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As a recently independent country, it’s not surprising that a number of myths or misconceptions about Ukraine still persist. Long under the yoke of its giant neighbor Russia, Ukrainians have struggled through the centuries to maintain their distinct identity, traditions and culture.

Ukrainians have largely succeeded in doing so, but there are still a few misapprehensions about the country that have yet to be put to rest, and due to mendacious Kremlin propaganda, a few more have emerged in recent years. Here, the Kyiv Post sets the record straight about a range of myths that have grown up about the country.

Ukrainians eat a lot

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I was told the road between Kiev and Odessa was terrible and should be avoided. The worst experience was on the road that connected Zaporoaziah to Marganincs. Just abused the vehicle terribly. The Highway that connected Zaporoziah to Dneiperpetros had the deepest cut-outs of potholes i had ever seen. Driving at night there are no markers warning of them. We hit one so hard it bent the rim and flattened the tire.

This is an excellent article. Your comment about the Ukrainian and Russian languages, however, is unscientific and not accurate. But that's to be expected from a non-linguist. I've gotten used to simplicity from those who are not trained in the science of language.

Injustice League

I'm afraid the author is confused about the level of alcohol consumption in Ukraine, which is extreme. Ukraine consistently ranks among the top 10 in per-capita consumption for the entire world. According to the most recent data from the WHO, Ukrainians consume the equivalent of 13.9 liters of pure alcohol per person per year, more than double the figure for Italy -- the author's comparison of choice -- at 6.7. The number 22 is not the rank, but rather the average consumption for Ukrainian men. That's 22 liters of pure alcohol per man per year, or roughly one liter of vodka per week.

That's odd. My years seem to have 52, rather than 22 weeks per. Why are your years so much shorter than mine?

Only if you assume the vodka has 100% alcohol content...

Injustice League

That's right. 22 liters of pure alcohol equates to 55 liters of a standard spirit (40% alcohol by volume).

it was good article... ukraine is a great country with a great culture...

One more myth. Many people forget that western Ukraine was never under Russian rule until 1945. They have no history of being part of the Czarist empire.


It ceases to amaze me how Russians have tried for centuries to incorporate Ukrainian history as their own. I cannot understand why the barbarian Russians did not include their massive history of being DNA of the Great Hordes. Perhaps it is because Ukrainians have been West leaning since the Kyiv "Viking" State period and have always (in this context) been superior to Russian mentality...if anything, Ukrainian DNA in a Russian is a gift to allow their progress into civilized humanity....aawhhh...

One thing that immediately jumped out at me when I went to Ukraine for the first time is how few obese people there are. Go into any Wal-Mart here in America and then silently count to yourself how many grossly obese people you see there. You just don't see that in Ukraine.

Also, it is most definitely true that the notion of a nation "deeply divided by language and culture" is a myth spun by the Kremlin and perpetuated by lazy western journalists. Most Ukrainians, especially younger ones with internet access, speak both Ukrainian and Russian and can switch from one to the other as needed. The two languages are very similar, just like Spanish and Portuguese are very similar.

But on the other hand, yes, the roads in Ukraine really are THAT bad! I have driven them extensively. The best road that I experienced was the main highway from Kiev to Odessa, but even that would probably rate as no better than a fairly good state highway here in the US. Some of the other roads were so bad that it looked like the Ukrainian military had been using them for artillery practice. They have a LONG way to go before they will have a road system on par with the rest of the EU.

Brazilian Anti-Putin

Perfect article. I'll post in my facebook page.

Myths about Ukrainians? This was much more prevalent in the past when Ukraine was not an independent nation (with the possible exception of areas that contained a substantial Ukrainian diaspora or neighbors of Ukraine) due to the heavy propaganda generated by occupying powers. However, times change except for ISIL, etcetera. Apart from the rantings and ravings of Great Russian chauvinists such as Vladimir Brezhnev and others, people have become more educated and the old myths that still exist will slowly vanish.

Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

Eh, sexist!
What makes Ukraine different from its neighbours are handsome men, not beautiful women 😛
(Although I met a few stunningly beautiful, that is true.)

I beg to differ. Not about the men – I couldn't tell you if a man was handsome or not, even if my life depended on it. I'm totally clueless in that department. But on average, Ukrainian women are prettier than Russian women. Not that Russian women are ugly by a long shot. Lots of beauties in Russia – but they're even more common in Ukraine. A poor guy just can't decide which way to look! :p Even my Russian wife agrees with me on that one. We honeymooned in Odesa… during the summer… thank goodness I was newly married! 😀

About the food, 100% agree with the article. 1st time I visited Kyiv, I took a few different women to restaurants. Cafeteria-style places mostly so I could see what I ordered, since I could barely speak any Russian at the time. My dates ate like little birds. They were of course, all slim. They'd also stare at me, too polite to say it but the eyes said it all, "Are you really going to eat all that?" I felt slightly self-conscious. 😀 Sadly, over the past 5 years or so, obesity is on the rise in Russia. The men were already pretty big. The women are catching up. Truly sad. Not sure why exactly. More cars maybe?

Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

One of my impressions from my trip to Ukraine last year. Border crossing Sheginia-Medyka. There were two queues. One short and in good mood, obviously people coming from their holidays, every male with a pronounced belly. And the other one, long queue, quiet, tired looking people but everyone slim.
I had a moment of hesitation before I joined the first one 🙂

So I'm puzzled... and if you don't mind me asking... as it can be assumed that you like males with pronounced bellies, the good mood or is it that you didn't feel like waiting too long in a line? 🙂

Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

Lol. The first one was for EU citizens 😀

Lol is right 😀

Ha! You are an honest person 😉

Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

Of course I am. Shouldn't I?
I'm not ordering mail brides or whatever this slave trafficking is called. I can afford to tell a man he's handsome. Why not?

I wish people would stop using "Mail Order Brides" when talking about Slavic women. It's highly offensive. From what I've seen, women in Ukraine and Russia are no more inclined to rampant materialism and selling themselves than women in any developed country, such as Canada.

Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

I'm trying to answer but the Victorians from KP are too vigilant:)

"Stunningly beautiful" are the words you used. There's an open honesty about appreciating beauty which doesn't attempt to possess it, yet leaves one stunned, speechless as if possessed. And then almost as if it vibrates the same beauty within the observer too. For a fleeting moment, the observed and the observer are united. Therein lies the "aaah". 🙂

Gryzelda Wrr, III RP

Aaah, now I understand 🙂

A great article.

They eat alot? Rubbish!
As an Australian travelling in the 2006, I was amazed how small the meals served in restaurants were - cheap or expensive, the servings were small.

Being a slave-state to the Russian Socialists, Ukrainians have been kept poorer than their powerful neighbours.

Donald Trump's the only man I know who thinks Kyiv is in Russia. Even Dobby the House Elfh knows it isn't - not that the fact stops him behaving like it is.


Trump cannot even properly name cities within USA states correctly!...The Donald Dump would be a good Russian candidate...massively under educated and blinded like an old horse head harness.

Donald Trump couldn't name three cities in Ukraine if you held a gun to his head.

An excellent article that should be broadcast to the world!

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