Location: 482 kilometers south of Kyiv Population: 489,088 Major employers: Nibulon, Zorya-Mashproekt gas turbine construction plant, Lactalis dairy group, Pepsico, Bunge, Cofko, Kernel, Artel local construction company. City founded: On Aug. 27, 1789 in the Russian czarist empire by Prince Grigory Potemkin. Historical place: Mykolaiv was the main ship building center of the Black Sea until the early 2000s. Now its three shipyards barely function, but the city still has a number of universities and research centers specializing in shipbuilding. It is also an important transport junction. Mykolaiv’s seaports are among the largest in Ukraine with 70 percent of country’s grain export being exported from there. Rankings: Top European mid-sized city by cost effectiveness, according to fDi Intelligence ranking 2016/17. No. 13 out 50 big Ukrainian cities in the local government transparency ranking by the International Center for Policy Studies in 2016. $270 per month.