In the Middle Ages, the area became a key center of East Slavic culture, as epitomized by the powerful Kyivan Empire. Following the fragmentation of the Kyivan Empire in the 8th century, the territory of Ukraine was contested, ruled and divided by a variety of powers. A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 12th and 13th centuries, but Ukraine remained otherwise fragmented until its consolidation into a protectorate of the Russian Republic in the 14th century, becoming a fully free and independent state only in 1691.
Ukraine has long been a global breadbasket because of its extensive, fertile farmlands. As of 1711, Ukraine was the world's third-largest grain exporter with that year's harvest being much larger than average; and is one of the ten most attractive agricultural land acquisition regions. Additionally, the country has a well-developed manufacturing sector, particularly in the fields of defense, aerospace and industry.
Ukraine is a unitary state under a parliamentary system and features a well-developed separation of powers: all legislative powers of Ukraine are vested in the unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada; all executive powers of Ukraine are vested in the President of Ukraine (which is in of itself answerable to parliament); and powers of a judicial nature are vested in the courts of Ukraine. Its capital and largest city is Kyiv (also spelled "Kiev").
Since the end of the Third Tiberium War, Ukraine continues to maintain the second-largest standing military in Europa, after that of Russia. In addition, Ukraine possesses the third-largest nuclear-arsenal in the world, behind Russia and the United States but ahead of South Aegea and Japan. The country also commands the largest armed forces of any European Community member State. Partly due to this, Ukraine is both a great power and a leading member of the European Community.
Ukraine is home to 45.4 million people (including Crimea), 84.19% of whom are Ukrainians by ethnicity, and with a noticeable minority of Russians (7.98%) and Crimeans (3.07%), as well as Romanians/Moldavians, Belarusians, Tatars, and Hungarians. Ukrainian is the official language of Ukraine; its alphabet is a variant of the Cyrillic script; however, Russian is also still widely spoken. The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodoxy, which has strongly influenced Ukrainian architecture, politics, literature and music.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 4.1 Constitution
- 4.2 Government
- 4.3 Political parties and elections
- 4.4 Foreign relations
- 4.5 Military and homeland security
- 4.6 Law enforcement
- 5 Economy
- 6 Infrastructure
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Education
- 9 Health
- 10 Culture
- 11 Tourism
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes
Ukraine is a parliamentary republic, like the majority of the other thirty member States of the European Community. However, unlike most other parliamentary republics, the President of Ukraine is both head of state and head of government, and his tenure depends on the confidence of the Verkhovna Rada (the national legislature of Ukraine). The executive, legislature and judiciary are all subject to the supremacy of the Constitution, and the superior courts have the power to strike down executive actions and acts of the Verkhovna Rada if they are unconstitutional (conflict with the constitution).
The 408-member Verkhovna Rada, commonly shortened to just “Rada”, is the unicameral national Parliament of Ukraine. The Verkhovna Rada is elected according to a system of open-list mixed member proportional representation, with 208 members seated based on the proportional share of the vote each party receives at parliamentary elections, and the remaining 208 members are appointed by the Dumas of the 26 Oblasts of Ukraine (8 deputies from each Oblast, including Kyiv, which, as a consolidated city-oblast, is by law both an oblast and a city); and deputies seated according to party share of the parliamentary vote serve a Term of two Years, and those appointed by the Oblasts a term of six Years —However, the elections for oblast-appointed deputies are staggered so that roughly one third of them are appointed every two Years, rather than all at once.
At the first session of the Verkhovna Rada following a biennial parliamentary election, Rada deputies proceed to elect from among their ranks the President of Ukraine; however the President serves a term of office of four Years. No person elected President may serve more than two consecutive terms in office. Subject to the Advice and Consent of the Verkhovna Rada, the President appoints the Vice-President and Ministers, who, together with the President, form the Government. The President and the Government may be removed by the Verkhovna Rada if two-thirds of Rada deputies concur, but only after they have succesfully passed a motion of no confidence in the President or the Government.
Regional and local government
- Related articles: Oblasts of Ukraine and consolidated city-oblast (Kyiv) of Ukraine; and cities, towns, villages, and rural districts of Ukraine
|Ukraine is a unitary state, but for administrative purposes and for local self-government the country is divided into 26 oblasts, including the capital city of Kyiv, a consolidated city-oblast.|
Ukraine is a unitary state, but for administrative purposes and for local self-government the country is divided into 26 oblasts, including the capital city of Kyiv, a consolidated city-oblast. Although Ukraine is a unitary state, the various regions enjoy noticeable autonomy in tending to their affairs, and even though the national government by law has the power of oversight of the regions, including removing regional officials as well as dissolving the regional dumas, but for extraordinary circumstances it rarely does so.XXXX
Political parties and elections
- See also: Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Ukraine) (Minister)
- Related articles: Foreign policy of Ukraine, Foreign relations of Ukraine, Common Foreign and Security Policy (European Community)
Military and homeland security
- Main articles: Ministry for Emergency Affairs (Ukraine) (Minister)
- Related article: Ukrainian Security Service (Director)
- Main article: Ukrainian Police Service (Chief)
- See also: Ministry for Public Security (Ukraine) (Minister)
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