Ukraine (Ukrainian: Україна, IPA: pronunciation of [ukrɑˈjinɑ]) is an Eastern European state. It is bordered on the east and northeast by Russia, on the northwest by Belarus, on the west by Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, on the southwest by Romania and Moldova, and on the south by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
It covers an area of 603,628 km2, making it the second largest state in Europe after Russia. Until 1991, Ukraine was a member of the Soviet Union.
It is the capital and most populous city of Kiev (Ukrainian: Київ [Kiev]). Major cities include Kharkiv, Odessa, Dnipro, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Lviv. The official language is Ukrainian.
Most of the country is covered by the Eastern European plains, surrounded by the Carpathian ranges to the south by the fringes of the Great Plain. To the north of the Dniester Valley there are also ridge areas (Podolia, Volhynia and Dnieper ridge). To the south of Donetsk rises the Azov ridge, from which to the south all the way to the Sea of Azov is the Donetsk Basin. A large peninsula of the Black Sea, in the southern part of the Crimea with the Crimean Mountains. The highest point of the country, Hoverla (2061 m), is located in the Carpathians in the western part of Ukraine.
Ukraine has a temperate-terrestrial climate, but a subtropical influence in the southern part of the Crimea.
Most important rivers: Dnieper, Dniester, Donetsk.
Largest lakes: Kahivka Reservoir, Kremenchuk Reservoir, Kiev Reservoir, Dniprodzerzhinsky Reservoir, Lake Yalpuh.
Ukraine's faunaThe country's flora is diverse, with 25,000 wild and more than 400 species of crops. Almost 19 million hectares of natural vegetation have survived. The main habitat types are forests, wooded steppes, steppes, meadows and swamps. Aquatic plants live in rivers, lakes and seas.
The oldest plant fossils have survived from the Cretan period in the Crimean Mountains and on the Donetsk ridge, these areas then emerged as islands from the sea that covered the area. In the Paleogene and Neogene periods, present-day Ukraine was already a land on which subtropical and tropical plant communities settled. These are heralds of some residual plants:
berry yew, etc. Pleistocene glaciation has eliminated these associations. After the ice melted, the northern areas were covered with tundra and forests. From the west, deciduous and mixed forests settled here - in the south, where there was less rainfall, a steppe formed. He achieved the current image of vegetation in the Holocene.
The entire territory of the country is part of the Northern Flora Empire (Holarktis):
the north-western half (including the vicinity of Kiev) to the continental steppe flora;
the south-eastern part (including the Kharkiv area) of the Pontus flora;
the southern, narrow coastline of the Crimea belongs to the sub-Mediterranean flora area.
Human economic activity has reduced forested areas, changed the species composition of forests. The natural steppe vegetation has almost completely disappeared.
See also Nature Reserves in Ukraine
National parks in Ukraine can be grouped as follows:
Sacki National Park (Національний природний парк «Шацький»): a lake area surrounded by pine forests, with endangered animal and plant species. Biosphere Reserve.
Desnansko-Starohutsky National Park