Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe. Its area is 603,700 sq. km. About 50 million people live in Ukraine. It is situatedin the Eastern Europe. It borders onBelarus, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Russia and Slovakia. In the South it is washedby the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. So it has very important ports.
The territory of Ukraine is mainly flat, but the Carpathians and the Crimean mountains make up 5% of its area. The major rivers are the Dnieper, the Dniester, the Bug and the Donets. The Dnieper is the third longest river in Europe, which divides the country into left- bank and right-bank territories.
There are many large cities in Ukraine, among them: Kiev (the capitalof Ukraine), Kharkiv (the first capital of Ukraine, and its second largest city), Donetsk (coal-mining center), Dnipropetrovsk (an important metallurgical center), Lviv (a scientific and cultural center) and many others.
The geographical position of Ukraine is very favourable for the development of its industry and agriculture.
Ukraine is divided into 24 administrative regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
On the 24th of August 1991 Ukraine declared its independence.
Nowadays Ukraine is a sovereign, democratic, unitary state with presidential and parliamentary form of government. It has its own national emblem, state flag and anthem. The political system of Ukraine, its home and foreign policy, rights and duties of its citizens are established and guaranteed by the Constitution adopted on June 28,1996.
The government are divided into three branches - the legislative,the executive,and the judicial.
The Presidentis the head of the state and is elected by majority vote for a five-year term. He is the guarantor of state sovereignty, the territorial integrity of Ukraine, human rights and freedoms. He is also the Commander-in-Chief of theArmed Forces of Ukraine.
The Verkhovna Rada(the Supreme Council or Parliament) of Ukraine is the sole legislative body. The main function of the Verkhovna Rada is making laws. It has one chamberand consists of 450 people's deputies. They are elected at general and direct elections every four years. Voting, which is not compulsory, is by secret ballotand from the age of 18. The candidate with the largest number of votes in a constituencyis elected.
The highest body of the executive power is the Cabinet of Ministers.It is responsible to the President and accountable to the Verkhovna Rada. The Cabinet carries out domestic and foreign policy of the state. The Prime Ministerheads the Cabinet. He is nominated by the President and is to be approved by the Verkhovna Rada. There are also local bodies of executive power.
Judicial power in Ukraine belongs to the Constitutional Courtand courts of general jurisdiction. The Supreme Courtof Ukraine is the highest judicial bodyof general jurisdiction. The Constitutional Court has exclusive constitutional jurisdiction in Ukraine.
Being a sovereign state, Ukraine establishes new relations with the countries throughout the world. It sets direct contacts with many foreign countries signing agreements and treaties,participates in the work of many international organizations. As a result, there are a lot of foreign embassiesin its capital.
Words and word-combinations
legislative branch - законодавча гілка (влади)
executive branch - виконавча гілка (влади)
judicial branch - судова гілка (влади)
the Supreme Court - Верховний Суд
the Verkhovna Rada (the Supreme Council) - Верховна Рада
compulsory - примусовий, обов'язковий
by secret ballot - таємним голосуванням
constituency - виборчій округ, виборці
appointment - призначення (на посаду)
judicial body - судовий орган
the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine - Головнокомандувач Збройних Сил України determined by law - визначений законом national emblem - герб state flag - державний прапор national anthem - національний гімн; to sign agreements and treaties -підписувати угоди й договори embassy - посольство, представництво