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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.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form None
Conventional short form Ukraine
Local long form None
Local short form Ukrayina
Former
Ukrainian National Republic, Ukrainian State, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type
Republic

Capital
Name Kyiv (Kiev)
Note Pronounced KAY-yiv
Geographic coordinates 50 26 N, 30 31 E
Time difference
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions
24 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast'), 1 autonomous republic* (avtonomna respublika), and 2 municipalities (mista, singular - misto) with oblast status**; Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Crimea or Avtonomna Respublika Krym* (Simferopol'), Dnipropetrovs'k, Donets'k, Ivano-Frankivs'k, Kharkiv, Kherson, Khmel'nyts'kyy, Kirovohrad, Kyiv**, Kyiv, Luhans'k, L'viv, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Poltava, Rivne, Sevastopol'**, Sumy, Ternopil', Vinnytsya, Volyn' (Luts'k), Zakarpattya (Uzhhorod), Zaporizhzhya, Zhytomyr
Note
Administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

Independence
24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: ca. A.D. 982 (VOLODYMYR I consolidates Kyivan Rus), 1648 (establishment of Cossack Hetmanate)

National holiday
Independence Day, 24 August (1991); note - 22 January 1918, the day Ukraine first declared its independence (from Soviet Russia) and the day the short-lived Western and Greater (Eastern) Ukrainian republics united (1919), is now celebrated as Unity Day

Constitution
Adopted 28 June 1996

Legal system
Civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Viktor YANUKOVYCH (since 25 February 2010)
Head of government
Prime Minister Mykola AZAROV (since 11 March 2010); First Deputy Prime Minister Valeriy KHOROSHKOVSKYY (since 22 February 2012); Deputy Prime Ministers Borys KOLESNIKOV and Serhiy TIHIPKO (both since 11 March 2010), Rayisa BOHATYRYOVA (since 14 February 2012)
Cabinet
Cabinet of Ministers nominated by the president and approved by the Rada
Note
There is also a National Security and Defense Council or NSDC originally created in 1992 as the National Security Council; the NSDC staff is tasked with developing national security policy on domestic and international matters and advising the president; a Presidential Administration helps draft presidential edicts and provides policy support to the president
Elections
President elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 January 2010 with runoff on 7 February 2010 (next to be held in October 2015)
Election results
Viktor YANUKOVYCH elected president; percent of vote - Viktor YANUKOVYCH 48.95%, Yuliya TYMOSHENKO 45.5%, other 5.6%

Legislative branch
Unicameral Supreme Council or Verkhovna Rada (450 seats; members allocated on a proportional basis to those parties that gain 3% or more of the national electoral vote; members serve five-year terms)
Note
A change to the parliamentary election law for the 2012 elections move Ukraine to a mixed election system with 225 seats allocated on a proportional basis to those parties that gain 5% or more of the national electoral vote and 225 seats to members elected in single mandate districts
Elections
Last held on 30 September 2007 (next to be held on 28 October 2012)
Election results
Percent of vote by party/block - Party of Regions 34.4%, Block of Yuliya Tymoshenko 30.7%, Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense Bloc 14.2%, CPU 5.4%, Lytvyn Bloc 4%, other parties 11.3%; seats by party/bloc - Party of Regions 175, Block of Yuliya Tymoshenko 156, Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense 72, CPU 27, Lytvyn Bloc 20

Judicial branch
Supreme Court; Constitutional Court

Political parties and leaders
Block of Yuliya Tymoshenko-Batkivshchyna (BYuT-Batkivshchyna) [Yuliya TYMOSHENKO]; Communist Party of Ukraine or CPU [Petro SYMONENKO]; European Party of Ukraine [Mykola KATERYNCHUK]; Front of Change [Arseniy YATSENYUK]; Lytvyn Block (composed of People's Party and Labor Party of Ukraine) [Volodymyr LYTVYN]; Our Ukraine [Valentyn NALYVAICHENKO]; Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs [Anatoliy KINAKH]; Party of Regions [Mykola AZAROV, chairman]; Party of the Defenders of the Fatherland [Yuriy KARMAZIN]; People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh) [Borys TARASYUK]; People's Party [Volodymyr LYTVYN]; Peoples' Self-Defense Party [Oleh NOVIKOV]; PORA! (It's Time!) party [Vladyslav KASKIV]; Progressive Socialist Party [Natalya VITRENKO]; Reforms and Order Party [Viktor PYNZENYK]; Republican Party Sobor [Anatoliy MATVIYENKO]; Social Democratic Party [Yevhen KORNICHUK]; Social Democratic Party (United) or SDPU(o) [Yuriy ZAHORODNIY]; Socialist Party of Ukraine or SPU [Oleksandr MOROZ]; Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms or UDAR [Vitaliy KLYCHKO]; Ukrainian People's Party [Yuriy KOSTENKO]; United Center [Viktor BALOHA]; Viche [Inna BOHOSLOVSKA]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Committee of Voters of Ukraine [Aleksandr CHERNENKO]; OPORA [Olha AIVAZOVSKA]

International organization participation
Australia Group, BSEC, CBSS (observer), CE, CEI, CICA (observer), CIS (participating member, has not signed the 1993 CIS charter although it participates in meetings), EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Oleksandr MOTSYK
Chancery
3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
Telephone [1] (202) 333-0606
FAX [1] (202) 333-0817
Consulate(s) general
Chicago, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador John F. TEFFT
Embassy
4 Igor Sikorsky Street, 04112 Kyiv
Mailing address
5850 Kyiv Place, Washington, DC 20521-5850
Telephone [380] (44) 521-5000
FAX [380] (44) 521-5155

Flag description
Two equal horizontal bands of azure (top) and golden yellow represent grain fields under a blue sky

National symbol(s)
Trident (tryzub)

National anthem
Name
"Sche ne vmerla Ukraina" (Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished)
Lyrics/music
Paul CHUBYNSKYI/Mikhail VERBYTSKYI
Note
Music adopted 1991, lyrics adopted 2003; the song was first performed in 1864 at the Ukraine Theatre in Lviv; the lyrics, originally written in 1862, were revised in 2003


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  Ukraine (Kiev):


  GPS points from Ukraine (Kiev)

Mitkuv Chernivets'ka Oblast'

Puklyaki Khmel'nyts'ka Oblast'

Makhaylovka Mykolayivs'ka Oblast'

Vasil'vka Kharkivs'ka Oblast'

Przystanek Podgac L'vivs'ka Oblast'

Presekareni Chernivets'ka Oblast'

Elizaruv Volyns'ka Oblast'

Cholgyni L'vivs'ka Oblast'




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