Etymology and orthographyThere are different hypotheses as to the etymology of the name of Ukraine, name ''Ukraine''. According to the older widespread hypothesis, it means "borderland", while some more recent linguistic studies claim a different meaning: "homeland" or "region, country". "The Ukraine" used to be a frequently used form in English, but since the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, "the Ukraine" has become less common in the English-speaking world, and style-guides warn against its use in professional writing. According to U.S. ambassador William B. Taylor, Jr., William Taylor, "The Ukraine" now implies disregard for the country's sovereignty. The Ukrainian position is that the usage of "'The Ukraine' is incorrect both grammatically and politically."
Early historyNeanderthal settlement in Ukraine is seen in the Molodova archaeological sites (43,000–45,000 BC) which include a mammoth bone dwelling. The territory is also considered to be the likely location for the human domestication of the horse. Modern human settlement in Ukraine and its vicinity dates back to 32,000 BC, with evidence of the Gravettian culture in the Crimean Mountains. By 4,500 BC, the Neolithic Cucuteni–Trypillia culture flourished in wide areas of modern Ukraine including Trypillia and the entire Dnieper-Dniester region. During the Iron Age, the land was inhabited by Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians. Between 700 BC and 200 BC it was part of the Scythian Kingdom, or Scythia. Beginning in the sixth century BC, colonies of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and the Byzantine Empire, such as Tyras, Olbia, Ukraine, Olbia, and Chersonesus, were founded on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea. These colonies thrived well into the sixth century AD. The Goths stayed in the area, but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s AD. In the seventh century AD, the territory that is now eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria. At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, and the Khazars took over much of the land. In the fifth and sixth centuries, the Antes (people), Antes were located in the territory of what is now Ukraine. The Antes were the ancestors of Ukrainians: White Croats, Severians, Polans (eastern), Polans, Drevlyans, Dulebes, Ulichians, and Tiverians. Migrations from Ukraine throughout the Balkans established many Southern Slavs, Southern Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching almost to the Lake Ilmen, Ilmen lakes, led to the emergence of the Ilmen Slavs, Krivichs, and Radimichs, the groups ancestral to the Russians. After an Avar raid in 602 and the collapse of the Antes Union, most of these peoples survived as separate tribes until the beginning of the second millennium.
Golden Age of KyivKievan Rus' was founded in the territory of the Polans (eastern), Polans, who lived among the rivers Ros River, Ros, Rosava River, Rosava, and Dnieper. Russian historian Boris Rybakov came from studying the linguistics of Russian chronicles to the conclusion that the Polans union of clans of the mid-Dnieper region called itself by the name of one of its clans, "Ros", that joined the union and was known at least since the 6th century far beyond the Slavic world. The origin of the Kyiv princedom is of a big debate and there exist at least three versions depending on interpretations of the chronicles. In general it is believed that Kievan Rus' included the central, western and northern part of modern Ukraine, Belarus, and the far eastern strip of Poland. According to the ''Primary Chronicle'' the Rus' elite initially consisted of Varangians from Scandinavia. During the 10th and 11th centuries, it became the largest and most powerful state in Europe. It laid the foundation for the national identity of Ukrainians and Russians. Kyiv, the capital of modern Ukraine, became the most important city of the Rus'. In 12th–13th centuries on efforts of Yuri the Long Armed, in area of Zalesye were founded several cities similar in name as in Kievan Rus' such as Vladimir, Russia, Vladimir on the Klyazma/Vladimir of Zalesye (Volodymyr-Volynsky, Volodymyr), Galich, Russia, Galich of Merya (Halych), Pereslavl-Zalessky, Pereslavl of Zalesye (Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi, Pereyaslav of Ruthenian), Ryazan, Pereslavl of Erzya. The Varangians later assimilated into the Slavic population and became part of the first Rus' dynasty, the Rurik dynasty, Rurik Dynasty. Kievan Rus' was composed of several principality, principalities ruled by the interrelated Rurikid ''knyaz, kniazes'' ("princes"), who often fought each other for possession of Kyiv. The Golden Age of Kievan Rus' began with the reign of Vladimir the Great (980–1015), who Christianization of Kievan Rus', turned Rus' toward Byzantine Christianity. During the reign of his son, Yaroslav the Wise (1019–1054), Kievan Rus' reached the zenith of its cultural development and military power. The state soon fragmented as the relative importance of regional powers rose again. After a final resurgence under the rule of Vladimir II Monomakh (1113–1125) and his son Mstislav I of Kiev, Mstislav (1125–1132), Kievan Rus' finally disintegrated into separate principalities following Mstislav's death. The 13th-century Mongol invasion of Rus', Mongol invasion devastated Kievan Rus'. Kyiv was totally Siege of Kyiv (1240), destroyed in 1240. On today's Ukrainian territory, the principalities of Principality of Halych, Halych and Volhynia, Volodymyr-Volynskyi arose, and were merged into the state of Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia, Galicia-Volhynia. Daniel of Galicia, Danylo Romanovych (Daniel I of Galicia or Danylo Halytskyi) son of Roman the Great, Roman Mstyslavych, re-united all of south-western Rus', including Volhynia, Galicia and Rus' ancient capital of Kyiv. Danylo was crowned by the Pope, papal archbishop in Drohiczyn, Dorohychyn 1253 as the first Monarch, King of all Rus'. Under Danylo's reign, the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia was one of the most powerful states in east central Europe.
Foreign dominationIn the mid-14th century, upon the death of Bolesław Jerzy II of Mazovia, king Casimir III of Poland initiated campaigns (1340–1366) to take Galicia-Volhynia. Meanwhile, the heartland of Rus', including Kyiv, became the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, ruled by Gediminas and his successors, after the Battle on the Irpen' River. Following the 1386 Union of Krewo, a dynastic union between Poland and Lithuania, much of what became northern Ukraine was ruled by the increasingly Slavicised local Lithuanian nobles as part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. By 1392 the so-called Galicia–Volhynia Wars ended. Polish colonisers of depopulated lands in northern and central Ukraine founded or re-founded many towns. In the Black sea cities of modern-day Ukraine, the Republic of Genoa founded numerous colonies, from the mid-13th century to the late 15th century, including the cities of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi ("Moncastro") and Kiliya ("Licostomo"), the colonies used to be large commercial centers in the region, and were headed by a consul (a representative of the Republic). In 1430 Podolia was incorporated under the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland as Podolian Voivodeship. In 1441, in the southern Ukraine, especially Crimea and surrounding steppes, Genghisid prince Haci I Giray founded the Crimean Khanate. In 1569 the Union of Lublin established the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and much Ukrainian territory was transferred from Lithuania to the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, becoming Polish territory de jure. Under the demographic, cultural and political pressure of Polonisation, which began in the late 14th century, many landed gentry of Polish Ruthenia (another name for the land of Rus) converted to Catholicism and became indistinguishable from the Polish nobility. Deprived of native protectors among Rus nobility, the commoners (peasants and townspeople) began turning for protection to the emerging Zaporozhian Cossacks, who by the 17th century became devoutly Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox. The Cossacks did not shy from taking up arms against those they perceived as enemies, including the Polish state and its local representatives. Formed from Golden Horde territory conquered after the Mongol invasion#European vassals, Mongol invasion the Crimean Khanate was one of the strongest powers in Eastern Europe until the 18th century; in 1571 it even Russo-Crimean War (1571), captured and devastated Moscow. The borderlands suffered annual Crimean-Nogai raids into East Slavic lands, Tatar invasions. From the beginning of the 16th century until the end of the 17th century, Crimean Tatar slave raiding bands exported about two million slaves from Russia and Ukraine. According to Orest Subtelny, "from 1450 to 1586, eighty-six Tatar invasions, Tatar raids were recorded, and from 1600 to 1647, seventy." In 1688, Tatars captured a record number of 60,000 Ukrainians. The Tatar raids took a heavy toll, discouraging settlement in more southerly regions where the soil was better and the growing season was longer. The last remnant of the Crimean Khanate was finally conquered by the Russian Empire in 1783. In the mid-17th century, a Cossack military quasi-state, the Zaporozhian Host, was formed by Dnieper Cossacks and by Ruthenian peasants who had fled Polish serfdom. Poland exercised little real control over this population, but found the Cossacks to be a useful opposing force to the Ottoman Empire, Turks and Crimean Khanate, Tatars, and at times the two were allies in Ottoman wars in Europe, military campaigns. However the continued harsh serf, enserfment of peasantry by Polish nobility and especially the suppression of the Orthodox Church alienated the Cossacks. The Cossacks sought representation in the Polish Sejm generalny, Sejm, recognition of Orthodox traditions, and the gradual expansion of the Registered Cossacks, Cossack Registry. These were rejected by the Polish nobility, who dominated the Sejm.
Cossack HetmanateIn 1648, Bohdan Khmelnytsky and Petro Doroshenko led the Khmelnytsky Uprising, largest of the Cossack uprisings against the Commonwealth and the Polish king. After Khmelnytsky made an entry into Kyiv in 1648, where he was hailed liberator of the people from Polish captivity, he founded the Cossack Hetmanate, which existed until 1764 (some sources claim until 1782). Khmelnytsky, deserted by his Tatar allies, suffered a crushing deafeat at the Battle of Berestechko in 1651, and turned to the Russian tsar for help. In 1654, Khmelnytsky was subject to the Pereyaslav Council, forming a military and political alliance with Russia that acknowledged loyalty to the Russian tsar. In 1657–1686 came "The Ruin (Ukrainian history), The Ruin", a devastating 30-year war amongst Russia, Poland, the Crimean Khanate, the Ottoman Empire, and Cossacks for control of Ukraine, which occurred at about the same time as the Deluge (history), Deluge of Poland. The wars escalated in intensity with hundreds of thousands of deaths. The "Treaty of Perpetual Peace (1686), Treaty of Perpetual Peace" between Russia and Poland in 1686 divided the lands of the Cossack Hetmanate between them, reducing the portion over which Poland had claimed sovereignty. In 1709, Cossack Hetman Ivan Mazepa (1639–1709) defected to Sweden against Russia in the Great Northern War (1700–1721). Eventually Tsar Peter the Great, Peter recognized that to consolidate and modernize Russia's political and economic power it was necessary to do away with the Cossack Hetmanate and Ukrainian and Cossack aspirations to autonomy. Mazepa died in exile after fleeing from the Battle of Poltava (1709), in which the Swedes and their Cossack allies suffered a catastrophic defeat. The Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk or Pacts and Constitutions of Rights and Freedoms of the Zaporizhian Host was a 1710 constitutional document written by Hetman Pylyp Orlyk, a Cossack of Ukraine, then within the . It established a standard for the separation of powers in government between the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches, well before the publication of Montesquieu's ''The Spirit of the Laws''. The Constitution limited the executive authority of the hetman, and established a democratically elected Cossack parliament called the General Council. The Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk was unique for its period, and was one of the first state constitutions in Europe. The hetmanate was abolished in 1764; the Zaporozhian Sich was abolished in 1775, as Russia centralised control over its lands. As part of the Partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795, the Ukrainian lands west of the Dnieper were divided between Russia and Austria. From 1737 to 1834, expansion into the northern Black Sea littoral and the eastern Danube valley was a cornerstone of Russian foreign policy. Lithuanians and Poles controlled vast estates in Ukraine, and were a law unto themselves. Judicial rulings from Kraków were routinely flouted, while peasants were heavily taxed and practically tied to the land as serfdom, serfs. Occasionally the landowners battled each other using armies of Ukrainian peasants. The Poles and Lithuanians were Roman Catholics and tried with some success to convert the Orthodox lesser nobility. In 1596, they set up the "Greek-Catholic" or Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Uniate Church; it dominates western Ukraine to this day. Religious differentiation left the Ukrainian Orthodox peasants leaderless, as they were reluctant to follow the Ukrainian nobles. Cossacks led an uprising, called Koliivshchyna, starting in the Ukrainian borderlands of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1768. Ethnicity was one root cause of this revolt, which included the Massacre of Uman that killed tens of thousands of Poles and Jews. Religious warfare also broke out among Ukrainian groups. Increasing conflict between Uniate and Orthodox parishes along the newly reinforced Polish-Russian border on the Dnieper in the time of Catherine the Great set the stage for the uprising. As Uniate religious practices had become more Latinized, Orthodoxy in this region drew even closer into dependence on the Russian Orthodox Church. Confessional tensions also reflected opposing Polish and Russian political allegiances. After the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Empire in 1783, Novorossiya was settled by Ukrainians and Russians. Despite promises in the Treaty of Pereyaslav, the Ukrainian elite and the Cossacks never received the freedoms and the autonomy they had expected. However, within the Empire, Ukrainians rose to the highest Russian state and church offices. In a later period, tsarist autocracy, tsarists established a policy of Russification, suppressing the use of the Ukrainian language in print and in public.
19th century, World War I and revolutionIn the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the territory of today's Ukraine was included in the Governorate (Russia), governorates of Chernigov Governorate, Chernihiv (Chernigov in Russian), Kharkov Governorate, Kharkiv (Kharkov), Kiev Governorate (1708–1764), Kyiv 1708–1764, and Little Russia Governorate (1764–1781), Little Russia 1764–1781, Podolian Governorate, Podillia (Podolie), and Volhynian Governorate, Volyn (Volhynia)—with all but the first two informally grouped into the Southwestern Krai. After the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774), Catherine the Great and her immediate successors encouraged German immigration into Ukraine and especially Crimea Germans, into Crimea, to thin the previously dominant Turk population and encourage agriculture. Numerous Ukrainians, Russians, Germans, Bulgarians in Ukraine, Bulgarians, Serbs in Ukraine, Serbs and Greeks in Ukraine, Greeks moved into the northern Pontic–Caspian steppe, Black Sea steppe formerly known as the "Wild Fields". With growing urbanization and modernization, and a cultural trend toward romantic nationalism, a Ukrainian intelligentsia committed to national rebirth and social justice emerged. The serf-turned-national-poet Taras Shevchenko (1814–1861) and the political theorist Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841–1895) led the growing nationalist movement. Beginning in the 19th century, there was migration from Ukraine to distant areas of the Russian Empire. According to the 1897 census, there were 223,000 ethnic Ukrainians in Siberia and 102,000 in Central Asia. An additional 1.6 million emigrated to the east in the ten years after the opening of the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1906. Russian Far East, Far Eastern areas with an ethnic Ukrainian population became known as Green Ukraine. Nationalist and socialist parties developed in the late 19th century. Austrian Galicia (eastern Europe), Galicia, under the relatively lenient rule of the Habsburgs, became the centre of the nationalist movement. Ukrainians entered World War I on the side of both the Central Powers, under Austria, and the Triple Entente, under Russia. 3.5 million Ukrainians fought with the Military history of Imperial Russia, Imperial Russian Army, while 250,000 fought for the Austro-Hungarian Army. Austria-Hungary, Austro-Hungarian authorities established the Ukrainian Legion to fight against the Russian Empire. This became the Ukrainian Galician Army that fought against the Bolsheviks and Poles in the post-World War I period (1919–23). Those suspected of Russophile sentiments in Austria were treated harshly. World War I destroyed both empires. The Russian Revolution of 1917 led to the founding of the Soviet Union under the Bolsheviks, and subsequent civil war in Russia. A Ukrainian national movement for self-determination emerged, with heavy Communist and Socialist influence. Several Ukrainian states briefly emerged: the internationally recognized Ukrainian People's Republic (''UNR'', the predecessor of modern Ukraine, was declared on 23 June 1917 proclaimed at first as a part of the Russian Republic; after the Bolshevik Revolution, the Ukrainian People's Republic proclaimed its independence on 25 January 1918), the Ukrainian State, Hetmanate, the Directorate of Ukraine, Directorate and the Bolshevik Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (or Soviet Ukraine) successively established territories in the former Russian Empire; while the West Ukrainian People's Republic and the Hutsul Republic emerged briefly in the Ukrainian lands of former Austro-Hungarian territory. The short lived Act Zluky (Unification Act) was an agreement signed on 22 January 1919 by the Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian People's Republic on the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, St. Sophia Square in Kyiv. This led to civil war, and an Anarchism, anarchist movement called the Black Guards, Black Army (later renamed to The Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine) developed in Southern Ukraine under the command of the anarchist Nestor Makhno during the Russian Civil War. They protected the operation of "Soviet (council), free soviets" and libertarian socialism, libertarian communes in the Free Territory, an attempt to form a Stateless society, stateless Anarchism, anarchist society from 1918 to 1921 during the Ukrainian War of Independence, Ukrainian Revolution, fighting both the tsarist Armed Forces of South Russia, White Army under Anton Denikin, Denikin and later the Red Army under Leon Trotsky, Trotsky, before being defeated by the latter in August 1921. Poland defeated Western Ukraine in the Polish-Ukrainian War, but failed against the Bolsheviks in Kyiv Offensive (1920), an offensive against Kyiv. According to the Peace of Riga, western Ukraine was incorporated into Poland, which in turn recognised the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in March 1919. With establishment of the Soviet power, Ukraine lost half of its territory, while Moldavian autonomy was established on the left bank of the Dniester River. Ukraine became a founding member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in December 1922.
Western Ukraine, Carpathian Ruthenia and BukovinaThe war in Ukraine continued for another two years; by 1921, however, most of Ukraine had been taken over by the Soviet Union, while Galicia and Volhynia (mostly today's West Ukraine) were incorporated into the Second Polish Republic. Modern-day Bukovina was annexed by Romania and Carpathian Ruthenia was admitted to the First Czechoslovak Republic, Czechoslovak Republic as an autonomy. A powerful underground Ukrainian nationalist movement arose in eastern Poland in the 1920s and 1930s, which was formed by Ukrainian veterans of the Ukrainian-Soviet war (including Yevhen Konovalets, Andriy Atanasovych Melnyk, Andriy Melnyk, and Yuriy Tyutyunyk) and was transformed into the Ukrainian Military Organization and later the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). The movement attracted a militant following among students. Hostilities between Polish state authorities and the popular movement led to a substantial number of fatalities, and the autonomy which had been promised was never implemented. The pre-war Polish government also exercised anti-Ukrainian sentiment; it restricted rights of people who declared Ukrainian nationality, belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Church and inhabited the Eastern Borderlands. The Ukrainian language was restricted in every field possible, especially in governmental institutions, and the term "Ruthenian" was enforced in an attempt to ban the use of the term "Ukrainian". Despite this, a number of Ukrainian parties, the Ukrainian Catholic Church, an active press, and a business sector existed in Poland. Economic conditions improved in the 1920s, but the region suffered from the Great Depression in the early 1930s.
Inter-war Soviet UkraineThe Russian Civil War devastated the whole Russian Empire including Ukraine. It left over 1.5 million people dead and hundreds of thousands homeless in the former Russian Empire territory. Soviet Ukraine also faced the Russian famine of 1921 (primarily affecting the Russian Volga Region, Volga-Ural (region), Ural region). During the 1920s, under the Ukrainisation policy pursued by the national Communist leadership of Mykola Skrypnyk, Soviet leadership encouraged a national renaissance in the Culture of Ukraine, Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian language, language. Ukrainisation was part of the Soviet-wide policy of Korenisation (literally ''indigenisation''). The Bolsheviks were also committed to universal health care, education and social-security benefits, as well as the right to work and housing. Women's rights were greatly increased through new laws. Most of these policies were sharply reversed by the early 1930s after Joseph Stalin became the ''de facto'' communist party leader. Starting from the late 1920s with a first five-year plan, centrally planned economy, Ukraine was involved in Industrialization in the USSR, Soviet industrialisation and the republic's industrial output quadrupled during the 1930s. The peasantry suffered from the Collectivisation in the USSR, programme of collectivisation of agriculture which began during and was part of the first five-year plan and was enforced by regular troops and Cheka, secret police. Those who resisted were Population transfer in the Soviet Union, arrested and deported and agricultural productivity greatly declined. As members of the collective farms were sometimes not allowed to receive any grain until unrealistic quotas were met, millions starved to death in a Droughts and famines in Russia and the Soviet Union, famine known as the Holodomor or the "Great Famine". Scholars are divided as to whether this famine fits the definition of genocide, but the Ukrainian parliament and the governments of other countries have acknowledged it as such. The Communist leadership perceived famine as a means of class struggle and used starvation as a punishment tool to force peasants into collective farms. Largely the same groups were responsible for the mass killing operations during the civil war, collectivisation, and the Great Purge, Great Terror. These groups were associated with Yefim Yevdokimov (1891–1939) and operated in the Secret Operational Division within General State Political Administration (State Political Directorate, OGPU) in 1929–31. Yevdokimov transferred into Communist Party administration in 1934, when he became Party secretary for North Caucasus Krai. He appears to have continued advising Joseph Stalin and Nikolai Yezhov on security matters, and the latter relied on Yevdokimov's former colleagues to carry out the mass killing operations that are known as the Great Terror in 1937–38. On 13 January 2010, Kyiv Appellate Court posthumously found Stalin, Lazar Kaganovich, Kaganovich and other Soviet Communist Party functionaries guilty of genocide against Ukrainians during the Holodomor famine.
World War IIFollowing the Invasion of Poland in September 1939, Nazi Germany, German and Soviet Army, Soviet troops divided the territory of Poland. Thus, Eastern Galicia (Eastern Europe), Galicia and Volhynia with their Ukrainian population became part of Ukraine. For the first time in history, the nation was united. In 1940, the Soviets annexed Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. The Ukrainian SSR incorporated the northern and southern districts of Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, and the Hertsa region. But it ceded the western part of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to the newly created Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. These territorial gains of the USSR were internationally recognized by the Paris Peace Treaties, 1947, Paris peace treaties of 1947. Wehrmacht, German armies Operation Barbarossa, invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, initiating nearly four years of total war. The Axis Powers, Axis initially advanced against desperate but unsuccessful efforts of the Red Army. In the encirclement Battle of Kyiv (1941), battle of Kyiv, the city was acclaimed as a "Hero City", because of its fierce Battle of Kyiv (1941), resistance. More than 600,000 Soviet soldiers (or one-quarter of the Soviet Western Front) were killed or taken captive there, with many suffering German mistreatment of Soviet prisoners of war, severe mistreatment. Although the majority of Ukrainians fought in or alongside the Red Army and Soviet partisans, Soviet resistance, in Western Ukraine an independent Ukrainian Insurgent Army movement arose (UPA, 1942). Created as armed forces of the underground (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, OUN)Vedeneyev, D.
Post-World War IIThe republic was heavily damaged by the war, and it required significant efforts to recover. More than 700 cities and towns and 28,000 villages were destroyed. The situation was worsened by a famine in 1946–47, which was caused by a drought and the wartime destruction of infrastructure. The death toll of this famine varies, with even the lowest estimate in the tens of thousands. In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the founding members of the United Nations organization, part of a special agreement at the Yalta Conference. Post-war ethnic cleansing occurred in the newly expanded Soviet Union. As of 1 January 1953, Ukrainians were second only to Russians among adult "Forced settlements in the Soviet Union, special deportees", comprising 20% of the total. In addition, over 450,000 ethnic History of Germans in Russia, Ukraine and the Soviet Union, Germans from Ukraine and more than 200,000 Crimean Tatars were victims of Population transfer in the Soviet Union, forced deportations. Following the death of Joseph Stalin, Stalin in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev became the new leader of the USSR. Having served as First Secretary of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine, Communist Party of Ukrainian SSR in 1938–49, Khrushchev was intimately familiar with the republic; after taking power union-wide, he began to emphasize "the friendship" between the Ukrainian and Russian nations. In 1954, the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Pereyaslav was widely celebrated. Crimean Oblast, Crimea was 1954 transfer of Crimea, transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR. By 1950, the republic had fully surpassed pre-war levels of industry and production. During the 1946–1950 Five-Year Plan (USSR), five-year plan, nearly 20% of the Soviet budget was invested in Soviet Ukraine, a 5% increase from pre-war plans. As a result, the Ukrainian workforce rose 33.2% from 1940 to 1955 while industrial output grew 2.2 times in that same period. Soviet Ukraine soon became a European leader in industrial production, and an important centre of the Soviet arms industry and high-tech research. Such an important role resulted in a major influence of the local elite. Many members of the Soviet leadership came from Ukraine, most notably Leonid Brezhnev. He later ousted Khrushchev and became the Soviet leader from 1964 to 1982. Many prominent Soviet sports players, scientists, and artists came from Ukraine. On 26 April 1986, a reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded, resulting in the Chernobyl disaster, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history. This was the only accident to receive the highest possible rating of 7 by the International Nuclear Event Scale, indicating a "major accident", until the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011. At the time of the accident, 7 million people lived in the contaminated territories, including 2.2 million in Ukraine. After the accident, the new city of Slavutych was built outside the exclusion zone to house and support the employees of the plant, which was decommissioned in 2000. A report prepared by the International Atomic Energy Agency and World Health Organization attributed 56 direct deaths to the accident and estimated that there may have been 4,000 extra cancer deaths.
IndependenceOn 16 July 1990, the new parliament adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine. This established the principles of the self-determination, democracy, independence, and the priority of Ukrainian law over Soviet law. A month earlier, a Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, similar declaration was adopted by the parliament of the Russian SFSR. This started a period of confrontation with the central Soviet authorities. In August 1991, a faction among the Communist leaders of the Soviet Union Soviet coup attempt of 1991, attempted a coup to remove Mikhail Gorbachev and to restore the Communist party's power. After it failed, on 24 August 1991 the Ukrainian parliament adopted the Act of Independence of Ukraine, Act of Independence. A 1991 Ukrainian independence referendum, referendum and the 1991 Ukrainian presidential election, first presidential elections took place on 1 December 1991. More than 90% of the electorate expressed their support for the Act of Independence, and they elected the chairman of the parliament, Leonid Kravchuk as the first President of Ukraine. At the Belavezha Accords, meeting in Brest, Belarus on 8 December, followed by the Alma Ata meeting on 21 December, the leaders of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine formally dissolved the Soviet Union and formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). On 26 December 1991 the Council of Republics of the USSR Supreme Council adapted declaration "In regards to creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States" (russian: В связи с созданием Содружества Независимых Государств) which de jure dissolved the Soviet Union and the Soviet flag was lowered over the Kremlin. Ukraine was initially viewed as having favourable economic conditions in comparison to the other regions of the Soviet Union. However, the country experienced deeper economic slowdown than some of the other former Soviet Republics. During the recession, Ukraine lost 60% of its GDP from 1991 to 1999, and suffered five-digit inflation rates. Dissatisfied with the economic conditions, as well as the amounts of crime and corruption in Ukraine, Ukrainians protested and organized strikes. The Ukrainian economy stabilized by the end of the 1990s. A new currency, the Ukrainian hryvnia, hryvnia, was introduced in 1996. After 2000, the country enjoyed steady Real GDP, real economic growth averaging about seven percent annually. A new Constitution of Ukraine was adopted under second President Leonid Kuchma in 1996, which turned Ukraine into a semi-presidential republic and established a stable political system. Kuchma was, however, criticised by opponents for corruption, electoral fraud, discouraging free speech and concentrating too much power in his office. Ukraine also pursued full nuclear disarmament, giving up the third largest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world and dismantling or removing all strategic bombers on its territory in exchange for various assurances (main article: Nuclear weapons and Ukraine).
Orange RevolutionIn 2004, Viktor Yanukovych, then Prime Minister, was declared the winner of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, presidential elections, which had been largely rigged, as the Supreme Court of Ukraine later ruled. The results caused a public outcry in support of the opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, who challenged the outcome. During the tumultuous months of the revolution, candidate Yushchenko Viktor Yushchenko#Dioxin poisoning, suddenly became gravely ill, and was soon found by multiple independent physician groups to have been poisoned by 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin, TCDD dioxin. Yushchenko strongly suspected Russian involvement in his poisoning. All of this eventually resulted in the peaceful Orange Revolution, bringing Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko to power, while casting Viktor Yanukovych in opposition. Activists of the Orange Revolution were funded and trained in tactics of political organisation and nonviolent resistance by Western pollsters and professional consultants who were partly funded by Western government and non-government agencies but received most of their funding from domestic sources.The Colour Revolutions in the Former Soviet Republics: Ukraine
Euromaidan and 2014 revolutionThe Euromaidan ( uk, Євромайдан, literally "Eurosquare") protests started in November 2013 after the president, Viktor Yanukovych, began moving away from an association agreement that had been in the works with the European Union and instead chose to establish closer ties with the Russian Federation. Some Ukrainians took to the streets to show their support for closer ties with Europe. Meanwhile, in the predominantly Russian-speaking east, a large portion of the population opposed the ''Euromaidan'' protests, instead supporting the Yanukovych government. Over time, ''Euromaidan'' came to describe a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, the scope of which evolved to include calls for the resignation of President Yanukovych and Second Azarov Government, his government. Violence escalated after 16 January 2014 when the government accepted new Anti-protest laws in Ukraine, Anti-Protest Laws. Violent anti-government demonstrators occupied buildings in the centre of Kyiv, including the Justice Ministry building, and riots left 98 dead with approximately fifteen thousand injured and 100 considered missing from 18 to 20 February. On 21 February, President Yanukovych signed a compromise deal with opposition leaders that promised constitutional changes to restore certain powers to Parliament and called for early elections to be held by December. However, Members of Parliament voted on 22 February to remove the president and set 2014 Ukrainian presidential election, an election for 25 May to select his replacement. Petro Poroshenko, running on a pro-European Union platform, won with over fifty percent of the vote, therefore not requiring a run-off election.''The New York Times'', "Dozens of Separatists Killed in Ukraine Army Attack", By SABRINA TAVERNISE and ANDREW ROTH, 27 May 2014RTVi, News-script for Broadcast of 25 May 2014, Ekaterina Andreeff. Upon his election, Poroshenko announced that his immediate priorities would be to take action in the civil unrest in Eastern Ukraine and mend ties with the Russian Federation. Poroshenko was inaugurated as president on 7 June 2014, as previously announced by his spokeswoman Irina Friz in a low-key ceremony without a celebration on Kyiv's Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square, the centre of the Euromaidan protests) for the ceremony. In October 2014 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Parliament elections, Petro Poroshenko Bloc "Solidarity" won 132 of the 423 contested seats.
Civil unrest, Russian intervention, and annexation of CrimeaThe ousting of Yanukovych prompted Vladimir Putin to begin preparations to annex Crimea on 23 February 2014. Using the Russian naval base at Sevastopol as cover, Putin directed Russian troops and intelligence agents to disarm Ukrainian forces and take control of Crimea. After the troops entered Crimea, a controversial 2014 Crimean referendum, referendum was held on 16 March 2014 and the official result was that 97 percent wished to join with Russia. On 18 March 2014, Russia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Crimea signed a Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation#Accession treaty and aftermath, treaty of accession of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol in the Russian Federation. The UN general assembly responded by passing United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262, resolution 68/262 that the referendum was invalid and supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Separately, in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, armed men declaring themselves as local militia supported with pro-Russian protesters seized government buildings, police and special police stations in several cities and held unrecognised 2014 Donbas status referendums, status referendums. The insurgency was led by Russian emissaries Igor Girkin and Alexander Borodai as well as militants from , such as Arseny Pavlov. Talks in Geneva between the EU, Russia, Ukraine and USA yielded a Joint Diplomatic Statement referred to as the 2014 Geneva Pact in which the parties requested that all unlawful militias lay down their arms and vacate seized government buildings, and also establish a political dialogue that could lead to more autonomy for Ukraine's regions. When Petro Poroshenko won the presidential election held on 25 May 2014, he vowed to continue the military operations by the Ukrainian government forces to end the armed insurgency. More than 9,000 people have been killed in the military campaign. In August 2014, a bilateral commission of leading scholars from the United States and Russia issued the Boisto Agenda indicating a 24-step plan to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. The Boisto Agenda was organized into five imperative categories for addressing the crisis requiring stabilization identified as: (1) Elements of an Enduring, Verifiable Ceasefire; (2) Economic Relations; (3) Social and Cultural Issues; (4) Crimea; and, (5) International Status of Ukraine. In late 2014, Ukraine ratified the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement, which Poroshenko described as Ukraine's "first but most decisive step" towards EU membership. Poroshenko also set 2020 as the target for Ukraine–European Union relations, EU membership application. In February 2015, after a summit hosted in Belarus, Poroshenko negotiated a ceasefire with the separatist troops. This included conditions such as the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the front line and decentralisation of rebel regions by the end of 2015. It also included conditions such as Ukrainian control of the border with Russia in 2015 and the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Ukrainian territory. The ceasefire began at midnight on 15 February 2015. Participants in this ceasefire also agreed to attend regular meetings to ensure that the agreement is respected. On 1 January 2016, Ukraine joined the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with European Union, which aims to modernize and develop Ukraine's economy, governance and rule of law to EU standards and gradually increase integration with the EU Internal market.EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area
COVID-19The first case of COVID-19 in Ukraine was recorded on 3 March. On 13 March, the National Bank of Ukraine cut interest rates from 11% to 10% to help stop the coronavirus panic. On 17 March the passage of Law No. 3219, "On Amending Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine aimed at Preventing the Occurrence and Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)" modified the Law of Ukraine#Criminal law, Criminal Code of Ukraine to include rules of behaviour designed to halt the spread of the disease, and attributed the measures in law to force majeure; a total of 344 deputies out of 450 in the Verkhovna Rada voted in favour of Law No. 3219. On 17 March, the international border was closed to foreigners. Other measures included shuttering, at least until 3 April, all "cafes, restaurants, gyms, shopping malls, and entertainment venues", the Ukrzaliznytsia, Ukrzaliznytsia passenger rail service, all domestic flights, and public intercity transportation such as the metro in Kyiv, Dnipro, and Kharkiv. The ban on travel in the Kyiv metro caused chaos, as commuters were forced to assemble instead at bus stops. The government also placed on the right to assembly a limit of 10 individuals. As of 19 March, the number of infections had risen to 21, and three deaths had been reported. On 22 March, Zelensky asked IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva for permission to participate in the $1 trillion IMF coronavirus bailout fund. On 29 May, Ukraine opened its borders with its neighbours in the EU and Moldova, but not with Belarus and .
GeographyUkraine is a large country in , lying mostly in the East European Plain. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest European country, after Russia. It covers an area of and with a coastline of . It lies between latitudes 44th parallel north, 44° and 53rd parallel north, 53° N, and longitudes 22nd meridian east, 22° and 41st meridian east, 41° E. The landscape of Ukraine consists mostly of fertile plains (or steppes) and plateaus, crossed by rivers such as the Dnieper River, Dnieper (), Seversky Donets, Dniester and the Southern Bug as they flow south into the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov. To the southwest, the Danube Delta, delta of the Danube forms the border with Romania. Ukraine's various regions have diverse geographic features ranging from the highlands to the lowlands. The country's only mountains are the Carpathian Mountains in the west, of which the highest is the Hora Hoverla at , and the Crimean Mountains on Crimea, in the extreme south along the coast. However Ukraine also has a number of highland regions such as the Volhynian-Podolian Upland, Volyn-Podillia Upland (in the west) and the Near-Dnipro Upland (on the right bank of Dnieper); to the east there are the south-western spurs of the Central Russian Upland over which runs the border with the Russian Federation. Near the Sea of Azov can be found the Donets Ridge and the Near Azov Upland. The snow melt from the mountains feeds the rivers, and natural changes in altitude form sudden drops in elevation and give rise to waterfalls of Ukraine, waterfalls. Significant natural resources in Ukraine include iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulphur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber and an abundance of arable land. Despite this, the country faces a number of major environmental issues such as inadequate supplies of potable water; air- and water-pollution and deforestation, as well as radiation contamination in the north-east from the Chernobyl disaster, 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Hazardous Waste Recycling, Recycling toxic household waste is still in its infancy in Ukraine.
SoilFrom northwest to southeast the soils of Ukraine may be divided into three major aggregations: File:Поля під Касовою горою.jpg, Agricultural works in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast * a zone of sandy podzolized soils * a central belt consisting of the extremely fertile Ukrainian black earth (Chornozem, chernozems) * a zone of chestnut and soil salinity, salinized soils As much as two-thirds of the country's surface land consists of the so-called black earth, a resource that has made Ukraine one of the most fertile regions in the world and well known as a "breadbasket". These soils may be divided into three broad groups: * in the north a belt of the so-called deep chernozems, about thick and rich in humus * south and east of the former, a zone of prairie, or ordinary, chernozems, which are equally rich in humus but only about thick * the southernmost belt, which is even thinner and has still less humus Interspersed in various uplands and along the northern and western perimeters of the deep chernozems are mixtures of gray forest soils and podzolized black-earth soils, which together occupy much of Ukraine's remaining area. All these soils are very fertile when sufficient water is available. However, their intensive cultivation, especially on steep slopes, has led to widespread soil erosion and gullying. The smallest proportion of the soil cover consists of the chestnut soils of the southern and eastern regions. They become increasingly salinized to the south as they approach the Black Sea.
ClimateUkraine has a mostly temperate climate, with the exception of the southern coast of Crimea which has a subtropical climate. The climate is influenced by moderately warm, humid air coming from the Atlantic Ocean. Average annual temperatures range from in the north, to in the south. precipitation (meteorology), Precipitation is disproportionately distributed; it is highest in the west and north and lowest in the east and southeast. Western Ukraine, particularly in the Carpathian Mountains, receives around of precipitation annually, while Crimea and the coastal areas of the Black Sea receive around .
BiodiversityUkraine contains six terrestrial ecoregions: Central European mixed forests, Crimean Submediterranean forest complex, East European forest steppe, Pannonian mixed forests, Carpathian montane conifer forests, and Pontic steppe. Ukraine is home to a diverse assemblage of animals, fungi, microorganisms and plants.
AnimalsUkraine falls into two main zoological areas. One of these areas, in the west of the country, is made up of the borderlands of Europe, where there are species typical of mixed forests, the other is located in eastern Ukraine, where steppe-dwelling species thrive. In the forested areas of the country it is not uncommon to find lynxes, wolves, wild boar and martens, as well as many other similar species; this is especially true of the Carpathian Mountains, where many predatory mammals make their home, as well as a contingent of brown bears. Around Ukraine's lakes and rivers beavers, otters and mink make their home, whilst in the waters carp, bream and catfish are the most commonly found species of fish. In the central and eastern parts of the country, rodents such as hamsters and gophers are found in large numbers.
FungiMore than 6,600 species of Fungus, fungi (including lichen-forming species) have been recorded from Ukraine, but this number is far from complete. The true total number of fungal species occurring in Ukraine, including species not yet recorded, is likely to be far higher, given the generally accepted estimate that only about 7% of all fungi worldwide have so far been discovered. Although the amount of available information is still very small, a first effort has been made to estimate the number of fungal species endemic to Ukraine, and 2217 such species have been tentatively identified.
PoliticsUkraine is a republic under a mixed semi-parliamentary semi-presidential system with separate legislative branch, legislative, executive branch, executive, and judicial branches.
Constitution of UkraineWith the proclamation of its independence on 24 August 1991, and adoption of a constitution on 28 June 1996, Ukraine became a semi-presidential republic. However, in 2004, deputies introduced changes to the Constitution, which tipped the balance of power in favour of a parliamentary system. From 2004 to 2010, the legitimacy of the 2004 Constitutional amendments had official sanction, both with the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, and most major political parties. Despite this, on 30 September 2010 the Constitutional Court ruled that the amendments were null and void, forcing a return to the terms of the 1996 Constitution and again making Ukraine's political system more presidential in character. The ruling on the 2004 Constitutional amendments became a major topic of political discourse. Much of the concern was based on the fact that neither the Constitution of 1996 nor the Constitution of 2004 provided the ability to "undo the Constitution", as the decision of the Constitutional Court would have it, even though the 2004 constitution arguably has an exhaustive list of possible procedures for constitutional amendments (articles 154–159). In any case, the current Constitution could be modified by a vote in Parliament. On 21 February 2014 an agreement between President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders saw the country return to the 2004 Constitution. The historic agreement, brokered by the European Union, followed protests that began in late November 2013 and culminated in a week of violent clashes in which scores of protesters were killed. In addition to returning the country to the 2004 Constitution, the deal provided for the formation of a coalition government, the calling of early elections, and the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from prison. A day after the agreement was reached the Ukraine parliament dismissed Yanukovych and installed its speaker Oleksandr Turchynov as interim president and Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the Prime Minister of Ukraine.
President, parliament and governmentThe President of Ukraine, President is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and is the formal head of state. Ukraine's legislative branch includes the 450-seat unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada. The parliament is primarily responsible for the formation of the executive branch and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Prime Minister. However, the President still retains the authority to nominate the Ministers of the Foreign Affairs and of Defence for parliamentary approval, as well as the power to appoint the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Prosecutor General and the head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Security Service. Laws, acts of the parliament and the cabinet, presidential decrees, and acts of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea, Crimean parliament may be abrogated by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, Constitutional Court, should they be found to violate the constitution. Other normative acts are subject to judicial review. The Supreme Court of Ukraine, Supreme Court is the main body in the system of courts of general jurisdiction. Local self-government is officially guaranteed. Local councils and city mayors are popularly elected and exercise control over local budgets. The heads of regional and district administrations are appointed by the President in accordance with the proposals of the Prime Minister. This system virtually requires an agreement between the President and the Prime Minister, and has in the past led to problems, such as when President Yushchenko exploited a perceived loophole by appointing so-called 'temporarily acting' officers, instead of actual governors or local leaders, thus evading the need to seek a compromise with the Prime Minister. This practice was controversial and was subject to Constitutional Court review. Ukraine has many political parties, many of which have tiny memberships and are unknown to the general public. Small parties often join in multi-party coalitions (electoral blocs) for the purpose of participating in parliamentary elections.
Courts and law enforcementThe courts enjoy legal, financial and constitutional freedom guaranteed by Ukrainian law since 2002. Judges are largely well protected from dismissal (except in the instance of gross misconduct). Court justices are appointed by presidential decree for an initial period of five years, after which Ukraine's Supreme Council confirms their positions for life. Although there are still problems, the system is considered to have been much improved since Ukraine's independence in 1991. The Supreme Court is regarded as an independent and impartial body, and has on several occasions ruled against the Ukrainian government. The World Justice Project ranks Ukraine 66 out of 99 countries surveyed in its annual Rule of Law Index. Prosecutors in Ukraine have greater powers than in most European countries, and according to the European Commission for Democracy through Law 'the role and functions of the Prosecutor's Office is not in accordance with Council of Europe standards". The criminal judicial system maintains an average conviction rate of over 99%, equal to the conviction rate of the Soviet Union, withMoskal: 'Rotten to the core'
Foreign relationsIn 1999–2001, Ukraine served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Historically, Soviet Ukraine joined the United Nations in 1945 as one of the original members following a Western compromise with the Soviet Union, which had asked for seats for all 15 of its union republics. Ukraine has consistently supported peaceful, negotiated settlements to disputes. It has participated in the quadripartite talks on the conflict in Moldova and promoted a peaceful resolution to conflict in the post-Soviet state of Georgia. Ukraine also has made a substantial contribution to UN peacekeeping operations since 1992. Ukraine currently considers Euro-Atlantic integration its primary foreign policy objective,Ukraine has no alternative to Euro-Atlantic integration – Ukraine has no alternative to Euro-Atlantic integration – Poroshenko
Armed forcesAfter the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine inherited a 780,000-man military force on its territory, equipped with the third-largest nuclear weapons and Ukraine, nuclear weapons arsenal in the world. In May 1992, Ukraine signed the Lisbon Protocol in which the country agreed to give up all nuclear weapons to Russia for disposal and to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state. Ukraine ratified the treaty in 1994, and by 1996 the country became free of nuclear weapons. Ukraine took consistent steps toward reduction of conventional weapons. It signed the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which called for reduction of tanks, artillery, and armoured vehicles (army forces were reduced to 300,000). The country plans to convert the current conscript-based military into a professional volunteer military. Ukraine has been playing an increasingly larger role in peacekeeping operations. On Friday 3 January 2014, the Ukrainian frigate ''Hetman Sagaidachniy'' joined the European Union's counter piracy Operation Atalanta and will be part of the EU Naval Force off the coast of Somalia for two months. Ukrainian troops are deployed in Kosovo as part of the Polish-Ukrainian Peace Force Battalion, Ukrainian-Polish Battalion. A Ukrainian unit was deployed in Lebanon, as part of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, UN Interim Force enforcing the mandated ceasefire agreement. There was also a maintenance and training battalion deployed in Sierra Leone. In 2003–05, a Ukrainian unit was deployed as part of the Multinational force in Iraq under Polish command. The total Ukrainian armed forces deployment around the world is 562 servicemen. Military units of other states participate in multinational military exercises with Ukrainian forces in Ukraine regularly, including United States Armed Forces, U.S. military forces. Following independence, Ukraine declared itself a neutral state. The country has had a limited military partnership with Russian Federation, other CIS countries and a Partnership for Peace, partnership with NATO since 1994. In the 2000s, the government was leaning towards NATO, and a deeper cooperation with the alliance was set by the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan signed in 2002. It was later agreed that the question of joining NATO should be answered by a national referendum at some point in the future. Recently deposed Ukrainian President, President Viktor Yanukovych considered the current level of co-operation between Ukraine–NATO relations, Ukraine and NATO sufficient, and was against Ukraine joining NATO. During the 2008 Bucharest summit, NATO declared that Ukraine would eventually become a member of NATO when it meets the criteria for the accession.
Administrative divisionsThe system of Ukrainian subdivisions reflects the country's status as a unitary state (as stated in the country's constitution) with unified legal and Local government, administrative regimes for each unit. Including Sevastopol and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea that were annexed by the Russian Federation in 2014, Ukraine consists of 27 regions: twenty-four oblasts (provinces), one autonomous republic (Autonomous Republic of Crimea), and two cities of special status – Kyiv, the capital, and Sevastopol. The 24 oblasts and Crimea are subdivided into 136 (districts) and city municipalities of regional significance, or second-level administrative units. Populated places in Ukraine are split into two categories: urban and rural. Urban populated places are split further into cities and urban-type settlements (a Soviet administrative invention), while rural populated places consist of villages and settlements (a generally used term). All cities have certain degree of self-rule depending on their significance such as national significance (as in the case of Kyiv and Sevastopol), regional significance (within each oblast or autonomous republic) or district significance (all the rest of cities). A city's significance depends on several factors such as its population, socio-economic and historical importance, infrastructure and others.
EconomyUkraine has a lower-middle income economy, which is the List of countries by GDP (nominal), 55th-largest in the world by nominal GDP, and the List of countries by GDP (PPP), 40th-largest by purchasing power parity, PPP. It is one of the world's largest Grain trade, grain exporters, and is sometimes called the "Breadbasket of Europe". However, the country is the List of sovereign states in Europe by GDP (nominal) per capita, poorest in Europe alongside Moldova, and is also among the Corruption in Ukraine, most severely corrupt in the continent. According to the IMF, Ukraine's GDP per capita by PPP is $13,943. In 2019, the average nominal salary in Ukraine reached ₴10,000 hryvnias per month or around €300, while in 2018, Ukraine's median wealth per adult was $40, one of the lowest in the world. 10 October 2018 article
CorporationsUkraine has a very large heavy-industry base and is one of the largest refiners of metallurgical products in Eastern Europe. However, the country is also well known for its production of high-technological goods and transport products, such as Antonov aircraft and various private and commercial vehicles. The country's largest and most competitive firms are components of the PFTS index, traded on the PFTS Ukraine Stock Exchange. Well-known Ukrainian brands include Naftogaz Ukrainy, AvtoZAZ, PrivatBank, Roshen, Yuzhmash, Nemiroff, Motor Sich, Khortytsia (company), Khortytsia, Kyivstar and Aerosvit. Ukraine is regarded as a developing economy with high potential for future success, though such a development is thought likely only with new all-encompassing economic and legal reforms. Although Foreign Direct Investment in Ukraine remained relatively strong since Early 1990s recession, recession of the early 1990s, the country has had trouble maintaining stable economic growth. The reasons are the takeover and monopolisation of traditional heavy industries by wealthy individuals such as Rinat Akhmetov, the enduring failure to broaden the nation's economic base and a lack of effective legal protection for investors and their products.
TransportIn total, Ukrainian paved roads stretch for . Major routes, marked with the letter 'M' for 'International' ''(Ukrainian Language, Ukrainian: Міжнародний''), extend nationwide and connect all major cities of Ukraine, and provide cross-border routes to the country's neighbours. There are only two true motorway standard highways in Ukraine; a stretch of motorway from Kharkiv to Dnipro and a section of the M03 which extends from Kyiv to Boryspil, where the city's Boryspil Airport, international airport is located. Rail transport in Ukraine connects all major urban areas, port facilities and Manufacturing, industrial centres with neighbouring countries. The heaviest concentration of railway track is the Donbas region of Ukraine. Although rail freight transport fell in the 1990s, Ukraine is still one of the rail usage statistics by country, world's highest rail users. The total amount of railroad track in Ukraine extends for , of which was electrified in the 2000s. Currently the state has a monopoly on the provision of passenger rail transport, and all trains, other than those with cooperation of other foreign companies on international routes, are operated by its company 'Ukrainian Railways, Ukrzaliznytsia. Transport by air is developing quickly, with a visa-free programme for EU nationals and citizens of a number of other Western nations, the nation's aviation sector is handling a significantly increased number of travellers. The Euro 2012 football tournament, held in Poland and Ukraine as joint hosts, prompted the government to invest heavily in transport infrastructure, and in particular airports. The Donetsk International Airport, Donetsk airport, completed for Euro 2012, was destroyed by the end of 2014 because of the ongoing war between the government and the separatist movement. Boryspil International Airport, Kyiv Boryspil is the county's largest international airport; it has three main passenger terminals and is the base for the country's flag carrier, Ukraine International Airlines. Other large airports in the country include those in Kharkiv International Airport, Kharkiv, Lviv International Airport, Lviv and Donetsk International Airport, Donetsk (now destroyed), whilst those in Dnipro International Airport, Dnipro and Odessa International Airport, Odessa have plans for terminal upgrades in the near future. In addition to its flag carrier, Ukraine has a number of airlines including Windrose Airlines, Dniproavia, Azur Air Ukraine, and AtlasGlobal Ukraine. Antonov Airlines, a subsidiary of the Antonov Aerospace Design Bureau is the only operator of the world's largest fixed wing aircraft, the An-225. International maritime travel is mainly provided through the Port of Odessa, from where ferries sail regularly to Istanbul, Varna, Bulgaria, Varna and Haifa. The largest ferry company presently operating these routes is UkrFerry, Ukrferry.
EnergyIn 2014, Ukraine was ranked number 19 on the Emerging Market Energy Security Growth Prosperity Index, published by the think tank Bisignis Institute, which ranks emerging market countries using government corruption, GDP growth and oil reserve information. Ukraine produces and processes its own natural gas and petroleum. However, the majority of these commodities are imported. Eighty percent of Ukrainian natural gas supplies are imported, mainly from . Natural gas is heavily utilised not only in energy production but also by steel industry, steel and chemical industry, chemical industries of the country, as well as by the district heating sector. In 2012, Royal Dutch Shell, Shell started exploration drilling for shale gas in Ukraine—a project aimed at the nation's total gas supply independence. Following the armed conflict in the Donbas, Ukraine was cut off from half of coal and all of its anthracite extraction, dropping Ukrainian coal production by 22 percent in 2014. Russia was Ukraine's largest coal supplier, and in 2014 Russia blocked its coal supplies, forcing 22 Ukrainian power plants to shut down temporarily.
Power generationUkraine has been a net Electricity market, energy exporting country, for example in 2011, 3.3% of electricity produced were exported, but also one of Europe's largest Electricity, energy consumers. , 47.6% of total electricity generation was from nuclear power The largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, is located in Ukraine. Until the 2010s, all of Ukraine's nuclear fuel was coming from Russia. In 2008 Westinghouse Electric Company won a five-year contract selling nuclear fuel to three Ukrainian reactors starting in 2011. Following Euromaidan then President Viktor Yanukovych introduced a ban on Rosatom nuclear fuel shipments to Europe via Ukraine, which was in effect from 28 January until 6 March 2014. By 2016, Russia's share was down to 55 percent, Westinghouse Electric Company, Westinghouse supplying nuclear fuel for six of Ukraine's VVER-1000 nuclear reactors. After the Russian annexation of Crimea in April 2014, the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company of Ukraine Energoatom and Westinghouse extended the contract for fuel deliveries through 2020. Coal and natural gas, gas-fired thermal power stations and hydro power, hydroelectricity are the second and third largest kinds of power generation in the country.
Renewable energy useThe share of renewable energy, renewables within the total energy mix is still very small, but is growing fast. Total installed capacity of renewable energy installations more than doubled in 2011 and stands at 397 MW. In 2011 several large solar energy, solar power stations were opened in Ukraine, among them Europe's largest solar park in Perovo, (Crimea). The Economic Bank for Reconstruction and Development estimated in 2012 that Ukraine had great renewable energy potential: the technical potential for wind energy is estimated at 40 TWh/year, small hydropower stations at 8.3 TWh/year, biomass at 120 TWh/year, and solar energy at 50 TWh/year.
TourismIn 2007 Ukraine occupied 8th place in Europe by the number of tourists visiting, according to the World Tourism Organization World Tourism rankings, rankings. Ukraine has numerous tourist attractions: mountain ranges suitable for skiing, hiking and fishing: the Black Sea coastline as a popular summer destination; nature reserves of different ecosystems; churches, castle ruins and other architectural and park landmarks; various outdoor activity points. Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa and Kamyanets-Podilskyi are Ukraine's principal tourist centres each offering many historical landmarks as well as formidable hospitality infrastructure. Tourism used to be the mainstay of Crimea's economy but there has been a major fall in visitor numbers following the Russian annexation in 2014. The Seven Wonders of Ukraine and Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine are the selection of the most important landmarks of Ukraine, chosen by the general public through an Internet-based vote.
PopulationPost World War II Ukraine's population gradually increased to a peak of 51.9 million in 1993. From 1993 to 2014, the last year the populations in Donbas and Crimea were included, population had decreased by 6.6 million, or 12.8%. The decline was caused by a reduction in birth rate, emigration, and a slight increase in death rate, largely attributed to poor living conditions and low-quality health care. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, millions of Ukrainians migrated to Ukrainian Canadians, Canada, the Ukrainian Americans, United States, or other parts of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, creating a large Ukrainian diaspora. There are about 3 million Ukrainians living in . Since about 2015 there has been a growing number of Ukrainians working in the European Union, particularly . Eurostat reported that 662,000 Ukrainians received EU residence permits in 2017, with 585,439 being to Poland. World Bank statistics show that money remittances back to Ukraine have roughly doubled from 2015 to 2018, worth about 4% of GDP. It is unclear if those moving to work in the EU intend this to be temporary of permanent. There are over 2 million Ukrainians working and living in Poland. The industrial regions in the east and southeast are the most heavily populated, and about 67.2% of the population lives in urban areas.
Ethnic compositionAccording to the Ukrainian Census (2001), Ukrainian Census of 2001, Ukrainians make up 77.8% of the population. Other significant ethnic groups include Russians (17.3%), Belarusians (0.6%), Moldovans (0.5%), Crimean Tatars (0.5%), Bulgarians (0.4%), Hungarians (0.3%), Romanians (0.3%), Poles (0.3%), Jews (0.3%), Armenians (0.2%), Greeks (0.2%) and Tatars (0.2%). It is also estimated that there are about 50,000 ethnic Koreans (0.12%) in Ukraine that belong to the Koryo-saram group. Their number may be as high as 100,000, as many ethnic Koreans were assimilated into the majority population.
LanguageAccording to the constitution, the official language, state language of Ukraine is Ukrainian. Russian is widely spoken, especially in eastern and southern Ukraine. According to the Ukrainian Census (2001), 2001 census, 67.5 percent of the population declared Ukrainian as their native language and 29.6 percent declared Russian. Most native Ukrainian speakers know Russian as a second language. Russian was the ''de facto'' dominant language of the Soviet Union but Ukrainian also held official status and in the schools of the Ukrainian SSR learning Ukrainian was mandatory.Serhy Yekelchyk ''Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation'', Oxford University Press (2007), Effective in August 2012, Legislation on languages in Ukraine, a new law on regional languages entitles any local language spoken by at least a 10 percent minority be declared official within that area. Russian was within weeks declared as a regional language in several southern and eastern Oblasts of Ukraine, oblasts (provinces) and cities. Russian can now be used in these cities'/oblasts' administrative office work and documents. On 23 February 2014, following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to repeal the law on regional languages, making Ukrainian the sole state language at all levels; however, the repeal was not signed by acting Oleksandr Turchynov, President Turchynov or by President Poroshenko. In February 2019, the law allowing for regional languages was found unconstitutional. Ukrainian is mainly spoken in western and central Ukraine. In western Ukraine, Ukrainian is also the dominant language in cities (such as Lviv). In central Ukraine, Ukrainian and Russian are both equally used in cities, with Russian being more common in Kyiv, while Ukrainian is the dominant language in rural communities. In eastern and southern Ukraine, Russian is primarily used in cities, and Ukrainian is used in rural areas. These details result in a significant difference across different survey results, as even a small restating of a question switches responses of a significant group of people. Hungarian language, Hungarian is spoken in the Zakarpattia Oblast. For a large part of the Soviet era, the number of Ukrainian speakers declined from generation to generation, and by the mid-1980s, the usage of the Ukrainian language in public life had decreased significantly.Shamshur, p. 159–168 Following independence, the government of Ukraine began restoring the image and usage of Ukrainian language through a policy of Ukrainisation. Today, most foreign films and TV programs, including Russian ones, are subtitled or dubbed in Ukrainian. Ukraine's 2017 Education in Ukraine, education law bars primary education in public schools in grade five and up in any language but Ukrainian. The ''Ukrainian Independent Information Agency, Unian'' reported that "A ban on the use of cultural products, namely movies, books, songs, etc., in the Russian language in the public has been introduced" in the Lviv Oblast in September 2018. According to the Constitution of the Crimea, Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Ukrainian is the only state language of the republic. However, the republic's constitution specifically recognises Russian as the language of the majority of its population and guarantees its usage 'in all spheres of public life'. Similarly, the Crimean Tatar language (the language of 12 percent of population of Crimea), 2001 Ukrainian Census. Retrieved 27 January 2008. is guaranteed a special state protection as well as the 'languages of other ethnicities'. Russian speakers constitute an overwhelming majority of the Crimean population (77 percent), with Crimean Tatar speakers 11.4 percent and Ukrainian speakers comprising just 10.1 percent., 2001 Ukrainian Census. But in everyday life the majority of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians in Crimea use Russian.For a more comprehensive account of language politics in Crimea, see Natalya Belitser,
ReligionUkraine has the Eastern Orthodoxy by country, world's second largest Eastern Orthodox population. A 2016 survey conducted by the Razumkov Centre found that 70% of Ukrainians declared themselves believers in some religion, while 10.1% were uncertain whether they believed or not, 7.2% were uninterested in beliefs, 6.3% were unbelievers, 2.7% were atheists, and a further 3.9% found it difficult to answer the question. The level of religiosity in Ukraine is greatest in Western Ukraine (91%), and lowest in Eastern Ukraine (56%) and the Donbas (57%). Of the Ukrainian population, 81.9% were Christians, comprising a 65.4% who declared to be Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox, 7.1% simply Christians, 6.5% Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Greek Rite Catholics, and 1.9% Protestantism, Protestants. A further 1.1% were Muslims and 1.0% Latin Church, Latin Rite Catholics. Judaism and Hinduism were the religions of 0.2% of the population each. A further 16.3% of the population did not identify in one of those listed hitherto. According to the surveys conducted by Razumkov in the 2000s and early 2010s, such numbers have remained relatively constant throughout the last decade. Among those Ukrainians who declared to believe in Orthodoxy, 38.1% declared to be members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate (a body that is not canonically recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church), while 23.0% declared to be members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscovian Patriarchate (which is an autonomy (Eastern Christianity), autonomous Orthodox church under the Russian Orthodox Church). A further 2.7% were members of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which, like the Kyivan Patriarchate, is not recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Among the remaining Orthodox Ukrainians, 32.3% declared to be "simply Orthodox", without affiliation to any patriarchate, while a further 3.1% declared that they "did not know" which patriarchate or Orthodox church they belonged to. On 15 December 2018 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), and some members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) (UOC-MP) united to form the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The Ecumenical Patriarch granted the status of autocephaly to the new Church the following month on 5 January 2019. The Patriarch of Moscow retaliated by severing relations with Constantinople. The union of the Ukrainian Churches has not been recognized by other Orthodox Churches. The second largest Christian group in Ukraine, Catholic Church, Catholicism, is predominantly represented by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion, communion with the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church. It recognizes the primacy of the Pope as head of the Church while still maintaining a similar liturgy, liturgical and spiritual tradition as Eastern Orthodoxy. Additionally, there are a small number of Latin Rite Catholic communities (1.0%). The church consists mainly of ethnic Poles and Hungarians, who live predominantly in the western regions of the country. According to the 2018 survey, 'Religion in Ukraine,' by Razumkov the declared religion population is 9.4% Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Ukrainian Byzantine Rite Catholics and 0.8% Catholic Church, Latin Rite Catholics. Protestants in Ukraine make up 1.9% of the population as of 2016. Protestants had increased to 2.2% in the 2018 Razumkov Center survey. A further 7.1% of the population declares to be simply Christian. The Razumov Center surveys reported an increase of those who declared themselves Orthodox in 2018 at 67.3% up 1.9% from 2016 while declared Catholics rose from 7.5% to 10.6% in the same two-year period.
HealthThe Ukrainian Red Cross Society was established in April 1918 in Kyiv as an independent humanitarian society of the Ukrainian People's Republic. Its immediate tasks were to help refugees and prisoners of war, care for handicapped people and orphaned children, fight famine and epidemics, support and organize sick quarters, hospitals and public canteens. At present, society involves more than 6.3 million supporters and activists. Its Visiting Nurses Service has 3,200 qualified nurses. The organization takes part in more than 40 humanitarian programmes all over Ukraine, which are mostly funded by public donation and corporate partnerships. By its own estimates, the Society annually provides services to more than 105,000 lonely, elderly people, about 23,000 people disabled during the Second World War and handicapped workers, more than 25,000 war veterans, and more than 8,000 adults handicapped since childhood. Assistance for orphaned and disabled children is also rendered. Ukraine's healthcare system is state subsidised and freely available to all Ukrainian citizens and registered residents. However, it is not compulsory to be treated in a state-run hospital as a number of private medical complexes do exist nationwide. The public sector employs most healthcare professionals, with those working for private medical centres typically also retaining their state employment as they are mandated to provide care at public health facilities on a regular basis. All of the country's medical service providers and hospitals are subordinate to the Ministry of Healthcare (Ukraine), Ministry of Healthcare, which provides oversight and scrutiny of general medical practice as well as being responsible for the day-to-day administration of the healthcare system. Despite this, standards of hygiene and patient-care have fallen. Hospitals in Ukraine are organised along the same lines as most European nations, according to the regional administrative structure; as a result most towns have their own hospital ''(Міська Лікарня)'' and many also have district hospitals ''(Районна Лікарня)''. Larger and more specialised medical complexes tend only to be found in major cities, with some even more specialised units located only in the capital, Kyiv. However, all Administrative divisions of Ukraine, oblasts have their own network of general hospitals which are able to deal with almost all medical problems and are typically equipped with major trauma centres; such hospitals are called 'regional hospitals' ''(Обласна Лікарня)''. Ukraine currently faces a number of major public health issues and is considered to be in a demographic crisis because of its high death rate and low birth rate (the current Ukrainian birth rate is 11 births/1,000 population, and the death rate is 16.3 deaths/1,000 population). A factor contributing to the high death rate is a high mortality rate among working-age males from preventable causes such as alcohol poisoning and smoking. In 2008, the country's population was one of the fastest declining in the world at −5% growth. The UN warned that Ukraine's population could fall by as much as 10 million by 2050 if trends did not improve. In addition, obesity, systemic high blood pressure and the HIV endemic are all major challenges facing the Ukrainian healthcare system. As of March 2009 the Ukrainian government is reforming the health care system, by the creation of a national network of family doctors and improvements in the Emergency medical services, medical emergency services. In November 2009, former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko proposed introducing a public healthcare system based on health insurance in the spring of 2010. Active reformation of Ukraine's healthcare system was initiated right after the appointment of Ulana Suprun as a head of the Ministry of Healthcare (Ukraine), Ministry of Healthcare. Assisted by deputy Pavlo Kovtoniuk, Suprun first changed the distribution of finances in healthcare. Funds must follow the patient. General practitioners will provide basic care for patients. The patient will have the right to choose one. Emergency medical service is considered to be fully funded by the state. Emergency Medicine Reform in Ukraine since 2016, Emergency Medicine Reform is also an important part of the healthcare reform. In addition, patients who suffer from chronic diseases, which cause a high toll of disability and mortality, are provided with free or low price medicine.
EducationAccording to the Constitution of Ukraine, Ukrainian constitution, access to free education is granted to all citizens. Complete general secondary education is compulsory in the state schools which constitute the overwhelming majority. Free higher education in state and communal educational establishments is provided on a competitive basis. There is also a small number of accredited private secondary and higher education institutions. Because of the Soviet Union's emphasis on total access of education for all citizens, which continues today, the literacy rate is an estimated 99.4%. Since 2005, an eleven-year school programme has been replaced with a twelve-year one: primary education takes four years to complete (starting at age six), middle education (secondary) takes five years to complete; upper secondary then takes three years. In the 12th grade, students take Government tests, which are also referred to as school-leaving exams. These tests are later used for university admissions. The first higher education institutions (HEIs) emerged in Ukraine during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The first Ukrainian higher education institution was the Ostroh Academy, Ostrozka School, or Ostrozkiy Greek-Slavic-Latin Collegium, similar to Western European higher education institutions of the time. Established in 1576 in the town of Ostroh, Ostrog, the Collegium was the first higher education institution in the East Slavic peoples, Eastern Slavic territories. The oldest university was the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv Mohyla Academy, first established in 1632 and in 1694 officially recognised by the government of Imperial Russia as a higher education institution. Among the oldest is also the Lviv University, founded in 1661. More higher education institutions were set up in the 19th century, beginning with universities in Kharkiv University, Kharkiv (1805), Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv (1834), Odessa University, Odessa (1865) and Chernivtsi University, Chernivtsi (1875) and a number of professional higher education institutions, e.g.: Nizhyn Pedagogical University, Nizhyn Historical and Philological Institute (originally established as the Gymnasium of Higher Sciences in 1805), a Veterinary Institute (1873) and a Kharkiv Polytechnical Institute, Technological Institute (1885) in Kharkiv, a Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Polytechnic Institute in Kyiv (1898) and a Higher Mining School (1899) in Dnipro, Katerynoslav. Rapid growth followed in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet period. By 1988 a number of higher education institutions increased to 146 with over 850,000 students. Most HEIs established after 1990 are those owned by private organisations. The Ukrainian higher education system comprises higher educational establishments, scientific and methodological facilities under national, municipal government, municipal and self-governing bodies in charge of education. The organisation of higher education in Ukraine is built up in accordance with the structure of education of the world's higher developed countries, as is defined by UNESCO and the UN. Ukraine has more than 800 higher education institutions and in 2010 the number of graduates reached 654,700 people. Ukraine produces the fourth largest number of Tertiary education, post-secondary graduates in Europe, while being ranked seventh in population. Higher education in Ukraine, Higher education is either state funded or private. Students that study at state expense receive a standard scholarship if their average marks at the end-of-term exams and differentiated test suffice; this rule may be different in some universities. For highest grades, the scholarship is increased by 25%. For most students the government subsidy is not sufficient to cover their basic living expenses. Most universities provide subsidised housing for out-of-city students. Also, it is common for libraries to supply required books for all registered students. Ukrainian universities confer two degrees: the bachelor's degree (4 years) and the master's degree (5–6th year), in accordance with the Bologna process. Historically, Specialist degree (usually 5 years) is still also granted; it was the only degree awarded by universities in the Soviet times. The Law of Ukraine ''On Higher Education'' came into force on 6 September 2014. It was approved in Ukrainian Parliament on 1 July 2014. The main changes in the system of higher education: a separate collegiate body to monitor the quality of education was established (Ukrainian: Національне агентство із забезпечення якості вищої освіти); each higher education institution has the right to implement its own educational and research programs; role of the student government was increased; higher education institution has the right to freely administer own revenues; 5 following types of higher education qualifications were established: Junior Bachelor, Bachelor, Master, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Science; load on lecturers and students was reduced; academic mobility for faculty and students etc.
Regional differencesUkrainian language, Ukrainian is the dominant language in Western Ukraine and in Central Ukraine, while Russian language, Russian is the dominant language in the cities of Eastern Ukraine and Southern Ukraine. In the Ukrainian SSR schools, learning Russian language, Russian was mandatory; currently in modern Ukraine, schools with Ukrainian as the language of instruction offer classes in Russian and in the other minority languages. On the Russian language in Ukraine, Russian language, on Soviet Union and Ukrainian nationalism, opinion in Eastern Ukraine and Southern Ukraine tends to be the exact opposite of those in Western Ukraine; while opinions in Central Ukraine on these topics tend be less extreme. Similar historical cleavages also remain evident at the level of individual social identification. Attitudes toward the most important political issue, relations with , differed strongly between Lviv, identifying more with Ukrainian nationalism and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and Donetsk, predominantly Russian orientated and favourable to the Soviet era, while in central and southern Ukraine, as well as Kyiv, such divisions were less important and there was less antipathy toward people from other regions (a poll by the Research & Branding Group held March 2010 showed that the attitude of the citizens of Donetsk to the citizens of Lviv was 79% positive and that the attitude of the citizens of Lviv to the citizens of Donetsk was 88% positive). However, all were united by an overarching Ukrainian identity based on shared economic difficulties, showing that other attitudes are determined more by culture and politics than by demographic differences. Surveys of regional identities in Ukraine have shown that the feeling of belonging to a "Soviet identity" is strongest in the Donbas (about 40%) and the Crimea (about 30%). During Elections in Ukraine, elections voters of Western and Central Ukrainian Oblasts of Ukraine, oblasts (provinces) vote mostly for parties (Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc, Our Ukraine, All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland", Batkivshchyna) and presidential candidates (Viktor Yuschenko, Yulia Tymoshenko) with a pro-Western and state reform Political platform, platform, while voters in Southern and Eastern oblasts vote for parties (Communist Party of Ukraine, CPU, Party of Regions) and presidential candidates (Viktor Yanukovych) with a pro-Russian and status quo platform. However, this geographical division is decreasing.
UrbanisationIn total, Ukraine has 457 cities, 176 of them are labelled oblast-class, 279 smaller -class cities, and two special legal status cities. These are followed by 886 urban-type settlements and 28,552 villages.
CultureUkrainian customs are heavily influenced by Orthodox Christianity, the dominant religion in the country. Gender roles also tend to be more traditional, and grandparents play a greater role in bringing up children, than in the West. The culture of Ukraine has also been influenced by its eastern and western neighbours, reflected in its Ukrainian architecture, architecture, music and art. The Communist era had quite a strong effect on the art and writing of Ukraine. In 1932, Stalin made socialist realism state policy in the Soviet Union when he promulgated the decree "On the Reconstruction of Literary and Art Organisations". This greatly stifled creativity. During the 1980s glasnost (openness) was introduced and Soviet artists and writers again became free to express themselves as they wanted. The tradition of the Easter egg, known as pysanky, has long roots in Ukraine. These eggs were drawn on with wax to create a pattern; then, the dye was applied to give the eggs their pleasant colours, the dye did not affect the previously wax-coated parts of the egg. After the entire egg was dyed, the wax was removed leaving only the colourful pattern. This tradition is thousands of years old, and precedes the arrival of Christianity to Ukraine. In the city of Kolomyia near the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in 2000 was built the museum of Pysanka which won a nomination as the monument of modern Ukraine in 2007, part of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine action.
Weaving and embroideryArtisan textile arts play an important role in Ukrainian culture, especially in Ukrainian wedding traditions. Ukrainian embroidery, weaving and lace-making are used in traditional folk dress and in traditional celebrations. Ukrainian embroidery varies depending on the region of origin and the designs have a long history of motifs, compositions, choice of colours and types of stitches. Use of colour is very important and has roots in Ukrainian folklore. Embroidery motifs found in different parts of Ukraine are preserved in the Rushnyk Museum in Pereiaslav. National dress is woven and highly decorated. Weaving with handmade looms is still practised in the village of Krupove, situated in Rivne Oblast. The village is the birthplace of two famous personalities in the scene of national crafts fabrication. Nina Myhailivna and Uliana Petrivna with international recognition. To preserve this traditional knowledge the village is planning to open a local weaving centre, a museum and weaving school.
LiteratureThe history of Ukrainian literature dates back to the 11th century, following the Christianisation of Kievan Rus'. The writings of the time were mainly liturgical and were written in Old Church Slavonic. Historical accounts of the time were referred to as ''chronicles'', the most significant of which was the Primary Chronicle. Literary activity faced a sudden decline during the Mongol invasion of Rus'. Ukrainian literature again began to develop in the 14th century, and was advanced significantly in the 16th century with the introduction of printing, print and with the beginning of the Cossack era, under both Russian and Polish dominance. The Cossacks established an independent society and popularized a Duma (epic), new kind of epic poems, which marked a high point of Ukrainian oral literature. These advances were then set back in the 17th and early 18th centuries, when publishing in the Ukrainian language was outlawed and prohibited. Nonetheless, by the late 18th century modern literary Ukrainian finally emerged. The 19th century initiated a vernacular period in Ukraine, led by Ivan Kotliarevsky's work , the first publication written in modern Ukrainian. By the 1830s, Ukrainian romanticism began to develop, and the nation's most renowned cultural figure, romanticist poet-painter Taras Shevchenko emerged. Where Ivan Kotliarevsky is considered to be the father of literature in the Ukrainian vernacular; Shevchenko is the father of a national revival. Then, in 1863, use of the Ukrainian language in print was effectively Ems Ukaz, prohibited by the Russian Empire. This severely curtailed literary activity in the area, and Ukrainian writers were forced to either publish their works in Russian or release them in Austrian controlled Galicia (Central Europe), Galicia. The ban was never officially lifted, but it became obsolete after the revolution and the Bolsheviks' coming to power. Ukrainian literature continued to flourish in the early Soviet years, when nearly all literary trends were approved (the most important literary figures of that time were Mykola Khvylovy, Valerian Pidmohylny, Mykola Kulish, Mykhayl Semenko and some others). These policies faced a steep decline in the 1930s, when prominent representatives as well as many others were killed by NKVD as part of the Great Purge. In general around 223 writers were repressed by what was known as the Executed Renaissance. These repressions were part of Stalin's implemented policy of socialist realism. The doctrine did not necessarily repress the use of the Ukrainian language, but it required that writers follow a certain style in their works. In post-Stalinist times literary activities continued to be somewhat limited under the Communist Party. The most famous figures of Ukrainian post-war Soviet literature were Lina Kostenko, Dmytro Pavlychko, Borys Oliynyk (poet), Ivan Drach, Oles Honchar, Vasyl Stus, Vasyl Symonenko. Literary freedom grew in the late 1980s and early 1990s alongside the decline and collapse of the USSR and the reestablishment of Ukrainian independence in 1991.
ArchitectureUkrainian architecture includes the motifs and styles that are found in structures built in modern Ukraine, and by Ukrainians worldwide. These include initial roots which were established in the Eastern Slavs, Eastern Slavic state of Kievan Rus'. Since the Christianization of Kievan Rus' for several ages Ukrainian architecture was influenced by the Byzantine architecture. After the Mongol invasion of Rus, 12th century, the distinct architectural history continued in the principalities of Galicia-Volhynia. During the epoch of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, a new style unique to Ukraine was developed under the western influences of the . After the union with the Tsardom of Russia, many structures in the larger eastern, Russian-ruled area were built in the styles of Russian architecture of that period, whilst the western Galicia (Central Europe), Galicia was developed under Architecture of Austria, Austro-Hungarian architectural influences. Ukrainian national motifs would finally be used during the period of the Soviet Union and in modern independent Ukraine. The great Architecture of Kievan Rus', churches of the Rus', built after the Baptism of Kievan Rus', adoption of Christianity in 988, were the first examples of monumental architecture in the East Slavic lands. The architectural style of the Kyivan state was strongly influenced by the Byzantine architecture, Byzantine. Early Eastern Orthodox churches were mainly made of wood, with the simplest form of church becoming known as a cell church. Major cathedrals often featured scores of small domes, which led some art historians to take this as an indication of the appearance of pre-Christian pagan Slavic temples. Several examples of these churches survive; however, during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, many were externally rebuilt in the Ukrainian Baroque style (see below). Examples include the grand Saint Sophia's Cathedral, Kyiv, St. Sophia of Kyiv – the year 1017 is the earliest record of foundation laid, Church of the Saviour at Berestove – built from 1113 to 1125 and St. Cyril's Monastery, Kyiv, St. Cyril's Church, circa 12th-century. All can still be found in the Ukrainian capital. Several buildings were reconstructed during the late-19th century, including the :File:WladimirWolynsk Uspenski Cathedral.jpeg, Assumption Cathedral in Volodymyr-Volynskyi, built in 1160 and reconstructed in 1896–1900, the :File:AX Chernigiv Pyatnitska Church.jpg, Paraskevi church in Chernihiv, built in 1201 with reconstruction done in the late 1940s, and the Golden Gate, Kyiv, Golden gates in Kyiv, built in 1037 and reconstructed in 1982. The latter's reconstruction was criticised by some art and architecture historians as a revivalist fantasy. Unfortunately little secular or vernacular architecture of Kievan Rus' has survived. As Ukraine became increasingly integrated into the Russian Empire, Russian architects had the opportunity to realise their projects in the picturesque landscape that many Ukrainian cities and regions offered. St Andrew's Church, Kyiv, St. Andrew's Church of Kyiv (1747–1754), built by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, is a notable example of Baroque architecture, and its location on top of the Kyivan mountain made it a recognisable monument of the city. An equally notable contribution of Rasetrelli was the Mariyinsky Palace, which was built to be a summer residence to Russian Empress Elizabeth of Russia, Elizabeth. During the reign of the last Hetmans of Ukrainian Cossacks, Hetman of Ukraine, Kirill Razumovsky, many of the Cossack Hetmanate's towns such as Hlukhiv, Baturyn and Koselets had grandiose projects built by Andrey Kvasov. Russia eventually conquered the south of Ukraine and Crimea, and renamed them as New Russia. New cities such as Mykolayiv, Nikolayev, Odessa, Kherson and Sevastopol were founded. These would contain notable examples of Imperial Russian architecture. In 1934, the capital of Soviet Ukraine moved from Kharkiv to Kyiv. Previously, the city was seen as only a regional centre, hence received little attention. All of that was to change, at great price. The first examples of Stalinist architecture were already showing, and, in light of the official policy, a new city was to be built on top of the old one. This meant that much-admired examples such as the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery were destroyed. Even the St. Sophia Cathedral was under threat. Also, the Second World War contributed to the wreckage. After the war, a new project for the reconstruction of central Kyiv transformed Khreshchatyk avenue into a notable example of Stalinism in Architecture. However, by 1955, the new politics of architecture once again stopped the project from fully being realised. The task for modern Ukrainian architecture is diverse application of modern aesthetics, the search for an architect's own artistic style and inclusion of the existing historico-cultural environment. An example of modern Ukrainian architecture is the reconstruction and renewal of the Maidan Nezalezhnosti in central Kyiv. Despite the limit set by narrow space within the plaza, the engineers were able to blend together the uneven landscape, and use underground space for a new shopping centre. A major project, which may take up most of the 21st century, is the construction of the Kyiv City-Centre on the Rybalskyi Peninsula, which, when finished, will include a dense skyscraper park amid the picturesque landscape of the Dnieper River, Dnieper.
MusicMusic is a major part of Ukrainian culture, with a long history and many influences. From traditional folk music, to classical music, classical and modern rock, Ukraine has produced several internationally recognised musicians including Kirill Karabits, Okean Elzy and Ruslana. Elements from traditional Ukrainian folk music made their way into Western music and even into modern jazz. Ukrainian music sometimes presents a perplexing mix of exotic melismatic singing with chordal harmony. The most striking general characteristic of authentic ethnic Ukrainian folk music is the wide use of minor modes or keys which incorporate augmented 2nd intervals. During the Baroque period, music was an important discipline for those that had received a higher education in Ukraine. It had a place of considerable importance in the curriculum of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Much of the nobility was well versed in music with many Ukrainian Cossack leaders such as (Mazepa, Paliy, Holovatyj, Sirko) being accomplished players of the kobza, bandura or torban. The first dedicated musical academy was set up in Hlukhiv, Ukraine in 1738 and students were taught to sing, play violin and bandura from manuscripts. As a result, many of the earliest composers and performers within the Russian empire were ethnically Ukrainian, having been born or educated in Hlukhiv, or had been closely associated with this music school. See: Dmytro Bortniansky, Maksym Berezovsky and Artemy Vedel, Artemiy Vedel. Ukrainian classical music falls into three distinct categories defined by whether the composer was of Ukrainian ethnicity living in Ukraine, a composer of non-Ukrainian ethnicity who was born or at some time was a citizen of Ukraine, or an ethnic Ukrainian living outside of Ukraine within the Ukrainian diaspora. The music of these three groups differs considerably, as do the audiences for whom they cater. Since the mid-1960s, Western-influenced pop music has been growing in popularity in Ukraine. Folk singer and harmonium player Mariana Sadovska is prominent. Ukrainian pop and folk music arose with the international popularity of groups and performers like Vopli Vidoplyasova, Dakh Daughters, Dakha Brakha, Ivan Dorn and Okean Elzy. Modern musical culture of Ukraine is presented both with academic and entertainment music. Ukraine has five conservatories, 6 opera houses, five houses of Chamber Music, Philharmony in all regional centers. Ukraine hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 and the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.
CinemaUkraine has had an influence on the history of the cinema. Ukrainian directors Alexander Dovzhenko, often cited as one of the most important early Soviet filmmakers, as well as being a pioneer of Soviet montage theory, Dovzhenko Film Studios, and Sergei Parajanov, Armenian film director and artist who made significant contributions to Ukrainian, Armenian and Georgian cinema. He invented his own cinematic style, Ukrainian poetic cinema, which was totally out of step with the guiding principles of socialist realism. Other important directors including Kira Muratova, Sergei Loznitsa, Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi, Larisa Shepitko, Sergei Bondarchuk, Leonid Bykov, Yuri Ilyenko, Leonid Osyka, Ihor Podolchak with his Delirium (2013 film), Delirium and Maryna Vroda. Many Ukrainian actors have achieved international fame and critical success, including: Vera Kholodnaya, Bohdan Stupka, Milla Jovovich, Olga Kurylenko, Mila Kunis. Despite a history of important and successful productions, the industry has often been characterised by a debate about its identity and the level of European and Russian influence. Ukrainian producers are active in international co-productions and Ukrainian actors, directors and crew feature regularly in Russian (Soviet in past) films. Also successful films have been based on Ukrainian people, stories or events, including Battleship Potemkin, Man with a Movie Camera, Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom, Everything Is Illuminated (film), Everything Is Illuminated. Ukrainian State Film Agency owns National Oleksandr Dovzhenko Film Centre, film copying laboratory and archive, takes part in hosting of the Odessa International Film Festival, and Molodist is the only one FIAPF accredited International Film Festival held in Ukraine; competition program is devoted to student, first short and first full feature films from all over the world. Held annually in October.
MediaUkrayinska Pravda was founded by Georgiy Gongadze in April 2000 (the day of the Ukrainian constitutional referendum). Published mainly in Ukrainian with selected articles published in or translated to Russian and English, the newspaper has particular emphasis on the politics of Ukraine. Freedom of the press in Ukraine is considered to be among the freest of the post-Soviet states other than the Baltic states. Freedom House classifies the Internet in Ukraine as "free" and the press as "partly free". Press freedom has significantly improved since the Orange Revolution of 2004. However, in 2010 Freedom House perceived "negative trends in Ukraine". Kyiv dominates the media sector in Ukraine: the ''Kyiv Post'' is Ukraine's leading English-language newspaper. National List of newspapers in Ukraine, newspapers ''Den (newspaper), Den'', ''Dzerkalo Tyzhnia'', tabloids, such as ''The Ukrainian Week'' or ''Focus (Ukrainian magazine), Focus'', and television and radio are largely based there, although Lviv is also a significant national media centre. The National News Agency of Ukraine, Ukrinform was founded here in 1918. The Ukraine publishing sector, including books, directories and databases, journals, magazines and business media, newspapers and news agencies, has a combined turnover. Sanoma publishes Ukrainian editions of such magazines as ''Esquire (magazine), Esquire'', ''Harpers Bazaar'' and ''National Geographic Magazine''. BBC Ukrainian started its broadcasts in 1992. Ukrainians listen to radio programming, such as Radio Ukraine or Radio Liberty, largely commercial, on average just over two-and-a-half hours a day. Several television channels operate, and many websites are popular.
SportUkraine greatly benefited from the Soviet emphasis on physical education. Such policies left Ukraine with hundreds of stadia, swimming pools, gymnasia and many other athletic facilities. The most popular sport is Association football, football. The top professional league is the Ukrainian Premier League, Vyscha Liha ("premier league"). Many Ukrainians also played for the Soviet national football team, most notably Ballon d'Or winners Ihor Belanov and Oleh Blokhin. This award was only presented to one Ukrainian after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Andriy Shevchenko. The national team made its debut in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champions, Italy national football team, Italy. Ukrainian boxing, boxers are amongst the best in the world. The brothers Vitali Klitschko, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are former heavyweight world champions who held multiple world titles throughout their careers. Also hailing from Ukraine, Vasyl Lomachenko, a 2008 Summer Olympics, 2008 and 2012 Olympic games, 2012 Olympic gold medalist. He is the current Unified champion, unified lightweight world champion who ties the record for winning a world title in the fewest professional fights; three. As of September 2018, he is ranked as the world's best active boxer, pound for pound, by boxing pound for pound rankings#ESPN, ESPN, Sergey Bubka held the record in the Pole vault from 1993 to 2014; with great strength, speed and gymnastic abilities, he was voted the world's best athlete on several occasions. Basketball is becoming popular in Ukraine. In 2011, Ukraine was granted a right to organize EuroBasket 2015. Two years later the Ukraine national basketball team finished 6th in EuroBasket 2013 and qualified to 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, FIBA World Cup for the first time in its history. Euroleague participant BC Budivelnyk, Budivelnyk Kyiv is the strongest professional basketball club in Ukraine. Chess is a popular sport in Ukraine. Ruslan Ponomariov is the former world champion. There are about 85 Grandmaster (chess), Grandmasters and 198 International Masters in Ukraine. Rugby league is played throughout Ukraine. Ukraine made its Olympic debut at the 1994 Winter Olympics. So far, Ukraine at the Olympics has been much more successful in Summer Olympics (115 medals in five appearances) than in the Winter Olympics. Ukraine is currently ranked 35th by number of gold medals won in the All-time Olympic Games medal count, with every country above it, except for Russia, having more appearances.
CuisineThe traditional Ukrainian diet includes chicken, pork, beef, fish and mushrooms. Ukrainians also tend to eat a lot of potatoes, grains, fresh, boiled or pickled vegetables. Popular traditional dishes include (boiled dumplings with mushrooms, potatoes, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, cherries or berries), nalysnyky (pancakes with cottage cheese, poppy seeds, mushrooms, caviar or meat), kapuśniak (soup made with meat, potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, millet, tomato paste, spices and fresh herbs), borscht (soup made of beets, cabbage and mushrooms or meat), (stuffed cabbage rolls filled with rice, carrots, onion and minced meat) and pierogi (dumplings filled with boiled potatoes and cheese or meat). Ukrainian specialties also include Chicken Kiev and Kyiv cake. Ukrainians drink kompot, stewed fruit, juices, milk, buttermilk (they make cottage cheese from this), mineral water, tea and coffee, beer, wine and .
See also* Outline of Ukraine
Notesa. Among the Ukrainians that rose to the highest offices in the Russian Empire were Aleksey Razumovsky, Alexander Bezborodko and Ivan Paskevich. Among the Ukrainians who greatly influenced the Russian Orthodox Church in this period were Stephen Yavorsky, Feofan Prokopovich and Dimitry of Rostov. b. Estimates on the number of deaths vary. Official Soviet data is not available because the Soviet government denied the existence of the famine. See the Holodomor article for details. Sources differ on interpreting various statements from different branches of different governments as to whether they amount to the official recognition of the Famine as Genocide by the country. For example, after the statement issued by the Latvian Sejm on 13 March 2008, the total number of countries is given as 19 (according to ''Ukrainian BBC''
Reference books* ''Encyclopedia of Ukraine'' (University of Toronto Press, 1984–93) 5 vol
Recent (since 1991)* Aslund, Anders, and Michael McFaul. ''Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine's Democratic Breakthrough'' (2006) * Birch, Sarah. ''Elections and Democratization in Ukraine'' Macmillan, 200
World War II* * Berkhoff, Karel C. ''Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule.'' Harvard U. Press, 2004. 448 pp. * * Gross, Jan T. ''Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia'' (1988). * Wendy Lower, Lower, Wendy. ''Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine.'' U. of North Carolina Press, 2005. 307 pp. * Piotrowski Tadeusz, ''Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide in the Second Republic, 1918–1947'', McFarland & Company, 1998, * Redlich, Shimon. ''Together and Apart in Brzezany: Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians, 1919–1945.'' Indiana U. Press, 2002. 202 pp. * Zabarko, Boris, ed. ''Holocaust In The Ukraine'', Mitchell Vallentine & Co, 2005. 394 pp.