Brief History

 

--The culture and history of the Ukrainian people date back many centuries. The roots of the Ukrainian nation go back into the deep of centuries to the tribes of the Trypillye culture, which played a big role in the formation of primitive tribal communities on the territory of Ukraine and the ancient forefathers of the Slavs.

 

This ancient land remembers many civilizations. Cimmerians, Scythians, Taurians, Sarmatians, Goths, Greek city-states of the northern Black Sea coastal area and the Crimea left a notable trace in the history of our country and promoted the cultural enrichment of neighbouring tribes, with the Slavs among them.

 

Numerous monuments discovered during excavations testify to the existence of an alliance of Slav tribes. One of them, known under the name of the State of Antes (4th century B.C.), occupied a large territory and has signs of a state structure in the form of democracy. It is evident that the history of the Ukrainian nation dates back to this time, the primitive Ukrainian civilization and state.

 

The Slavs not only defended their lands from numerous nomad tribes of Avars, Khazars, Pechenegs, and Polovtsi, from Byzantine and Western Roman Empires, but they organized successful campaigns against other lands themselves. More than 1100 years ago a powerful Slav state, Kyivan Rus (9th- beginning of the 13th centuries) was founded on the expanses of Ukraine.

 

The main state political and cultural centre of Kyivan Rus was formed on the territory of present day Ukraine, and the Slavic tribes, inhabiting its expanses, established a political alliance and formed the Ukrainian nation

 

Christianity was introduced during the reign of Volodymyr the Great (988), and the capital city, Kyiv, became the spiritual centre for spreading Christianity to Eastern Europe.

 

Later, during the period of political disunity of this powerful medieval European Monarchy, the Ukrainian nation became the ethnical basis for the south-western principalities, of which the Galicia-Volyn Principality played the most important role (13th-14th centuries).

 

The conclusive stage of the formation of the Ukrainian nation was the most difficult in its history: in the middle of the 13th century it fell under the devastating Mongol-Tartar yoke, and having liberated itself from the Mongol-Tartars, fell under the power of the neighbouring states of Lithuania and Poland. In the south it bordered with Crimean Kaghnate, which daily made devastating raids on the Ukrainian land. The land was also threatened with Turkish enslavement.

 

Irrespective of this, the Ukrainian nation survived, preserved its language and multiplied its culture, tirelessly fighting for independence and building up its statehood in different forms.

 

After a lengthy struggle, the Ukrainian nation again appears on the European political map in the form of a Cossack Republic, first the Zaporizhian Sich, and thenafter liberating wars under the leadership of Bohdan Khmelnytskiy (1648-1654) ‹ the Zaporizhian Army.

 

The freedom-loving Ukrainian Cossacks not only demonstrated their chivalry to the whole world, but also the ability to found a state.

The Zaporizhian Sich remained a powerful stronghold over the Dnipro River for 300 years ‹ a free republic, a glorious Cossackdom which withstood enemy attacks and waged an unceasing struggle for the liberation of Ukraine and its independence.

 

Centuries of Ukraine¹s colonial existence followed the short period of sovereignty. During the years of W.W.I Ukrainian soldiers in the armies of the two empires, Russia and Austria-Hungary, were forced to fight not only for imperialist interests foreign to them, but against one another.

 

After the fall of the monarchy in 1917 and the disintegration of Austria-Hungary the Ukrainian people received a historic opportunity to found their own national state.

 

Three governments replaced each other in Ukraine between 1917 and 1921, during the devastating Civil War of the Ukrainian people. On January 22, 1918, the Ukrainian Tsentralna Rada proclaimed independence, and although Soviet Russia was one of the first countries to recognize Ukrainian independence, units of Red Army soon afterwards attacked Ukraine.

 

In January 1919, the Ukrainian People¹s Republic ceremoniously united with the Western Ukrainian People¹s Republic (which was formed on the territory formerly under the Astro-Hungarian Monarchy Empire) with Lviv as its capital.

 

But the alliance of Ukrainian lands was shortlived. Troops of the Western Ukrainian People¹s Republic were defeated by the Polish interventionists, who attacked Galicia, and the troops of Soviet Russia seized Kyiv. Soviet power was established in Ukraine in November 1921. And in 1922 Ukraine was officially included into the Soviet Union.

 

Historical destiny led the Ukrainian people through the tragic period of Stalin dictatorship, Holodomor(Ukraine's holocaust) and repressions, cruel Hitlerite occupation during W.W.II, and decades of formal sovereignty of Ukraine within the Soviet Union.

 

On August 24, 1991 the Verkhovna Rada, of Ukraine adopted a Declaration of Independence, and on December 1, 1991, at a national referendum, the Ukrainian people voted for sovereignty. A new independent democratic country, Ukraine, appeared on the political map of the world.

 

At the end of 2004, Ukraine's democratic forces prevailed in winning the highly disputed election, in what was known as the Orange Revolution. Viktor Yushchenko defeated Viktor Yanukovych who was linked with Russia and a criminal past. Since then the Orange Coalition, as it was called, fell apart due to inner party disagreements. Viktor Yanukovych made a swift comeback because of this and is now the country's Prime Minister.

 

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