Learning Our Constitution

Read the text to learn about Ukrainian Constitution

Our Constitution was adopted on the 28th of June 1996 by the parliament called Verkhovna Rada. June 28th is a state holiday – the Day of the Constitution.

The Constitution is the fundamental law because it explains how the state is organized and governed, and what rights and duties the people have. All other laws are based on the Constitution. The Ukrainian Constitution has 15 chapters, 161 articles.

Ukraine is a sovereign, independent, democratic, social and legal state. Ukraine is a republic that has three branches of power: legislative (Verkhovna Rada), executive (the Cabinet of Ministers) and judicial (courts). The President is the head of the state and speaks on behalf of it.

In Ukraine all people are free and equal in their dignity and rights. They are equal before the law. Among the main human rights we have are the rights to life, to respect the dignity, to freedom, personal inviolability, to work, to rest, to social security, to housing, to satisfactory living standards, health protection, education and others. The rights and freedoms are protected by the courts.

There are no rights without duties. Our main duties are to observe the laws, to defend our Motherland, and its independence and territorial integrity, to respect the state symbols, to pay taxes, not to damage the environment and cultural heritage.

Ukraine consists of 24 regions called oblasts. Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine. Bodies of local self-government decide problems of everyday life of towns and villages.

The state symbols are the Flag, Emblem and Anthem. The State Flag is a blue and yellow banner of two equal horizontal stripes. In every town and village you can see the State Flag on or near the building of local self-government. On holidays there are many yellow and blue flags in the streets, on the houses, at schools. People usually associate the colours with the blue sky of our Motherland and ripe wheat in which our country is rich.

The State Emblem is the Trident. The Trident was the sign of the state of Prince Volodymyr the Great and the emblem of  Zaporizhian Cossack Army. You can see the Trident in official papers, on seals, on caps of police officers, officers, soldiers and other persons on service. Trident is very popular in our country because it has deep roots in our history.

The State Anthem has the music by M. Verbytsky. Now there is no officially approved poetry for it but many people sing the old words, the starting words of which can be translated as follows “The glory and freedom of Ukraine are not dead”.

The state symbols are associated with the state so we must respect them.

Every citizen of Ukraine must observe the Constitution in every situation.

Answer the questions.

  1. When was the Constitution adopted?
  2. Why is the Constitution called the fundamental law?
  3. What kind of state is Ukraine?
  4. What branches of state power are there in Ukraine?
  5. Which of the branches elaborates and adopts laws?
  6. Who is the head of the state?
  7. What are the main human rights in Ukraine?
  8. What duties do we have in Ukraine?
  9. What are the state symbols of our country?
  10. What are the colours of our national flag?
  11. Where can you see the state symbols of Ukraine in everyday life?
  12. Do you like the state symbols of our Motherland? Why?

Match the words with their translation.

  1. law
  2. independent
  3. legal state
  4. honour
  5. dignity
  6. security
  7. legislative power
  8. executive power
  9. judicial power
  10. integrity
  11. election
  12. personal inviolability
  13. tax
  14. heritage
  15. anthem
  16. ripe wheat
  17. to respect
  18. obligation
  • правова держава
  • вибори
  • честь
  • закон
  • податок
  • незалежний
  • безпека
  • спадщина
  • судова влада
  • гідність
  • зoбов’язання
  • законодавча влада
  • гімн
  • стигла пшениця
  • виконавча влада
  • поважати
  • осoбиста недоторканість
  • цілісність

Change the sentences using the Passive Voice.

Model: The deputies elaborated the Constitution. – The Constitution was elaborated by the deputies.

  1. Verkhovna Rada adopted the Constitution.
  2. People call the Constitution the Fundamental Law.
  3. They divided the territory of Ukraine into 24 regions.
  4. Verkhovna Rada will adopt the great State Emblem later.
  5. Poets will create new words for the State Anthem soon.

Fill in prepositions where necessary.

  1. Popular democracy is expressed ___ the help of elections and referendums.
  2. In Ukraine there are three branches ___ state power.
  3. The President is the head ___ the state and speaks ___ behalf ___ it.
  4. The Verkhovna Rada is the only body ___ the legislative power ___ the country.
  5. Only a citizen ___ Ukraine ___ 21 years old and older, having  ___ the right to vote and living ___ the country ___ least five previous years may be elected a deputy.
  6. Ukrainian parliament adopts ___ laws, resolutions and other acts ___ the majority of votes.
  7. The right ___ legislative initiative belongs ___ the President, deputies, the Cabinet ___ Ministers and the National Bank.

Match the words and their definitions.

  1. election
  2. environment
  3. national anthem
  4. power
  5. tax
  6. damage
  7. to adopt
  8. inviolable
  9. independent
  10. to guarantee
  11. security
  12. obligation
  13. insurance
  14. referendum
  15. constitution

a. to promise that something will certainly be so

b. right to control people or events

c. an amount of money you must pay to the government

d. not governed by another country

e. the choosing by vote

f.  too highly respected to be attacked

g. a contract to pay money in case of a misfortune

h. direct vote by all the people

i. the official song of a nation

j. the laws according to which the country is governed

k. to approve a proposal by voting

l. protection against lawbreaking, violence

m. harm

n.  the natural conditions

o. duty