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  • It’s been a tough few years for Ukraine.

  • Fighting has been ongoing in the eastern part of the country for years now, between separatist,

  • pro-Russian forces and the Ukrainian government.

  • The fighting started back in 2014, when Russia invaded and annexed a part of the country,

  • Crimea.

  • The United States and NATO allies have been debating just how much aid, and weaponry,

  • to give Ukraine in this fight.

  • In the face of internal and external strife, we wanted to know, just how powerful is Ukraine?

  • Ukraine is physically the largest country in Europe, coming in at almost a quarter of

  • a million square miles in size.

  • It’s also the 46th largest country in the world, but for comparison, actually just a

  • little bit smaller than the state of Texas.

  • About 44 million people live there, which puts it on par with Argentina in terms of

  • total population.

  • But in terms of population density, it’s fairly spread out.

  • The former Soviet republic is about 78% ethnically Ukrainian and 17% ethnically Russian, according

  • to the most recent Ukrainian census.

  • The remaining 5% are a combination of ethnicities from the surrounding countries.

  • But the fight over ethnicity and national identity is what has caused some of the deadliest

  • battles seen in any post-Soviet state.

  • While a minority of the country wants to be seen as Russian, the rest, a majority including

  • the government, want to stay distinctly Ukrainian.

  • In terms of economy, the GDP of Ukraine in 2016 was about $93 billion dollars.

  • They suffered a severe downturn in recent years, worsened by the political and military

  • crisis - in 2014, the Ukrainian currency reached historic lows against the U.S. dollar, and

  • the country was in a lot of debt.

  • The International Monetary Fund approved a bailout for Ukraine, and now the World Bank

  • has reported a small uptick in growth in 2016 - about 2.3%.

  • That would mean the economy is recovering slightly and is out of a recession, with the

  • 2017 GDP projected to rise a little to $104 billion dollars.

  • The Ukrainian military is ranked 30th in the world, with 1.1 million troops and a defense

  • budget of $5.1 billion dollars.

  • That’s 6% of the country’s GDP, one of the highest ratios in the world.

  • This is another area where the Crimean crisis and war in eastern Ukraine has had a significant

  • effect on the country.

  • In 2014 they re-established the National Guard of Ukraine, something that was disbanded 14

  • years prior, and currently boasts almost 60,000 troops.

  • Theyve also increased military spending and have been trying to purchase additional

  • arms and defense systems from the United States.

  • Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but Ukraine is already conducting military

  • exercises with NATO allies under the Partnership for Peace.

  • the Partnership for Peace has the goal of establishing trust and cooperation between

  • NATO states and post-Soviet states.

  • Ukraine is not currently a member of NATO, though they have been pursuing membership,

  • another point of conflict with Russia.

  • Ukraine is stuck between its past and the present; while much of the population yearns

  • for closer relations with the European Union and the United States, Russian military and

  • economic forces have a stranglehold on some parts of the country.

  • While they continue to build up their military and continue to rebuild their economy, theyre

  • less powerful than they want to be, and still have a lot of progress to make toward establishing

  • a national post-Soviet identity.

  • One of the biggest struggles for Ukraine in recent years was Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

  • This form of annexation was surprising, as this form of forceful and secretive invasion

  • hasn’t been seen in a long long time.

  • So how exactly did Putin’s army pull it off?

  • Check out this video to the right.

  • Thanks for watching NowThis World, and don’t forget to like and subscribe for more episodes

  • like this every week!

It’s been a tough few years for Ukraine.

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B1 中級

ウクライナはどのくらいの力を持っているのか? (How Powerful is Ukraine?)

  • 22 3
    Ntiana に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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