Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Alexander Boris Polonsky
UKRAINE IS A republic in east Europe, part of the former Soviet Union. Its capital and largest city is Kiev (50 degrees 27 minutes N, 30 degrees 30 minutes E, population of 2.6 million in 2007, estimation by the Department of Ukrainian State Statistics). The total area of Ukraine is 233,090 sq. mi. (or 603,700 sq. km., the 44th country in size and second in Europe after European Russia). The total population is around 46.6 billion (in 2007, estimation by the Department of Ukrainian State Statistics). The word Ukraine originally meant “near the border” (of Russia and Poland). The country has a mostly temperate continental climate, though a more Mediterranean climate is found on the southern Crimean coast. Precipitation is disproportionately distributed, being highest in the west and north (up to 31–39 in., or 800–1,000 mm. per year) and lesser in the east and southeast (around 16–18 in., or 400–450 ...