Kharkiv is the second-largest city in Ukraine. In the northeast of the country, it is the largest city of the Slobozhanshchyna historical region. The city has a population of about 1.5 million people. Kharkiv is the administrative centre of Kharkiv Oblast and of the surrounding Kharkiv district.
The city was founded in 1654 and after a humble beginning as a small fortress grew to be a major centre of Ukrainian industry, trade and culture in the Russian Empire.
Kharkiv was the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, from December 1919 to January 1934, after which the capital relocated to Kiev.
Presently, Kharkiv is a major cultural, scientific, educational, transport and industrial centre of Ukraine, with 60 scientific institutes, 30 higher education universities and institutions, 6 museums, 7 theatres and 80 libraries.
Its industry specializes primarily in machinery and in electronics. There are hundreds of industrial companies in the city, including the Morozov Design Bureau and the Malyshev Tank Factory (leaders in world tank production from the 1930s to the 1980s); Khartron (aerospace and nuclear power plants automation electronics); the Turboatom (turbines for the hydro-, thermal- and nuclear-power plants), and Antonov (the multipurpose aircraft manufacturing plant).
Kharkiv is located at the banks of the Kharkiv, Lopan, and Udy rivers, where they flow into the Seversky Donets watershed in the North-Eastern region of Ukraine.
Historically, Kharkiv lies in the Sloboda Ukraine region (Slobozhanshchyna also known as Slobidshchyna) in Ukraine, in which it is considered as a main city.
The approximate dimensions of City of Kharkiv are: from the North to the South - 24,3km; from the West to the East — 25,2km.
Based on Kharkiv's topography, the city can be conditionally divided on the four lower districts and the four higher districts.
The highest point over the sea level in Pyatikhatky in Kharkiv is 202m, the lowest point over the sea level in Novoselivka in Kharkiv is 94m.
Kharkiv lies in the large valley of rivers of Kharkiv, Lopan', Udy, and Nemyshlya. This valley lies from the North West to the South East between the Mid Russian highland and Donetsk lowland. All the rivers interconnect in Kharkiv and flow into the river of Northern Donets. A special system of the concrete and metal dams was designed and built by engineers to regulate the water level in the rivers in Kharkiv.
Kharkiv has a large number of the green city parks with the long history of more than 100 years with very old oak trees and many flowers.
Kharkiv's climate is humid continental (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with cold and snowy winters as well as the dry and hot summers.
Kharkiv has rather sunny warm summers which, however, are relatively mild compared to temperatures in South European regions, due to the region's lower elevation, proximity to the Black Sea, and the city's latitude. In other words, Kharkiv experiences the warm summers, interrupted by only occasional, brief intervals of stormy rain conditions. Kharkiv has relatively long and cold winters.
The average rainfall totals 513 mm (20 in) per year, with the most in June and July.
Kharkiv is one of the main cultural centres in Ukraine. It is home of 20 museums, over 10 theaters and a number of picture galleries. Large music and cinema festivals are hosted in Kharkiv almost every year.