Ukraine means 'Borderland'

That was this country really: Northerly of the Black Sea at the steppe area, the country formed between the resident people and the nomad, between the Slav's Christianity and the Islam of the Turko Tartars, a border.

The Empire of Kiev: 9th - 13th Century

During the Slavic traveling movements East Slavs came to areas of the present day Russia and the present day Ukraine. Kiev, a convenient base of the long distance trade, was the center of the Slavic empire which was emerged in the 9. century.

Jaroslav The Wise introduced the seniorat, a succession order. Nevertheless there was disputes again and again, first between the brothers - then between uncles and nephews. In the 13. century disintegrated the Kiever empire finally. The fragmentation into several principalities, strengthened the power of the principalities Vladimir-Suzdal in the northeast and Halyc-Volin in the southwest.

Galicia Wolhynien: 13th - 14th Century

In the year 1199 the union of Wolhynien and Galicia introduced through the Wolhynian prince Roman Mstislavic took place shortly before his death. Being efforts was continued by his son Danylo Romanovyc, which was born 1201.

In the following century new cities were established, under them L'viv in the year 1256. In the cities settled besides German merchants and craftspersons also Ostslawen, Jews and Armenians. These were fetched from the eastern areas near the steppe area into the country by Danylo Romanovyc and his successors.

In the year 1240 the Tartars conquered the southern areas of the Rus'.

The Mongolian Tatarian reign was not just loose, it afforded to Galicia Wolhynien also protection opposite Poland and Hungary which claims areas of the principality again and again. There one feared another advancing of the Mongolians to Middle and Western Europe.

The establishing Bojar class (members of the not princely aristocracy) became considerably and a competition for the princely aristocracy. Together with other Russian princes the Bojars was jointly responsible for the political disintegration Galicia Wolhyniens from the end of the 13. century.

1340 Wolhynien was occupied by Lithuania. At the latest 1370 the entire Wolhynien and East Podolien pass over to Lithuania. The remaining countries of Galicia Wolhynien became Polish at 1387. In the year 1772 Galicia became a part of the Habsburger Monarchy.

Poland Lithuania: 13th - 18th Century

The principality Lithuania originated in the first half of the 13. century. In the 14. century was Lithuania the strongest power in Eastern Europe. It reached from the Baltic Sea up to the Black Sea. It was a multi ethnic empire where the bulk of the population were orthodox East Slavs, whose faith was tolerated of the heathen Lithuanians.

After that parts of the Principality Galicia Wolhynien passed to the Kingdom Poland in the 14. century, for the moment in Poland one was endeavoured to the retention of the social and legality structures as well as the orthodox faith.

However only Catholics could reach into the pleasure of noble privileges. Therefore in the 15. century almost the entire aristocracy Galicias had changed over to the Roman Catholic faith. Same happened in the principality Lithuania. 1569 the Union Contract of Lublin between Lithuania and Poland originated, through which Lithuania had lost the biggest part of its independence, and the Ukrainian areas were subordinated to the Kingdom Poland directly.

The social gap between the Catholic and the Orthodox population extended. While the Catholic aristocracy was privileged, the Orthodox lower class was restricted in their liberty and property rights.

Towards the end of the 16. century many farmers escaped into the north stepe area of the Black Sea and formed an alliance with there living Cossaks. Polish great land owner was lent wide estates in the Ukraine. The repressed orthodox farmers had to pay depositing, which were collected by Jews in the name of the Polish king. This dependence stirred up the hate against the Jews.

From 1717 the Kingdom Poland Lithuania was under Russian protectorate. 1795 the areas north and east of Galicias became connected to Russia. Poland has ceased to exist at this time.

The Cossaks and the Rebellion of Chmel'nyc'kyj: 15th - 18th Century

The Tartars, which lived in the steppes north of the Black Sea, was free warriors. They filled defense tasks for different sovereigns in the areas at the edge of the steppe. In return for this, they were exempted from taxes, were entitled to hold country and to produce spirits. At the end of the 16. century besides Ukrainian and Russian farmers also city dwellers and members of the low aristocracy agreed with this 'independent warriers' (= Cossaks).

After the Union of Lublin in the border area the life had changed. The easy social structures were replaced by manorial structures. The usufruct at ground was replaced by the absolute title. From this time, Mercenary Cossaks and Register Cossaks exist also besides the free Cossaks. The Register Cossaks served constantly and enjoyed privileges, while the Mercenary Cossaks served only on time.

The decline of the Polish Empire as East European Great Power was introduced by the rebellion of the Cossaks in the year 1648. Occasion to it was the fate of Bohdan Chmel'nyc'kyj. Chmel'nyc'kyj was a loyal follower of the Polish king, moreover well informed and Catholic educated. Afterwards its complaint regarding a robbery was been unheard by the king, he retreated into the steppe and rally rounded unsatisfied Cossaks. The people of the border area affiliated with the rebellious Cossaks.

The Cossaks itself allied with the Crimea Tartares and inflicted heavy losses to the Polish troops. The Jew pogroms which at this time took place, were at variance to the traditional tolerance of the Cossaks.

1648 became Chmel'nyc'kyj in Kiev as 'liberator' celebrated. 1649 declared the Tartars the alliance as dissolved. 1654 signed the Cossaks the Contract Of Perejaslav and affiliated with Russia. 1667 afterwards the Peace Of Andrusovo, became the East Ukraine affiliated to the Polish Kingdom and the West Ukraine to the Russian Tsar Empire. In the 18. century the autonomy of the Cossaks became step by step restricted and vanished 1783, as the Cossak army was disbanded, finally.

The control over the steppe areas north of the Black Sea had now taken on Russia. In the years 1781 until 1783 the left-bank-sided Ukraine (to the east of the Dnepr) became russified under cooperation with the cossakian top layer, which had gotten privileges for that.

The Russian form of the serfdom, which continued until 1861, was introduced and meant for the farmers, that they haven't the right to leave their residential and workplace.

Habsburger Empire, Russian Tsar Empire: 19th Century

Galicia became member of the Habsburger Monarchy at 1772. The areas to the north and to the east of Galicias were connected to Russia at 1795. Up to the year 1918 the Ukrainian areas were subjugated these two empires. The life of the Ukrainian population growed differently: While in the year 1876 the politics of Russia against Ukrainians led to the prohibition of the Ukrainian writing language, the theater and the literature, the Ukrainian of Galicia were equated other nationalities of the Habsburger Empire.

The Soviet Ukraine: 20th Century

In June 1920 the Bolschewiki took on the power in Kiev. In March 1921 Poland accepted the Soviet Ukraine in international law in the framework of the Peace contract Of Riga. In December 1922 the Ukrainian Soviet Republic became joined together with the Russian, the White-Russian and the Trans-Caucasus-Republic to the Union Of The Soviet Republics. For the moment was Charkiv the capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic.

Whereas in the twenties of the last century the Ukrainian language and culture were promoted, cadre positions with natives occupied and the Ukrainian language became official style, it behaved contrary in the thirties. From 1933 on became the Ukraine russified. Almost the entire political, economic and cultural elite of the Ukraine was murdered or in criminal camp deported. The substitute formed Russians. From 1938 on became the Russian language the compulsory subject at the schools and universities. Under the reign of Chruschtschow the entire state and party leadership became, partially more times, replaced, like throughout in the Soviet Union, on command of Stalin.

On June 30, 1941 the German troops occupied the Ukraine. Until end of 1944 the red army recaptured all occupied areas.

In June 1941 the Ukrainian nationalists in L'viv under leadership of Stepan Bandera exclaimed the independence of the Ukraine, the 'Republic of Lemberg', lasted only few days.

In the years 1944-46 became the in Poland living Ukrainians and in the Ukraine living Poles 'interchanged' in the course of ethnic cleanings.

At the same time Stalin ordered - because of alleged collaboration with the German - to deport all minorities, Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks, German and others, from the peninsula Crimea to Asia. In the year 1954 the 1921 founded Autonomous Socialistic Soviet Republic Crimea became connected to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic.

The end of the Soviet Ukraine came about, as the Ukraine explained its independence on August 24, 1991, afterwards a putsch attempt against president Gorbatschow was undertaken in Moscow.

On December 15, 2000 becomes the nuclear power plant Chernobyl, in which at April 26, 1986 the reactor block IV exploded, finally shut down. Until then died, according to official statements, approximately 3.000 of over 80.000 for protection works assigned 'Liquidators', at the radiation consequences.

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