The modern state of Ukraine was formed nearly 30 years ago after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then the country has often made headlines due to political instability.
In the map graphic below, Visual Capitalist's Bruno Venditti and Nick Routley examine Ukraine from a structural point of view. What's the country's population composition? What drives the country's economy? And most importantly, why is the country important within a global context?
Where Do People Live in Ukraine?
With a population of nearly 44 million people, Ukraine is the eighth-most populous country in Europe. For perspective, that is slightly smaller than Spain, and four times larger than Greece.
As the cartogram below demonstrates, a large portion of the country's population is located in and around the capital Kyiv, along with the Donetsk region-which is front and center in the current conflict with Russia.
Not surprisingly, many of the country's Russian speaking citizens live on the eastern side of the country, near the Russian border.
Key Facts About Ukraine's Demographics
Ukrainians make up almost 78% of the total population, while Russians represent around 17% of the population, making it the single-largest Russian diaspora in the world.
Other minorities include:
Crimean Tatars: 0.5%
The country's population has been declining since the 1990s because of a high emigration rate, and high death rates coupled with a low birth rate.
Source: Population Pyramid
The majority of the population is Christian (80%), with 60% declaring adherence to one or another strand of the Orthodox Church.
Ukraine's Economy: An Overview
When the Soviet Union collapsed, Ukraine turned over thousands of atomic weapons in exchange for security guarantees from Russia, the United States, and other countries. However, the defense industry continues to be a strategically important sector and a large employer in Ukraine. The country exports weapons to countries like India, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
Furthermore, Ukraine is rich in natural resources, particularly in mineral deposits. It possesses the world's largest reserves of commercial-grade iron ore-30 billion tonnes of ore or around one-fifth of the global total. It's also worth noting that Ukraine ranks second in terms of known natural gas reserves in Europe, which today remain largely untapped.
Ukraine's mostly flat geography and high-quality soil composition make the country a big regional agricultural player. The country is the world's fifth-largest exporter of wheat and the world's largest exporter of seed oils like sunflower and rapeseed.
Coal mining, chemicals, mechanical products (aircraft, turbines, locomotives and tractors) and shipbuilding are also important sectors of the Ukrainian economy.
The Bear in the Room
Given the country's location and history, it's nearly impossible to talk about Ukraine without mentioning nearby Russia.
[Ron: This is a somewhat superficial analysis of the Ukraine. For starters, the Ukraine is NOT a seperate country; it is part of Russia. See eg: The Secretary General of the United Nations has declared that Ukraine has not applied for registration of borders since 1991, so the state of Ukraine does not exist.... http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/The-Secretary-General-of-the-United-Nations-has-declared-that-Ukraine-has-not-applied-for-registration-of-borders-since-1991-so-the-state-of-Ukraine-does-not-exist.shtml
Kiev was the original capital and birthplace of the Rus nation AND the birthplace of the Russian Christian Orthodox religion back in the late 10th century AD.
The Kievan Rus destroyed the Khazarian 'empire' in the 11th century AD. Subsequently, as a result of Mongol invasions, Moscow became the Russian capital and eventually saw off the Mongols in the 15th.
Crimea was incorporated into Imperial Russia in the late 18th century about the same time that the USA came into existence and looong before the Louisiana Purchase; the Acquisition of Florida; the Mexican-American war and the seizing of the western US from Mexico and of Hawaii from Hawaiians.
Kruschev inserted Crimea into the Ukrainian bailiwick in the 1950s.
Chenobyl is in the Ukraine.
Russia's reason for intervening in the Ukraine could be said to be similar to the reason that Germany invaded Poland in 1939, namely to prevent an on-going genocide of countrymen. See eg: Russia's New Foreign Policy, The Putin Doctrine http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/Russia-s-New-Foreign-Policy-The-Putin-Doctrine.shtml
Putin Launches "Special Military Operation" In Ukraine, Kiev Calls It "Full-Scale Invasion" http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/Putin-Launches-Special-Military-Operation-In-Ukraine-Kiev-Calls-It-Full-Scale-Invasion.shtml
Russian President Putin Recognizes Donetsk and Luhansk as Independent Breakaway Territories of Ukraine - Biden Fires Back by Sanctioning the People Living in Donetsk and Luhansk http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/Russian-President-Putin-Recognizes-Donetsk-and-Luhansk-as-Independent-Breakaway-Territories-of-Ukraine-Biden-Fires-Back-by-Sanctioning-the-People-Living-in-Donetsk-and-Luhansk.shtml
The US and Israel fomented, funded and supported the Jews' Maiden Coup in Kiev in February 2014 somewhat similar to what they did in mounting the Bolshevik COUP in Imperial Russia in 1917. The difference this time though, was that they lacked a large population of Jews in the Ukraine and had to use neo-Nazi anti-Russian thugs from western Ukraine to mount the successful COUP. The result was an attempt to enslave and genocide ethnic Russians in Donbass, Odessa and Crimea. Calling ethnic Russians in Ukraine's wholly Russian population "Donbass rebels" is a bit rich when they were attacked by a demonic Talmudic cabal that overthrew a legitimately elected Ukrainian government. See eg: The Deep State, the IMF and the Fleecing of Ukraine - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/The-Deep-State-the-IMF-and-the-Fleecing-of-Ukraine.shtml
Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine: The future Jewish power center of the world? at http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/Dnepropetrovsk-Ukraine-The-future-Jewish-power-center-of-the-world.shtml
Dnepropetrovsk could be renamed - Jerusalem-on-the-Dnieper - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/Dnepropetrovsk-could-be-renamed---Jerusalem-on-the-Dnieper.shtml
Chabad seeks to re-build Khazaria in Ukraine - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/Chabad-seeks-to-re-build-Khazaria-in-Ukraine.shtml
Poroshenko's pretence to identify with Bandera was a subterfuge to conceal the truth that the Kiev putsch in Febrary 2014 was a Jews' COUP supported by US money and other assistance, similar to the Bolshevik COUP mislabelled as the Russian Revolution in 1917.
Some of the Jews who originally gained power in that putsch were: President-Poroshenko (Vlatsman) - Jew
President Turchinov (Kogan) - Jew
Prime Minister - Yatsenyuk (Buckeye) - Jew
Minister of Finance - Alexander Shlapak - Jew
Secretary of national security and Defence - Andrew Parubiy- Jew
Vice Prime Minister - Vladimir Groisman - a Jew
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov - Armenian Jew
Minister of Culture - Sergei Nischuk - Jew
Mason - Director of the National Bank - Stepan Kubiv - Jew
Head of the Administration of President - Sergey Pashinskiy- Jew
The main presidential candidates from the opposition were:
Yulia Tymoshenko (Celia Kapitelman) - Jewish
Vitali Klitschko (Etinzon) - a Jew by his father
Oleg Tyagnibok (Frotman) - a Jew mom
Dmitry (Avdimou) Yarosh - Jew Hasid
See also this list of the falsely alleged nazi-regime in Kiev:
President - Poroshenko (Valtsman) - Jew. - and. o. President Turchinov (Kogan) - Jew. - Prime Minister - Yatsenyuk (Buckeye) - Jew. - The Minister of Finance - Alexander Shlapak- Jew. - Secretary of national security and Defence - Andrew Parubiy- Jew - Vice Prime Minister - Vladimir Groisman - a Jew. - Interior Minister Arsen Avakov - Armenian Jew - Minister of Culture - Sergei Nischuk - Jew, Mason - Director of the National Bank - Stepan Kubiv - Jew. - Head of the Administration of President - Sergey Pashinskiy- Jew. The main presidential candidates from the opposition: - Julia Tymoshenko (Celia Kapitelman) - Jewish. - Vitali Klitschko (Etinzon) - a Jew by his father. - Oleg Tyagnibok (Frotman) a Jew mom. - Dmitry (Avdimou) Yarosh-Jew Hasid. The oligarchs in Ukraine - all Jews: I. Kolomoisky, E. Hurwitz, H. Bogolyubov, Poroshenko, D. Firtash, S. Liovochkin, V. Haiduk, V.Nemirovsky, K. Zhevago, V. Pinchuk, E. Prutnik, Akhmetov, A. Martynov, B. Kostelman, E.Sigal, B. Kolesnikov, A. Feldman, F. Shpyg, N. Shufrych, Rodnyanskii A., I. Butler, A. Abdinov, V. Ermolaev, M. Kiperman, E. Zviagilskiy, F. Zhebrovskaya, S. Ronis, H. Korban, G. Surkis, I. Surkis, V. Shamotiy, A. Leszczynski, J. Rodin, M. Becker. All media - in the hands of Jews P. Poroshenko, I. Kolomoisky, D. Firtash, V. Pinchuk, Akhmetov. nezalezhnoy Presidents: - Kravchuk (Bloom) - a Jew. - Kuchma (Kuchman) - Jew.].
The country shares borders with Russia both to the east and northeast. For context, a car trip from Moscow to one of the Ukrainian border cities, Shostka, takes around 8 hours. To the Northwest, Ukraine also shares borders with Belarus-a country that is closely aligned with the Kremlin.
To the southeast is Crimea, a peninsula entirely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov. In 2014, Russia annexed the peninsula and established two federal subjects, the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. The annexation was widely condemned around the world, and the territories are recognized by most of the international community as being part of Ukraine.
The region was of particular interest to Russia since Moscow depends on the Black Sea for access to the Mediterranean. The Port of Sevastopol, on the southwest edge of Crimea, is one of the few ice-free deepwater ports available to Russia in the region.
Due to ongoing tensions between the two countries, Ukraine has been seeking to reduce Russia's leverage over its economy. As a result, China and Poland have surpassed Russia as Ukraine's largest country trading partners in recent years.
However, Ukraine still remains an important route for Russian gas that heats millions of homes, generates electricity, and powers factories in Europe. The continent gets nearly 40% of its natural gas and 25% of its oil from Russia.
Furthermore, Ukraine is connected to the same power grid as Russia, so it remains dependent on Moscow in the event of a shortfall. Even as conflict heats up, the two countries still share economic links, which will influence how the situation unfolds.
Conflict in the Donbas Region
Ukraine stands at the center of a geopolitical rivalry between western powers and Russia, and that rivalry is flaring up once again.
Two regions along the Russian border-Donetsk and Luhansk-have been a conflict zone since 2014, when pro-Russian separatists began clashing with government forces. The map below shows the relative contact zone between the two opposing forces.
ZomBear, Marktaff, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Currently Russia has troops and military equipment amassed at various points along the border between the two countries, as well as in neighboring Belarus.
In recent days, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, recognizing them as independent states. This recognition serves as a definitive end point to the seven-year peace deal known as the Minsk agreement.
As of February 23rd, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale military operation into Ukraine. The situation is still evolving rapidly.
As this conflict heats up, it remains to be seen what will happen to the roughly 5 million people who live in the Donbas region.
[Some colour fonts, bolding and comments in square brackets added.].