Ukrainian History: The Most Interesting Facts

Dear friends,

The Ukraine is a beautiful country that is very rich history and culture. Legend says that Saint Andrew visited the land by the Dnipro River and envisioned a great Christian city being built there. Saint Andrew’s prophecy came true, and today that city is known as Kyiv.

Allow me to give you a brief history of the Ukraine and its people.

1. Kyivan Rus

For many years, various Slavic tribes roamed the area that is now modern-day Ukraine. Although we do not know the exact date, the tribes unified and formed the Slavic state of Kyivan Rus sometime in the ninth century. This state was the beginning of the Ukraine, which prospered because its capital, Kyiv was in the middle of the major trade routes. King Volodymyr the Great introduced Christianity to his people.

Kyivan Rus

Kyivan Rus

I believe that he invited Byzantine priests to baptize his subjects and initiated them to the Eastern rite of Christianity. His son Yaroslav the Wise built the Saint Sophia Cathedral and also instituted the first legal code. After Yaroslav died, his sons began dividing the kingdom, and the state of Kyivan Rus started to decline.

2. As a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Since there was no central ruler, the Ukraine was taken over by outsiders, and eventually it became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. I believe that during this time, Ukrainians began to form their own identity and became united by their religion and language. The Polish were Roman Catholic and made laws that suppressed the Orthodox religion.

To counter these laws, Ukrainians officially became either Eastern Orthodox or Uniate Catholic under the Brest-Litovsk Agreement. This agreement subjected the Uniates to the Roman pope but allowed them to retain their own bishops and Slavic liturgy, which is still used in churches today.

During this time, some Ukrainians banded together to fight invading Turks, and to protect the peasants from Polish persecution. Known as Cossacks, these fighters proved to be a formidable means of resistance.

3. As a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

Over time, Poland became divided and ceased to exist. The eastern part of the Ukraine was taken over by Russia, and the western side became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During this time, western Ukrainians enjoyed many freedoms, including religion, language and literature.

I believe that there was a revival of Ukrainian culture that had been kept dormant for so long. On the other hand, eastern Ukrainians were not so lucky. Under Russian rule, Ukrainians were encouraged to assimilate, and their language and culture was suppressed.

4. After World War I

Ukrainians enjoyed brief independence after World War I, but this ended with the rise of the Soviet Union. Under Josef Stalin, collective farms were established, and intellectuals were brutally suppressed. Stalin also ordered a false famine, known as the Holodmar, which was responsible for the deaths of millions of Ukrainians.

5. Independence (1991-present day)

I am happy to say that once again, Ukrainians have their own country. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine declared independence on August 24, 1991. The new government allows for religious and cultural freedom, as well as freedom of speech.

Modern Ukraine

Modern Ukraine

Although so many years of suppression have left Ukrainians a bit wary, I do not feel that their spirit was ever crushed. I firmly believe that Ukrainians are true survivors, and they are finally ready to take their place in today’s world.

This article is an abstract from the free Ukrainian dating guide “The first Steps to Happiness with a Ukrainian lady” by Krystyna. To learn about the free Ukrainian dating guide, click here

Questions? Feel free to ask Krystyna, your Ukrainian dating expert 🙂 (s. here: Contact Krystyna)



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4 Responses

  1. Eric says:

    Dear Krystyna,

    I have read a book on the history of Ukraine, which only have about 200 pages. It said that Ukraine was invaded by a few different countries. The west part of Ukraine is mostly influenced by the European countries, while the east part by Russia. In the previous elections, the votes are still much divided. People living in the east favour one candidate and the people in the west favour the other candidate. If I remember correctly, during the independence of Ukraine, somehow Crimea is added to Ukraine by Russia. Crimea has a high population of Russians.

    What I am curious is, what are the difference of women in different parts of Ukraine?


    • Krystyna Krystyna says:

      Dear Eric,

      I lived in Crimea about 8 years with my family (said exactly, in Yalta, one of the most beautiful cities in Crimea):

      The territory of Crimea was conquered and controlled many times throughout its history. The Cimmerians, Greeks, Scythians, Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Khazars, the state of Kievan Rus’, Byzantine Greeks, Kipchaks, Ottoman Turks, Golden Horde Tatars and the Mongols all controlled Crimea in its early history. In the 13th century, it was partly controlled by the Venetians and by the Genovese; they were followed by the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire in the 15th to 18th centuries, the Russian Empire in the 18th to 20th centuries, Germany during World War II and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and later the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, within the Soviet Union during most of the rest of the 20th century.

      According to 2001 Ukrainian Census, the population of Crimea was 2,033,700. The ethnic makeup was comprised the following self-reported groups: Russians: 58.32%; Ukrainians: 24.32%; Crimean Tatars: 12.1%; Belarusians: 1.44%; Tatars: 0.54%; Armenians: 0.43%; and Jews: 0.22%. (Source: Wikipedia)

      Although Ukraine was invaded by different countries (Russia, Polen, Austria, Hungary, etc.), I know no difference of ladies in different parts of Ukraine. The women in the west, north, south and east of Ukraine are the same, namely: family oriented and very feminine.



  2. Eric says:

    Dear Krystyna,

    Thanks for the information. I guess it’s better to pay a visit there after the Euro 2012.

    I’m wondering do most Ukrainians speak Russian? I think it is better to learn some simple Russian before my trip. Although after the independent of Ukraine, Russian has not been upgraded to the second official language, at least I guess many people learned Russian when they were small.

    What do you think?


    • Krystyna Krystyna says:

      Hi Eric,

      Ukraine’s state language is Ukrainian. But 1 in 3 citizens of the former Soviet republic is a native Russian language speaker. According to Wikipedia, Russian is a minority language in Ukraine. It is the most common first language in Donbass and Crimea regions, the predominant language in large cities in the East and South of the country. The Russian language is still studied as a required course in all secondary schools, including those with Ukrainian as the primary language of instructions.

      I would say that every Ukrainian (woman) can speak Russian. Especially people in Kiev, Kharkov or Dnepropetrovsk speak Russian as their mother tongue. Russian is spoken in families, among friends and collegues. Communication in two languages is very common in e.g. Kiev: two people meet and one begins talking in his or her preferred language – Ukrainian. The other responds in Russian, and the conversation takes off, going back and forth, seemingly without missing a beat.

      So, Eric, if you learn Russian for your trip to Ukraune it would be very helpful for your communication there.


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