Ukraine, an independent country which was part of the former Soviet Union, is located just west of Russia, and the people are currently defending their homeland from the Russian invaders. The country is now home to less than 40 million people (though it is unknown how much less because of the areas in the East and because of the war that started February 24, 2022) and is nearly the size of Texas (though they control less area right now). Ukraine is bordered to the north by Belarus, to the west by Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova, and to the south by the Black Sea (though currently Russia controls Crimea).

From June 2010 to March 2012, we lived in Krivoy Rog, which then was the 8th largest city in Ukraine (without the two industrial cities of the East, it is now the 6th largest city in Ukraine). Beginning in September 2015, we moved there again, partnering with our friends in the Churches of Praise to help them with church planting efforts and church health. We are excited to be back in the longest city in Europe. This industrial city, with a population of about 600,000, has iron ore mines and the largest steel mill in Europe. That is currently home base for us, and we miss it when we are in the US!

From August 2014 to September 2015, we lived in Kiev (Kyiv), which is the capital city of and the largest city in Ukraine. With about 3 million people (similar to the population of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area) it is the 8th largest city in Europe.

In April and May 2012, we lived in Simferopol, Crimea, with plans to return there after some time in America. This city of about 350,000 is the capital of Crimea, which used to be the hub for much tourism there. Our plans to live there became impossible when Russia annexed Crimea in February 2014, so we changed course and returned to the mainland of Ukraine.

In the map below, Kiev (Kyiv) is to the north, while Simferopol, Crimea is in the south in Crimea and Krivoy Rog is in the middle.

Krivoy Rog (47°55′0″N 33°15′0″E) is a little further north than Hibbing, MN (47°25′2″N 92°56′18″W), but the winters are rarely as harsh as northern Minnesota.

Kiev (Kyiv) (50°27′00″N 30°31′24″E) is close to the same northern latitude as Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (50°27′17″N 104°36′24″W).

Simferopol (44°57′7″N 34°6′8″E) is just a bit more north than St. Paul, MN (44°56′39″N 93°5′37″W), though the weather is more moderate because of the Black Sea.