Ukraine is between 45° and 52° south latitude and between 22° and 40° east longitude. It extends 1,316 km from the east (the easternmost point is the village of Chervona Zirka, Milev district, Lugansk oblast) to the west (Chop, Transcarpathian oblast). In the widest central part of the country, the distance between the northernmost point (the village of Petrivka, Chernigiv oblast) and the southernmost point (the Cape of Sarych, the Crimea) is 893 km.
Generally, Ukraine`s territory extends from the west to the east 400 km more than from the north to the south.
Ukraine`s center is 49°01 north latitude and 31°02 east longitude (calculations by cartographer Y. О. Кudlyk and mathematician V. Grytsevych). This site is located 2 km west of the city of Vatutin ( 26 km west of the city of Shpola) in Cherkasy oblast.
Ucraine`s physiographic position is good for living and economic activity. This country has large and diverse natural resources. Its territory is in the western part of the east European plain, in the zones of mixed forests, forest-steppe and steppe. Ukraine is located approximately at the latitude of France, the northern part of the US and the southern areas of Canada, and has natural conditions similar to those countries`.
Ukraine is located in Central and South-Eastern Europe next to most countries with which it maintains intensive transport and economic relationships. Ukraine has common national borders with five countries in the west: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova.
Running through Ukraine are nine railroads, as well important highways connecting Russia with the countries of Europe.
Ukraine`s southern part is washed by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, and in the far south-west, by the Danube, the second longest (after the Volga) European river. Water-transport links are maintained with many countries of Europe, Asia, Africa and other continents via practically nonfreezing ports of the Black Sea, as well via the Sea of Azov and the Danube. The Danube and its navigable tributaries flow through seven European countries. Also, the distance to many countries is not long: for example, 180 km from Odesa to Constantsa (Romania) by sea, 340 km from Odesa to Varna (Bulgaria), 630 km from Odesa to Istanbul (Turkey). The Danube and its navigable tributaries in the eastern part of Western Europe and in Central Europe are an important natural potential for increasing Ukrainian export-import transportation by river.
In the north-east, east and the south-east, Ukraine borders Russia`s industrialized regions (Central, Central Black Earth and North Caucasian); the distance is not very long to some other economic regions (Volga, Volga-Viatka,North-Western, Ural). Adjacent to Ukraine are the territories of Briansk, Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh and Rostov oblasts of Russia. In the north, Ukraine borders Brest and Gomel oblasts of Belarus and in the south-west, Moldova. Ukraine`s borders with Russia, Belarus and Moldova are 4,200 km long.
Intensive economic relationships between Ukraine and Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria and Turkey are maintained via the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
Historically, running through the territory of Ukraine, from the north to the south (down the Dnieper), was the important Varagians to the Greeks route by which diverse relations were maintained with the peoples of Northern Europe, Little Asia, the Black Sea region, the Crimea and other developed regions closely connected with the Roman empire and Greece. In the Crimea, the Northern Black Sea area and in the Azov area, there emerged many Greek cities having a high level of development of productive forces. This produced a most positive effect on the economy and culture of Kievan Rus in whose territory contemporary Ukraine was formed.
Kievan Rus, particularly its western principalities, were situated close to the countries of feudal Western Europe and intensively traded with them by river and sea. There began to appear territorial labor division on a European scale. Drawn in that process were large territories, including India and the countries of the Middle East.And the trade routes between them and the Near East and India also passed through what is now Ukraine. In the 11th –12th centuries, however, the relocation of the world trade centers, caused by the crusades, to the eastern Mediterranean region and adjacent areas, deprived Kievan Rus of the advantages of its geographic position.
Kievan Rus, specifically its southern and central parts located in the steppe and forest-steppe zones, became the barrier that shielded Europe from the nomadic peoples and tribes. This, on the one hand, weakened the economy of Rus-Ukraine, complicated its internal political situation and caused its decline but, on the other, helped the development of civilization in the West European countries.