The geography of Ukraine explained

Ukraine Map

SPOKANE, Wash.– Ukraine is now the center of world events. To keep you informed, here is information about the geography of the country now under siege from its neighbor, Russia.

Ukraine is most comparable in size to the U.S. State of Texas and is home to 41 million people. That’s more than Canada and the state of California and roughly the same population as Iraq.

Ukraine’s land is mostly flat or rolling hills, with the Carpathian Mountains in the far west of the country. To the south is the Black Sea, where the port city of Odesa is located. In the southeast is the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. The Sea of Azov separates Crimea from Russia and eastern Ukraine. Separating the country roughly in half is the Dnieper (pronounced NEE-proh) River.

RELATED: History of Ukraine from the Soviet Union to present day

Europe Map

To the west are Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova, and Bulgaria. To the east is Russia, and to the north is Russian ally Belarus. Belarus is only 60 miles from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv (kEEv). On the border with Belarus is the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where the land remains radioactive from the worst nuclear accident in history. Russian troops invaded the Chernobyl area from Belarus along with many other parts of eastern and southern Ukraine.

RELATED: The Chernobyl Disaster

While Ukraine is on a similar latitude as Spokane and Vancouver, its geography produces noticeable differences in the climate. Winters are dominated by cold, dry air out of Russia while more southerly wind flow brings rain during the summer. Summer in Ukraine is over twice as wet as the winter as a result.

In the spring and fall, waterlogged or thawing soil creates seasons of mud that have plagued military movement in Eastern Europe for centuries. This is called Rasputitsa.

RELATED: How much does mud season matter in the invasion of Ukraine?

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