Ukraine

Ukraine

History of Ukraine

The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kyivan Rus' forming the basis of Ukrainian identity. Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, the territory was contested, ruled and divided by a variety of powers, including the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was eventually split between Poland and the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, a Ukrainian national movement for self-determination emerged and the internationally recognized Ukrainian People's Republic was declared on 23 June 1917. After World War II the Western part of Ukraine merged into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and the whole country became a part of the Soviet Union as a single state entity. Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War. Before its independence, Ukraine was typically referred to in English as "The Ukraine", but most sources have since moved to drop "the" from the name of Ukraine in all uses.

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