From the other side of Europe we see Україна Ukraine as through binoculars the wrong way round: a long way away and rather exotic . . . but it's about 7x the size of the island of Ireland when the binoculars are the right way round. As they are likely to join us in the EU before we're all dead and because they are definitely part of geographic Europe, we should pay more attention.
alcoholic encounter with Chernobyl's Caesium.
But I daresay fewer still will have paused to reflect on the remarkable similarity in the outline of our two countries. Perhaps because it only becomes obvious to all when Ireland is tipped forward on its face, as some of its citizens are liable to do after a Saturday night on the batter. And it turns out that as the Republic of Ireland is divided into 26 counties (I'm going to ignore The North until Ukraine and Belarus become one nation), so Ukraine is divided into 24 Oblasts and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea = 25. So we can do a pretty good geographical 'twinning' without wrenching the true topological geography too much. See the map of UkrEire above and the table below.
Table 1. Oblasts of Ukraine meet Counties of Ireland
- Dnipropetrovsk Дніпропетровськ is clearly a) too long (15 letters) and b) too big - it is Ukraine's 2nd biggest Oblast c) divided by the river Dnieper, d) jings! even its flag is divided in two. So I have divvied it up between the counties of the Carlow-Kilkenny (15 letters) parliamentary constituency.
- Chernihiv has for far too long been overshadowed by having the capital Kiev next door, so I've twinned Чернігів with our Capital Dublin to give them a bit of a lift.
- I've no idea how Ukrainians view the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. More than half the population down there are ethnic Russians. It's also a bit murky because the Russian (Российская Федерация) Black Sea fleet is stationed in Sevastopol as it has been since Nicholas I was the Tsar. There has been a fair bit of throwing shapes/negotiating by both sides. But in respect for its special status, I've twinned the Oblast with the "Kingdom" of Kerry. Maybe my Ukrainian and Russian readers can clarify.
Other mappy links on The Blob: BorrisOS - Tramore - MtLeinster:25000 - Crowe's