History of Ukraine

By | April 28, 2022

Modern Ukraine as an independent state appeared on the political map of Europe in the year of 1991.

According to historyaah, the formation of the state territory was a long and complex historical process. The most ancient state formation on the lands of present-day Ukraine was the Scythian state (7-3 centuries BC). The first state of the ancient Slavs on this territory was the tribal union of the Apts (4th-1st century BC), located from the Prut valley and the upper reaches of the Southern Bug to the middle reaches of the Don, from Polissya to the Black Sea. Historian M. Grushevsky considered this formation to be a Ukrainian “great-power”. In the 7th-8th centuries. the forest and forest-steppe zone was inhabited by East Slavic tribes, which the oldest chronicles call Polans, Northerners, Drevlyans, Buzhans, Volhynians, Ulichs, Tivertsy, White Croats. It was they who became the basis for the formation of the Ukrainian ethnos. The lands of these ancient Slavs in the 9th-10th centuries. AD were united around Kyiv as the political and economic core of the state of Kievan Rus. At the time of its greatest prosperity, the territory of Kievan Rus stretched from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea and from the Eastern Carpathians to the upper reaches of the Volga.

The history of Kievan Rus is divided into three periods:

1) dynamic development in the reign of Oleg and Igor (882-972);

2) the reign of Vladimir the Great – the adoption of Christianity (980-1015) and the reign of Yaroslav the Wise (1019-54), when the state reached its greatest economic, political and cultural power;

3) the last period after the death of Yaroslav the Wise in 1054 is identified with the decline of Kievan Rus. In 1240, after the capture of Kyiv by the Mongol-Tatars, he lost his political role.

The name “Ukraine” first appeared on the pages of ancient Russian chronicles in the 12th century, denoting Pereyaslav, Kyiv and Chernihiv lands. Later, it acquired ethnic significance and spread to all lands inhabited by Ukrainians. The name “Rus” was widely used in chronicles, along with “Ukraine”.

The center of the Ukrainian state is transferred to the Galicia-Volyn principality, headed by Prince Danila of Galicia. After the death of Danila (1264), this state also fell into decay. All R. 14th c. Its lands were seized by neighbors: Lithuania, Poland, Hungary. See ehistorylib for more about Ukraine history.

The revival of Ukrainian statehood is associated with the emergence of the Zaporozhian Sich, the Cossacks, and the national liberation war of 1648–54 led by Bogdan Khmelnitsky. The state-military formations of the period of the Cossacks contributed to the formation of national consciousness, defended the political, ethnocultural, and religious traditions of the Ukrainian people. The desire to preserve statehood forced Bogdan Khmelnitsky to conclude an agreement in 1654 in Pereyaslav (Pereyaslav Rada) with the Moscow kingdom for joint actions against Poland. However, taking advantage of the situation, Moscow violated the treaty and concluded the Andrusovo truce with Poland in 1667, according to which the Left-bank Ukraine with Kyiv entered the Muscovite state, and the Right-bank Ukraine went to Poland. Until the 2nd floor. 18th century autonomous entities existed within Russia and Poland, where Ukrainians lived. These are Zaporozhye (in the lower reaches of the Dnieper) and the Hetmanate on the Left Bank. After the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich in 1775 and the liquidation of the hetmanate (the center of political life) by Catherine II, Ukraine was divided between the Russian (eastern part) and Austro-Hungarian (western part) empires for almost 150 years. Right-bank Ukraine and Volyn went to Russia, and Galicia and Bukovina – to Austria-Hungary.

Throughout the 19th century the entire Ukrainian ethnic territory grew by almost a third due to the colonization of the southern steppes by the Russian Empire and came to the coast of the Black and Azov Seas and the Kuban River. At the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. it reached an area of ​​at least 750 thousand km2. In the 20th century The most significant events that influenced the formation of the territory and borders of Ukraine were the geopolitical consequences of World War I (1914–18), the Civil War (1918–22), and the February Revolution in Russia (1917). Three Ukrainian states emerged in 1917–18: the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UNR, with Kyiv as its capital), the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, with Kharkov as its capital), and the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic (ZUNR, with Lvov as its center). In early 1919, the UNR and ZUNR proclaimed the unification of their lands, but the independent Ukrainian state came to an end as a result of the revolutionary events in Russia. After the fall of the UNR, the Ukrainian territory was divided between four states: the USSR (central and eastern parts), Poland (western part), Romania (Bukovina) and Czechoslovakia (Transcarpathia). From December 30, 1922 to December 1991, the Ukrainian SSR was part of the USSR. In 1934 the capital of the Ukrainian SSR was moved from Kharkov to Kyiv.

The state territory of modern Ukraine was finally formed as a result of the 2nd World War. In 1939, Western Ukrainian lands became part of the Ukrainian SSR, and the border with Poland was finally established in 1945. In 1940, Northern Bukovina and part of Bessarabia joined the Ukrainian SSR. In 1941–44 Ukraine was occupied by the Nazis, and a partisan movement developed. By the autumn of 1943, the Soviet Army had liberated the Left-Bank Ukraine, and in October 1944, the entire territory of the republic. In June 1945 Transcarpathian Ukraine was reunited with the Ukrainian SSR. In 1954 Crimea was transferred to Ukraine from Russia, after which the state territory did not change.

On August 24, 1991, the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR declared independence by adopting an appropriate act. This fact was confirmed at the all-Ukrainian referendum on December 1, 1991. As a result of the signing by the leaders of the three former Soviet republics within the USSR – Russia, Ukraine, Belarus of the Belovezhskaya agreements on December 8, 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. So Ukraine finally became an independent state. In 1996 the Constitution of the Republic of Ukraine was adopted.

History of Ukraine