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Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is a subregion of the Europe, European continent. As a largely ambiguous term, it has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic connotations. The vast majority of the region is covered by Russ ...
. It is the second-largest European country after
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
, which it borders to the east and northeast. Ukraine covers approximately . Prior to the ongoing Russian invasion, it was the eighth-most populous country in Europe, with a population of around 41 million people. It is also bordered by
Belarus Belarus,, , ; alternatively and formerly known as Byelorussia (from Russian ). officially the Republic of Belarus,; rus, Республика Беларусь, Respublika Belarus. is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by R ...
to the north; by
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
,
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the s ...
, and
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Spanning of the Pannonian Basin, Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the ...
to the west; and by
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
and
Moldova Moldova ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Moldova ( ro, Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe ...
to the southwest; with a coastline along the
Black Sea The Black Sea is a marginal sea, marginal Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia, east of the Balkans, south of the East European Plain, west of the Caucasus, and north of An ...
and the
Sea of Azov The Sea of Azov (Crimean Tatar language, Crimean Tatar: ''Azaq deñizi''; russian: Азовское море, Azovskoye more; uk, Азовське море, Azovs'ke more) is a sea in Eastern Europe connected to the Black Sea by the narrow (ab ...
to the south and southeast.
Kyiv Kyiv, also spelled Kiev, is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper, Dnieper River. As of 1 January 2021, its population was 2,962,180, making Kyiv the List of European cities by populat ...
is the nation's capital and largest city. Ukraine's state language is Ukrainian; Russian is also widely spoken, especially in the
east East or Orient is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the four main compass directions: north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials N, E, S, and W respectively. Relat ...
and
south South is one of the cardinal directions or Points of the compass, compass points. The direction is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to both east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Pro ...
. During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, post-classical period of World history (field), global history. It began with t ...
, Ukraine was the site of
early Slavic The early Slavs were a diverse group of Tribe, tribal societies who lived during the Migration Period and the Early Middle Ages (approximately the 5th to the 10th centuries AD) in Central and Eastern Europe and established the foundations for th ...
expansion and the area later became a key centre of East Slavic culture under the state of
Kievan Rus' Kievan Rusʹ, also known as Kyivan Rusʹ ( orv, , Rusĭ, or , , ; Old Norse: ''Garðaríki''), was a state in Eastern Europe, Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century.John Channon & Robert Hudson, ''Penguin Hist ...
, which emerged in the 9th century. The state eventually disintegrated into rival regional powers and was ultimately destroyed by the
Mongol invasions The Mongol invasions and conquests took place during the 13th and 14th centuries, creating history's largest contiguous empire: the Mongol Empire ( 1206- 1368), which by 1300 covered large parts of Eurasia Eurasia (, ) is the largest con ...
of the 13th century. The area was then contested, divided, and ruled by a variety of external powers for the next 600 years, including the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, as the Commonwealth of Poland, was a bi-confederal state, sometimes called a federation, of Crown of the Kingdom of ...
, the
Austrian Empire The Austrian Empire (german: link=no, Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling , ) was a Central Europe, Central-Eastern Europe, Eastern European multinational state, multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of ...
, the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
, and the
Tsardom of Russia The Tsardom of Russia or Tsardom of Rus' also externally referenced as the Tsardom of Muscovy, was the centralized Russian state from the assumption of the title of Tsar by Ivan the Terrible, Ivan IV in 1547 until the foundation of the Russian E ...
. The
Cossack Hetmanate The Cossack Hetmanate ( uk, Гетьманщина, Hetmanshchyna; or ''Cossack state''), officially the Zaporizhian Host or Army of Zaporizhia ( uk, Військо Запорозьке, Viisko Zaporozke, links=no; la, Exercitus Zaporoviensis) ...
emerged in
central Ukraine Central Ukraine ( uk, Центральна Україна, ''Tsentralna Ukraina'') consists of historical regions of left-bank Ukraine and right-bank Ukraine Right-bank Ukraine ( uk , Правобережна Україна, ''Pravoberezh ...
in the 17th century, but was partitioned between Russia and Poland, and ultimately absorbed by the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
. Ukrainian nationalism developed, and following the
Russian Revolution The Russian Revolution was a period of Political revolution (Trotskyism), political and social revolution that took place in the former Russian Empire which began during the First World War. This period saw Russia abolish its monarchy and ad ...
in 1917, the short-lived
Ukrainian People's Republic The Ukrainian People's Republic (UPR), or Ukrainian National Republic (UNR), was a country in Eastern Europe that existed between 1917 and 1920. It was Ukraine after the Russian Revolution, declared following the February Revolution in Russia ...
was formed. The
Bolsheviks The Bolsheviks (russian: Большевики́, from большинство́ ''bol'shinstvó'', 'majority'),; derived from ''bol'shinstvó'' (большинство́), "majority", literally meaning "one of the majority". also known in English ...
consolidated control over much of the former empire and established the
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic ( uk, Украї́нська Радя́нська Соціалісти́чна Респу́бліка, ; russian: Украи́нская Сове́тская Социалисти́ческая Респ ...
, which became a
constituent republic Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular, ind ...
of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
when it was formed in 1922. In the early 1930s, millions of Ukrainians died in the
Holodomor The Holodomor ( uk, Голодомо́р, Holodomor, ; derived from uk, морити голодом, lit=to kill by starvation, translit=moryty holodom, label=none), also known as the Terror-Famine or the Great Famine, was a man-made famin ...
, a man-made famine. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, Ukraine was devastated by the German occupation. Ukraine gained independence in 1991 as the Soviet Union dissolved, and declared itself neutral. A new
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who ...
was adopted in 1996. A series of mass demonstrations, known as the
Euromaidan Euromaidan (; uk, Євромайдан, translit=Yevromaidan, lit=Euro Square, ), or the Maidan Uprising, was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which began on 21 November 2013 with large protests in Maidan Nezalezhn ...
, led to the establishment of a new government in 2014 after a
revolution In political science, a revolution (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known ...
. Russia then unilaterally
annexed Annexation (Latin ''ad'', to, and ''nexus'', joining), in international law, is the forcible acquisition of one state's territory by another state, usually following military occupation of the territory. It is generally held to be an illegal act ...
Ukraine's
Crimean Peninsula Crimea, crh, Къырым, Qırım, grc, Κιμμερία / Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería / Taurikḗ ( ) is a peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not al ...
; and pro-Russian unrest culminated in a war between Russian-backed separatists and government forces in eastern Ukraine. Russia later launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Since the outbreak of war with Russia, Ukraine has continued to seek closer ties with the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
and
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 30 Member sta ...
. Ukraine is a
unitary state A unitary state is a sovereign state governed as a single entity in which the central government is the supreme authority. The central government may create (or abolish) administrative division Administrative division, administrative un ...
with a
semi-presidential system A semi-presidential republic, is a republic in which a President (government title), president exists alongside a prime minister and a Cabinet (government), cabinet, with the latter two being responsible to the legislature of the State (polity ...
. It is a
developing country A developing country is a sovereign state with a lesser developed industrial base and a lower Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no clear agre ...
, ranking 77th on the
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, Education Index, education (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the Educational system, education system), ...
. Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe by nominal GDP per capita, and
corruption Corruption is a form of dishonesty or a criminal offense which is undertaken by a person or an organization which is entrusted in a position of authority, in order to acquire illicit benefits or abuse power for one's personal gain. Corruption m ...
remains a significant issue. However, due to its extensive fertile land, pre-war Ukraine was one of the largest grain exporters in the world. It is a founding member of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be ...
, as well as a member of the
Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE; french: Conseil de l'Europe, ) is an international organisation founded in the wake of World War II to uphold European Convention on Human Rights, human rights, democracy and the Law in Europe, rule of law in Europe. ...
, the
World Trade Organization The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization Globalization is social change associated with increased connectivity among societies and their elements and the explosive evolution of transportation and telecommunica ...
, and the
OSCE The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is the world's largest regional security-oriented intergovernmental organization Globalization is social change associated with increased connectivity among societies and their ...
. It is in the process of joining the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
and has submitted an application for NATO membership.


Etymology and orthography

The
name of Ukraine The name ''Ukraine'' ( uk, Україна, translit=Ukraina , ) was first used in reference to a part of the territory of Kyivan Rus' in the 12th century. The name has been used in a variety of ways since the 12th century, referring to numero ...
likely comes from the old Slavic term for "borderland", as does the word '' krajina''. In the
English-speaking world Speakers of English language, English are also known as Anglophones, and the countries where English is natively spoken by the majority of the population are termed the ''Anglosphere''. Over two billion people speak English , making English the ...
during most of the 20th century, Ukraine (whether independent or not) was referred to as "the Ukraine". This is because the word ''ukraina'' means "borderland" so the
definite article An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identifiability of the referents of the noun phrases. The category of articles constitutes a part of speech. In English language, English, both " ...
would be natural in the English language; this is similar to "'", which means "low lands" and is rendered in English as "''the''
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
". However, since Ukraine's
declaration of independence A declaration of independence or declaration of statehood or proclamation of independence is an assertion by a polity in a defined territory that it is independence, independent and constitutes a Sovereign state, state. Such places are usually d ...
in 1991, this usage has become politicised and is now rarer, and
style guide A style guide or manual of style is a set of standards for the writing, formatting, and design of documents. It is often called a style sheet, although that term also has multiple other meanings. The standards can be applied either for gene ...
s advise against its use. US ambassador William Taylor said that using "the Ukraine" implies disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty. The official Ukrainian position is that "the Ukraine" is incorrect, both grammatically and politically.


History


Early history

Settlement by
modern humans Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedality, bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex Human brain, brain. This has enabled the development of ad ...
in Ukraine and its vicinity dates back to 32,000 BC, with evidence of the
Gravettian culture The Gravettian was an archaeological industry :''Not to be confused with industrial archaeology, the archaeology of (modern) industrial sites.'' In the archaeology of the Stone Age, an industry or technocomplex is a typological classifi ...
in the
Crimean Mountains The Crimean Mountains ( uk, Кримські гори, translit. ''Krymski hory''; russian: Крымские горы, translit. ''Krymskie gory''; crh, Qırım dağları) are a range of mountains running parallel to the south-eastern coast o ...
. By 4,500 BC, the
Neolithic The Neolithic period, or New Stone Age, is an Old World archaeological period and the final division of the Stone Age. It saw the Neolithic Revolution, a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several pa ...
Cucuteni–Trypillia culture The Cucuteni–Trypillia culture, also known as the Tripolye culture, is a Neolithic Europe, Neolithic–Chalcolithic archaeological culture ( 5500 to 2750 BCE) of Eastern Europe. It extended from the Carpathian Mountains to the Dniester and Dni ...
was flourishing in wide areas of modern Ukraine, including Trypillia and the entire
Dnieper } The Dnieper () or Dnipro (); , ; . is one of the major Transboundary river, transboundary list of rivers of Europe, rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black ...
-
Dniester The Dniester, ; rus, Дне́стр, links=1, Dnéstr, ˈdⁿʲestr; ro, Nistru; grc, Τύρᾱς, Tyrās, ; la, Tyrās, la, Danaster, label=none, ) ( ,) is a transboundary river in Eastern Europe. It runs first through Ukraine and ...
region. Ukraine is also considered to be the likely location of the first
domestication of the horse A number of hypotheses exist on many of the key issues regarding the domestication of the horse. Although horses appeared in Paleolithic cave art as early as 30,000 BCE, these were wild horses and were probably hunted for meat. How and when hors ...
. The
Kurgan hypothesis The Kurgan hypothesis (also known as the Kurgan theory, Kurgan model, or steppe theory) is the most widely accepted proposal to identify the Proto-Indo-European homeland from which the Indo-European languages spread out Indo-European migrations, t ...
places the Volga-Dnieper region of Ukraine and southern Russia as the
urheimat In historical linguistics, the homeland or ''Urheimat'' (, from German language, German '':wikt:ur-#German, ur-'' "original" and ''Heimat'', home) of a proto-language is the region in which it was spoken before splitting into different daughter la ...
of the
Proto-Indo-Europeans The Proto-Indo-Europeans are a hypothetical prehistory, prehistoric population of Eurasia who spoke Proto-Indo-European language, Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the ancestor of the Indo-European languages according to linguistic reconstruction. ...
. Early
Indo-European migrations The Indo-European migrations were hypothesized migrations of Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) Proto-Indo-Europeans, speakers, and subsequent migrations of people speaking derived Indo-European languages, which took place approx. 4000 to 1000 ...
from the Pontic steppes in the 3rd millennium BC spread
Yamnaya The Yamnaya culture or the Yamna culture (russian: Ямная культура, ua, Ямна культура literal translation, lit. 'culture of pits'), also known as the Pit Grave culture or Ochre Grave culture, was a late Copper Age to ea ...
Steppe pastoralist ancestry and
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family native to the languages of Europe, overwhelming majority of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and the northern Indian subcontinent. Some European languages of this family, English language, Englis ...
across large parts of Europe. During the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic) and the Bronze Age (Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly appl ...
, the land was inhabited by
Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran, a sovereign state * Iranian peoples, the speakers of the Iranian languages. The term Iranic peoples is also used for this term to distinguish the pan ethnic term from Iranian, used for the people of Iran * Iranian lan ...
-speaking
Cimmerians The Cimmerians (Akkadian language, Akkadian: , romanized: ; Hebrew language, Hebrew: , Romanization of Hebrew, romanized: ; Ancient Greek: , Romanization of Greek, romanized: ; Latin: ) were an Ancient Iranian peoples, ancient Eastern Iranian la ...
,
Scythians The Scythians or Scyths, and sometimes also referred to as the Classical Scythians and the Pontic Scythians, were an ancient Eastern * : "In modern scholarship the name 'Sakas' is reserved for the ancient tribes of northern and eastern Cent ...
, and
Sarmatians The Sarmatians (; grc, Σαρμαται, Sarmatai; Latin: ) were a large confederation of Ancient Iranian peoples, ancient Eastern Iranian languages, Eastern Iranian peoples, Iranian Eurasian nomads, equestrian nomadic peoples of classical ant ...
. Between 700 BC and 200 BC it was part of the
Scythia Scythia (Scythian languages, Scythian: ; Old Persian: ; Ancient Greek: ; Latin: ) or Scythica (Ancient Greek: ; Latin: ), also known as Pontic Scythia, was a kingdom created by the Scythians during the 6th to 3rd centuries BC in the Pontic– ...
n kingdom. From the 6th century BC,
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
,
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter ...
, and
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
colonies were established on the north-eastern shore of the
Black Sea The Black Sea is a marginal sea, marginal Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia, east of the Balkans, south of the East European Plain, west of the Caucasus, and north of An ...
, such as at Tyras,
Olbia Olbia (, ; sc, Terranoa; sdn, Tarranoa) is a city and communes of Italy, commune of 60,346 inhabitants (May 2018) in the Italy, Italian insular province of Sassari in northeastern Sardinia, Italy, in the historical region of Gallura. Called '' ...
, and Chersonesus. These thrived into the 6th century AD. The
Goths The Goths ( got, 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, translit=''Gutþiuda''; la, Gothi, grc-gre, Γότθοι, Gótthoi) were a Germanic people who played a major role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of medieval Europe. ...
stayed in the area, but came under the sway of the
Huns The Huns were a Nomad, nomadic people who lived in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe between the 4th and 6th century AD. According to European tradition, they were first reported living east of the Volga River, in an area that wa ...
from the 370s. In the 7th century, the territory that is now eastern Ukraine was the centre of
Old Great Bulgaria Old Great Bulgaria or Great Bulgaria (Medieval Greek: Παλαιά Μεγάλη Βουλγαρία, ''Palaiá Megálē Voulgaría''), also often known by the Latin names ''Magna Bulgaria'' and ''Patria Onoguria'' ("Onoğurs, Onogur land"), w ...
. At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, and the
Khazars The Khazars ; he, כּוּזָרִים, Kūzārīm; la, Gazari, or ; zh, 突厥曷薩 ; 突厥可薩 ''Tūjué Kěsà'', () were a semi- nomadic Turkic people that in the late 6th-century CE established a major commercial empire cover ...
took over much of the land. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the
Early Slavic The early Slavs were a diverse group of Tribe, tribal societies who lived during the Migration Period and the Early Middle Ages (approximately the 5th to the 10th centuries AD) in Central and Eastern Europe and established the foundations for th ...
,
Antes people The Antes, or Antae ( gr, Ἄνται), were an early East Slavs, early East Slavic tribe, tribal polity of the 6th century CE. They lived on the lower Danube River, in the northwestern Black Sea region (present-day Moldova and central Ukraine) ...
lived in Ukraine. The Antes were the ancestors of
Ukrainians Ukrainians ( uk, Українці, Ukraintsi, ) are an East Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that disting ...
:
White Croats White Croats ( hr, Bijeli Hrvati; pl, Biali Chorwaci; cz, Bílí Chorvati; uk, Білі хорвати, Bili khorvaty), or simply known as Croats, were a group of Early Slavs, Early Slavic tribes who lived among other West Slavs, West and East ...
,
Severians The Severians or Severyans or Siverians ( be, Севяране; bg, Севери; russian: Северяне; uk, Сiверяни, translit=Siveriany) were a tribe The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category ...
, Eastern Polans, Drevlyans,
Dulebes The Dulebes, Dulebs, Dudlebi or Dulibyh ( uk, Дуліби) were one of the tribal unions of Early Slavs between the 6th and the 10th centuries. According to medieval sources they lived in Western Volhynia, as well as southern parts of the Duch ...
, Ulichians, and Tiverians. Migrations from the territories of present-day Ukraine throughout the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographical area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the who ...
established many South Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching almost to
Lake Ilmen Lake Ilmen ( rus, И́льмень, p=ˈilʲmʲɪnʲ) is a large lake in the Novgorod Oblast of Russia. A historically important lake, it formed a vital part of the medieval trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. The city of Veliky Novgor ...
, led to the emergence of the
Ilmen Slavs The Novgorod Slavs, Ilmen Slavs (russian: Ильменские слове́не, ''Il'menskiye slovene''), or Slovenes (not to be confused with the Slovenian Slovenes The Slovenes, also known as Slovenians ( sl, Slovenci ), are a South Slav ...
, Krivichs, and
Radimichs The Radimichs (also Radimichi) ( be, Радзiмiчы, russian: Радимичи, uk, Радимичі and pl, Radymicze) were an East Slavic languages, East Slavic tribe of the last several centuries of the 1st millennium, which inhabited up ...
, the groups ancestral to the
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = , population = , popplace = 118 million Russians in the Russian Federation (2002 ''Winkler Prins'' estimate) , region1 = , pop1 ...
. Following 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 Kyiv

The establishment of the state of
Kievan Rus' Kievan Rusʹ, also known as Kyivan Rusʹ ( orv, , Rusĭ, or , , ; Old Norse: ''Garðaríki''), was a state in Eastern Europe, Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century.John Channon & Robert Hudson, ''Penguin Hist ...
remains obscure and uncertain. The state included much of present-day Ukraine,
Belarus Belarus,, , ; alternatively and formerly known as Byelorussia (from Russian ). officially the Republic of Belarus,; rus, Республика Беларусь, Respublika Belarus. is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by R ...
and the western part of
European Russia European Russia (russian: Европейская Россия, russian: европейская часть России, label=none) is the western and most populated part of Russia. It is geographically situated in Europe, as opposed to the cou ...
. According to the ''
Primary Chronicle The ''Tale of Bygone Years'' ( orv, Повѣсть времѧньныхъ лѣтъ, translit=Pověstĭ vremęnĭnyxŭ lětŭ; ; ; ; ), often known in English as the ''Rus' Primary Chronicle'', the ''Russian Primary Chronicle'', or simply the ...
'', the
Rus' people The Rusʹ (Old East Slavic: Рѹсь; Belarusian language, Belarusian, Russian language, Russian, Rusyn language, Rusyn, and Ukrainian language, Ukrainian: Русь; Old Norse: ''Garðaríki, Garðar''; Greek language, Greek: Ῥῶς, ''Rhos ...
initially consisted of
Varangian The Varangians (; non, Væringjar; gkm, Βάραγγοι, ''Várangoi''; is a Nordic countries, Nordic c .... Between the 9th and 11th centuries, Varangians ruled the medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medie ...
s from
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sámi languages: /. ( ) is a subregion#Europe, subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties between its constituent peoples. In English usage, ''Scandinavia'' most commonly refers to Denmark, ...
. In 882, the pagan Prince Oleg (Oleh) conquered
Kyiv Kyiv, also spelled Kiev, is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper, Dnieper River. As of 1 January 2021, its population was 2,962,180, making Kyiv the List of European cities by populat ...
from
Askold and Dir Askold and Dir (''Haskuldr'' or ''Hǫskuldr'' and ''Dyr'' or ''Djur'' in Old Norse; died in 882), mentioned in both the Primary Chronicle and the Nikon Chronicle, were the earliest known ''purportedly Norsemen, Norse'' rulers of Kyiv, Kiev. Prima ...
and proclaimed it as the new capital of the Rus'. Anti-Normanist historians however argue that the East Slavic tribes along the southern parts of the
Dnieper River } The Dnieper () or Dnipro (); , ; . is one of the major Transboundary river, transboundary list of rivers of Europe, rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black ...
were already in the process of forming a state independently.Martin (2009)
pp. 37–40
The Varangian elite, including the ruling
Rurik dynasty The Rurik dynasty ( be, Ру́рыкавічы, Rúrykavichy; russian: Рю́риковичи, Ryúrikovichi, ; uk, Рю́риковичі, Riúrykovychi, ; literally "sons/scions of Rurik"), also known as the Rurikid dynasty or Rurikids, was ...
, later assimilated into the Slavic population. Kievan Rus' was composed of several
principalities A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical A monarchy is a government#Forms, form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The legitimacy (political)#monarchy ...
ruled by the interrelated Rurikid '' kniazes'' ("princes"), who often fought each other for possession of Kyiv. During the 10th and 11th centuries, Kievan Rus' became the largest and most powerful state in Europe, a period known as its Golden Age. It began with the reign of
Vladimir the Great Vladimir I Sviatoslavich or Volodymyr I Sviatoslavych ( orv, Володимѣръ Свѧтославичь, ''Volodiměrъ Svętoslavičь'';, ''Uladzimir'', russian: Владимир, ''Vladimir'', uk, Володимир, ''Volodymyr''. Se ...
(980–1015), who introduced Christianity. During the reign of his son,
Yaroslav the Wise Yaroslav the Wise or Yaroslav I Vladimirovich; russian: Ярослав Мудрый, ; uk, Ярослав Мудрий; non, Jarizleifr Valdamarsson; la, Iaroslaus Sapiens () was the Grand Prince of Kiev from 1019 until his death. He was al ...
(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 Vladimir II Monomakh (Old East Slavic: Володимѣръ Мономахъ, ''Volodiměrŭ Monomakhŭ''; uk, Володимир Мономах, translit=Volodymyr Monomakh; russian: Владимир Мономах; Christian name: ''Vasiliy'' ...
(1113–1125) and his son Mstislav (1125–1132), Kievan Rus' finally disintegrated into separate principalities following Mstislav's death, though ownership of Kyiv would still carry great prestige for decades. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the nomadic confederacy of the Turkic-speaking
Cumans The Cumans (or Kumans), also known as Polovtsians or Polovtsy (plural only, from the Russian language, Russian Exonym and endonym, exonym ), were a Turkic people, Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman–Kipchak confede ...
and
Kipchaks The Kipchaks or Qipchaks, also known as Kipchak Turks or Polovtsians, were a Turkic people, Turkic nomadic people and confederation that existed in the Middle Ages, inhabiting parts of the Eurasian Steppe. First mentioned in the 8th century as p ...
was the dominant force in the
Pontic steppe Pontic, from the Greek language, Greek ''pontos'' (, ), or "sea", may refer to: The Black Sea Places * The Pontic colonies, on its northern shores * Pontus (region), a region on its southern shores * The Pontic–Caspian steppe, steppelands str ...
north of the Black Sea. The
Mongol invasions The Mongol invasions and conquests took place during the 13th and 14th centuries, creating history's largest contiguous empire: the Mongol Empire ( 1206- 1368), which by 1300 covered large parts of Eurasia Eurasia (, ) is the largest con ...
in the mid-13th century devastated Kievan Rus' and Kyiv was completely destroyed in 1240. In the western territories, the principalities of
Halych Halych ( uk, Га́лич ; ro, Halici; pl, Halicz; russian: Га́лич, Galich; german: Halytsch, ''Halitsch'' or ''Galitsch''; yi, העליטש) is a historic city on the Dniester River in western Ukraine. The city gave its name to the P ...
and
Volhynia Volhynia (also spelled Volynia) ( ; uk, Воли́нь, Volyn' pl, Wołyń, russian: Волы́нь, Volýnʹ, ), is a historic region in Central and Eastern Europe, between south-eastern Poland, south-western Belarus, and western Ukraine. The ...
had arisen earlier, and were merged together to form the Principality of Galicia–Volhynia.
Daniel of Galicia Daniel of Galicia ( uk, Данило Романович (Галицький), Danylo Romanovych (Halytskyi); Ruthenian language, Old Ruthenian: Данило Романовичъ, ''Danylo Romanovyčъ''; pl, Daniel I Romanowicz Halicki; 1201 ...
, son of
Roman the Great Roman Mstislavich (russian: Рома́н Мстисла́вич Га́лицкий; uk, Рома́н Мстисла́вич), known as Roman the Great (c. 1152 – Zawichost, 19 June 1205) was a Rus' (people), Rus’ prince, Grand Prince of Kie ...
, re-united much of south-western Rus', including
Volhynia Volhynia (also spelled Volynia) ( ; uk, Воли́нь, Volyn' pl, Wołyń, russian: Волы́нь, Volýnʹ, ), is a historic region in Central and Eastern Europe, between south-eastern Poland, south-western Belarus, and western Ukraine. The ...
, Galicia, as well as Kyiv. He was subsequently crowned by the
papal The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, 'father'), also known as supreme pontiff ( or ), Roman pontiff () or sovereign pontiff, is the bishop of Rome (or historically the patriarch of Rome), head of the worldwide Cathol ...
archbishop In Christian denominations, an archbishop is a bishop of higher rank or office. In most cases, such as the Catholic Church, there are many archbishops who either have jurisdiction over an ecclesiastical province in addition to their own arc ...
as the first
king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...
of Galicia–Volhynia (also known as the Kingdom of Ruthenia) in 1253.


Foreign domination

In 1349, in the aftermath of the
Galicia–Volhynia Wars The Galicia–Volhynia Wars were several wars fought in the years 1340–1392 over the succession in the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, also known as Ruthenia. After Yuri II Boleslav was poisoned by local Ruthenian nobles in 1340, both the Grand ...
, the area was partitioned between the
Kingdom of Poland The Kingdom of Poland ( pl, Królestwo Polskie; Latin: ''Regnum Poloniae'') was a state in Central Europe. It may refer to: Historical political entities *History of Poland during the Piast dynasty#The reign of Bolesław I and establishment of a ...
and the
Grand Duchy of Lithuania The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state that existed from the 13th century to 1795, when the territory was Partitions of Poland, partitioned among the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Habsburg Empire, Habsburg Empire of ...
. From the mid-13th century to the late 1400s, the
Republic of Genoa The Republic of Genoa ( lij, Repúbrica de Zêna ; it, Repubblica di Genova; la, Res Publica Ianuensis) was a medieval and early modern Maritime republics, maritime republic from the 11th century to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italy, It ...
founded numerous
colonies In modern parlance, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original country of the colonizers, the ''metropole, metropolit ...
in the Black Sea region of modern Ukraine and transformed these into large commercial centers headed by the consul, a representative of the Republic. In 1430, the region of
Podolia Podolia or Podilia ( uk, Поділля, Podillia, ; russian: Подолье, Podolye; ro, Podolia; pl, Podole; german: Podolien; be, Падолле, Padollie; lt, Podolė), is a historic region in Eastern Europe, located in the west-centra ...
was incorporated into Poland, and the lands of modern-day Ukraine became increasingly settled by Poles. In 1441, Genghisid prince Haci I Giray founded the
Crimean Khanate The Crimean Khanate ( crh, , or ), officially the Great Horde and Desht-i Kipchak () and in old European historiography and geography known as Little Tartary ( la, Tartaria Minor), was a Crimean Tatars, Crimean Tatar state existing from 1441 to ...
on the
Crimean Peninsula Crimea, crh, Къырым, Qırım, grc, Κιμμερία / Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería / Taurikḗ ( ) is a peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not al ...
and the surrounding steppes; the Khanate orchestrated
Tatar The Tatars ()Tatar
in the Collins English Dictionary
is an umbrella term for different Turki ...
slave raids Slave raiding is a military Raid (military), raid for the purpose of capturing people and bringing them from the raid area to serve as slaves. Once seen as a normal part of warfare, it is nowadays widely considered a crime. Slave raiding has o ...
and took an estimated two million slaves from the region. In 1569, the
Union of Lublin The Union of Lublin ( pl, Unia lubelska; lt, Liublino unija) was signed on 1 July 1569 in Lublin, Poland, and created a single state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest countries in Europe at the time. It replaced the per ...
established the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, as the Commonwealth of Poland, was a bi-confederal state, sometimes called a federation, of Crown of the Kingdom of ...
, and most of the Ukrainian lands were transferred from Lithuania to the
Crown of the Kingdom of Poland The Crown of the Kingdom of Poland ( pl, Korona Królestwa Polskiego; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in ...
, becoming ''
de jure In law and government, ''de jure'' ( ; , "by law") describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, ("in fact") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally ...
'' Polish territory. Under the pressures of Polonisation, many landed gentry of
Ruthenia Ruthenia or , uk, Рутенія, translit=Rutenia or uk, Русь, translit=Rus, label=none, pl, Ruś, be, Рутэнія, Русь, russian: Рутения, Русь is an exonym, originally used in Medieval Latin as one of several terms ...
converted to
Catholicism The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . It is am ...
and joined the circles of the
Polish nobility The ''szlachta'' (Polish: endonym, Lithuanian language, Lithuanian: šlėkta) were the nobility, noble Estates of the realm, estate of the realm in the Kingdom of Poland (1025–1385), Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the ...
; others still joined the newly created Ruthenian Uniate Church.


Cossack Hetmanate

Deprived of native protectors among the Ruthenian nobility, the peasants and townspeople began turning for protection to the emerging
Zaporozhian Cossacks The Zaporozhian Cossacks, Zaporozhian Cossack Army, Zaporozhian Host, (, or uk, Військо Запорізьке, translit=Viisko Zaporizke, translit-std=ungegn, label=none) or simply Zaporozhians ( uk, Запорожці, translit=Zaporoz ...
. In the mid-17th century, a Cossack military quasi-state, the
Zaporozhian Host Zaporozhian Host (or Zaporizhian Sich) is a term for a military force inhabiting or originating from Zaporizhzhia (region), Zaporizhzhia, the territory beyond the rapids of the Dnieper, Dnieper River in what is Central Ukraine today, from the 15th ...
, was formed by Dnieper Cossacks and Ruthenian peasants. Poland exercised little real control over this population, but found the Cossacks to be useful against the Turks and
Tatars The Tatars ()Tatar
in the Collins English Dictionary
is an umbrella term for different Turki ...
, and at times the two were allies in military campaigns. However, the continued harsh enserfment of Ruthenian peasantry by Polish
szlachta The ''szlachta'' (Polish: endonym, Lithuanian language, Lithuanian: šlėkta) were the nobility, noble Estates of the realm, estate of the realm in the Kingdom of Poland (1025–1385), Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the ...
(many of whom were Polonized Ruthenian nobles) and the suppression of the Orthodox Church alienated the Cossacks. The latter did not shy from taking up arms against those they perceived as enemies and occupiers, including the Catholic Church with its local representatives. In 1648,
Bohdan Khmelnytsky Bohdan Zynovii Mykhailovych Khmelnytskyi (Ruthenian language, Ruthenian: Ѕѣнові Богданъ Хмелнiцкiи; modern ua, Богдан Зиновій Михайлович Хмельницький; 6 August 1657) was a Ukrainian mili ...
led the largest of the Cossack uprisings against the Commonwealth and the Polish king, which enjoyed wide support from the local population. Khmelnytsky founded the
Cossack Hetmanate The Cossack Hetmanate ( uk, Гетьманщина, Hetmanshchyna; or ''Cossack state''), officially the Zaporizhian Host or Army of Zaporizhia ( uk, Військо Запорозьке, Viisko Zaporozke, links=no; la, Exercitus Zaporoviensis) ...
, which existed until 1764 (some sources claim until 1782). After Khmelnytsky suffered a crushing defeat at the
Battle of Berestechko The Battle of Berestechko ( pl, Bitwa pod Beresteczkiem; uk, Берестецька битва, Битва під Берестечком) was fought between the Zaporozhian Cossacks, Ukrainian Cossacks, led by Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, aided ...
in 1651, he turned to the Russian tsar for help. In 1654, Khmelnytsky was subject to the
Pereiaslav Agreement The Pereiaslav AgreementPereyaslav Agreement
Britannica.
( uk, Пе ...
, forming a military and political alliance with Russia that acknowledged loyalty to the Russian monarch. After his death, the Hetmanate went through a devastating 30-year war amongst Russia, Poland, the
Crimean Khanate The Crimean Khanate ( crh, , or ), officially the Great Horde and Desht-i Kipchak () and in old European historiography and geography known as Little Tartary ( la, Tartaria Minor), was a Crimean Tatars, Crimean Tatar state existing from 1441 to ...
, the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
, and
Cossacks The Cossacks , es, cosaco , et, Kasakad, cazacii , fi, Kasakat, cazacii , french: cosaques , hu, kozákok, cazacii , it, cosacchi , orv, коза́ки, pl, Kozacy , pt, cossacos , ro, cazaci , russian: казаки́ or ...
, known as "
The Ruin ''The'' () is a grammatical Article (grammar), article in English language, English, denoting persons or things already mentioned, under discussion, implied or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners, readers, or speakers. It is the definite ...
" (1657-1686), for control of the Cossack Hetmanate. The
Treaty of Perpetual Peace The Treaty of Perpetual Peace was signed by James IV of Scotland and Henry VII of England in 1502. It agreed to end the intermittent warfare between Scotland and England which had been waged over the previous two hundred years, and, although it ...
between Russia and Poland in 1686 divided the lands of the Cossack Hetmanate between them, reducing the portion over which Poland had claimed sovereignty to Ukraine west of the
Dnieper } The Dnieper () or Dnipro (); , ; . is one of the major Transboundary river, transboundary list of rivers of Europe, rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black ...
river. In 1686, the Metropolitanate of Kyiv was annexed by the Moscow Patriarchate through a synodal letter of the
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople The ecumenical patriarch ( el, Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης, translit=Oikoumenikós Patriárchēs) is the archbishop of Constantinople (Istanbul Istanbul ( , ; tr, İstanbul ), formerly known as Constantinople ( grc-gre, ...
Dionysius IV, thus placing the Metropolitanate of Kyiv under the authority of
Moscow Moscow ( , US chiefly ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐskˈva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capital and largest city of Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transco ...
. An attempt to reverse the decline was undertaken by Cossack Hetman
Ivan Mazepa Ivan Stepanovych Mazepa (also spelled Mazeppa; uk, Іван Степанович Мазепа, pl, Jan Mazepa Kołodyński; ) was a Ukrainian military, political, and civic leader who served as the Hetman of Zaporizhian Host The Hetman of ...
(1639–1709), who ultimately defected to the
Swedes Swedes ( sv, svenskar) are a North Germanic peoples, North Germanic ethnic group native to the Nordic region, primarily their nation state of Sweden, who share a common ancestry, culture, history and language. They mostly inhabit Sweden and th ...
in the
Great Northern War The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in Northern Europe, Northern, Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe. The i ...
(1700-1721) in a bid to get rid of Russian dependence, but they were crushed in the
Battle of Poltava The Battle of Poltava; russian: Полта́вская би́тва; uk, Полта́вська би́тва (8 July 1709) was the decisive and largest battle of the Great Northern War The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a confl ...
(1709). The Hetmanate's autonomy was severely restricted since Poltava. In the years 1764–1781,
Catherine the Great Catherine II (born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst; 2 May 172917 November 1796), most commonly known as Catherine the Great, was the reigning empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. She came to power following the overthrow of her husband, Peter III of Rus ...
incorporated much of
Central Ukraine Central Ukraine ( uk, Центральна Україна, ''Tsentralna Ukraina'') consists of historical regions of left-bank Ukraine and right-bank Ukraine Right-bank Ukraine ( uk , Правобережна Україна, ''Pravoberezh ...
into the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
, abolishing the
Cossack Hetmanate The Cossack Hetmanate ( uk, Гетьманщина, Hetmanshchyna; or ''Cossack state''), officially the Zaporizhian Host or Army of Zaporizhia ( uk, Військо Запорозьке, Viisko Zaporozke, links=no; la, Exercitus Zaporoviensis) ...
and the
Zaporozhian Sich The Zaporozhian Sich ( ua, Запорозька Січ, ; also uk, Вольностi Вiйська Запорозького Низового, ; Free lands of the Zaporozhian Host the Lower) was a semi-autonomous polity and proto-state A q ...
, and was one of the people responsible for the suppression of the last major Cossack uprising, the
Koliivshchyna The Koliivshchyna ( uk, Коліївщина, pl, koliszczyzna) was a major haidamaky rebellion that broke out in Right-bank Ukraine in June 1768, caused by money (Dutch ducats coined in Saint Petersburg) sent by Russia to Ukraine to pay for th ...
. After the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 1783, the newly acquired lands, now called
Novorossiya Novorossiya, literally "New Russia", is a historical name, used during the era of the Russian Empire for an administrative area that would later become the southern mainland of Ukraine: the region immediately north of the Black Sea and Crimea. ...
, were opened up to settlement by Russians. The
tsarist autocracy Tsarist autocracy (russian: царское самодержавие, Transcription (linguistics), transcr. ''tsarskoye samoderzhaviye''), also called Tsarism, was a form of autocracy (later absolute monarchy) specific to the Grand Duchy of Moscow ...
established a policy of
Russification Russification (russian: русификация, rusifikatsiya), or Russianization, is a form of cultural assimilation Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble a society's Dominant culture, ma ...
, suppressing the use of the
Ukrainian language Ukrainian ( uk, украї́нська мо́ва, translit=ukrainska mova, label=native name, ) is an East Slavic languages, East Slavic language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family. It is the first language, native l ...
and curtailing the Ukrainian national identity. The western part of present-day Ukraine was subsequently split between Russia and
Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in Englishgerman: Haus Habsburg, ; es, Casa de Habsburgo; hu, Habsburg család, it, Casa di Asburgo, nl, Huis van Habsburg, pl, dom Habsburgów, pt, Casa de Habsburgo, la, Domus Hab ...
-ruled
Austria The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, , bar, Östareich is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine States of Austria, states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, ...
after the fall of the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, as the Commonwealth of Poland, was a bi-confederal state, sometimes called a federation, of Crown of the Kingdom of ...
in 1795.


19th and early 20th century

The 19th century saw the rise of Ukrainian nationalism. With growing urbanization and modernization and a cultural trend toward
romantic nationalism Romantic nationalism (also national romanticism, organic nationalism, identity nationalism) is the form of nationalism in which the state claims its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs. This includes ...
, the Ukrainian
intelligentsia The intelligentsia is a status class composed of the university-educated people of a society who engage in the complex mental labours by which they critique, shape, and lead in the politics, policies, and culture of their society; as such, the i ...
committed to national rebirth and social justice emerged. The serf-turned-national-poet
Taras Shevchenko Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko ( uk, Тарас Григорович Шевченко , pronounced without the middle name; – ), also known as Kobzar Taras, or simply Kobzar (a kobzar is a bard in Ukrainian culture), was a Ukraine, Ukrainian p ...
(1814–1861) and political theorist
Mykhailo Drahomanov Mykhailo Petrovych Drahomanov ( ukr, Михайло Петрович Драгоманов; 18 September 1841 – 2 July 1895) was a Ukrainians, Ukrainian intellectual and public figure. As an academic, Drahomanov was an economist, historian, phil ...
(1841–1895) led the growing nationalist movement. While conditions for its development in Austrian Galicia under the
Habsburgs The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in Englishgerman: Haus Habsburg, ; es, Casa de Habsburgo; hu, Habsburg család, it, Casa di Asburgo, nl, Huis van Habsburg, pl, dom Habsburgów, pt, Casa de Habsburgo, la, Domus Hab ...
were relatively lenient, the Russian part (known as
Little Russia Little Russia (russian: Малороссия/Малая Россия, Malaya Rossiya/Malorossiya; uk, Малоросія/Мала Росія, Malorosiia/Mala Rosiia), also known in English as Malorussia, Little Rus' (russian: Малая Ру ...
) faced severe restrictions, going as far as banning virtually all books from being published in Ukrainian in 1876. Ukraine joined the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
later Later may refer to: * Future, the time after the present Television * Later (talk show), ''Later'' (talk show), a 1988–2001 American talk show * ''Later... with Jools Holland'', a British music programme since 1992 * ''The Life and Times of Edd ...
than most of Western Europe due to the maintenance of
serfdom Serfdom was the status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism, and similar systems. It was a condition of debt bondage and indentured servitude with similarities to and differences from slavery, which developed ...
until 1861. Other than near the newly discovered coal fields of the
Donbas The Donbas or Donbass (, ; uk, Донба́с ; russian: Донба́сс ) is a historical, cultural, and economic region in eastern Ukraine. Parts of the Donbas are controlled by Russian separatist groups as a result of the Russo-Ukrai ...
, and in some larger cities such as
Odesa Odesa (also spelled Odessa) is the third most populous List of cities in Ukraine, city and List of hromadas of Ukraine, municipality in Ukraine and a major seaport and transport hub located in the south-west of the country, on the northwestern sho ...
and Kyiv, Ukraine largely remained an agricultural and resource extraction economy. The Austrian part of Ukraine was particularly destitute, which forced hundreds of thousands of peasants into emigration, who created the backbone of an extensive
Ukrainian diaspora The Ukrainian diaspora comprises Ukrainians and their descendants who live outside Ukraine around the world, especially those who maintain some kind of connection, even if ephemeral, to the land of their ancestors and maintain their feeling of Uk ...
in countries such as
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
, the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
and
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
. Some of the Ukrainians settled in the Far East, too. According to the 1897 census, there were 223,000 ethnic Ukrainians in
Siberia Siberia ( ; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive region, geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a ...
and 102,000 in
Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the c ...
. An additional 1.6 million emigrated to the east in the ten years after the opening of the
Trans-Siberian Railway The Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR; , , ) connects European Russia to the Russian Far East. Spanning a length of over , it is the longest railway line in the world. It runs from the city of Moscow in the west to the city of Vladivostok in the eas ...
in 1906.
Far Eastern The ''Far East'' was a European term to refer to the geographical regions that includes East Asia, East and Southeast Asia as well as the Russian Far East to a lesser extent. South Asia is sometimes also included for economic and cultural reason ...
areas with an ethnic Ukrainian population became known as Green Ukraine. Ukraine plunged into turmoil with the beginning of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, and fighting on Ukrainian soil persisted until late 1921. Initially, the Ukrainians were split between Austria-Hungary, fighting for the
Central Powers The Central Powers, also known as the Central Empires,german: Mittelmächte; hu, Központi hatalmak; tr, İttifak Devletleri / ; bg, Централни сили, translit=Tsentralni sili was one of the two main coalitions that fought in W ...
, though the vast majority served in the
Imperial Russian Army The Imperial Russian Army (russian: Ру́сская импера́торская а́рмия, Romanization of Russian, tr. ) was the armed land force of the Russian Empire, active from around 1721 to the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the earl ...
, which was part of the
Triple Entente The Triple Entente (from French ''Entente (type of alliance), entente'' meaning "friendship, understanding, agreement") describes the informal understanding between the Russian Empire, the French Third Republic, and the United Kingdom of Great Br ...
, under Russia. As the Russian Empire collapsed, the conflict evolved into the
Ukrainian War of Independence The Ukrainian War of Independence was a series of conflicts involving many adversaries that lasted from 1917 to 1921 and resulted in the establishment and development of a Ukrainian republic, most of which was later absorbed into the Soviet U ...
, with Ukrainians fighting alongside, or against, the
Red Red is the color at the long wavelength end of the visible spectrum of light, next to orange and opposite violet. It has a dominant wavelength of approximately 625–740 nanometre 330px, Different lengths as in respect to the molecula ...
,
White White is the lightest color Color (American English) or colour (British English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property deriving from the spectrum of light interacting with the photoreceptor cells of th ...
,
Black Black is a color which results from the absence or complete Absorption (electromagnetic radiation), absorption of visible spectrum, visible light. It is an achromatic color, without hue, like white and grey. It is often used symbolically or fi ...
and Green armies, with the Poles, Hungarians (in Transcarpathia), and Germans also intervening at various times. An attempt to create an independent state, the left-leaning
Ukrainian People's Republic The Ukrainian People's Republic (UPR), or Ukrainian National Republic (UNR), was a country in Eastern Europe that existed between 1917 and 1920. It was Ukraine after the Russian Revolution, declared following the February Revolution in Russia ...
(UNR), was first announced by
Mykhailo Hrushevsky Mykhailo Serhiiovych Hrushevsky ( uk, Михайло Сергійович Грушевський, Chełm, – Kislovodsk, 24 November 1934) was a Ukrainian academician, politician, historian and statesman who was one of the most important figure ...
, but the period was plagued by an extremely unstable political and military environment. It was first deposed in a
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for 'stroke of state'), also known as a coup or overthrow, is a seizure and removal of a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In ...
led by
Pavlo Skoropadskyi Pavlo Petrovych Skoropadskyi ( uk, Павло Петрович Скоропадський, Pavlo Petrovych Skoropadskyi; – 26 April 1945) was a Ukrainian aristocrat, military and state leader, decorated Imperial Russian Army and Ukrainian Army ...
, which yielded the
Ukrainian State The Ukrainian State ( uk, Українська Держава, translit=Ukrainska Derzhava), sometimes also called the Second Hetmanate ( uk, Другий Гетьманат, translit=Druhyi Hetmanat, link=no), was an Anti-communism, anti-Bolsh ...
under the German protectorate, and the attempt to restore the UNR under the Directorate ultimately failed as the Ukrainian army was regularly overrun by other forces. The short-lived
West Ukrainian People's Republic The West Ukrainian People's Republic (WUPR) or West Ukrainian National Republic (WUNR), known for part of its existence as the Western Oblast of the Ukrainian People's Republic, was a short-lived polity that controlled most of Eastern Gali ...
and Hutsul Republic also failed to join the rest of Ukraine. The result of the conflict was a partial victory for the
Second Polish Republic The Second Polish Republic, at the time officially known as the Republic of Poland, was a country in Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe that existed between 1918 and 1939. The state was established on 6 November 1918, before the end of ...
, which annexed the Western Ukrainian provinces, as well as a larger-scale victory for the pro-Soviet forces, which succeeded in dislodging the remaining factions and eventually established the
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic ( uk, Украї́нська Радя́нська Соціалісти́чна Респу́бліка, ; russian: Украи́нская Сове́тская Социалисти́ческая Респ ...
(Soviet Ukraine). Meanwhile, modern-day
Bukovina Bukovinagerman: Bukowina or ; hu, Bukovina; pl, Bukowina; ro, Bucovina; uk, Буковина, ; see also other languages. is a historical region, variously described as part of either Central or Eastern Europe (or both).Klaus Peter BergerT ...
was occupied by
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
and
Carpathian Ruthenia Carpathian Ruthenia ( rue, Карпатьска Русь, Karpat'ska Rus'; uk, Закарпаття, Zakarpattia; sk, Podkarpatská Rus; hu, Kárpátalja; ro, Transcarpatia; pl, Zakarpacie); cz, Podkarpatská Rus; german: Karpatenukrai ...
was admitted to
Czechoslovakia , rue, Чеськословеньско, , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 ...
as an autonomous region. The conflict over Ukraine, a part of the broader
Russian Civil War , date = October Revolution, 7 November 1917 – Yakut revolt, 16 June 1923{{Efn, The main phase ended on 25 October 1922. Revolt against the Bolsheviks continued Basmachi movement, in Central Asia and Tungus Republic, the Far East th ...
, devastated the whole of the former
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
, including eastern and central Ukraine. The fighting left over 1.5 million people dead and hundreds of thousands homeless in the former Russian Empire's territory. The eastern provinces were additionally impacted by a famine in 1921.


Inter-war Ukraine

In
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
, Marshal Józef Piłsudski and his political allies wanted to gain Ukrainian support by offering limited local autonomy as way to minimise Soviet influences in the borderlands. However, this approach was abandoned after Piłsudski's death in 1935, due to continued unrest among the Ukrainian population, with the Polish government responding by restricting rights of people who declared Ukrainian nationality and belonged to the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members. It operates as a Communion (Christ ...
. In consequence, an underground Ukrainian nationalist and militant movement arose in the 1920s and 1930s, which gradually transformed into the
Ukrainian Military Organization The Ukrainian Military Organization ( uk, Українська Військова Організація ВО translit=Ukrayinska Viyskova Orhanisatsiya VO, was a Ukrainian paramilitary body, engaged in terrorism in Europe , terrorism (es ...
and later the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Meanwhile, the recently constituted Soviet Ukraine became one of the founding republics of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
. During the 1920s, under the Ukrainisation policy pursued by the national Communist leadership of Mykola Skrypnyk, Soviet leadership at first encouraged a national renaissance in
Ukrainian culture The culture of Ukraine is the composite of the material and spiritual values of the Ukrainian people that has formed throughout the history of Ukraine. It is closely intertwined with ethnic studies about ethnic Ukrainians and Ukrainian historiog ...
and
language Language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Languages are the primary means by which humans communicate, and may be conveyed through a variety of met ...
. Ukrainisation was part of the Soviet-wide policy of Korenisation (literally ''indigenisation''), which was intended to promote the advancement of native peoples, their language and culture into the governance of their respective republics. Around the same time, Soviet leader
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known as Vladimir Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of t ...
instituted the
New Economic Policy The New Economic Policy (NEP) () was an economic policy of the Soviet Union proposed by Vladimir Lenin in 1921 as a temporary expedient. Lenin characterized the NEP in 1922 as an economic system that would include "a free market and capitalism, ...
(NEP), which introduced a form of
market socialism Market socialism is a type of economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system of Production (economics), production, resource allocation and Distribution (economics), distribution of goods and services within a society o ...
, allowing some private ownership of small and medium-sized productive enterprises, hoping to reconstruct the post-war Soviet Union that had been devastated by both WWI and later the civil war. The NEP was successful at restoring the formerly war-torn nation to pre-WWI levels of production and agricultural output by the mid-1920s, much of the latter based in Ukraine. These policies attracted many prominent former UNR figures, including former UNR leader Hrushevsky, to return to Soviet Ukraine, where they were accepted, and participated in the advancement of Ukrainian science and culture. This period was cut short when
Joseph Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili; – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former ...
became the leader of the USSR following Lenin's death. Stalin did away with the NEP in what became known as the Great Break. Starting from the late 1920s and now with a
centrally planned economy A planned economy is a type of economic system where Investment (macroeconomics), investment, Production (economics), production and the allocation of capital goods takes place according to economy-wide economic plans and production plans. A plan ...
, Soviet Ukraine took part in an industrialisation scheme which quadrupled its industrial output during the 1930s. However, as a consequence of Stalin's new policy, the Ukrainian peasantry suffered from the programme of collectivization of agricultural crops. Collectivization was part of the
first five-year plan The first five-year plan (russian: I пятилетний план, ) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was a list of economic goals, created by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, based on his policy of socialis ...
and was enforced by regular troops and the secret police known as
Cheka The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission ( rus, Всероссийская чрезвычайная комиссия, r=Vserossiyskaya chrezvychaynaya komissiya, p=fsʲɪrɐˈsʲijskəjə tɕrʲɪzvɨˈtɕæjnəjə kɐˈmʲisʲɪjə), abbreviated ...
. Those who resisted were arrested and deported to
gulag The Gulag, an acronym for , , "chief administration of the camps". The original name given to the system of camps controlled by the State Political Directorate, GPU was the Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps (, )., name=, group= ...
s and work camps. 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
famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including war, natural disasters, crop failure, population imbalance, widespread poverty, an economic catastrophe or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accomp ...
known as the
Holodomor The Holodomor ( uk, Голодомо́р, Holodomor, ; derived from uk, морити голодом, lit=to kill by starvation, translit=moryty holodom, label=none), also known as the Terror-Famine or the Great Famine, was a man-made famin ...
or the "Great Famine", which was recognized by some countries as an act of
genocide Genocide is the intentional destruction of a people—usually defined as an Ethnic group, ethnic, nationality, national, race (classification of humans), racial, or Religion, religious group—in whole or in part. Raphael Lemkin coined the term ...
perpetrated by
Joseph Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili; – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former ...
and other Soviet notables. Following on the Russian Civil War, and collectivisation, the
Great Purge The Great Purge or the Great Terror (russian: Большой террор), also known as the Year of '37 (russian: 37-й год, translit=Tridtsat sedmoi god, label=none) and the Yezhovshchina ('period of Nikolay Yezhov, Yezhov'), was General ...
, while killing Stalin's perceived political enemies, resulted in a profound loss of a new generation of Ukrainian
intelligentsia The intelligentsia is a status class composed of the university-educated people of a society who engage in the complex mental labours by which they critique, shape, and lead in the politics, policies, and culture of their society; as such, the i ...
, known today as the
Executed Renaissance The Executed Renaissance (or "Red Renaissance", uk, Розстріляне відродження, Червоний ренесанс, translit=Rozstriliane vidrodzhennia, Chervonyi renesans) is a term used to describe the generatio ...
.


World War II

Following the
Invasion of Poland The invasion of Poland (1 September – 6 October 1939) was a joint attack on the Second Polish Republic, Republic of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union which marked the beginning of World War II. The German invasion began on 1 Septem ...
in September 1939, German and
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
troops divided the territory of Poland. Thus, Eastern Galicia and
Volhynia Volhynia (also spelled Volynia) ( ; uk, Воли́нь, Volyn' pl, Wołyń, russian: Волы́нь, Volýnʹ, ), is a historic region in Central and Eastern Europe, between south-eastern Poland, south-western Belarus, and western Ukraine. The ...
with their Ukrainian population became part of Ukraine. For the first time in history, the nation was united. Further territorial gains were secured in 1940, when the Ukrainian SSR incorporated the northern and southern districts of
Bessarabia Bessarabia (; Gagauz language, Gagauz: ''Besarabiya''; Romanian language, Romanian: ''Basarabia''; Ukrainian language, Ukrainian: ''Бессара́бія'') is a historical region in Eastern Europe, bounded by the Dniester river on the east ...
,
Northern Bukovina Bukovinagerman: Bukowina or ; hu, Bukovina; pl, Bukowina; ro, Bucovina; uk, Буковина, ; see also List of European regions with alternative names#B, other languages. is a List of historical regions of Central Europe, historical regio ...
, and the Hertsa region from the territories the USSR forced Romania to cede, though it handed over the western part of the
Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic * ro, Proletari din toate țările, uniți-vă! ( Moldovan Cyrillic: ) * uk, Пролетарі всіх країн, єднайтеся! * russian: Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! , title_leader = First Sec ...
to the newly created
Moldavian SSR The Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic ( ro, Republica Sovietică Socialistă Moldovenească, Moldovan Cyrillic: ) was one of the 15  republics of the Soviet Union which existed from 1940 to 1991. The republic was formed on 2 August 194 ...
. These territorial gains of the USSR were internationally recognized by the Paris peace treaties of 1947. German armies invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, initiating nearly four years of
total war Total war is a type of warfare that includes any and all civilian-associated resources and infrastructure as legitimate military targets, mobilizes all of the resources of society to fight the war, and gives priority to warfare over non-combata ...
. The Axis initially advanced against desperate but unsuccessful efforts of the
Red Army The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army (Russian language, Russian: Рабо́че-крестья́нская Кра́сная армия),) often shortened to the Red Army, was the army and air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist R ...
. In the battle of Kyiv, the city was acclaimed as a " Hero City", because of its fierce resistance. More than 600,000 Soviet soldiers (or one-quarter of the
Soviet Western Front The Western Front was a Front (military formation), front of the Red Army, one of the Soviet Fronts in World War II, Red Army Fronts during World War II. The Western Front was created on 22 June 1941 from the Western Special Military District ...
) were killed or taken captive there, with many suffering severe mistreatment. After its conquest, most of the Ukrainian SSR was organised within the
Reichskommissariat Ukraine During World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—includi ...
, with the intention of exploiting its resources and eventual German settlement. Some western Ukrainians, who had only joined the Soviet Union in 1939, hailed the Germans as liberators, but that did not last long as the Nazis made little attempt to exploit dissatisfaction with Stalinist policies. Instead, the Nazis preserved the collective-farm system, carried out genocidal policies against
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
, deported millions of people to work in Germany, and began a depopulation program to prepare for German colonisation. They blockaded the transport of food on the Dnieper River. Although the majority of Ukrainians fought in or alongside the Red Army and Soviet resistance, in Western Ukraine an independent
Ukrainian Insurgent Army The Ukrainian Insurgent Army ( uk, Українська повстанська армія, УПА, translit=Ukrayins'ka povstans'ka armiia, abbreviated UPA) was a Ukrainian nationalist paramilitary and later Partisans (military), partisan for ...
movement arose (UPA, 1942). It was created as the armed forces of the underground
Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists ( uk, Організація українських націоналістів, Orhanizatsiya ukrayins'kykh natsionalistiv, abbreviated OUN) was a Ukraine, Ukrainian ultranationalist political organizat ...
(OUN).Vedeneyev, D.
Military Field Gendarmerie - special body of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army
'. "Voyenna Istoriya" magazine. 2002.
Both organizations, the OUN and the UPA, supported the goal of an independent Ukrainian state on the territory with a Ukrainian ethnic majority. Although this brought conflict with Nazi Germany, at times the Melnyk wing of the OUN allied with the Nazi forces. From mid-1943 until the end of the war, the UPA carried out massacres of ethnic Poles in the
Volhynia Volhynia (also spelled Volynia) ( ; uk, Воли́нь, Volyn' pl, Wołyń, russian: Волы́нь, Volýnʹ, ), is a historic region in Central and Eastern Europe, between south-eastern Poland, south-western Belarus, and western Ukraine. The ...
and
Eastern Galicia Eastern Galicia ( uk, Східна Галичина, Skhidna Galychyna, pl, Galicja Wschodnia, german: Ostgalizien) is a geographical region in Western Ukraine (present day oblasts of Lviv Oblast, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ivano-Frankivsk a ...
regions, killing around 100,000 Polish civilians, which brought reprisals. These organized massacres were an attempt by the OUN to create a homogeneous Ukrainian state without a Polish minority living within its borders, and to prevent the post-war Polish state from asserting its sovereignty over areas that had been part of pre-war Poland. After the war, the UPA continued to fight the USSR until the 1950s. At the same time, the Ukrainian Liberation Army, another nationalist movement, fought alongside the Nazis. In total, the number of ethnic Ukrainians who fought in the ranks of the Soviet Army is estimated from 4.5 million to 7 million; half of the Pro-Soviet partisan guerrilla resistance units, which counted up to 500,000 troops in 1944, were also Ukrainian. Generally, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army's figures are unreliable, with figures ranging anywhere from 15,000 to as many as 100,000 fighters. The vast majority of the fighting in World War II took place on the Eastern Front. By some estimates, 93% of all German casualties took place there. The total losses inflicted upon the Ukrainian population during the war are estimated at 6 million, including an estimated one and a half million Jews killed by the
Einsatzgruppen (, ; also 'task forces') were (SS) paramilitary death squads of Nazi Germany that were responsible for mass murder, primarily by shooting, during World War II (1939–1945) in German-occupied Europe. The had an integral role in the imple ...
, sometimes with the help of local collaborators. Of the estimated 8.6 million Soviet troop losses,Кривошеев Г. Ф., ''Россия и СССР в войнах XX века: потери вооруженных сил. Статистическое исследование'' (Krivosheev G. F., ''Russia and the USSR in the wars of the 20th century: losses of the Armed Forces. A Statistical Study'') 1.4 million were ethnic
Ukrainians Ukrainians ( uk, Українці, Ukraintsi, ) are an East Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that disting ...
, and general losses of the Ukrainian people in the war amounted to 40–44% of the total losses of the USSR. The
Victory Day Victory Day is a commonly used name for public holidays in various countries, where it commemorates a nation's triumph over a hostile force in a war or the liberation of a country from hostile occupation. In many cases, multiple countries may ob ...
is celebrated as one of eleven Ukrainian national holidays.


Post–war Soviet Ukraine

The 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 A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including war, natural disasters, crop failure, population imbalance, widespread poverty, an economic catastrophe or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accomp ...
in 1946–1947, which was caused by a drought and the wartime destruction of infrastructure, killing at least tens of thousands of people. In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the founding members of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be ...
(UN), part of a special agreement at the
Yalta Conference The Yalta Conference (codenamed Argonaut), also known as the Crimea Conference, held 4–11 February 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union to discuss the post ...
, and, alongside Belarus, had voting rights in the UN even though they were not independent. Moreover, Ukraine once more expanded its borders as it annexed Zakarpattia, and the population became much more homogenized due to post-war population transfers, most of which, as in the case of
Germans , native_name_lang = de , region1 = , pop1 = 72,650,269 , region2 = , pop2 = 534,000 , region3 = , pop3 = 157,000 3,322,405 , region4 = , pop4 = ...
and
Crimean Tatars Crimean Tatars ( crh, Къырымтатарлар, translit=Qırımtatarlar) or Crimeans ( crh, Къырымлар/Къырымлылар, translit=Qırımlar/Qırımlılar) are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group and nation who are an indige ...
, were forced. As of 1 January 1953, Ukrainians were second only to Russians among adult " special deportees", comprising 20% of the total. Following the death of Stalin in 1953,
Nikita Khrushchev Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (– 11 September 1971) was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 and Premier of the Soviet Union, chairm ...
became the new leader of the USSR, who began the policies of
De-Stalinization De-Stalinization (russian: десталинизация, translit=destalinizatsiya) comprised a series of political reforms in the Soviet Union after Death and state funeral of Joseph Stalin, the death of long-time leader Joseph Stalin in 1953, ...
and the
Khrushchev Thaw The Khrushchev Thaw ( rus, хрущёвская о́ттепель, r=khrushchovskaya ottepel, p=xrʊˈɕːɵfskəjə ˈotʲ:ɪpʲɪlʲ or simply ''ottepel'')William Taubman, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, London: Free Press, 2004 is the period ...
. During his term as head of the Soviet Union,
Crimea Crimea, crh, Къырым, Qırım, grc, Κιμμερία / Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería / Taurikḗ ( ) is a peninsula in Ukraine, on the northern coast of the Black Sea, that has been Russian occupation of Crimea, occupied by Ru ...
was transferred from the
Russian SFSR The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Russian SFSR or RSFSR ( rus, Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика, Rossíyskaya Sovétskaya Federatívnaya Soci ...
to the
Ukrainian SSR The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic ( uk, Украї́нська Радя́нська Соціалісти́чна Респу́бліка, ; russian: Украи́нская Сове́тская Социалисти́ческая Респ ...
, formally as a friendship gift to Ukraine and for economic reasons. This represented the final extension of Ukrainian territory and formed the basis for the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine to this day. Ukraine was one of the most important republics of the Soviet Union, which resulted in many top positions in the Soviet Union occupied by Ukrainians, including notably
Leonid Brezhnev Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev; uk, links= no, Леонід Ілліч Брежнєв, . (19 December 1906– 10 November 1982) was a Soviet Union, Soviet politician who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Gener ...
,
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, and marines or naval infantry. In some usages the term "general officer" refers to a rank above colonel."general, adj. and n.". OE ...
from 1964 to 1982. However, it was him and his appointee in Ukraine, Volodymyr Shcherbytsky, who presided over extensive
Russification Russification (russian: русификация, rusifikatsiya), or Russianization, is a form of cultural assimilation Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble a society's Dominant culture, ma ...
of Ukraine and who were instrumental in repressing a new generation of Ukrainian intellectuals known as the Sixtiers. By 1950, the republic had fully surpassed pre-war levels of industry and production. Soviet Ukraine soon became a European leader in industrial production and an important centre of the Soviet
arms industry The arms industry, also known as the arms trade, is a global industry classification, industry which manufacturing, manufactures and sells weapons and military technology. It consists of a commerce, commercial Private industry, industry involved ...
and high-tech research, though heavy industry still had an outsided influence. The Soviet government invested in hydroelectric and nuclear power projects to cater to the energy demand that the development carried. On 26 April 1986, however, a reactor in the
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP; ; ), is a nuclear power plant undergoing Nuclear decommissioning, decommissioning. ChNPP is located near the abandoned city of Pripyat in northern Ukraine northwest of the city of Chernobyl, from the B ...
exploded, resulting in the
Chernobyl disaster The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the No. 4 reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR in the Soviet Union The Soviet Uni ...
, the worst
nuclear reactor A nuclear reactor is a device used to initiate and control a fission nuclear chain reaction or nuclear fusion reactions. Nuclear reactors are used at nuclear power plants for electricity generation and in nuclear marine propulsion. Heat from nu ...
accident in history.


Independence

Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (2 March 1931 – 30 August 2022) was a Soviet politician who served as the 8th and final leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to dissolution of the Soviet Union, the country's dissolution in 1991. He served a ...
pursued a policy of limited liberalization of public life, known as ''
perestroika ''Perestroika'' (; russian: links=no, перестройка, p=pʲɪrʲɪˈstrojkə, a=ru-perestroika.ogg) was a political movement for reform within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) during the late 1980s widely associated wit ...
,'' and attempted to reform a stagnating economy. The latter failed, but the democratization of the Soviet Union fuelled nationalist and separatist tendencies among the ethnic minorities, including Ukrainians. As part of the so-called parade of sovereignties, on 16 July 1990, the newly elected Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted the
Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine The Declaration of State Sovereignty Westphalian sovereignty, or state sovereignty, is a principle in international law International law (also known as public international law and the law of nations) is the set of rules, norms, and standards ...
; after a putsch of some Communist leaders in Moscow failed to depose Gorbachov, outright independence was proclaimed on 24 August 1991 and approved by 92% of the Ukrainian electorate in a
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a Direct democracy, direct vote by the Constituency, electorate on a proposal, law, or political issue. This is in contrast to an issue being voted on by a Representative democr ...
on 1 December.Nohlen & Stöver, p1985 Ukraine's new
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese ful ...
, Leonid Kravchuk, went on to sign the
Belavezha Accords The Belovezh Accords ( be, Белавежскае пагадненне, link=no, russian: Беловежские соглашения, link=no, uk, Біловезькі угоди, link=no) are accords forming the agreement declaring that the ...
and made Ukraine a founding member of the much looser
Commonwealth of Independent States The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is a regional intergovernmental organization in Eurasia Eurasia (, ) is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, Nort ...
(CIS), though Ukraine never became a full member of the latter as it did not ratify the agreement founding CIS. These documents sealed the fate of the Soviet Union, which formally voted itself out of existence on 26 December. Ukraine was initially viewed as having favourable economic conditions in comparison to the other regions of the Soviet Union, though it was one of the poorer Soviet republics by the end of the Soviet Union. However, during its transition to the market economy, the country experienced deeper economic slowdown than almost all of the other former Soviet Republics. During the recession, between 1991 and 1999, Ukraine lost 60% of its GDP and suffered from
hyperinflation In economics, hyperinflation is a very high and typically accelerating inflation. It quickly erodes the real versus nominal value (economics), real value of the local currency, as the prices of all goods increase. This causes people to minimiz ...
that peaked at 10,000% in 1993. The situation only stabilized well after the new currency, the hryvnia, fell sharply in late 1998 partially as a fallout from the Russian debt default earlier that year. The legacy of the economic policies of the nineties was the mass privatization of state property that created a class of extremely powerful and rich individuals known as the oligarchs. The country would then fall into sharp recessions as a result of the
2008 global financial crisis 8 (eight) is the natural number following 7 and preceding 9. In mathematics 8 is: * a composite number, its proper divisors being , , and . It is twice 4 or four times 2. * a power of two, being 2 (two cubed), and is the first number of the ...
, then the start of the
Russo-Ukrainian War The Russo-Ukrainian War; uk, російсько-українська війна, rosiisko-ukrainska viina. has been ongoing between Russia (alongside Russian separatist forces in Donbas, Russian separatists in Ukraine) and Ukraine since Feb ...
in 2014, and finally, the full-scale invasion of Russia in starting from 24 February 2022. Ukraine's economy in general underperformed since the time independence came due to pervasive
corruption Corruption is a form of dishonesty or a criminal offense which is undertaken by a person or an organization which is entrusted in a position of authority, in order to acquire illicit benefits or abuse power for one's personal gain. Corruption m ...
and mismanagement, which, particularly in the 1990s, led to protests and organized strikes. The war with Russia impeded meaningful economic recovery in the 2010s, while efforts to combat the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
, which arrived in 2020, were made much harder by low vaccination rates and, later in the pandemic, by the ongoing invasion. From the political perspective, one of the defining features of the
politics of Ukraine The politics of Ukraine take place in a framework of a Semi-presidential system, semi-presidential republic and of a multi-party system. A Government of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers exercises executive power (jointly with the President of Ukrai ...
is that for most of the time, it has been divided along two issues: the relation between Ukraine, the
West West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass. It is the opposite direction from east and is the direction in which the Sunset, Sun sets on the Earth. Etymology The word "west" is a Germanic languages, German ...
and Russia, and the classical left-right divide. The first two presidents, Kravchuk and
Leonid Kuchma Leonid Danylovych Kuchma ( uk, Леоні́д Дани́лович Ку́чма; born 9 August 1938) is a Ukrainian politician who was the second president of Ukraine from 19 July 1994 to 23 January 2005. Kuchma's presidency saw numerous corrup ...
, tended to balance the competing visions of Ukraine, though Yushchenko and Yanukovych were generally pro-Western and pro-Russian, respectively. There were two major protests against Yanukovych: the
Orange Revolution The Orange Revolution ( uk, Помаранчева революція, translit=Pomarancheva revoliutsiia) was a series of protests and political events that took place in Ukraine from late November 2004 to January 2005, in the immediate afte ...
in 2004, when tens of thousands of people went in protest of election rigging in his favour (Yushchenko was eventually elected president), and another one in the winter of 2013/2014, when more gathered on the
Euromaidan Euromaidan (; uk, Євромайдан, translit=Yevromaidan, lit=Euro Square, ), or the Maidan Uprising, was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which began on 21 November 2013 with large protests in Maidan Nezalezhn ...
to oppose Yanukovych's refusal to sign the
European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement The European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement is a European Union Association Agreement between the European Union (EU), the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), Ukraine and the EU's 28 Member States of the European Union, member stat ...
. By the end of the 2014 protests, he fled from Ukraine and was removed by the parliament in what is termed the
Revolution of Dignity The Revolution of Dignity ( uk, Революція гідності, translit=Revoliutsiia hidnosti) also known as the Maidan Revolution or the Ukrainian Revolution,
, but Russia refused to recognize the interim pro-Western government, calling it a '' junta'' and denouncing the events as a
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for 'stroke of state'), also known as a coup or overthrow, is a seizure and removal of a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In ...
sponsored by the United States. Even though Russia had signed the so-called Budapest memorandum in 1994 that said that Ukraine was to hand over
nuclear weapons A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either nuclear fission, fission (fission bomb) or a combination of fission and nuclear fusion, fusion reactions (Thermonuclear weapon, thermonu ...
in exchange of security guarantees and those of territorial integrity, it reacted violently to these developments and started a war against its western neighbour. In late February and early March 2014, it annexed Crimea using its
Navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval warfare, naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral zone, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and ...
in
Sevastopol Sevastopol (; uk, Севасто́поль, Sevastópolʹ, ; gkm, Σεβαστούπολις, Sevastoúpolis, ; crh, Акъя́р, Aqyár, ), sometimes written Sebastopol, is the largest city in Crimea, and a major port on the Black Sea ...
as well as the so-called little green men; after this succeeded, it then launched a proxy war in the Donbas via the breakaway
Donetsk People's Republic The Donetsk People's Republic ( rus, Донецкая Народная Республика, Donetskaya Narodnaya Respublika, dɐˈnʲetskəjə nɐˈrodnəjə rʲɪˈspublʲɪkə; abbreviated as DPR or DNR, rus, ДНР) is a Territorial ...
and
Luhansk People's Republic The Luhansk or Lugansk People's Republic (russian: Луга́нская Наро́дная Респу́блика, Luganskaya Narodnaya Respublika, ; abbreviated as LPR or LNR, rus, ЛНР) is a Territorial dispute, disputed entity create ...
. The first months of the conflict with the Russian-backed separatists were fluid, but Russian forces then started an open invasion in Donbas on 24 August 2014. Together they pushed back Ukrainian troops to the frontline established in February 2015, i.e. after Ukrainian troops withdrew from Debaltseve. The conflict remained in a sort of a frozen state until the early hours of 24 February 2022, when Russia proceeded with an ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Russian troops control about 20% of Ukraine's internationally recognized territory, though Russia failed with its initial plan, with Ukrainian troops recapturing some territory in counteroffensives. The military conflict with Russia shifted the government's policy towards the West. Shortly after Yanukovych fled Ukraine, the country signed the EU association agreement in June 2014, and its citizens were granted visa-free travel to the European Union three years later. In January 2019, the
Orthodox Church of Ukraine The Orthodox Church of Ukraine ( uk, Православна церква України, Pravoslavna tserkva Ukrainy; OCU) is an Autocephaly, autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church whose canonical territory is Ukraine. The church was united a ...
was recognized as independent of Moscow, which reversed the 1686 decision of the patriarch of Constantinople and dealt a further blow to Moscow's influence in Ukraine. Finally, amid a full-scale war with Russia, Ukraine was granted candidate status to the European Union on 23 June 2022.


Geography

Ukraine is the second-largest European country, after Russia. Lying between latitudes 44° and 53° N, and longitudes 22° and 41° E., it is mostly in the
East European Plain The East European Plain (also called the Russian Plain, "Extending from eastern Poland through the entire European Russia to the Ural Mountaina, the ''East European Plain'' encompasses all of the Baltic states and Belarus, nearly all of Ukraine, an ...
. Ukraine covers an area of , with a coastline of . The landscape of Ukraine consists mostly of fertile
steppes In physical geography, a steppe () is an ecoregion characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes. Steppe biomes may include: * the montane grasslands and shrublands biome * the temperate grasslands, ...
(plains with few trees) and plateaus, crossed by rivers such as the
Dnieper } The Dnieper () or Dnipro (); , ; . is one of the major Transboundary river, transboundary list of rivers of Europe, rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black ...
(), Seversky Donets,
Dniester The Dniester, ; rus, Дне́стр, links=1, Dnéstr, ˈdⁿʲestr; ro, Nistru; grc, Τύρᾱς, Tyrās, ; la, Tyrās, la, Danaster, label=none, ) ( ,) is a transboundary river in Eastern Europe. It runs first through Ukraine and ...
and the
Southern Bug , ''Pivdennyi Buh'' , name_etymology = , image = Sunset S Bug Vinnitsa 2007 G1.jpg , image_size = 270 , image_caption = Southern Bug River in the vicinity of Vinnytsia, Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україн ...
as they flow south into the
Black Sea The Black Sea is a marginal sea, marginal Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia, east of the Balkans, south of the East European Plain, west of the Caucasus, and north of An ...
and the smaller
Sea of Azov The Sea of Azov (Crimean Tatar language, Crimean Tatar: ''Azaq deñizi''; russian: Азовское море, Azovskoye more; uk, Азовське море, Azovs'ke more) is a sea in Eastern Europe connected to the Black Sea by the narrow (ab ...
. To the southwest, the delta of the
Danube The Danube ( ; ) is a river that was once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire and today connects 10 European countries, running through their territories or being a border. Originating in Germany, the Danube flows southeast for , pa ...
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 The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians () are a range of mountains forming an arc across Central Europe. Roughly long, it is the third-longest European mountain range after the Ural Mountains, Urals at and the Scandinavian Mountains at . The ...
in the west, of which the highest is
Hoverla Mount Hoverla ( Ukrainian and rue, Говерла, Hoverla), at , is the highest mountain in Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest Eu ...
at , and the
Crimean Mountains The Crimean Mountains ( uk, Кримські гори, translit. ''Krymski hory''; russian: Крымские горы, translit. ''Krymskie gory''; crh, Qırım dağları) are a range of mountains running parallel to the south-eastern coast o ...
, in the extreme south along the coast. Ukraine also has a number of highland regions such as the Volyn-Podillia Upland (in the west) and the Near-Dnipro Upland (on the right bank of the Dnieper). To the east there are the south-western spurs of the
Central Russian Upland The Central Russian Upland (also Central Upland and East European Upland) is an Highland (geography), upland area of the East European Plain and is an undulating plateau with an average elevation of . Its highest peak is measured at . The southeas ...
over which runs the border with Russia. Near the
Sea of Azov The Sea of Azov (Crimean Tatar language, Crimean Tatar: ''Azaq deñizi''; russian: Азовское море, Azovskoye more; uk, Азовське море, Azovs'ke more) is a sea in Eastern Europe connected to the Black Sea by the narrow (ab ...
are the Donets Ridge and the Near Azov Upland. The snow melt from the mountains feeds the rivers and their
waterfalls A waterfall is a point in a river or stream where water flows over a vertical drop or a series of steep drops. Waterfalls also occur where meltwater drops over the edge of a tabular iceberg or ice shelf. Waterfalls can be formed in several wa ...
. Significant natural resources in Ukraine include
lithium Lithium (from el, λίθος, lithos, lit=stone) is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. Under standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions, it ...
, natural gas,
kaolin Kaolinite ( ) is a clay mineral, with the chemical composition Al2 Si2 O5( OH)4. It is an important industrial mineral. It is a layered silicate mineral Silicate minerals are rock-forming minerals made up of silicate groups. They are ...
, timber and an abundance of
arable land Arable land (from the la, arabilis, "able to be plough A plough or plow (Differences between American and British spellings, US; both ) is a farm tool for loosening or turning the soil before sowing seed or planting. Ploughs were traditio ...
. Ukraine has many environmental issues. Some regions lack adequate supplies of potable water. Air and water pollution affects the country, as well as deforestation, and radiation contamination in the northeast from the 1986 accident at the
Chernobyl Chernobyl ( , ; russian: Чернобыль, ) or Chornobyl ( uk, Чорнобиль, ) is a partially abandoned city in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, situated in the Vyshhorod Raion of northern Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, ...
Nuclear Power Plant.


Climate

Ukraine has a mostly
temperate climate In geography, the temperate climates of Earth occur in the middle latitudes (23.5° to 66.5° N/S of Equator), which span between the tropics and the polar regions of Earth. These zones generally have wider temperature ranges throughout t ...
, except for the southern coast of Crimea which has a
subtropical climate The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical zone, geographical and Köppen climate classification, climate zones to the Northern Hemisphere, north and Southern Hemisphere, south of the tropics. Geographically part of the Geographical z ...
. The climate is influenced by moderately warm, humid air from the Atlantic Ocean. Average annual temperatures range from in the north, to in the south.
Precipitation In meteorology, precipitation is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravitational pull from clouds. The main forms of precipitation include drizzle, rain, Rain and snow mixed, sleet, snow, ice pellets, ...
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 . Water availability from the major river basins is expected to decrease due to climate change, especially in summer. This poses risks to the agricultural sector. The negative impacts of climate change on agriculture are mostly felt in the south of the country, which has a
steppe In physical geography, a steppe () is an ecoregion characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes. Steppe biomes may include: * the montane grasslands and shrublands biome * the temperate grasslands, ...
climate. In the north, some crops may be able to benefit from a longer growing season. The
World Bank The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and Grant (money), grants to the governments of Least developed countries, low- and Developing country, middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital pro ...
has stated that Ukraine is highly vulnerable to climate change.


Biodiversity

Ukraine contains six terrestrial
ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecology, ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than a biogeographic realm. Ecoregions cover relatively large a ...
s: Central European mixed forests, Crimean Submediterranean forest complex, East European forest steppe, Pannonian mixed forests, Carpathian montane conifer forests, and
Pontic steppe Pontic, from the Greek language, Greek ''pontos'' (, ), or "sea", may refer to: The Black Sea Places * The Pontic colonies, on its northern shores * Pontus (region), a region on its southern shores * The Pontic–Caspian steppe, steppelands str ...
. There is somewhat more
conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The division contains a single ...
ous than
deciduous In the fields of horticulture and Botany, the term ''deciduous'' () means "falling off at maturity" and "tending to fall off", in reference to trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves, usually in the autumn; to the shedding of petals, af ...
forest. The most densely forested area is Polisia in the northwest, with pine, oak, and birch. There are 45,000 species of animal, with approximately 385 endangered species listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine. Internationally important wetlands cover over , with the
Danube Delta The Danube Delta ( ro, Delta Dunării, ; uk, Дельта Дунаю, Deľta Dunaju, ) is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Ro ...
being important for conservation.


Urban areas

Ukraine has 457 cities, of which 176 are designated as oblast-class, 279 as smaller -class cities, and two as special legal status cities. There are also 886 urban-type settlements and 28,552 villages.


Politics

Ukraine is a republic under a
semi-presidential system A semi-presidential republic, is a republic in which a President (government title), president exists alongside a prime minister and a Cabinet (government), cabinet, with the latter two being responsible to the legislature of the State (polity ...
with separate
legislative A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
,
executive Executive ( exe., exec., execu.) may refer to: Role or title * Executive, a senior management Senior management, executive management, upper management, or a management is generally individuals at the highest level of management of an organizat ...
, and
judicial branch The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the autho ...
es.


Constitution

The Constitution of Ukraine was adopted and ratified at the 5th session of the
Verkhovna Rada The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ( uk, Верхо́вна Ра́да Украї́ни, translit=, Verkhovna Rada Ukrainy, translation=Supreme Council of Ukraine, Ukrainian abbreviation ''ВРУ''), often simply Verkhovna Rada or just Rada, is the ...
, the parliament of Ukraine, on 28 June 1996. The constitution was passed with 315 ayes out of 450 votes possible (300 ayes minimum).Ukraine celebrating 20th anniversary of Constitution
UNIAN The UNIAN or Ukrainian Independent Information Agency of News ( uk, Українське Незалежне Інформаційне Агентство Новин, УНІАН, translit=Ukrayins'ke Nezalezhne Informatsiyne Ahentstvo Novyn) is a ...
(28 June 2016)
All other laws and other normative legal acts of Ukraine must conform to the constitution. The right to amend the constitution through a special legislative procedure is vested exclusively in the parliament. The only body that may interpret the constitution and determine whether legislation conforms to it is the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. Since 1996, the
public holiday A public holiday, national holiday, or legal holiday is a holiday generally established by law and is usually a non-working day during the year. Sovereign nations and territories observe holidays based on events of significance to their history, ...
Constitution Day Constitution Day is a holiday to honour the constitution of a country. Constitution Day is often celebrated on the anniversary of the signing, promulgation or adoption of the constitution, or in some cases, to commemorate the change to constitut ...
is celebrated on 28 June.1996: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
,
The Ukrainian Weekly ''The Ukrainian Weekly'' is the oldest English-language newspaper of the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States, and North America. Founded by the Ukrainian National Association, and published continuously since October 6, 1933, archived copies ...
(29 December 1996)
On 7 February 2019, the Verkhovna Rada voted to amend the constitution to state Ukraine's strategic objectives as joining the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
and
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 30 Member sta ...
.


Government

The
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese ful ...
is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and is the formal
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 "
he head of state He or HE may refer to: Language * He (pronoun), an English pronoun * He (kana), the romanization of the Japanese kana へ * He (letter) He is the fifth Letter (alphabet), letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician alphabet, Phoenic ...
being an embodiment of the State itself or representatitve of its international p ...
. Ukraine's legislative branch includes the 450-seat
unicameral Unicameralism (from ''uni''- "one" + Latin ''camera'' "chamber") is a type of legislature, which consists of one house or assembly, that legislates and votes as one. Unicameral legislatures exist when there is no widely perceived need for multic ...
parliament, the
Verkhovna Rada The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ( uk, Верхо́вна Ра́да Украї́ни, translit=, Verkhovna Rada Ukrainy, translation=Supreme Council of Ukraine, Ukrainian abbreviation ''ВРУ''), often simply Verkhovna Rada or just Rada, is the ...
. The parliament is primarily responsible for the formation of the executive branch and the Cabinet of Ministers, headed by the
prime minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the Cabinet (government), cabinet and the leader of the Minister (government), ministers in the Executive (government), executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary syst ...
. The president retains the authority to nominate the ministers of foreign affairs and of defence for parliamentary approval, as well as the power to appoint the prosecutor general and the head of the Security Service. Laws, acts of the parliament and the cabinet, presidential decrees, and acts of the Crimean parliament may be abrogated by the Constitutional Court, should they be found to violate the constitution. Other normative acts are subject to judicial review. The
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of ju ...
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.


Courts and law enforcement

Martial law Martial law is the imposition of direct military control of normal civil functions or suspension of civil law by a government, especially in response to an emergency where civil forces are overwhelmed, or in an military occupation, occupied t ...
was declared when Russia invaded in February 2022, and continues. The courts enjoy legal, financial and constitutional freedom guaranteed by Ukrainian law since 2002. Judges are largely well protected from dismissal (except for 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.
Prosecutor A prosecutor is a legal representative of the prosecution in states with either the common law adversarial system or the Civil law (legal system), civil law inquisitorial system. The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the ...
s 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 The Council of Europe (CoE; french: Conseil de l'Europe, ) is an international organisation founded in the wake of World War II to uphold European Convention on Human Rights, human rights, democracy and the Law in Europe, rule of law in Europe. ...
standards". The
conviction rate The conviction rate of a prosecuting unit of government (federal, state, etc.) reflects the likelihood that a case brought in that jurisdiction will end in conviction. Conviction rates reflect many aspects of the legal processes and systems at wor ...
is over 99%, equal to the conviction rate of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
, withMoskal: 'Rotten to the core'
Kyiv Post (25 March 2010)
suspects often being incarcerated for long periods before trial.Jackpot
Kyiv Post, 25 March 2010
On 24 March 2010, President Yanukovych formed an expert group to make recommendations on how to "clean up the current mess and adopt a law on court organization". One day later, he stated "We can no longer disgrace our country with such a court system." The criminal judicial system and the prison system of Ukraine remain quite punitive. Since 2010 court proceedings can be held in Russian by mutual consent of the parties. Citizens unable to speak Ukrainian or Russian may use their native language or the services of a translator. Previously all court proceedings had to be held in Ukrainian. Law enforcement agencies are controlled by the
Ministry of Internal Affairs An interior ministry (sometimes called a ministry of internal affairs or ministry of home affairs) is a Ministry (government department), government department that is responsible for internal affairs. Lists of current ministries of internal affa ...
. They consist primarily of the national police force and various specialised units and agencies such as the
State Border Guard The State Border Guard ( lv, Valsts Robežsardze) is the border guard of Latvia. The State Border Guard is an institution subordinated to the Minister of the Interior. The State Border Guard is an armed institution and it serves to ensure the sec ...
and the
Coast Guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security organization of a particular country. The term embraces wide range of responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties t ...
services. Law enforcement agencies, particularly the police, faced criticism for their heavy handling of the 2004
Orange Revolution The Orange Revolution ( uk, Помаранчева революція, translit=Pomarancheva revoliutsiia) was a series of protests and political events that took place in Ukraine from late November 2004 to January 2005, in the immediate afte ...
. Many thousands of police officers were stationed throughout the capital, primarily to dissuade protesters from challenging the state's authority but also to provide a quick reaction force in case of need; most officers were armed.


Foreign relations

From 1999 to 2001, Ukraine served as a non-permanent member of the
UN Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the Organs of the United Nations, six principal organs of the United Nations (UN) and is charged with ensuring international security, international peace and security, recommending the admi ...
. Historically, Soviet Ukraine joined the United Nations in 1945 as one of the original members following a Western compromise with the Soviet Union. 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 the conflict in the post-Soviet state of Georgia. Ukraine also has made contributions to UN
peacekeeping Peacekeeping comprises activities intended to create conditions that favour lasting peace. Research generally finds that peacekeeping reduces civilian and battlefield deaths, as well as reduces the risk of renewed warfare. Within the United N ...
operations since 1992. Ukraine considers Euro-Atlantic integration its primary foreign policy objective,



but in practice it has always balanced its relationship with the European Union and the United States with strong ties to Russia. The
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
's Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Ukraine went into force in 1998. The European Union (EU) has encouraged Ukraine to implement the PCA fully before discussions begin on an association agreement, issued at the EU Summit in December 1999 in
Helsinki Helsinki ( or ; ; sv, Helsingfors, ) is the Capital city, capital, primate city, primate, and List of cities and towns in Finland, most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of U ...
, recognizes Ukraine's long-term aspirations but does not discuss association. In 1992, Ukraine joined the then-Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (now the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is the world's largest regional security-oriented intergovernmental organization with observer status at the United Nations. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, prom ...
(OSCE)), and also became a member of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council.
Ukraine–NATO relations Relations between Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders Russia–Ukraine border, to t ...
are close and the country has declared interest in eventual membership. Ukraine is the most active member of the
Partnership for Peace The Partnership for Peace (PfP; french: Partenariat pour la paix) is a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) program aimed at creating trust between the member states of NATO and other states mostly in Europe, including post-Soviet states; ...
(PfP). All major political parties in Ukraine support full eventual integration into the European Union. The Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union was signed in 2014. Ukraine long had close ties with all its neighbours, but
Russia–Ukraine relations There are no diplomatic or bilateral relations between Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest European country after Russia, which it b ...
rapidly deteriorated in 2014 due to the annexation of Crimea, energy dependence and payment disputes. The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which entered into force in January 2016 following the ratification of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement, formally integrates Ukraine into the European Single Market and the
European Economic Area The European Economic Area (EEA) was established via the ''Agreement on the European Economic Area'', an international agreement which enables the extension of the European Union's European Single Market, single market to member states of the ...
. Ukraine receives further support and assistance for its EU-accession aspirations from the International Visegrád Fund of the Visegrád Group that consists of
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Society, social and cultural identity. The Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) between Catholic Church, Catholicism and Protestanti ...
an EU members the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. In 2020, in
Lublin Lublin is List of cities and towns in Poland, the ninth-largest city in Poland and the second-largest city of historical Lesser Poland. It is the capital and the center of Lublin Voivodeship with a population of 336,339 (December 2021). Lublin i ...
,
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no ), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania ...
, Poland and Ukraine created the Lublin Triangle initiative, which aims to create further cooperation between the three historical countries of the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, as the Commonwealth of Poland, was a bi-confederal state, sometimes called a federation, of Crown of the Kingdom of ...
and further Ukraine's integration and accession to the EU and
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 30 Member sta ...
. In 2021, the Association Trio was formed by signing a joint memorandum between the Foreign Ministers of Georgia,
Moldova Moldova ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Moldova ( ro, Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe ...
and
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders Russia–Ukraine border, to the east and northeast. Ukraine ...
. The Association Trio is a tripartite format for enhanced cooperation, coordination, and dialogue between the three countries (that have signed the Association Agreement with the EU) with the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
on issues of common interest related to
European integration European integration is the process of industrial, economic integration, economic, political, legal, social integration, social, and cultural Regional integration, integration of states wholly or partially in Europe or nearby. European integrat ...
, enhancing cooperation within the framework of the
Eastern Partnership The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint initiative of the European External Action Service of the European Union (EU) together with the EU, its member states, and six Eastern European partners governing the EU's relationship with the post-Sovi ...
, and committing to the prospect of joining the European Union. As of 2021, Ukraine was preparing to formally apply for EU membership in 2024, in order to join the European Union in the 2030s, however, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy requested that the country be admitted to the EU immediately. Candidate status was granted on 23 June 2022.


Military

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine inherited a 780,000-man military force on its territory, equipped with the third-largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world. In 1992, Ukraine signed the
Lisbon Protocol The Lisbon Protocol to the 1991 START I, Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was a document signed by representatives of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan that recognized the four states as successors of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ...
in which the country agreed to give up all nuclear weapons to Russia for disposal and to join the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation ...
as a non-nuclear weapon state. By 1996 the country had become 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 A volunteer military system or all volunteer military system (AVMS) is a military service system that maintains the military only with applicants without compulsory conscription. A country may offer attractive pay and benefits through military re ...
. Ukraine's current military consist of 196,600 active personnel and around 900,000 reservists. Ukraine played an increasing role in peacekeeping operations. In 2014, the Ukrainian frigate ''Hetman Sagaidachniy'' joined the European Union's counter piracy
Operation Atalanta Operation Atalanta, formally European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia, is a current counter-piracy military operation at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean, that is the first naval List of military and civilian ...
and was part of the EU Naval Force off the coast of
Somalia Somalia, , Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitut ...
for two months. Ukrainian troops were deployed in
Kosovo Kosovo ( sq, Kosova or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово ), officially the Republic of Kosovo ( sq, Republika e Kosovës, links=no; sr, Република Косово, Republika Kosovo, links=no), is a international recognition of Kosovo, partiall ...
as part of the Ukrainian-Polish Battalion. A Ukrainian unit was deployed in
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
, as part of UN Interim Force enforcing the mandated ceasefire agreement. There was also a maintenance and training battalion deployed in
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone,)]. officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It is bordered by Liberia to the southeast and Guinea surrounds the northern half of the nation. Covering a total area of , Sierra ...
. In 2003–05, a Ukrainian unit was deployed as part of the
multinational force in Iraq Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a sovereign state that comprises two or more na ...
under Polish command. Military units of other states participated in multinational military exercises with Ukrainian forces in Ukraine regularly, including U.S. military forces. Following independence, Ukraine declared itself a neutral state. The country had a limited military partnership with Russian Federation and other CIS countries and has had a partnership with NATO since 1994. In the 2000s, the government was leaning towards NATO, and 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. Deposed
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese ful ...
Viktor Yanukovych Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych ( uk, Віктор Федорович Янукович, ; ; born 9 July 1950) is a former politician who served as the fourth president of Ukraine from 2010 until he was removed from office in the Revolution of Di ...
considered the current level of co-operation between Ukraine and NATO sufficient, and was against Ukraine joining NATO. During the
2008 Bucharest summit The 2008 Bucharest Summit or the 20th NATO Summit was a NATO summit organized in the Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest, Romania on 2 – 4 April 2008.
, NATO declared that Ukraine would eventually become a member of NATO when it meets the criteria for accession. As part of modernization after the beginning of the
Russo-Ukrainian War The Russo-Ukrainian War; uk, російсько-українська війна, rosiisko-ukrainska viina. has been ongoing between Russia (alongside Russian separatist forces in Donbas, Russian separatists in Ukraine) and Ukraine since Feb ...
in 2014, junior officers were allowed to take more initiative and a territorial defense force of volunteers was established. Various defensive weapons including drones were supplied by many countries, but not fighter jets. During the first few weeks of the 2022 Russian invasion the military found it difficult to defend against shelling, missiles and high level bombing; but light infantry used shoulder-mounted weapons effectively to destroy tanks, armoured vehicles and low-flying aircraft.


Administrative divisions

The system of Ukrainian subdivisions reflects the country's status as a
unitary state A unitary state is a sovereign state governed as a single entity in which the central government is the supreme authority. The central government may create (or abolish) administrative division Administrative division, administrative un ...
(as stated in the country's constitution) with unified legal and 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
oblast An oblast (; ; Cyrillic script, Cyrillic (in most languages, including Russian language, Russian and Ukrainian language, Ukrainian): , Bulgarian language, Bulgarian: ) is a type of administrative division of Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgy ...
s (provinces), one
autonomous republic An autonomous republic is a type of administrative division similar to a province or Federated state, state. A significant number of autonomous republics can be found within the successor states of the Soviet Union, but the majority are located wi ...
(
Autonomous Republic of Crimea In developmental psychology and moral, political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resou ...
), and two cities of special status—
Kyiv Kyiv, also spelled Kiev, is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper, Dnieper River. As of 1 January 2021, its population was 2,962,180, making Kyiv the List of European cities by populat ...
, the capital, and
Sevastopol Sevastopol (; uk, Севасто́поль, Sevastópolʹ, ; gkm, Σεβαστούπολις, Sevastoúpolis, ; crh, Акъя́р, Aqyár, ), sometimes written Sebastopol, is the largest city in Crimea, and a major port on the Black Sea ...
. 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 settlement Urban-type settlementrussian: посёлок городско́го ти́па, translit=posyolok gorodskogo tipa, abbreviated: russian: п.г.т., translit=p.g.t.; ua, селище міського типу, translit=selyshche mis'koho typu, ab ...
s (a Soviet administrative invention), while rural populated places consist of villages and settlements (a generally used term). All cities have a 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 and infrastructure.


Economy

In 2021 agriculture was the biggest sector of the economy and Ukraine was the world's largest wheat exporter. However, Ukraine remains among the poorest countries in Europe, and corruption remains a widespread issue; the country was rated 122nd out of 180 in the
Corruption Perceptions Index The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is an index which ranks countries "by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys." The CPI generally defines corruption as an "abuse of entru ...
for 2021, the second-lowest result in Europe after
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
. In 2021 Ukraine's
GDP Gross domestic product (GDP) is a money, monetary Measurement in economics, measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced and sold (not resold) in a specific time period by countries. Due to its complex and subjec ...
per capita by
purchasing power parity Purchasing power parity (PPP) is the measurement of prices in different countries that uses the prices of specific goods to compare the absolute purchasing power of the countries' currency, currencies. PPP is effectively the ratio of the price of ...
was just over $14,000. Despite supplying emergency financial support, the
IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, ...
expected the economy to shrink considerably in 2022 due to Russia's invasion. One 2022 estimate was that post-war reconstruction costs might reach half a trillion dollars. In 2021, the average salary in Ukraine reached its highest level at almost 14,300 (US$525) per month. About 1% of Ukrainians lived below the national poverty line in 2019. Unemployment in Ukraine was 4.5% in 2019. In 2019 5–15% of the Ukrainian population were categorized as middle class. In 2020 Ukraine's
government debt A country's gross government debt (also called public debt, or sovereign debt) is the financial liabilities of the government sector. Changes in government debt over time reflect primarily borrowing due to past government deficits. A deficit o ...
was roughly 50% of its nominal GDP. In 2021 mineral commodities and light industry were important sectors. Ukraine produces nearly all types of transportation vehicles and
spacecraft A spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to spaceflight, fly in outer space. A type of artificial satellite, spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including Telecommunications, communications, Earth observation satellite, Earth ...
.
Antonov Antonov State Enterprise ( uk, Державне підприємство «Антонов»), formerly the Aeronautical Scientific-Technical Complex named after Antonov (Antonov ASTC) ( uk, Авіаційний науково-технічни ...
airplanes and KrAZ trucks are exported to many countries. The
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
is the country's main trade partner, and remittances from Ukrainians working abroad are important.


Agriculture

Ukraine is among the world's top agricultural producers and exporters and is often described as the "bread basket of Europe". During the 2020/21 international wheat marketing season (July–June), it ranked as the sixth largest wheat exporter, accounting for nine percent of world wheat trade. The country is also a major global exporter of maize, barley and rapeseed. In 2020/21, it accounted for 12 percent of global trade in
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of Mexico, indigenous ...
and
barley Barley (''Hordeum vulgare''), a member of the grass family, is a major cereal grain grown in temperate climates globally. It was one of the first cultivated grains, particularly in Eurasia Eurasia (, ) is the largest continental area o ...
and for 14 percent of world
rapeseed Rapeseed (''Brassica napus ''subsp.'' napus''), also known as rape, or oilseed rape, is a bright-yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family), cultivated mainly for its oil-rich seed, which naturally contains a ...
exports. Its trade share is even greater in the sunflower oil sector, with the country accounting for about 50 percent of world exports in 2020/2021. According to the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)french: link=no, Organisation des Nations unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture; it, Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite per l'Alimentazione e l'Agricoltura is an intern ...
(FAO), further to causing the loss of lives and increasing humanitarian needs, the likely disruptions caused by the
Russo-Ukrainian War The Russo-Ukrainian War; uk, російсько-українська війна, rosiisko-ukrainska viina. has been ongoing between Russia (alongside Russian separatist forces in Donbas, Russian separatists in Ukraine) and Ukraine since Feb ...
to Ukraine's grain and oilseed sectors, could jeopardize the food security of many countries, especially those that are highly dependent on Ukraine and Russia for their food and fertilizer imports. Several of these countries fall into the Least Developed Country (LDC) group, while many others belong to the group of Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs). For example
Eritrea Eritrea ( ; ti, ኤርትራ, Ertra, ; ar, إرتريا, ʾIritriyā), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa region of Eastern Africa, with its capital and largest city at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopia ...
sourced 47 percent of its wheat imports in 2021 from Ukraine. Overall, more than 30 nations depend on Ukraine and the Russian Federation for over 30 percent of their wheat import needs, many of them in North Africa and Western and Central Asia.


Tourism

Before the
Russo-Ukrainian war The Russo-Ukrainian War; uk, російсько-українська війна, rosiisko-ukrainska viina. has been ongoing between Russia (alongside Russian separatist forces in Donbas, Russian separatists in Ukraine) and Ukraine since Feb ...
the number of tourists visiting Ukraine was eighth in Europe, according to the
World Tourism Organization The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendl ...
rankings. Ukraine has numerous tourist attractions: mountain ranges suitable for
skiing Skiing is the use of skis to glide on snow. Variations of purpose include basic transport, a recreational activity, or a competitive winter sport. Many types of competitive skiing events are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IO ...
, hiking and fishing; the
Black Sea The Black Sea is a marginal sea, marginal Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia, east of the Balkans, south of the East European Plain, west of the Caucasus, and north of An ...
coastline as a popular summer destination;
nature reserve A nature reserve (also known as a wildlife refuge, wildlife sanctuary, biosphere reserve or bioreserve, natural or nature preserve, or nature conservation area) is a protected area of importance for flora, fauna, or features of geological or o ...
s of different
ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syste ...
s; and churches,
castle A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, ...
ruins and other architectural and park landmarks.
Kyiv Kyiv, also spelled Kiev, is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper, Dnieper River. As of 1 January 2021, its population was 2,962,180, making Kyiv the List of European cities by populat ...
,
Lviv Lviv ( uk, Львів) is the largest city in Western Ukraine, western Ukraine, and the List of cities in Ukraine, seventh-largest in Ukraine, with a population of . It serves as the administrative centre of Lviv Oblast and Lviv Raion, and is o ...
,
Odesa Odesa (also spelled Odessa) is the third most populous List of cities in Ukraine, city and List of hromadas of Ukraine, municipality in Ukraine and a major seaport and transport hub located in the south-west of the country, on the northwestern sho ...
and
Kamyanets-Podilskyi Kamianets-Podilskyi ( uk, Ка́м'яне́ць-Поді́льський, russian: Каменец-Подольский, Kamenets-Podolskiy, pl, Kamieniec Podolski, ro, Camenița, yi, קאַמענעץ־פּאָדאָלסק / קאַמעניץ, ...
were Ukraine's principal tourist centres, each offering many historical landmarks and extensive
hospitality Hospitality is the relationship between a guest and a host, wherein the host receives the guest with some amount of goodwill, including the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. Louis de Jaucourt, Louis, chevalier de J ...
infrastructure. The
Seven Wonders of Ukraine The Seven Wonders of Ukraine ( uk, Сім чудес України ) are the seven historical and cultural monuments of Ukraine, which were chosen in the ''Seven Wonders of Ukraine'' contest held in July, 2007. This was the first public contest ...
and
Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine The Seven Wonders of Ukraine ( uk, Сім чудес України ) are the seven historical and cultural monuments of Ukraine, which were chosen in the ''Seven Wonders of Ukraine'' contest held in July, 2007. This was the first public contest ...
are selections of the most important landmarks of Ukraine, chosen by Ukrainian experts and an Internet-based public vote. Tourism was the mainstay of Crimea's economy before a major fall in visitor numbers following the Russian annexation in 2014.


Transport

Many roads and bridges were destroyed, and international maritime travel was blocked by the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Before that it was mainly through the Port of Odesa, from where ferries sailed regularly to
Istanbul Istanbul ( , ; tr, İstanbul ), formerly known as Constantinople ( grc-gre, Κωνσταντινούπολις; la, Constantinopolis), is the List of largest cities and towns in Turkey, largest city in Turkey, serving as the country's economic, ...
, Varna and
Haifa Haifa ( he, חֵיפָה ' ; ar, حَيْفَا ') is the List of cities in Israel, third-largest city in Israel—after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv—with a population of in . The city of Haifa forms part of the Haifa metropolitan area, the thir ...
. The largest ferry company operating these routes was Ukrferry. There are over of
navigable A body of water, such as a river, canal or lake, is navigable if it is deep, wide and calm enough for a water vessel (e.g. boats) to pass safely. Such a navigable water is called a ''waterway'', and is preferably with few obstructions against dir ...
waterways on 7 rivers, mostly on the
Danube The Danube ( ; ) is a river that was once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire and today connects 10 European countries, running through their territories or being a border. Originating in Germany, the Danube flows southeast for , pa ...
,
Dnieper } The Dnieper () or Dnipro (); , ; . is one of the major Transboundary river, transboundary list of rivers of Europe, rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black ...
and
Pripyat Pripyat ( ; russian: При́пять), also known as Prypiat ( uk, При́пʼять, , ), is an Ghost town, abandoned city in northern Ukraine, located near the border with Belarus. Named after the nearby river, Pripyat (river), Pripyat, it ...
. All Ukraine's rivers freeze over in winter, limiting navigation. Ukraine's rail network connects all major urban areas, port facilities and industrial centres with neighbouring countries. The heaviest concentration of
railway track A railway track (British English and International Union of Railways, UIC terminology) or railroad track (American English), also known as permanent way or simply track, is the structure on a Rail transport, railway or railroad consisting of ...
is the
Donbas The Donbas or Donbass (, ; uk, Донба́с ; russian: Донба́сс ) is a historical, cultural, and economic region in eastern Ukraine. Parts of the Donbas are controlled by Russian separatist groups as a result of the Russo-Ukrai ...
region. Although
rail freight transport Rail freight transport is the use of rail transport, railroads and trains to transport cargo as opposed to human passengers. A freight train, cargo train, or goods train is a group of Railroad car#Freight cars, freight cars (US) or goods wagon ...
fell in the 1990s, Ukraine is still one of the world's highest rail users.
Ukraine International Airlines Ukraine International Airlines PJSC, often shortened to UIA ( uk, Авіакомпанія Міжнародні Авіалінії України, Aviakompaniya Mizhnarodni Avialiniyi Ukrayiny, ), is the flag carrier and the largest airline o ...
, is the
flag carrier A flag carrier is a transport company, such as an airline or shipping company, that, being locally registered in a given sovereign state, enjoys preferential rights or privileges accorded by the government for international operations. Hist ...
and the largest
airline An airline is a company that provides civil aviation, air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines use aircraft to supply these services and may form partnerships or Airline alliance, alliances with other airlines for ...
, with its head office in
Kyiv Kyiv, also spelled Kiev, is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper, Dnieper River. As of 1 January 2021, its population was 2,962,180, making Kyiv the List of European cities by populat ...
and its main hub at Kyiv's
Boryspil International Airport Boryspil International Airport ( uk, Міжнародний аеропорт «Бориспіль») is an international airport in Boryspil, east of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. It is Ukraine's largest airport, serving 65% of its passenger ...
. It operated domestic and international passenger flights and cargo services to Europe, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, and Asia.


Energy

Energy in Ukraine is mainly from
gas Gas is one of the four fundamental states of matter In physics, a state of matter is one of the distinct forms in which matter can exist. Four states of matter are observable in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and Plasma (physics), pl ...
and
coal Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as stratum, rock strata called coal seams. Coal is mostly carbon with variable amounts of other Chemical element, elements, chiefly hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen ...
, followed by nuclear then oil. The coal industry has been disrupted by conflict. Most gas and oil is imported, but since 2015
energy policy Energy policy is the manner in which a given entity (often governmental) has decided to address issues of energy development including energy conversion, distribution and use as well as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in order to con ...
has prioritised diversifying energy supply. About half of
electricity generation Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from sources of primary energy. For electric utility, utilities in the electric power industry, it is the stage prior to its Electricity delivery, delivery (Electric power transmi ...
is nuclear and a quarter coal. The largest
nuclear power plant A nuclear power plant (NPP) is a thermal power station in which the heat source is a nuclear reactor. As is typical of thermal power stations, heat is used to generate steam that drives a steam turbine connected to a electric generator, generato ...
in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, is in Ukraine.
Fossil fuel subsidies Fossil fuel subsidies are Energy subsidy, energy subsidies on Fossil fuel, fossil fuels. They may be Tax break, tax breaks on Consumption (economics), consumption, such as a lower sales tax on natural gas for Heating, ventilation, and air conditi ...
were US$2.2 billion in 2019. Until the 2010s all of Ukraine's nuclear fuel came from Russia, but now most does not. Although gas transit is declining, over 40 billion cubic metres (bcm) of Russian gas flowed through Ukraine in 2021, which was about a third of Russian exports to other European countries. Some energy infrastructure was destroyed in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. In early 2022 Ukraine and
Moldova Moldova ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Moldova ( ro, Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe ...
decoupled their electricity grids from the Integrated Power System of Russia and
Belarus Belarus,, , ; alternatively and formerly known as Byelorussia (from Russian ). officially the Republic of Belarus,; rus, Республика Беларусь, Respublika Belarus. is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by R ...
; and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity synchronized them with
continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent of Europe, excluding its surrounding islands. It can also be referred to ambiguously as the European continent, – which can conversely mean the whole of Europe – and, by ...
.


Information technology

The internet in the country is robust because it is diverse. Key officials may use
Starlink Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing satellite Internet access coverage to 45 countries. It also aims for global mobile phone service after 2023. SpaceX started launching Starlink satellites in 2019. As ...
as backup. The IT industry contributed almost 5 per cent to Ukraine's GDP in 2021 and in 2022 continued both inside and outside the country.


Demographics

Before the
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine On 24 February 2022, in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. The invasion has likely resulted in tens of thousands of deaths on both sides. It has caused Europe's List of largest refugee crises, largest refug ...
the country had an estimated population of over 41 million people, and was the eighth-most populous country in Europe. It is a heavily urbanized country, and its industrial regions in the east and southeast are the most densely populated—about 67% of its total population lives in urban areas. At that time Ukraine had a
population density Population density (in agriculture: Stock (disambiguation), standing stock or plant density) is a measurement of population per unit land area. It is mostly applied to humans, but sometimes to other living organisms too. It is a key geographical ...
of 69.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (180 per square mile), and the overall life expectancy in the country at birth was 73 years (68 years for males and 77.8 years for females). Following the
dissolution of the Soviet Union The dissolution of the Soviet Union, also negatively connoted as rus, Разва́л Сове́тского Сою́за, r=Razvál Sovétskogo Soyúza, ''Ruining of the Soviet Union''. was the process of internal disintegration within the Sov ...
, Ukraine's population hit a peak of roughly 52 million in 1993. However, due to its
death rate Mortality rate, or death rate, is a measure of the number of deaths (in general, or due to a specific cause) in a particular Statistical population, population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit of time. Mortality rate is typically ...
exceeding its
birth rate The birth rate for a given period is the total number of live human births per 1,000 population divided by the length of the period in years. The number of live births is normally taken from a universal registration system for births; populati ...
, mass emigration, poor living conditions, and low-quality health care, the total population decreased by 6.6 million, or 12.8% from the same year to 2014. According to the 2001 census, ethnic
Ukrainians Ukrainians ( uk, Українці, Ukraintsi, ) are an East Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that disting ...
made up roughly 78% of the population, while
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = , population = , popplace = 118 million Russians in the Russian Federation (2002 ''Winkler Prins'' estimate) , region1 = , pop1 ...
were the largest minority, at some 17.3% of the population. Small minority populations included:
Belarusians , native_name_lang = be , pop = 9.5–10 million , image = , caption = , popplace = 7.99 million , region1 = , pop1 = 600,000–768,000 , region2 = , pop2 ...
(0.6%),
Moldovans Moldovans, sometimes referred to as Moldavians ( ro, moldoveni , Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet, Moldovan Cyrillic: молдовень), are a Romance languages, Romance-speaking ethnic group and the largest ethnic group of the Republic of Moldova ...
(0.5%),
Crimean Tatars Crimean Tatars ( crh, Къырымтатарлар, translit=Qırımtatarlar) or Crimeans ( crh, Къырымлар/Къырымлылар, translit=Qırımlar/Qırımlılar) are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group and nation who are an indige ...
(0.5%),
Bulgarians Bulgarians ( bg, българи, Bǎlgari, ) are a nation and South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group native to Bulgaria and the rest of Southeast Europe. Etymology Bulgarians derive their ethnonym from the Bulgars. Their name is not complete ...
(0.4%),
Hungarians Hungarians, also known as Magyars ( ; hu, magyarok ), are a nation and ethnic group native to Hungary () and Kingdom of Hungary, historical Hungarian lands who share a common Hungarian culture, culture, Hungarian history, history, Magyar tribe ...
(0.3%),
Romanians The Romanians ( ro, români, ; dated exonym ''Vlachs'') are a Romance languages, Romance-speaking ethnic group. Sharing a common Culture of Romania, Romanian culture and Cultural heritage, ancestry, and speaking the Romanian language, they l ...
(0.3%),
Poles Poles,, ; singular masculine: ''Polak'', singular feminine: ''Polka'' or Polish people, are a West Slavs, West Slavic nation and ethnic group, who share a common History of Poland, history, Culture of Poland, culture, the Polish language and ...
(0.3%),
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
(0.3%),
Armenians Armenians ( hy, հայեր, ''Romanization of Armenian, hayer'' ) are an ethnic group native to the Armenian highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the ''de facto'' independent Republic of Artsakh ...
(0.2%),
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group and nation indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions, namely Greece, Greek Cypriots, Cyprus, Greeks in Albania, Albania, Greeks in Italy, ...
(0.2%) and
Tatars The Tatars ()Tatar
in the Collins English Dictionary
is an umbrella term for different Turki ...
(0.2%). It was also estimated that there were about 10–40,000
Koreans Koreans (South Korean standard language, South Korean: , , North Korean standard language, North Korean: , ; see names of Korea) are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group native to the Korean Peninsula. Koreans mainly live in the two ...
in Ukraine, who lived mostly in the south of the country, belonging to the historical
Koryo-saram Koryo-saram ( ko, 고려사람; russian: Корё сарам; uk, Корьо-сарам) is the name which ethnic Koreans in the post-Soviet states use to refer to themselves. The term is composed of two Korean words: "", a historical name for ...
group. Outside the former Soviet Union, the largest source of incoming immigrants in Ukraine's post-independence period was from four Asian countries, namely China, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the late 2010s 1.4 million Ukrainians were internally displaced due to the
war in Donbas War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government nor ...
, and in early 2022 over 4.1 million fled the country in the aftermath of the Russian invasion.


Language

According to Ukraine's constitution, the state language is Ukrainian. Russian is widely spoken in the country, especially in eastern and southern Ukraine. 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 in the republic, and in the schools of the
Ukrainian SSR The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic ( uk, Украї́нська Радя́нська Соціалісти́чна Респу́бліка, ; russian: Украи́нская Сове́тская Социалисти́ческая Респ ...
, learning Ukrainian was mandatory.
Serhy Yekelchyk Serhy Yekelchyk (born November 13, 1966 in Kyiv Kyiv, also spelled Kiev, is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper, Dnieper River. As of 1 January 2021, its population was 2,962,180, ma ...
''Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation'',
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and its printing history dates back to the 1480s. Having been officially granted the legal right to print books ...
(2007),
Effective in August 2012, a new law on regional languages entitled any local language spoken by at least a 10 percent minority be declared official within that area. Within weeks, Russian was declared a regional language of several southern and eastern oblasts (provinces) and cities. Russian could then be used in the administrative office work and documents of those places. On 23 February 2014, following the
Revolution of Dignity The Revolution of Dignity ( uk, Революція гідності, translit=Revoliutsiia hidnosti) also known as the Maidan Revolution or the 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 President Turchynov or by President Poroshenko. In February 2019, the law allowing for official use of regional languages was found unconstitutional. According to the Council of Europe, this act fails to achieve fair protection of the
linguistic rights Linguistic rights are the human rights, human and civil rights concerning the individual and collective right to choose the language or languages for communication in a private or public atmosphere. Other parameters for analyzing linguistic right ...
of minorities. Ukrainian is the primary language used in the vast majority of Ukraine (see "Linguistic map of Ukraine" above.) 67% of Ukrainians speak Ukrainian as their primary language, while 30% speak Russian as their primary language. In eastern and southern Ukraine, Russian is the primary language in some cities, while Ukrainian is used in rural areas. Hungarian is spoken in the
Zakarpattia Oblast The Zakarpattia Oblast ( uk, Закарпатська область, Zakarpatska oblast) is an Administrative divisions of Ukraine, administrative oblast located in western Ukraine, mostly coterminous with the historical region of Carpathian Rut ...
. 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, pp. 159–168 Following independence, the government of Ukraine began restoring the use of the Ukrainian language in schools and government 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 law bars primary education in public schools in grade five and up in any language but Ukrainian.


Diaspora


Religion

Ukraine has the world's second-largest Eastern Orthodox population, after Russia. A 2021 survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) found that 82% of Ukrainians declared themselves to be religious, while 7% were
atheists Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief in the existence of Deity, deities. Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that ther ...
, and a further 11% found it difficult to answer the question. The level of religiosity in Ukraine was reported to be the highest in
Western Ukraine Western Ukraine or West Ukraine ( uk, Західна Україна, Zakhidna Ukraina or , ) is the territory of Ukraine linked to the former Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, which was part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Austrian ...
(91%), and the lowest in the
Donbas The Donbas or Donbass (, ; uk, Донба́с ; russian: Донба́сс ) is a historical, cultural, and economic region in eastern Ukraine. Parts of the Donbas are controlled by Russian separatist groups as a result of the Russo-Ukrai ...
(57%) and
Eastern Ukraine Eastern Ukraine or east Ukraine ( uk, Східна Україна, Skhidna Ukrayina; russian: Восточная Украина, Vostochnaya Ukraina) is primarily the territory of Ukraine east of the Dnieper, Dnipro (or Dnieper) river, particula ...
(56%). In 2019, 82% of Ukrainians were Christians; out of which 72.7% declared themselves to be Orthodox, 8.8% Greek Rite Catholics, 2.3%
Protestants Protestantism is a Christian denomination, branch of Christianity that follows the theological tenets of the Reformation, Protestant Reformation, a movement that began seeking to reform the Catholic Church from within in the 16th century agai ...
and 0.9% Latin Rite Catholics. Other
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
s comprised 2.3%.
Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots ...
,
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
, and
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religions, Indian religion or ''dharma'', a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. As a religion, it is the Major religious groups, world's third-largest, with over 1.2–1.35 billion ...
were the religions of 0.2% of the population each. According to the KIIS study, roughly 58.3% of the Ukrainian Orthodox population were members of the
Orthodox Church of Ukraine The Orthodox Church of Ukraine ( uk, Православна церква України, Pravoslavna tserkva Ukrainy; OCU) is an Autocephaly, autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church whose canonical territory is Ukraine. The church was united a ...
, and 25.4% were members of the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) The Ukrainian Orthodox Church ( uk, Українська православна церква, Ukrainska pravoslavna tserkva; russian: Украинская православная церковь, Ukrainskaya pravoslavnaya tserkov', UOC), common ...
. According to a 2018 survey by the Razumkov Centre, 9.4% of Ukrainians were Byzantine Rite Catholics and 0.8% were Latin Rite Catholics.
Protestants Protestantism is a Christian denomination, branch of Christianity that follows the theological tenets of the Reformation, Protestant Reformation, a movement that began seeking to reform the Catholic Church from within in the 16th century agai ...
are a growing community in Ukraine, who made up 1.9% of the population in 2016, but rose to 2.2% of the population in 2018.


Health

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 Ukraine's medical service providers and hospitals are subordinate to the 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. Ukraine 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 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 Mortality rate, or death rate, is a measure of the number of deaths (in general, or due to a specific cause) in a particular Statistical population, population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit of time. Mortality rate is typically ...
among working-age males from preventable causes such as
alcohol poisoning Alcohol intoxication, also known as alcohol poisoning, commonly described as drunkenness or inebriation, is the negative behavior and physical effects caused by a recent consumption of Alcohol (drug), alcohol. In addition to the toxicity of etha ...
and smoking. In addition, obesity, systemic high blood pressure and the HIV endemic are all major challenges facing the Ukrainian healthcare system. Active reformation of Ukraine's healthcare system was initiated right after the appointment of Ulana Suprun as a head of the 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 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.


Education

According to the 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. Because of the Soviet Union's emphasis on total access of education for all citizens, which continues today, the
literacy rate Literacy in its broadest sense describes "particular ways of thinking about and doing reading and writing" with the purpose of understanding or expressing thoughts or ideas in Writing, written form in some specific context of use. In other wo ...
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. Students in the 12th grade take Government tests, which are also referred to as school-leaving exams. These tests are later used for university admissions. Among the oldest is also the
Lviv University The University of Lviv ( uk, Львівський університет, Lvivskyi universytet; pl, Uniwersytet Lwowski; german: Universität Lemberg, briefly known as the ''Theresianum'' in the early 19th century), presently the Ivan Franko Na ...
, founded in 1661. More higher education institutions were set up in the 19th century, beginning with universities in
Kharkiv Kharkiv ( uk, wikt:Харків, Ха́рків, ), also known as Kharkov (russian: Харькoв, ), is the second-largest List of cities in Ukraine, city and List of hromadas of Ukraine, municipality in Ukraine.Kyiv Kyiv, also spelled Kiev, is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper, Dnieper River. As of 1 January 2021, its population was 2,962,180, making Kyiv the List of European cities by populat ...
(1834),
Odesa Odesa (also spelled Odessa) is the third most populous List of cities in Ukraine, city and List of hromadas of Ukraine, municipality in Ukraine and a major seaport and transport hub located in the south-west of the country, on the northwestern sho ...
(1865) and
Chernivtsi Chernivtsi ( uk, Чернівці́}, ; ro, Cernăuți, ; see also #Names, other names) is a city in the historical region of Bukovina, which is now divided along the Romania–Ukraine border, borders of Romania and Ukraine, including this ...
(1875) and a number of professional higher education institutions, e.g.: Nizhyn Historical and Philological Institute (originally established as the Gymnasium of Higher Sciences in 1805), a Veterinary Institute (1873) and a Technological Institute (1885) in
Kharkiv Kharkiv ( uk, wikt:Харків, Ха́рків, ), also known as Kharkov (russian: Харькoв, ), is the second-largest List of cities in Ukraine, city and List of hromadas of Ukraine, municipality in Ukraine.Polytechnic Institute in Kyiv (1898) and a Higher Mining School (1899) in Katerynoslav. Rapid growth followed in the
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
period. By 1988 the number of higher education institutions increased to 146 with over 850,000 students. The Ukrainian higher education system comprises higher educational establishments,
scientific Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earli ...
and methodological facilities under national,
municipal A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
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 A developed country (or industrialized country, high-income country, more economically developed country (MEDC), advanced country) is a sovereign state that has a high quality of life, developed economy and advanced technological infrastruct ...
, as is defined by
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
and the UN. Ukraine produces the fourth largest number of post-secondary graduates in Europe, while being ranked seventh in population.
Higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completio ...
is either state funded or private. Most universities provide subsidised housing for out-of-city students. 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 The specialist degree is an academic degree conferred by a college A college (Latin: ''collegium'') is an educational institution or a University system, constituent part of one. A college may be a academic degree, degree-awarding ...
(usually 5 years) is still also granted; it was the only degree awarded by universities in Soviet times. Ukraine was ranked 57th in 2022 in the Global Innovation Index, down from 49th in 2021


Regional differences

Ukrainian is the dominant language in
Western Ukraine Western Ukraine or West Ukraine ( uk, Західна Україна, Zakhidna Ukraina or , ) is the territory of Ukraine linked to the former Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, which was part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Austrian ...
and in
Central Ukraine Central Ukraine ( uk, Центральна Україна, ''Tsentralna Ukraina'') consists of historical regions of left-bank Ukraine and right-bank Ukraine Right-bank Ukraine ( uk , Правобережна Україна, ''Pravoberezh ...
, while Russian is the dominant language in the cities of
Eastern Ukraine Eastern Ukraine or east Ukraine ( uk, Східна Україна, Skhidna Ukrayina; russian: Восточная Украина, Vostochnaya Ukraina) is primarily the territory of Ukraine east of the Dnieper, Dnipro (or Dnieper) river, particula ...
and
Southern Ukraine Southern Ukraine ( uk, південна Україна, translit=pivdenna Ukrayina) or south Ukraine refers, generally, to the oblasts of Ukraine, oblasts in the south of Ukraine. The territory usually corresponds with the Soviet economical dist ...
. In the
Ukrainian SSR The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic ( uk, Украї́нська Радя́нська Соціалісти́чна Респу́бліка, ; russian: Украи́нская Сове́тская Социалисти́ческая Респ ...
schools, learning Russian was mandatory; 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 Russian (russian: русский язык, russkij jazyk, link=no, ) is an East Slavic languages, East Slavic language mainly spoken in Russia. It is the First language, native language of the Russians, and belongs to the Indo-European langua ...
, on
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
and
Ukrainian nationalism Ukrainian nationalism refers to the promotion of the unity of Ukrainians as a people and it also refers to the promotion of the identity of Ukraine as a nation state. The Nation-building, nation building that arose as nationalism grew following ...
, 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 Russia, differed strongly between
Lviv Lviv ( uk, Львів) is the largest city in Western Ukraine, western Ukraine, and the List of cities in Ukraine, seventh-largest in Ukraine, with a population of . It serves as the administrative centre of Lviv Oblast and Lviv Raion, and is o ...
, identifying more with
Ukrainian nationalism Ukrainian nationalism refers to the promotion of the unity of Ukrainians as a people and it also refers to the promotion of the identity of Ukraine as a nation state. The Nation-building, nation building that arose as nationalism grew following ...
and the
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church , native_name_lang = uk , caption_background = , image = StGeorgeCathedral Lviv.JPG , imagewidth = , type = Particular church (sui iuris) , alt = , caption = St. George's Ca ...
, and
Donetsk Donetsk ( , ; uk, Донецьк, translit=Donets'k ; russian: Донецк ), formerly known as Aleksandrovka, Yuzivka (or Hughesovka), Stalin and Stalino (see also: Names of European cities in different languages (C–D), cities' alternat ...
, predominantly Russian orientated and favourable to the
Soviet era The history of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic#Early years (1917–1920), Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union (USSR) reflects a period of change for both Russia and the world. Though the terms "Soviet Russia" and "Soviet Union" ofte ...
, while in central and southern Ukraine, as well as
Kyiv Kyiv, also spelled Kiev, is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper, Dnieper River. As of 1 January 2021, its population was 2,962,180, making Kyiv the List of European cities by populat ...
, 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 The Donbas or Donbass (, ; uk, Донба́с ; russian: Донба́сс ) is a historical, cultural, and economic region in eastern Ukraine. Parts of the Donbas are controlled by Russian separatist groups as a result of the Russo-Ukrai ...
(about 40%) and the Crimea (about 30%). During
elections An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative ...
voters of Western and Central Ukrainian oblasts (provinces) vote mostly for parties ( Our Ukraine,
Batkivshchyna The All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" ( uk, Всеукраїнське об'єднання "Батьківщина", translit=Vseukrains'ke obiednannia "Bat'kivshchyna") referred to as Batkivshchyna (), is a Political parties in Ukraine, politic ...
) and presidential candidates ( Viktor Yuschenko,
Yulia Tymoshenko Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko ( uk, Юлія Володимирівна Тимошенко, ; Hrihyan ();pro-Western The Western world, also known as the West, primarily refers to the various nations and state (polity), states in the regions of Europe, North America, and Oceania.
and state reform
platform Platform may refer to: Technology * Computing platform, a framework on which applications may be run * Platform game, a genre of video games * Car platform, a set of components shared by several vehicle models * Weapons platform, a system or ...
, while voters in Southern and Eastern oblasts vote for parties ( CPU,
Party of Regions The Party of Regions ( uk, Партія регіонів, Partiia rehioniv, ; russian: Партия регионов, Partiya regionov) was a Russophilia, pro-Russian political party in Ukraine formed in late 1997 that then grew to be the bigges ...
) and presidential candidates (
Viktor Yanukovych Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych ( uk, Віктор Федорович Янукович, ; ; born 9 July 1950) is a former politician who served as the fourth president of Ukraine from 2010 until he was removed from office in the Revolution of Di ...
) with a pro-Russian and
status quo is a Latin phrase meaning the existing state of affairs (sociology), state of affairs, particularly with regard to social, political, religious or military issues. In the Sociology, sociological sense, the ''status quo'' refers to the current st ...
platform. However, this geographical division is decreasing.


Culture

Ukrainian customs are heavily influenced by
Orthodox Christianity Orthodoxy (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) is adherence to correct or accepted creeds, especially in religion. Orthodoxy within Christianity refers to acceptance of the doctrines defined by various creeds and ecumenical councils in Late antiquity, A ...
, 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
architecture Architecture is the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. It is both the process and the product of sketching, conceiving, planning, designing, and construction, constructin ...
, music and art. The Communist era had quite a strong effect on the art and writing of Ukraine. In 1932, Stalin made
socialist realism Socialist realism is a style of idealized realistic art that was developed in the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, ...
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 ''Glasnost'' (; russian: link=no, гласность, ) has several general and specific meanings – a policy of maximum openness in the activities of state institutions and freedom of information, the inadmissibility of hushing up problems, ...
(openness) was introduced and Soviet artists and writers again became free to express themselves as they wanted. ,
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
inscribed seven properties in Ukraine on the World Heritage List. Ukraine is also known for its decorative and folk traditions such as Petrykivka painting, Kosiv ceramics, and Cossack songs. The tradition of the
Easter egg Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are eggs that are Egg decorating, decorated for the Christian feast of Easter, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. As such, Easter eggs are common during the season of Eastertide (Easter season). ...
, 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 Kolomyia, formerly known as Kolomea ( ua, Коломия, Kolomyja, ; pl, Kołomyja; german: Kolomea; ro, Colomeea; yi, ), is a city located on the Prut River in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast (Oblast, province), in western Ukraine. It serves as th ...
near the foothills of the
Carpathian Mountains The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians () are a range of mountains forming an arc across Central Europe. Roughly long, it is the third-longest European mountain range after the Ural Mountains, Urals at and the Scandinavian Mountains at . The ...
, the museum of Pysanka was built in 2000 and won a nomination as the monument of modern Ukraine in 2007, part of the
Seven Wonders of Ukraine The Seven Wonders of Ukraine ( uk, Сім чудес України ) are the seven historical and cultural monuments of Ukraine, which were chosen in the ''Seven Wonders of Ukraine'' contest held in July, 2007. This was the first public contest ...
action.


Libraries

The Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine, is the main academic library and main scientific information centre in Ukraine. During the
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine On 24 February 2022, in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. The invasion has likely resulted in tens of thousands of deaths on both sides. It has caused Europe's List of largest refugee crises, largest refug ...
the Russians bombed the Maksymovych Scientific Library of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine, the National Scientific Medical Library of Ukraine and the Kyiv city youth library.


Literature

Ukrainian literature has origins in
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic languages, Slavic literary language. Historians credit the 9th-century Byzantine Empire, Byzantine missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius with Standard language, standardizing the lan ...
writings, which was used as a
liturgical Liturgy is the customary public ritual of worship performed by a religious group. ''Liturgy'' can also be used to refer specifically to public worship by Christian, Christians. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a community, communal r ...
and
literary language A literary language is the Register (sociolinguistics), form (register) of a language used in written literature, which can be either a nonstandard dialect or a standard language, standardized variety of the language. Literary language sometimes ...
following
Christianization Christianization ( or Christianisation) is to make Christian; to imbue with Christian principles; to become Christian. It can apply to the conversion of an individual, a practice, a place or a whole society. It began in the Roman Empire ...
in the 10th and 11th centuries. Other writings from the time include
chronicle A chronicle ( la, chronica, from Greek language, Greek ''chroniká'', from , ''chrónos'' – "time") is a historical account of events arranged in chronology, chronological order, as in a timeline. Typically, equal weight is given for historic ...
s, the most significant of which was the ''
Primary Chronicle The ''Tale of Bygone Years'' ( orv, Повѣсть времѧньныхъ лѣтъ, translit=Pověstĭ vremęnĭnyxŭ lětŭ; ; ; ; ), often known in English as the ''Rus' Primary Chronicle'', the ''Russian Primary Chronicle'', or simply the ...
''. Literary activity faced a sudden decline after the Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus', before seeing a revival beginning in the 14th century, and was advanced in the 16th century with the invention of the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a printing, print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in wh ...
. The
Cossacks The Cossacks , es, cosaco , et, Kasakad, cazacii , fi, Kasakat, cazacii , french: cosaques , hu, kozákok, cazacii , it, cosacchi , orv, коза́ки, pl, Kozacy , pt, cossacos , ro, cazaci , russian: казаки́ or ...
established an independent society and popularized a new kind of
epic poem An epic poem, or simply an epic, is a lengthy narrative poem typically about the extraordinary deeds of extraordinary characters who, in dealings with gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal universe for their descendants. ...
, which marked a high point of Ukrainian
oral literature Oral literature, orature or folk literature is a genre of literature that is spoken or sung as opposed to that which is writing, written, though much oral literature has been transcribed. There is no standard definition, as anthropologists have ...
. These advances were then set back in the 17th and early 18th centuries, as many Ukrainian authors wrote in Russian or Polish. Nonetheless, by the late 18th century, the modern literary Ukrainian language finally emerged. In 1798, the modern era of the Ukrainian literary tradition began with Ivan Kotlyarevsky's publication of Eneida in the Ukrainian vernacular. By the 1830s, a Ukrainian
romantic literature Romanticism (also known as the Romantic movement or Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate ...
began to develop, and the nation's most renowned cultural figure, romanticist poet-painter
Taras Shevchenko Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko ( uk, Тарас Григорович Шевченко , pronounced without the middle name; – ), also known as Kobzar Taras, or simply Kobzar (a kobzar is a bard in Ukrainian culture), was a Ukraine, Ukrainian p ...
emerged. Whereas 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, the 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. These policies faced a steep decline in the 1930s, when prominent representatives as well as many others were killed by the NKVD during the
Great Purge The Great Purge or the Great Terror (russian: Большой террор), also known as the Year of '37 (russian: 37-й год, translit=Tridtsat sedmoi god, label=none) and the Yezhovshchina ('period of Nikolay Yezhov, Yezhov'), was General ...
. In general around 223 writers were repressed by what was known as the
Executed Renaissance The Executed Renaissance (or "Red Renaissance", uk, Розстріляне відродження, Червоний ренесанс, translit=Rozstriliane vidrodzhennia, Chervonyi renesans) is a term used to describe the generatio ...
. These repressions were part of Stalin's implemented policy of
socialist realism Socialist realism is a style of idealized realistic art that was developed in the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, ...
. The doctrine did not necessarily repress the use of the Ukrainian language, but it required that writers follow a certain style in their works. 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.


Architecture

Ukrainian architecture includes the motifs and styles that are found in structures built in modern Ukraine, and by
Ukrainians Ukrainians ( uk, Українці, Ukraintsi, ) are an East Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that disting ...
worldwide. These include initial roots which were established in the state of
Kievan Rus' Kievan Rusʹ, also known as Kyivan Rusʹ ( orv, , Rusĭ, or , , ; Old Norse: ''Garðaríki''), was a state in Eastern Europe, Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century.John Channon & Robert Hudson, ''Penguin Hist ...
. Following the Christianization of Kievan Rus', Ukrainian architecture has been influenced by Byzantine architecture. After the Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus', it continued to develop in the Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia. After the union with the
Tsardom of Russia The Tsardom of Russia or Tsardom of Rus' also externally referenced as the Tsardom of Muscovy, was the centralized Russian state from the assumption of the title of Tsar by Ivan the Terrible, Ivan IV in 1547 until the foundation of the Russian E ...
, architecture in Ukraine began to develop in different directions, with many structures in the larger eastern, Russian-ruled area built in the styles of Russian architecture of that period, whilst the western region of Galicia (Central Europe), Galicia developed under Architecture of Poland, Polish and Architecture of Austria, Austro-Hungarian architectural influences. Ukrainian national motifs would eventually be used during the period of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
and in modern independent Ukraine. However, much of the contemporary architectural skyline of Ukraine is dominated by Soviet-style Khrushchyovkas, or low-cost apartment buildings.


Weaving and embroidery

Artisan 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.


Music

Music 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 second intervals. During the Baroque period, music 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 (Ivan Mazepa, Mazepa, Semen Paliy, Paliy, Antin Holovaty, Holovatyj, Ivan Sirko, Sirko) being accomplished players of the kobza, bandura or torban. The first dedicated musical academy was set up in Hlukhiv in 1738 and students were taught to sing and 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 having been closely associated with this music school. Ukrainian classical music differs considerably depending on whether the composer was of Ukrainian ethnicity living in Ukraine, a composer of non-Ukrainian ethnicity who was a citizen of Ukraine, or part of the
Ukrainian diaspora The Ukrainian diaspora comprises Ukrainians and their descendants who live outside Ukraine around the world, especially those who maintain some kind of connection, even if ephemeral, to the land of their ancestors and maintain their feeling of Uk ...
. 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.


Media

The Ukrainian legal framework on media freedom is deemed "among the most progressive in eastern Europe", although implementation has been uneven.Freedom House
Ukraine 2015 Freedom of the Press
report
The constitution and laws provide for freedom of speech and Freedom of the press in Ukraine, press. The main regulatory authority for the broadcast media is the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine (NTRBCU), tasked with licensing media outlets and ensure their compliance with the law.
Kyiv Kyiv, also spelled Kiev, is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper, Dnieper River. As of 1 January 2021, its population was 2,962,180, making Kyiv the List of European cities by populat ...
dominates the media sector in Ukraine: 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 Lviv ( uk, Львів) is the largest city in Western Ukraine, western Ukraine, and the List of cities in Ukraine, seventh-largest in Ukraine, with a population of . It serves as the administrative centre of Lviv Oblast and Lviv Raion, and is o ...
is also a significant national media centre. The National News Agency of Ukraine, Ukrinform was founded here in 1918. BBC Ukrainian started its broadcasts in 1992. 75% of the population use the internet, and social media is widely used by government and people.


Sport

Ukraine greatly benefited from the Soviet emphasis on physical education. These 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. Since becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion in 2018, Oleksandr Usyk has also gone on to win the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles. This feat made him one of only three boxers to have unified the cruiserweight world titles and become a world heavyweight champion. 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 is Vasyl Lomachenko, a 2008 Summer Olympics, 2008 and 2012 Olympic games, 2012 Olympic gold medalist. He is the 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 has gained popularity in Ukraine. In 2011, Ukraine was granted a right to organize EuroBasket 2015. Two years later the Ukraine national basketball team finished sixth 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.


Cuisine

The traditional Ukrainian diet includes chicken, pork, beef, fish and mushrooms. Ukrainians also tend to eat a lot of potatoes; grains; and fresh, boiled or pickled vegetables. Popular traditional dishes ' (boiled dumplings with mushrooms, potatoes, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, cherries or berries), ''nalysnyky'' (pancakes with cottage cheese, poppy seeds, mushrooms, caviar or meat), ''Cabbage soup, kapusnyak'' (cabbage soup made with meat, potatoes, carrots, onions, millet, tomato paste, spices and fresh herbs), borscht (soup made of beets, cabbage and mushrooms or meat) and (stuffed cabbage rolls filled with rice, carrots, onion and minced meat). Among traditional baked goods are decorated korovais and Paska (bread), paska Easter bread. Ukrainian specialties also include Chicken Kiev and Kyiv cake. Ukrainians drink kompot, stewed fruit compote, juices, milk, buttermilk, mineral water, tea and coffee, beer, wine and .


See also

*Outline of Ukraine


Notes

a. 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 The Holodomor ( uk, Голодомо́р, Holodomor, ; derived from uk, морити голодом, lit=to kill by starvation, translit=moryty holodom, label=none), also known as the Terror-Famine or the Great Famine, was a man-made famin ...
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''

, 16 (according to ''Korrespondent'', Russian edition

, "more than 10" (according to ''Korrespondent'', Ukrainian edition

Retrieved 27 January 2008. c. These figures are likely to be much higher, as they do not include Ukrainians of other nationalities or Ukrainian Jews, but only ethnic Ukrainians, from the Ukrainian SSR. d. This figure excludes POW deaths. e. Several countries with territory in Europe have a larger total area, but all of those also include territory outside of Europe. Only Russia's European territory is larger than Ukraine. f. According to the official 2001 census data (by nationality; by language) about 75 percent of Kyiv's population responded 'Ukrainian' to the native language (ridna mova) census question, and roughly 25 percent responded 'Russian'. On the other hand, when the question 'What language do you use in everyday life?' was asked in the 2003 sociological survey, the Kyivans' answers were distributed as follows: 'mostly Russian': 52 percent, 'both Russian and Ukrainian in equal measure': 32 percent, 'mostly Ukrainian': 14 percent, 'exclusively Ukrainian': 4.3 percent.
g. Such writings were also the base for Russian and Belarusian literature.


References


Print sources


Reference books

* ''Encyclopedia of Ukraine'' (University of Toronto Press, 1984–1993) 5 vol
partial online version
from Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies *
Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia Vol.1
' ed by Volodymyr E. KubijovyC; University of Toronto Press. 1963; 1188pp


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
online edition
* Edwards Mike: "Ukraine – Running on empty" National Geographic Magazine March 1993 * Ivan Katchanovski: ''Cleft Countries: Regional Political Divisions and Cultures in Post-Soviet Ukraine and Moldova'', Ibidem-Verlag, 2006, * Kuzio, Taras: ''Contemporary Ukraine: Dynamics of Post-Soviet Transformation'', M.E. Sharpe, 1998, * Kuzio, Taras. ''Ukraine: State and Nation Building'', Routledge, 199
online edition
* Shamshur O. V., Ishevskaya T. I., ''Multilingual education as a factor of inter-ethnic relations: the case of the Ukraine'', in ''Language Education for Intercultural Communication'', by D. E. Ager, George Muskens, Sue Wright, Multilingual Matters, 1993, * * Whitmore, Sarah. ''State Building in Ukraine: The Ukrainian Parliament, 1990–2003'' Routledge, 200
online edition
* Andrew Wilson (historian), Wilson, Andrew, ''Ukraine's Orange Revolution'' (2005) * Wilson, Andrew, ''The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation,'' 2nd ed. 2002; * Wilson, Andrew, ''Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990s: A Minority Faith'', Cambridge University Press, * Zon, Hans van. ''The Political Economy of Independent Ukraine''. 200
online edition


History


UKRAINIAN UPPER PALAEOLITHIC BETWEEN 40/10.000 BP
* Bilinsky, Yaroslav ''The Second Soviet Republic: The Ukraine after World War II'' (Rutgers University Press, 1964
online
* Hrushevsky, Michael. ''A History of Ukraine'' (1986) * Katchanovski Ivan; Kohut, Zenon E.; Nebesio, Bohdan Y.; and Yurkevich, Myroslav. ''Historical Dictionary of Ukraine.'' Second Edition. Scarecrow Press, 2013. 968 pp. * Kononenko, Konstantyn. ''Ukraine and Russia: A History of the Economic Relations between Ukraine and Russia, 1654–1917'' (Marquette University Press 1958
online
* Luckyj, George S. ''Towards an Intellectual History of Ukraine: An Anthology of Ukrainian Thought from 1710 to 1995.'' (1996) * Magocsi, Paul Robert, ''A History of Ukraine''. University of Toronto Press, 1996 * Reid, Anna. ''Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine'' (2003
online edition
* Orest Subtelny, Subtelny, Orest. ''Ukraine: A History'', 1st edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988. . * Yekelchyk, Serhy. ''Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation'' (Oxford University Press 2007
online


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.


External links


Ukraine Corruption Profile
from the Risk & Compliance Portal
Ukraine
information from the United States Department of State
Key Development Forecasts for Ukraine
from International Futures
Encyclopedia of Ukraine
; Government
The President of Ukraine

Government Portal of Ukraine

The Parliament of Ukraine

Ukrainian art. Most famous modern painters
; Trade
World Bank Summary Trade Statistics Ukraine
{{Authority control Ukraine, 1991 establishments in Ukraine, * Countries in Europe Eastern European countries Member states of the Council of Europe Member states of the United Nations Republics States and territories established in 1991 Ukrainian-speaking countries and territories Post-Soviet states