Special Report

32 Things You May Not Know About Ukraine

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11. Military expenditures

Ukraine spends an estimated 4% of its gross domestic product on its military, the 19th-highest share in the world. For context, the U.S. spends 3.5% of its GDP on the military.

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12. Large army

Ukraine has one of the largest military forces in the world, with approximately 200,000 active troops: 125,000 in the Army, 40,000 in the Air Force, 25,000 in the Airborne and Air Assault Forces, 10,000 in the Navy, and 2,000 in its Special Operations Forces. Ukraine also has approximately 50,000 National Guard troops. Also, in early 2022, the Ukrainian government announced plans to add 100,000 personnel to the armed forces over three years.

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13. Ethnic groups

Ukraine’s largest ethnic group is Ukrainian, at 77.8%. The next largest groups are Russians (17.3%), Belarusian (0.6%), Moldovan (0.5%), and more.

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14. Languages

The nation’s official language is Ukrainian, which is spoken by 67.5% of the population. Nearly 30% of the country speaks Russian primarily.

15. Religions

Nearly all of Ukraine’s population is Christian, and two-thirds of Christians identify as Orthodox, but many do not specify a particular branch. Other religions include Ukrainian Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, and Jewish.

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