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Ukraine is the largest country in Europe. The village of Dilove (district of Rakhiv, province of Transcarpathian) is considered to be the geographical centre of Europe. Ukraine stretches from the mountains in the west to the steppes in the east, and from the marshes in the north to the sea in the south. Ukraine’s longest river is the Dnipro. It ranks as Europe’s third longest waterway. It divides the country into right-bank and left-bank Ukraine, and flows south to the Black Sea.

Ukraine has picturesque scenery and a temperate continental climate. It has cold winters with snow and warm summers.

Ukraine is mostly a flat plain with extremely fertile black earth soil. Mount Hoverla (2,061 m) in the Carpathians is the highest mount in the country. There are many treeless summits which are called polonynas. Ukraine has 5% of the world’s mineral resources. There are 80 different types, including coal, iron, ore, titanium, granite and marble.

Ukraine is famous for its forests with plantations of pine, oak, beech and birch. Most forests are in the Carpathians and Polissia. Ukraine has more than 3,000 lakes. In the Shatski lakes in the North-West there are a lot of fish: perch, pike and carp.

The animal world of the Crimean Mountains is different from the other zones. Here we can find rare birds and animals (carrion eagle, black griffon, red deer).

The Black Sea is deep and has a wide range of animal life. The deepest point of the Black Sea is 2,210 m.

Ukraine has a population of 47 million people. It is the second most populous country of the former Soviet Union, after Russia. But its population is diminishing due to emigration and low birth rates. 72% of Ukraine's population are Ukrainians. Other ethnic groups widely spread in Ukraine are: Russians (22%), Belarussians, Polish, Jews, Bulgarians, Hungarians and Tatars (less than 1% each).

More and more people are moving from villages to towns and cities. There are five cities with the population of more than 1 million. These are: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk and Odessa.

The state language is Ukrainian. It belongs to the Eastern-Slavonic language group. Many people believe that the Ukrainian language is very melodious, the second most melodious in the world, after Italian.

Ukrainians are very kind and hospitable. They welcome visitors open-heartedly and treat them warmly and generously. Because of a diversity of ethnic groups, Ukrainians do not look alike and cannot be stereotyped to one kind of appearance. However, many think that Ukrainian women are very attractive. Ukrainians usually have close-knit families of several generations and like to spend time with their family, dining, walking, playing and going on holidays together.

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