The Region Ukraine
Ukraine, Ukr. Ukraina, republic U.S. (1995 est. pop. 51,867,000), 232,046 sq mi (601,000 sq km), E Europe. It borders on Poland in the northwest; on Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova in the southwest; on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the south; on Russia in the east and northeast; and on Belarus in the north. Kiev is the capital and largest city.
Located in southeastern Europe, the country consists largely of fertile black soil steppes. Mountainous areas include the Carpathians in the southwest and the Crimean chain in the south. There are forest lakes in the north. Ukraine is bordered by Belarus on the north, by Russia on the north, northeast, and east, by the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea on the south, by Moldova and Romania on the southwest, and by Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland on the west.
Cultural Artifact of Ukraine
A Pysanky is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist method. The word pysanky comes from the verb pysaty, "to write" or "to inscribe", as the designs are not painted on, but written (inscribed) with beeswax.
Regional Fun Fact
Plunging into an ice hole - Every year on January 19th, on the day of the Christianization of Kievan Rus, Ukrainian Christians jump into an ice hole. At night, people break through the ice and create a hole in the form of a cross and later dive into the water three times. They believe that the water has healing properties, and by plunging into the ice river, all the sins and illnesses will be cured. This event occurs every single year, and locals queue to dive in.