Population: (est.) 47.42 million.

Nationality: Noun—Ukrainian(s); adjective—Ukrainian.

Ethnic groups: Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians, Moldovans, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Jews, Poles, Crimean Tatars, and other groups.

Religions: Ukrainian Orthodoxy, Ukrainian Greek Catholicism, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, others.

Languages: Ukrainian (official), Russian, others.

Education: Literacy—98%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—22/1,000; life expectancy—61.6 yrs. males, 72.8 yrs. females.

Work force: 23 million. Industry and construction—32%; agriculture and forestry—24%; health, education, and culture—17%; transport and communication—7%.

Government

Type: Presidential-parliamentary.

Independence: August 24, 1991.

Constitution: First post-Soviet constitution adopted June 28, 1996.

Branches: Executive—president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative—450-member unicameral parliament, the Supreme Rada (members elected to 4-year terms). Judicial—Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, local courts, and Constitutional Court.

Political parties: Wide range of active political parties and blocs, from leftist to center and center-right to ultra-nationalist.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Administrative subdivisions: 24 provinces (oblasts), Crimean autonomous republic, and two cities with special status—Kiev and Sevastopol.

Economy

Nominal GDP: (2004 est.) $62.77 billion.

Annual growth rate: (2004 gov. est.): 12.5%.

Nominal per capita GDP: (2004 est.) $1324.

Natural resources: Vast fertile lands, coal, ironstone, complex ore, various large mineral deposits, timber.

Agriculture: Products—Grain, sugar, sunflower seeds.

Industry: Types—Ferrous metals and products, oil and gas transport, coke, fertilizer, airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, tractors.

Trade: (2003) Exports—$23.07 billion: Ferrous and nonferrous metals, mineral products, chemicals, energy transport services, machinery, transport equipment, grain, and textiles. Imports—$23.02 billion: Energy, mineral fuel and oil, machinery and parts, transportation equipment, chemicals, textiles, and paper.


PEOPLE

The population of Ukraine is about 47.42 million. Ethnic Ukrainians make up about 73% of the total; ethnic Russians number about 22%, ethnic Belarusians number about 5%. The industrial regions in the east and southeast are the most heavily populated, and the urban population makes up about 67% of the population. Ukrainian and Russian are the principal languages. Although Russian is very widely spoken, in the 1989 census (the latest official figures) 88% of the population identified Ukrainian as their native language. The dominant religions are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (which practices Orthodox rites but recognizes the Pope as head of the Church). The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is divided between a Moscow Patriarchy and a separate Kiev Patriarchy, which was established after Ukrainian independence and which declared independence from Moscow. In addition to these, there are also the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

The birth rate of Ukraine is declining. About 70% of adult Ukrainians have a secondary or higher education. Ukraine has about 150 colleges and universities, of which the most important are at Kiev, Lviv, and Kharkiv. There are about 70,000 scholars in 80 research institutes.


HISTORY

The first identifiable groups to populate what is now Ukraine were Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Goths, among other nomadic peoples who arrived throughout the first millennium B.C. These peoples were well known to colonists and traders in the ancient world, including Greeks and Romans, who established trading outposts that eventually became citystates. Slavic tribes occupied central and eastern Ukraine in the sixth century A.D. and played an important role in the establishment of Kiev. Situated on lucrative trade routes, Kiev quickly prospered as the center of the powerful state of Kievan Rus. In the 11th century, Kievan Rus was, geographically, the largest state in Europe. Christian missionaries, Cyril and Methodius, propagated the Christian faith and the Cyrillic alphabet. Kievan Rus Prince Volodymyr converted the Kievan nobility and most of the population to Christianity in 988. Conflict among the feudal lords led to decline in the 12th century. Mongol raiders razed Kiev in the 13th century.

Most of the territory of what is modern Ukraine was annexed by Poland and Lithuania in the 14th century, but during that time, Ukrainians began to conceive of themselves as a distinct people, a feeling that survived subsequent partitioning by greater powers over the next centuries. Ukrainian peasants who fled the Polish effort to force them into servitude came to be known as Cossacks and earned a reputation for their fierce martial spirit and love of freedom. In 1667, Ukraine was partitioned between Poland and Russia. In 1793, when Poland was partitioned, much of modern-day Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire.

The 19th century found the region largely agricultural, with a few cities and centers of trade and learning. The region was under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the extreme west and the Russian Empire elsewhere. Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were inspired by the nationalistic spirit stirring other European peoples existing under other imperial governments and were determined to revive Ukrainian linguistic and cultural traditions and reestablish a Ukrainian state. Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), national hero of Ukraine, presented the intellectual maturity of the Ukrainian language and culture through his work as a poet and artist. Imperial Russia, however, imposed strict limits on attempts to elevate Ukrainian culture, even banning the use and study of the Ukrainian language.

When World War I and the Russian revolution shattered the Habsburg and Russian empires, Ukrainians declared independent statehood. In 1917 the Central Rada proclaimed Ukrainian autonomy and in 1918, following the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd, the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence under President Mykhaylo Hrushevsky. After three years of conflict and civil war, however, the western part of Ukrainian territory was incorporated into Poland, while the larger, central and eastern regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922 as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The Ukrainian national idea persevered during the twenties, but with Stalin's rise to power and the campaign for collectivization, the Soviet leadership imposed a campaign of terror that ravaged the intellectual class. Stalin also created an artificial famine (called the Holodomor in Ukrainian) as part of his forced collectivization policies, which killed millions of previously independent peasants and others throughout the country. Estimates of deaths from the 1932-33 famine alone range from 3 million to 7 million.

When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, some Ukrainians, particularly in the west, welcomed what they saw as liberation from Communist rule, but this did not last as they quickly came to understand the nature of Nazi rule. Nazi brutality was directed principally against Ukraine's Jews (of whom an estimated 1 million were killed), but also against many other Ukrainians. Babyn Yar in Kiev was the site of one of the most horrific Nazi massacres of Ukrainian Jews, ethnic Ukrainians, and many others. Kiev and other parts of the country were heavily damaged.

After the Nazi and Soviet invasions of Poland in 1939, the western Ukrainian regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union. Armed resistance against Soviet authority continued as late as the 1950s. During periods of relative liberalization—as under Nikita Khrushchev from 1955 to 1964 and during the period of "perestroika" under Mikhail Gorbachev — Ukrainian communists pursued nationalist objectives. The 1986 explosion at the Chornobyl (Chernobyl in Russian) nuclear power plant, located in the Ukrainian SSR, and the Soviet government's initial efforts to conceal the extent of the catastrophe from its own people and the world, was a watershed for many Ukrainians in exposing the severe problems of the Soviet system. Ukraine became an independent state on August 24, 1991, and was a co-founder of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, although it has not officially joined the organization.


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Ukraine has a presidential/parliamentary system of government with separate executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The president nominates the prime minister, who must be confirmed by the parliament. The 450-member unicameral parliament (Supreme Rada) initiates legislation, ratifies international agreements, and approves the budget. Its members are elected to four-year terms. Following free elections held on December 1, 1991, Leonid M. Kravchuk, former chairman of the Ukrainian Rada, was elected president for a five-year term. At the same time, a referendum on independence was approved by more than 90% of the voters. Political groupings in Ukraine include former communists, socialists, agrarians, liberals, nationalists, and various centrist and independent forces.

Shortly after becoming independent, Ukraine named a parliamentary commission to prepare a new constitution, adopted a multi-party system, and adopted legislative guarantees of civil and political rights for national minorities. A new, democratic constitution was adopted on June 28, 1996, which mandates a pluralistic political system with protection of basic human rights and liberties.

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by law, although religious organizations are required to register with local authorities and with the central government. Minority rights are respected in accordance with a 1991 law guaranteeing ethnic minorities the right to schools and cultural facilities and the use of national languages in conducting personal business. According to the constitution, Ukrainian is the only official state language. In Crimea and some parts of eastern Ukraine — areas with substantial ethnic Russian minorities — local and regional governments permit Russian as a language for local official correspondence.

Freedom of speech and press are guaranteed by law and by the constitution, but authorities sometimes interfere with the news media through intimidation and other forms of pressure. In particular, the failure of the government to conduct a thorough, credible, and transparent investigation into the 2000 disappearance and murder of independent journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, in which government officials have been credibly implicated, has had a negative effect on Ukraine's international image.

Ethnic tensions in Crimea during 1992 prompted a number of pro-Russian political organizations to advocate secession of Crimea and annexation to Russia. (Crimea was ceded by the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954, in recognition of historic links and for economic convenience, to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine's union with Russia.) In July 1992, the Crimean and Ukrainian parliaments determined that Crimea would remain under Ukrainian jurisdiction while retaining significant cultural and economic autonomy.

Official trade unions have been grouped under the Federation of Trade Unions. A number of independent unions, which emerged during 1992, among them the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine, have formed the Consultative Council of Free Trade Unions. While the right to strike is legally guaranteed, strikes based solely on political demands are prohibited.

In July 1994, Leonid Kuchma was elected as Ukraine's second president in free and fair elections. Kuchma was reelected in November 1999 to another five-year term, with 56 percent of the vote. International observers criticized aspects of the election, especially slanted media coverage; however, the outcome of the vote was not called into question. In March 2002, Ukraine held its most recent parliamentary elections, which were characterized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as flawed, but an improvement over the 1998 elections. The pro-presidential For a United Ukraine bloc won the largest number of seats, followed by the reformist Our Ukraine bloc of former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko, and the Communist Party.

There are 450 seats in parliament, with half chosen from party lists by proportional vote and half from individual constituencies. However, under a new law passed in 2004, all seats in the 2006 parliamentary elections will be chosen from party lists.

The campaign leading to the October 31, 2004 presidential election was characterized by widespread violations of democratic norms, including government intimidation of the opposition and of independent media, abuse of state administrative resources, highly skewed media coverage, and numerous provocations. The two major candidates – Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader (and former Prime Minister) Viktor Yushchenko – each garnered between 39 and 40 percent of the vote and proceeded to a winnertake-all second round. The November 21 runoff election was marred by credible reports of widespread and significant violations, including illegal expulsion of opposition representatives from election commissions, multiple voting by busloads of people, abuse of absentee ballots, and an abnormally high number of (easily manipulable) mobile ballot box votes. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Kiev and other cities to protest electoral fraud and express support for Yushchenko, and conducted ongoing peaceful demonstrations.

The OSCE International Election Observation Mission found that the election "did not meet a considerable number of OSCE commitments and Council of Europe and other European standards for democratic elections…Overall, State executive authorities and the Central Election Commission (CEC) displayed a lack of will to conduct a genuine democratic election process." Other independent observers were similarly critical. On November 24, the CEC declared PM Yanukovych the winner with 49.46 percent compared to 46.61 for Yushchenko. The U.S. and Europe refused to accept the result as legitimate due to the numerous, uninvestigated reports of fraud. European leaders traveled to Kiev to mediate a political solution between the parties. On November 27, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Parliament) passed a resolution declaring that the election results as announced did not represent the will of the people. On December 1, the Rada passed a vote of "no confidence" in the government. On December 3, Ukraine's Supreme Court invalidated the CEC's announced results and mandated a repeat of the second round vote to take place on December 26. An agreement mediated by the European leaders resulted in new legislation being passed by the Rada and signed by the President December 8. The Electoral law was reformed to close loopholes that had permitted pervasive electoral fraud.

The Constitution was amended, effective not earlier than September 2005, to transfer power, especially with respect to appointment of Ministers, from the President to the Cabinet. Yet another law was passed, in first reading, to devolve some powers of the central government to regional councils. In addition, Prime Minister Yanukovych requested and was granted a leave of absence, and Prosecutor General Hennadiy Vasilyev submitted his resignation.

The December 26 re-vote took place in an atmosphere of calm. While irregularities were noted, observers found no systemic or massive fraud. The OSCE Mission, in a preliminary statement, noted that "campaign conditions were markedly more equal, observers received fewer reports of pressure on voters, the election administration was more transparent and the media more balanced than in previous rounds…in our collective view Ukraine's elections have moved substantially closer to meeting OSCE and other European standards." On January 10, 2005, after the CEC and the Supreme Court had considered and rejected numerous complaints and appeals filed by the Yanukovych campaign, the CEC certified the results. Yushchenko won 51.99 percent of the votes, with 44.20 percent for Yanukovych. 2.34 percent voted against both, and 1.45 percent of ballots were invalidated.

The Yanukovych campaign filed one last appeal with the Supreme Court, which rejected it on January 20 and authorized the publication of the results in "Government Courier" and "Voice of Ukraine," rendering them official and final. President Yushchenko was inaugurated January 23, 2005.

Security forces are controlled by the president, although they are subject to investigation by a permanent parliamentary commission. Surveillance is permitted for reasons of national security.

After independence, Ukraine established its own military forces of about 780,000 from the troops and equipment inherited from the Soviet Union. Under defense reform legislation passed in 2004, Ukraine is strengthening civilian control of the military, professionalizing its noncommissioned officer (NCO) corps, modernizing force structure to improve interoperability with NATO, and reducing troop numbers, all with an eye toward NATO standards. Current force levels are approximately 350,000 (plus 90,000 civilian workers in the Ministry of Defense), with the goal of further reductions to around 200,000 by 2005. Ukraine's stated national policy is Euro-Atlantic integration, including with both NATO and the European Union, though explicit mention of aspiration to NATO membership was removed from official military doctrine in July 2004. Ukraine has a Distinctive Partnership with NATO, signed an agreement with NATO on using Ukraine's strategic airlift capabilities, and has been an active participant in Partnership for Peace exercises, in Balkans peacekeeping, and Coalition forces in Iraq. Ukrainian units have been serving in the U.S. sector in Kosovo, and in the Polish-led division in Iraq.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 2/14/05

President: Viktor YUSHCHENKO
Prime Minister: Yuliya TYMOSHENKO
First Dep. Prime Min.: Anatoliy KINAKH
Dep. Prime Min. for Administrative-Territorial Reform: Roman BEZSMERTNYY
Dep. Prime Min. for European Intergration: Oleh RYBACHUK
Dep. Prime Min. for Humanitarian & Social Issues: Mykola TOMENKO
Min. of Agrarian Policy: Oleksandr BARANIVSKYY
Min. of Culture: Oksana BILOZIR
Min. of Defense: Anatoliy HRYTSENKO
Min. of Economics: Serhiy TERYOKHIN
Min. of Emergencies: Davyd ZHVANIYA
Min. of Environment: Pavlo IHNATENKO
Min. of Family, Children, & Youth: Yuriy PAVLENKO
Min. of Finance: Viktor PYNZENYK
Min. of Foreign Affairs: Borys TARASYUK
Min. of Fuel & Energy: Ivan PLACHKOV
Min. of Health: Mykola POLISHCHUK
Min. of Industrial Policy: Volodymyr SHANDRA
Min. of Interior: Yuriy LUTSENKO
Min. of Justice: Roman ZVARYCH
Min. of Labor & Social Policy: Vyacheslav KYRYLENKO
Min. of Science & Education: Stanislav NIKOLAYENKO
Min. of Transport & Communications: Yevhen CHERVONENKO
State Sec. of the President: Oleksandr ZINCHENKO
Sec., National Security & Defense Council: Petro POROSHENKO
Chmn., Security Services: Oleksandr TURCHYNOV
Prosecutor General: Svyatoslav PISKUN
Chmn., State Property Fund: Mykhaylo CHECHETOV
Chmn., National Bank: Serhiy TIHIPKO
Ambassador to the US: Mykhaylo REZNIK
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Valeriy KUCHYNSKYY

Ukraine maintains an embassy at 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007 (tel. 202-333-0606).


ECONOMY

Ukraine has many of the components of a major European economy — rich farmlands, a well-developed industrial base, highly trained labor, and a good education system. After eight straight years of sharp economic decline from the early to late 1990s, the standard of living for most citizens declined more than 50%, leading to widespread poverty. Beginning in 2000 economic growth has averaged almost 9% per year, reaching 9.4% in 2003 and 12.5% in 2004. Personal incomes are rising. The macro economy is stable, with the hyperinflation of the early post-Soviet period having been tamed. Ukraine's currency, the hryvnia, was introduced in September 1996 and has remained stable until quite recently. While economic growth continues, Ukraine's long-term economic prospects depend on acceleration of market reforms. The economy remains burdened by excessive government regulation, corruption, and lack of law enforcement, and while small and medium enterprises have been largely privatized, much remains to be done to restructure and privatize key sectors such as energy and telecommunications.

Ukraine is rich in natural resources. It has a major ferrous metal industry, producing cast iron, steel, and steel pipe, and its chemical industry produces coke, mineral fertilizers, and sulfuric acid. Manufactured goods include airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, and tractors. It also is a major producer of grain, sunflower seeds, and sugar and has a broad industrial base, including much of the former USSR's space and rocket industry. Although oil and natural gas reserves are small, it has important energy sources, such as coal, and large mineral deposits, and is one of the worlds leading energy transit countries, providing transportation of Russian and Caspian oil and gas across its territory.

Ukraine encourages foreign trade and investment. The foreign investment law allows Westerners to purchase businesses and property, to repatriate revenue and profits, and to receive compensation in the event that property were to be nationalized by a future government. However, complex laws and regulations, poor corporate governance, weak enforcement of contract law by courts and corruption stymie large-scale foreign direct investment in Ukraine. While there is a functioning stock market, the lack of protection for minority shareholder rights severely restricts portfolio investment activities. Total foreign direct investment in Ukraine is approximately $7.72 billion as of October 1, 2004, which, at $162 per capita, is still one of the lowest figures in the region.

While countries of the former Soviet Union remain important trading partners, especially Russia and Turkmenistan for energy imports, Ukraine's trade is becoming more diversified. Europe is now the destination of over one third of Ukraine's exports, while around one quarter of Ukraine's exports go to Russia and the CIS. Exports of machinery and machine tools are on the rise relative to steel, which constitutes over 30% of exports. Ukraine imports 90% of its oil and most of its natural gas. Russia ranks as Ukraine's principal supplier of oil and Russian firms now own and/or operate the majority of Ukraine's refining capacity. Natural gas imports come from Russia, which delivers natural gas as a barter payment for Ukraine's role in transporting Russian gas to Western Europe.

The Government of Ukraine signed a 12-month $605 million precautionary standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in March 2004. The IMF, however, failed to complete its review of the agreement in July-August, raising concerns about inflationary aspects of an increasing budget deficit at a time when revenues are growing (i.e. a pre-election spending surge), the accumulation of arrears of VAT refunds to exporters and ongoing structural problems, especially in the financial sector. Ukraine received just $75 million of the $250 million Programmatic Adjustment Loan, second tranche, in 2003. The World Bank may grant the remaining $175 million to the Government of Ukraine this year, subject to energy sector financial reforms. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) project outlays, which often are tied to nuclear safety, totaled $120 million in 2003 and $206 million in 2002.

In 1992, Ukraine became a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is a member of the EBRD but not a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ukraine applied for membership in the WTO in 1995. Progress on its application has been slow, but picked up momentum in 2003 and early 2004. The government's stated goal is to accede by the end of 2005.

Environmental Issues

Ukraine is interested in cooperating on regional environmental issues. Conservation of natural resources is a stated high priority, although implementation suffers from a lack of financial resources. Ukraine established its first nature preserve, Askanyia-Nova, in 1921 and has a program to breed endangered species.

Ukraine has significant environmental problems, especially those resulting from the Chornobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986 and from industrial pollution. In accordance with its previously announced plans, Ukraine permanently closed the Chornobyl Atomic Energy Station in December of 2000. Design work as well as structural improvements to the "sarcophagus" erected by the Soviet Union are largely complete and construction on the new shelter to be built around the sarcophagus is expected to be awarded by the end of 2004.

Ukraine also has established a Ministry of Environment and has introduced a pollution fee system, which levies taxes on air and water emissions and solid waste disposal. The resulting revenues are channeled to environmental protection activities, but enforcement of this pollution fee system is lax. Ukraine ratified the Kyoto Protocol in April 2004.

Construction of a shipping canal through a UN protected core biosphere reserve in the Danube Delta, which began in May 2004, is an environmental issue of international interest.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Ukraine considers Euro-Atlantic integration its primary foreign policy objective, but in practice balances its relationship with Europe and the United States with strong ties to Russia, including pursuing the Single Economic Space project with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. The European Union's Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Ukraine went into force on March 1, 1998. After the 2004 round of EU expansion, the EU did not signal a willingness to consider Ukraine for an association agreement, as Ukraine had hoped for, but instead included it in a new "neighbor" policy, disappointing many Ukrainians. On January 31, 1992, Ukraine joined the then-Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (now the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe — OSCE), and on March 10, 1992, it became a member of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Ukraine signed a Charter Agreement with NATO in 1997, sent troops to Kosovo in close cooperation with NATO countries, signed an agreement for NATO use of Ukrainian strategic airlift assets, and has declared interest in eventual membership. It is the most active member of the Partnership for Peace (PfP).

Ukraine maintains peaceful and constructive relations with all its neighbors, though there are some unresolved maritime issues along the Danube and in the Black Sea with Romania; it has especially close ties with Poland and Russia. Relations with Russia are complicated by energy dependence, payment arrears, and a dispute over bilateral boundaries in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. The 1998 ratification of the bilateral Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and a series of agreements on the final division and disposition of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet have helped to reduce tensions. Ukraine co-founded the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on December 8, 1991, but in January 1993 it refused to endorse a draft charter strengthening political, economic, and defense ties among CIS members. Ukraine was a founding member of GUUAM (Georgia-Ukraine-Uzbekistan-Azerbaijan-Moldova).

In 1999-2001, Ukraine served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Historically, Soviet Ukraine joined the United Nations in 1945 as one of the original members following a Western compromise with the Soviet Union, which had asked for seats for all 15 of its union republics. Ukraine has consistently supported peaceful, negotiated settlements to disputes. It has participated in the five-sided talks on the conflict in Moldova and promoted a peaceful resolution to conflict in the post-Soviet state of Georgia. Ukraine has also made a substantial contribution to UN peacekeeping operations since 1992.


U.S.-UKRAINIAN RELATIONS

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 brought an end to the Cold War and created an opportunity to build bilateral relations with the New Independent States (NIS) as they began a political and economic transformation. On December 25, 1991, the United States officially recognized the independence of Ukraine. It upgraded its consulate in the capital, Kiev, to embassy status on January 21, 1992. The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is John E. Herbst, the fifth U.S. ambassador since Ukrainian independence.

The United States attaches great importance to the success of Ukraine's transition to a democratic state with a flourishing market economy. Following a period of economic decline characterized by high inflation and a continued reliance on state controls, the Ukrainian government began taking steps in the fall of 1999 to reinvigorate economic reform that had been stalled for years due to a lack of a reform majority in the Ukrainian parliament. The Ukrainian government's stated determination to implement comprehensive economic reform is a welcome development, and the U.S. is committed to strengthening its support for Ukraine as it continues on this difficult path. Bilateral relations suffered a setback in September 2002 when the U.S. Government announced it had authenticated a recording of President Kuchma's July 2000 decision to transfer a Kolchuga early warning system to Iraq. The Government of Ukraine denied that the transfer had occurred. U.S. policy remains centered on realizing and strengthening a democratic, prosperous, and secure Ukraine more closely integrated into European and Euro-Atlantic structures.

U.S. Assistance to Ukraine

A cornerstone for the continuing U.S. partnership with Ukraine and the other NIS has been the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets (FREEDOM) Support Act (FSA), enacted in October 1992. Ukraine has been a primary recipient of FSA assistance. Total U.S. assistance since independence has been more than $3 billion. U.S. assistance to Ukraine is targeted to promote political and economic reform and to address urgent humanitarian needs. The U.S. has consistently encouraged Ukraine's transition to a democratic society with a prosperous market-based economy. For more detailed information on these programs, please see the "Annual Report to Congress on U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Eurasia," which is available on the State Department's website at the following address: http://www.state.gov/p/eur/ace/. Information is also available on USAID's website at the address: http://www.usaid.gov.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

KIEV (E) Address: 4 Hlybochtska; Phone: +(380) (44) 490-4000; Fax: + (380) (44) 490-4085; Workweek: M–F 0900-1800; Website: www.usinfo.usemb.kiev.ua

AMB:John Herbst
AMB OMS:Mary Cross
DCM:Sheila Gwaltney
DCM OMS:Daryl Hegendorfer
POL:Aubrey Carlson
CON:MaryKay Carlson
MGT:Jennifer Bonner
AGR:Garth Thorburn
AID:Chris Crowley
CLO:Rifat Awan
CUS:Robert Tine
DAO:Terron Nelson
ECO:Necia Quast
EEO:Lisa Heller
FCS:Robert Shipley
FMO:Joyce Coates
GSO:E. Parks Olmon
IMO:Rob Jennings
ISO:Curtis Presson
ISSO:TBD
MLO:Lee Gabel
PAO:Janet Demiray
RSO:George Nutwell
Last Updated: 11/4/2004

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

August 20, 2004

Country Description: Ukraine is a young nation undergoing profound political and economic change as it moves from its soviet past toward a market economy and multi-party democracy and integration into Euro-Atlantic and other international institutions. In recent years, the availability of goods and services has increased along with increased rates of growth in Ukraine's economy, and facilities for travelers have improved somewhat. Nonetheless, the availability of travel and tourist services remains uneven throughout the country, and Ukraine still lacks the abundance of many of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries. Travel will not normally be as comfortable as in more highly developed countries such as those in Western Europe. Travel within Ukraine is unrestricted.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport valid for six months beyond the planned date of travel is required. In addition, all travelers to Ukraine must have a valid single- or multiple-entry visa before arriving in the country. A visa may be obtained from the Consular Office of the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C. or from Ukrainian Consulates General in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Careful attention should be paid to the validity dates of Ukrainian visas.

Embassy of Ukraine,
3350 M Street, NW,
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel. (202) 333-0606;
Fax (202) 333-0817
Web site: www.ukremb.com

Consulate General of Ukraine in New York
240 East 49th Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212-371-5690;Fax: 212-371-5547
Web site: www.brama.com/ua-consulate

The Consulate General of Ukraine in San Francisco
530 Bush Street, suite 402, San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: (415) 398-0240;
Fax: (415) 398-5039
Web site: www.UkraineSF.com

Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago
10 East Huron St.,
Chicago, IL, 60611
Tel: 312-642 4388; Fax: 312-642 4385
Web site: www.ukrchicago.com

U.S. citizens, who stay in Ukraine for less than six months on a private, tourist, or business visa, do not need to register with local authorities. Once inside Ukraine, it may be possible to get an extension of stay, over and beyond the validity of the visa, for up to six months, from the Ministry of Interior's Office of Visas and Registration (OVIR). However, the extension is only valid for continued presence in the country. It is not possible to depart Ukraine and return on the extension, nor can additional visas be obtained from within Ukraine.

The Government of Ukraine does not issue visas at the point of entry into Ukraine. All visitors without a valid entry visa will be turned back to the United States or will have to travel to another European country to obtain a visa. Please check your visa carefully upon receipt. Each traveler is responsible for understanding the type of visa issued and the provisions of the visa. Frequently, American citizens are refused entry to Ukraine because they thought they possessed a multiple entry visa, but in fact their visa was valid for only a single entry. Alternatively, Americans try to reenter Ukraine after using their single entry visa, believing they have unlimited travel for six months. In some cases, Americans attempt to enter Ukraine before their visa becomes valid. This is a common mistake since in Ukraine the date is written day-month-year, not month-day-year. Thus, a visa issued on 05/01/03 is valid from January 5, 2003 and NOT from May 1, 2003. These travelers have been detained at the airport, refused entry and placed on the next available flight. The U.S. Embassy in Kiev is unable to assist travelers in these situations.

Travelers who intend to visit Russia from Ukraine must also have a Russian visa. The Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in Ukraine is located at Prospekt Kutuzova 8, tel.: (380-44) 294-7797 or 294-6816.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of a child's relationship to accompanying travelers and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

Dual Nationality: In addition to being subject to all Ukrainian laws affecting U.S. citizens, individuals who also possess the nationality of Ukraine may be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on citizens of that country. For additional information, see the Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov for our Dual Nationality flyer.

Ukraine does not recognize dual nationality. American citizens entering Ukraine with a Ukrainian passport will be treated as Ukrainian citizens by the local authorities. This may include being required to perform mandatory military service. Also, Ukrainians who have immigrated to the U.S. without obtaining the proper exit visa from Ukrainian authorities may be subject to civil or criminal penalties and will be required to obtain an exit visa before returning to the U.S.

Radiation and Nuclear Safety: In 1986, the Chernobyl incident resulted in the largest short-term unintentional accidental release of radioactive materials to the atmosphere ever recorded. The highest areas of radioactive ground contamination occurred within thirty kilometers of the Chernobyl station. The city of Kiev was not badly affected because of the wind direction, but it was not completely spared. The Chernobyl nuclear power station closed officially on 15 December 2000.

The Ukrainian government has an effective program of monitoring fresh foods and meats sold in local markets. Street purchase of produce should be avoided. Wild berries, mushrooms, and wild fowl and game should be avoided, as these have been found to retain higher than average levels of radiation. Background levels of radiation are monitored regularly by the Embassy and to date have not exceeded the level found on the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

Safety and Security: Despite the country's difficult economic situation, Ukraine has been largely free of significant civil unrest or disorders. Demonstrations occasionally occur in cities such as Kiev. While the majority of these protests are small and peaceful, it is best to avoid such gatherings. For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up to date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328.

These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: Most travelers do not encounter problems with crime while in Ukraine. Nonetheless, the country is undergoing a significant economic, political and social transformation, and income disparities have grown sharply. As a result, visitors perceived to be wealthier are targets for criminals. Americans often stand out in Ukraine, and are therefore more likely to be targeted than in Western European countries where incomes are higher and Americans may blend in better. Most street crime is relatively low level, but crimes involving small caliber firearms have been reported. Street crime ranges from wallet scams, simple pick pocketing and purse snatching, to muggings, armed robbery, or drugging unsuspecting victims at nightspots and bars (where they are then robbed). Cases of assaults in apartment building corridors and stairwells, and armed break-ins have also been reported.

Credit card and ATM fraud is widespread. Ukraine operates as a cash economy, and money scams are widespread. Although credit card and ATM use among Ukrainians is increasingly common, we nevertheless strongly recommend that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards.

Burglaries of apartments and vehicles represent the most significant threat to long-term residents. Although few cars are actually stolen, primarily because of increased use of alarm systems and security wheel locks, vehicular break-ins and vehicular vandalism are becoming more common.

In Ukraine there is a lack of tourist and travel services upon which American and foreign visitors can rely in the aftermath of a crime. Transferring funds from the United States, replacing stolen traveler's checks or airline tickets, or canceling credit cards can be difficult and time consuming. There is a lack of safe, low cost lodgings such as youth hostels. Public facilities in Ukraine are generally not equipped to accommodate persons with physical disabilities.

Reports of racially-motivated incidents against non-Caucasian foreigners, including American citizens of African and Asian descent, have been registered at our Embassy. In addition to incidents of assault, persons of African or Asian heritage may be subject to various types of harassment, such as being stopped on the street by both civilians and law enforcement officials.

Over the past several years, the Embassy has received a number of reports of harassment and intimidation directed against foreign businesspersons and interests. While these reports have become considerably less frequent in recent years, they have not ended entirely. Reported incidents range from physical threats (possibly motivated by rival commercial interests tied to organized crime), to local government entities engaging in such practices as arbitrary termination or amendment of business licenses, dilution of corporate stock to diminish U.S. investor interest, delays of payment or delivery of goods, and arbitrary "inspections" by tax, safety or other officials that appear designed to harm the business rather than a genuine attempt at good governance.

Computer fraud is also becoming more common in Ukraine. Internet scams appear to be on the increase. The Embassy suggests refraining from wiring money unless the recipient is well-known and the purpose of business is clear. American citizens have reported transferring money to Ukraine to pay for goods purchased from residents of Ukraine via on-line auction sites, but never receiving the goods in return. The Embassy regularly receives complaints from Americans regarding scams involving marriage and dating services. Numerous Americans have lost money to agencies and individuals that claimed they could arrange for student or fiancée visas to the U.S. Additional information is available on our web site in a document titled "Marriage Brokers" at http://usembassy.kiev.ua/amcit_marriage_brokers_eng.html.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a troublefree journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.

Medical Facilities: The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of hospitals and clinics with some English-speaking staff. Many facilities have only limited English speakers. There are no hospitals in Ukraine that provide a level of medical care equal to that found in American hospitals, or which accept American health insurance plans for payment (see below: Medical Insurance). Some facilities are adequate for basic services. Basic medical supplies are available; however, travelers requiring prescription medicine should bring their own. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities. When hospitalized, patients or their relatives or acquaintances are often expected to supply medication, bandages, etc, themselves. The Embassy recommends that ill or infirm persons not travel to Ukraine. The Embassy also recommends that travelers obtain private medical evacuation insurance prior to traveling to Ukraine.

The fastest way to secure western medical care remains medical evacuation. This is a very expensive option and may take several hours after the need for care arises. Travelers may wish to purchase medical evacuation insurance prior to travel, or have access to substantial lines of credit to cover the cost of medical evacuation.

The Consular Section has information on various air ambulance companies that perform medical evacuations to Europe or the U.S. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to Europe can cost from $25,000 to $50,000, and to the U.S. as much as $70,000 or more. More information can be found on U.S. Embassy's website in a separate document "Medical Services in Kiev" at http://usembassy.kiev.ua/amcit_medical_serv_eng.html.

Please note that while the Embassy can help American travelers and their families make contact with a medevac service, the U.S. Government cannot pay for medical evacuation. Travelers should make sure they have medical evacuation insurance, which is available from many private companies, or have funds available for evacuation, before the need arises.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.

The Ukrainian parliament passed a law in 1997 whereby all visitors to Ukraine are required to obtain mandatory health insurance from the state joint-stock insurance company, Ukrinmedstrakh. According to information from the Ukrainian authorities the cost of this medical insurance depends on the anticipated length of a foreigner's stay in Ukraine. The cost for the insurance is approximately 25 cents per day (more for short stays). More information can be found on U.S. Embassy's web site in a separate document, "Medical Insurance in Ukraine for Emergency Care" available at http://usembassy.kiev.ua/amcit_medical_ins_eng.html. This required insurance covers only the costs of basic medical care inside Ukraine, and does not cover medical evacuation.

Other Health Information: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the U.S. The information below concerning Ukraine is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of public transportation: Fair
Urban road conditions/maintenance: Fair
Rural road conditions/maintenance: Poor
Availability of roadside assistance: Poor

Generally, roads in Ukraine outside major urban areas are in poor condition and poorly lit. Defensive driving is a must, since drivers often disregard traffic rules. Drivers are often poorly trained or drive without a valid driver's license. Drivers can also be very aggressive, and they normally do not respect the rights of pedestrians, even at clearly marked pedestrian crossings. Pedestrians should also be aware of cars driving or attempting to park on sidewalks. Many cars do not meet the safety standards common in America.

Cross-country travel at night and in winter can be particularly dangerous. The Embassy strongly recommends that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from driving their private vehicles after dark outside of major cities. However, major roads are drivable during daylight hours. Roadside services such as gas stations and repair facilities are becoming more common, particularly on the main national and regional overland highways and in large and mid-size cities. Nonetheless, such services are far from American standards, and travelers should plan accordingly. There have been isolated reports of carjackings of westernmade or foreign-registered cars. There has been an increase in the number of documented reports of criminal acts occurring on trains.

For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/travel/abroad_roadsafety.html.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Ukraine's civil aviation authority as Category 1 – in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Ukrainian air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Customs Regulations: Ukrainian customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Ukraine of items such as firearms, antiquities, currency, etc. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington or one of Ukraine's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines. A current list of those countries with serious problems in this regard can be found at http://www.ustr.gov/reports/2003/special301.htm.

Ukrainian law requires that travelers declare all cash and jewelry, regardless of value, upon entering Ukraine. Travelers should fill out a customs declaration and ask customs officials to stamp it. According to Ukrainian law, foreign citizens may bring up to $10,000 in cash or up to $50,000 in travelers' checks into Ukraine without a special license. A traveler must declare the cash or checks. If customs officials determine that a traveler entering or exiting the country has undeclared cash on him or her, they can and often do confiscate the undeclared funds. When leaving the country, travelers are only allowed to take out a maximum of $1,000 in cash or as much cash as they declared upon their entry into Ukraine. If a traveler wants to take out more than $1,000, the traveler must have a customs declaration proving that he or she in fact brought the corresponding sum of money into the country.

If you wish to bring more than $10,000 into Ukraine you must obtain a special license AFTER entering the country. Details for obtaining this license are available on the Embassy's web site in a separate document "Ukrainian Customs Procedures for Transporting Currencies, Monetary Instruments, or Precious Metals" at http://usembassy.kiev.ua/amcit_travel_ukrcustoms_eng.html. Ukraine has strict limitations for the export of antiques and other goods and artifacts deemed to be of particularly important historical or cultural value. This includes any items produced before 1950.

Ukrainian Postal laws prohibit mailing of passports or other IDs across Ukrainian borders via regular mail as well as via courier mail (FedEx, DHL, etc.)

It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington or one of Ukraine's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Ukrainian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Ukraine are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Under the PROTECT Act of April 2003, it is a crime, prosecutable in the United States, for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18, whether or not the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident alien intended to engage in such illicit sexual conduct prior to going abroad. For purposes of the PROTECT Act, illicit sexual conduct includes any commercial sex act in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18. The law defines a commercial sex act as any sex act, on account of which anything of value is given to or received by a person under the age of 18.

Under the Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act of 1998, it is a crime to use the mail or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including the Internet, to transmit information about a minor under the age of 16 for criminal sexual purposes that include, among other things, the production of child pornography. This same law makes it a crime to use any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including the Internet, to transport obscene materials to minors under the age of 16.

Consular Access: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports and Ukrainian visas with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available. Maintaining copies of these documents would also help facilitate their replacement, if they are lost or stolen. In accordance with the bi-lateral Consular Convention of 1964 between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, to which Ukraine is a successor, local authorities are required to notify U.S. Embassy of arrest or detention of a U.S. citizen in Ukraine.

Special Circumstances: Ukraine is a cash economy. Travelers' checks and credit cards are gaining wider acceptance in larger cities. Even in Kiev, however, acceptance of credit cards is not nearly as widespread as in the U.S. or in Western European countries. Expect credit card use to be limited to better hotels, upscale restaurants, international airlines and the rapidly growing, but still select number of up-market stores. Customs regulations prohibit sending cash, travelers' checks, personal checks, credit cards, or passports through the international mail system. Customs authorities regularly confiscate these items as contraband. Exchanging U.S. dollars into the national Ukrainian currency hryvnya is simple and unproblematic, as licensed exchange booths are widespread, and exchange rates are normally clearly advertised. Exchanging U.S. dollars into Ukrainian currency or other currencies is legal only at banks, currency exchange desks at hotels, and licensed exchange booths; anyone caught dealing on the black market can expect to be detained by the local militia.

There are many banks and licensed currency exchange booths located in major cities. ATMs (a.k.a. Bankomats) are becoming available throughout Ukraine, particularly in Kiev and in other larger cities. In smaller cities and towns ATMs are still virtually non-existent. Most ATMs disperse cash only in the local currency hryvnya. The difficulties of a currency shortage can be avoided by coming to Ukraine with a sufficient supply of hard currency to cover necessary obligations during travel. Funds may be transferred by wire, advances may be drawn on credit cards and travelers checks may be cashed at many locations.

Again, the Embassy emphasizes that the incidence of credit card and ATM bankcard fraud is high and we strongly recommend that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/family/index.html or telephone Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-317-472-2328.

Registration/Embassy and Consulate Locations: Americans living in or visiting Ukraine are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and obtain updated information on travel and security within Ukraine. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located at #6 Mykola Pymonenko St., 01901 Kiev, Ukraine. Telephone: (38-044) 490-4422, fax 236-4892. The Embassy is located at #10 Yuriv Kotsyubinsky St. 01901 Kiev, Ukraine. Tel.: (38-044) 490-4000.

International Adoption

January 2005

The information below has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: This adoption information is based on the latest guidance the embassy has received from the national adoption center of ukraine (nac). It is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific ukrainian adoption laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel or your adoption service provider.

Availability of Children for Adoption: Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans (IR-3 and IR-4 combined).

FY-1999: 312
FY-2000: 653
FY-2001: 1233
FY-2002: 1104
FY-2003: 702

Ukrainian children who have been registered with the Kiev-based National Adoption Center for one year are available for international adoption. The one-year waiting requirement may be waived only if children suffer from a disease listed with the Ministry of Public Health Protection.

Adopting parents who have registered with the Adoption Center may receive information about adoptable children only after they receive an invitation from the Adoption Center to travel to Ukraine. Under Ukrainian law, Ukrainian officials may not disclose information on adoptable children to agencies or other private citizens.

Adoption Authority: Adoption Center in Kiev, Ukraine; 27-A Taras Shevchenko Boulevard; Kiev, Ukraine 252032; Tel # (380)(44) 246-54-31/32/37/49; Fax # (380)(44) 246-5452/62.

The Adoption Center, a part of the Ministry of Education, is the only legal Ukrainian authority for adoptions. It maintains the database of adoptable children available for both domestic and international adoptions. Adopting parents must send their documents directly to the National Adoption Center. Callers or visitors have to speak either Russian or Ukrainian, or have their own interpreters.

Age and Civil Status Requirements: Married and single people may adopt from Ukraine. Prospective adopting parents have to be of legal age (18 years old and older), and the difference between the age of the adopting parent and adopted child must be at least 15 years, although this can be waived if circumstances warrant. If the child is adopted by a relative, the age difference is not considered.

Residential Requirements: There are no residency requirements to adopt in Ukraine.

Time Frame: It takes 2-6 months to be matched with a Ukrainian orphan after adopting parents submit their dossier with the National Adoption Center. Parents can also expect a three to four week wait between the initial filing of the adoption in the local court and issuance of the final adoption decree.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys: Ukraine does not allow adoption agencies to operate or locate a child for adoption in Ukraine. However, facilitators are allowed to assist with translation and interpretation services. Prospective adopting parents can protect themselves by openly discussing all fees and expenses in great detail before hiring a facilitator or interpreter. Discuss recommendations with adoption agencies and with other families who hired these individuals in the past.

The U.S. Embassy in Kiev has a list of translators known to work in Ukraine. These are general translation service providers and do not necessarily have experience with adoptions. Neither the U.S. Embassy nor the Department of State can vouch for the efficacy or professionalism of any agent, facilitator, or interpreter.

Ukrainian Adoption Fees: There are no Ukrainian fees except those for court filing, notarial, translation and similar services.

The U.S. Embassy in Kiev notes that adopting parents pay anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 lump sum fees to their adoption agencies for services rendered. This can include lodging, transportation, authentication of Ukrainian documents, fees for expedited services and interpreter's services. Adopting parents have also reported being charged additional fees for services rendered after arriving in Ukraine.

Adoption Procedures: Prospective adopting parents must first register with the National Adoption Center. Once an application is approved, the prospective adopting parents will receive an invitation to visit the Adoption Center. When adopting parents arrive in Ukraine, the Adoption Center shows them information about orphans available for international adoption within the parents' specified age range. The Center then issues a letter of referral to allow the prospective parents to visit orphanages to meet, select, and establish contact with a child. Along with the letter of referral, adopting parents will be given their documents, bound, numbered, sealed, and signed by an official in charge of the Adoption Center, with a separate sheet specifying the number of pages and the prospective parents' registration file code. Please review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family for more details.

Pre-adoption Medical Examination: While meeting a child at the orphanage, you will be shown his/her medical history. If any doubts arise, or if you would like to get more details on the child's health condition, you may request an additional medical check-up of the child (including blood tests etc.). Please review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family for more details.

Court Hearing: After prospective adopting parents identify a child for adoption, the file for the case is presented to a judge in the region where the child lives. The power to approve or deny an adoption remains solely with an individual judge. The judge's decision, in turn, is based on a review of various documents of each individual adoption case during the court hearing

Adopting parents must attend the hearing. In cases where one of the parents cannot be present at the hearing (e.g. major surgery, disability etc.), a judge may permit one parent to provide a power of attorney for the other parent.

Obtaining the Post-Adoption Birth Certificate and a Travel Document: The local ZAGS office (Ukrainian abbreviation for Office of Vital Records) issues a post-adoption certificate of birth for an adopted child based on the final court decree and the original (pre-adoption) birth certificate. The pre-adoption birth certificate is not be returned to the adopting parents, so parents should make sure that they make a copy of the pre-adoption birth certificate before handing it over to the ZAGS authorities.

Once the post-adoption birth certificate is obtained, parents may apply for a passport for their child at the local VVIR (Ukrainian abbreviation for Office of Visas and Registration). Parents are required to present a written and notarized statement requesting that the travel document be issued. The post-adoption birth certificate, final court decree, and 4 passport-size photos of the child have to be submitted along with the statement. The new name of the adopted child in the travel document is spelled in English transliterated from Ukrainian, so it may look different from what appears on the parents' passport. There is no need for concern as long as the child's name in Ukrainian on the travel document is the same as in the court decree. However, parents can request that the correct English spelling be noted on the blank page in the passport.

At the time the passport is issued, a special, mandatory stamp is put in it showing that the child is departing Ukraine for permanent residence abroad.

Documentary Requirements: The following documents must be part of the adoption application. Please review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family for more details.

1) Home Study, issued by a competent authority in the adopting parents' country, attesting to their eligibility, specifying their housing and living conditions, containing their curriculum vitae, and other information.

2) Entrance and permanent residence permit for the adopted child, issued by the competent authority in the adopting parents' country.

3) Proof of income

4) Adopting parents are given a specific medical form to complete.

5) Copy of the marriage certificate (if applicable).

6) Copies of the passports or other identification papers of prospective adopting parents.

7) "No criminal record" statement supplied by a competent authority for each adopting parent, attesting to his/her having no criminal record at the State level.

8) Commitment to register their adopted child with the Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate in their new home country within one month of the completion of adoption. Adopting parents also agree to supply information about the adopted child's living conditions and educational progress to the Ukrainian consular office at least annually during the first 3 years following the adoption. Under Ukrainian law, an adopted child remains a Ukrainian citizen until age 18, at which time the child can decide to remain a Ukrainian citizen.

Please review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family for more details.

Authentication of Documents: All U.S. documents submitted to the Ukrainian government/court must be authenticated. For additional information about authentication procedures, see the "Judicial Assistance" page of the Bureau of Consular Affairs Web site at http://travel.state.gov. Please see information on legalization of documents in Ukraine at: http://www.usemb.kiev.ua/amcit_hagueconvention_eng.html

Ukrainian Embassy and Consulates in the United States: 3350 M Street, N.W.; Washington, D.C. 20007; Tel: 202-333-0606; Fax: 202-333-0817; www.ukremb.com

Ukraine has Consulates General in New York and Chicago.

U.S. Immigration Requirements: A child adopted by a U.S. citizen must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the U.S. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family.

U.S. Embassy in Ukraine: As soon as prospective adopting parents arrive in Ukraine, they should contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in order to register their presence in Ukraine. The Consulate Section is located at: Consular Section; U.S. Embassy; 6 Pymonenko St.; Kiev. Ukraine; Telephone: (380)-44-490-4422/4000.; Fax: (380)-44-236-4892.; Email: [email protected]

Questions: General questions regarding international adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-404-4747 with specific questions.

views updated

UKRAINE

Compiled from the December 2003 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.


Official Name:
Ukraine


PROFILE
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-UKRAINIAN RELATIONS
TRAVEL


PROFILE


Geography

Area: 233,000 sq. mi.

Cities: Capital—Kiev (often transliterated as Kyiv from Ukrainian, pop. 2.8 million). Other cities—Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Don etsk, Odesa, Lviv.

Terrain: A vast plain mostly bounded by the Carpathian mountains in the southwest and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the South.

Climate: Continental temperate, except in southern Crimea, which has a sub-tropical climate.


People

Population: (est.) 47.72 million.

Nationality: Noun—Ukrainian(s); adjective—Ukrainian.

Ethnic groups: Ukrainians, Russians, Belarussians, Moldovans, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Jews, Poles, Crimean Tatars, and other groups.

Religions: Ukrainian Orthodoxy, Ukrainian Greek Catholicism, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Islam

Languages: Ukrainian (official), Russian, others.

Education: Literacy—98%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—22/1,000; life expectancy—61.6 yrs. males, 72.8 yrs. females.

Work force: 23 million. Industry and construction—32%; agriculture and forestry—24%; health, education, and culture—17%; transport and communication—7%.


Government

Type: presidential-parliamentary.

Independence: August 24, 1991.

Constitution: First post-Soviet constitution adopted June 28, 1996.

Branches: Executive—president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative—450-member unicameral parliament, the Supreme Rada (members elected to 4-year terms). Judicial—Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, local courts, and Constitutional Court.

Political parties: Wide range of active political parties and blocs, from leftist to center and center-right to ultra-nationalist.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Administrative subdivisions: 24 provinces, Crimean autonomous republic, and two cities with special status—Kiev and Sevastopol.


Economy

Nominal GDP: (2003 est.) $46.34 billion.

Annual growth rate: (2003 est.) 5.5-6.0%.

Nominal Per Capita GDP: (2003 est.) $970.

Natural resources: Vast fertile lands, coal, ironstone, complexore, various large mineral deposits, timber.

Agriculture: Products—Grain, sugar, sunflower seeds.

Industry: Types—Ferrous metals and products, coke, fertilizer, airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, tractors.

Trade: (2002) Exports—$17.95 billion: Ferrous and nonferrous metals, mineral products, chemicals, machinery, transport equipment, grain, and textiles. Imports—$16,97 billion: Energy, mineral fuel and oil, machinery and parts, transportation equipment, chemicals, textiles, and paper.



PEOPLE

The population of Ukraine is about 47.72 million. Ethnic Ukrainians make up about 73% of the total; ethnic Russians number about 22%, ethnic Belarussians number about 5%. The industrial regions in the east and southeast are the most heavily populated, and the urban population makes up about 67% of the population. Ukrainian and Russian are the principal languages. Although Russian is very widely spoken, in the 1989 census (the latest official figures) 88% of the population identified Ukrainian as their native language. The dominant religions are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (which practices Orthodox rites but recognizes the Pope as head of the Church). The largest part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church belongs to the Moscow Patriarchy; however, following Ukrainian independence a separate Kiev Patriarchy was also established, which declared independence from Moscow. In addition to these, there is also a Ukrainian Auto-cephalous Orthodox Church.


The birth rate of Ukraine is declining. About 70% of adult Ukrainians have a secondary or higher education. Ukraine has about 150 colleges and universities, of which the most important are at Kiev, Lviv, and Kharkiv. There are about 70,000 scholars in 80 research institutes.



HISTORY

The first identifiable groups to populate what is now Ukraine were Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Goths, among other nomadic peoples who arrived throughout the first millennium B.C. These peoples were well known to colonists and traders in the ancient world, including Greeks and Romans, who established trading outposts that eventually became city-states. Slavic tribes occupied central and eastern Ukraine in the sixth century A.D. and played an important role in the establishment of Kiev. Situated on lucrative trade routes, Kiev quickly prospered as the center of the powerful state of Kievan Rus. In the 11th century, Kievan Rus was, geographically, the largest state in Europe. Christian missionaries, Cyril and Methodius, propagated the Christian faith and the Cyrillic alphabet. Kievan Rus Prince Volodymyr converted the Kievan nobility and most of the population to Christianity in 988. Conflict among the feudal lords led to decline in the 12th century. Mongol raiders razed Kiev in the 13th century.


Most of the territory of what is modern Ukraine was annexed by Poland and Lithuania in the 14th century, but during that time, Ukrainians began to conceive of themselves as a distinct people, a feeling that survived subsequent partitioning by greater powers over the next centuries. Ukrainian peasants who fled the Polish effort to force them into servitude came to be known as Cossacks and earned a reputation for their fierce martial spirit and love of freedom. In 1667, Ukraine was partitioned between Poland and Russia. In 1793, when Poland was partitioned, much of modern-day Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire.

The 19th century found the region largely agricultural, with a few cities and centers of trade and learning. The region was under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the extreme west and the Russian Empire elsewhere. Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were inspired by the nationalistic spirit stirring other European peoples existing under other imperial governments and were determined to revive Ukrainian linguistic and cultural traditions and reestablish a Ukrainian state. Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), national hero of Ukraine, presented the intellectual maturity of the Ukrainian language and culture through his work as a poet and artist. Imperial Russia, however, imposed strict limits on attempts to elevate Ukrainian culture, even banning the use and study of the Ukrainian language.


When World War I and the Russian revolution shattered the Habsburg and Russian empires, Ukrainians declared independent statehood. In 1917 the Central Rada proclaimed Ukrainian autonomy and in 1918, following the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd, the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence under President Mykhaylo Hrushevsky. After three years of conflict and civil war, however, the western part of Ukrainian territory was incorporated into Poland, while the larger, central and eastern regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922 as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.


The Ukrainian national idea persevered during the twenties, but with Stalin's rise to power and the campaign for collectivization, the Soviet leadership imposed a campaign of terror that ravaged the intellectual class. Stalin also created an artificial famine (called the Holodomor in Ukrainian) as part of his forced collectivization policies, which killed millions of previously independent peasants and others throughout the country. Estimates of deaths from the 1932-33 famine alone range from 3 million to 7 million.

When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, some Ukrainians, particularly in the west, welcomed what they saw as liberation from Communist rule, but this did not last as they quickly came to understand the nature of Nazi rule. Nazi brutality was directed principally against Ukraine's Jews (of whom an estimated 1 million were killed), but also against many other Ukrainians. Babyn Yar in Kiev was the site of one of the most horrific Nazi massacres of Ukrainian Jews, ethnic Ukrainians, and many others. Kiev and other parts of the country were heavily damaged.


After the Nazi and Soviet invasions of Poland in 1939, the western Ukrainian regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union. Armed resistance against Soviet authority continued as late as the 1950s. During periods of relative liberalization—as under Nikita Khrushchev from 1955 to 1964 and during the period of "perestroika" under Mikhail Gorbachev — Ukrainian communists pursued nationalist objectives. The 1986 explosion at the Chornobyl (Chernobyl in Russian) nuclear power plant, located in the Ukrainian SSR, and the Soviet government's initial efforts to conceal the extent of the catastrophe from its own people and the world, was a watershed for many Ukrainians in exposing the severe problems of the Soviet system. Ukraine became an independent state on August 24, 1991, and was a co-founder of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, although it has not officially joined the organization.



GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Ukraine has a presidential/parliamentary system of government with separate executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The president nominates the prime minister, who must be confirmed by the parliament. The 450-member unicameral parliament (Supreme Rada) initiates legislation, ratifies international agreements, and approves the budget. Its members are elected to four-year terms. Following free elections held on December 1, 1991, Leonid M. Kravchuk, former chairman of the Ukrainian Rada, was elected president for a five-year term. At the same time, a referendum on independence was approved by more than 90% of the voters. Political groupings in Ukraine include former communists, socialists, agrarians, liberals, nationalists and various centrist and independent forces.

Shortly after becoming independent, Ukraine named a parliamentary commission to prepare a new constitution, adopted a multi-party system, and adopted legislative guarantees of civil and political rights for national minorities. A new, democratic constitution was adopted on June 28, 1996, which mandates a pluralistic political system with protection of basic human rights and liberties.


Freedom of religion is guaranteed by law, although religious organizations are required to register with local authorities and with the central government. Minority rights are respected in accordance with a 1991 law guaranteeing ethnic minorities the right to schools and cultural facilities and the use of national languages in conducting personal business. According to the constitution, Ukrainian is the only official state language. In Crimea and some parts of eastern Ukraine—areas with substantial ethnic Russian minorities—local and regional governments permit Russian as a language for local official correspondence.


Freedom of speech and press are guaranteed by law and by the constitution, but authorities sometimes interfere with the news media through intimidation and other forms of pressure. In particular, the failure of the government to conduct a thorough, credible, and transparent investigation into the 2000 disappearance and murder of independent journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, in which government officials have been credibly implicated, has had a negative effect on Ukraine's international image.


Ethnic tensions in Crimea during 1992 prompted a number of pro-Russian political organizations to advocate secession of Crimea and annexation to Russia. (Crimea was ceded by the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954, in recognition of historic links and for economic convenience, to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine's union with Russia.) In July 1992, the Crimean and Ukrainian parliaments determined that Crimea would remain under Ukrainian jurisdiction while retaining significant cultural and economic autonomy.


Official trade unions have been grouped under the Federation of Trade Unions. A number of independent unions, which emerged during 1992, among them the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine, have formed the Consultative Council of Free Trade Unions. While the right to strike is legally guaranteed, strikes based solely on political demands are prohibited.


In July 1994, Leonid Kuchma was elected as Ukraine's second president in free and fair elections. Kuchma was reelected in November 1999 to another five-year term, with 56 percent of the vote. International observers criticized aspects of the election, especially slanted media coverage; however, the outcome of the vote was not called into question. In March 2002, Ukraine held its most recent parliamentary elections, which were characterized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as flawed, but an improvement over the 1998 elections. The pro-presidential For a United Ukraine bloc won the largest number of seats, followed by the reformist Our Ukraine bloc of former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko, and the Communist Party. There are 450 seats in parliament, with half chosen from party lists by proportional vote and half from individual constituencies.

Security forces are controlled by the president, although they are subject to investigation by a permanent parliamentary commission. Surveillance is permitted for reasons of national security.


Ukraine established its own military forces of about 780,000 from the troops and equipment inherited from the Soviet Union. It has reduced this figure to approximately 295,000 (plus 90,000 civilian workers in the Ministry of Defense), with the goal of further reductions to around 275,000 by 2005. Ukraine's stated national policy is Euro-Atlantic integration, including with both NATO and the European Union. Ukraine has a Distinctive Partnership with NATO and has been an active participant in Partnership for Peace exercises and in Balkans peacekeeping. Ukrainian units have been serving in Kosovo, in the U.S. sector, and in Iraq, in the Polish-led division.


Principal Government Officials
Last Updated: 2/9/04


President: Kuchma, Leonid

Chmn., Rada (parliament): Lytvyn, Volodymyr

Prime Minister: Yanukovych, Viktor

First Dep. Prime Min.: Azarov, Mykola

Dep. Prime Min. for Agro industrial Complex: Kyrylenko, Ivan

Dep. Prime Min. for Fuel & Energy Complex: Kluyev, Andriy

Dep. Prime Min. for Humanitarian Affairs: Tabachnyk, Dmytro

Min. of Agriculture: Slauta, Viktor

Min. of Culture & Arts: Bohutskyy, Yuriy

Min. of Defense: Marchuk, Yevhen

Min. of Ecology & Natural Resources: Polyakov, Serhiy

Min. of Economy: Derkach, Mykola

Min. of Education & Science: Kremin, Vasyl

Min. of Emergency Situations: Reva, Hryhoriy

Min. of Family, Children, & Youth Affairs: Dovzhenko, Valentyna

Min. of Finance: Azarov, Mykola

Min. of Foreign Affairs: Gryshchenko, Kostyantyn

Min. of Fuel & Energy: Yermilov, Serhiy

Min. of Health: Pidayev, Andriy

Min. of Industrial Policy: Neustroyev, Oleksandr

Min. of Internal Affairs: Bilokon, Mykola

Min. of Justice: Lavrynovych, Oleksandr

Min. of Labor & Social Policy: Papivey, Mykhaylo

Min. of Transportation: Kirpa, Hryhoriy

Sec., National Security & Defense Council: Radchenko, Volodmyr

State Sec. for the Cabinet of Ministers:

Chief, Presidential Administration: Medvedchuk, Viktor

Chmn., National Bank: Tihipko, Serhiy

Chmn., Security Service: Smeshko, Ihor

Chmn., State Property Fund: Chechetov, Mykhaylo

Procurator General: Vasylyev, Hennadiy

Ambassador to the US: Reznik, Mykhaylo

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Kuchynskyy, Valeriy



Ukraine maintains an embassy at 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007 (tel. 202-333-0606)



ECONOMY

Ukraine has many of the components of a major European economy — rich farmlands, a well-developed industrial base, highly trained labor, and a good education system. After eight straight years of sharp economic decline from the early to late 1990s, the standard of living for most citizens declined more than 50%, leading to widespread poverty. In the last four years economic growth has resumed averaging 5-6% per year and personal incomes have begun to rise. The macro economy is stable, with the hyperinflation of the early post-Soviet period having been tamed. Ukraine's currency, the hryvnia, was introduced in September 1996, and has remained stable. While economic growth continues, Ukraine's long-term economic prospects depend on acceleration of market reforms. The economy remains burdened by excessive government regulation, corruption, and lack of law enforcement, and while small and medium enterprises have been largely privatized, much remains to be done to restructure and privatize key sectors such as energy and telecommunications.

Ukraine is rich in natural resources. It has a major ferrous metal industry, producing cast iron, steel, and steel pipe, and its chemical industry produces coke, mineral fertilizers, and sulfuric acid. Manufactured goods include airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, and tractors. It also is a major producer of grain, sunflower seeds and sugar and has a broad industrial base, including much of the former USSR's space and rocket industry. Although oil and natural gas reserves are small, it has important energy sources, such as coal, and large mineral deposits.


Ukraine encourages foreign trade and investment. The parliament has approved a foreign investment law allowing Westerners to purchase businesses and property, to repatriate revenue and profits, and to receive compensation in the event that property were to be nationalized by a future government. However, complex laws and regulations, poor corporate governance, weak enforcement of contract law by courts and corruption stymie large-scale foreign direct investment in Ukraine. While there is a functioning stock market, the lack of protection for minority shareholder rights severely restricts portfolio investment activities. Total foreign direct investment in Ukraine is approximately $6.04 billion as of October 2003, which, at $126 per capita, is still one of the lowest figures in the region.


While countries of the former Soviet Union remain important trading partners, especially Russia and Turkmenistan for energy imports, Ukraine's trade is becoming more diversified. An overcrowded world steel market threatens prospects for Ukraine's principal exports of non-agricultural goods such as ferrous metals and other steel products, while exports of machinery and machine tools are on the rise. Ukraine imports 90% of its oil and most of its natural gas. Russia ranks as Ukraine's principal supplier of oil and Russian firms now own and/or operate the majority of Ukraine's refining capacity. Natural gas imports come from Russia (which delivers natural gas as a barter payment for Ukraine's role in transporting Russian gas to Western Europe) and Turkmenistan (from which Ukraine purchases natural gas for a combination of cash and barter). While Ukraine's long running dispute with Russia over approximately $1.4 billion in arrears on past gas sales appeared to have been solved through a complex repayment agreement involving Eurobonds to be issued by Ukraine's national oil and gas monopoly (NaftoHaz Ukrainy) to Russia's GazProm by the end of 2003, Russia has not yet accepted the bonds, so the issue remains open. Reform of the inefficient and opaque energy sector is a major objective of the IMF and World Bank programs with Ukraine.

Ukraine is negotiating with the IMF on a precautionary stand-by facility. Dealing with large arrears in VAT refunds to exporters remains the principal issue hindering final approval of a facility. The GOU is also in talks with the World Bank on a Second Programmatic adjustment loan, and loans have been approved for a land registration system and to modernize tax administration. In 1992, Ukraine became a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is a member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development but not a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (WTO). While Ukraine applied for WTO membership, its accession process has moved slowly. A working party meeting in October 2003 agreed to review elements of a draft working party report at the next meeting. The government's stated goal is to accede to the WTO by the end of 2004.


Environmental Issues

Ukraine is interested in cooperating on regional environmental issues. Conservation of natural resources is a stated high priority, although implementation suffers from a lack of financial resources. Ukraine established its first nature preserve, Askanyia-Nova, in 1921 and has a program to breed endangered species.

Ukraine has significant environmental problems, especially those resulting from the Chornobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986 and from industrial pollution. In accordance with its previously announced plans, Ukraine permanently closed the Chornobyl Atomic Energy Station in December of 2000. Design work as well as structural improvements to the "sarcophagus" erected by the Soviet Union are largely complete and construction on the new shelter is scheduled to begin in 2004.


Ukraine also has established a Ministry of Environment and has introduced a pollution fee system, which levies taxes on air and water emissions and solid waste disposal. The resulting revenues are channeled to environmental protection activities, but enforcement of this pollution fee system is lax.


Proposals to build a transport canal through UN protected core biosphere in the Danube Delta have become an environmental issue of international interest.



FOREIGN RELATIONS

Ukraine considers Euro-Atlantic integration its primary foreign policy objective, but in practice balances its relationship with Europe and the United States with strong ties to Russia. The European Union's Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Ukraine went into force on March 1, 1998. The EU has encouraged Ukraine to implement the PCA fully before discussions begin on an association agreement. The EU Common Strategy toward Ukraine, issued at the EU Summit in December 1999 in Helsinki, recognizes Ukraine's long-term aspirations but does not discuss association. On January 31, 1992, Ukraine joined the then-Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (now the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe — OSCE), and on March 10, 1992, it became a member of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Ukraine also has a Distinctive Partnership with NATO and has declared interest in eventual membership. It is the most active member of the Partnership for Peace (PfP).


Ukraine maintains peaceful and constructive relations with all its neighbors; it has especially close ties with Poland and Russia. Relations with Russia are complicated by energy dependence, payment arrears, and a dispute over bilateral boundaries in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. The 1998 ratification of the bilateral Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and a series of agreements on the final division and disposition of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet have helped to reduce tensions. Ukraine co-founded the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on December 8, 1991, but in January 1993 it refused to endorse a draft charter strengthening political, economic, and defense ties among CIS members. Ukraine was a founding member of GUUAM (Georgia-Ukraine-Uzbekistan-Azerbaijan-Moldova).


In 1999-2001, Ukraine served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Historically, Soviet Ukraine joined the United Nations in 1945 as one of the original members following a Western compromise with the Soviet Union, which had asked for seats for all 15 of its union republics. Ukraine has consistently supported peaceful, negotiated settlements to disputes. It has participated in the quadripartite talks on the conflict in Moldova and promoted a peaceful resolution to conflict in the post-Soviet state of Georgia. Ukraine has also made a substantial contribution to UN peacekeeping operations since 1992.



U.S.-UKRAINIAN RELATIONS

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 brought an end to the Cold War and created an opportunity to build bilateral relations with the New Independent States (NIS) as they began a political and economic transformation. On December 25, 1991, the United States officially recognized the independence of Ukraine. It upgraded its consulate in the capital, Kiev, to embassy status on January 21, 1992. The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is John E. Herbst, the fifth U.S. ambassador since Ukrainian independence.

The United States attaches great importance to the success of Ukraine's transition to a democratic state with a flourishing market economy. Following a period of economic decline characterized by high inflation and a continued reliance on state controls, the Ukrainian government began taking steps in the fall of 1999 to reinvigorate economic reform that had been stalled for years due to a lack of a reform majority in the Ukrainian parliament. The Ukrainian government's stated determination to implement comprehensive economic reform is a welcome development, and the U.S. is committed to strengthening its support for Ukraine as it continues on this difficult path. Bilateral relations suffered a setback in September 2002 when the U.S. Government announced it had authenticated a recording of President Kuchma's July 2000 decision to transfer a Kolchuga early warning system to Iraq. The GOU denied that the transfer had occurred. U.S. policy remains centered on realizing and strengthening a democratic, prosperous, and secure Ukraine more closely integrated into European and Euro-Atlantic structures.


U.S. Assistance to Ukraine

A cornerstone for the continuing U.S. partnership with Ukraine and the other NIS has been the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets (FREEDOM) Support Act (FSA), enacted in October 1992. Ukraine has been a primary recipient of FSA assistance. Total U.S. assistance since independence has been more than $3 billion. U.S. assistance to Ukraine is targeted to promote political and economic reform and to address urgent humanitarian needs. The U.S. has consistently encouraged Ukraine's transition to a democratic society with a prosperous market-based economy. For more detailed information on these programs, please see the Annual Report to Congress on U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union," which is available on the State Department's website at the following address: http://www.state.gov. Information on assistance for the current fiscal year is available on the State Department's website at the address: (currently under construction). Information is also available on USAID's website at the address: http://www.usaid.gov.

Assistance To Support Ukraine's Transition to a Market Economy. U.S. technical assistance in this area has focused primarily on economic restructuring, tax and budget reforms, development of the private sector, and energy-sector reform. U.S. assistance priorities for Ukraine have included enterprise development, deregulation, macroeconomic reform, privatization of the electricity sub-sector, and nuclear safety. U.S. advisers have provided technical assistance in financial sector reform and capital markets development, tax policy and administration, bank training, accounting reform, accession to the World Trade Organization, land ownership, corporate governance, small and medium-scale enterprise development, municipal services reform, agricultural development and agribusiness, privatization of the electric power sector, energy pricing and efficiency, and public education about market reforms.


Assistance to Support Ukraine's Agricultural Economy and Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship and the small and medium-enterprise sector are closely tied to the future of the agricultural economy in Ukraine. Considerable support has been provided to the Ukrainian SME and agricultural sectors under past U.S. assistance programs, and programs continue in three primary areas: 1) building business and farmer associations, deregulation and policy reform; 2) increasing access to credit; and 3) developing business and management skills through "one-stop shops." The U.S. Government has been instrumental in assisting the privatization of agricultural land and the issuance of land titles. The collective farm system has been eliminated and 6.75 million former collective farm members received the right to hold land titles. More industry is also being privately managed, particularly in agribusiness, where privatization of medium-sized companies is now virtually complete. U.S. Government assistance in agriculture will focus on issuing legal titles to landowners, improving access to credit, strengthening business and farmer associations and improving agricultural markets.


Assistance To Support Ukraine's Transition to Democracy. The U.S. is promoting Ukraine's democratic transition by supporting programs on participatory political systems, independent media, rule of law, local governance, and civil society, as well as a wide range of exchanges and training. USAID has provided Ukraine with technical assistance related to elections, the development of political parties and grassroots civic organizations, the development of independent media and municipal services reform. USAID has been working with Ukrainian officials and nonprofit organizations to create a legal system supportive of a democratic government and a market-based economy. The State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) is promoting cooperation between U.S. law enforcement agencies and their Ukrainian counterparts to reform Ukraine's criminal justice system. In 1997, the U.S. Government launched a special initiative to combat trafficking in women and children from Ukraine, including efforts to promote economic alternatives for vulnerable populations, increase public awareness, and provide support for victims. See the Department of State's website at http://secretary.state.gov/www/picw/trafficking/index.html.


At the 1999 meeting of the U.S.-Ukraine Binational Commission in Washington, the U.S. announced the Next Generation Initiative, with a target of doubling the number of participants in key exchange programs and refocusing U.S. assistance on Ukraine's youth. Such programs as the Future Leaders Exchange (secondary school students), FSA Graduate-Muskie Fellowships, and the FSA Undergraduate program, as well as programs aimed at teachers, have maintained expanded participant levels during the most recent fiscal years. In addition, professional exchanges (International Visitors, Community Connections) continue to bring hundreds of Ukrainians to the U.S. each year. Between 1993 and 2003, the U.S. Government brought nearly 20,000 Ukrainians to the U.S. for long-term study or short-term professional training.

Exchange programs have enabled Ukrainian entrepreneurs, journalists, academics, local government officials, and other professionals to participate in a broad range of programs that focus on U.S. experience in fields of importance to Ukraine's democratic and market transition. In addition, the Embassy's Democracy Small Grants Program and Media Development Fund offer direct grant support to non-governmental organizations and non-state media outlets to carry out projects that contribute to democratic and market reforms and improved access to information.


Since 1992 the U.S. Commerce Department's Special American Business Internship (SABIT) Program together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cochran Fellowship Program and Faculty Exchange Program have brought 956 Ukrainian business executives, scientists, agriculturalists and agricultural educators to the U.S. for internships and training programs. USAID's participant training program provides opportunities for over 1,500 Ukrainians working with NGOs, promoting economic reform and democracy to visit the U.S. and other countries each year. A $5 million joint U.S.-EU civil society project is supporting civic education, NGO development, good governance and parliamentary exchanges, expanding Ukraine's contacts with Americans and Europeans. This project is now largely completed, but its goals continue to be met through many of the programs described above.

Peace Corps Volunteers are working in Ukraine with a focus on small-business development and English teaching, and the Embassy is actively engaged with Ukrainian educators at all levels to support new approaches to teaching and learning.


Assistance to Strengthen Ukraine's Civil Society. Ukraine has turned a crucial corner in terms of the strength and influence of civil society, but these gains still need to be consolidated and strengthened. U.S. assistance provides technical assistance and training to a wide variety of civic organizations to help them become better advocates for their constituencies, to reduce reliance on donor funding by creating closer links to their own communities, to create greater reliance on the local community for funds and volunteers, and to improve transparency by training civic organizations about conflict of interest, board management and financial management. In addition, the FREEDOM Support Act program supports research and public opinion polls undertaken by think tanks and seeks to improve the legal and regulatory framework related to freedom of association and speech. Grant programs also support the development of civil society and independent media and facilitate access to information through the Internet. In the media sector, U.S. assistance supports TV, radio and print media outlets, with an emphasis on strengthening regional news outlets by training journalists, news editors, and station managers, as well as NGOs that support the media.


Support for the Social Sector. The U.S. is assisting Ukraine's efforts to ameliorate some of the social consequences of the transition to a market economy in order to sustain social welfare and stability. To this end, USAID is providing assistance to local governments in redefining the roles of the public and private sectors in providing social services to allow government to focus limited resources on key social sectors. Training and technical assistance are being provided to Ukrainian institutions and government agencies on reforms of health care financing and delivery of medical services. A number of medical partnerships between U.S. and Ukrainian health care institutions have been established to improve both patient care and institutional management. Also, USAID is providing training and technical assistance on ways to improve reproductive health, focusing on providing family planning services and reducing the use of abortion. Finally, USAID has been instrumental in targeting GOU assistance to the most vulnerable groups. Its work in overhauling the public pension system was instrumental in helping the GOU ensure prompt pension payments to eligible retirees.


Humanitarian Assistance. Since 1992, the U.S. State Department's Operation Provide Hope has provided more than $416 million in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. In 1999, the Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to the NIS expended $3.8 million in transportation and grant funds to deliver $77 million in humanitarian assistance to targeted groups in Ukraine. In 1999, Operation Provide Hope funded a total of six humanitarian airlifts and 544 deliveries via surface transportation. A total of $18.5 million in U.S. Defense Department excess medical equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals was delivered and distributed during the 1999 August-October period to 18 hospitals and clinics in Ukraine's Kharkiv Oblast (Region). The U.S. has repeatedly responded to major disasters; since 1994 USAID's disaster assistance has helped victims of fifteen major natural and man-made disasters, including floods, mudslides and mine explosions. In August 2002, the U.S. Government provided medical equipment worth $50,000 to the city of Lviv after the worst air show disaster on record. In addition, USAID has provided over $128 million in humanitarian assistance since 1994, reaching over three million of Ukraine's most vulnerable people.


Bilateral Trade Issues. The U.S.-Ukraine Trade Agreement, effective June 22, 1992, provides reciprocal most-favored-nation tariff treatment to the products of each country. Since January 1994, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has approved investment insurance totaling more than $23 million for three projects in Ukraine. OPIC also has sponsored conferences and exchanges to encourage joint ventures between U.S. and Ukrainian companies. Unfortunately, OPIC operations in Ukraine are currently suspended pending the resolution of a dispute involving the expropriation of an OPIC-insured investment. U.S. Export-Import Bank signed a project incentive agreement with the Ukrainian Government in 1999 but has yet to approve any projects in Ukraine.

Security Issues. In Lisbon on May 23, 1992, the United States signed a protocol to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan (those states on whose territory strategic nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union were located). The protocol makes each state a party to the START Treaty and commits all signatories to reductions in strategic nuclear weapons within the seven-year period provided for in the treaty. Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan also agreed to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as nonnuclear weapons states. The treaty entered into force on December 5, 1994, the same day Ukraine acceded to the NPT.


Security-Related Assistance. Through FY 2003, the U.S. Department of Defense provided more than $675 million under its Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR or "Nunn-Lugar") Program to eliminate strategic nuclear delivery systems in Ukraine. CTR activities facilitated START I implementation and have eliminated, removed, or rendered inoperable all strategic nuclear weapons systems in Ukraine, including the SS-19 and SS-24 ballistic missiles and associated silos and launch control centers, heavy bombers, and airlaunched cruise missiles of the Soviet 43rd Rocket Army. Another $6 million has been set aside for anticipated projects associated with biotechnology proliferation prevention. The U.S. has provided nearly $11 million to assist Ukraine in establishing and improving its export control and related border security system. With the March 2003 passage of an export control law, the legal structure is in place in Ukraine, but serious holes remain in the country's export control system and the system can still be circumvented. There is no independent oversight body, and enforcement and prosecution of export control violations remains problematic. In addition, the U.S. has provided Ukraine more than $40 million in International Military Education and Training (IMET) and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to promote military reform and advance Ukraine's ability to participate in NATO Partnership for Peace activities, including peacekeeping in Kosovo, and in the stabilization of Iraq.


Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Kiev (E), 10 Yuria Kotsubynskoho St., 01901 Kyiv Mail:5850 Kiev Place, Washington, DC 20521-5850 Tel [380] (44) 490-4000, after-hours Tel 216-3805, Fax 244-7350, 490-4085; Website: www.usinfo.usemb.kiev.ua.

AMB: John E. Herbst
AMB OMS: Mary Cross
DCM: Marie L. Yovanovitch
DCM OMS: Stella Speris
POL: Aubrey Carlson
ECO: Necia Quast
COM: Frank Carrico
CON: MaryKay Carlson
MGT: Jennifer V. Bonner
RSO: Scott Bultrowicz
IRM: Thomas R. Barnes
PAO: Janet Demiray
AGR: Magaret Thursland
FAA: Paul H. Feldman (res. Brussels)
DAO: Terron Nelsen
PC: Karl Beck
AID: Christopher Crowley
ODC: LTC Lee Gabel
RLA: David Rodearmel
DTRO: Luke Kluchko
DEA: Alfred A. Alexander (res. Moscow)
LEGATT: Lester McNulty
IRS: Margaret J. Lullo (res. Berlin)

Last Modified: Monday, December 22, 2003


TRAVEL


Consular Information Sheet
September 26, 2002


Country Description: Ukraine is a nation undergoing profound political and economic change as it moves towards a market economy and integrates into Western institutions. In recent years, availability of goods and services has increased, and facilities for travelers have improved. Nevertheless, the availability of travel and tourist services remains uneven throughout the country, and Ukraine still lacks the abundance of many of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries. Travel within Ukraine is unrestricted; however, travelers should be prepared to show their documents to police upon demand.


Entry Requirements: A passport valid for sixth months beyond the date of travel is required. In addition, all travelers to Ukraine must have a valid single - or multiple entry visa before arriving in the country. A visa may be obtained from the Consular Office of the Embassy of Ukraine, in Washington, D.C. or from Consulates General in New York or Chicago. No invitation letter is necessary for EU, Canadian and U.S. citizens for business, official, cultural, sporting, and private visas. However, to receive a tourist visa, you have to submit one of the following: a letter of invitation from a Ukrainian or American tourist agency, confirmation from a hotel, an itinerary, or copies of tickets with valid dates.


IF YOU LIVE IN ONE OF THESE STATES:


Alabama, Ohio, Alaska, Oklahoma, Arizona, Oregon, Arkansas, South Carolina, California, Tennessee, Colorado, Texas, Delaware, Utah, District of Columbia, Virginia, Florida, Washington, Georgia, West Virginia, Hawaii, Wyoming, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina

APPLY FOR YOUR VISA AT THE:


Embassy of Ukraine,
3350 M Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
20007
Tel. (202) 333-0606
Fax (202) 333-0817 website: http://www.ukremb.com


Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont


Consulate General of Ukraine
240 East 49th Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel. 212-371-5690
Fax: 212-371-5547
website: http://www.brama.com/uaconsulate


Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin


Consulate General of Ukraine
10 East Huron St.,
Chicago, IL, 60611
Tel. 312-642 4388
fax: 312-642 4385
website: http://www.ukrchicago.com


U.S. citizens who stay in Ukraine for less than six months on a private, tourist, or business visa, do not need to register with local authorities. Once inside Ukraine, it is possible to get an extension of stay, over and beyond the validity of the visa, for up to six months, from the Ministry of Interior's Office of Visas and Registration (OVIR). However, the extension is only valid for continued presence in the country. It is not possible to depart Ukraine and return on the extension.


The Government of Ukraine does not issue visas at the point of entry into Ukraine. All visitors without a valid entry visa will be turned back to the United States or will have to travel to another European country to obtain a visa. Please check your visa carefully upon receipt. Each traveler is responsible for understanding the type of visa issued and the provisions of the visa. American citizens have been refused entry to Ukraine because they thought they possessed a multiple entry visa when actually their visa was valid for only a single entry. Or, Americans have tried to reenter Ukraine after using their single entry visa thinking they had unlimited travel for six months. In rare cases, Americans attempted to enter Ukraine before their visa became valid. This is due to the fact that in Ukraine the date is spelled day-month-year, not month-day-year like in the United States. Thus, a visa issued on May 1, 2002 is valid from January 5, 2002 and NOT from May 1, 2002.

These travelers were turned away as well. The U.S. Embassy in Kiev is not able to assist travelers in these situations.


Travelers who intend to visit Russia from Ukraine must also have a Russian visa. The Russian Embassy in Ukraine is located at Prospekt Kutuzova 8, Kiev, tel. (380-44) 294-7797 or 294-6816.


Effective July 1, 2002 the Ukrainian Government introduced visa free travel for stays of up to eight days for American citizens arriving at the international airports of Simferopol and Odessa and at the international port of Odessa. Travel must originate abroad and end at these ports of entry without any other initial stop in Ukraine. Travelers must also depart Ukraine from the same port used at the time of arrival.


In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of a child's relationship to accompanying travelers and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.


Dual Nationality: Ukraine does not recognize dual nationality. American citizens entering Ukraine with a Ukrainian passport will be treated as Ukrainian citizens by the local authorities. This may include being required to perform mandatory national service. Also, Ukrainians who have immigrated to the United States without obtaining the proper exit visa from Ukrainian authorities may be subject to civil or criminal penalties and will be required to obtain an exit visa before returning to the United States. For additional information, please see the Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov for our Dual Nationality flyer or the Embassy's website at http://usinfo,usemb.kiev/ua.amcitmiscdualnateng.html.


Safety and Security: Although most travelers encounter no problems with crime while in Ukraine, Western foreigners, perceived to be wealthier than most local residents, still remain a favorite target for criminals. Occasionally, Americans of African or Asian heritage also report incidents of racially motivated assaults or harassment. In cases involving the latter, complaints center on being frequently stopped on the street by both civilians and local law enforcement officials.


Over the past several years, we have also received a number of reports of harassment and intimidation directed against foreign businesspersons and interests. While these reports have become considerably less frequent in recent years, they have not ended. Reported incidents range from physical threats (possibly motivated by rival commercial interests tied to organized crime), to local government entities engaging in such practices as arbitrary termination or amendment of business licenses, dilution of corporate stock to diminish U.S. investor interest, delays of payment or delivery of goods, and arbitrary "inspections" by tax, safety or other officials. These activities appear designed to harm the business rather than be a genuine attempt at good governance.


As in all countries undergoing political and economic change, organized or spontaneous demonstrations can and do occur in Ukraine. When such protests occur, they most often occur in the capital or larger cities. We wish to remind American citizens though the intent for these events may be peaceful, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can sometimes become confrontational and escalate into violence. Therefore, we urge American citizens to avoid demonstrations and protest gatherings and to exercise caution when near such gatherings.

Crime: As stated earlier, most travelers do not encounter problems with crime while in Ukraine. Nonetheless, the country is undergoing a severe economic, political and social transformation, and income disparities have grown sharply. As a result, visitors perceived to be wealthier are targets for criminals. Americans stand out in Ukraine, and they are more likely to be targeted than in Western European countries where incomes are higher and Americans may blend in better. Most street crime is relatively low level, but crimes involving small caliber firearms have been reported. Street crime ranges from wallet scams, simple pick-pocketing and purse snatching, to muggings, armed robbery, or drugging unsuspecting victims at nightspots and bars (where they are then robbed). Cases of assaults in apartment building corridors and stairwells, and armed break-ins have also been reported.


Credit card and ATM fraud is widespread. Ukraine operates as a cash economy, and money scams are widespread. We strongly recommend that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards


Burglaries of apartments and vehicles represent the most significant threat to long-term residents. Although few cars are actually stolen, primarily because of increased use of alarm systems and security wheel locks, vehicular break-ins and vehicular vandalism are becoming more common.


Computer fraud is also becoming more common in Ukraine. Internet scams appear to be on the increase. We suggest refraining from wiring money unless the recipient is well known and the purpose of business is clear. Americans citizens have reported transferring money to Ukraine to pay for goods purchased from residents of Ukraine via on-line auction sites, but never having received the goods in return. The U.S. Embassy regularly receives complaints from Americans regarding scams involving marriage and dating services. Numerous Americans have lost money to agencies that claimed they could have unmarried Ukrainians sponsored for student or fiancée visas to the United States. Additional information is available on our website in a document titled "Marriage Brokers" at http://usinfo.usemb.kiev.ua/amcit_marriage_brokers_eng.html.

Please note that the loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting the incident to the local police, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends, and to explain how funds can be transferred from the U.S. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.


U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet - http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.


Additional information and recommendations on how to avoid becoming a victim of criminal activity are available on the Embassy website in a separate document, "Security Information for Ukraine," at http://usinfo.usemb.kiev.ua/amcit_security_eng.html.


Medical Facilities: Medical care in Ukraine is limited. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of hospitals and physician with some English-speaking staff. Many facilities have only limited English-speakers. Ukrainian standards do not meet American and Western-European professional standards of care. Some facilities are adequate for basic services. Basic medical supplies are available, but travelers requiring prescription medicine should bring their own medications with them. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities. When hospitalized, patients or their relatives or acquaintances are often expected to provide for their own medication, bandages, etc.


The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy has information on various air ambulance companies that perform medical evacuations to Europe and the United States. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to Europe can cost from $25,000 to $50,000, and to the United States it can cost over $70,000.


More information can be found on the Embassy's website in a separate document on Medical Services in Kiev at http://usinfo.usemb.kiev.ua/amcitmedicalserveng.html.


Please note that while the U.S. Embassy can help an individual or his or her family make contact with a medevac service, the U.S. Government cannot pay for the medical evacuation.


Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.


Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or auto fax: (202) 647-3000.


Other Health Information: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, please consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.


Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Ukraine is provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of Public Transportation: Fair
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor


Generally, roads in Ukraine outside major urban areas are in poor condition and poorly lit. Defensive driving is an absolute necessity since drivers often disregard traffic rules. Drivers are often poorly trained or drive without a valid driver's license. Drivers can also be very aggressive, and they normally do not respect the rights of pedestrians, even at clearly marked pedestrian crossings. Pedestrians should also be aware of cars driving or attempting to park on sidewalks. Many cars do not meet the safety standards common in America.


Overland travel at night and in winter can be particularly dangerous. We strongly recommend that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from driving their private vehicles after dark outside of Kiev. However, major roads are drivable during daylight hours. Roadside services such as gas stations and repair facilities are becoming more common, particularly on the main national and regional overland highways and in large and mid-size cities. Nonetheless, such services are far from American standards, and travelers should plan accordingly. There have been isolated reports of carjackings of western-made or foreign-registered cars. There has been an increase in the number of documented reports of criminal acts occurring on trains.


Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed Ukraine's civil aviation authority as Category 1 - in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Ukraine's air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the United States at tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.


The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (618) 256-4801.


Customs Regulations: Ukrainian law requires that travelers declare all cash and jewelry, regardless of value, upon entering Ukraine. Travelers should fill out a customs declarations and ask customs officials to stamp it. According to Ukrainian law, foreign citizens may bring up to $10,000 cash or up to $50,000 in traveler's checks into Ukraine without a special license. Travelers must declare the cash or checks. If customs officials determine that a traveler entering or leaving the country has undeclared cash on their person, they can and often do confiscate the undeclared funds. When leaving the country, travelers are only allowed to take out a maximum of $1,000 in cash or as much cash as they declared upon entry into Ukraine. A traveler wishing to depart the country with more than $1,000 must be able to present a customs declaration proving he or she brought the corresponding sum of money into the country.


If you wish to bring more than $10,000 you must obtain a special license AFTER entering the Ukraine. Details for obtaining this license are available on the Embassy website in a document entitled, "Ukrainian Customs Procedures for Transporting Currencies, Monetary Instruments, or Precious Metals" at: http://usinfo.usemb.kiev.ua/amcittravelukrcustomseng.htm.


Ukraine also has strict limitations for the export of antiques and other goods and artifacts deemed to be of particularly important historical or cultural value.

According to Ukrainian customs laws, travelers are allowed to take up to 10,000 hryvnya out of Ukraine as long as the entire amount is declared. Additionally, travelers are only allowed to bring back the same amount of hryvnya as they originally took out of Ukraine, as substantiated by their customs declaration.


It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C. or one of Ukraine's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.


Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Ukrainian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Ukraine are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.


Consular Access: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available. If stopped or detained, Americans should comply with instructions from law enforcement officers but also make it known that they are American citizens. In accordance with a bi-lateral agreement between the USSR and the United States, which remains in force for the successor states of the Soviet Union, including Ukraine, U.S. Consular Officers are to be notified of an arrest or detention of a U.S. citizen within one to three days, and access to the arrestee/detainee is to be granted in two to four days. If arrested, American citizens should insist on calling a Consular Officer at tel. (044) 490-4422 or (044) 490-4000 after-hours. Please be advised that consular access and assistance does not allow the U.S. Embassy to act as your legal counsel, or otherwise intervene on your behalf if you are detained or arrested. Only a lawyer can represent you. The U.S. Embassy, however, can assist you in obtaining legal counsel from a list of lawyers and law firms that it maintains.

Special Circumstances: Ukraine is a cash economy. While Travelers' Checks and credit cards are gaining wider acceptance in larger cities, acceptance of credit cards is not nearly as widespread as in the United States or in Western European countries. Expect credit card use to be limited to better hotels, upscale restaurants, international airlines and the rapidly growing, but still select number of up-market stores. When bringing U.S. dollars into Ukraine, ensure that bills are in good condition because those that are worn, torn or written on may not be accepted.


Travelers should also note that customs regulations prohibit sending cash, travelers' checks, personal checks, credit cards, or passports through the international mail system. Customs authorities regularly confiscate these items as contraband. Exchanging U.S. dollars into the national Ukrainian currency hryvnya is simple and unproblematic, as licensed exchange booths are widespread, and exchange rates are normally clearly advertised. Exchanging U.S. dollars into Ukrainian currency or other currencies is legal only at banks, currency exchange desks at hotels, and licensed exchange booths; anyone caught dealing on the black market can expect to be detained by the local militia.


ATMs (a.k.a. Bankomats) are becoming available throughout Ukraine, particularly in Kiev and in other larger cities. In smaller cities and towns, ATMs are still virtually non-existent. Most ATMs disperse cash only in the local currency, hryvnya. However, because the incidence of credit card and ATM bankcard fraud is high, it is strongly recommend that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards. The difficulties of a currency shortage can be avoided by coming to Ukraine with a sufficient supply of hard currency to cover necessary obligations during travel. Funds may be transferred by wire; advances may be drawn on credit cards at secure locations and travelers checks may be cashed at many locations.


Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children, international parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone 1-888-407-4747.


Registration/Embassy Location: All U.S. citizens residing in Ukraine for more that a few days are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and obtain updated information on travel and security within Ukraine.

The completely voluntary registration system allows the Embassy to:


  • help you more quickly if your passport is lost;
  • contact you in case of an emergency;
  • provide information on your whereabouts to family and friends (you must sign a Privacy Act Waiver - which is included in the registration form - in order for us to provide this service);
  • inform you, via our email-based warden system, of changes in the assessed security situation in Ukraine or elsewhere, and otherwise keep you informed about issues of interest to Americans present in Ukraine.

To register, you simply need to present your U.S. passport at the Consular Section during American Citizen Services' public hours and complete a simple form. There is no charge for this service. The form may also be downloaded at http://www.usinfo.usemb.kiev.ua and mailed or faxed, along with a copy of the citizen's passport to the Consular Section.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located at #6, Pimonenko St., 01901 Kiev, Ukraine, tel. (380-44) 490-4422, fax 236-4892. The U.S. Embassy is located at 10 Vulitsa Yuria Kotsubinskoho, 01901 Kiev, Ukraine, tel. (380-44) 490-4000; after-hours 240-0856. Mail using U.S. domestic postage should be addressed to U.S. Embassy Kiev, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20521-5850. Please visit the Embassy's Internet home page at http://www.usemb.kiev.ua.

views updated

UKRAINE

Major Cities:
Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa, Lviv

Other Cities:
Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kerch, Kherson, Kirovograd, Lutsk, Mukachovo, Nikolayev, Poltava, Sevastopol, Simferopol, Uzhgorod, Vinnitsa, Zaporozhye, Zhitomir

EDITOR'S NOTE

This chapter was adapted from the Department of State Post Report 2001 for Ukraine. Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at http://travel.state.gov/ for the most recent information available on travel to this country.

INTRODUCTION

A country whose slogan is "Ukraine has not yet died" might not seem the most uplifting destination, but do not let that deter you. The country rewards visitors with hospitable people, magnificent architecture and kilometers of gently rolling steppe. Ukraine is a major player in the region's economy, though for every smoggy industrial city there are dozens of villages with picket fences, duck ponds and overloaded horse carts, where time seems to stand still.

Ukraine has its share of the thoroughly modern, but even the capital, Kiev, is replete with Gothic, Byzantine, and Baroque architecture and art reminders of the many foreign overlords who have left their mark on the country. Nearly every city and town has its centuries-old cathedral, and many have open-air museums of folk architecture, caves stuffed with mummified monks, and exquisite mosaics wherever you look.

For decades, the Western World perceived Ukraine as simply a part of Russia. But borscht, painted eggs, and many of the famous Cossack dance traditions originated in Ukraine. Ukrainian history began with the rumble of hooves-Scythians dominated the steppes north of the Black Sea from the 7th to the 4th centuries B.C.E., initiating centuries of outside political and cultural domination. Following the Scythians, a series of invaders, including Ostrogoths, Huns, and the Turko-Iranian Khazars, ruled areas of present-day Ukraine.

The first people to unify and control the area for a long period were Scandinavians, known as the Rus. By the late 10th century, the city was the center of a unified state that stretched from the Volga west to the Danube and south to the Baltic.

By the 15th century, the region became popular with runaway serfs and Orthodox refugees. These people came to be known as Kazaks (Cossacks), a Turkic word meaning outlaw or adventurer. Ukrainian Cossacks eventually formed a state that was to a significant degree self-ruling, but 20 years later the state was divided between Poland and Russia.

Following WWI, and after prolonged fighting involving Russia, Poland, and various Ukrainian political and ethnic factions, Poland retained portions of western Ukraine and the Soviets took the rest. Ukraine officially became part of the U.S.S.R. in 1922.

When Stalin took power in 1927, he made a test case out of Ukraine for his ideas about "harmful" nationalism. In 1932-33 he engineered a famine that killed as many as 7 million Ukrainians. Execution and deportation of intellectuals further depopulated the country. WWII brought further devastation and death, with 6 million perishing in the fighting between the Red Army and the German forces.

Ukrainians are extremely proud of their country's long history. Since the late 19th century, Ukrainians have dreamed of a sovereign Ukrainian State, a dream that became a reality in the immediate aftermath of the failed Soviet coup of August 1991.

In a referendum held December 1, 1991, the people of Ukraine endorsed independence. The U.S. recognized Ukraine's independence on December 25, 1991; and the first American Ambassador arrived in Kiev on June 8, 1992.

Ukraine is a country in transition as it leaves behind its Communist past to build a new political and economic system and develops its links with Europe and the West.

MAJOR CITIES

Kiev

Kiev, a scenic city of some 2.5 million people situated on the Dnipro River, is the bustling capital of Ukraine. Ancient Kievan Rus' was a center of trade routes between the Baltic and the Mediterranean. The city of Kiev and the power of Kievan Rus' were destroyed in 1240 by Mongol invaders, and lands of the Kievan Rus' were divided among principalities located to the west and north: Galicia, Volynia, Muscovy, and later, Poland, Lithuania, and Russia. Once a powerful player on the European scene, Ukraine's fate has in modern times been decided in far-off capitals. As a result, modern Ukrainian history, for the most part, was defined by foreign occupation.

Kiev suffered severely during World War 11 and the Stalinist era; many irreplaceable architectural and art treasures were destroyed and the city center systematically demolished. Extensive restoration has revived much of historical Kiev.

The city hit the headlines in April 1986, when the nuclear reactor at nearby Chernobyl exploded. The prevailing winds spared the city any significant rise in background radiation levels. Produce in the local markets is inspected before being sold. Daily radiation testing done by the U.S. and the Ukrainian Government does not reveal any elevated levels of background radiation in the city.

Despite repression, centuries of foreign domination, political turmoil, and ecological disaster, Ukraine's spirit and national identity have never died. On August 24, 1991, after the aborted coup in Moscow, Ukraine proclaimed its independence. As of early 2000, Ukraine has diplomatic relations with 163 countries, and Kiev hosts 92 Missions. News correspondents, business representatives, and students from all over the world reside in the capital. The flow of foreign tourists and official delegations is year round. The resident American community consists of Embassy personnel, business representatives, clergy, professors, Peace Corps volunteers, and students.

Enthusiasts of art and architecture will have a field day in Kiev. The Cathedral of St. Sophia, where the princes of Kiev were crowned in the years of Kiev's grandeur, has intricate mosaics and frescoes dating back to the 11th century. The Cathedral of St. Michael's Monastery (built 1108-1113) has recently been rebuilt, after being destroyed by the Soviets. The Pecherska Laura, the Monastery of the Caves, a short bus or trolley ride from the center of town, has two 11th-century cathedrals on its grounds, in addition to its world-famous catacombs. Closer to the center of town stands the Golden Gate, a structure, which dates back to 1037. This recently refurbished fortification defined the western limits of the city in centuries past. Several blocks away stands the magnificent Cathedral of St. Volodymyr.

Theater buffs will find much to choose from. Most performances are in Ukrainian or Russian. The renovated Kiev Opera House presents very good opera as well as a broad repertoire of ballets. The Kiev Young Theater is very popular and stages innovative plays in Ukrainian or Russian. The Russian Dramatic Theater features a repertoire of classics. There are also many musical concerts, ranging from classical to jazz and pop.

The modern center and remains of the old city are both on the hilly west, or right bank of the Dnipro River. The main street, the Khreshchatyk, runs along the bottom of a ravine toward the Dnipro. Running parallel about half-a-kilometer west, is Vulytsya Volodymyrska, the main street of the Old Kiev area. Woods and parks cover most of the western bank slopes along the Dnipro River. The capital's newer sections lie on the eastern bank. Large apartment developments and industrialized regions characterize this area.

Shopping in Kiev is always rewarding as a cross-cultural experience. Western products are increasingly available. Several state-run stores carry Ukrainian pottery, embroidery, and handicrafts. More expensive Ukrainian crafts are available throughout the city, in particular at stalls on Andrievskyj Uzviz, and at several of the churches and monastery souvenir shops. Quality and quantity vary from shop to shop.

A growing number of supermarkets stock Western food, alcohol, clothing, beauty and health items and electrical appliances. Prices compare to those in the West, but stock availability is unpredictable.

Careful advance preparation is necessary to ensure proper coordination of train, plane, and hotel reservations. Domestic rail and air services are relatively good. Tourist facilities and accommodations are limited outside major cities.

Utilities

The two-pronged outlets are slightly smaller than general European outlets. Since electrical supplies are difficult to find, bring adapters and heavy-duty extension cords.

Food

The selection of food is more limited than in the U.S. However, most fruits, vegetables, and meats are available year round.

Many Western-style minimarkets have opened in the last few years, where European brands predominate. Most minimarkets and neighborhood markets are small and carry a limited range of products making it necessary to visit multiple sites to complete your shopping. Euro Mart and Cash and Carry, are Ukraine's answer to warehouse shopping. Prices are reasonable, but supply can be erratic and is geared toward local tastes. Bulk purchasing of wine, beer, and sodas for entertainment makes Euro Mart and Cash and Carry an attractive alternative for Americans. Billa, an Austrian-owned supermarket, looks very much like any U.S. supermarket and is equipped with a butcher, baker, and fresh produce section.

Local farmers' markets are a shopper's delight in spring, summer, and fall offering a range of fresh and dried fruits, fresh and marinated vegetables, meat, poultry, cheese, butter, sour cream, eggs, honey, nuts, home remedies, caviar, and flowers. Although Ukrainian produce is seasonal, imports make up a large part of produce for sale at markets that Westerners frequent. The meat is not aged and cuts differ from those in the West, but it is inspected and quite good. Local bread is good, inexpensive, and available twice daily at local bakeries. It is of heavier texture than in the U.S. and not sliced. Dairy products available in the markets are made from whole cream and rich in flavor. However, imported tetra packed milk, from skim to whole, is readily available.

Clothing

Clothing needs for Kiev are similar to that needed in the northeastern U.S. Winters, however, are more severe and longer, and summers are shorter, slightly cooler, and less humid. Temperatures average 16°F (-8°C) in midwinter and 87°17 (30°C) in midsummer. Although selection is limited and prices high, European/American-style clothes are available in local stores and through new foreign outlets such as Bennetton and Hugo Boss. Shoe repair is readily available and satisfactory. Local tailors also sew clothes for less money than you would pay in the U.S., although material selection and tailoring results vary.

Everyone needs a warm coat with a hood or a separate warm hat, several pairs of woolen and waterproof gloves, and appropriate shoes. Bring a good supply of shoes and boots for all types of weather (tennis, dress shoes, rubber rainboots, and lined, thick-soled winter boots for children and adults). It is also helpful if most of your wardrobe is washable, as clothing soils easily in Kiev. Drycleaning is available locally. Most, but not all, fabrics can be processed. Suede and leather cleaning may not be available.

Men: Both heavy and light topcoats are desirable for spring and fall. Warm waterproof gloves, overshoes, and sweaters are also necessary. Woolen suits worn in the U.S. are satisfactory for winter here, but most men may prefer heavier suits and sweater vests during the coolest months. Lighter weight suits are desirable for summer wear.

Several pairs of good walking shoes, a good warm jacket, hat, sweaters, and durable washable apparel are recommended for casual wear.

Women: Slacks, skirts, blouses, and sweaters are ordinary daily wear. Most Ukrainian women dress up rather than down. During fall and winter women wear woolen clothing of several weights. Synthetics and blends, preferably washable, are worn in summer. A raincoat with removable lining and a heavy wool or down coat are necessary; fur and sheepskin are both worn frequently. Thermal underwear, good walking shoes, boots, and warm comfortable casual clothes should all be part of your basic wardrobe for Kiev.

Children: Children need washable, sturdy, wool, corduroy, and other heavy clothing. A zippered nylon snowsuit is recommended. Water-proof boots with insulated foam lining, several pairs of waterproof mittens, long thermal underwear, both heavy-and lightweight pajamas, and snow pants all come in handy. Since children's clothing available locally is not of Western quality and limited in quantity, bring a good supply of clothing and shoes for children or plan on catalog shopping.

Supplies and Services

Most basic services are available locally; however, the quality of service varies from poor to excellent depending on the kind of service requested and the business used.

There are several good beauty shops, photo developers, and picture framing shops. Tailors and dressmakers are generally satisfactory. Shoe repair services are good. There are one or two English-speaking vets who will make house calls for reasonable fees. Auto service centers can handle most repairs and routine maintenance satisfactorily.

Domestic Help

Employing a Ukrainian to help with the household, babysitting, and sometimes cooking is common. Payment and fees are negotiable and reasonably priced.

Finding good housekeepers and babysitters may take time and perseverance. English-speaking help is hard to find. Cooks who know American cuisine are hard to find.

Religious Services

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Catholic Church hold regular services in Kiev. Catholics of the Byzantine Rite hold Divine Liturgy at two outdoor locations in the city. Roman Catholic Mass is celebrated in Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and English in two churches downtown. The Baptist community and 3 Synagogues (Orthodox congregations) in the Podil neighborhood and an Orthodox and a Reform congregation downtown also hold religious services.

A variety of other churches also offer services: Assembly of God, the nondenominational Campus Crusade for Christ, Episcopalian, Inter-denominational, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Salvation Army. Many of these churches offer English-language services.

Education

The Kiev International School (an American institution) is a nonprofit, independent, coeducational day school that offers an educational program from prekindergarten (3-year-old class) through high school for students of all nationalities. It has a complete 4-year secondary program. Advanced Placement (AP) courses accepted for university credit are offered at the high school level. A college counselor on staff will assist students as they prepare to enter a university. The school administers the ITBS, PSAT, AP, SAT I, and SAT II tests and is a certified ETS test site. The school year is divided into three terms: early September to mid December; early January to early April, and early April to mid-June.

The school is governed by the Board of Directors of Quality Schools International, the membership of which is formed as set forth in the bylaws of Quality Schools International. An Advisory Board, composed of 6-10 who reside in Kiev, assists the school in its operation. The school operates with the approval of the Ukrainian Government.

The school offers a performance-based, mastery learning educational program with a curriculum similar to that of U.S. public and private schools. Instruction, leading to individual mastery, takes advantage of small class sizes and the diverse educational backgrounds of the students. Instruction is in English. Ukrainian/Russian studies, Hindi studies, and French are a part of the curriculum.

The 30 full-time and 9 part-time faculty members in the 1999-2000 school year included 21 U.S. citizens, 13 host-country nationals, and 5 of other nationalities.

Enrollment at the opening of the 1999-2000 school year was 210 (pre-kindergarten through grade 12). Of the total, 20% were U.S. citizens, 24% were host-country nationals, and 56% were of other nationalities.

The school rents two buildings, one for grades one through secondary that is an annex to a Ukrainian public school building. A second site for prekindergarten through 5-year-old kindergarten is 2 blocks away.

Located on the east bank of the Dnipro River, Pechersk School offers the full range of International Baccalaureate Programs. The school received authorization from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization in November 1998 to officially participate in and offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programs in grades 6 to 10. In May 1999, the International Baccalaureate Organization authorized the school to offer the prestigious IB Diploma Program, which has now been implemented in grades 11 and 12. IB Diploma graduates earn priority status at major universities throughout the world. The school is currently seeking official authorization for the IB Primary Years Program, which is being offered in prekindergarten through grade 5. The language of instruction is English. French, Russian, and Ukrainian are offered as foreign languages from kindergarten up. For American and Canadian students, the school offers the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), and also prepares students of any nationality for Tests of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

The school opened in 1995. The school is nonprofit and is governed by a Board of Governors with 6-10 current parents.

The school has grown substantially since 1995 and now has 99 students. The school hosts 21 nationalities of which Americans comprise the largest single group with 27 students.

The school has a well equipped science laboratory, a state-of-the-art library media center, assembly hall, modern computer laboratory, regular classrooms, and a special needs and ESL room. There are ample outdoor play and recreational areas and the school uses a full-size gymnasium in an adjacent Ukrainian school. All of the school's computers are networked and have access to a dedicated Internet line.

The staff includes 15 fall time teachers and 10 part-time teachers, including 7 U.S. citizens, 6 Canadians, to host-country nationals, 2 South Africans, and 1 from Wales.

Special Educational Opportunities

Few educational opportunities exist in Kiev through Ukrainian educational institutions, libraries, and traditional education channels. Private language and musical instruction is available.

Sports

Popular spectator sports include international soccer at the Dynamo Stadium or at the Central Republic Stadium. At the Sports Palace you can see wrestling, boxing, ice hockey, and ice skating. There are various sports clubs offering a wide variety of personal workout regimes, but clubs with Western equivalent facilities are very expensive. The Marine Security Guard Detachment hosts softball in the summer and fall months. Other small groups play volleyball and basketball at the International School gymnasium. During the summer months sailing at the nearby Hydro Parkare is popular, as are river cruises along the Dnipro. The Kiev area also has excellent opportunities for jogging, cycling, hiKing and cross-country skiing.

DoWnhill skiing is possible during the winter months in the Carpaian Mountains in western Ukraine. Several ski trips are organizEd throughout th% season.

Bring all your own sports equipment and clothing, because at times these items may be difficult to find locally.

Touring and Outdoor Activities

Kiev, with its churches, museums, art galleries, libraries, historic places and parks, is a sightseer's dream. The city can be explored by foot, on public transportation, or by boat on the Dnipro River. Cruises down the Dnipro River to towns such as Kaniv, where National Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko is buried, or longer cruises to the Black Sea and to the Mediterranean are available.

Outside Kiev, favorite Ukrainian vacation spots include the Crimean Peninsula, which has picturesque mountains and a stunning coastline. Crimea's Yalta, in particular, attracts tourists to its beaches and historic sites. The beautiful Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine are also a frequent travel destination. Accommodations vary, but are generally adequate.

Entertainment

Culturally, Kiev is a rich city. The Kiev Taras Shevchenko Opera House boasts a very good opera as well as a broad repertoire of ballets. Innovative plays may be seen at the Ivan Franko Theater and the Kiev Youth Theater. The classics are performed at the Russian Dramatic Theater. The musical scene varies as well, from symphony concerts to jazz clubs and folk music.

Walking tours to the many architectural and historical landmarks are a good way to get a feel for the city. One essential stop is Babi Yar, the memorial to Kiev's Jews and other Ukrainians who were slaughtered by the Nazis during World War II. Visit Andriyivsky Uzviz, a cobble stone street lined with vendors of Ukrainian crafts, arts and souvenirs, which descends to Podil from St. Andrew's Church. Buildings on Andriyivsky Uzviz now house artist's studios, galleries, cafes, and theaters. This picturesque street is also the site of the annual spring Kiev Day festival in May. Flea markets also dot the city with treasures waiting to be found.

The principal hotel restaurants and others offer ethnic Ukrainian cuisine. Many restaurants throughout the city also offer the full range of ethnic cuisine from Chinese to Mexican. Major hotels also have cafes, bars, and souvenir gifts hops.

If you are wandering about the city you will find any number of cafes and bars to stop in for refreshments.

There are few English-language books, including travel guides, available, so you are encouraged to bring your own. A Sunday reader's book club meets on a monthly basis to discuss books of mutual interest. Many also use AMAZON.com and other Internet services to purchase books.

There are two movie theaters that show English films. With the aid of a satellite dish, viewing of CNN, BBC, Sky News, and other channels with English programming is possible.

Social Activities

Ample opportunities exist in Kiev for making contact with the American community. Economic and commercial personnel can pursue their business contacts through the American Chamber of Commerce.

The International Women's Club of Kiev (IWCK) offers numerous activities and opportunities for women from many nations to get acquainted. Social relationships with Ukrainian citizens are not difficult to establish, particularly if one speaks some Ukrainian or Russian. There is no prohibition on establishing social relationships with Ukrainian citizens. On the contrary, reaching out to make Ukrainian friends is encouraged.

Kharkov

Kharkov is located east of Kiev near the Ukrainian border with Russia. Founded in 1656, Kharkov is one of Ukraine's principal transportation centers. It is linked by railway with Ukraine's other major cities and with the cities of other former Soviet republics. A modern highway system links Kharkov with Kiev and the rest of the country. Another highway connects the city with the Russian capital, Moscow. The city itself is served by a modern subway station.

Kharkov has a well-developed industrial base. Industries in Kharkov produce a wide variety of products, including machine tools, tractors, bicycles, steam turbines, locomotives, generators, and agricultural machinery. Some light industry exists in the city and is centered around the production of consumer goods and food processing.

Many important educational institutions are located in Kharkov. The largest university in Kharkov is Gorky University. The city is also home to several research institutes and numerous agricultural, polytechnic, and engineering schools.

During World War II, Kharkov was a major battleground between German and Soviet troops. As a result, most of the city was completely levelled. Kharkov was rebuilt after the war and resembles many major cities of the former Soviet Union. The city has block after block of concrete apartment buildings, large government buildings, and broad tree-lined streets. In 1991, Kharkov had a population of approximately 1,622,000, second only to Kiev.

Recreation and Entertainment

Recreation in Kharkov is centered around tours of the city's historical sites. Visitors are allowed to tour Kharkov's many historical monuments. Two cathedrals, the Pokrovsky Cathedral and the Uspensky Cathedral, are open to visitors. The Uspensky Cathedral is easily recognizable by its beautiful bell tower and position atop a hill.

Kharkov has two museums that are of interest to visitors. The Fine Arts Museum offers many fine examples of Ukrainian and Russian art. Also, Kharkov's Historical Museum contains many fine exhibits that illustrate the city's past. Both museums are easily accessible by tram or bus.

Odessa

The city of Odessa, with a population of 1,104,000 (1991 est.), is located 275 miles (443 kilometers) south of Kiev. The city's location on the Black Sea makes it one of Ukraine's major ports. Odessa is a major transportation center with excellent railway connections to other Ukrainian cities, as well as Moldova and Romania. The city, with its well-developed industrial base, produces consumer goods, machinery, fertilizers, paints, dyes, and machine tools. A large oil refinery is also located near Odessa.

Recreation and Entertainment

Odessa was a cultural center during the 18th and 19th century. During World War II, the city was heavily damaged and many of its architectural treasures destroyed. Some of these structures have been rebuilt. Although Odessa's beauty has faded over the years, the city still has much to offer. The city, with its beautiful sandy beaches, is a favorite resort area for tourists. Odessa has several museums, the most notable of which is an archaeological museum. Tourists also visit Odessa's beautiful Opera House, which was constructed in 1809. The famed Russian composer and conductor, Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, conducted an orchestra here. Outside of Odessa, a Greek Orthodox monastery with several catacombs built underneath is frequented by tourists.

Lviv

The city of Lviv is one of the major cities in western Ukraine, The city's name was changed from Lvov in 1992. Founded in the mid-13th century, Lviv has been attacked and occupied at various times in history by Poles, Cossacks, Swedes, Austrians, Russians, Germans, and Soviets. Today, Lviv is an administrative, cultural, and transportation center. The city is a major railroad connector for Kiev and other Ukrainian cities. Lviv has a large industrial base. Major industries in the city produce buses, bicycles, machinery, processed foods, and consumer goods. In 1991, Lviv had an estimated population of 803,000.

Recreation and Entertainment

Lviv offers many opportunities for sight-seeing. One area of particular interest is Rinok Square, which contains Gothic-and Renaissance-style houses dating back to the 16th century. Many of these homes are elegant and in beautiful condition. Lviv has a rich religious heritage and many of the city's churches are open to visitors. Lviv's Roman Catholic Cathedral, constructed in 1270, contains many beautiful carvings, statues, and frescoes. The Church of the Assumption, with its exquisite icons and sculptures and a frieze of biblical scenes on one of its exterior walls, is one of Lviv's most beautiful churches. Other churches worth a visit include the Armenian Cathedral, the Church of the Virgin of the Snows, and St. George's Church, which is filled with many fine examples of Ukrainian Baroque art.

In addition to churches, visitors also enjoy touring Lviv's many interesting museums. Ukrainian folklore can be viewed at the Ethnographical and Handicraft Museum. Another museum, the Museum of Ukrainian Art, displays beautiful icons dating from the 14th to 18th centuries.

OTHER CITIES

DNEPROPETROVSK is located in eastern Ukraine along the banks of the Dnieper River. The city was founded in 1793 and has developed into a major center for iron and steel manufacturing industries. Dnepropetrovsk's industries also produce chemicals, plastics, footwear, clothing, food, agricultural machinery, and mining equipment. In 1989, the city had an estimated population of 1,179,000.

The city of DONETSK is situated southeast of Dnepropetrovsk. Donetsk developed in the early 1900s as a coal mining and steel producing center. These industries are of primary importance today. Several light industries have also developed in Donetsk. These industries produce processed foods and refrigerators. The city has several educational institutions and theaters. Donetsk's population in 1983 was estimated at 1,055,000. Current population figures are unavailable.

KERCH is located on the eastern side of the Crimean Peninsula. The city is very old, founded in the sixth century B.C. by the Greeks. Kerch developed into a major trading center. Today, the city's location on the Sea of Azov has facilitated the growth of a profitable fishing industry. The city's population was 162,000 in 1982. Current population figures are not available.

Situated on the banks of the Dnieper River, KHERSON is one of Ukraine's major shipbuilding centers. The city has other industries in addition to shipbuilding. These industries include an oil refinery and a textile processing plant. Kherson is also the home of several agricultural institutes. In 1989, Kherson had an estimated population of 355,000.

KIROVOGRAD , with a population of 269,000 (1989 est.), is located in a fertile region of Ukraine. The city was founded in 1765 and has developed over the years into an agricultural center. Kirovograd also has a well-developed food processing industry.

The city of LUTSK is located in northwestern Ukraine. Lutsk was founded in 1000 A.D. and has been controlled at various periods in history by Poland and Russia. The city has several industries which produce trucks, food, and scientific instruments. Vestiges of the city's ancient past are evident, including three monasteries dating back to the 16th to 18th centuries. Lutsk had a population of 161,000 in 1983. Current population figures are unavailable.

MUKACHOVO is a city whose origins can be traced back to 903 A.D. The city has a large industrial base. Industries in Mukachovo are centered on food processing and timber production. Mukachovo is a favorite tourist destination. Attractions in Mukachovo include a Russian Orthodox church constructed of wood and a 14th century castle. The city had an estimated population of 84,000 in 1985. Current population figures are not available.

NIKOLAYEV is a city whose location only 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the Black Sea has facilitated the creation of a large shipbuilding industry. Other industries have developed in Nikolayev. These industries produce consumer goods, construction machinery, and chemicals. Nikolayev was once an important Soviet naval base and today is one of Ukraine's primary ports. The latest population estimate for Nikolayev was 480,000 in 1984.

The origins of POLTAVA can be traced back to the eighth or ninth century. Poltava was the scene of an important battle in 1709 when Russian troops, under the command of Peter the Great, repelled an attack by a large Swedish army. The city was almost completely destroyed during World War II, but has been rebuilt. Today, the city is a processing center for the agricultural products grown near Poltava. Industries in Poltava produce leather goods, canned foods, textiles, machinery, and clothing. The city is the home of several agricultural and medical research institutes. Poltava is a modern city with several beautiful theaters and parks. The population of Poltava was estimated at 290,000 in 1983. Current population figures are unavailable.

The city of SEVASTOPOL is located in the southwestern Crimean Peninsula. Sevastopol is one of Ukraine's principal seaports and served as an important Soviet naval base for many years. The city was destroyed during the Crimean War of 1853-1856 and later during World War II. The city has been rebuilt and is the home of thriving food processing and shipbuilding industries. Sevastopol's many historical monuments, archaeological sites, and health resorts are of interest to visitors. The city's Historical and Archaeological Museum of Khersones contains displays of Greek artifacts. Current population figures are unavailable.

Northeast of Sevastopol is the city of SIMFEROPOL. Simferopol is one of the principal industrial centers on the Crimean Peninsula. Industries in the city produce cigarettes, wine, clothing, footwear, consumer goods, processed foods, and machine tools. The city is home to several educational and research institutions. Simferopol offers beautiful terraced parks, theaters, and museums. Visitors to Simferopol often tour the ruins of the ancient Greek settlement of Neapolis. These ruins, located approximately one mile from Simferopol, have been undergoing excavation since 1827. Tours allow visitors to view marble and bronze statues, weapons, burial sites, mausoleums, and gold ornaments that have been uncovered by archaeologists. The city had a population of 331,000 in 1985. Current population figures are not available.

UZHGOROD is located in extreme western Ukraine near the border with Romania. Founded in approximately 903 A.D., Uzhgorod is an industrial center. Furniture, wine, wood products, and machine tools are produced in the city. Tourist attractions in Uzhgorod include a 16th-century castle, an Art Gallery that sells gifts and souvenirs, and the city's large marketplace. Current population figures for Uzhgorod, which had a population of 102,000 in 1983, are unavailable.

The city of VINNITSA is located roughly 150 miles (240 kilometers) south of Kiev. The city was founded in 1393 and lies in the midst of a ferile agricultural region. Industries related to agriculture, including food processing and the production of fertilizers, are vital to Vinnitsa's economy. Other industries in the city produce machinery, footwear, and clothing. Vinnitsa has a museum containing local artifacts, and a music theater. The city was nearly destroyed during World War II, but has been rebuilt. In 1986, Vinnitsa had a population of approximately 375,000.

ZAPOROZHYE is located in eastern Ukraine on the banks of the Dnieper River. The city is primarily an industrial center for iron and steel. A number of small industries in Zaporozhye produce electrical components, chemicals, and soap. A large hydroelectric plant on the Dnieper River provides electricity for Zaporozhye and the surrounding area. Several educational institutions are located in the city. Zaporozhye had a population of 835,000 in 1983. Current population figures are unavailable.

The city of ZHITOMIR , with a population of 292,000 (1989 est.), is noted for its production of musical instruments. The city has a small textile industry, breweries, and a wood processing plant. Zhitomir is a transportation hub and is connected by rail with Kiev and other major Ukrainian cities.

COUNTRY PROFILE

Geography and Climate

Ukraine's area of 233,088 square miles (603,700 sq. km) is slightly larger than France. Ukraine is mainly a vast plain with no natural boundaries except the Carpathian Mountains in the southwest, the Black Sea in the south, and the Azov Sea in the southeast. The Dnipro River with its many tributaries unifies central Ukraine economically. The mouth of the Danube River provides an outlet for Ukrainian trade with the Balkans, Austria, and Germany.

Ukraine has a complex geology with a rich variety of scenery and impressive contrasts in topography. Central and southern Ukraine is primarily steppe (prairie) with very fertile black soil exceptionally well suited for grain farming.

In the east, the industrial heartland of the Greater Donbas or Donets Basin contains large reserves of mineral deposits. Western Ukraine has many picturesque mountain resorts.

Enhancing the topography of Ukraine are two mountain ranges. On the western border are the Carpathians, very popular for winter sports. The Crimean Mountains divide the Crimean Peninsula, creating a semitropical area on its southernmost tip. The Crimea is a popular tourist destination.

The Ukraine climate is similar to the wheat-producing regions of Canada and is characterized by abundant precipitation and cloudy skies, especially in fall and winter. Snow can start as early as October and not end until April. The mean temperature in summer is 87°F (30°C) and in winter 16°F (-8°C). Although summers are short, the temperature can soar to the 90s making it uncomfortable, since most buildings lack air-conditioning. Winters seem especially long because of so many sunless days.

Population

The population of Ukraine is 50.5 million of which approximately 73% is ethnically Ukrainian and 22% ethnically Russian. The remaining population consists of many minorities, the largest of which is Jewish (1.35%) followed by Belarusian, Moldovan, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Armenian, Greek, Bulgarian,

and others. Ukraine's population is 68% urban. Eastern Ukraine, with its heavily industrialized cities, is more urbanized than western Ukraine.

Ukrainian is an Eastern Slavic language, closely related to Russian and Belarusian. Ukrainian became the official language in 1989. Much of the population in eastern Ukraine speaks Russian as a first language, but Ukrainian is the first language in western Ukraine. Official Government documents are always in Ukrainian, and official meetings are usually conducted in Ukrainian. The political world and local media operate bilingually. Conversations in which one party speaks Ukrainian while the other speaks Russian are common.

Ukraine was the cradle of the Kievan Rus State. According to legend, it was in Kiev that Prince Volodymyr (Vladimir in Russian) introduced Christianity to Kievan Rus in 988. Some 85% of the Ukrainian population are Orthodox Christians, 10% are Greek (Uniate) Catholics, 3% are Protestant (mainly Baptists), and 1.3% are of the Jewish faith.

Public Institutions

Ukraine continues a difficult and slow transition from an authoritarian Communist system to a more democratic society. Ukraine is governed by a directly elected president and a unicameral parliament, the "Verkhovna Rada" (Supreme Council), half of which is elected by proportional representation and half in single-mandate districts. The President appoints the Prime Minister (subject to parliamentary approval) and controls government operations.

Leonid Kuchma was elected President in July 1994 and again in November 1999. The parliament, which was elected in March 1998, is divided between party-based political factions and a group of independent deputies. In January 2000, 11 factions joined to form a pro-government majority, though its sustainability was unclear. The largest single faction is the Communist Party of Ukraine. The next parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2002.

The Constitution, adopted in 1996 and modeled on those of Western European democracies, provides a good legal framework for protecting civil and human rights. Actual practice, however, does not always conform to constitutional requirements, and many areas of life are still regulated by Soviet law and practices.

Arts, Science, and Education

Ukrainians have made a spirited effort to preserve their cultural traditions and customs. You can visit village museums that display traditional crafts and homes of the last century. Folk dancing and music festivals are often held.

The theater and music scene is lively. Theater performances are in Ukrainian or Russian. The Kiev Opera House is home to very good opera and ballet companies. The National Symphony and other musical groups are quite active. Opera, theater, and symphony tickets are generally inexpensive.

Ukraine has a rich folk art tradition that features hand-painted eggs ("Pysanky") and beautifully embroidered linen or cotton runners called "Rushniki" Contemporary art includes painting and sculpture representing both modern and traditional schools. Icons are on display in museums; contemporary copies are skillfully done according to strict artistic and religious standards and can be purchased in galleries.

Educational policy formerly favored the study of science and technology, but there are efforts under way currently to upgrade the humanities, social sciences, MBA, and economics programs. Education is compulsory for ages 7-17. University-level education is generally open to anyone who can pass admission exams.

American professors conduct courses in American literature, history, economics, and other subjects at institutes of higher education under the Fulbright Program. In addition, some Americans at the predoctorate level conduct research in Ukraine under the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) program. Still other American scholars in Ukraine pursue scientific and other academic work under the auspices of private programs.

Commerce and Industry

Ukraine has great agricultural potential and was once known as the " Breadbasket of Russia." Ukraine is also rich in natural resources. Despite a wealth of natural resources, the Ukrainian economy has stagnated since independence. All sectors of industry have experienced severe production declines since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most small businesses have been privatized.

However, there has been little large-scale privatization. Economic reform has been halting because of over-regulation, high taxation, corruption, and an ineffective commercial law system. Economic reform was pursued in halting fashion in 1996-99. Following the 1999 reelection. President Kuchma appointed a largely pro-reform government.

Market-oriented reform was introduced in 1992 and 1993 at a measured pace. In recent years, the Government succeeded in taming the hyperinflation of the early 1990s. A new currency, the hryvnia, was successfully introduced in 1996.

Transportation

Automobiles

Traffic regulations and procedures in Ukraine differ significantly from those in the U.S. Drivers often neglect to use signal lights, speed, and drive recklessly in urban areas. Pedestrians do not have the right of way; exercise extreme care when crossing streets in large Ukrainian cities. Cars are frequently pulled over for violations, both real and imagined.

Winters in Ukraine are snowy and dark, with severe ice accumulations common along the city streets; therefore, front-wheel-drive-vehicles provide the best handling. Only the main streets of Kiev are plowed regularly; but, side streets and housing complexes may remain covered with snow and ice throughout the winter.

Make sure that your car is equipped with a rear-window defroster and snow tires. An automobile shipped to Kiev should be equipped with all the cold weather heavy-duty options available.

Unleaded fuel is widely available. A functioning catalytic converter is now required to register a vehicle.

Ukrainian law requires every vehicle registered in Ukraine to be covered by third-party-liability insurance issued by a Ukrainian insurance company. The annual fee varies from 8.1 UHR to 16 UHR with a total coverage of 2,000 UHR. Several Ukrainian insurance companies offer this option.

Local

Public transportation in Kiev is efficient and inexpensive, but crowded. The city's network of buses, trolley buses, streetcars, and the subway (Metro) covers the entire city. Riders should be ready to contend with a good deal of pushing and shoving during the morning and evening rush hours.

Privately operated minibus lines operate on many of the better traveled bus, trolley, and streetcar routes. Minibus fares are slightly more expensive than public system fares, but they never take more passengers than they have seats. The driver collects fares as you enter.

The transit system operates from 5:45 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monthly passes for the entire system or one-use tickets are sold at kiosks throughout the city. Although prices are the same throughout the city, different color tickets are used for different types of vehicles. Bus, trolley, and streetcar single tickets must be punched on a gadget located along the sidewall of the car. Punching your ticket is on the honor system. Surprise inspections are designed to check if everyone has paid, with a small fine collected on the spot if you are found without a properly punched ticket or a monthly pass.

Entrance to the Metro system is through turnstiles operated by blue plastic tokens, purchased in the station, or by monthly passes shown to the Metro attendant before entering the subway. All instructions and Metro stop information are in Ukrainian in the Kiev Metro system.

Although some taxis cruise the city, private cars often provide taxi services. New taxi companies have opened with nice, new cars and English-speaking dispatchers. These taxis operate with a meter, and a small tip is greatly appreciated. Cruising taxis may refuse fares; the main reason being the destination desired by the traveler being different than the route the taxi driver is taking. After a taxi or car stops, state the required destination; if the driver agrees, negotiate a price before you enter the vehicle. Language skills are a necessity when dealing with cruising taxis as many streets are being renamed, and buildings are not clearly marked, so you may have to direct the taxi. Extra precautions should be taken in the evenings, when it is advisable to use only a clearly marked taxi instead of a cruising private vehicle.

Regional

Ukraine's railroad and air transportation networks are extensive, and service is adequate. The rail system features three types of tickets; first class, which is a two-person compartment; second class, with four passengers; and third class, which is general seating.

First-and second-class overnight train rides are quite comfortable except for the lack of ventilation and generally dreadful toilets. Dining cars may or may not be available, and the food is of poor quality. However, hot water for beverages is available.

No U.S. airlines offer direct service to Kiev. Numerous airlines provide service to Western Europe and other destinations: Air France, Lufthansa, British Airways, Swiss Air, KLM, Austrian Air, MALEV (Hungarian), LOT (Polish), CSA (Czech), Egypt Air, Turkish Air, Aerosweet, Air Ukraine, and Ukraine International.

The road system in Ukraine provides access to all cities, towns, and most villages, though many roads are of poor quality. The traveler must plan the trip carefully since information and Western standard lodging are not available along the highways.

Communications

Telephone and Telegraph

Telephone service from Ukraine to the U.S., Europe, and to most of the world is available. Local calls within Kiev, which are placed at home or from telephone booths, can experience static and crossed lines.

Ukraine has a limited number of long-distance lines, so expect busy signals during holidays and peak periods. Calls from outside Ukraine can expect the same busy periods. AT&T is currently available in Ukraine. Sprint or MCI are not currently available. Callback services are available, but Ukraine Telecom has threatened to make this service illegal. Calls can be booked through the international operator. Booked calls can take 30 minutes or longer to be completed.

Mail

International mail can be slow and unreliable. International mail services like Federal Express, UPS, DHL, and others are available. All of these companies have offices in Kiev.

Internet

Various companies in Kiev offer Internet access accounts. Usually only dial-up accounts are available to apartments. Direct links are limited due to lack of spare telephone lines in either the neighborhood or apartment building. AOL is available in Kiev, but modem speed is a slow 1,200 max due to the poor quality of the telephone lines. The AOL local number charges an hourly fee above and beyond the monthly fee.

Radio and TV

You can purchase a multisystem TV through mail-order houses, such as Ostermann or Peter Justesen. Most newer multisystem TVs and VCRs also have power supplies that will accept 90240 VAC electrical power. Japanese and other foreign sets are on sale at several hard-currency stores. The prices are high by Western standards. Except at the Panasonic and Sony stores, foreign merchandise sold in Kiev carries no warranties.

Local programming is available in Russian and Ukrainian. With satellite receivers you can view various European channels that include French, Polish, Spanish, Arabic, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Greek, Turkish, English, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian broadcasts. Many channels broadcast English language TV programs, sports, and movies.

Radio programs on Kiev's stations begin early in the morning. Much of the programming is musical, mainly Europop, Ukrainian choral, folk, and rock.

Bring a good shortwave radio to receive Voice of America, BBC World Service, and Radio Liberty. Since early 1992, VOA and Radio >Liberty are also carried on the AM dial.

Ukraine has three national stations (UT 1, UT 2, UT 3) in Ukraine. UT 1 and UT-2 broadcast in Ukrainian, and UT-3 broadcasts in both Ukrainian and Russian. According to public opinion polls, UT-1 (Ukrainian Television-1) has the lowest rating of all national Ukrainian TV stations. It broadcasts movies, largely pro-government political programs and news. UT-1 is criticized for being the government's mouthpiece.

UT-2 is on a shared frequency. It carries government programming from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The rest of the time is taken by "Studio 1+1," an independent TV production studio that carries some of the most interesting Ukrainian programs, including high-quality newscasts, talk shows, entertainment, and movies.

UT-3 is shared by Inter TV, the third most powerful television station in Ukraine (nongovernment). The station broadcasts Russian Public Television (ORT) and airs some of its own programming. The overall rating of Inter is rather high. Municipal TRK Kiev and some other local stations air their programs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except weekends.

STB, a private channel founded in 1997, is quite eclectic. Musical programs and soap operas are combined with a very strong information block. "Vikna" news is considered by many as one of the few reliable sources of news.

ICTV, a private channel cofounded by the San Francisco-based Story-first Communications and a Ukrainian Radio and Television concern, is an entertainment rather than a political channel. Its political coverage appears only on the "Vista" news program.

Novyi Kanal, a private channel founded July 1998, carries mostly movies, with brief news summaries. Among the other commercial TV companies there are TV Tabachuk, Gravis, TET, and others, all of which place their programs on the above networks.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals

A small but growing number of foreign newspapers and magazines such as the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Financial Times, Newsweek, Time, and The Economist are available in hotel lobbies for hard currency, usually the day after publication. Prices are high even by Western standards, and availability is unpredictable.

The Kiev Post, a free English-language paper published weekly, carries local, national, and some international news. It is readily available in restaurants and anywhere English speakers congregate. A weekly entertainment and life style magazine, What's On, is also readily available.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities

You should send a supply of your favorite over-the-counter minor pain remedies, cold medications, antacids, vitamins, and children's vitamins with fluoride and cough syrup. A home first-aid kit is also recommended.

At certain times of the year, particularly during winter months, air pollution is a problem in Kiev. This raises the risk of respiratory tract irritation, especially for children and persons with allergies or asthma. High pollen counts in the spring and summer compound the air pollution problem. Persons with known environmental allergies should bring an ample supply of appropriate medications.

Health care is available to manage a normal pregnancy. However, it is not recommended to deliver in Kiev, as maternal and neonatal care is not adequate.

Local medical care is improving slowly but is difficult to access. Dental and orthodontic care with Western standards is available for acute as well as prophylactic care at a reasonable price.

American Medical Center, a for-profit medical clinic with branches throughout eastern Europe, has opened in Kiev and is staffed by an American physician. Care can be obtained at a subscription rate or on a fee-for-service basis. They also have an American dentist with Western dental equipment.

Community Health

The standards of cleanliness in most public buildings, taxis, and trains fall far short of Western standards but pose no threat to your personal health.

Background radiation levels are a natural concern because of the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station located 80 miles northwest of Kiev. At the time of the accident, Kiev was not exposed to heavy radiation because the prevailing winds were blowing in the opposite direction. The U.S. Embassy and U.S. Government specialists monitor radiation levels in the air, water, soil, and produce of Kiev carefully and regularly. To date background radiation levels are regularly lower than radiation levels within the U.S. and world standards of safety.

Tap water samples are taken regularly, and local water is not considered safe to drink due to the presence of coliform bacteria and the intestinal parasite giardia lambia. Water should be filtered and boiled, distilled, or bottled for both cooking and drinking.

Automobile accidents and the lack of a trauma center pose the greatest threat to your health. When traveling in any vehicle, children should always be in some type of restraining car seat. Bring them as they are not available locally.

NOTES FOR TRAVELERS

Passage, Customs and Duties

To enter Ukraine, the traveler must have a Ukrainian visa valid for his/her point and date of entry. Immunization and inoculation certifications are not required at the border.

All antiques and items of value that you bring with you should be declared immediately upon arrival to avoid problems when you leave.

A passport valid for sixth months beyond date of travel and a valid single or multiple entry visa is required. Visas may be obtained in advance from the Embassy of Ukraine, located at 3350 M. St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007, tel. (202) 333-0606 or 333-7507. Visas can also be obtained from the Ukrainian Consulate in Chicago, located at 10 E. Huron St., 60611, tel. (312) 642-4388 or the Ukrainian Consulate in New York, located at 240 E. 49th St., New York, NY 10017, tel. (212) 371-5690. A copy of the visa application for Ukraine can be obtained on the Ukraine Embassy's Internet site http://www.ukremb.com/.

Note: Travelers who intend to visit Russia from Ukraine must also have a Russian visa. The Russian Embassy in Ukraine is located at Prospekt Kutuzova 8, Kiev, tel: (38) (044) 294-7797 or (38) (044) 294-6816.

Americans living in or visiting Ukraine are encouraged to register at the Consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and obtain updated information on travel and security within Ukraine. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located at #6, Pimonenko St., tel. (380) (44) 490-4422, fax 236-4892. The U.S. Embassy is located at 10 Vulitsa Yuria Kotsubinskoho, 254053 Kiev 53, tel. (380) (44) 490-4000; after-hours 240-0856; fax 244-7350. Mail using U.S. domestic postage should be addressed to U.S. Embassy Kiev, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20521-5850.

Pets

All dogs and cats entering Ukraine must be accompanied by a certificate of good health bearing the seal of the relevant local board of health and signed by a veterinarian. This certificate must be issued not more than 30 days prior to the animal's arrival. A rabies certificate must accompany the animal through the airports in Europe. Travelers should check any applicable restrictions with the airline and additional landing points they are using before traveling.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures

The currency of Ukraine is the hryvna.

Ukraine is a cash economy. When bringing U.S. dollars into Ukraine, ensure that bills are in good condition because those that are worn, torn or written on may not be accepted. Credit cards and traveler's checks are gaining wider acceptance in larger cities. American Express traveler's checks may be cashed at some Ukrainian banks. Credit card and ATM fraud is becoming more prevalent and money scams are rampant. It is highly recommended that visitors and permanent residents refrain from using personal checks, credit cards or ATM cards if at all possible. If a credit card is needed, usage is permitted in better hotels, Western-style restaurants, international airlines and selected stores. Customs regulations prohibit sending cash, traveler's checks, personal checks, credit cards, or passports through the international mail system. Customs authorities regularly confiscate these items as contraband. Changing U.S. dollars for Ukrainian hryvnia or another currency is legal only at banks, currency exchange desks at hotels and licensed exchange booths.

Most goods and services in Ukraine are subject to a 20% VAT tax. Airport taxes are included in the ticket price. To export any antique items and/or works of art, the permission of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine must be obtained. It is rarely granted. In addition to samovars, paintings, and rugs, this restriction applies to collections or separate works of fine, applied, and folk art; archaeological and numismatic items; musical instruments; gold, silver, and precious stones; hand-woven carpets; manuscripts; books published before 1966; and furniture made before 1964.

The metric system of weights and measures is used.

Special Information

As in any large Western city, pick-pockets, simple muggers, and purse-snatchers operate in Kiev. American visitors and residents should take the same precautions against street crime that they would in any large American or foreign city. Property crimes include car vandalism and theft and residential and office burglaries.

Violent property crimes, including carjackings and armed residential invasions, attacks in hallways, elevators of residences have occurred but are rare.

Despite the country's difficult economic straits, Ukraine has been largely free of significant civil unrest or disorder. Political demonstrations and rallies to mark significant anniversaries and holidays, as well as to address specific political and economic issues, are a normal part of life in Ukraine. Although these have been largely peaceful, as in any foreign country it is advisable for American visitors and residents to avoid such demonstrations. To date, there have been no recorded acts of international terrorism committed on Ukrainian territory.

In general, Ukrainian law enforcement authorities provide adequate assistance to American citizens and firms victimized by crime. However, Ukrainian police continue to suffer from low pay and a shortage of such basic assets as vehicles, fuel, computers, and communications equipment. Police forces are also understaffed, and English-language capability is rare, even among officials who work on crimes involving foreigners. As a result, reporting a crime to the police can be a difficult and lengthy process. Subsequent follow-up to determine the status of a case requires time consuming visits to police stations. The U.S. does recommend that Americans visiting or residing in Ukraine report any crimes to the nearest local police station. Reporting a crime is also advisable even if some time has elapsed since the crime occurred, because criminals often repeat the same crime within the same general locale.

During the past year the U.S. has received a number of reports involving incidents of harassment and intimidation directed against American businesspersons and interests. Physical threats have been recorded against American investors or facilities.

Finally, when utilizing local service sectors, such as banking, medical, legal, and security services, business persons and firms should limit personal data and information provided to only that which is absolutely necessary. There are reports that persons working in these sectors provide information to criminal gangs, which they then use to plan burglary or extortion attempts. In general, business addresses and phone numbers should be provided instead of home addresses and phone numbers whenever possible.

The Embassy's current crime and safety report is available on-line via the internet/worldwide web at the official website for the American Embassy in Kiev: HTTP://WWWUSEMB.KIEVUA

LOCAL HOLIDAYS

Jan.1 New Year's day

Jan. 7 & 8 Christmas (Orthodox)

Mar. 8International Women's Day

Apr/May.Easter*

May 1& 2Labor Day

May 9Victory Day

May/JuneHoly Trinity*

June 28 Constitution Day

Aug. 24Independence Day

*variable

RECOMMENDED READING

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country

Bahry, Romana M. (ed). Echoes of Glasnost in Soviet Ukraine. North York, Ontario, 1989.

Bohachevsky-Chomiak, M. Feminists Despite Themselves: Women in Ukrainian Community Life, 1884-1939. Edmonton, 1988.

Boshyk, Yury (ed). Ukraine During World War II: History and Its Aftermath. Edmonton, 1986

Conquest, R. The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine. New York, 1986.

Dzyuba, I. Internationalism or Russification: A Study of the Soviet Nationalities Problem. London, 1968.

Goldelman, S. Patterns of Life of an Ethnic Minority. Annals 7 (1959): 1567-85

Grabowitz, George G. The Poet as Mythmaker-A Study of Symbolic Meaning in Tara Schevcherko. Harvard, 1982.

Gudziak, Borys A. Crisis and Reform: The Kievan Metropolitanate, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the Genesis of the Union of Brest. Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 1998

Hamm, Michael F. Kiev-A Portrait 1800-1917. Princeton 1993.

Hunczak, Taras (ed). The Ukraine 1917-1921: A Study in Revolution. Cambridge, Mass., 1977.

Kamenetsky, I. Hitler's Occupation of Ukraine, 1941-1944: A Study of Totalitarian Imperialism. Milwaukee, 1956.

Karatnycky, Adrian. "The Ukrainian Factor." Foreign Affairs. (Summer, 1992).

Khvylovy, M. The Cultural Renaissance in Ukraine: Polemical Pamphlets 1925-1926. Edmonton, 1986.

Kohut, Zenon. Russian Centralism and Ukrainian Autonomy: Imperial Absorption of the Hetmanate, 1760-1830s. Cambridge, 1988.

Kubijovch, Volodymyr (ed). Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia. University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 1988.

Kuromiya, Hiroaki. Freedom and Terror in the Donbas: A Ukrainian-Russian Borderland, 1870s-1990s. Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Kuropas, M. The Ukrainians in America. Minneapolis, 1972.

Kuzio, Taras. State and Nation Building in Ukraine. Routlege, 1998.

Kuzio, Taras. Ukraine Under Kuchma: Political Reform, Economic Transformation and Security in Independent Ukraine. Saint Martin's Press, 1997.

Luckyj, G. Literary Politics in the Soviet Ukraine 1917-1934. New York, 1983.

Magoisi, Paul Robert. A History of Ukraine. University of Toronto, 1996.

Marples, David. Ukraine Under Perestroika. Ecology, Economics and the Workers' Revolt. New York, 1991.

Plyushch, L. History's Carnival: A Dissident's Autobiography. New York and London, 1977.

Reschetar, John S. The Ukrainian Revolution, 1917-1920: A Study in Nationalism. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1952.

Sodol, P UPA: A Brief Combat History of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, 1942-1947. New York, 1987.

Subtelny, Orest. Ukraine. A History. University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 1988.

views updated

Ukraine

Basic Data
Official Country Name: Ukraine
Region: Europe
Population: 49,153,027
Language(s): Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian
Literacy Rate: 98%
Number of Primary Schools: 21,720
Compulsory Schooling: 9 years
Public Expenditure on Education: 7.3%
Foreign Students in National Universities: 18,302
Libraries: 25,000
Educational Enrollment: Primary: 2,658,800
  Secondary: 4,731,200
  Higher: 1,541,000
Teachers: Primary: 133,600
Student-Teacher Ratio: Primary: 20:1



History & Background

Ukraine is a state in eastern Europe situated between Russia and Poland and bordering the Black Sea. It occupies a territory of 231,990 square miles (600,852 square kilometers) with a population of over 51 million people. The most representative groups of the population are Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, Belarusans, Moldavians, and Poles. Ukraine was a constituent republic of the USSR until it became independent in 1991. Its capital is Kiev with a population of 2.6 million people.

Ukrainian culture is a blend of eastern Slavic patterns and unique features developed during its long history. They speak a language in many ways similar to Russian and Belarusian and use the Cyrillic alphabet. From the ninth to the twelfth centuries most of the Ukrainian territory was part of Kiev Russia. The first schools of "book knowledge," which were intended for children of noble families, appeared under the Grand Prince Vladimir (980-1015). During the rule of Yaroslav the Wise (1019-1054), literacy spread among different social groups. Poucheniya (precepts), which appeared in the eleventh to twelfth centuries, were the first samples of truly pedagogical works. The most famous precepts were created by Vladimir Monomakh (1053-1125), the Grand Prince of Kiev, who addressed them to his own children. In 1086 the first school for female students opened in Kiev. The Kiev-Pechersk monastery was the center of Old Russian chronicle writing.

The Mongol invasion (thirteenth to fifteenth centuries) had a destructive influence on the eastern Slavic cultural centers such as Kiev and Chernigov. In the fourteenth century the southwestern lands were occupied by Lithuanian feudals. National and religious oppression became especially strong in the sixteenth century after the formation of the Polish-Lithuanian state, Rzecz Pospolita. Jesuit collegiums and schools opened their doors for Catholics and Uniates, whereas the educational opportunities for the adherents of the Eastern Orthodox church were meager. The traditions of Ukrainian culture were continued by schools attached to monasteries in Kiev, Chernigov, Putivl, and other places. In 1572 the first Russian printer, Ivan Fyodorov, arrived in Lvov; two years later a printing house, established with his assistance, published the first Bukvar (ABC-Book). By 1678 Ukraine had over 20 printing houses, which published educational literature and other books.

Brotherhood schools, which emerged in Lvov (1585), Kiev (1615), Lutsk (1617), and other cities played an important part in the preservation of the Slavic cultural identity. They were not merely educational institutions, but cultural centers, which united progressive writers, poets, printers, and teachers. From the late sixteenth to the early seventeenth centuries, Ukraine had about 30 brotherhood schools. They published textbooks and organized teaching in the native language. The School Rules (Poryadok Shkol'ny ) issued by the Lvov school are still considered to be an outstanding monument of educational thought. The 1648-1654 war, led by Bogdan Khmelnitsky, resulted in the reunification of Ukraine with Russia. Numerous parish schools were opened to promote literacy.

The late 1700s saw the emergence of shipbuilding, metallurgical, and other professional schools. Because of the division of Poland, which started in 1772, western Ukrainian lands were annexed by Austria. The educational reform brought about the formation of state primary ("trivial") and incomplete secondary ("main") schools with instruction predominantly in German. In parish schools the teaching was done in Polish and German; the Ukrainian language was largely neglected and regarded merely as a dialect of Polish. The progressive young people in Lvov formed a society, Russkaya troitsa, (Russian Trinity), which published an almanac promoting democratic ideas.

The Russian 1803-1804 educational reform brought about the formation of gymnasiums, as well as privileged educational institutions, lyceums, and Institutes for Noble Young Ladies. The latter emerged in Kharkov (1805), Poltava (1817), Odessa, and Kiev. Initial professional education was provided by specialized institutions: the Kiev Railway School, the Kherson School of Commercial Navigation, and the Yekaterinislav School of Gardening, as well as art and trade schools. Universities opened in Kharkov in 1805 and in Kiev in 1834. Two year teacher training courses affiliated with the universities followed suit.

The new educational institutions reflected European patterns, but at the same time incorporated distinctive features based on the long-standing traditions of Slavic culture. After the Decembrist uprising in St. Petersburg (1825), which shattered the foundations of Russian czarism, great educational work was done in Kiev by General M. F. Orlov. He headed a group called "Union of Welfare," used his own money to organize schools of mutual education, and developed new curricula and methodological materials.

The secret Cyril-Methodius Society, founded in the 1840s at Kiev University and headed by N. I. Kostomarov, aimed at spreading education among different social groups. The members of the society opened schools for peasant children and worked hard to create and publish textbooks for them. The society included a revolutionary democratic group led by the national poet Taras Shevchenko. The ideas of the French revolution of 1848 encouraged progressive educators to foster the teaching and use of the Ukrainian language in schools. In the 1850s primary schools in the Ukrainian territories had 67,000 students. The secondary education institutions were represented by 15 male gymnasiums, 2 lyceums, 3 cadet corps, and 5 female secondary schools. Instruction in most of the schools was carried out in Russian. The movement promoting education for common people and schools with Ukrainian as the language of instruction became especially strong in the 1850s. It initiated the opening of Sunday schools in Kiev and Kharkov, but in 1863 they were closed for political reasons. The same year the czarist government prohibited the publishing of books in the Ukrainian language and in 1876 the language's use in educational institutions. The educational reform of the 1860s stimulated the establishment of new institutions, the introduction of comparatively progressive methods of teaching, and the admission of children from different ranks of society to primary schools. From 1877 to 1898 the number of schools grew from 1,112 to 3,179. Higher courses for women wanting an education were opened in Kiev and Kharkov. According to the census of 1897, the literacy rate for ages 9 to 49 was 27.9 percent, (41.7 percent among men and 14 percent among women).

The 1905-1907 Russian Revolution encouraged the development of new progressive ideas. The organization Prosvita (Enlightenment), the All-Ukrainian Teachers Union, and the Kiev Society for Public Kindergartens began their activities; free libraries opened in different cities; and a higher teachers training institute for female students was founded in Kiev. Uchilishche, a new type of public secondary school with four years of instruction, quickly gained popularity; by 1916 300 existed in various parts of the country.

In western Ukraine, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian state, the educational opportunities for Ukrainians were scarce; the majority of the people were illiterate, and primary schools had only one grade. Most of the teaching was done in German, Polish, Hungarian, and Romanian; in 1911-1912, out of 134 general education schools only 11 had Ukrainian as the language of instruction. By 1914-1915 Ukraine (within its modern borders) had approximately 26,000 general education institutions, including 25,000 primary, 386 incomplete secondary, 577 complete secondary, and 88 specialized secondary schools for a total of 2,600,000 students.

After the Revolution of 1917, education developed rapidly. In July 1920 Narkompros (People's Commissariat of Education) of Ukraine published The Declaration on Social Education of Children, which initiated the introduction of a new educational system. Its basic unit was a seven year school that combined Communist education with productive labor. The new system rejected all of the pre-Revolutionary educational experience: textbooks were seen as a redundancy ("life is better than textbooks"); the family was regarded as a bourgeois survival, which had to be eliminated; and regular schools were almost totally phased out in favor of children's homes and communes. The idea of Communist discipline was epitomized by Anton Makarenko, the famous educator who managed to achieve great success in colonies for minors and juvenile delinquents.

In the 1920s the entire educational system had a pronounced vocational character. It envisages an extensive development of PTUs (professional technical schools). School clubs provided professional training and organized excursions, lectures, literary gatherings, and musical parties. Rabfaks (workers faculties) were attached to higher educational institutions specifically to train students from working class families. Beginning with the early 1920s, the society "Away with Illiteracy!" provided basic training for adults. By 1939 the literacy rate was claimed to be 88.2 percent. In 1924 there were 136 nursery schools and kindergartens attended by 6,000 children. The Research Institute of Pedagogy of the Ukrainian SSR, which was formed in 1926, started to advance educational theory and methodology. The reshaping of the educational system in the 1930s gave technicums (technical schools) the status of secondary specialized institutions; it also brought about the creation of new industrial, agricultural, economic, pedagogical, and medical higher educational establishments. Schooling for children aged 8 to 15 became compulsory. By 1932-1933 the number of people embraced by education had doubled as compared to 1928-1929 and reached 4.5 million.

At the same time about 80 percent of the population in Western Ukraine was illiterate; over 30 percent of children did not attend schools; and only 5 percent of students were getting education in the Ukrainian language. The reunification of Ukraine in 1939 resulted in the establishment of new schools, promotion of literacy for adults, and instruction in the native tongue. By 1940-1941 Ukraine had 6,900 preschools with 319,000 children; 30,800,000 general education schools with 6.6 million students and 250,000 teachers; 690 secondary specialized schools with 196,000 students; and 129 higher educational institutions with 124,400 students.

The advancement of education miraculously coexisted with the Stalinist political terror. Thousands of intellectuals became victims of mass repression. The indoctrination of Communist ideology at educational institutions reached its peak. Anyone who dared express an opinion different from the official point of view was subject to being imprisoned, executed, or sent to a concentration camp. During the Second World War, the Nazi troops completely destroyed over 8,000 schools; 10,000 more schools were partially ruined.

In spite of all the misfortunes, deaths, and cataclysms brought about by the war, the network was quickly restored. By 1945-1946 there were over 28,000 general education schools with 5 million people. The deStalinization of the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev had a profound influence on the political and cultural life in Ukraine. The content of education changed significantly. The transference to universal, compulsory, eight year schooling was completed by 1960-1961. The activities of the prominent teacher and scholar Vassily Suhkomlinsky, who made special emphasis on civil and ethical aspects of education, aroused great public interest, as well as sharp criticism from the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences. Sukhomlinsky, a school director, considered the child's personality to have the highest value in the process of teaching and upbringing. He saw the main goal of education in the realization of the students' inborn qualities, spontaneous reactions, and impulses. He also paid special attention to society as the context of education and included ethical categories in pedagogy.

The social apathy of the 1980s, the lack of diversity, and the predominance of indoctrination programs resulted in the crisis of the educational system. The attempted educational reform of 1984 proved to be ineffective, but the significant changes attained after the initiation of perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness) under the Soviet leader Mihkail Gorbachev continued after the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991.

Constitutional & Legal Foundations


The Law on Education adopted in 1991 secured the main principles of Ukrainian education: democracy; priority of humanistic values; organic connection with history, culture, and traditions; continuity; and diversity of educational opportunities. The program, "Osvita " or "Ukraine in the 21st Century" was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in November 1993.

Article 53 of the Constitution adopted in 1996 declares the right of every citizen to an education. Basic secondary education is compulsory. The state provides free primary, secondary, and vocational technical training in the state and communal institutions. Free higher education can be attained on a competitive basis. School is separated from the church, and education has a secular character. This provision is of special importance, because there are 60 different religious confessions existing in Ukraine.

In 1996 the Supreme Rada (Ukrainian parliament) adopted amendments to the Law on Education of 1991. The amended law defines the main principles underlying the educational system and establishes the areas of responsibility of the central and local administrative organs in the sphere of education. It also points out that educational institutions in Ukraine can be state, communal, or private property. The state standards set by the central organs specify the requirements to the content and level of instruction and professional training. They are approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, serve as the basis for the evaluation of the graduates' qualifications, and have to be reviewed every 10 years. The establishment of standards allows for an equivalency of qualifications on all the territory of Ukraine. In the future, it will provide the ground for the transferability of degrees between the countries, belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Any kind of political, religious, or military activity in educational institutions is prohibited. The state is expected to assist the development of science and culture, enhance educational opportunities for citizens from underprivileged social groups, and initiate contacts with the world educational community. The laws On Preschool Education, On Protection of Childhood, On General Secondary Education, On Professional Education, and On Higher Education, as well as numerous statutes and regulations, further specify the provisions of the Constitution and the main Law.

In the 1990s the government, concerned that the spheres of use of the Ukrainian language were limited, launched the policy of ukranization and de-russification. According to the new decrees, all the government officers have to be tested as to their knowledge of the Ukrainian language. The statute of the Council of Ministers, On the Program of the Development of the Ukrainian Language and Other National Languages (1991) and a complex plan of the Ministry of Education changed the approach towards the choice of languages at school. They set the aim of reshaping the educational network on the basis of the national structure and the needs of the population. The statute of the Ministry of Education of 1992 continued the same line and decreed the creation of a network of primary school grades, which would correspond to the national structure of each region. The Ministry also authorized moral and material encouragement of the teachers who used Ukrainian as the language of instruction. The number of hours allotted to the Russian language and literature was significantly reduced. Though Article 27 of the Law on Languages pronounced the study of Russian as an obligatory subject, the letter of 1993, signed by the Deputy Minister of Education, gave it the status of a foreign language and allowed schools to introduce other foreign languages instead of Russian. The new regulations also prescribe the de-russification of TV, radio, sports, tourism, and theaters, as well as the use of taxation mechanisms to regulate the flow of periodicals from abroad. The Concept of Education for National Minorities, developed by the Ministry of Education, envisages gradual transition to Ukrainian as the language of instruction, beginning with the fourth grade.

All these steps are expected to extend the spheres of usage of the Ukrainian language, intensify its free development, and enhance its prestige. The opponents of the policy of de-russification argue that a vast majority of the population prefers to use Russian in their everyday life, and therefore it cannot be regarded as a language of a national minority. They believe that the revival of Ukrainian culture cannot be achieved through the forcible introduction of the Ukrainian language, as well as the discrimination of other languages, including Russian. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation issued a note of protest against the violation of the rights of the Russian-speaking population. In response, the proponents of the Ukrainian linguistic policy insist on the right of the population to use their native language and revive the Ukrainian national identity.

This state policy brought about the increase of instruction in the Ukrainian language from 49 percent in 1990-1991 to 66 percent in 1999-2000. Educational institutions had to deal with the development of terminology for various subjects, which had not been taught in Ukrainian before. Other languages taught, represented at different types of educational institutions, include Hungarian, Moldavian, Romanian, Crimean Tartar, and German.

Educational SystemOverview


The Ukrainian educational system combines the features inherited from the Soviet Union with the quest for national revival. Article 29 of the Law on Education outlines the following types of education: preschool, general secondary, extra school, vocational technical, higher, post-graduate, aspirantura, doctorantura, and self-education.

Preschool education is optional. It is provided by nursery schools, which cater to the needs of infants from six weeks to three years old, and kindergartens for children from three to six years old. General education is represented by primary, basic (incomplete) secondary, and complete secondary schools, which usually coexist under the same roof. Basic secondary education is compulsory and requires three or four years of primary school plus five years of secondary school. Students who intend to continue their studies can follow one of three main tracks: they can pursue their studies on the upper secondary level (grades 10 and 11), enter a vocational secondary school, or apply to a higher educational institution of the first or second accreditation level (technicum or college). The third and fourth accreditation levels of higher education are represented by institutes, academies, conservatories, and universities. They require complete secondary education as a prerequisite for entry. Aspirantura and doctorantura provide postgraduate education, which leads to the defense of a dissertation and advanced scholarly degrees of Kandydat nauk and Doktor nauk.


Preprimary & Primary Education


Preprimary education in Ukraine is included in the state educational system. It is subordinate to the Ministry of Education. The major types of preschool facilities are nursery schools (dytyachi yasla ), which take care of infants from six weeks to three years old, and kindergartens (dytyachi sadki ), which are intended for children from three to six years of age. Orphans and children without proper parental care are placed in children's homes, boarding kindergartens, and or family-type and sanatorium-type facilities. There are also specialized preschool institutions for children with physical and mental disabilities, as well as other diseases. The length of stay at most of the facilities is nine hours, but there are also institutions, which work on a 24 hour basis. Preschools provide childcare and initial intellectual, physical, and aesthetic education. Special emphasis is made on the preparation of children for primary school. Classes are devoted to the development of speech and elementary numerical skills, singing, dancing, foreign languages, and art. The government encourages the study of the Ukrainian language and culture. Teachers for preschool institutions (vykhovateli ) are trained at specialized departments of teacher training schools, institutes, and universities, as well as advanced training and retraining institutes.

The 1980s witnessed the maximum enrollment of children in public preschools. The economic changes of the late 1980s and 1990s deprived preprimary institutions of regular financing, which had been guaranteed by the centralized Soviet state. Fifty-eight percent of all the facilities had previously belonged to particular enterprises, as well as collective and state farms. The bankruptcy or disastrous financial state of industrial enterprises and collective farms have endangered the existence of the entire network. Other negative factors, which have a profound impact on the state of preprimary education, are the declining birth rate, high infant mortality (15.2 per 1,000 newly born babies; 18.8 in rural areas), and unemployment among parents. Consequently, the number of preschools decreased approximately from 25,000 (with 2,428,000 children) in 1990 to 18,000 (with 1,100,000 children) in 1998. The majority of preschools have been subordinated to the municipal administrative organs, but the local budgets cannot cope with their financing. Many of the surviving facilities are barely able to meet sanitation requirements. The funds are insufficient for the renovation and further development of the institutions. There is a steady tendency towards shifting the burden of financing preprimary facilities from the state to the family. The fees, which used to be symbolic before the 1990s, are growing; many families cannot afford them. Since the state provides a small allowance for 1 non-working parent until the baby reaches the age of 12 months, young mothers usually prefer to stay home with their infants, rather than take them to a nursery.

The transition to a market economy calls for new approaches and forms of work in preprimary education. In order to balance state financing and family needs, preschools offer a variety of options, including short term stay, seasonal services, and variable cost programs. According to the state statutes and regulations, the fees directly depend on the family income. Children from low income or incomplete families attend preschools free of charge. The emerging non-state institutions offer diverse new services (e.g., aesthetic education, foreign language instruction, and swimming). They are usually expensive and are aimed at well to do families. Complex facilities, school plus kindergarten, are gaining popularity in rural areas. In 1998 Ukraine had 981 such combined institutions.

The laws on Preschool Education, On Protection of Childhood, and On Approval of the State Standard for Preschool Education aim for the further development of the preprimary network. Amongst others, they set the goal of ensuring the conjunction between the preprimary and primary school curricula. The publications in the journal Doshkilne Vykhovannia (Preschool Education) are specifically devoted to issues that deal with the development of new educational technologies for preprimary institutions.

Complete general (non-professional) education in Ukraine lasts 11 years and includes 3 stages:

  • primary school (first to fourth grade)
  • basic secondary school (fifth to ninth grade)
  • upper secondary school (tenth to eleventh grade).

Legally, each of the stages can function separately, but, in practice, they all usually coexist under the same roof. In 1998-1999 Ukraine had an approximate total of 22,000 general education schools with 6,876,000 students and 569,000 teachers; in 12,000 schools with 5,938,000 students all the 3 stages were combined. In the future, the complete period of study at a secondary school is to be extended to 12 years.

Basic nine year education is compulsory. The school year lasts from 1 September to 1 June and is divided into quarters. There are four vacations: a week in early November, two weeks for the New Year holidays, a week at the end of March, and two to three months in the summer. School is held five or six days a week, depending on the decision of the school council. Classes last from 35 to 45 minutes. The intervals between them are from 5 to 25 minutes, and there is no additional lunch break.

The state standards for general education are developed by the Ministry of Education, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine. Basic curricula approved by the Cabinet of Ministers include an invariable part, established on the state level and the same for all educational institutions of this kind, and the variable part, which takes into account regional peculiarities and is constructed by the institution itself.

The majority of schools are coeducational. From the very beginning students (uchni or vykhovantsi ) are divided into classes of 25 to 30 children, which will continue to study as a permanent group until the end of school. This allows them to develop close friendships with their classmates. On the whole, Ukrainian culture is collectivist, and team activities play an important part in the educational process. Evaluation is based on numerical grades: five is excellent; four, good; three, satisfactory; and two, unsatisfactory (failure). Grade "one" is unofficial, but can be sometimes used by teachers to emphasize the student's poor performance. Grading is done publicly. At the end of the academic year, the best students are awarded certificates of excellence.

Each school is managed by a director who is responsible for the organization of the educational process, methodological work, extracurricular activities, and school finance. The highest organ of school self-government is the Educational Council, which adopts the school charter and makes final decisions about the organizational structure, adoption of curricula, introduction of innovations, and other issues of major importance. It also cooperates with the parents' committee, local administrative organs, nongovernmental organizations, and other educational institutions.

The traditional age of entry into primary school is seven. The educational reform of 1984 attempted to lower the school age to six. However, the educational system was not ready to cope with the new responsibilities. There were not enough classrooms, adequately trained teachers, proper equipment, and good textbooks. As a result, prospective first graders are offered two options: either to enter school at the age of seven, study for three years, skip the fourth grade, and go on to the secondary school level (fifth grade); or start school at six and cover the same program in four years with an easier work load. The Law on General Education adopted in 1999 envisages gradual transition to a four year primary school paradigm, which will embrace all the eligible children.

The academic year is 175 days long, with an annual study load of 700 hours in the first and second grades and 790 hours in the third and fourth grades. The elementary curriculum consists of reading and writing in Ukrainian or other native languages, basics of mathematics, nature study, labor, music, health education, and physical training. The main part of the curriculum is the same on all the territory of the country and approved by the Ministry of Education. However, due to the tendency towards the diversification of programs, schools are allowed to introduce subjects of their own choice (e.g., valeology, foreign languages, environmental study, and dancing). The development of a whole new generation of textbooks has had a profound influence on the content of education. Children receive textbooks free of charge at the beginning of an academic year and return them to the library before summer vacation. The class is supervised by one teacher who is responsible for most of the subjects, as well as the organization of extracurricular activities. Students get cumulative grades for all the subjects at the end of each quarter and the school year.


Secondary Education


Basic secondary education covers a period of 5 years past primary school with 190 school days a year, plus 3 weeks of examinations and tests at the end of the ninth grade (last year of study). The program of study is specified every academic year by the Ministry of Education. This defines the core part of the curriculum for all the schools in the territory of Ukraine. The curricula are published in periodicals and newsletters intended for schoolteachers and administrators. The annual study load is from 860 to 1030 hours, depending on the grade. They are divided between obligatory subjects, established by the Ministry of Education, and optional disciplines, introduced on the school level (four to five hours a week). In the fifth grade all the students have classes of the Ukrainian or other native languages and literature; foreign language and literature; mathematics and basics of computer science; Ukrainian history; nature study; music; art; physical training; household arts; and health education. Other subjects are gradually added on at different levels of instruction: world history, geography and biology in the sixth grade; physics in the seventh grade; chemistry in the eighth grade; and so on. Each subject is taught by a different teacher. The weekly number of hours devoted to every discipline is from one to five. The schedule is different every day. All the lessons are attended by the whole class, which can include 5 to 30 people. Students are divided into subgroups for the study of foreign languages. An evaluation is made at the end of each quarter and based on the students' current performance, as well as final tests. In order to be promoted to the next grade, students have to complete the requirements in all the subjects. Otherwise, they have to repeat the previous grade. At the end of the ninth grade all the students take final examinations, which culminate the program of basic secondary education. Ninety-six percent of young people in Ukraine get basic secondary education, most of them by the age of 15.

The curriculum at the upper secondary level includes more sophisticated subjects and allows for greater individual choice of disciplines. Students are evaluated on a semester basis. At the end of the eleventh grade, all the students are required to take their final examinations. If they pass them successfully, they are awarded a Certificate of Secondary Education, which is a prerequisite for entry to higher educational establishments of the third and fourth accreditation levels (institutes, academies, and universities). Students with all "fives" for all the semesters of the upper secondary level are awarded gold medals, and those who have one or two "fours" among all other excellent marks receive a silver medal. The majority of general education schools enroll full time students. However, those who wish to combine education with work can study part time at night or in correspondence schools.

The innovative types of schools include gymnasiums, which offer comprehensive classical education, and lyceums, giving specialization in a certain area of knowledge. These institutions are becoming highly prestigious. In 1998-1999 Ukraine had 243 gymnasiums and 268 lyceums. A specifically Ukrainian type of institution is a collegium or "an upper school" with philologically, philosophically, and aesthetically oriented education. Approximately 3,000 schools with over 500,000 students provide in-depth instruction in certain subjects.

The emergence of non-traditional schools reflects the adjustment of the Ukrainian school system to an unprecedented expansion and diversification. Boarding schools, intended for the chosen few in the nineteenth century and deemed to be "the school of the future" during the Soviet times, now cater to the needs of orphans, children without proper parental care, or students from remote areas who have no school within a reasonable distance from home. Other boarding, "forest," and sanatorium-type schools enroll students with physical and mental disabilities, speech defects, and other health problems. They provide both general education that has been adjusted to the students' special needs and medical treatment.

The political and economic reforms of the 1990s brought to Ukraine independence, freedom of choice, and the transition to a market economy. They initiated major changes in the educational system based on deideologization, connection with national culture, and the introduction of new subjects into the school curricula. On the other hand, many areas of life, especially those financed from the state budget, are experiencing serious difficulties. Insufficient financing and social problems are distracting public attention from the educational system. As a result, school buildings are falling apart; equipment and library funds are outdated. In the mid-1990s only 40 percent of students were provided with the necessary textbooks. The state satisfies only 7 to 10 percent of the schools' need for technical equipment. Teacher morale is low because of the absurdly small salaries and lengthy delays in their payment. Due to the lack of space, in the 1990-1995 period, the number of students studying on a shift schedule increased by 45,000. The rural urban divide continues to grow, as innovations hardly reach village schools. Non-traditional educational institutions are predominantly situated in the cities. The difference in the quality of education is drastic; rural young people cannot compete with their city peers at the entry examinations to universities. Because of alcoholism and other medical and social problems, the number of mentally retarded children and juvenile delinquents is growing.

The Law on General Secondary Education (1999) emphasized the necessity to coordinate the interests of Ukrainian society and the state, improve the quality of education, provide for a greater independence of educational institutions, develop a more diverse spectrum of schools, and create opportunities for entering the European and world educational community. Among other steps, the governmental program envisages the transition to 12 year general education schooling. The upper secondary school will include three grades. At this stage, students will have a chance to specialize in the areas of knowledge connected with their future studies at the university level. The reform will also deal with the development of state standards and the introduction of the best world educational experiences in Ukrainian secondary schools. The presidential decree On Governmental Support to the Training of Specialists for Rural Areas, as well as other statutes and regulations, aim at bridging the gap between rural and urban schools.

The Law on Professional Education, adopted in 1998, outlines the legal basis of the system of vocational training. The schools, which make up part of the network, can either provide a professional education or its combination with general secondary education. The prerequisite for entry into vocational training institutions is successful completion of basic secondary school (nine grades). The length of study is one year if it involves only vocational training and from three to four years if it is accompanied by general secondary education. Initial job qualifications are acquired from professional technical schools (PTU), agricultural schools, factory schools, and other institutions attached to enterprises or collective farms where students can get on the job training. The secondary professional level is represented by uchilishcha, which give education both in production and nonproduction areas (art, pedagogy, music, medicine, and other related subjects). Other types include special institutions for students with physical and mental disabilities, which provide them with vocational skills appropriate for their medical condition; social rehabilitation schools intended for juvenile delinquents; and centers of personnel training and retraining. In the 1990s technicums and colleges, which also used to belong to the system of secondary vocational training, were given the status of higher educational institutions.

The academic year consists of 40 weeks and is divided into semesters. The weekly study load is 36 hours. The curricula include several blocks of subjects: science, humanities, professional theoretical, and professional practical disciplines. The educational process is organized in the form of lectures, seminars, laboratory work, individual study projects, reports, and excursions. Theoretical and practical instruction is combined with productive work in shops, factories, training grounds, and subsidiary farms. In the mid-1990s the network had approximately 11,000 specially equipped classrooms, 3,000 laboratories, and approximately 7,000 training grounds. Agricultural PTUs owned 70,000 hectares (175,000 acres) of land, as well as 16,000 tractors, automobiles, and combines. Graduation is preceded by the defense of a diploma project and qualification exams. Specialists from the enterprises, which work in conjunction with the schools, are represented on the State Examination Board and control the professional level of the graduating students.

The new socioeconomic conditions account for significant changes in the system of vocational training. They stimulate the introduction of new specialties attractive for students and required by the job market, the development of the state educational standards, and partial transition from state to non-state funding. The most popular specialties among male PTU graduates are: auto mechanic, electrician, TV repair, electric welder, radio mechanic, and carpenter. Those among female graduates are salesclerk, hairdresser, house painter, tailor, and secretary.

Teachers working in the system of vocational training are graduates of secondary or higher engineering and pedagogical institutions, as well as the Republic Institute of Advanced Training for Teachers of Professional Technical Schools. In 1995-1996 there were 60,000 people employed in the network, including 18,000 teachers and 30,000 masters of production training. Forty-five percent of the masters had an advanced professional qualification, while 39 percent had been trained in 2 or more specialties. The head of a vocational school is a director, appointed by a corresponding ministry or agency. It is a competitive contract position. The director's responsibilities encompass the supervision of the academic process, creation of appropriate conditions for training specialists, introduction of progressive educational forms, and control of the school's finance. The director reports to the school meeting or conference, which is the highest organ of the institution's self-government.

Since 1990 the financial state of vocational training institutions has significantly deteriorated; the equipment is inadequate and there are no funds for the renovation of the buildings and other facilities. In 1994-1995 low salaries and unsatisfactory working conditions forced over 3,000 teachers to leave their jobs; the total number of vacancies reached 7,000. From 1991 to 1996 the network lost 108 schools. In spite of all the negative tendencies, the system of vocational training still renders social protection to young people. In 1997-1998, some 55,000 orphans and 200,000 students from low-income families were provided dormitories, free food, and medical service. The network owns dispensaries, recreation centers, and sports camps. Students who attend agricultural schools receive small state allowances and free transportation passes. Good and excellent students get privileges in admission to higher educational institutions. On the average, 84 percent of students are provided with job placement. In the situation of an economic crisis, the retraining of unemployed adults acquires special significance. In 1996 the network trained approximately 264,000 and retrained 271,000 people.


Higher Education


The Law on Education establishes the following system of higher qualification levels:

  • Junior Specialist (three years of instruction)
  • Bachelor (four years of instruction)
  • Specialist (one year of instruction beyond the first or second level for a total of four or five years)
  • Master (two years of instruction past the first or second level for a total of five or six years).

The number of students seeking the third and fourth level degrees is steadily growing. Young people and their parents recognize the value of higher education and the opportunities it provides in the modern world. The umbrella term "VUZ" (vyshchy uchbovy zaklad ) is used to denote all kinds of higher educational institutions. In 1998-1999 the network included 327 higher technical schools (technicumy ), 216 higher vocational schools (uchilishcha ), 117 colleges, 149 institutes, 2 conservatories, 48 academies, and 81 universities. Approximately 85 percent of the VUZs were owned by the state; the remaining 15 percents had different forms of ownership.

In order to be officially acknowledged, all the institutions have to be duly licensed and accredited by the state. The procedure of licensing gives the institution the right to offer educational services, whereas the accreditation establishes its status and recognizes its ability to train specialists at the level of state standards. The preliminary examination of the institution's capacity and training potential is carried out by Expert Boards, and the final decision is made by the State Accreditation Board. The prerequisites for enrollment into higher educational programs include complete secondary education and success in the entrance examinations. The rules for the latter are set by the VUZs on the basis of general state regulations. Applicants who finished secondary schools with silver and gold medals take only one profile examination and are admitted if they receive an excellent grade. Others have to go through a competition based on the cumulative results of the exams. The competition to popular institutions can be quite keen. Preference is given to particular social groups, such as children from working class families, orphans, and war veterans. To provide better chances for admission for rural applicants, VUZ set special quotas to train specialists, who are expected to work in rural areas after graduation. In 2000 more than approximately 3,000 students were enrolled on the basis of such quotas.

The majority of institutions are coeducational. On the average, male and female students are equally represented at the VUZs, though women are usually predominant in humanitarian departments and men in technical schools. The programs can be full time (day) and part time (night or by correspondence). Since 1990-1991 the enrollment in full time programs has been steadily growing. This is mainly because of the emergence of non-state institutions and departments, where the competition is not so fierce. During the period from 1990 to 1996 the number of part time students decreased from approximately 13,000 to 3,000 in the night departments and from 55,000 to 45,000 in the correspondence departments.

Once admitted, freshmen are divided into groups of 20 to 25 students, who attend most of the classes together and study as a team until they graduate. The academic year begins on 1 September; it lasts 42 weeks and is divided into 2 semesters. The pressure of the state in defining the content of education is still great. Institutions have to adopt the curricula approved by the Ministry of Education even when it conflicts with the opinion of faculty members about the expediency of teaching certain subjects and the number of hours allotted to them. The obligatory part of the curricula includes several areas: social science, humanities, law, environmental studies, ethics, philosophy, and world and national culture. Different subjects are distributed between these areas. It is believed that state regulations allow for the same level of training throughout the entire country. Due to some positive changes, part of the curricula is intended for subjects that can be introduced by the VUZs and thus allow for the diversification of the programs. The approach towards the selection of textbooks and other teaching materials has also become much more liberal. In addition to the current evaluation, students take tests and examinations (the latter mostly oral) at the end of each semester. Typical grades are verbal: pass/fail or excellent, good, satisfactory, and unsatisfactory. Students, who successfully complete all the requirements, receive small stipends from the state.

In order to graduate, students have to defend a thesis and take final state examinations before a panel of professors. The head of the Examination Board is invited from a different institution. Students who graduate with honors (75 percent excellent and 25 percent good grades) receive the so-called "Red Certificate."

Post-graduate education exists in the form of aspirantura and doktorantura, which are attached to educational or research institutions. Aspirantura is a three year advanced training program, leading to the degree of Kandydat Nauk (Candidate of Sciences), which is approximately equivalent to a Ph.D. It is awarded to scholars who pass corresponding qualification exams, publish a number of articles, and defend a dissertation. Holders of the Kandydat's degree can continue their studies in doktorantura. It is a highly prestigious program, and scholars are usually promoted to it after many years of teaching and research. It is essentially a three year sabbatical, which gives the scholar an opportunity to publish a monograph, defend another (more advanced) dissertation, and receive the highest degree conferred in UkraineDoktor Nauk (Doctor of Sciences).

Faculty positions include assistant, senior lecturer, dotsent (which usually requires the Kandydat's degree), and professor (requiring the Doktor's degree). They are attained on a competitive basis for a period of five years, after which faculty members have to compete again for the same or a higher position. In 1997-1998 the Ukrainian higher educational system had 130,000 faculty members, 56.6 percent of which had Kandyat's degrees and 7.3 percent were holders of Doktor's degrees. After a year of work in the position of a dotsent or a professor, faculty members can be promoted to a corresponding scholarly rank (zvannya ), which is awarded for a lifetime by VAK (Supreme Attestation Commission) and accompanied by a certificate. The highest honorable ranks are corresponding academy member (chlen-korrespondent ) and full academy member (diysnychlen ).

The Academic Council of a VUZ elects the rector who is responsible for the overall organization of the institution. Prorectors are employed on a contract basis to assist the rector with particular areas of work (e.g., academic process, research, or international contacts). The institution consists of schools, or faculties, headed by deans. Faculty members are organized in departments (kafedry ) according to their area of knowledge.

Ukrainian higher educational institutions experience the same difficulties as the rest of the educational system. Financing is far below the norm; the number of computers and other advanced equipment does not meet modern requirements. The funds allocated for research are insufficient. Every year the number of students who receive education free of charge is shrinking, whereas more and more spaces are allocated for applicants who pay tuition fees. Since the latter do not have to go through a severe competition, their level of knowledge often leaves much to be desired. Consequently, the overall quality of student preparation deteriorates. Low salaries and lack of social protection make professors look for jobs elsewhere. In 1994-1995, for example, over 7,000 faculty members, predominantly doktors and kandydats, left their teaching positions. The average age of faculty is growing. Bribery and corruption in the educational sphere have become quite common.

The favorable tendencies include the humanization and diversification of curricula, introduction of innovative methods, and more freedom given to professors in the choice of teaching materials. The elimination of courses indoctrinating Communist ideology allows for a more objective approach to the processes taking place in the modern world. On the other hand, when professors have to switch from old to new subjects, in which they had not received any proper training themselves (e.g., from atheism to theology or from mathematics to business), it has an overall negative effect on the educational process. Nevertheless, VUZs are gradually adjusting to the new conditions. The most important tasks in the sphere of higher education include: the development of multiple forms and mechanisms of financing; the establishment of contacts with enterprises, organizations, central and local organs of power that would provide employment opportunities for prospective graduates; the creation of favorable conditions for the work of highly qualified specialists in the sphere of education; and the development of international contacts. VUZs are also encouraged to set departments beyond their original campuses in order to enhance better educational opportunities in different regions of the country.


Administration, Finance, & Educational Research

The state organs of power include the Ministry of Education, other ministries and agencies, supervising particular educational institutions, VAK (the Supreme Attestation Commission), the Ministry of Education of the autonomous Republic of the Crimea, local executive bodies, and organs of self-government. The Ministry of Education plays the leading role in defining and executing the state policy in education, science, and professional training, as well as the development of curricula and state standards. It defines the norms and rules of admission to higher educational institutions and organizes the attestation of teachers. The ministries and agencies are responsible for the control, inspection, licensing, and accreditation of educational institutions. VAK supervises the attestation of specialists, confers, and approves advanced scholarly degrees. Organs of self-government are represented by general meetings and conferences of educational institutions; district, city, or oblast teacher conferences; and finally by the All-Ukrainian Teachers Convention.

Together with local executive organs, they make decisions about the establishment of the budget financing, the development and social security of teachers and students, and other issues referring to their sphere of competence.

During the Soviet times, the state budget was the only source of financing for the educational sphere. The transition to a market economy and the establishment of non-state educational institutions account for the emergenceof new sources of financing, including local budgets, private enterprises, and individuals. According to the Law on Education, the state financing of the educational sphere cannot be less than 10 percent of the GNP. All primary and secondary school students are provided with free health care. Orphans and children from low income families also receive allowances for food and clothes.

The economic crisis of the late 1990s created serious problems for the educational system: deterioration of school and university buildings; lack of funds for renovation, modern equipment, and textbooks; delays in the payment of salaries to teachers; and shortages of electricity and heating. The main aims of the Ukrainian government and the Ministry of Education include the preservation of the existing network and the development of effective mechanisms of financing the educational sphere under the new socioeconomic conditions.

After the declaration of independence in 1991, the use of languages became an important political issue. Since Ukraine is a multinational state, the languages used on its territory include Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian, and others. Traditionally the western part of Ukraine (Lvov, Vinnitsa, Ivano-Frankovsk, etc.) predominantly used the Ukrainian language, whereas the eastern part (Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and the Crimea) gave preference to Russian. The Law on Languages in the Ukrainian SSR, adopted in 1989, for the first time gave Ukrainian the status of a state language (derzhavna mova ). Article 10 of the Constitution (1996) secured this provision and obliged the state to enhance the development and extensive use of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of life. At the same time it gave Russian the role of a tool of international communication and guaranteed the protection of all the languages of national minorities. According to Article 53 of the Constitution, citizens belonging to ethnic groups other than Ukrainian have the right to get education in their native tongue in state institutions or through cultural societies.


Nonformal Education


Before 1991, when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, its system of extraschool education included an extensive network of Palaces of Young Pioneers, Houses of Culture, Institutes of Marxism-Leninism, and cultural and sports facilities. All the educational activities provided by the system had a strong ideological flavor. In the 1990s the institutions of nonformal education discontinued the practice of indoctrinating Communist ideology through their programs and could concentrate on their educational and cultural mission. However, due to the economic crisis, the network started shrinking. Educators engaged in the system had to direct their main efforts to the survival, rather than extension, of their facilities. In the mid 1990s the network of nonformal institutions Comprised of 900 multifunctional centers of children's creative work, 500 sports schools, 250 centers of young technicians, 200 young naturalists stations, and 20 young tourists stations. Other facilities are art schools and studios, music schools, health centers, and summer camps. Independent education can be obtained through people's universities, libraries, clubs, TV, and radio programs. New offerings include aerobic and shaping courses, Internet cafes, computer games, and health centers for those who can afford it.

Special attention is given to adult education, which was largely ignored in the 1980s and 1990s. The search for better-paying jobs, ambition, or the need to acquire an additional profession urge thousands of people to take part in advanced training, refresher, or retraining courses. In 1999 over 500 state, communal, and private educational institutions in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and 23 other ministries and agencies offered postgraduate training and refresher courses for adults. The developing market economy produces the need for specialists in the field of economic and financial management, banking, insurance, law, and other areas. The most active enrollees in the programs of additional education are representatives of small businesses, demobilized military officers, and the unemployed.

Organizations engaged in educational research are teacher training institutions, research institutes of pedagogy and psychology, the Pedagogical Society founded in 1960, the Pedagogical Museum organized in 1948 as an exhibition, and numerous educational associations. Other public and research organizations, which participate in international programs, organize educational fairs and exhibitions, and publish periodicals, are: the Znannia ("Knowledge") Society of Ukraine, the Association of Non-State-Owned Educational Institutions of Ukraine, the International Education Fund, the Ukrainian Teachers' Creative League, and others.


Teaching Profession


In 1997-1998 there were over 500,000 teachers employed in the Ukrainian educational system of which over 90 percent of them with a higher education. Ten universities, 29 pedagogical institutes, and 50 secondary pedagogical schools trained teachers. A number of industrial pedagogical technicums prepared teachers for vocational technical schools. The Kiev, Odessa, Rovno, and Slavic teacher training institutes, as well as 40 secondary pedagogical schools (uchilishcha ), have specialized departments for training preschool and primary school teachers. The curricula include pedagogy, psychology, anatomy, hygiene, and methods of teaching specially designed for working with young children. Students can specialize in art, music, household arts, and physical training. Some of the pedagogical schools are affiliated with higher educational institutions offering teacher training programs. In this case, institute and university professors teach part of the courses at the schools. An agreement between the institutions can allow the graduates of uchilishcha to get advanced placement at the institutes or universities.

The curricula of higher educational establishments training secondary school teachers are constantly modified to include the innovative methodologies and experiences. The common practice for the students is to get training in two areas of specialization (e.g., biology and geography or the Ukrainian language and literature). Students regularly take part in the teaching practice at primary or secondary schools. Now that educational institutions have more freedom, they sometimes allow their students to practice teaching on the university level, which partially makes up for the lack of special teacher training programs for higher educational establishments.

In the Soviet Union all the graduates were assigned to teaching positions by the state and had to work there for at least three years. This practice has been given up; finding a job has become the students' responsibility. According to the Law on Education, the weekly workload of secondary school teachers is 18 hours. They get extra pay for teaching additional hours or doing other kinds of work (e.g., supervising a group of students or correcting written assignments). Teachers have to go through the attestation process once every five years. It consists of two parts, which testify to their knowledge of the subject, as well as the efficiency of their curricular and extracurricular work.

Specially organized commissions assign the teacher one of the four categories based on the results of the attestation: specialist, specialist of the second category, specialist of the first category, or specialist of the highest category. The attained category acknowledges the teacher's qualification level and influences his or her salary. One of the aspects taken into account during attestation is participation in advanced training programs and refresher courses. The system of advanced training and retraining includes over 20 institutes, as well as specialized departments of universities and other VUZs.

Teachers also participate in methodological seminars and conferences, organized by local educational departments, and attend professional development seminars and their colleagues' demonstration classes. Due to the nonpayment of salaries from the budget, which plagued the country in the 1990s, as well as other financial and social problems, thousands of teachers quit their jobs. Others had to go on strike in order to make the government fulfil its obligations to the teachers and schools. The quality of instruction at rural schools remains a serious problem. The government tries to solve it by allotting spots at teacher training institutes and universities for applicants from rural areas and giving them privileges at admission. However, the mechanisms have not been worked out adequately: after graduation many students in such programs fail to go back home to teach at a rural school and remain in the city. Therefore, the level of teaching in most of the rural schools is inadequate, and, because of numerous vacancies, some subjects are not taught at all. Many teachers from rural schools do not have a higher education. They are encouraged to complete their education through correspondence programs and use other educational opportunities to upgrade their qualification. Serous work aimed at the improvement of education in Ukraine is carried out by the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, which was created in 1992. Its activities in the 1990s resulted in the development of new curricula; publication of textbooks on humanitarian subjects, which were devoid of Communist ideological biases; creation of educational materials specifically intended for the Crimean Tartars and other groups of population; and research in different areas of pedagogy.


Summary


The socioeconomic changes encountered by Ukraine in the late 1980s to 1990s and the transition to a market economy account for the humanization and democratization of the educational process, introduction of different forms of property in the educational sphere, and the development of innovative curricula. At the same time, numerous economic problems have a negative influence on different aspects of the life of teachers and students and bring about undesirable consequences.

The independence gained in 1991 and the quest for national identity allow for the promotion of nationally specific programs, use of the Ukrainian language in schools, and the opportunity to incorporate unique cultural peculiarities into school and university life. On the other hand, they are accompanied by unprepared nationalistic decisions, occasional discrimination of ethnic minorities, and rejection of valuable experiences and practices.

The most important goals of the educational sphere, outlined in the major national programs "Osvita, Ukraine in the Twenty-first Century," "The Main Directions of Reforming Educational System of Ukraine," and others, include: the development of new legislative and economic mechanisms, which will ensure the effective work of the educational system; the reorganization of the existing and creation of new educational institutions, which will provide for the multistage system of training highly qualified specialists; further diversification of curricula with regard to the national and regional peculiarities and needs of the population; the adaptation of the educational system to the requirements of the labor market; the training of specialists on the basis of the state standards, which will allow for an increase in the professional and social mobility of graduates; the establishment of partnerships of educational institutions with businesses and organizations to ensure the employment of graduates; the democratization of education, and development of the relationship between teachers and students based on mutual respect and effective cooperation; the creation and publication of new textbooks devoid of ideological biases; special attention given to the publication of textbooks in the Ukrainian language; the development of innovative methodological and information technologies; the enhancement of the accessibility of education for different social groups on throughout the country through the development of distance learning and the creation of a system of continuing education; the acquisition of sophisticated equipment, which would provide access to the Internet and other sources of up-to-date information; and the participation in large scale international projects.

Hopefully, the development of the educational system and the efforts of educators will make use of the long-standing educational tradition and rich Ukrainian history, allow for the preservation and development of the educational network, and ultimately make Ukraine part of the international educational community.


Bibliography

Antologiya pedagogicheskoi mysli Ukrainskoi SSR. (Anthology of Pedagogical Thought of The Ukrainian SSR). Moscow: Pedagogika, 1988.

Baron, Samuel H. and Nancy Shields Kollmann, eds. Religion and Culture in Early Modern Russia and Ukraine. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 1997.

Bassis, Volodymyr. Ukraine. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2000.

Davydov, V. V., ed. Rossiyskaya pedagogicheskaya entsiklopediya. (Russian Pedagogic Encyclopedia). Vol. 1. Moscow: Bol'shaya rossiyskaya enstiklopediya, 1993.

Hare, Paul G., ed. Structure and Financing of Higher Education in Russia, Ukraine and the EU. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1997.

Hrushevs'kyi, Mykhailo. History of Ukraine-Rus'. Translated by Marta Skorupsky. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, 1997.

Janmaat, Jan Germen. Nation-Building in Post-Soviet Ukraine: Educational Policy and the Response of the Russian-Speaking Population. Amsterdam: Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2000.

Lutsyk, D. V. Litopys pedahohichno'dumky v Ukraini. (History of Pedagogical Thought in Ukraine). Drohobych: "Vidrodzhennia," 1999.

Ministry of Education of Ukraine. Ukraine's System of Basic Education. Kyiv, 1999.

Navrots'kyi, O.I. Vyshcha shkola Ukrainy v umovakh transformatsi'suspil'stva. Kharkiv: Osnova, 2000.

"Osvita (Education)." In Vsyo pro Ukrainu (All about Ukraine). Vol. 2, 254-274.

Otfinoski, Steven. Ukraine. New York: Facts on File, 1999.

Safiulin V.I. Himnaziia na porozi XXI stolittia.(Gymnasium at the Threshold of the 21st Century). Kyiv: Znannia, 1999.

Senchenko, N. I., N.E. Ter-Grigorian-Demianiuk. Kievo-Mogilianskaya akademiya: istoriya Kievo-bratskoi Shkoly. (Kiev-Mohylan Academy: History of the Kiev Brotherhood School). Kiev: Firma "Serzh," 1998.

Statystychny shchorichnyk Ukrainy za 1997 rik. Derzhavny komitet statystyky Ukrainy. (Statistic Reference Book of Ukraine, 1997. State Statistic Committee of Ukraine). Kyiv: Vydavnytstvo Ukrainska entsiklopediya imeni M. P. Bazhana, 1999.

Stepanenko, Viktor. The Construction of Identity and School Policy in Ukraine. Commack, NY: Nova Science Publishers, 1999.

Ukraine's System of Basic Education. Available from http://www.ednu.kiev.ua/edu_se_bas.htm


Olga Leontovich

views updated

Ukraine

B asic D ata
Official Country Name: Ukraine
Region (Map name): Europe
Population: 48,760,474
Language(s): Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Polish,Hungarian
Literacy rate: 98.0%
Area: 603,700 sq km
GDP: 31,791 (US$ millions)
Number of Daily Newspapers: 38
Total Circulation: 4,322,000
Circulation per 1,000: 74
Number of Nondaily Newspapers: 1,106
Total Circulation: 20,620,000
Circulation per 1,000: 352
Total Newspaper Ad Receipts: 23 (US$ millions)
As % of All Ad Expenditures: 13.90
Number of Television Sets: 18,500,000
Television Sets per 1,000: 379.4
Number of Cable Subscribers: 2,588,850
Cable Subscribers per 1,000: 52.3
Number of Satellite Subscribers: 130,000
Satellite Subscribers per 1,000: 2.7
Number of Radio Receivers: 45,500,000
Radio Receivers per 1,000: 933.1
Number of Individuals with Computers: 890,000
Computers per 1,000: 18.3
Number of Individuals with Internet Access: 300,000
Internet Access per 1,000: 6.2

Background & General Characteristics

Publishing in Ukraine started in 1574 when the first Russian printer I. Federov printed Azbuka (The Primer ) in the city of Lviv. The introduction of printing laid the foundation for the development of printed press. Early periodicals in the western part of the country, which was occupied by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, appeared in foreign languages. In 1776, the first newspaper, Gazette de Leopol, was published in French and in 1811, Gazeta Lwowska appeared in German and later in Polish. The periodicals in eastern Ukraine, which was part of the Russian Empire, came out in the Russian language with Kharkovsky Ezhenedelńik (Kharkiv Weekly ) in 1812, Kharkovskie Izvestiya (Kharkiv News ) in 1817, and the magazine Ukrainsky Vestnik (Ukrainian Herald ) in 1816, just to name a few. The first newspaper, Zorya Halitska (Galician Dawn ) in the Ukrainian language came out in 1848. In the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, the further development of printed media included the emergence of new newspapers and magazines and the growth of their circulation. This process was constantly accompanied by the closure and reopening of periodicals in the Ukrainian language depending upon the political situation in Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires.

After 1917, the press became an ideological instrument of the ruling Communist Party. In pursuit of influence on the population and education of the masses in the Communist ideology, it facilitated further growth of the printed press in Ukraine. In 1925, there were 116 newspapers with a total single-issue circulation of 1.33 million copies and 369 magazines and other periodicals with an annual circulation of 14.7 million copies. In 1967, there were 2,564 newspapers, 2,100 of which were published in the Ukrainian language. The most influential newspapers were: Radyanska Ukraiina (Soviet Ukraine ), Pravda Ukrainy (Truth of Ukraine ), Robitnicha HazetaWorkers' Newspaper ), Silśi Visti (Rural News ), Molod' Ukraiiny (Ukrainian Youth ), Kultura I ZhittyaCulture and Life ), Literaturna Ukraiina (Literary Ukraine ). The newspapers had a single-issue circulation of 16.9 million a year, and the 323 magazines and other periodicals had an annual circulation of 123.7 million that year.

During World War II, from 1941 to 1944, an underground press was organized by the resistance forces in the territories occupied by the Nazi Germany. Radio broadcasting was banned by fascists. As the fascists advanced further into the country, many printing and radio broadcasting facilities had to be evacuated to inside the Soviet Union where publishing houses and radio stations continued their work.

Before Ukraine proclaimed its sovereignty in 1991, the Soviet journalists and editors were guided by the principles and instructions of the Communist Party to emphasize the optimistic and the positive and to place prominently reports about economic achievements (which were not necessarily true) and stories about the heroes of Socialist labor and promising initiatives. Anything negative, tragic, or controversial happening in the country or anything positive taking place in the capitalist countries was seldom allowed to be covered by reporters and journalists.

The monopoly on information in Ukraine, like in all other former Soviet republics, was executed through banning underground opposition publications, jamming foreign radio stations, and applying legal actions against those who listened to foreign radio. It also included the restrictions on the distribution of foreign press, especially from Western countries, to a limited number of libraries and officials, and even banning Soviet tourists from bring foreign publications into the country.

In the last decade of the twentieth century and in the first years of the twenty-first century, the Ukrainian mass media have undergone a drastic transition from the Soviet-style to the democratic and free-market mode of work. Controlled for most of the twentieth century by the conservative Communist system, media have learned to operate in a new democratic, economic, political, ideological, and cultural environment. Learning to work in a new sovereign state with diametrically opposite politico-ideological and socioeconomic environment required tremendous efforts on the part of many professionals involved in media business in reevaluating the legacy of the Communist past, rethinking the old principles of journalism, and adjusting to the novel concepts of the freedom of press and pluralism of opinion.

The legacy of the Soviet past, the realities of the new nation-state, and linguistic pluralism make the cultural identity of many Ukrainian media a rather complex and multidimensional phenomenon.

The new challenges of the post-Soviet Ukraine have had a great impact upon the quality of journalism. Most of the news, commentaries, articles, television, and radio programs involve their readers and listeners in serious deliberations on democratic, social, economic, political, ideological, educational, and cultural reforms and changes in the country. Media plunged into hot debates and controversies about constructing a new nation-state and in searches for its national Ukrainian identity. Some old-guard journalists stuck to past beliefs and values and continued to glorify the Soviet legacy, whereas others struggled with their Communist stereotypes, clichés, and work ethics. Most of the new generation of journalists have accepted the democratic principles of journalism and are learning how to be unbiased in their evaluations, to present pluralism of opinions, to avoid asymmetrical selectivity of facts, and to withstand prejudice and onesidedness in covering sociopolitical events in a rapidly changing society. The process has not been an easy one. Controversy exists about the excessively judgmental nature of the work of many journalists and reporters. Many mass media are accused of overloading their pages with sensational and negative information to attract readers.

In 2002, according to V. Chizh, Chair of the State Committee of Ukraine on Information Policy, TV, and Radio Broadcasting, over 15,000 printed and electronic publications were officially registered in the country, with 5,696 newspapers and magazines among them. However, it is difficult to estimate how many of these publications are still brought out because some of them have never been even produced, or were issued for a short period of time and do not exist any longer.

As democratic Ukraine opens itself to the world, the people receive greater access to international printed publications, some of which are issued in a translated version for larger audiences who do not speak foreign languages. The national printed press is published in Russian, English, German, and many other languages including the languages of indigenous domestic minorities. Due to a considerable number of mixed marriages, many Ukrainians are bilingual, generally speaking Ukrainian and Russian. Because most (62 percent) Russians and Russian-speaking people live in the eastern and southern areas, mass media in these parts of the country predominantly use Russian language, and the Ukrainian language is more often used in central and western Ukrainian media. In 2002, during the parliamentary elections to the country's highest legislative body, Verkhovna Rada, 84 percent of the population in Kharkiv, the second largest city of Ukraine, responded positively to the question included in their ballots whether they would agree that Russian language should be given the same status as the Ukrainian language. Nevertheless, some nationalists, especially in Lviv region, strongly objected to the use of the Russian language in media.

In the 1990s, the democratic developments of the country were accompanied by the fast increase in the number of publications and by the decrease in their circulation. In 1997 newspaper subscriptions dropped to 2.6 million copies and magazines subscriptions to 910,000. These negative occurrences happened because of the rising cost of publishing, printing, and delivery as well as a significant reduction of state subsidies and purchasing possibilities of population. The socioeconomic stratification of the capitalist Ukrainian society based on the wealth led to the emergence of two types of media: one for the small elite and a thin layer of middle class, and a second for low and impoverished masses.

In a country that inherited a very well-educated population from the Soviet era (98 percent literacy rate), the interest in printed and broadcast word among peoples of all ages remains very high. Although in the Soviet Ukraine many blindly believed what the media said, in the times of pluralism people struggle with the idea that they must give meaning to what they read, watch, and hear, rather than dismissing it as propaganda.

The larger part of the printed media (72.4 percent) consists of daily newspapers. The majority of the printed and electronic mass media takes place in the capital city of Kyiv. However, 64 percent of printed media circulation occurs at the local level in twenty-six regions.

The newspapers with the most subscriptions in 2002 were: Silśi in Ukrainian (560,340), Golos Ukraiiny (Voice of Ukraine ) in Ukrainian and Russian (114,904), Uryadovyi Kuríer (Government Carrier ) in Ukrainian (101,904), Komunist (Communist ) in Ukrainian and Russian (92,739), Ukraiina Moloda (Young Ukraine ) in Ukrainian (84,485), Robitnicha Gazeta (Workers' Newspaper ) in Ukrainian (71,283), Prattsya I Zarplata (Work and Salary ) in Ukrainian (49,899), Tovarisch (Comrade ) in Ukrainian and Russian (29,821), Rukh (Movement ) in Ukrainian (25,855), Osvita Ukraiiny (Ukraine's Education ) in Ukrainian (20,455), Ukraiiksi Futbol (Ukraine's Soccer ) in Ukrainian (17,203), and Molod' Ukraiiny (Youth of Ukraine ) in Ukrainian (11,405). Since many people buy newspapers retail, the real number of circulation may be much higher for some publications. For example, during a seven-year period, Uryadovyi Kuríer claimed to have had an annual circulation between 130,000 and 230,000 and Golos Ukraiiny had 170,000 versus 101,904 and 114,904.

The most influential national newspapers are: Uryadovyi Kuríer (Government Carrier ), Kyiv Post, 6 Kontinentov (6 Continents ), AVISO, Argumenty I Fakty v Ukraine (Arguments and Facts in Ukraine ), BiznesBusiness ), Vseukrainskie Vedomosti (All-Ukrainian Official Reports ), Golos Ukraiiny (Voice of UkraineDen' (Day ), DK-Zvyazok (DK-CommunicationPravda Ukraiiny (Ukraine's Truth ), Osvita UkraiinyUkraine's Education ), Robitnicha Gazeta (Workers' Gazette ), Silśsi Visti (Rural News ), Slovo Bativschiny (Word of Fatherland ), Stolichnye Novosti (Capital NewsUkraiina Moloda (Young Ukraine ), Ukraiinse Slovo (Ukrainian Word ), Ukraiinsi Futbol (Ukrainian Soccer ), and Dzerkalo Nedili (Weekly Mirror ).

Among the most influential regional and local press are Podilśka Zorya (Podilśk Dawn ) in Vinnitsi; Kochegarka (Furnace-Feeder ) in Gorlivki; V Novyi VekInto New Century ) in Dniprodzerzhins; Prospekt Pravdy (Pravda Avenue ) and Litsa (Faces ) in Dnipropetrovs; Gorod-NN (City NN ) and Donbass in Donetsk; Zaporiza Pravda, Panorama in Zaporizhzhya; Vilńyi Golos (Free Voice ) in Kolomyya; Programa ta Novyny (Program and News ) in Kremenchug; Vysokyi Zamok (High Castle ) in Lviv; Azovskie Novosti (Azov News ) in Mariupol'; Nikolaevskie Novosti (Mykolaev News ) in Mykolaev; Glasnost' and Odesskie Delovye Novosti (Odesa Business News ) in Odesa; Absolyutno Vse (Absolutely Everything ) in Sevastopol'; Kharkovsky Kuríer (Kharkiv Carrier ) in Kharkiv; and Bukovyna in Chernivtsi.

The following case gives an approximate picture of the situation of local mass media in the economically developed Luhansk region, one of the largest among 26 regions in the country with a population of approximately 3 million people. In 2002, there were 283 newspapers and 13 magazines in the region, 26 of them in the Ukrainian language, 55 in the Russian language, and 216 in both languages. Forty-three publications had general political and social information orientation, 15 were affiliated with parties, 36 were established by the industrial enterprises and organizations and reflect their life, and 31 were sponsored by the state bodies. Twenty-three publications addressed entertainment, tourist, and leisure issues. Eleven publications focused on religion, 38 on advertisement, 15 were issued for children and youth, and 29 had general information. Thirty-seven TV and radio companies with various types of ownership functioned in the region.

For over 70 years in the twentieth century, the atheistic country excluded religious perspectives from the state mass media and severely restricted the rights of religious organizations to freedom of press. The renaissance of religious printed press as well as the access of clergy to some state television and radio channels became a prominent feature of the post-Soviet Ukraine at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Both state and independent television and radio regularly broadcast services from churches, mainly from the dominant Ukrainian Orthodox Church, during the major religious holidays. In 2000, over 150 printed religious publications, excluding an unidentified number of small publications (generally parish newspapers), were issued in the country. The Moscow and Kyivan Patriarchates of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have the largest number of publications: Pravoslavnaya Gazeta (Orthodox Gazette ), Pravoslavna Volyn' (Orthodox Volyn ), Pravoslavna Tavriya (Orthodox Tavriya ), Kharkovskie Eparkhialńye Novosti (Kharkiv Eparchial News ), and Informatsiinyi Buleten' (Information Bulletin ). Dlya Tebya (For You ) of Baptist denomination, Arka (Arch ) of the Greek-Unitarian Church, Shabat Shalom, Sholem, and Khadashot Novosti (Khada-shot News ) of Jewish faith, Nova Zirka (New Star ), andZhiva Voda (Living Water ) of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Islamic Al-Bayan, Arraid, and other newspapers are freely published in the country. Despite the religious pluralism in the post-Soviet Ukraine, the equal representation of all denominations in media, especially on television, remains an issue of debate.

Ukraine produces a significant number of magazines addressing social, political, scientific, entertainment, and informational technology issues. A number of them are published in various domestic and foreign languages. Most of them are issued in Kyiv: Motor News, Office, Sobstvennik (Owner ), Internet UA, Aviatsiya I Vremya (Aviation and Time ), Bankivsa Sprava (Bank Information ), Viisáo Ukraiiny (Ukrainian Army ), Vokrug Sveta (Around the World ), Delovaya Zhizn' (Business Life ), Zovnishnya Torgovlya (Foreign Trade ), Lyudyna I Politika (People and Politics ), Naturalist, Polityka I Kuĺ tura (Politics and Culture ), Svit Nauki (Light of Science ), and Ukraiina (Ukraine ). There is a substantial growth of magazines devoted to computer technologies and entertainment. Although the country boasts a great variety of magazines, circulation is generally low, except for those on entertainment and sports. The scientific journals published by academic and research institutions reduced their circulation drastically due to the economic constraints.

Many universities have their own printed newspapers with an electronic version. Some have large circulations, including Kolega (Colleague ) in Kyivo-Mogilyansa Academy, Inzhinernyi Rabochii (Engineering Worker ) in Zaporizhzhya State Technical University, Politekhnik (Polytechnician ) in Kharkiv State Polytechnic University, Donetskii Politekhnik (Donetsk Politechnician ) in Donetsk State Technical University, and Zapoizyi Universitet (Zaporizyi University ) in Zaporizyi State University.

Whereas the Soviet Ukraine issued most of its newspapers on an almost daily basis in 4 pages, in the sovereign country the majority of the newspapers increased the number of pages up to 8 or even 24, but they reduced their appearance to three to five times a week. Once absent, the commercial and classified ads and letters from the readers expressing different opinions have found their way onto the pages of many media.

Economic Framework

The media business in Ukraine operates in an economy that is not recognized by the major world industrial countries as a market leader. Its transitional status from state-planned to supply-and-demand market has a great impact on the orientation, nature, and quality of the work of correspondents, journalists, reporters, and the content of the media. The major watershed for media business in this period lies between the powerful groups, which unofficially in Ukraine are called clans of oligarchs or magnates, and the political parties, some of which are often very closely associated with the big capital. An oligarchy consists of very rich individuals who have a monopoly in certain areas of the market and send their representatives to Verkhovna Rada and to the executive bodies of power. Oligarchs may depend upon those in the state structures that appointed them to their positions and who can dismiss, charge, or eliminate them. The oligarchic blend of party, business, and state is sometimes called the party of power.

Oligarchs do not control the printed press for profit reasons but rather for promoting their political ambitions and businesses as well as their parties' and clans' agendas and for creating a positive image. Often uninterested in learning how to do profitable media business, oligarchs' main revenues come from other businesses, frequently illegal, rather than from selling newspapers, magazines, television and radio programs, or informational services. Journalists find themselves under strict pressure from the oligarchs, which is often covert and is manifested in the form of friendly advice to avoid problems. The covert and overt pressure has a negative impact on the professionalism of journalists and the quality of their work. The picture is somewhat better with private television companies, which strive to gain profit from producing innovative shows, serial films, and entertaining programs. Television companies place more commercial advertising than the printed press. Nonetheless, it is recognized by experts on journalism that Ukraine's television and radio stations are not exempt from the influence of the oligarchs.

One of the powerful clans, Donchane controls mass media in the coal mining Donetsk region as well as the publishing house Segodnya (Today) in Kyiv. Dnipropertovsa semýa (Dnipropetrovs family) consists of several small clans in an industrial region, Dnipropetrovsk, which was known during the Soviet times as the homeland of the Communist Party leaders L. Brezhnev and V. Scherbitski and now as the bulwark of the acting President L. Kuchma. V. Pinchuk group owns the biggest cellular phone network, KyivStar GSM, a popular newspaper Fakty (Facts ), a local TV channel, and the national channel ICTV. The Dnipropetrovs media has had a pro-presidential orientation and in 2002, during the parliamentary elections it supported the Za Edynu Ukraiinu! (For Unified Ukraine!) block, a party in power. The son-in-law of President Kuchma, Pinchuk is a member of Verkhovna Rada and the owner of local metallurgic plants is the region.

A. Derkach's group owns the holding Ukrainian Press-Group that publishes Ukrainian versions of the popular Russian newspapers Komsomolaya Pravda (Komsomol Truth ), Moskovskii Komsomolets (Moscow Komsomol Member ), Argumenty I Fakty (Arguments and Facts ), and Telenedilya (TV Weekly ). Since the group purchased the copyrights for their publishing in Ukraine, the influence of Russian media owners on the content of their publications significantly diminished. The group also co-owns Stolichnye Novosti (Capital's News ) and the Web site MIGnews along with A. Rabinovich, the head of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress and an influential businessman. Derkach's press secretary S. Mustafin owns another newspaper Kyivskii Telegraf (Kyiv Telegraph ). The company also has a popular Web site called Versii (Versions). As a member of the Board of Ukrainian State TV and Radio Company, Derkach has a significant influence on the policies of broadcasting in the country.

The Lviv family controls the media in the western part of the country, and is known for its active participation in the nationalistic movement at the beginning of the 1990s. In 1997, a new governor, M. Gladii, founded a newspaper, Ukraiinski Shlyakh (Ukrainian Road ) to which every state employee had to subscribe. The newspaper became a mouthpiece of the Agrarian Party of Ukraine. It also has close connections with the Social Democratic Party headed by V. Medvedchuk, an influential businessmen in the Lviv region who, along with V. Surkis, controls the television channel Inter and the newspapers Kyivski Vedomosti (Kyiv Official Reports ) andBiznes (Business ). In 2002, Medvedchuk became the Head of the Presidential Staff Office.

Kharkiv Magnates Group operates in the city of Kharkiv. Although less influential than Donchane and Dnipropetrovsa semýa, the group owns several media in the eastern part of the country. S. Davtyanś owns the television channel, Simon, which according to the ratings yields among the Kharkiv region inhabitants only to popular national Inter and 1+1 TV channels. He also publishes a weekly Obýektivno (Objectively ). His rivalry in hotel and groceries business, NPK Company, possesses the TK TONIS-Tsentr (TONIS Center) and Vechernii Kharkov (Evening Kharkiv ) newspaper.

One niche in the media market is filled with the national and regional media owned by the state governing bodies. They are very often co-owned with the employees of the companies. For example, Uryadovyi Kuríer (Government Carrier ) belongs to the national bodies of the executive branch of the power structure. It publishes complete texts of laws, decrees, and directives of the President, the Cabinet of Ministers, commentaries and clarifications of experts on legal, scientific, and other issues. Another newspaper, Robitnicha Gazeta, published in Russian, is a cross-ownership of the Cabinet of Ministers and the staff of the newspaper. Kyivsa Pravda is sponsored by Kyiv Region Rada and the newspaper staff.

Daily Vecherni Visti (Evening News ), financed by the Company OOO "BB," is controlled by the former Prime Minister Timoshenko and the leader of the Verkhovna Rada fraction Bativschina (Fatherland), Turchinov.

Many newspapers have strong party affiliation (the fusion of parties with oligarchs should be also kept in mind). It is estimated that in 2002, approximately 75 percent of all national printed media belonged to political parties and political organizations, which provided them with major financial support. The Communist Party of Ukraine, founded in 1993 as a remnant of the former Communist Party of the Soviet Union, inherited a well-developed network of media production and distribution infrastructure throughout the country. Along with its national Komunist (Communist ), published in Kyiv, the Party issues Kommunist Donbassa (Donbas Communist ), Serp I Molot (Hammer and Sickle ), Kommunist Kyiivschiny (Kyiv Communist ), Radyansa (Soviet Luhansk ), Vynitsa Pravda, Cherkasa Pravda, Kommunist Podillya, Radyansa Volyn' (Soviet Volyn ), Pravda Melitopolya (Melitopol Truth ), and many others, which are strongly opposed to the presidential party in power.

Other influential newspapers with party affiliation and financial support include the daily Tovarisch (Comrade ), published by the Socialist Party of Ukraine, and Nasha Gazeta (Our Newspaper ), which belongs to the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine, a close affiliate of the Communist Party of Ukraine.

A series of newspapers and magazines are produced by the radical nationalistic organizations and parties, such as the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, Narodnyi Rukh Ukraiiny, and Molodijnyi Natsionalistichnyi Kongres. Kievskie Vedomosti (Kyiv Official Reports ), 100,000 copies, is owned by the Publishing House ZAO Kievskie Vedomosti and is controlled by the party Yabluko.

Silśi Visti (Rural News ) is one of the major newspapers (665,000) for people living in rural areas. Until 2002, it was oriented toward the left political spectrum, and especially toward Selyanska Partiya (Peasant Party), which expresses mainly the political views and interests of the rural population. During 2000 and 2001, the newspaper received national and international recognition for its bold activities in defense of the freedom of press. Consequently, its circulation and popularity grew considerably.

Trade unions traditionally had numerous publications. However, in the 1990s their number significantly declined as the union movement in the country and union membership subsided. A large number of printed media addressing the young audience is heavily subsidized by the government and/or public organizations. These media include Molod' Ukrainy (Ukrainian Youth ), Ukraiina Moloda (Young Ukraine ), and GronoBunch of Grapes ). Much younger populations are served by Aist (Crane ), Molodyi Bukovinets' (Young Bukovinian ), Eirika, Peremena (Lesson Break ), BarvinokEvergreenMalyatko (Kid ), Ranok (MorningSonyashnykSunflower ), and Vesela Pererva (Funny Lesson Break ). The last one is published in English, Russian, and Ukrainian languages and enjoys great popularity.

Publications for women were always popular among the Ukrainian female population. In the 1990s, they became more Westernized with advertisements and information on feminist movement, Auto-lady, EvaVozḿ i Menya (Take Me ), and Zhenskoe ZdorovýeWomen's Health ). International publications for women are also available.

The independent newspaper Dzirkalo Nedili (Weekly Mirror ), published in the Ukrainian language and owned by the editorial staff, belongs to the moderate wing of the press because it tries to balance the publication of articles of various political groups. It also has an electronic version in the Russian and English languages. This newspaper is one of the few that tries to play by the market rules.

Some media is financed by international organizations. For example, European Union sponsors a Tacis program for developing free press in Ukraine. It subsidizes KP Publications, which owns the leading English-language weekly Kyiv Post and the web site Korrespondent.net. The U.S. Department of State provides assistance in developing independent electronic media in Ukraine through its ProMedia web site and sponsoring workshops and seminars for press workers.

Because oligarchs do not allocate large investments into printed media business, printing and editing technologies might be characterized as a combination of new Western technologies and obsolete Soviet equipment. Most Ukrainian media grew out of the state-planned Soviet infrastructure of subscription and distribution. The infrastructure and its services are still controlled by the state. Subscription and delivery of printed press is carried out by the state agency UkrPoshta (Ukrainian Post). In 2002, the subscription cost of newspapers per year varied from 19.8 hrivnas (Kyivsa Pravda ), to 72 hrivnas (Uryadovyi Kuríer ), and to 124 hrivnas (Den' ). Elite publications, like 2000 and ii cost even more. Due to the frequent downfall of the national currency value and rising cost for the infrastructural services, some companies restrict subscription and sell newspapers and magazines at a "floating price" in private newsstands and kiosks or through part-time sellers.

Advertisement, once completely alien to the media, found its place onto the pages of newspapers and magazines; however, it did not play a significant role in oligarch-controlled media business. The price for private or commercial ads varies from one publication to another. Silśi Visti, the newspaper with the biggest circulation offers its services at 264 hrivnas per 20 square centimeters and 27,456 hrivnas for 2,080 square centimeters, which covers the whole page. The services of Golos, an independent newspaper in Donetsk range between 30 and 15,000 hrivnas.

It is worth noting that the purchasing power of the population considerably diminished after Ukraine became independent due to the general worsening of the economic situation. In 2002, according to the official data, 56.6 percent of population lived below the poverty line. The average salary in Ukraine was $67 a month, half of that in neighboring Russia or Belarus. Under these circumstances, many people cannot afford to subscribe even to a single publication.

Press Laws

The Ukrainian Constitution was adopted by Verkhovna Rada in 1996. Article 34 of the Constitution states:

  • Everyone is guaranteed the right to freedom of thought and speech, and to the free expression of his or her views and beliefs;
  • Everyone has the right to freely collect, store, use, and disseminate information by oral, written or other methods at his discretion;
  • The exercise of these rights may be restricted by law in the interests of national security, territorial indivisibility or public order, with the purpose of preventing disturbances or crimes, protecting the health of the population, the reputation or rights of other persons, preventing the publication of information received confidentially, or supporting the authority and impartiality of justice.

For the first time in the twentieth century, the Constitution recognized the supremacy of human rights for the Ukrainian citizens, freedom of expression, and the right to have an access to public information. The journalists whose freedoms were restrained in the Soviet Ukraine for most of the twentieth century by the ideological control of the central and local party committees received guarantees for expressing their views and opinions on political, social, economic, and other issues of professional interest.

Verkhovna Rada also passed several laws, which determined the governing structure of the mass media and created legal foundations for their work. The laws covered: TV and Radio Broadcasting, National Council of TV and Radio Broadcasting, Information, Advertisement, Printed Information (Press), Radio Frequencies Sources in Ukraine, State Support of Media and Social Security of Journalists, Procedure of Coverage of Activities of the State Power Bodies, and of the Bodies of Local Self-governance, and System of Public TV.

Though the laws guarantee the right of journalists and reporters to obtain information open to the public, outline the procedure of the appeal against the officials who deny an access to it, and establish the due process for the defense of citizens' rights to information, many provisions of the laws are not widely accepted, approved, or observed in the society. Some articles of the laws are considered by journalists controversial and even undemocratic. The registration of printed press and electronic media is performed by the Ministry of Information of Ukraine.

Censorship

The Ukrainian constitution ruled out the censorship for which the former Soviet Union was notorious during the years of Communist rule. The Article 15 of Chapter 1 states: "Censorship is prohibited." However, journalists in the late 1990s and early 2000s talked about internal censorship that rests in the minds of many journalists who are aware that they may lose their job or be fined, their salary may be reduced, or they may even be killed if they write or speak against those who control media and the media market or against the political party for which they work. Since 1992, some 18 journalists have been killed in Ukraine, and although their cases were never disclosed, it is widely believed among journalists, the political elite, and the citizens alike that their murders were politically motivated. The case of the journalist H. Gongadze, who wrote on corruption in the government structures and was found murdered in 2000, received international attention, but the case was never solved. As a reaction to the Gongadze case and to other similar cases, in 2001 President Kuchma issued the decree "On Additional Measures to Secure Unlimited Activity of Mass Media and on Further Affirmation of Freedom of Press in Ukraine," which in particular planned to provide social security to the families of journalists and reporters killed while performing their professional duty. However, a number of independent publishers and journalists expressed a concern that this decree was a mere political act to appease the European Parliament Assembly, which was to debate the issue of freedom of press in the country in 2001.

Internal censorship implies that the journalists and editors have to be very careful what they write to create only a positive image of the oligarch or the political leader who controls the newspaper. It undermines the professional ethics of the journalists, which are vital for the development of democracy and a free press.

The journalists in Kyiv and other big cities are in a better situation and can afford to criticize state officials due to the presence of international journalists, diplomats, and representatives of human rights organizations, but journalists in remote areas have to think twice what and how to write about local officials or local mini-oligarchs.

The independent press accused the party in power of threatening the opposition newspapers and of waging a repressive campaign against the companies that placed commercial advertisement in them. In 2001, on behalf of 14 independent newspapers of Ukraine, the editor-in-chief of the Grani (Sides ) newspaper sent a letter to the European Parliament Assembly in which he expressed concern about the state's repressive actions toward the press that disclosed the criminal actions of state officials.

The closure of the independent television channel in the city of Nikopol', the invasion of the office of the Internet newspaper Obcom.net under the pretext of warrant for search of the bank located in the same building, sanitary inspections for detecting the increase of radioactivity coming from the electronic devices, and threats by telephone are some of the examples of pressure that have been used against journalists by the state and the oligarchs.

In 2001, Article 182 was added to the Criminal Law of Ukraine. It made illegal the "gathering, storing, using, and disseminating [of] confidential information about any person without his consent." The article is viewed by some journalists as a threat to the rights of journalists for independent investigation, whereas their opponents argue that it defends citizens' right to privacy.

Article 32 of the Ukrainian constitution, which states "the collection, storage, use and dissemination of confidential information about a person without his or her consent shall not be permitted, except in cases determined by law, and only in the interests of national security, economic welfare and human rights," has been used by courts to persecute journalists who tried to investigate corruption cases involving state officials.

State-Media Relations

The State Committee on Information Policy, TV and Radio Broadcasting plays an important role in the area of information in the country. Its vast responsibilities include legal, technical, technological, and economic assistance and control over state, public, and private media activities in the country. It develops policies pertaining to their operation, reviews legal procedures, drafts proposals for the President and Verkhovna Rada, gathers statistical data, represents the country in international organizations, and conducts negotiations with parties involved in international cooperation. It also grants consent for the appointment to office and the dismissal from office of the Chairman of the National Council of Ukraine on TV and Radio Broadcasting by the President.

The National Council of Ukraine on TV and Radio Broadcasting and its branches in the regions oversee on a daily basis the work of television and radio companies; grant, renew, and withhold licenses for broadcasting; and conduct a competition for channel ownership and radio frequencies. The Council oversees companies to be sure that they abide by the laws and other regulating documents. Four of its members are appointed by Verkhovna Rada and the other four by the President.

In post-Soviet Ukraine, the state lost its direct ownership over media. Only 9 percent of printed press and 12 percent of the television and radio companies belong directly to the government. The majority, 52.9 percent, of printed press belongs to private citizens. A large portion of media have party, corporate, or cross-ownership.

The relations between the state, business, and mass media are far more complex than they might seem. Despite the loss of direct control, state officials have preserved some powerful levers of pressure over the most influential and widely distributed mass media. The oligarchs also play a significant role in state-media relations, often being appointed to the state bodies which oversee media or being elected to the editorial boards or boards of directors of the companies.

The relations between the state and the press remain unstable and at times controversial and unclear. On the one hand, the government insists on doing its best to promote the freedom of press, proclaims its commitment to "European choice," democratic values, and market economy. On the other hand, it does little to ensure that media operate on the basis of the rule of law with courts being the major judge in criminal cases.

The work of the National Council encountered extraordinarily negative coverage by media professionals and by members of Verkhovna Rada, who accused its members and staff of manipulating the procedures for granting and revoking licenses of television and radio stations to further their political and economic interests. This was claimed by journalists in 30 lawsuits filed in 2002. The bureaucrats are also often accused by media for creating privileges, extorting bribes, and corrupting the system of free media market. In many cases, it is very difficult to prove their illegal methods because their management of media is based on the notorious Soviet-type "telephone law," not on the principles of free market. Their arsenal of legal methods included sending commissions from sanitary, electric, fire, or other departments to find a reason for shutting down a rebellious media.

In 2002, I. Oleksandrov, the Director of the TV Company in Donetsk, was assassinated. It is not clear whether it resulted from the clandestine war of economic clans in the region or the persecution of state officials for criticism, or both. In 2001, the state revoked the frequency 100.9 from the radio company Kontinent (Continent) and granted it to another radio company Oniks (Onyx). The general director of Kontinent believed the denial followed his criticism of the party in power. He issued a statement in which he claimed that he had received several telephone calls threatening him and his family and advising them to leave the country.

The media also expressed their dissatisfaction with limited opportunities to obtain official information and, in particular, with the violation of the law On Procedures of Coverage of the Activities of the State Power Bodies and of the Bodies of Local Self-governance. Their interpretation of the law included the right to have access to the sessions of Verkhovna Rada, meetings of the Cabinet of Ministers and other state bodies, and to broadcast them to public, which they were denied for a long time. Finally in June 2002 the issue was resolved to their satisfaction.

Another sensitive issue raised by the media is a law On Mandatory TV Debates During Election Campaign of the President of Ukraine and People's Deputies of Ukraine, passed by Verkhovna Rada in 2001. The journalists view the law as an opportunity to facilitate the involvement of the people in democratic process of election and to provide them with more complete knowledge about the candidates' election platforms. However, the law was not signed by the president.

Legally, the journalists have freedom to criticize any state official, however, due to the unspoken and unwritten law, they can complain of corruption but not mention specific individuals, criticize the Mafia but not implicate particular persons, criticize national or regional governing bodies but not their specific members, use harsh words to blame oligarchy but not investigate activities of any of them, and criticize the party of power but not mention its key players.

As Ukraine embarked on the road of free market, many publishing enterprises were not able to start their business without initial support from the state budget. The law On State Support of Mass Media and Social Security of Journalists allows the government to subsidize up to 50 percent of children's and youth media as well as scientific journals published by universities (above level III), research institutions, and media that promote the development of languages and culture of ethnic minorities. These publications are not to include commercial organizations or private party as sponsors. The State Committee on Information Policy, TV and Radio Broadcasting decides the eligibility of each publication for subsidies. In 2002, the Cabinet of Ministers uplifted restrictions outlined in the law. This step received harsh criticism by many independent journalists who evaluated it as a move toward strengthening the state control over media and creating additional opportunities for corruption and bribery among the state bureaucrats.

Attitude toward Foreign Media

The democratic Ukraine pursues the policy of opening the country to foreign mass media and providing conditions for the work of international correspondents, journalists, and reporters. According to the 1992 Agreement on Visa-Free Migration of the Commonwealth of Independent States Citizens, the correspondents from the former Soviet republics do not need to obtain a visa. The same procedure exists for the members of the European Union, Canada, Slovak Republic, United States, Turkey, Switzerland, and Japan in accordance with the Decrees by Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers No. 750 of May 5, 2000, No. 1376 of September 1, 2000, and No. 192 of February 28, 2001.

International organizations like Reporters Without Borders, Freedom House, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Amnesty International implement their watch functions for the observance of journalists' rights in the country. In 2000 annual report, the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists placed Ukraine sixth on the list of top 10 persecutors of the media.

Jammed during the Soviet period, foreign television and radio stations freely broadcast in the country, or their programs are aired by the Ukrainian media. No restrictions on foreign publications exist, except those that promote hatred, racism, pornography, or threaten the security of the country.

News Agencies

Until 1991, Ukraine had one republican news agency that monopolized all information. The complex state, social, political, economical, and cultural developments of a new country engaged the emergence of diverse information agencies addressing novel demands and challenges. Among the 15 major agencies operating in Ukraine, the largest and most influential of them include: Derzhavne Informatsiine Agentstvo Ukraiiny, DINAU (State Information Agency of Ukraine), the oldest Ukraiinse Natsionalńe Informatsiine Agentstvo (Ukrainian National Information Agency) founded in 1918 as a part of the TASS media agency of the Soviet Union; the recently created ones Expres-Inform, Iterfax-Ukraine, Rukh Pres, Ukraiinske Nezalezhne Informatsiine Agenstvo Novyn (Ukrainian Independent Information News Agency), Ukraiinsa Nezalezhna Informatsiina Agentsiya "Respublika" (Ukrainian Independent Information Agency "Republic"), and Ukrainsi Novyny (Ukrainian News). These agencies disseminate official and general public information and information services. Avesta-Ukraiina, Groshi ta Svit (Money and World), Infinservis, Ukraiinsyi Finansovyi Server (Ukrainian Financial Server) agencies provide analytical information and services about the conditions of financial markets, Inforbank agency distributes services related to banking and stock exchange matters. Many agencies became members of international alliances of news press agencies and have correspondent bureaus in all 26 regions in Ukraine and in 17 other countries.

Along with the domestic information agencies, there are a number of international news bureaus in Ukraine: Associated Press and United Press International (United States), Agence France Presse (France), Reuters (United Kingdom), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Canada), ITAR-TASS (Russia), Information Agency Novosti (Russia), Belopan (Belarus), and Polska Agencja Pracowa (Poland).

Broadcast Media

According to the Unified State Register of Enterprises and Organizations of Ukraine, there were 752 TV and radio stations registered in Ukraine in 2001. The independent media estimated that a large number of radio stations broadcast illegally, without licenses.

The largest TV and radio network belongs to Derzhavne Tele Radio Ukraiiny (State TV and Radio of Ukraine), which controls the national television channels UT-1 and UT-2, National Radio Company of Ukraine, the Promin radio program, 26 regional state television companies, Sevastopol' and Kyiv regional state television-radio companies, and the television-radio company Krym (Crimea).

The study of Socis-Gallap shows that the largest portion (98 percent) of Ukraine is covered by the television signal of the state UT-1 Channel. It is the most influential in the rural areas with a significant Communist electorate, which has nostalgic sentiments for the Soviet past. The European Institute of Media monitored the parliamentary elections in Ukraine in 2002 and came to the conclusion that the state-controlled television network, especially the state channel UT-1 allocated over 50 percent of news time to the pro-presidential block Za Edynu Ukraiinu! (For Unified Ukraine!). The opposition political block, Nasha Ukraiina (Our Ukraine), and the Timoshenko block were covered mainly in negative terms on this channel.

Eighty-five percent of the country's territory is covered by the state UT-2 Channel. The television broadcast of the UT-3 Channel Inter reaches about 60 percent of the country. Despite its extensive coverage of the territory, UT-1 Channel and UT-2 Channel are less popular and their ratings are lower than those of UT-3 Channel Inter.

The Channel Inter, a leader on the media market, was sponsored in 1997 by several companies, organizations, and individuals. The Russian television company ORT was the biggest financial contributor. However, its influence on the policy of Inter became rather limited at the beginning of the 2000s. It is a very modern, well-equipped company with a number of correspondents in Kabul, Moscow, and New York. Many of the employees belong to the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine, and they are criticized for biased coverage of other political parties.

Non-governmental television companies include ICTV, tele-radio company Zolotye Vorota (Golden gate), TK TONIS (TV TONIS), and Norma (Norm). Among the most popular TV channels are 1+1, Novyi Kanal (New Channel), and CTB. The largest private channel, 1+1, was initially sponsored in 1996 by the Central European Media Enterprises Ltd., which provided significant financial support to the media of Slovakia, Slovenia, and Romania. In 2002, it owned 30 percent of the channel stock of the 1+1 channel.

Novyi Kanal developed fast in the late 1990s and by 2002, it had gained great popularity, especially in the southern region of the country. ICTV enjoys popularity (12 percent of the audience) in the center of Ukraine. Most investments come to the channel from Russian businesses. In the 2002 parliamentary elections, the Novyi Kanal and CTB channels were recognized by the European Institute of Media as the most neutral channels in covering the campaign. ICTV, mostly financed by the U.S. Story First Communication, enjoys recognition among the professionals as the most rapidly developing political TV. TK TONIS, the first national independent television company, founded in 1989, is also a successful company. Its network covers 60 percent of the country.

The following independent radio stations enjoy greater popularity among the younger audience due to a strong focus on entertainment, sports, and tourist information: Gala Radio, Music Radio in Kyiv, Slavutich and Bulava radio stations in Kherson, and Donetskie Novosti, Evropa Plyus, and Radio DA! in Donetsk.

The non-governmental television and radio companies exceed by several times the amount of broadcasting time by the state companies. For example, in Kyiv, the proportion is one to five in favor of private and collectively owned companies. The greatest number of TV and radio broadcasting companies are concentrated in Kyiv (296), Kharkiv region (181), and in Volyn' region (11).

Most of the people of Ukraine can also receive ORT, RTR, and NTV channels from Russia. Their accessibility to the Ukrainian population diminished because of some restrictive policies and this caused concern among the Russian minority. According to the poll conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation in 2002, only 61 percent (98 percent during the Soviet period) of its respondents had access to Russian television channels.

In 2002, Ukraine launched the project Gromandse Movlennya (Municipal Broadcasting) for TransCarpathia, the western part of the country, to facilitate broadcasting in Roma, Rumanian, Hungarian, and other languages to the ethnic minorities of the area.

In 2000, Verkhovna Rada passed a law On the Establishment of the System of Public TV and Radio Broadcasting in Ukraine. According to the law, the National TV and Radio Company was to provide assistance in creating independent public television and radio company by the year 2002. However, the law did not go into effect due to the struggle for the influence on television and radio between the oligarchs and state structures.

Nearly half of the TV audience (49 percent) prefers to watch news programs produced by the Ukrainian companies, especially the local ones. In 2002, in accordance with polls, TCN, UTN, Panorama, Fakty (Facts ), Reportyor (Reporter ), and ViknaWindows ) were the most popular news programs.

Ukraine has a highly developed system of wire radio broadcasting. However, FM radio stations have received greater development in the recent years.

To stop the violation of rights on intellectual property, which became a problem in post-Soviet Ukraine, the Copy Right Agency was established. In 2002, the agency developed a system of monitoring television and radio programs and signed agreements with five television, four radio companies, and 5,000 individuals on protecting their copyrights. It also plans to open its branches in the regional capital cities.

Electronic News Media

In 2001, according to some expert evaluations, there were over 300,000 Internet users in Ukraine. The development of Ukraine computer networks is dynamic, although its pace is not as fast as in Russia. Fifty percent of the electronic net market is in the capital Kyiv, followed by Donetsk, Dnipropetrovs, Kharkiv, and Odesa. More electronic media can be found in the eastern region and less in the western region of the country. Many electronic news media are owned or controlled by the same oligarchs who own or control other mass media. However, electronic media enjoy greater freedom and independence. The Internet media are more professional, mobile, and diverse, and the forum provides more opportunities for creative journalism. Thus some journalists who find it impossible to work in the state-controlled media eagerly accept offers to work in electronic media.

The electronic media face many problems similar to those of other media. Due to the cost, less than 2 percent of the population has access to electronic media. Electronic media are also confronted by the government's attempts to take control over them via licensing. However, authorities realize that if they introduce such control, then the electronic media will abandon the domestic servers for the foreign ones, and the state will lose control. Electronic media have yet to become a major actor on the political arena, especially at the local rural level.

The country's significant Web sites include the Sputnik Media Group (http://sputnikmedia.net), which is a part of the KP Publications company. Sputnik Media owns two electronic newspapers, Korrespondent.net and Bigmir.com , both of which have gained acknowledgment as serious publications. The Internet newspaper, Ukrainsa Pravda, (Ukrainian Truth ; http://pravda.com.ua) is considered an opposition publication. It became popular after the murder of its first editor H. Gongadze. The newspaper is sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Vidrozhdennya Foundation, and Soros Foundation. ForUm (http://www.for-ua.com), UA Today (http://uatoday.net), Mignews (www.mignews.com.ua), Avanport (http://www.avanport.com), Komp-Partiya, Proekt Part.org.ua (www.part.org.ua), ProUA (www.proua.com), and Versii (www.versii.com) also maintain influential Web sites.

The online press has received a significant impetus for its development in the 1990s and 2000s with the international assistance. For example, Sapienti, a Ukrainian-U.S. online journal, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and IREX in 1998, publishes information on a variety of social, cultural, and educational issues in and out of Ukraine.

Education & Training

Ukrainian institutions of higher learning have developed an effective system of preparing journalists and other professionals for the mass media. Their curricula include the comprehensive study of legal, theoretical, and practical components as well as the study of the current world press. However, despite the impressive changes in the curriculum, some basic features of Soviet journalism and especially economic functioning of media remain unchanged. Like other former Soviet republics, Ukraine struggles with the legacy of the Communist journalism and its ethics. The most popular institutions that train mass media professionals are located in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Dnipropetrovsk.

In the Soviet Ukraine, most of the journalists received their education at the College of Journalism of the Kiev University. The College was the major venue for getting a job as journalist. After Ukraine became sovereign, the University was renamed the T. G. Shevchenko National University, and the College was transformed into the Institute of Journalism. The Institute graduates 140 to 150 new journalists every year. However, 70 percent of them find a job in fields unrelated to media. The graduates of other majors from Ukrainian universities also join the media core.

There are over 30 organizations that claim to defend the rights of the journalists and other media professionals. The largest is the Natsionalńa Spivka Zhurnalistiv (National Union of Journalists), which became a member of the International Federation of Journalists in 2002. In 2001, during the parliamentary election campaign, a group of journalists created the Commission on Journalist Ethics. The journalists were disappointed with the way the National Union of Journalists represented and defended their interests in the government and public organizations and were also worried by the lack of professionalism among journalists. The Commission adopted the Code of Journalists for Clean Elections signed by 100 journalists and editors of national and regional press to secure objectivity in covering and informing people about Verkhovna Rada election campaign. However, some members of the commission became candidates for the parliament or joined some political parties' campaigns, thus making the commission's work less effective. When voters rejected most of the candidates heavily advertised by media during the 2002 parliamentary elections, the crisis of trust for media on the part of the general public became evident. The members of the commission learned their lesson and resumed their efforts in promoting principles of unbiased coverage of events in the press. They also planned to combat what they called dirty technologies used by some journalists and reporters who intruded into private lives of individuals they wrote about.

The Association of Employees of Mass Media unites professionals from other sectors of media business. Ukraine inherited the Soviet traditions of remunerating mass media professionals. The highest of them is The Honored Journalist of Ukraine award granted by the President of the country on the national Journalist Day or the Day of Radio, TV, and Communication Employees holidays. The Ukrainian journalists also celebrate the World Press Freedom Day. Ukraine is a member of the Association of National Information Agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Summary

From 1991 to 2002, Ukraine achieved numerous accomplishments in democratizing mass media by adjusting to the free market rule, introducing electronic press, and educating critically thoughtful journalists. The country adopted the constitution and several laws that guarantee freedom of speech, information, and press, and protection from censorship. The greater variety in state and private media is better equipped to meet the needs and interests of the country's diverse population. Opposition media came out of hiding or was created to criticize authorities including the President. Journalists became more active in obtaining and delivering information. Themes and topics once forbidden by Communists for public discussion, as well as classified and commercial advertising found its way onto the pages of newspapers, television screens, and radio waves. People also began to receive access to international print, television, and radio sources.

Overall, however, the situation with media is sometimes described as "revolution unfinished." Mass media in Ukraine reflect the perils of the period of transition from Communism to democracy and from state-owned to free market economy, which are typical of many East European countries and former Soviet Union republics. The consequences of the dismantling of Soviet structures and economic recession exposed Ukraine to numerous challenges and problems. The intellectuals express concerns about the decrease of the analytical materials and the disproportionate increase in entertaining and sensational information. The future of mass media and the quality of journalism depend upon the competition among various influential, political, financial, and industrial clans which unfortunately is accompanied by corruption and crime as numerous parties struggle for control over print, television, radio, and electronic media.

To be truly free, mass media must gain independence from financial oligarchs, industrial magnates, parties, and state control in order to create structures that will lobby media interests in government and in Verkhovna Rada.

Bibliography

Khrushevsky, Michael. A History of Ukraine. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1970.

Kuzio, Taras. Ukraine: State and Nation Building. New York: Routledge, 1998.

Nahailo, Bohdan. Ukraine Resurgence. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999.

Reid, Anna. Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997.

"Soviet Ulkraine." Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedia. Kiev: Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian S.S.R., 1969.

Szporluk, Roman. National Identity and Ethnicity in Russia and the New States of Eurasia. Vol. 2. New York: M. E. Sharp, 1994.

Tismaneane, Vladimir. Political Culture and Civil Society in the Former Soviet Union. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharp, 1995.

Wanner, Catherine. Burden of Dreams: History and Identity in Post-Soviet Ukraine. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998.

Grigory Dmitriyev

Arina Dmitriyeva

views updated

Ukraine

Compiled from the August 2006 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Ukraine

PROFILE

PEOPLE

HISTORY

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

ECONOMY

FOREIGN RELATIONS

U.S.-UKRAINIAN RELATIONS

TRAVEL

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 233,000 sq. mi., the largest country wholly in Europe.

Cities: Capital—Kiev (often transliterated as Kyiv from Ukrainian, pop. 2.8 million). Other cities—Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Odesa, Lviv.

Terrain: A vast plain mostly bounded by the Carpathian mountains in the southwest and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the South.

Climate: Continental temperate, except in southern Crimea, which has a sub-tropical climate.

People

Population: (est.) 46.9 million.

Nationality: Noun—Ukrainian(s); adjective—Ukrainian.

Ethnic groups: Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians, Moldovans, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Jews, Poles, Crimean Tatars, and other groups.

Religions: Ukrainian Orthodoxy, Ukrainian Greek Catholicism, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, others.

Languages: Ukrainian (official), Russian, others.

Education: Literacy—98%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—22/1,000; life expectancy—61.6 yrs. males, 72.8 yrs. females.

Work force: 23 million. Industry and construction—32%; agriculture and forestry—24%; health, education, and culture—17%; transport and communication—7%.

Government

Type: Parliamentary-presidential.

Independence: August 24, 1991.

Constitution: First post-Soviet constitution adopted June 28, 1996, amended January 1, 2006.

Government branches: Executive—president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative—450-member unicameral parliament, the Supreme Rada (members elected to 4-year terms). Judicial—Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, local courts, and Constitutional Court.

Political parties: Wide range of active political parties and blocs, from leftist to center and center-right to ultra-nationalist.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Political subdivisions: 24 provinces (oblasts), Crimean autonomous republic, and two cities with special status—Kiev and Sevastopol.

Economy

Nominal GDP: (2005 est.) $82.9 billion.

Annual growth rate: (2005 gov. est.) 2.6%.

Nominal per capita GDP: (2005 est.) $1739.

Natural resources: Vast fertile lands, coal, ironstone, complex ore, various large mineral deposits, timber.

Agriculture: Products—Grain, sugar, sunflower seeds.

Industry: Types—Ferrous metals and products, oil and gas transport, coke, fertilizer, airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, tractors.

Trade: (2005) Exports of goods and services—$40.4 billion: Ferrous and nonferrous metals, mineral products, chemicals, energy transport services, machinery, transport equipment, grain, and textiles. Imports—$39.05 billion: Energy, mineral fuel and oil, machinery and parts, transportation equipment, chemicals, textiles, and paper.

PEOPLE

The population of Ukraine is about 46.9 million. Ethnic Ukrainians make up about 73% of the total; ethnic Russians number about 22%, ethnic Belarusians number about 5%. The industrial regions in the east and southeast are the most heavily populated, and the urban population makes up about 67% of the population. Ukrainian and Russian are the principal languages. Although Russian is very widely spoken, in the 1989 census (the latest official figures) 88% of the population identified Ukrainian as their native language. There are also small Tatar and Hellenic minorities centered mainly on Crimea. The dominant religions are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (which practices Orthodox rites but recognizes the Roman Catholic Pope as head of the Church). The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is divided between a Moscow Patriarchy and a separate Kiev Patriarchy, which was established after Ukrainian independence and which declared independence from Moscow. In addition to these, there are also the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

The birth rate of Ukraine is declining. About 70% of adult Ukrainians have a secondary or higher education. Ukraine has about 150 colleges and universities, of which the most important are at Kiev, Lviv, and Kharkiv. There are about 70,000 scholars in 80 research institutes.

HISTORY

The first identifiable groups to populate what is now Ukraine were Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Goths, among other nomadic peoples who arrived throughout the first millennium B.C. These peoples were well known to colonists and traders in the ancient world, including Greeks and Romans, who established trading outposts that eventually became city-states. Slavic tribes occupied central and eastern Ukraine in the sixth century A.D. and played an important role in the establishment of Kiev. Kievan Rus Prince Volodymyr converted the Kievan nobility and most of the population to Christianity in 988. Situated on lucrative trade routes, Kiev quickly prospered as the center of the powerful state of Kievan Rus. In the 11th century, Kievan Rus was, geographically, the largest state in Europe. Conflict among the feudal lords led to decline in the 12th century. Mongol raiders razed Kiev in the 13th century.

Most of the territory of what is modern Ukraine was annexed by Poland and Lithuania in the 14th century, but during that time, Ukrainians began to conceive of themselves as a distinct people, a feeling that survived subsequent partitioning by greater powers over the next centuries. Ukrainian peasants who fled the Polish effort to force them into servitude came to be known as Cossacks and earned a reputation for their fierce martial spirit and love of freedom. In 1667, Ukraine was partitioned between Poland and Russia. In 1793, when Poland was partitioned, much of modern-day Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire.

The 19th century found the region largely agricultural, with a few cities and centers of trade and learning. The region was under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the extreme west and the Russian Empire elsewhere. Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were inspired by the nationalistic spirit stirring other European peoples existing under other imperial governments and were determined to revive Ukrainian linguistic and cultural traditions and reestablish a Ukrainian state. Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), national hero of Ukraine, presented the intellectual maturity of the Ukrainian language and culture through his work as a poet and artist. Imperial Russia, however, imposed strict limits on attempts to elevate Ukrainian culture, even banning the use and study of the Ukrainian language.

When World War I and the Russian revolution shattered the Habsburg and Russian empires, Ukrainians declared independent statehood. In 1917 the Central Rada proclaimed Ukrainian autonomy and in 1918, following the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd, the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence under President Mykhaylo Hrushevsky. After three years of conflict and civil war, however, the western part of Ukrainian territory was incorporated into Poland, while the larger, central and eastern regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922 as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The Ukrainian national idea persevered during the twenties, but with Stalin’s rise to power and the campaign for collectivization, the Soviet leadership imposed a campaign of terror that ravaged the intellectual class. Stalin also created an artificial famine (called the Holodomor in Ukrainian) as part of his forced collectivization policies, which killed millions of previously independent peasants and others throughout the country. Estimates of deaths from the 1932-33 famine alone range from 3 million to 7 million.

When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, some Ukrainians, particularly in the west, welcomed what they saw as liberation from Communist rule, but this did not last as they quickly came to understand the nature of Nazi rule. Nazi brutality was directed principally against Ukraine’s Jews (of whom an estimated 1 million were killed), but also against many other Ukrainians. Babyn Yar in Kiev was the site of one of the most horrific Nazi massacres of Ukrainian Jews, ethnic Ukrainians, and many others. Kiev and other parts of the country were heavily damaged.

After the Nazi and Soviet invasions of Poland in 1939, the western Ukrainian regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union. Armed resistance against Soviet authority continued as late as the 1950s. During periods of relative liberalization—as under Nikita Khrushchev from 1955 to 1964 and during the period of “perestroika” under Mikhail Gorbachev—Ukrainian communists pursued nationalist objectives. The 1986 explosion at the Chornobyl (Chernobyl in Russian) nuclear power plant, located in the Ukrainian SSR, and the Soviet Government’s initial efforts to conceal the extent of the catastrophe from its own people and the world, was a water-shed for many Ukrainians in exposing the severe problems of the Soviet system. Ukraine became an independent

state on August 24, 1991, and was a co-founder of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, although it has not officially joined the organization.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Ukraine has a parliamentary-presidential system of government with separate executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The president nominates the defense and foreign ministers, and the Prosecutor General and Chief of the State Security Service (SBU), each of whom must be confirmed by the parliament. Beginning in 2006, the 450-member unicameral parliament (Supreme Rada) names the prime minister, who in turn will nominate other ministers. The Supreme Rada initiates legislation, ratifies international agreements, and approves the budget. Its members are elected to five-year terms. Following free elections held on December 1, 1991, Leonid M. Kravchuk, former chairman of the Ukrainian Rada, was elected for a five-year term, and became Ukraine’s first president. At the same time, a referendum on independence was approved by more than 90% of the voters. Political groupings in Ukraine include former communists, socialists, agrarians, liberals, nationalists, and various centrist and independent forces.

Shortly after becoming independent, Ukraine named a parliamentary commission to prepare a new constitution, adopted a multi-party system, and adopted legislative guarantees of civil and political rights for national minorities. A new, democratic constitution was adopted on June 28, 1996, which mandates a pluralistic political system with protection of basic human rights and liberties. Amendments that took effect January 1, 2006, shifted significant powers from the president to the prime minister and Supreme Rada.

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by law, although religious organizations are required to register with local authorities and with the central government. Minority rights are respected in accordance with a 1991 law guaranteeing ethnic minorities the right to schools and cultural facilities and the use of national languages in conducting personal business. According to the constitution, Ukrainian is the only official state language. In Crimea and some parts of eastern Ukraine—areas with substantial ethnic Russian minorities—local and regional governments permit Russian as a language for local official correspondence.

Freedom of speech and press are guaranteed by law and by the constitution, and authorities generally respect these rights. Prior to the “Orange Revolution,” however, authorities sometimes interfered with the news media through intimidation and other forms of pressure. In particular, the failure of the previous government to conduct a thorough, credible, and transparent investigation into the 2000 disappearance and murder of independent journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, in which then-government officials have been credibly implicated, negatively affected Ukraine’s international image. Freedom of the media and respect for citizens’ rights have increased markedly since the government of President Yushchenko took office in January 2005.

Ethnic tensions in Crimea during 1992 prompted a number of pro-Russian political organizations to advocate secession of Crimea and annexation to Russia. (Crimea was ceded by the RFSSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954, in recognition of historic links and for economic convenience, to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine’s union with Russia.) In July 1992, the Crimean and Ukrainian parliaments determined that Crimea would remain under Ukrainian jurisdiction while retaining significant cultural and economic autonomy.

Official trade unions have been grouped under the Federation of Trade Unions. A number of independent unions, which emerged during 1992, among them the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine, have formed the Consultative Council of Free Trade Unions. While the right to strike is legally guaranteed, strikes based solely on political demands are prohibited.

In July 1994, Leonid Kuchma was elected as Ukraine’s second president in free and fair elections. Kuchma was reelected in November 1999 to another five-year term, with 56% of the vote. International observers criticized aspects of the election, especially slanted media coverage; however, the outcome of the vote was not called into question. Ukraine’s March 2002 parliamentary elections were characterized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as flawed, but an improvement over the 1998 elections. The pro-presidential For a United Ukraine bloc won the largest number of seats, followed by the reformist Our Ukraine bloc of former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko, and the Communist Party. There are 450 seats in parliament, all chosen from party lists by proportional vote.

The campaign leading to the October 31, 2004 presidential election was characterized by widespread violations of democratic norms, including government intimidation of the opposition and of independent media, abuse of state administrative resources, highly skewed media coverage, and numerous provocations. The two major candidates—Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader (and former Prime Minister) Viktor Yushchenko—each garnered between 39% and 40% of the vote and proceeded to a winner-take-all second round. The November 21 runoff election was marred by credible reports of widespread and significant violations, including illegal expulsion of opposition representatives from election commissions, multiple voting by busloads of people, abuse of absentee ballots, reports of coercion of votes in schools and prisons, and an abnormally high number of (easily manipulated) mobile ballot box votes. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Kiev and other cities to protest electoral fraud and express support for Yushchenko, and conducted ongoing peaceful demonstrations during what came to be known as the “Orange Revolution.”

The OSCE International Election Observation Mission found that the November 21, 2004 run-off presidential election “did not meet a considerable number of OSCE commitments and Council of Europe and other European standards for democratic electionS… Overall, State executive authorities and the Central Election Commission (CEC) displayed a lack of will to conduct a genuine democratic election process.” Other independent observers were similarly critical. On November 24, 2004, the CEC declared Prime Minister Yanukovych the winner with 49.46% compared to 46.61% for Yushchenko. The U.S. and Europe refused to accept the result as legitimate due to the numerous, uninvestigated reports of fraud. European leaders traveled to Kiev to mediate a political solution between the parties. On November 27, Ukraine’s Supreme Rada passed a resolution declaring that the election results as announced did not represent the will of the people. On December 1, the Rada passed a vote of “no confidence” in the government. On December 3, Ukraine’s Supreme Court invalidated the CEC’s announced results and mandated a repeat of the second round vote to take place on December 26. An agreement mediated by the European leaders resulted in new legislation being passed by the Rada and signed by the President December 8. The electoral law was reformed to close loopholes that had permitted pervasive electoral fraud. The Constitution was amended, effective not earlier than September 2005, to transfer power, especially with respect to appointment of Ministers, from the President to the Cabinet. Yet another law was passed, in first reading, to devolve some powers of the central government to regional councils. In addition, Prime Minister Yanukovych requested and was granted a leave of absence, and Prosecutor General Hennadiy Vasilyev submitted his resignation.

The December 26 re-vote took place in an atmosphere of calm. While irregularities were noted, observers found no systemic or massive fraud. The OSCE Mission noted that “campaign conditions were markedly more equal, observers received fewer reports of pressure on voters, the election administration was more transparent and the media more balanced than in previous rounds… in our collective view Ukraine’s elections have moved substantially closer to meeting OSCE and other European standards.” On January 10, 2005, after the CEC and the Supreme Court had considered and rejected numerous complaints and appeals filed by the Yanukovych campaign, the CEC certified the results. Yushchenko won 51.99% of the votes, with 44.20% for Yanukovych. 2.34% voted against both, and 1.45% of ballots were invalidated. The Yanukovych campaign filed one last appeal with the Supreme Court, which rejected it on January 20 and authorized the publication of the results in “Government Courier” and “Voice of Ukraine,” rendering them official and final. President Yushchenko was inaugurated January 23, 2005.

Ukraine held parliamentary and local elections on March 26, 2006. International observers noted that conduct of the Rada election was in line with international standards for democratic elections, making this the most free and fair in Ukraine’s history. Unlike the first rounds of the 2004 presidential election, candidates and parties were able to express themselves freely in a lively press and assembled without hindrance. There was no systemic abuse of administrative resources as there had been under the previous regime. The Party of Regions and the bloc of former Prime Minster Tymoshenko, whose government the President dismissed in September 2005, finished ahead of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc. Other parties passing the 3% threshold to enter parliament were the Socialist Party of Ukraine and the Communist Party of Ukraine. No party held the majority of Rada seats needed to form a government. Following four months of difficult negotiations, a government led by Prime Minister Yanukovych and including representatives from the Party of Regions, Our Ukraine, and the Socialist Party took office on August 4, 2006.

Security forces are controlled by the president, although they are subject to investigation by a permanent parliamentary commission. Surveillance is permitted for reasons of national security. After independence, Ukraine established its own military forces of about 780,000 from the troops and equipment inherited from the Soviet Union. Under defense reform legislation passed in 2004, Ukraine is strengthening civilian control of the military, professionalizing its non-commissioned officer (NCO) corps, modernizing force structure to improve interoperability with NATO, and reducing troop numbers, all with an eye toward achieving NATO standards. Current force levels are approximately 225,000 (plus 90,000 civilian workers in the Ministry of Defense). The Ministry of Defense plans to continue force reductions by approximately 20,000 personnel per year to reach a final end state of 143,000 by 2011. Ukraine’s stated national policy is Euro-Atlantic integration, including with both NATO and the European Union. NATO offered Ukraine an “Intensified Dialogue on Membership Issues” in April 2005. Ukraine had previously signed an agreement with NATO on using Ukraine’s strategic airlift capabilities and has been an active participant in Partnership for Peace exercises, in Balkans peace-keeping, and Coalition operations in Iraq. Ukrainian units have been serving in the U.S. sector in Kosovo, and served in the Polish-led division in Iraq. Currently, Ukraine participates in 10 peacekeeping missions in 8 countries and has up to 50 troops serving in supporting roles in Iraq.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 12/15/2006

President: Viktor YUSHCHENKO

Prime Minister: Viktor YANUKOVYCH

First Dep. Prime Min.: Mykola AZAROV

Dep. Prime Min.: Andriy KLYUYEV

Dep. Prime Min.: Volodymyr RYBAK

Dep. Prime Min.: Dmytro TABACHNYK

Min. of the Cabinet of Ministers: Anatoliy TOLSTOUKHOV

Min. for Liaison with Parliament & Other State Institutions: Ivan TKALENKO

Min. of Agriculture: Yuriy MELNYK

Min. of Architecture & Construction: Volodymyr RYBAK

Min. of the Coal Industry: Serhiy TULUB

Min. of Culture & Tourism: Yuriy BOHUTSKYY

Min. of Defense: Anatoliy HRYTSENKO

Min. of Economics: Volodymyr MAKUKHA

Min. of Emergencies: Nestor SHUFRYCH

Min. of Environmental Protection: Vasyl DZHARTY

Min. of Family, Children, & Sports: Viktor KORZH

Min. of Finance: Mykola AZAROV

Min. of Foreign Affairs: Borys TARASYUK

Min. of Fuel & Energy: Yuriy BOYKO

Min. of Health: Yuriy POLYACHENKO

Min. of Industrial Policy: Anatoliy HOLOVKO

Min. of Internal Affairs: Vasyl TSUSHKO

Min. of Justice: Oleksandr LAVRYNOVYCH

Min. of Labor & Social Policy: Mykhaylo PAPIYEV

Min. of Science & Education: Stanislav NIKOLAYENKO

Min. of Transport & Communications: Mykola RUDKOVSKYY

State Sec. of the President: Viktor BALOHA

Sec., National Security & Defense Council: Vitaliy HAYDUK

Chmn., Security Services:

Prosecutor General: Oleksandr MEDVEDKO

Chmn., State Property Fund: Valentyna SEMENYUK

Chmn., National Bank: Volodymyr STELMAKH

Ambassador to the US: Oleh SHAMSHUR

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Valeriy KUCHYNSKYY

Ukraine maintains an embassy at 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007 (tel. 202-349-2920).

ECONOMY

With rich farmlands, a well-developed industrial base, highly trained labor, and a good education system, Ukraine has the potential to become a major European economy. After eight straight years of sharp economic decline from the early to late 1990s, the standard of living for most citizens declined more than 50%, leading to widespread poverty. Beginning in 2000 economic growth has averaged 7.4% per year, reaching 12.1% in 2004, but falling to 2.6% in 2005. Personal incomes are rising. The macro economy is stable, with the hyperinflation of the early post-Soviet period now reduced to just over 10%. Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, was introduced in September 1996 and has remained stable despite a small nominal appreciation in April 2005. While economic growth continues, Ukraine’s long-term economic prospects depend on acceleration of market reforms. The economy remains burdened by excessive government regulation, corruption, and lack of law enforcement, and while the Yushchenko government has taken steps against corruption and small and medium enterprises have been largely privatized, much remains to be done to restructure and privatize key sectors such as energy and telecommunications.

Ukraine is rich in natural resources. It has a major ferrous metal industry, producing cast iron, steel, and steel pipe, and its chemical industry produces coke, mineral fertilizers, and sulfuric acid. Manufactured goods include airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, and tractors. It also is a major producer of grain, sunflower seeds, and sugar and has a broad industrial base, including much of the former USSR’s space and rocket industry. Although oil and natural gas reserves are small, it has important energy sources, such as coal, and large mineral deposits, and is one of the world’s leading energy transit countries, providing transportation of Russian and Caspian oil and gas across its territory.

Ukraine encourages foreign trade and investment. The foreign investment law allows Westerners to purchase businesses and property, to repatriate revenue and profits, and to receive compensation in the event that property were to be nationalized by a future government. However, complex laws and regulations, poor corporate governance, weak enforcement of contract law by courts and corruption have discouraged broad foreign direct investment in Ukraine. While there is a functioning stock market, the lack of protection for minority shareholder rights severely restricts portfolio investment activities. Total foreign direct investment in Ukraine was approximately $16.375 billion as of January 1, 2006. At $349 per capita, this was one of the lowest figures in the region.

While countries of the former Soviet Union remain important trading partners, especially Russia and Turkmenistan for energy imports, Ukraine’s trade is becoming more diversified. Europe is now the destination of over one third of Ukraine’s exports, while around one quarter of Ukraine’s exports go to Russia and the CIS. Exports of machinery and machine tools are on the rise relative to steel, which constitutes over 30% of exports. Ukraine imports over 80% of its oil and 73% of its natural gas. Russia ranks as Ukraine’s principal supplier of oil and Russian firms now own and/or operate the majority of Ukraine’s refining capacity. Natural gas imports come from Russia and Turkmenistan, which deliver the gas through a pipeline system owned and controlled by Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas monopoly. In 2005 and 2006, Ukraine switched from barter to cash payments for gas imports. Ukraine controls the gas pipelines on its territory that are also used to transit Russian gas to Western Europe. The complex relationship between supplier, transporter, and consumer has led to some tensions, including Russia’s decision to cut off gas supplies for three days in January 2006.

The Government of Ukraine’s 12-month $605 million precautionary standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expired in March 2005. In Article IV Consultations, the IMF recommends fiscal discipline and structural reforms, particularly of Ukraine’s pension system. In July 2005, the World Bank approved a $250 million Development Policy Loan (formerly a Pro-grammatic Adjustment Loan) to support reforms to improve the investment climate, public administration and financial management, and social inclusion. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) project outlays more than doubled in 2005 to 530 million Euros, bringing its portfolio to 2.2 billion Euros.

In 1992, Ukraine became a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is a member of the EBRD but not a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ukraine applied for membership in the WTO in 1995. Progress on its application has been slow but picked up momentum in 2004 and 2005. The government has made accession to the WTO a priority.

Environmental Issues

Ukraine is interested in cooperating on regional environmental issues. Conservation of natural resources is a stated high priority, although implementation suffers from a lack of financial resources. Ukraine established its first nature preserve, Askania-Nova, in 1921 and has a program to breed endangered species.

Ukraine has significant environmental problems, especially those resulting from the Chornobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986 and from industrial pollution. In accordance with its agreement with the G7 and European Commission in 1995, Ukraine permanently closed the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in December of 2000. Urgent measures for radiation and worker safety as well as structural improvements to the “sarcophagus” erected by the Soviet Union are largely complete, and the contract for construction of the new shelter to be built around the sarcophagus is expected to be awarded late-2006.

Ukraine also has established a Ministry of Environment and has introduced a pollution fee system, which levies taxes on air and water emissions and solid waste disposal. The resulting revenues are channeled to environmental protection activities, but enforcement of this pollution fee system is lax. Ukraine ratified the Kyoto Protocol in April 2004.

Construction of a shipping canal through a UN-protected core biosphere reserve in the Danube Delta, which began in May 2004, is an environmental issue of international interest.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Yushchenko government has declared Euro-Atlantic integration to be its primary foreign policy objective and has sought to maintain good relations with Russia. The European Union’s Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Ukraine went into force on March 1, 1998. After the 2004 round of EU expansion, the EU did not signal a willingness to consider Ukraine for an association agreement, as Ukraine had hoped for, but instead included it in a new “neighbor” policy, disappointing many Ukrainians. On January 31, 1992, Ukraine joined the then-Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (now the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe—OSCE), and on March 10, 1992, it became a member of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Ukraine signed a Charter Agreement with NATO in 1997, sent troops to Kosovo in close cooperation with NATO countries, signed an agreement for NATO use of Ukrainian strategic airlift assets, and has declared interest in eventual membership. It is the most active member of the Partnership for Peace (PfP). In April 2005, NATO offered an “Intensified Dialogue on Membership Issues” to Ukraine.

Ukraine maintains peaceful and constructive relations with all its neighbors, though there are some unresolved maritime issues along the Danube and in the Black Sea with Romania; it has especially close ties with Poland and Russia. Relations with Russia are complicated by differing foreign policy priorities in the region, energy dependence, payment arrears, disagreement over compliance with the 1997 agreement on the stationing of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, and a dispute over bilateral boundaries in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. Ukraine co-founded the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on December 8, 1991, but in January 1993 it refused to endorse a draft charter strengthening political, economic, and defense ties among CIS members. Ukraine was a founding member of GUAM (Georgia-Ukraine-Azerbaijan-Moldova) and has taken the lead with Georgia to promote cooperation among emerging democracies in the Community for Democratic Choice, which held its first summit meeting December 1-2, 2005 in Kiev.

In 1999-2001, Ukraine served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Soviet Ukraine joined the United Nations in 1945 as one of the original members following a Western compromise with the Soviet Union, which had asked for seats for all 15 of its union republics. Ukraine has consistently supported peaceful, negotiated settlements to disputes. It has participated in the five-sided (now “5+2”) talks on the conflict in Moldova and under President Yushchenko has actively boosted efforts to seek a resolution. Ukraine has also promoted a peaceful resolution to conflict in the post-Soviet state of Georgia. Ukraine has also made a substantial contribution to UN peace-keeping operations since 1992.

U.S.-UKRAINIAN RELATIONS

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 brought an end to the Cold War and created an opportunity to build bilateral relations with the New Independent States (NIS) as they began a political and economic transformation. On December 25, 1991, the United States officially recognized the independence of Ukraine. It upgraded its consulate in the capital, Kiev, to embassy status on January 21, 1992. The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is William B. Taylor, the sixth U.S. ambassador since Ukrainian independence.

The United States attaches great importance to the success of Ukraine’s transition to a democratic state with a flourishing market economy. Following a period of economic decline characterized by high inflation and a continued reliance on state controls, the Ukrainian Government began taking steps in the fall of 1999 to reinvigorate economic reform that had been stalled for years due to a lack of a reform majority in the Ukrainian parliament. The Ukrainian Government’s stated determination to implement comprehensive economic reform is a welcome development, and the U.S. is committed to strengthening its support for Ukraine as it continues on this difficult path. Bilateral relations suffered a setback in September 2002 when the U.S. Government announced it had authenticated a recording of President Kuchma’s July 2000 decision to transfer a Kolchuga early warning system to Iraq. The Government of Ukraine denied that the transfer had occurred. Ukraine’s democratic “Orange Revolution” has led to closer cooperation and more open dialogue between Ukraine and the United States. U.S. policy remains centered on realizing and strengthening a democratic, prosperous, and secure Ukraine more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures.

U.S. Assistance to Ukraine

A cornerstone for the continuing U.S. partnership with Ukraine and the other NIS has been the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets (FREEDOM) Support Act (FSA), enacted in October 1992. Ukraine has been a primary recipient of FSA assistance. Total U.S. assistance since independence has been more than $3 billion. U.S. assistance to Ukraine is targeted to promote political and economic reform and to address urgent humanitarian needs. The U.S. has consistently encouraged Ukraine’s transition to a democratic society with a prosperous market-based economy. For more detailed information on these programs, please see the “Annual Report to Congress on U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Eurasia,” which is available on the State Department’s website at the following address: http://www.state.gov/p/eur/ace/. Information is also available on USAID’s website at the address: http://www.usaid.gov.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

KYIV (E) Address: 4 Hlybochtska; Phone: +(380) (44) 490-4000; Fax: + (380) (44) 490-4085; Workweek: M-F 0900-1800; Website: http://kyiv.usembassy.gov/.

AMB:William Taylor
AMB OMS:Deborah Woodfin
DCM:Sheila Gwaltney
DCM OMS:Frank Roach
POL:Kent Logsdon
MGT:Margaret Uyehara
AGR:Garth Thorburn
AID:Earl Gast
CUS:Robert Tine
DAO:James Molloy
ECO:Douglas Kramer
GSO:Russell Baum
IMO:Rob Jennings
IPO:Eqbal Hakim
ISO:Laura Leinow
ISSO:Alexander Miller
LEGATT:Bryan Paarmann
MLO:Robert Timm
PAO:Michelle Logsdon
RSO:George Nutwell

Last Updated: 8/22/2006

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet : December 15, 2006

Country Description: Ukraine is undergoing profound political and economic change as it moves from its Soviet past toward a market economy and multi-party democracy and integration into Euro-Atlantic and other international institutions. In recent years, the availability of goods and services has increased along with increased rates of growth in Ukraine’s economy, and facilities for travelers have improved somewhat. Nonetheless, the availability of travel and tourist services remains uneven throughout the country, and Ukraine still lacks the abundance of many of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport valid for six months beyond the planned date of travel is required. According to Ukrainian Presidential Decree #1008 dated June 30, 2005, U.S. citizens traveling to Ukraine on short-term tourist, business, or private travel do not need a visa to enter Ukraine. (Visas are still required of other categories of travelers including those who intend to study, reside, or work in Ukraine.) Any requests for extension of stay due to extenuating circumstances should be directed to the Ministry of Interior’s Department of Citizenship, Immigration and Registration (formerly known as OVIR). Extensions are not automatic, however, and are valid only for continued presence in the country. It is not possible to depart Ukraine and return on the extension, nor can an adjustment to visa status be made from within Ukraine.

Visas may be obtained from the Consular Office of the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C. or from Ukrainian Consulates General in New York, Chicago or San Francisco. For additional information about Ukrainian visas and related policy, please contact the Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate nearest you.

Embassy of Ukraine
3350 M Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 333-0606
Fax: (202) 333-0817
Web site: http://www.ukraineinfo.us/ or http://www.mfa.gov.ua/usa/en/news/top.htm.

Consulate General of Ukraine
in New York
240 East 49th Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 371-5690
Fax: (212) 371-5547
Web site: http://www.ukrconsul.org/

Consulate General of Ukraine
in San Francisco
530 Bush Street, suite 402
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: (415) 398-0240
Fax: (415) 398-5039
Web site: http://www.ukrainesf.com/

Consulate General of Ukraine
in Chicago
10 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Tel: (312) 642 4388
Fax: (312) 642 4385
Web site: http://www.ukrchicago.com/

The Government of Ukraine does not issue visas at the point of entry into Ukraine. Travelers whose purpose of travel puts them in a category that requires a visa must obtain the correct Ukrainian visa prior to arrival, otherwise they will be turned back to the United States or will have to travel to another European country to obtain a visa.

Please check your visa carefully upon receipt and pay careful attention to validity dates. Each traveler is responsible for understanding the type of visa issued and the provisions of the visa. Frequently, American citizens are refused entry to Ukraine because they thought they possessed a multiple entry visa, but in fact their visa was valid for only a single entry.

Alternatively, Americans try to reenter Ukraine after using their single entry visa, believing they have unlimited travel for six months. In some cases, Americans attempt to enter Ukraine before their visa becomes valid. This is a common mistake since in Ukraine the date is written day-month-year, not month-day-year. Thus, a visa issued on 01/05/05 is valid from May 1, 2005 and NOT from January 5, 2005. These travelers have been detained at the airport, refused entry and placed on the next available flight. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv is unable to assist travelers in these situations.

Ukrainian law requires that foreign residents of Ukraine register with local authorities. American travelers entering Ukraine under the visa-free regime may remain in Ukraine up to 90 days and do not have to register any stays of 90 days or less. Travelers entering Ukraine on a visa must register after six months’stay in Ukraine. Registration is done at the local offices of the Department of Citizenship, Immigration and Registration. Travelers who intend to visit Russia from Ukraine must also have a Russian visa. The Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in Ukraine is located at Prospekt Kutuzova 8, tel.: (380-44) 284-6816, fax 284-7936, e-mail: [email protected], http://www.embrus.org.ua.

Visitors to Ukraine should also note that Ukrainian law requires them to obtain mandatory health insurance. For more information see the section on Medical Insurance below.

Visit the Embassy of Ukraine website at http://www.ukraineinfo.us/ for the most current visa information. Also see Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ official web portal at http://www.ukraineinfo.org/.

Safety and Security: Ukraine has been largely free of significant civil unrest or disorders. However, demonstrations intermittently occur in cities such as Kyiv. While the majority of these protests are small and peaceful, it is best to avoid such gatherings.

There also have been recurrent incidents of groups of skinheads targeting people of Asian, African or other non-European descent in downtown Kyiv.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet website where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: Ukraine is undergoing a significant economic, political and social transformation, and income disparities have grown sharply. As a result, visitors perceived to be wealthier are targets for criminals. Americans often stand out in Ukraine, and are therefore more likely to be targeted than in Western European countries where incomes are higher and Americans may blend in better. Most street crime is relatively low level, but crimes involving small caliber firearms have been reported. Street crime ranges from wallet scams, simple pick pocketing and purse snatching, to muggings, armed robbery, or drugging unsuspecting victims at nightspots and bars (where they are then robbed). Cases of assaults in apartment building corridors and stairwells, and armed break-ins have also been reported.

While most travelers do not encounter problems with crime in Ukraine, there has been an increase in the number of racially-motivated attacks conducted by “skinheads” in Kyiv. These incidents, in which non-Caucasian foreigners are specifically targeted for violence, have occurred without provocation in prominent areas of downtown Kyiv that are commonly frequented by tourists. While the majority of people targeted have been of Asian, African or other non-European descent, all travelers should exercise caution. In addition to incidents of assault, persons of African or Asian heritage may be subject to various types of harassment, such as being stopped on the street by both civilians and law enforcement officials.

Credit card and ATM fraud is widespread. Ukraine operates as a cash economy, and money scams are widespread. Although credit card and ATM use among Ukrainians is increasingly common, it is nevertheless strongly recommended that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards.

Burglaries of apartments and vehicles represent the most significant threat to long-term residents. Although few cars are actually stolen, primarily because of increased use of alarm systems and security wheel locks, vehicular break-ins and vehicular vandalism are becoming more common.

Ukraine lacks tourist and travel services for foreign victims of crime. Transferring funds from the United States, replacing stolen traveler’s checks or airline tickets, or canceling credit cards can be difficult and time consuming. There are few safe, low cost lodgings such as youth hostels. Public facilities in Ukraine are generally not equipped to accommodate persons with physical disabilities.

Over the past several years, the Embassy has received a number of reports of harassment and intimidation directed against foreign businesspersons and interests. While these reports have become considerably less frequent in recent years, they have not ended entirely. Reported incidents range from physical threats (possibly motivated by rival commercial interests tied to organized crime), to local government entities engaging in such practices as arbitrary termination or amendment of business licenses, dilution of corporate stock to diminish U.S. investor interest, delays of payment or delivery of goods, and arbitrary “inspections” by tax, safety or other officials that appear designed to harm the business rather than a genuine attempt at good governance.

Computer fraud is becoming common in Ukraine. Internet scam reports are increasing. The Embassy suggests refraining from wiring money unless the recipient is well-known and the purpose of business is clear. American citizens have reported transferring money to Ukraine to pay for goods purchased from residents of Ukraine via on-line auction sites, but never receiving the goods in return. The Embassy regularly receives complaints from Americans regarding scams involving marriage and dating services. Numerous Americans have lost money to agencies and individuals that claimed they could arrange for student or fiancée visas to the U.S. Additional information is available on our website in a document titled “Marriage Brokers” at http://kyiv.usembassy.gov/amcit_marriage_brokers_eng.html and the Department of State’s information on Ukraine’s Internet and other Fraud Schemes.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: In December 2005, Ukraine reported the first cases of H5N1 (“avian influenza,” “avian flu,” “bird flu,” “chicken flu”) among birds in Crimea. Further outbreaks followed in 2006. There are no registered human cases of H5N1 in Ukraine. For detailed information on H5N1, please review the Avian Influenza Fact Sheet.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of hospitals and clinics with some English-speaking staff. Many facilities have only limited English speakers. There are no hospitals in Ukraine that provide a level of medical care equal to that found in American hospitals, or which accept American health insurance plans for payment. Some facilities are adequate for basic services. Basic medical supplies are available; however, travelers requiring prescription medicine should bring their own. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities. When a patient is hospitalized, the patient, relative, or acquaintance must supply bandages, medication, and food. The Embassy recommends that ill or infirm persons not travel to Ukraine. The Embassy also recommends that travelers obtain private medical evacuation insurance prior to traveling to Ukraine.

Medical evacuation remains the best way to secure western medical care. This option, however, is very expensive and could take at least several hours to arrange. Travelers may wish to purchase medical evacuation insurance prior to travel, or have access to substantial lines of credit to cover the cost of medical evacuation. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy has information on various air ambulance companies that perform medical evacuations to Europe or to the U.S. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to other European countries can cost from $25,000 to $50,000, and to the U.S. as much as $70,000 or more. More information can be found on the U.S. Embassy’s website in a separate document “Medical Services in Kyiv” at http://kyiv.usembassy.gov/amcit_medical_serv_eng.html.

Please note that while the Embassy can help American travelers and their families make contact with a medevac service, the U.S. Government cannot pay for medical evacuation. Travelers should make sure they have medical evacuation insurance, which is available from many private companies, or have funds available for evacuation, before the need arises.

Radiation and Nuclear Safety: In 1986, the Chernobyl incident resulted in the largest short-term unintentional accidental release of radioactive materials to the atmosphere ever recorded. The highest areas of radioactive ground contamination occurred within thirty kilometers of the Chernobyl station. The city of Kyiv was not badly affected because of the wind direction, but it was not completely spared. The Chernobyl nuclear power station closed officially on 15 December 2000.

The Ukrainian government has an effective program of monitoring fresh foods and meats sold in local markets. Street purchase of produce should be avoided. Wild berries, mushrooms, and wild fowl and game should be avoided, as these have been found to retain higher than average levels of radiation. Background levels of radiation are monitored regularly by the Embassy and are within the allowable limits set by the Ukrainian nuclear regulator, which are consistent with the Western countries.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

The Ukrainian parliament passed a law in 1997 whereby all visitors to Ukraine are required to obtain mandatory health insurance. According to information from the Ukrainian authorities the cost of this medical insurance depends on the anticipated length of a foreigner’s stay in Ukraine. The cost for the insurance is approximately 25 cents per day (more for short stays). This required insurance can be obtained from the Ukrainian Department of Immigration, Citizenship and Registration and covers only the costs of basic medical care inside Ukraine and does not cover medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Ukraine is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Generally, roads in Ukraine outside major urban areas are in poor condition and poorly lit. Visitors should drive defensively at all times, since drivers often disregard traffic rules. Drivers are often poorly trained or drive without a valid driver’s license. Drivers can also be very aggressive, and they normally do not respect the rights of pedestrians, even at clearly marked pedestrian crossings. Pedestrians should also be aware of cars driving or attempting to park on sidewalks. Many cars do not meet the safety standards common in America.

Cross-country travel at night and in winter can be particularly dangerous. The Embassy strongly recommends that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from driving their private vehicles after dark outside of major cities. However, major roads are drivable during daylight hours. Roadside services such as gas stations and repair facilities are becoming more common, particularly on the main national and regional overland highways and in large and mid-size cities.

Nonetheless, such services are far from American standards, and travelers should plan accordingly. There have been isolated reports of carjacking of western-made or foreign-registered cars. There has also been an increase in the number of documented reports of criminal acts occurring on trains.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Ukraine’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for the oversight of Ukraine’s air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s Internet website at http://www.faa.gov.

Special Circumstances: Ukraine does not recognize dual nationality. American citizens entering Ukraine with a Ukrainian passport will be treated as Ukrainian citizens by the local authorities. This may include being required to perform mandatory military service. Also, Ukrainians who have immigrated to the U.S. without obtaining the proper exit visa from Ukrainian authorities may be subject to civil or criminal penalties and will be required to obtain an exit visa before returning to the U.S.

Ukraine is a cash economy. Travelers’ checks and credit cards are gaining wider acceptance in larger cities. Even in Kyiv, however, acceptance of credit cards is not nearly as widespread as in the U.S. or in Western European countries. Expect credit card use to be limited to some hotels, upscale restaurants, international airlines and the rapidly growing, but still select number of up-market stores.

Exchanging U.S. dollars into the national Ukrainian currency hryvnya is simple and unproblematic, as licensed exchange booths are widespread, and exchange rates are normally clearly advertised. Exchanging U.S. dollars into Ukrainian currency or other currencies is legal only at banks, currency exchange desks at hotels, and licensed exchange booths; anyone caught dealing on the black market can expect to be detained by the local militia.

There are many banks and licensed currency exchange booths located in major cities. ATMs (a.k.a. Banko-mats) are becoming available throughout Ukraine, particularly in Kyiv and in other larger cities. In smaller cities and towns ATMs are still virtually non-existent. Most ATMs disperse cash only in the local currency hryvnya. The difficulties of a currency shortage can be avoided by coming to Ukraine with a sufficient supply of hard currency to cover necessary obligations during travel. Funds may be transferred by wire, advances may be drawn on credit cards and travelers checks may be cashed at many locations.

Again, the Embassy emphasizes that the incidence of credit card and ATM bankcard fraud is high and we strongly recommend that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards.

Customs regulations prohibit sending cash, travelers’ checks, personal checks, credit cards, or passports through the international mail system. Customs authorities regularly confiscate these items as contraband. Ukrainian customs authorities may also enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Ukraine of items such as firearms, antiquities, currency, etc. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington or one of Ukraine’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. As in many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

Ukrainian law requires that travelers declare all cash and jewelry, regardless of value, upon entering Ukraine. Travelers should fill out a customs declaration and ask customs officials to stamp it. According to Ukrainian law, foreign citizens may bring up to $10,000 in cash or up to $50,000 in travelers’ checks into Ukraine without a special license. A traveler must declare the cash or checks. If customs officials determine that a traveler entering or exiting the country has undeclared cash on him or her, they can and often do confiscate the undeclared funds. When leaving the country, foreign travelers are only allowed to take out a maximum of $3,000 in cash or as much cash as they declared upon their entry into Ukraine. If a traveler wants to take out more than $3,000, the traveler must have a customs declaration proving that he or she in fact brought the corresponding sum of money into the country.

Travelers desiring to bring more than $10,000 into Ukraine must obtain a special license AFTER entering the country. Details for obtaining this license are available on the Embassy’s website in a separate document “Ukrainian Customs Procedures for Transporting Currencies, Monetary Instruments, or Precious Metals” at http://kyiv.usembassy.gov/amcit_travel_ukrcustoms_eng.html. Ukraine has strict limitations for the export of antiques and other goods and artifacts deemed to be of particularly important historical or cultural value. This includes any items produced before 1950. Ukrainian Postal laws prohibit mailing of passports or other IDs across Ukrainian borders via regular mail as well as via courier mail (FedEx, DHL, etc.) It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington or one of Ukraine’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Ukraine’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Ukraine are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Ukraine are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Ukraine. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located at #6 Mykola Pymonenko St., 01901 Kyiv, Ukraine. Telephone: (38-044) 490-4422, fax 486-3393. The Embassy is located at #10 Yuriy Kotsyubynsky St. 01901 Kyiv, Ukraine. Tel.: (38-044) 490-4000.

International Adoption : April 19, 2004

Beginning April 19, 2004, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv will start processing immigrant visas for orphans adopted by U.S. citizens in Ukraine (immediate relative visas – IR-3 and IR-4). Previously, upon completion of the Ukrainian adoption, all American families had to travel to the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, for issuance of the immigrant visa to their child(ren). The opening of adoption immigrant visa processing in Kyiv should represent a significant savings in terms of time and resources for American families.

This change does not alter the nature of the immigrant visa process for adopted orphans, which is initiated by an American citizen filing a petition I-600A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv will be among the first U.S. Embassies worldwide to obtain the most recent immigrant visa technology – machine-readable immigrant visas. Although the documentary requirements for the orphan immigrant visa will remain virtually unchanged, the actual immigrant visa will be put in the child’s passport. Accompanying documents will be hand-carried in a separate packet for presentation to immigration inspectors at U.S. ports of entry. The only change for parents will be that a frontal facial photo of the child will now be required in addition to the three-quarter photo.

Prospective adoptive parents who plan to complete an adoption in Ukraine after April 19 should contact the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to confirm that the I-600A approval notice (a Visas 37 cable) has been transferred from Warsaw to Kyiv. Telephone numbers: (38-044) 490-4422; (38-044) 490-4079; fax: (38-044) 236-4892; email: [email protected]

The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, will continue to process immigrant visas for children adopted in Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Additional information on U.S. immigrant visa processing for adopted children is available at http://www.usembassy.Kyiv.ua/amcit_adoptions_eng.html.