Saturday, March 9, 2013
Geography of Ukraine
Ukraine has a strategic position in Eastern Europe, bordering 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.
The northern part of the Carpathian Mountains (highest peak Hoverla, 2061 m or 6762 ft) reaches into Ukraine in the western part of the country, but most of its area is taken up by the steppe-like region just north of the Black Sea. Ukraine is divided almost in half by the Dnipro river, which traverses Ukraine north to south. It is joined by the Black Sea, which is west of the Crimea and near the mouths of the Bug and the Dnister rivers. The border with Russia is the longest and runs through the Sea of Azov.
Most of Ukraine consists of fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus, mountains being found only in the west (the Carpathians), in the Crimean Peninsula in the extreme south (the Crimean Mountains), and some eroded one in the east closer to the Sea of Azov (the Donets Ridge). The highest elevation in Ukraine is recorded at the Mount Hoverla, at 2,061 meters (6,762 ft). In terms of land use, 58% of Ukraine is considered arable land; 2% is used for permanent crops, 13% for permanent pastures, 18% is forests and woodland and 9% is other
The capital of Ukraine is Kiev (Kyiv). Natural scenery of Ukraine is picturesque. Recreational landscapes occupy an area of 9.4 mln hectares (one hectare is about 2.5 acres). Forests cover about 14% of Ukraine's territory. The longest mountain range in Ukraine is the Carpathians stretching for 270 km; the highest mountain is the Hoveria (2061 m). The Crimean Mountains are situated in the southern part of Crimea, the southernmost extention of Ukraine (the highest mountain is 1545 m). Over 70,000 rivers flow through Ukraine. The major rivers are the Dnipro (third longest in Europe), the Dniester, Sourhern Buch, Siverski Donets, Prut, the mouth of the Danube is situated in Ukraine.
There are over 3000 natural lakes and about 22,000 artificial reservoirs in Ukraine, as well as many sources of mineral water and mededicinal mud which are used to treat many diseases. Ukraine has 5 National Parks, 15 National Preserves and a lot of smaller areas (dendrological parks, ancient urban and rural parks) protected by the state. Among the bohhest and most important parks and preserves one could name Askania-Nova (Khersonska Oblast); Shatskiy National Park (Volynska Oblast), Sofiyvka (Cherkaska Oblast);Trostianetsk Hydropark (Chernihivska Oblast). Many places of natural beauty can be found in the Carpathians, the Crimea and Polissia.