Ukraine's History

Ukraine’s fertile plains were home to man since the dawn of time. In the centuries between 700BC-200BC the developed Scythian Kingdom ruled Ukraine. Greeks then Romans followed by Huns, Bulgars and Byzantium all held sway over varying parts of Ukraine until the founding of the mighty Kievian Rus, a Viking/Slavic Kingdom that dominated between the 9th and 12th Centuries. The Mongol invasion of 1240 destroyed Kiev, and its state, and fragmenting the region until the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth ruled the entire area from 1569. The Turkish and their satellite Crimean Khanate ruled the south while the rest joined Russia. By 1795 Poland was carved up, most of Ukraine under Russian rule but its western region went to Austria. In 1918 Ukraine declared independence following the breakup of Austria and Russia but was attacked by both Poland and the Soviet Union who again divided Ukraine in 1921. Between 1941-44 Ukraine was horrifically devastated in WWII.

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Ukraine again became independent following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 but has maintained close ties with both Russia and Belarus. The Russian Black Sea Fleet is still headquartered in Ukraine’s Crimea. In 2004 Ukraine experienced its peaceful Orange Revolution which saw its Government change from pro-Russian to pro-Europe. In 2010 the corrupt and inept Viktor Yanukovych returned to power only be overthrown in an unconstitutional popular revolt which has triggered civil war. The people of Crimea voted to leave Ukraine for Russia while citizens in Donetsk and Lugansk voted for independence. On 17 July 2014 Ukrainian forces shot down MH17 over Donetsk territory and have blamed the rebels, claiming Russia was showhow involved.

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