Background: Ukraine was the center of the first Slavic state, Kievan Rus, which during the 10th and 11th centuries was the largest and most powerful state in Europe. Weakened by internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, Kievan Rus was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The cultural and religious legacy of Kievan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century after an uprising against the Poles. Despite continuous Muscovite pressure, the Hetmanate managed to remain autonomous for well over 100 years. During the latter part of the 18th century, most Ukrainian ethnographic territory was absorbed by the Russian Empire. Following the collapse of czarist Russia in 1917, Ukraine was able to bring about a short-lived period of independence (1917-20), but was reconquered and forced to endure a brutal Soviet rule that engineered two artificial famines (1921-22 and 1932-33) in which over 8 million died. In World War II, German and Soviet armies were responsible for some 7 to 8 million more deaths. Although final independence for Ukraine was achieved in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy remained elusive as the legacy of state control and endemic corruption stalled efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civil liberties. A peaceful mass protest "Orange Revolution" in the closing months of 2004 forced the authorities to overturn a rigged presidential election and to allow a new internationally monitored vote that swept into power a reformist slate under Viktor YUSHCHENKO. The new government presents its citizens with hope that the country may at last attain true freedom and prosperity.
Photos from Kyiv
Blogs from Kyiv
Latest Blogs from Kyiv
- May 7th 2013 Kyiv and Chernobyl Tour 03/05/13 - 06/05/13 (Part 1)
by Words: 4026 Photos: 18
- October 18th 2011 Kiev – The City of Golden Copulas
by Words: 1645 Photos: 46
- August 11th 2011 When in Kiev
by Words: 1018 Photos: 0
- July 26th 2011 #40 - Ukraine
by Words: 440 Photos: 0
- May 10th 2011 London to Kiev, via Budapest
by Words: 374 Photos: 3
- May 1st 2011 Ukraine: The Good, the Bad, and the Chernobyl
by Words: 1186 Photos: 30
- September 6th 2010 Kiev, Ukraine 2010
by Words: 1505 Photos: 24
- May 31st 2010 Summer Sounds.
by Words: 669 Photos: 4
- February 1st 2010 Pride, Polikliniki and Prejudice.
by Words: 784 Photos: 8
- November 3rd 2009 Winter Routines.
by Words: 608 Photos: 7
- July 21st 2009 Ukraine I - Kiev
by Words: 821 Photos: 26
- June 23rd 2009 The Storm Before The Calm.
by Words: 1743 Photos: 8
- June 7th 2009 Balls to Bureaucracy.
by Words: 905 Photos: 24
- May 31st 2009 Singing in the Rain in Kiev
by Words: 454 Photos: 12
- March 13th 2009 Kyiv the Light Day Tour & the church family
by Words: 847 Photos: 4
- March 12th 2009 Kyiv - The Dark Day Tour
by Words: 958 Photos: 3
- January 31st 2009 The Breath of a Thousand Strangers.
by Words: 2251 Photos: 11
- November 1st 2008 The little blog with the little dog.
by Words: 384 Photos: 29
- April 17th 2008 KIEV, Ukraine
by Words: 724 Photos: 13
- November 23rd 2007 The Four Chills.
by Words: 1842 Photos: 10