Ukraine's regional ethnographic cultures, not always congruent with oblast boundaries are: Donbas, Slobozhanshchyna, Zaporizhzhya, Steppes Ukraine, Poltava, Cherkasy, Polissya, Podillya, Volyn, Halychyna, Bukovyna, Transcarpathia, and Crimea.Crimean Tatar culture predominates in Crimea, and the Hutsul highlanders live in Halychyna, Bukovyna, and Transcarpathia. Ukraine's 1989 census showed a population of 51,452,000.This ethnonym of Rus people, Rusych (plural, Rusychi ), evolved into Rusyn , a western Ukrainian self-identification interchangeable with Ukrainian into the twentieth century.Ruthenian , a Latinization of Rusyn , was used by the Vatican and the Austrian Empire designating Ukrainians. Ukraine, Europe's second largest country during the twentieth century, occupies 232,200 square miles (603,700 square kilometers).The popular symbol of Mother Ukraine appeared first in Ukrainian baroque poetry of the seventeenth century as a typical allegory representing homelands as women.When Ukraine was divided between the Russian and Austrian empires, the image of Mother Ukraine was transformed into the image of an abused woman abandoned by her children.Its main geographical features are the Polissya and Volyn northern forests, the central forest steppes, the Donetsk eastern uplands (up to 1,600 feet [500 meters] above sea level), and the coastal lowlands and steppes along the Black and Azov Seas.
The 1989 census shows the following percentages of the population's ethnic composition: Ukrainians, 72.7 percent; Russians, 22.1 percent; Jews, 0.9 percent; Belorussians, 0.8 percent; Moldovans, 0.6; Poles, 0.5 percent; Bulgarians, 0.4 percent; Hungarians, 0.3 percent; Crimean Tatars, 0.2 percent; Romanians, 0.2 percent; Greeks, 0.2 percent; Armenians, 0.1 percent; Roma (Gypsies), 0.1 percent; Germans, 0.1 percent; Azerbaijanis, 0.1 percent; Gagauz, 0.1 percent; and others, 0.5 percent. Ukrainian is an Indo-European language of the Eastern Slavic group.
Rus is mentioned for the first time by European chroniclers in 839 The Kyivan state experienced a cultural and commercial flourishing from the ninth to the eleventh centuries under the rulers Volodymyr I (Saint Volodymyr), his son Yaroslav I the Wise, and Volodymyr Monomakh.
The first of these rulers Christianized Rus in 988 The other two gave it a legal code.
Roman-Kosh in the Crimean peninsula reaches 5,061 feet (1,543 meters.) Alpine meadows—called polonyna in the Carpathians and iajla in the Crimea—are another interesting geographical feature. The yearly average temperatures range from 40 to 49 degrees Fahrenheit (6 to 9 degrees Celsius)—except for the southern steppes and in Crimea, where yearly average temperatures range from 50 to 56 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 13 degrees Celsius).
Ukraine has twenty-four administrative units—oblasts—almost all named for their capitals.