HISTORICAL NOTES ABOUT UKRAINE
Ukraine was the center of the first Slavic state, Kievan Rus, the largest and most powerful state in
Europe in the 10th century. Ukraine was overrun by Mongol hordes, Lithuania, and Poland for
centuries. During the latter part of the 18th century, Ukraine was absorbed by the Russian Empire.
There was a brief independence following the collapse of czarist Russia (1917-1921). However, beginning in 1921
Ukraine endured a brutal 70-year Soviet rule. The Soviet Union officially started in 1922 and Ukraine was forced to be a
member. The Soviets, under Stalin, engineered the great artificial famine (1932-33) in which 6-9
million Ukrainians died. Ukraine also lost seven or eight million in WWII. The Soviet Union collapsed in
1991 and Ukraine achieved independence on August 24 of that year.
CHRONOLOGY OF UKRAINE AND THE USSR
|1917 (Nov. 7)||
Bolshevik revolution with Vladimir Lenin a key person|
|1922 (Jan. 22)||
USSR formed (Ukraine forced to be a member)|
|1924 - 1953||
Joseph Stalin years|
|1932 - 1933 ||
Stalin's artificial famines kill 6-8 million in Ukraine|
|1940 - 1945 ||
World War II - 30 million Soviets, 1/4 Ukrainians, die|
Soviet Union detonates its first atomic bomb|
Cuban missile crisis with Soviet missiles in Cuba|
Nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, Ukraine on April 26|
Soviet Union collapses|
Ukraine gains independence on August 24|
Ukraine gains more religious freedom|
Ukraine joins World Trade Organization|
Ukraine and Poland co-host the Euro Cup|
|2014||Russia invades and takes Crimea (Feb. - Mar)|
|2014||Russia starts funding war in SE Ukraine.|
|2021||War in SE Ukraine continues - eight years and more than 15,000 killed (CIA)|
- Ukraine is in Eastern Europe, between Russia and Poland; the Black Sea is on the south.
- The largest country in Europe, Ukraine is 90% the size of Texas.
- Ukraine shares its border with Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Belarus, and
- Most of Ukraine consists of plateaus and fertile plains.
- The Carpathian mountains are found in the southwestern part of the country.
- The Crimean Peninsula extends into the Black Sea in the south.
- Ukraine is important geopolitically: at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, the West and the East.
UKRAINE NATIONAL DATA
- Ukraine has 44 million people.
- Ethnic groups include Ukrainians (77%), Russians (17%), and several others.
- The main languages are Ukrainian and Russian with some Romanian, Polish, and Hungarian.