Geography of Ukraine


Ukraine is the world's 44 th largest country after the Central African Republic and the second largest country in Europe after the European part of Russia. Somewhat smaller in size than the US state of Texas, the geography of Ukraine is quite interesting with many variations of climate and terrain taking place.

Location

Situated in the central South-Eastern Europe, Ukraine is in a strategic position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. Ukraine is bordered by the Black Sea in the south, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in the west, Belarus in the north, Moldova and Romania in the south-west and Russia in the east. Geographically Ukraine is 49° N and 32° E.

Land Boundaries

Ukraine borders a total of 4,663 km of land with Belarus covering 891 km, Hungary 103 km, Moldova 939 km, Poland 526 km, Romania (south) 169 km, Romania (west) 362 km, Russia 1,576 km, Slovakia about 97 km. The coastline covers a total of 2,782 km, mainly with the Black Sea.

Area

Total area covered: 603,700 sq km

•  Land: 603,700 sq km

•  Water: 0 sq km

Land Topography

The geography of Ukraine with its mostly flat and rolling landscape with stunning topographical formations holds one enthralled. Consisting of mainly fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus, the south-west and the southern part in the Crimean Peninsula, of the country is the only region with mountains round. The highest Carpathian peak, ‘Hoverla' at 2061 m is mostly barren and alpine. Approximately 57% percent of the land in Ukraine is arable with about roughly 4% under irrigation. The third longest river in Europe and one of the major rivers in Ukraine, the Dnipro (Dnieper) serves as a chief source of hydro-electric power in the country. Some other rivers include the Pivdennyy Buh or the ‘Southern Buh', Dnister, Siverskyy Donets, Desna, Dunay (Danube), Tisza and the Pripyat. Besides, the southern border is washed by the Black Sea which connects to the Mediterranean Sea through Turkey and the Azov Sea.

Land Usage

Ukraine's natural resources include iron ore, coal, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, nickel, mercury and timber.

•  Arable land: 53.8%

•  Permanent crops: 1.5%

•  Other: 44.7%

Climate

Ukraine has a temperate continental climate and a Mediterranean climate on the southern Crimean Peninsula. The rest of the Ukraine's climate is temperate in nature. The precipitation is also inexplicably distributed, being highest in the west and north and much lesser in the east and southeast. Winters are cool along the Black Sea and colder further inland. Comparatively summers are generally warm in most of the country except for the southern part where it becomes quite hot. The average temperature in July is about 10°C, but in January the average temperature drops to -6°C. Average rainfall is 50 cm a year, with variations in different parts of the regions.

Wildlife

The Ukrainian geography with its natural splendors has a number of protected areas and National Parks. With its innumerable diverse landscape providing a number of habitats for a variety of species, wildlife in Ukraine is certainly not scarce.

The wildlife of Ukraine can be divided into four flora zones, the Mediterranean, steppe, forest-steppe and forests. Varieties of trees from the beech tree in the west, the pine in the north, the oak tree in the forest-steppe and to the grasslands in the south are all found. The forests are home to various animals like the red deer, roe deer, squirrel, wild boar, brown bears, lynx and also a range of birds like the cranes, black cock, wood grouse, starling and blue titmouse are also found. The coastal areas includes pelicans, wild ducks, sea gulls and within the sea in Ukraine's fresh waters one can find the pike, bream, carp, sazan, crucian etc.

 

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