Moving to Ukraine

 

 

A former Soviet republic which gained its independence in 1991, Ukraine is the largest country in Europe. In 2012, Ukraine was visited by some 23 million foreign tourists, mostly coming from Eastern Europe. Moving to Ukraine will be a swift and easy process with the help of reputable moving companies who will assist you from packing your valuables to settling in Kiev or anywhere else in the country.

Being the “Breadbasket of Europe” is no small feat. Ukraine is a nation thriving with rich natural resources, an exceptional labor market, and a good education system. Presently, the country is going through a difficult period brought about by tensions with Russia. Expats that are interested in moving to the country are advised to heed the travel warnings and other advisories that governments around the world have been putting out.

Europe's second largest country is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Ukraine is bordered by Belarus to the north; Russia to the east; the Republic of Moldova and Romania to the southwest; Hungary, the Slovak Republic and Poland to the west.
 


Ukraine is a varied country with a total of 603,700 square kilometers and a coastline of 2,782 square kilometers. Kiev, the capital, is Ukraine's largest city and is home to 1,723,834 people. As of October 2009, Ukraine's total population was 46,011,345. 


Ukraine may not be one of the best economies in Europe but it is slowly making strides and was bouncing back at the end of 2009 with a total nominal GDP of USD$180 billion dollars, being the 45th country in the world. After a significant decrease of GDP in 2010, the economics has got back its growth reaching a USD$180 billion dollars in 2014. Presently, the country is being challenged and put in a situation brought about by civil unrest. Bombings and other violent protests have been occurring, and expatriates are likely to be affected.

Although recovery is expected at a slower pace, the Ukrainian economy is supported by its mining and agricultural industry and is endowed with mineral resources such as oil and natural gas reserves. Other important natural mineral resources are coal, sulfur, mercury, iron ore, nickel, kaolin, manganese, magnesium, natural gas, titanium, oil, graphite, and salt. Ukraine also produces sunflower seeds, grain, and beet sugar. 


Ukraine's trade is becoming more diversified, and its trading partners are the European Union and Commonwealth of Independent States. The metal industry plays an important role in the export sector, resulting in Ukraine being the world's eighth largest producer of steel in 2005. Other exports are petroleum, transport equipment, turbines, chemicals, timber and processed packaged food.

Ukraine's tourism industry is one of the fastest growing and important sectors. According to the World Tourism Organization, in 2007, Ukraine ranked eighth in the world for the number of tourists visiting, beating Austria and Russia. Many governments have issued travel warnings to tourists, as Ukraine is going through a period of turmoil that can be dangerous to visitors.  


Expats will find numerous opportunities to get acquainted with Ukrainian culture in Lviv (City of Lions), one of the oldest cities in Europe and considered the heart of Ukrainian culture. Kiev, on the other hand, is the cradle of Russian civilization. It is important to note that many parts of Ukraine have suffered damages through bombings, and expats relocating to the country will want to do some research to find out the best areas to settle down in.

Christianity heavily influences Ukrainian customs and the majority of the population practices Orthodox Christianity and Eastern Catholicism. Also, Protestantism and Judaism are also well represented.

Ukrainian is the official language. Russian is also widely spoken in Kiev and Crimea. 
 

To some, the first impression is that Ukrainians are cold. On the contrary, they are warm and friendly; most avoid drawing attention to themselves and is the reason they tend to appear restrained in public. Ukrainians are in fact a hospitable folk; expect to be invited into their homes and be well fed for any celebration. Family is considered to be the center of Ukrainian social life.   

Although Ukraine is a country that is presently suffering from political turmoil, it has a well-preserved identity that will capture the heart of any expat.

 

 

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