Background: Ukraine was the center of the first eastern Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, which during the 10th and 11th centuries was the largest and most powerful state in Europe. Weakened by internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, Kyivan Rus was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The cultural and religious legacy of Kyivan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century after an uprising against the Poles. Despite continuous Muscovite pressure, the Hetmanate managed to remain autonomous for well over 100 years. During the latter part of the 18th century, most Ukrainian ethnographic territory was absorbed by the Russian Empire. Following the collapse of czarist Russia in 1917, Ukraine was able to achieve a short-lived period of independence (1917-20), but was reconquered and forced to endure a brutal Soviet rule that engineered two forced famines (1921-22 and 1932-33) in which over 8 million died. In World War II, German and Soviet armies were responsible for some 7 to 8 million more deaths. Although final independence for Ukraine was achieved in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy and prosperity remained elusive as the legacy of state control and endemic corruption stalled efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civil liberties. A peaceful mass protest "Orange Revolution" in the closing months of 2004 forced the authorities to overturn a rigged presidential election and to allow a new internationally monitored vote that swept into power a reformist slate under Viktor YUSHCHENKO. Subsequent internal squabbles in the YUSHCHENKO camp allowed his rival Viktor YANUKOVYCH to stage a comeback in parliamentary elections and become prime minister in August of 2006. An early legislative election, brought on by a political crisis in the spring of 2007, saw Yuliya TYMOSHENKO, as head of an "Orange" coalition, installed as a new prime minister in December 2007. Viktor YANUKOVUYCH was elected president in a February 2010 run-off election that observers assessed as meeting most international standards. The following month, the Rada approved a vote of no-confidence prompting Yuliya TYMOSHENKO to resign from her post as prime minister.
Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland, Romania, and Moldova in the west and Russia in the east
Area land: 579,330 sq km
Area water: 24,220 sq km
Coastline: 2,782 km
Country name conventional long form: none
Country name conventional short form: Ukraine
Country name former: Ukrainian National Republic, Ukrainian State, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Population: 45,134,707 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 13.7% (male 3,186,606/female 3,014,069); 15-64 years: 70.8% (male 15,282,749/female 16,673,641); 65 years and over: 15.5% (male 2,294,777/female 4,682,865) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: -0.622% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 9.62 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 15.74 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.065 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.49 male(s)/female; total population: 0.85 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 8.54 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 10.71 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 6.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.58 years; male: 62.79 years; female: 74.75 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.28 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.1% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 350,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 24,000 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Ukrainian(s); adjective: Ukrainian;
Ethnic groups: Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8% (2001 census);
Religions: Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyiv Patriarchate 50.4%, Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate 26.1%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic 8%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 7.2%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, Protestant 2.2%, Jewish 0.6%, other 3.2% (2006 est.);
Languages: Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian 24%, other 9% (includes small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99.4%; male: 99.7%; female: 99.2% (2001 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $306.3 billion (2010 est.); $293.7 billion (2009 est.); $345.9 billion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $136.6 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 4.3% (2010 est.); -15.1% (2009 est.); 2.1% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $6,700 (2010 est.); $6,400 (2009 est.); $7,500 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 9.8%; industry: 32.3%; services: 57.9% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 35% (2009);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.4%; highest 10%: 25.7% (2006);
Labor force: 22.06 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 15.8%; industry: 18.5%; services: 65.7% (2008);
Unemployment rate: 8.4% (2010 est.); 8.8% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $41.18 billion; expenditures: $49.79 billion;
Industries: coal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food processing;
Industrial production growth rate: 8% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 172.9 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 134.6 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - exports: 4 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2009 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
(Online newspaper), Kiev
(Government-owned news agency), Kiev
Displaying 1 to 4 of 19 items.
Ukraine's crippling 55 percent tax on private gas producers threatens to damage the economy, scare off investors and decimate gas production.
Protests in Ukraine are now in their third month, with protestors showing no sign of letting up, despite the brute treatment they have received in clashes with security forces.
Furious about its government cowing to Russia and mishandling economic challenges, Ukrainian citizens have taken to the streets in record force.
With top energy producers in South-Eastern Europe vying for shares of the market, current pipeline competition will shape energy and political landscapes for the near future.