Ukraine is largely part of the Black Earth region, although a long time ago it was mainly steppe. The major river flowing through Ukraine is the Dnieper, and on the eastern end of Ukraine is the Don River, former home of the Don Cossacks. Ukraine is bordered by the Black Sea to the south, and the Western Ukraine to the west! I remember how flat it was when I sat on the tarmac at the Kiev airport looking eastward.
Ukraine is where "Russia" had its origins with the emergence of the medieval Kievan Rus' princedom in the tenth century CE.
At over 200,000 sq. mi., Ukraine is one of the world's larger countries (second largest in Europe). It presently borders Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova.
The climate in Ukraine is generally a moderate continental climate with a more Mediterranean climate found along the Black Sea, especially in the Crimea. In general, there is more precipitation to the north and west; winters are milder in the north and west; summers are cooler in the north and west. For example, the average temperature in January is 26° F in the southwest and 18° F in the northeast. The average in July is 73° F in the southeast and 64° F in the northwest. Most of Ukraine receives about 20 inches of precipitation a year.
Ukraine near Kharkiv
Ukraine is not just farmland. One of the most highly industrialized areas of "Russia" is in Ukraine in the Donets Basin (aka Donbass or Donbas). The Donets River is a tributary of the Don River in eastern Ukraine near Kharkiv. The basin is the site of one of the most intensively mined areas of coal in Russia and Ukraine. By the start of World War I, the area was producing something like eighty-seven percent of Russian coal. Even though production has declined in the last few decades, it remains an important coal mining center. Along with the coal mining, in the late nineteenth century, the area became the principal iron and steel-producing region of the country. During World War II, most of the industrial infrastructure of the area was destroyed, but it was rebuilt and now remains the chief iron and steel producing area of Ukraine. There are also other heavy industries located in the Donbas.
Heavy industry in the Donets Basin
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