The largest country in Europe, Ukraine is one of the oldest territories in the history of time, dating back to 32,000 BC. The country’s quest for independence has always been a heated subject of discussion, and it was only after gaining permanent freedom that the nation now enjoys a neutral state. Its fertile farmlands have given many a break baker bouts of immense joy, making the country one of the biggest grain exporters in the world. Let’s delve into what makes Ukraine a special country with its strange customs and traditions, impressive achievements, and a happy-go-lucky population. Here go 10 amazing facts about Ukraine:
Ukraine has the deepest metro station in the world. The Arsenalna metro station in Ukraine’s capital city Kiev is, as of today, the deepest metro station in the world. It was constructed well beneath the Dnieper river, and goes down to 105.5 meters (346 feet) in the ground. Fascinatingly enough, the station runs so deep that commuters are required to take multiple platforms and escalators to even reach the station.
Ukrainians wear their wedding ring on their right hand, did you know that? While it’s customary for people all over the world to wear wedding rings on their left hand, Ukrainians have it the opposite way. According to a study by Readers Digest, the phenomenon of wearing wedding rings in the left hand has been a fairly new one. Countries like Ukraine, Latvia, and Bulgaria have always considered the left hand to be associated with lack of trust or sin. This mistrust of the left hand has led to the popularity of wedding rings being worn on the right hand.
Ukrainians once made the largest glass of champagne in the world. And, of course! Just like every country with its own set of weird records, Ukraine holds the Guinness World Record for creating the largest flute of champagne that could hold about 60 liters of wine, equaling a whopping 75 bottles. In a ceremony in Balaklava, the 4.5 feet tall champagne flute was created by a group of Ukrainian champagne makers, who aimed to draw the world’s attention to the fine sparkling wines of the country. And boy, did they do it with pride!
No meal in Ukraine is complete without bread. Once known as the “breadbasket of the Soviet Union”, Ukraine takes pride in its consumption of bread in all forms. Ukrainians love to incorporate bread in every meal they have in a day, and are known for baking their exclusive versions of breads. Some of the most popular varieties of Ukrainian breads date back to 3000 years, with Easter bread (paska), wedding bread (korovai), egg bread (bulka), and sweet bread (babka) ruling the Ukrainian roost. Today, these breads have found prominence in various other parts of the world.
Ukraine was practically nowhere in existence from 1300s until the 1900s. Ukraine has had its fair share of invasions by a number of countries in history. Between the 1300s and early 1900s, it was ruled by Poland, Russia, Austria, Lithuania and the Tartars. But, it didn’t end there. Trashing all hopes of independence for the country, arrived Soviet Union which didn’t collapse until 1991. It was only after Soviet Union’s dissolution that Ukraine was finally acclaimed as an international community.
Ukraine is not spared from deeply held beliefs in superstition. When planning on traveling, the traveler sits on their language for some minutes. This is thought to make evil spirits consider the individual a bore or non-entity so much as to wander off leaving the traveler to travel in peace.
As of December 2015, Forbes identified Rinat Akhmetov as the richest man in Ukraine worth some US$6.2 billion. He made his fortune in steel and coal. The guy holds a Bachelor of Arts / Science from Donetsk National University. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine put some of his investments in uncertainty including the $400 million Donbass Arena which played host to the UEFA Euro 2012 soccer tournament.
Svitiaz happens to be the deepest Lake in the whole of Ukraine at only 58.4m. Its located in the Volyn region of Western Ukraine. It is also the second largest lake in the country. It is popular with visitors and tourists due to its clean waters which get warm in summer sitting on a sandy bottom. By comparison the deepest lake in the United States is Crater Lake at 1,932 feet (589 meters). .
Ukraine has one of the fastest growing rates of HIV and AIDS in the world and the highest infection in Europe. In 2011 the country had 360,000 HIV positive people. Nearly 60 new infections and about 11 AIDS deaths were estimated per day in 2012. Fighting in the Donbass region against Russian separatists affected up to 8000 patients on HIV and AIDS treatment.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) is the national carrier and the largest in Ukraine. The government sold a 61% stake in the company. The airline enjoys slightly above average ratings online. The airline was established in 1992 and some of its notable achievements includes being the first airline in the former Soviet Union to use new Boeing 737 aircraft. During the first six months of 2013 UIA carried a total of 2.2 million passengers.