Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, Ukraine is mainly a southern part of the Eastern European
plain. Only smaller areas are mountainous.
The Ukrainian plains have an average height of
175 m above sea level. and includes several highland areas
and plateaus. At the far west is the Podilska Highlands,
which in Kamula reaches 471 m above sea level. It is drained
to the Black Sea by the rivers Dnestr and Södra Buh (Södra
Bug). To the east follows the Dnieper Plateau, which is
crossed by a number of river valleys and ravines. On the
eastern side of Dnepr, the Azovian highlands rise to 324
meters above sea level. In the eastern part of Ukraine is
the Donets Ridge, which reaches 367 meters above sea level.
at the top Mohyla-Metjetna. Separate lowland areas can also
be discerned, such as Prypjatträsken (Pripetträsken) in the
north, which are crossed by Prypjatwith several rivers. In
central Ukraine, the lowland area extends around the Dnieper
River, which to the south extends around the Black Sea coast
and the northern Crimean peninsula.
Mountain areas include furthest to the
southwest, where the Carpathians extend into Ukraine. There
are easily accessible rock ridges that reach 2,058 m above
sea level. as the highest in the top Hoverla. The Jail
Mountains in southern Crimea are made up of some parallel
ridges with fertile valleys in between. They form a
continuation of the Caucasus with interruptions only for the
Strait of Kertj, which leads into the Azovska lake. A wide
stretch of mountain, including with granites, stretches from
Azovska Lake to the northwest and is reflected in the
altitude areas. In other parts, the bedrock consists of
sedimentary rocks formed during chalk and tertiary.
The soil in Ukraine varies; in the north there is a belt
with pod soles, while a central belt comprising about 65% of
Ukraine is covered by fertile black soil.
Ukraine has a temperate climate that, due to the low
rainfall, is of a steppe nature, except for the southernmost
parts of the Mediterranean climate. The climate is becoming
increasingly continental to the east, with warmer summers
and colder winters. In the west, warm, humid air masses from
the Atlantic have an effect, which means that the western
parts get warmer in winter than the eastern ones, which are
influenced by the high-pressure belt in the north.
Winters in Ukraine are considerably more stable in
weather than in Central Europe and winter temperatures last
between two and four months. Winters are cold and especially
in the south, the northeastern Siberian winds can cause
heavy snowstorms. However, the snow cover is rather small
and short-lived due to the limited winter rainfall. In the
summer, eastern warm winds in southern Ukraine can cause
dust storms. Crimea has a mild climate with short winters,
long hot summers and precipitation amounts as small as 200
mm. Spring is short throughout the country, but especially
in the Crimean region, winter turns very quickly into a dry
and sunny spring.
The average temperature in January increases from north
to south and it is only at the western Crimean peninsula
that it reaches 0 °C. The Carpathians have −6 °C and the
coolest region in the northeast has −8 °C. In July, the
average temperature is lowest in the Carpathians, 16 °C,
rising east and south with the highest values at the Black
Sea coastal areas (up to 23 °C).
The annual rainfall is highest in the Carpathians, over
1,200 mm, and decreases to the east. At least it rains at
the Black Sea coastal areas, below 400 mm per year. The
rainfall has a summer maximum throughout the country. The
exception is Crimea south of the Jajla mountains, which, due
to the Mediterranean character, have the most rainfall
during the winter.
In ancient times, Ukraine was dominated by extensive
grass steppes, but these fertile lands are now largely
cultivated. Remaining areas of natural vegetation testify to
what the landscape may have once looked like. In the spring,
the steppe is dominated by, among other things. tulips,
peonies, sword lilies and anemones. In the summer these are
replaced by, inter alia, sage and silver shimmering stock of
various spring grass species.
In the forest areas in the north and northwest, the fauna
is typically central European. Here, as well as on the
forest steppes in the middle parts of the country, there are
also wolves and moose. Gold shawls are found in almost the
The steppes are characterized by burrowing rodents, such
as blind rats, hamsters, rattlesnakes, sisels and steppe
murmurs, furthermore by crawfish, mainly agams and hams.
Amongst the birds of the steppe there are many species of
larch as well as maize, stairs, steppe hawk, steppe eagle,
tatar falcon, evening falcon and quail.
In the wetlands along the Black Sea and the Azov Sea,
large numbers of egrets, gulls (including black-headed gull,
long-billed gull and black-headed gull) nest, terns,
cormorants and both European pelicans. Here, very large
quantities of geese (including red-necked goose and mountain
goose), ducks and waders also rest and winter.
Among the country's over 200 species of fish, several
species of starfish are noticed.
Ukraine has (2012) ten areas corresponding to national
parks. Carpathian Park and Sjatskparken. In addition, there
are a large number of scientific reserves, national
biosphere reserves, hunting reserves and less nature
protected areas, over 5,000 in number. About 4% of the total
land area is protected, of the marine areas about 5%.