Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Ukraine is the largest country in Europe, yet it remains one of its lesser-known gems. Rich in natural resources, the country boasts a relatively mild climate and some of the world’s most fertile soil. In the famous “breadbasket” region in eastern central Ukraine, wheat, grains, sunflowers, cabbage, potatoes and fruit are bountiful. Once the USSR’s second-strongest economy, the country has struggled severely since the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, the Ukraine is now making strides as an emerging market with a rapidly growing economy.
Ukrainian customs are influenced deeply by Christianity—the country’s chief religion. Its culture has also been shaped by its neighbors to the east and west, and is reflected in the nation’s impressive architecture, unique music and exceptional artwork. Home to about 3 million people, the capital Kiev is a scenic city situated on the Dnipro River. Many of the bustling city’s architectural charms were restored extensively after World War II. Despite the Ukraine’s historical repressions, political turmoil, and ecological misfortunes, its spirit and identity have persevered and continue to shine.