Consisting for the most part of flat and fertile steppes, according to dentistrymyth, the Ukrainian territory is particularly suitable for extensive agriculture: 57.6% of the area is arable and cultivated, almost always by large collective farms working on thousands and thousands of hectares. Vast expanses of cereal crops, but also fields of sunflower, sugar beet and potatoes, characterize the landscape almost everywhere except in some western areas and in the Crimea, where smaller farms and vegetable crops meet. The southern coastal strip of Crimea hosts a rich spontaneous Mediterranean vegetation. The woods occupy approx. one sixth (16.5%) of the country’s surface. The pollution problems are considerable, of both agricultural origin (due to the extensive use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers that contaminate the aquifers) and industrial: the large industrial complexes built in Soviet times provide few measures to contain the emissions of gases, vapors, dust and the release of toxic waste. On top of everything are added the problems left by the nuclear catastrophe of April 1986 a Chernobyl, in the north of the country: even if the worst consequences were recorded in neighboring Belarus, a considerable contamination by radionuclides has affected part of the Ukrainian territory, leading to the perennial ban on any human use of an area of 900 km² around the exploded plant and the definitive evacuation of the city of Pripyat and numerous villages. On the other hand, the government with a 1992 law defined a long series of protected natural areas (among them there are 12 national parks) that cover a total of 3.5% of the Ukrainian territory.
Ukrainian theater, born from traditional games and festivals, has a popular origin, with the participation of skomorochi (clowns) with comic and satirical functions. In the sec. XVII the allegorical-didactic theater of the ecclesiastical schools appears and a genre of puppet theater destined to great success is specified, the vertep (owner, cave), which often plays episodes of sacred history, but owes its success to the comic skits that dot it and which generally see the triumph of the popular hero against devils and oppressors. In the following century, musical life took off, drawing on a vast popular repertoire and centered around the Kijev Academy. The capital also saw, in 1816, the appearance of the first professional dance company. The Russian Opera, inaugurated in 1867, provides Kijev with a permanent ballet company, led by the Polish S. Lentcevskij, with which famous “stars” from the theaters of Moscow and St. Petersburg begin to perform. The first permanent theater in the national language was founded by M. Sadovskij in Kijev in 1906; the first permanent opera house in 1901. At the Teatro dell ‘ maîtres de ballet from Warsaw had meanwhile consolidated the links of Ukrainian ballet with the Polish tradition, until the arrival, in 1915, of B. Nijinska, the famous Polish artist trained in Saint Petersburg and with E. Cecchetti. After the October Revolution, the Ukrainian scene acquires greater organizational stability especially in Kijev; the Young Theater of Les Kurbas stands out for the innovative daring of the staging.