Very interesting facts about Ukraine that you haven’t probably known before.
1. Most words in the Ukrainian language starts with the letter “п”. The most frequently used letter of the Ukrainian alphabet – “о”. The letters “ф” and “г” are used least often.
2. George Gershwin wrote one of the world’s most famous songs, “Summertime”, after being inspired by an old Ukrainian lullaby called “Sleep Is Tiptoeing About” performed by the Ukrainian National Chorus.
3. The third most visited McDonald’s in the world is located in Kiev, near the train station. This restaurant has always been in the top five most crowded McDonald’s in the world. Last year, it served 2.283.399 visitors.
4. Arsenalnaya Metro Station located in Kiev is the deepest in the world (105 meters). The station was built in 1960, very close to the House of Parliament. According to some reports, the tunnels near Arsenalnaya house secret shelters built specially for the political elite.
5. Ukrainians are the fifth most-drinking nation in the world. Only Moldavians, Russians, Hungarians and Czechs are ahead of them. An average Ukrainian older than 15 drinks 15.6 liters of alcohol a year (it’s a liter more than an Irishman and almost two liters more than a Norwegian).
6. The Ukrainian national anthem consists of only six lines (four in a verse and two in a chorus). The remaining verses of the anthem are considered politically incorrect. (“We’ll stand, brothers, in bloody battle, from the Syan to the Don” implies a claim to the territories of Russia and Poland).
7. In Europe, the police solve 30-40% of crimes, in Ukraine – 90%. This unnaturally good statistics is the result of the reluctance of the Ukrainian policemen to record “hopeless” cases (like thefts of mobile phones) and knock confessions out of suspects.
8. Ukraine has the world’s largest reserves of manganese ore – 2.3 billion tons or about 11% of all deposits of the world.
9. Ukrainians invented a plane with the largest freight-carrying capacity in the world – the An-225 “Mriya”. Originally, it was designed for spacecraft transportation. Now it specializes in freight haulage.
10. In 1710, Ukrainian Hetman Pylyp Orlyk introduced “Pacts and Constitutions of Rights and Freedoms of the Zaporizhian Host”, at that time a super-progressive document which meant to separate powers into three branches and regulate the rights and responsibilities of the government and citizens. Some researchers believe that this document is one of the world’s first constitutions.
11. One of the most famous Christmas songs “Schedrik” (a folk song written by a Ukrainian composer, Mykola Leontovich) is known to the rest of the world as “Carol of the Bells” or “Ring Christmas Bells”.
12. Ukraine, on its own initiative, refused the third largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. At the moment of the declaration of independence, Ukraine had over a thousand nuclear warheads and the third largest nuclear potential after Russia and America. The warheads and missiles were given to Russia, silos were destroyed. In response, Ukraine received the money for disarmament, plus security guarantees from the nuclear powers.
13. The monuments to a famous Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko, are set in 1200 places around the world. However, most of them are located in western Ukraine.
14. Following the example of the main hero of a famous folk tale “Levsha” (The Lefthander) by N. Leskov, Ukrainian Nikolai Syadristy decided to shoe a flea. The flea can be seen in the Kiev Museum of Miniatures.
15. In Ukraine, unlike the rest of the world, batteries are not recycled separately. Even in spite of the fact that they contain toxic elements which heavily pollute water and soil.
16. At the moment of the declaration of independence, Ukraine was inhabited by 19.4 million pigs, today there are only 8.3 million. Despite its reputation of a major bacon eater, an average Ukrainian eats only 18 kg of pork a year. This is three times less than a typical German eats.
17. A Ukrainian powerlifter, Dmitry Khaladji, is included in the Guinness Book of Records as the author of more than two dozen records. One of them is called “The Devil’s Forge”. He lies on a bed of nails and is covered with 700-kg plates which are broken with sledgehammers.
18. Ukrainian “Yuzhmash” (Dnepropetrovsk) produces the most environmentally friendly launch vehicles in the world.
19. The oldest map known to scientists, as well as the most ancient settlement of Homo Sapiens were found in Ukraine, in the village of Mezhireche. They are 14.5 – 15 thousand years old. The map is cut out of the bones of a mammoth. The settlement is made of the same material.
20. The official Guinness world record: Ukrainians made the world’s largest glass of champagne – 56.25 liters. How to drink champagne from this glass is unclear, but it’s still great.