Ще не вмерла України (Ukrainian)
Shche ne vmerla Ukrayiny (transliteration)
Ukraine's glory has not perished
(and largest city)
|Ethnic groups (2001)||77.8% Ukrainians,
4.9% others and unspecified
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
|-||Prime Minister||Mykola Azarov|
|-||Speaker of Parliament||Volodymyr Lytvyn|
|-||Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia||1199|
|-||Ukrainian National Republic||November 7, 1917|
|-||West Ukrainian National Republic||November 1, 1918|
|-||Ukrainian SSR||December 30, 1922|
|-||Second Declaration of Independence||June 30, 1941|
|-||Independence from the Soviet Union||August 24, 19911|
|-||Total||603,628 km2 (46th)
233,090 sq mi
|-||2010 estimate||45,888,000 (28th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2010 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2010 estimate|
|Gini (2006)||31 (medium)|
|HDI (2011)||0.710 (high) (76th)|
|Time zone||Eastern European Time (UTC+2)|
|-||Summer (DST)||Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3)|
|Drives on the||right|
|Internet TLD||.ua, .укр|
|1 An independence referendum was held on December 1, after which Ukrainian independence was finalized on December 26. The current constitution was adopted on June 28, 1996.|
Ukraine (Ukrainian: Україна, [ukrajina]) is a country in Eastern Europe. Russia is to the north-east of Ukraine, Belarus is to the Northwest, Poland and Slovakia are to the West, Hungary, Romania, Moldova and self-proclaimed Transnistria are to the South West and the Black Sea is to the Southwest.
The official language of Ukraine is Ukrainian (Ukrainian: українська мова, [ukrajin’s’ka mova]). In the 2001 census, about 29% of people in Ukraine said that they consider Russian to be their main language. Russian indeed is similar to Ukrainian in some ways but is completely different in other ways.
Division of Ukraine[change]
Ukraine is divided into 24 oblasts (regions), Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukrainian: Автономна Республіка Крим, [autonomna respublika krym]) and two cities with special status — Kyiv and Sevastopol (Crimea).
The largest cities of Ukraine[change]
The largest cities in Ukraine are:
- Kyiv (from the late 9th century was the capital of Rus;the capital of Ukraine since the restoration of independent Ukrainian state in 1918)
- Kharkiv (was the capital of the so-called "Ukrainian Soviet Republic" during first years (1919—1934) of Soviet occupation 1919-1991)
The name "Ukraine" ("u-kraina" means "in-land"; it's the common practice[source?] among peoples to call their country just as "land") means an area that has been the basis of Rus in the 9th-12th centuries AD. For the first time this term was used in the Kyiv Chronicle in 1187 referring to the South Kyiv and Pereiaslav regions. This region was also called "Minor Rus", meaning the core part of the state, opposed to later conquered lands which were "Major Rus".
At the same time most of official Russian historians insist that "Ukraine" must be interpreted not by its meaning in the language of natives, but by what it means in their own (similar, but mainly different) language. Russian root "krai" means not "land", as in almost all Slavic languages, but a margin or edge. Also they used to treat Greek names of "Μικρά Ρωσία" (Minor Rus) and "Μακρά Ρωσία" (Major Rus) as "Little Russia" (meaning Ukraine), and "Great Russia" (meaning Russia). This tradition in Russian historical science began with the capture of Ukraine by Russian Empire in 18th century, when Russian authorities wanted Ukraine to be just a part of Russia, and continues till nowadays (60% of Russians do not consider Ukraine to be a foreign country).
It's curious that the only country where the most of historians accept this version as unquestionable is Poland, whose kings reigned in Ukraine before Russians. Moreover more than 50% of Poles nowadays consider the whole Western Ukraine to be the eastern province of Poland ("Kresy Wschodnie").
Ukrainian researchers believe this consensus between these two irreconcilable opponents in other issues of common history is a relic of imperial thinking on both sides.
A lot of different tribes lived on the territory of modern Ukraine since pre-historical times. Most historians believe that the Great Steppe at the North of the Black Sea was a homeland of all Indo-European and Indo-Iranian speaking peoples. Some of them believe it was also a birthplace of the whole Caucasian race. Wends, Goths, Huns, Sclaveni, Avars and other tribes and tribal groups fought among themselves, joined unions, terminated and assimilated each other. By the middle of 4th century AD Antes joined other tribes and established a state under their rule. Their state falled under the pressure of Avars in 602 AD. After that Antes name was nether longer mentioned in written sources. Since the 7th century over 10 tribal groups become people with a common name Slavs and create their own state named Rus. The chronicles mention of three centers which formed this state: Kuyavia (Kyiv land with Kyiv itself), Slavia (Novgorod land) and Artania (exect location unknown).
Historians still argue about whether Kyiv was founded by Slavs themselves, or they just captured the Khazar fortress which was located on the bank of the Dnieper river, but since the 10th century, it became the capital of the largest and most powerful state in Europe.
Rus, the medieval state of Eastern Slavs. Established by Slavic with the help of Varangian squads whose force was used to integrate separate tribes and their lands into one powerful state. Varangian princes, who ruled Rus from it first years were gradually assimilated by natives, but the dinasty started by semy-legendary Ririk survived and continued to govern their separate principalities even after the collapse of Rus.
At an early stage of its existence Rus completely destroyed such powerful contemporaries like Khazar Khaganate and Old Great Bulgaria, Rus princes successfully fought against the Byzantine Empire, whose emperors had to pay tribute to them, and wished to intermarry with dangerous neighbors to protect themselves from their harsh attacks Rus' finally disintegrated into separate principalities.
In the reign of Volodymyr the Great (980-1015) the Kyivan State have almost finished its expansion. It occupied the territory from Peipus, Ladoga and Onega lakes in the north to the river Don, Ros, Sula, Southern Bug in the south, from the Dniester, the Carpathians, the Neman, Western Dvina River in the west to the Volga and the Oka River in the east, its area became about 800,000 km2. Although some of his predecessors already accepted Christianity for themselves, Volodymir decided to convert the entire population of the state to the new religion. Partially with the help of Byzantium missionaries preaches, partly by the brutal violence, he finally made all Kyiv population to be baptized. For this action, the Ukrainian, and the later founded the Russian Orthodox Churches canonized him under the name of Volodimyr the Baptist.
During the reign of his son, Yaroslav the Wise (1019–1054), Rus reached the zenith of its cultural development and military power. Rus raised the prestige of Eastern Slavs in Europe, improved the international significance of Kyiv. Rus influenced the political relations in th whole Europe, Western Asia, and in the Middle East. Kyivan princes supported the political, economic, dynastic relations with France, Sweden, England, Poland, Hungary, Norway, Byzantium.
Rus created the state not only for Slavic but also for non-Slavic peoples (Finno-Ugric population of the North, Turkic of the East and South, Balts of the West etc.). Al those peoples gradually assimilated with the Slavs, and with each other, establishing a framework for the future emergence of three new Eastern-Slavic peoples.
The Kyivan State served eastern outpost of European Christendom, it kept the movement of nomade hordes to the West, and reduced their onslaught against Byzantium and Central European countries.
Unfortunately after the death of Mstyslav Volodymyrovych (1132), the son of son Volodymyr Monomakh, Rus have lost its political unity and finally was divided into 15 principalities and lands. Among them Kyiv, Chernygiv, Volodymyr-Suzdal, Novgorod, Smolensk, Polotsk and Halycian lands and principalities were most large and powerful.
Major political conditions of fragmentation were:
- The succession among the princes of Kyivan State was different: in some regions lands passed from father to son, in others from the older to the younger brother etc.
- The political relationship between individual fiefdoms and private lands was weakened, and the better development of certain lands led to the formation of local separatism;
- In some regions the local aristocracy required a strong prince to rule, in order to protect their rights. On the other hand while the feudal princes and boyars real power increased, and the power of the Grand Prince decreased, more and more of nobles felt priority of their local interests above national ones;
- There was not created their own dynasty in the Kyiv principality, because all the princely families struggled with each other for possession of Kyiv ;
- Nomads dramatically intensified their expansion to Kyivan lands.
While Kyiv was the center of all social, economic, political, cultural and ideological life in the country for a long time before, other centers have competed with it from the mid-12th century. There were old powers (Novgorod, Smolensk, Polotsk), as well as new ones (Volodymir-on-Klyazma and Halych).
Numerous princely feuds, large and small wars between different lords, were tearing Rus. However, contrary to the popular beliefm the ancient Ukrainian state did not fell apar at the timet. It only changed form of its government: the personal monarchy was repaced by the federal one, Rus became to be co-ruled by the group of the most influential and powerful princes. Historians call this way of governing "the collective suzerainty." Principality of Kyiv still remained a national center, and the residence of bishops.
At the end of 12th - beginning of 13th century the new powerful military-feudal Mongolian state was formed in Central Asia. In 1206 it was headed by Temujin (Genghis Khan). He started the war of conquest against his neighbors immediately, and then the Mongols gradually moved toward the borders of Kyevan State. In 1223 in the battle near Kalka river 25,000 Tatar-Mongols won a crushing victory over the squads of Southern Rus Princes, who failed to stop their disputes and could not come together even in the face of grave danger. The next campaign against Russia was began by Mongols in 1237, under the leadership of Batu, Genghis Khan's grandson. During the 1237-1238 period they totally conquered Riazan, Volodymir, Suzdal, and Yaroslavl lands. In 1239 Batu captures Chernigov and Pereiaslav and moves to Kyiv. In 1240, the assault begun. Using battering machines the conquerors invaded inside the town, but the townspeople continued to defend it bravely. The Church of the Tithes was the last point of defenders resistance. The city was plundered and totally destroyed. According to the legend, the enemy saved the governor's Dmytriy live for his personal courage in the battle. Then Kamenetz, Iziaslav, Volodymyr, Halych lose against invaders.Because of abundance and a strong organization of Mongol-Tatar troops on one hand, and because of Kyivan squads squandering on the other, Batu was able to attach almost all of Rus to his empire, the Golden Horde, which covered the whole territory from the Urals to the Black Sea,
After the fall of Kyivan State, the political, economic and cultural center of Ukrainian lands was transferred to the Halycian-Volyn Land. In 1245 the Prince Danylo of Halych had to admit his dependence on the Golden Horde, but hoping to get help from Catholic Europe in his the struggle for independence, he made a secret alliance with Poland, Hungary, Masovia and the Teutonic Order. In 1253 he received the crown from Pope Innocent IV and became a King of Rus. In 1259, due to the lack of military aid from the West, the king was forced to re-recognize the supremacy of the Horde. His successor, Lev I had to take part in theTartar campaigns against Poland and Lithuania. In 1308 the government moved to Danylo's grandchildren - Andrew and Lev II, who started the new struggle against the Golden Horde allied with the Teutonic knights and princes of Mazowia. However, after their death the last monarch Yuri II again had to claim himself as the Golden Horde vassal. He was murdered in 1340 and his death gave the rise to Poland and Lithuania (the neighbors who had a dynastic right for the throne of Rus) to start a war for the Halycian-Volyn heritage. In 1392 Galicia, with Belz and Chelm Lands were finally icorporated to the Kingdom of Poland and Volhynia to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
At the end of the 14th century, Ukrainian territories were divided between different states. Lithuania seized Kyiv, Chernihiv and Volyn Lands. Poland ruled in Halycian and Podolian. The Southern Ukraine was under the rule of the Crimean Khanate (formed in 1447) and the Eastern under the power of Muscovy. In 1569 Lithuania and Poland merged to the united state called Commonwealth (Polish: Rzecypospolyta) to deal with neighbors, as a result, the central Ukrainian lands of Lithuania came under Polish control.
Rus, or The Kyivan State, Latin: Ruthenia, Greek: Ρωσία; often misspeled as "Kievan State" or even "Kievan Rus", using Russian spelling of its capital Kyiv (Russian: Киев [ˈkiɛf]).
As for the origin and definition of the name "Rus" there is no consensus among researchers. Several versions exist:
- Normans (Vikings) tribes who called themselves Ruses and they founded a state among Slavs, which naturally was called 'Rus Land'. This theory originated in the XVIII century and was called the 'Norman theory'. Its authors are German historians G. Bayer and G. Miller, their followers and associates are called 'Normanists';
- Ruses were a Slavic tribe which lived in the middle reaches of the Dnieper;
- Rus was a name of an ancient Slavic god, from which the name of the state comes;
- Rusa - the Proto-Slavic language word which means 'river';
Ukrainian historians generally adhere to anti-Norman opinion, while do not deny the contribution Varangian princes and squads in the process of formation of Rus state system. Russ, or The Rus Land in their opinion means:
- The name of the territory where Kyiv, Chernigov and Pereiaslav located (Polans, Severians, Drevlians tribes);
- The name of the tribes who lived on the banks of the rivers Ros, Rosava, Rostavytsia, Roska etc.;
- The name of the Kyivan state itself since 9th century.
At the end of the 15th century, the grouping of warriors who called themselves Cossacks appeared on the territory between the borders of Lithuania, Muscovy and the Crimea, in the "wild steppes" of Zaporizhia. From the 16th century the Sich became their military centre. Zaporizhian Cossacks participated in the wars on the side of the Commonwealth: the Livonian War (1558-1583), the Polish-Muscovite War (1605-1618), Khotyn war (1620-1621), Smolensk war (1632-1634). Besides the Cossacks organized their own campaigns in Moldavia, Muscovy, Crimea, on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria and in Asia Minor to looting, and willingly became mercenaries, particularly during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648).
Due to the legal and social oppression of the nobility Cossacks repeatedly revolted. The largest rebellions were raised under the guidance of: Kosynskiy (1591-1593), Nalyvaiko (1594-1596), Zhmaylo (1625), Fedorovych (1630), Sulima (1635), Pavlyuk (1637) and Ostryanin (1638). Cossacks again and again defended the rights of the Ukrainian population in the Commonwealth who experienced religious and national oppression regularly.
For the conflict in the 1850s see Crimean War.
In 1917 an independent Ukrainian People's Republic was established.
1st Soviet occupation[change]
After Ukrainian People's Republic was occupied by Soviet Russia, aggression against Ukrainian language and Ukrainian culture began. There were mass repressions of Ukrainian poets, historians and linguists. Then there was a genocide of Ukrainians: millions of people starved to death in 1932 and 1933 in the Holodomor.
During the World War II the Ukrainian Insurgent Army tried to reestablish Ukrainian independence. Ukrainians fought against both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, but they failed. Ukraine was occupied by Nazi Germany, then it was reoccupied by Soviet Union.
2nd Soviet occupation[change]
Under the second Soviet occupation repressions against Ukrainians continued and lasted till dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The political demonstrations in autumn-winter 2004 after the Presidential elections gathered millions of people all over the country. On November 26, 2004, Victor Yuschenko lost the Ukrainian presidential election (Viktor Yanukovych was declared winner). However, Yuschenko and his followers argued that the election had been corrupted. They argued that the election results had been falsified by the Ukrainian government, in support of the opposing candidate Victor Yanukovych. They organized political demonstrations in autumn-winter 2004 that gathered millions of people all over the country. They called the demonstrations The Orange Revolution (Ukrainian: Помаранчева революція). Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was an important ally of Victor Yuschenko during the demonstrations. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine ordered a second round of elections, which Yuschenko won.
Presidents of Ukraine[change]
- Kravchuk Leonid Makarovych (1991—1994)
- Kuchma Leonid Danylovych (1994—2005)
- Yushchenko Victor Andriyovych (2005—2010)
- Yanukovych Victor Fedorovych (from 2010)
- "Law of Ukraine. State Anthem of Ukraine" (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. 2003-03-06. http://zakon.rada.gov.ua/cgi-bin/laws/main.cgi?nreg=602-15.
- "Population by ethnic nationality, 1 January, year". ukrcensus.gov.ua. Ukrainian Office of Statistics. Archived from the original on March 23, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080323110131/http://www.ukrcensus.gov.ua/eng/results/general/nationality/. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "Ukrainian population keeps decreasing". National Radio Company of Ukraine. 2010. http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=123352. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- "Ukraine". International Monetary Fund. 2010. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2010/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2007&ey=2010&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&pr1.x=85&pr1.y=19&c=926&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CLP&grp=0&a=.
- "Ukraine". CIA World Factbook. December 13, 2007. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/up.html. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
- "HDRO (Human Development Report Office) United Nations Development Programme". United Nations. 2011. http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2011_EN_Tables.pdf. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- "Рішення Ради: Україна 30 жовтня перейде на зимовий час » Події » Україна » Кореспондент". Ua.korrespondent.net. http://ua.korrespondent.net/ukraine/events/1273613-rishennya-radi-ukrayina-30-zhovtnya-perejde-na-zimovij-chas. Retrieved 2011-10-31.