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 Lviv
Blogs from Lviv
Latest Blogs from Lviv
- March 18th 2012 Faces of Ukraine
by Words: 526 Photos: 17
- October 15th 2011 Are we in Ukraine yet?? This place looks like Krakow !
by Words: 2009 Photos: 33
- October 15th 2011 Is it Lviv's best kept secret??
by Words: 735 Photos: 12
- July 11th 2011 A poor excuse for a blog
by Words: 444 Photos: 11
- July 8th 2011 Our Hopes and Fears
by Words: 349 Photos: 21
- July 7th 2011 I can't believe it's not Russia!
by Words: 505 Photos: 30
- June 8th 2011 The Great Ukrainian Ice Cream Tour
by Words: 801 Photos: 58
- April 29th 2011 Lviv, Ukraine: Where Pigs Ride in Prams
by Words: 612 Photos: 23
- September 24th 2010 Lviv
by Words: 254 Photos: 53
- May 3rd 2010 Eurotrip starts with Lviv
by Words: 311 Photos: 9
- February 9th 2010 Lviv'ing it up
by Words: 3258 Photos: 22
- July 25th 2009 Ukraine IV - Western Ukraine
by Words: 1051 Photos: 26
- June 7th 2009 Down the hatch from Lutsk to Lviv
by Words: 1452 Photos: 15
- April 28th 2009 Lviv - partisan bar and lovely cemetary
by Words: 1810 Photos: 13
- March 29th 2009 Ukraine and Moldova July 2008.
by Words: 4097 Photos: 24
- January 1st 2009 Borderland.
by Words: 1226 Photos: 36
- October 27th 2008 Bye, Lviv
by Words: 62 Photos: 10
- October 22nd 2008 Looking for Lviv
by Words: 340 Photos: 31
- October 21st 2008 Journey to Lviv, Ukraine
by Words: 141 Photos: 29
- September 20th 2008 RAIN FOLLOWED US TO KAMYANET AND LVIV
by Words: 1174 Photos: 74