Ukraine

Ukraine

  1. History
  2. Ukraine is a unitary republic
  3. Settlement
  4. The establishment of the Kievan Rus'
  5. Geography
  6. Industrial Revolution

Ukraine (Ukrainian: Україна, romanized: Ukraïna, pronounced [ʊkrɐˈjinɐ] (listen)) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders to the east and northeast.[a][11] Ukraine covers approximately 600,000 square kilometres (230,000 sq mi).[b] Prior to the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, it was the eighth-most populous country in Europe, with a population of around 41 million people.[c][6] It is also bordered by Belarus to the north; by Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; and by Romania and Moldova[d] to the southwest; with a coastline along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to the south and southeast.[e] Kyiv is the nation's capital and largest city. The country's national language is Ukrainian, and most people are also fluent in Russian.[14]

History

During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture under the state of Kievan Rus', which emerged in the 9th century and was ultimately destroyed by the Mongol invasions of the 13th century. After the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia emerged, the area was contested, divided, and ruled by a variety of external powers for the next 600 years, including the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Austrian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Tsardom of Russia. The Cossack Hetmanate emerged in central Ukraine in the 17th century, but was partitioned between Russia and Poland, and ultimately absorbed by the Russian Empire. After the Russian Revolution, a Ukrainian national movement re-emerged, and formed the Ukrainian People's Republic in 1917. This short-lived state was forcibly reconstituted by the Bolsheviks into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which became a founding member of the Soviet Union in 1922. In the 1930s, millions of Ukrainians were killed by the Holodomor, a Stalin-era man-made famine.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine regained independence and declared itself neutral,[15] forming a limited military partnership with the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States, while also joining the Partnership for Peace with NATO in 1994. In 2013, a series of mass demonstrations, known as the Euromaidan, erupted across Ukraine, eventually escalating into the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, which led to the establishment of a new government and pro-Russian unrest. During this period, unmarked Russian troops invaded the Crimean Peninsula, which was later annexed by Russia; and pro-Russia unrest in Ukraine's Donbas culminated in Russia-backed separatists seizing territory throughout the region, sparking the War in Donbas. This series of events marked the beginning of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, and in a major escalation of the conflict in February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Since the outbreak of war with Russia in 2014, Ukraine has continued to seek closer economic, political, and military ties with the Western world, including with the United States, European Union, and NATO.[16]

Ukraine is a unitary republic

Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system and a developing country, ranking 77th on the Human Development Index. Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe by nominal GDP per capita,[17] and has high levels of corruption.[18][19] However, due to its extensive fertile land, pre-war Ukraine was one of the largest grain exporters in the world.[20][21] It is a founding member of the United Nations, as well as a member of the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization, and the OSCE, and is in the process of joining the European Union and becoming a NATO member.[22]

In the English-speaking world during most of the 20th century, Ukraine (whether independent or not) was referred to as "the Ukraine".[24] This is because the word ukraina means "borderland"[25] so the definite article would be natural in the English language; this is similar to "Nederlanden", which means "low lands" and is rendered in English as "the Netherlands".[26] However, since Ukraine's declaration of independence in 1991, this usage has become politicised and is now rarer, and style guides advise against its use.[27][28] US ambassador William Taylor said that using "the Ukraine" implies disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty.[29] The official Ukrainian position is that "the Ukraine" is incorrect, both grammatically and politically.[30] History Main article: History of Ukraine Early history Early Indo-European migrations from the Pontic steppes of present-day Ukraine and Russia[31]

Settlement

Settlement by modern humans in Ukraine and its vicinity dates back to 32,000 BC, with evidence of the Gravettian culture in the Crimean Mountains.[32][33] By 4,500 BC, the Neolithic Cucuteni–Trypillia culture was flourishing in wide areas of modern Ukraine, including Trypillia and the entire Dnieper-Dniester region. Ukraine is also considered to be the likely location of the first domestication of the horse.[34][35][36][37] The Kurgan hypothesis places the Volga-Dnieper region of Ukraine and southern Russia as the urheimat of the Proto-Indo-Europeans.[38] Early Indo-European migrations from the Pontic steppes in the 3rd millennium BC spread Yamnaya Steppe pastoralist ancestry and Indo-European languages across large parts of Europe.[39] During the Iron Age, the land was inhabited by Iranian-speaking Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians.[40] Between 700 BC and 200 BC it was part of the Scythian kingdom.[41]

From the 6th century BC, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine colonies were established on the north-eastern shore of the Black Sea, such as at Tyras, Olbia, and Chersonesus. These thrived into the 6th century AD. The Goths stayed in the area, but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s. In the 7th century, the territory that is now eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria. At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, and the Khazars took over much of the land.[42]

In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Early Slavic, Antes people lived in Ukraine. The Antes were the ancestors of Ukrainians: White Croats, Severians, Eastern Polans, Drevlyans, Dulebes, Ulichians, and Tiverians. Migrations from the territories of present-day Ukraine throughout the Balkans established many South Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching almost to Lake Ilmen, led to the emergence of the Ilmen Slavs, Krivichs, and Radimichs, the groups ancestral to the Russians. 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.[43][need quotation to verify] Golden Age of Kyiv Main articles: Kievan Rus' and Kingdom of Ruthenia The furthest extent of Kievan Rus', 1054–1132

The establishment of the Kievan Rus'

The establishment of the Kievan Rus' remains obscure and uncertain; there are at least three versions depending on interpretations of the chronicles.[44] In general, the state included much of present-day Ukraine, Belarus and the western part of European Russia.[45] According to the Primary Chronicle the Rus' elite and rulers initially consisted of Varangians from Scandinavia.[46] In 882, the pagan Prince Oleg (Oleh) conquered Kyiv from Askold and Dir and proclaimed it as the capital of the Rus'.[47] However, it is also believed that the East Slavic tribes along the southern parts of the Dnieper River were already in the process of forming a state independently.[48] In any case, the Varangians later assimilated into the Slavic population and became part of the first Rus' dynasty, the Rurik dynasty.[45] Kievan Rus' was composed of several principalities ruled by the interrelated Rurikid kniazes ("princes"), who often fought each other for possession of Kyiv.[49]

During the 10th and 11th centuries, Kievan Rus' became the largest and most powerful state in Europe, a period known as its Golden Age.[50] It began with the reign of Vladimir the Great (980–1015), who turned Rus' toward Byzantine Christianity. During the reign of his son, Yaroslav the Wise (1019–1054), Kievan Rus' reached the zenith of its cultural development and military power.[45] The state soon fragmented as the relative importance of regional powers rose again. After a final resurgence under the rule of Vladimir II Monomakh (1113–1125) and his son Mstislav (1125–1132), Kievan Rus' finally disintegrated into separate principalities following Mstislav's death, though ownership of Kyiv would still carry great prestige for decades.[51] In the 11th and 12th centuries, the nomadic confederacy of the Turkic-speaking Cumans and Kipchaks was the dominant force in the Pontic steppe north of the Black Sea.[52]

The 13th-century Mongol invasion devastated Kievan Rus' and Kyiv was completely destroyed in 1240.[53] On today's Ukrainian territory, the principalities of Halych and Volodymyr-Volynskyi arose, and were merged into the state of Galicia–Volhynia.[54] Daniel of Galicia, son of Roman the Great, re-united much of south-western Rus', including Volhynia, Galicia and the ancient capital of Kyiv. He was subsequently crowned by the papal archbishop as the first king of the newly created Kingdom of Ruthenia in 1253.[55] Foreign domination See also: Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, Crimean Khanate, Ottoman Empire, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Russian Empire The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth at its maximum extent in 1619. Poland and the Polish Crown exercised power over much of Ukraine after 1569.

In 1349, Ruthenia ceased to exist as an independent entity in the aftermath of the Galicia–Volhynia Wars, with its lands partitioned between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.[56] From the mid-13th century to the late 1400s the Republic of Genoa founded numerous colonies in the Black Sea region of modern Ukraine and transformed these into large commercial centers headed by the consul, a representative of the Republic.[57] In 1430, the region of Podolia was incorporated into Poland and Ukraine became increasingly settled by Polish colonisers.[58] In 1441, Genghisid prince Haci I Giray founded the Crimean Khanate on the Crimean Peninsula and the surrounding steppes;[59] the Khanate orchestrated Tatar slave raids and took an estimated two million Ruthenian slaves.[60][61]

geography

Deprived of native protectors among Rus nobility, the peasants and townspeople began turning for protection to the emerging Zaporozhian Cossacks. In the mid-17th century, a Cossack military quasi-state, the Zaporozhian Host, was formed by Dnieper Cossacks and Ruthenian peasants.[63] Poland exercised little real control over this population, but found the Cossacks to be useful against the Turks and Tatars,[64] and at times the two were allies in military campaigns.[65] However, the continued harsh enserfment of Ruthenian peasantry by Polish overlords and the suppression of the Orthodox Church alienated the Cossacks.[64] The latter did not shy from taking up arms against those they perceived as enemies and occupiers, including the Polish Catholic state with its local representatives.[66] Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky established an independent Cossack state after the 1648 uprising against Poland.

In 1648, Bohdan Khmelnytsky led the largest of the Cossack uprisings against the Commonwealth and the Polish king, which enjoyed wide support from the local population.[67] Khmelnytsky founded the Cossack Hetmanate, which existed until 1764 (some sources claim until 1782).[68] After Khmelnytsky suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Berestechko in 1651, he turned to the Russian tsar for help. In 1654, Khmelnytsky was subject to the Pereiaslav Agreement, 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 Ottoman Empire, and Cossacks, known as "The Ruin" (1657-1686), for control of the Cossack Hetmanate. The "Treaty of Perpetual Peace" between Russia and Poland in 1686 divided the lands of the Cossack Hetmanate between them, reducing the portion over which Poland had claimed sovereignty to Ukraine west of the Dnieper river. In 1686, the Metropolitanate of Kyiv was annexed by the Moscow Patriarchate through a synodal letter of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Dionysius IV, thus placing the Metropolitanate of Kyiv under the authority of Moscow. An attempt to reverse the decline was undertaken by Cossack Hetman Ivan Mazepa (1639–1709), who ultimately defected to the Swedes in the Great Northern War (1700-1721) in a bid to get rid of Russian dependence,[69] but they were crushed in the Battle of Poltava (1709).[69] Russia's victory over Charles XII of Sweden and his ally Ivan Mazepa at the Battle of Poltava (1709) destroyed Cossack autonomy.

The Hetmanate's autonomy was severely restricted since Poltava. In the years 1764–1781, Catherine the Great incorporated much of Central Ukraine into the Russian Empire, abolishing the Cossack Hetmanate and the Zaporozhian Sich, and was one of the people responsible for the suppression of the last major Cossack uprising, the Koliivshchyna.[70] After the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 1783, the newly acquired lands, now called Novorossiya, were opened up to settlement by Russians.[71] The tsarist autocracy established a policy of Russification, suppressing the use of the Ukrainian language and curtailing the Ukrainian national identity.[72] The western part of present-day Ukraine was subsequently split between Russia and Habsburg-ruled Austria after the fall of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795. 19th and early 20th century Main articles: Southwestern Krai, Kharkov Governorate, and Chernigov Governorate Further information: Ukraine during World War I, Ukraine after the Russian Revolution, Ukrainian War of Independence, and Ukrainian–Soviet War Polish troops enter Kyiv in May 1920 during the Polish–Soviet War. Following the Peace of Riga signed on 18 March 1921, Poland took control of modern-day western Ukraine while Soviets took control of eastern and central Ukraine.

The 19th century saw the rise of Ukrainian nationalism. With growing urbanization and modernization and a cultural trend toward romantic nationalism, the Ukrainian intelligentsia committed to national rebirth and social justice emerged. The serf-turned-national-poet Taras Shevchenko (1814–1861) and political theorist Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841–1895) led the growing nationalist movement.[73][74] While conditions for its development in Austrian Galicia under the Habsburgs were relatively lenient,[75] the Russian part (known as Little Russia) faced severe restrictions, going as far as banning virtually all books from being published in Ukrainian in 1876.

Industrial Revolution

Ukraine joined the Industrial Revolution later than most of Western Europe[76] due to the maintenance of serfdom until 1861. Other than near the newly discovered coal fields of the Donbas, and in some larger cities such as Odesa and Kyiv, Ukraine largely remained an agricultural and resource extraction economy.[77] 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 in countries such as Canada, the United States and Brazil.[78] Some of the Ukrainians settled in the Far East, too. According to the 1897 census, there were 223,000 ethnic Ukrainians in Siberia and 102,000 in Central Asia.[79] An additional 1.6 million emigrated to the east in the ten years after the opening of the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1906.[80] Far Eastern areas with an ethnic Ukrainian population became known as Green Ukraine.[81]

Ukraine plunged into turmoil with the beginning of World War I, and fighting on Ukrainian soil persisted until late 1921. Initially, the Ukrainians were split between Austria-Hungary, fighting for the Central Powers, though the vast majority served in the Imperial Russian Army, which was part of the Triple Entente, under Russia.[82] As the Russian Empire collapsed, the conflict evolved into the Ukrainian War of Independence, with Ukrainians fighting alongside, or against, the Red, White, Black 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 (UNR), was first announced by Mykhailo Hrushevsky, but the period was plagued by an extremely unstable political and military environment. It was first deposed in a coup d'état led by Pavlo Skoropadskyi, which yielded the Ukrainian State 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 and Hutsul Republic also failed to join the rest of Ukraine.[83]