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perjantai 22. tammikuuta 2016

Ukraine, Cool Facts #94

<= 93. Moldova                                                                                                                95. Estonia =>

1. Kievan Rus'

The Kievan Rus' was a loose federation of East Slavic European tribes between 882-1240. Prince Oleg was the first ruler who extended his control from Novgorod towards the south along the Dnieper river. He moved the capital to Kiev, which was a more strategic location. 

Oleg tried to protect his areas from Khazar incursions and later there was a victorious war against the Khazar Empire. During the reign of Vladimir the Great, the Kievan Rus' adopted Christianity. The Kievan Rus was one of the largest and most powerful states in Europe in the 900s and 1000s. 

The state started declining after that and in 1132 the Kievan Rus' fragmented into separate principalities after the death of king Mstislav. The last blow was in 1240 when the Mongols destroyed the state terminally. 

Principalities of the Kievan Rus'

2. First independence

Between 1918-1922 there were various Ukrainian parties that declared their region independent. This was a result of the world war because current Ukrainian areas were part of the Empire of Austria-Hungary and Imperial Russia, which both fell after the war. Here are the different Ukrainian parties that declared independence:

1917-1921 Ukrainian People's Republic (predecessor of current Ukraine) first declared being part of the Russian Republic in 1917 but in 1918 declared independence
1918 Ukrainian State aka Hetmanate: anti-socialist government
1918-1920 Directorate of Ukraine
1917-1991 Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic: pro-Bolshevik government
1918-1919 West Ukrainian People's Republic: a republic in eastern Galicia
1919 Hutsul Republic

When the Bolsheviks fought against the imperial forces in Russia, there was simultaneously a war of independence in Ukraine between 1917-1921. Ukraine also lost western Ukraine to Poland in a war against Poland (1918-1919).

The Red Army won in Russia and their allies were supported in Ukraine where the Red Army destroyed the remnants of the white movement. In 1922 Ukraine was one of the founding members of the Soviet Union.

Ukrainian territorial growth map 1922-1954

3. Holodomor

Holodomor was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian SSR in 1932-1933 killing millions of people. The collectivization was one of the reasons and the poor planning and management. A lot of grain remained unharvested and a significant percentage was lost during the processing, transportation and storage.

The Ukrainians were also banned migrating to somewhere in the Soviet Union without food shortages and the government didn't give enough aid in the starving areas. It's told that Stalin's totalitarian regime wanted to punish the nationalism of Ukraine.

The situation was so bad that people started killing each other and eating dead people. Witnesses have told that good people, who rejected killing and eating other people died first.

The number of starved people varies between 2,5-12 million

4. Crimean Peninsula

Between 1449-1783 the Crimean Khanate ruled the Crimean Peninsula. It was established by the Tatars during the decline of the Golden Horde. In 1783 Crimea became part of the Imperial Russia. After the first world war the Crimean People's Republic was independent under a year in 1917-1918. 

Crimea was annexed to Soviet Union then and in 1954 the leader of Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, transferred Crimea from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR as a gift in the 300th anniversary celebration of the Russian and Ukrainian friendship. 

In 1654 Ukraine had been a vassal state of the Polish-Lithuanian Commowealth and asked for the military protection from the Tsardom of Russia in the Pereyaslav Agreement. 

During the second world war a lot of Tatars were deported to Kazakhstan from Crimea, so their percentage of the Crimean population is now only 12%. 

In 2014 during the chaotic situation in Ukraine, Russian forces entered Crimea and after a referendum the majority voted Crimea to join Russia. However the referendum was unrecognized and held invalid by the majority of the UN countries.

Crimean Khanate 1449-1783

5. Ukrainian Nationalism

The Ukrainian nationalism started rising in the 1800s and in 1876 the center of the nationalist movement moved from Kiova to Lvov, which was at the time part of Austria. Russians even banned Ukrainian literature and for example the key figure of the Ukranian nationalism, Taras Shevchenko was even convicted for writing in Ukranian language and promoting Ukrainian independence.

Tara Shevchenko was a member of the Brotherhood of Saint Cyril and Methodius, which was a cultural and political party envisioning the future of Ukraine. It was quickly suppressed and by 1847 all the members were in exile or imprisoned. In 1900 the Revolutionary Ukrainian Party was established and it had the aim to create an independent Ukraine extending from the Carpathians to the Caucasus.

In the beginning of the Soviet era national renaissance was encouraged in the Ukrainian culture and language but this ended when Stalin became the leader and suppressed this Ukraninisation, especially because the peasants in Ukraine rebelled against the forced collectivizations.

Taras Shevchenko 1814-1861
Taras on 100 hryvnia banknote


880 The Rus people had arrived to Kiev from the area around Ladoga and Novgorod establishing the Kievan Rus
900-1000s The Kievan Rus is the largest and most powerful state in Europe
1132 The Kievan Rus fragmented into separate principalities after the death of king Mstislav
1240 Kiev was totally destroyed by the Mongols
1253 Danylo Romanovich re-united all of south-western Rus becoming the first King of all Rus'. His kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia was one of the most powerful states in eastern Europe
1300s The Grand Duchy of Lithuania conquers Galicia-Volhynia
1441 The Crimean Khanate is established in the current southern Ukraine
1569 The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is established and so much of Ukrainian territory was transferred from Lithuania to Poland
1648 The Cossacs rise against the Polish Commonwealth with Bogdan Khmelnytsky
1657-1687 "The Ruin" a 30-year war between Russia, Poland, Turks and Cossacks for control of Ukraine
1687 After the "Eternal Peace Treaty" Russia and Poland divide Ukrainian areas together
1772, 1793 & 1795 During the three partitions of Poland between Russia, Prussia and Austria, Russia got Ukrainian lands east of the Dnieper and Austria the rest
1768-1774 After the Russo-Turkish War Catherine the Great and her successors encouraged German immigration into Ukraine and especially Crimea
1783 The Crimean Khanate is conquered by the Russian Empire
1800s Nationalism arose in Ukraine and the poet Taras Shevshenko was one of the key figures
1876 Russians ban Ukrainian literature and the center of the nationalist movement shifts from Kiova to Lvov, which was part of Austria at the time
1900 Ukrainian revolutionary party is established in Harkova demanding a sovereign Ukraine expanding from the Carpathian to the Caucasus Mountains
1918 As the Empires of Russia and Austria both were destroyed by the world war, the Ukrainian territories in Austria and Russia established independence as several separate states 
1918-1919 Poland defeated western Ukraine in the war and western Ukraine was then incorporated into Poland 
1922 Ukraine became a founding member of the Soviet Union with Russia, Belarus and Transcaucasia
1932-1933 Great Famine "Holodomor" as a result of Soviet forced collectivization of agriculture
1939 Russia and Germany divide Poland and Western Ukraine is united with the rest of Ukraine re-uniting the Ukrainian people
1940 Bessarabia and northern Bukovina were incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR
1945 After the war resistance in western Ukraine against Soviet Union 
1954 Crimea was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR from the Russian SFSR in the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Pereyaslav
1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident near Kiova
1991 Ukraine declares independence
2004 Viktor Yushchenko rises into power after the Orange Revolution
2010 Viktor Yanukovych is elected as the president
2014 Petro Poroshenko becomes the president after protests requiring Yanukovych to resign
2014 Russian troops entered Crimea and the majority voted to join Russia in a referendum


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