Archive for the ‘Ukraine’ Category

Ukraine Travel guide at Wikivoyage

Ukraine (Ukrainian: ) is a large country in Eastern Europe. It lies at the northwest end of the Black Sea, with Russia to the east, Belarus to the north, Poland to the northwest, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, and Romania to the south west and south, with Moldova in between.

Most parts of the country are still as safe as before the war, as the fighting zone is contained and also very far from Kiev and most parts of the country, where life goes on as normal.

While the international community recognizes Crimea as part of Ukraine, it is under the de facto control of Russia, and travellers can only realistically reach it from Russia. Accordingly, we cover it as part of Southern Russia. This is not a political endorsement of claims by either side in the dispute.

Below is a selection of nine of Ukraine’s most notable cities. Other cities can be found under their specific regions.

See also UNESCO World Heritage List, Ukraine section

Most of Ukraine (the central and eastern portions) was formerly a part of the Russian Empire; after the October Revolution and the Civil War, the entire country, known as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, was a part of the Soviet Union. Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe, albeit with one of the most rapidly declining populations of any large country due to high emigration, low immigration, early deaths (particularly amongst males) and a shrinking birthrate that was already below replacement levels.

Ukrainian history is long and proud, with the inception of Kyivan Rus (possibly founded by Swedish Vikings) as the most powerful state in Medieval Europe. While this state fell prey to Mongol conquest, the western part of Ukraine became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from the 14th until the 18th century, even modern Ukraine owes it a debt of sorts. A subsequent Ukrainian state was able, in the face of pressure from the ascendant Muscovy, to remain autonomous for more than a century, but the Russian Empire absorbed much of Ukraine in the 18th century to the detriment of their culture and identity.

Despite a brief, but uncertain, flash of independence at the end of the czarist regime, Ukraine was incorporated into the new USSR after the Russian Civil War in 1922 and subject to two disastrous famines (1932-33 and 1946) as well as brutal fighting during World War II. As a Soviet republic, the Ukrainian language was often ‘sidelined’ when compared to Russian to varying degrees; Stalinist repressions during the 1930s, attempts at decentralisation during the Khrushchev administration and the re-tightening of control during the Brezhnev-Kosygin era of the 1970s and early 1980s. In any case, the traditionally bilingual province had signs in both Russian and Ukrainian in virtually all cities, including Lviv, where Ukrainian is most prevalent. The 1986 Chernobyl accident was a further catastrophe for the republic but also widely considered as an event which, in the long run, galvanized the population’s regional sentiment and led to increasing pressure on the central Soviet government to promote autonomy.

Ukraine declared its sovereignty within the Soviet Union in July 1990 as a prelude to unfolding events in the year to come. The Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s Parliament) again declared its independence in early December 1991 following the results of a referendum in November 1991 which indicated overwhelming popular support (90% in favour of independence). This declaration became a concrete reality as the Soviet Union formally ceased to exist on 25 December 1991. Initially, severe economic difficulties, hyperinflation, and oligarchic rule prevailed in the early years following independence. The issues of cronyism, corruption and alleged voting irregularities came to a head during the heavily-disputed 2004 Presidential election, where allegations of vote-rigging sparked what became known as the “Orange Revolution”. This revolution resulted in the subsequent election of opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko as President. During the ongoing five years the “Orange coalition” broke up and Viktor Yushchenko lost the support of majority of Ukrainians. Ironically, his former adversary Viktor Yanukovich was elected President; ultimately the pro-Russian Yanukovich was ousted in early 2014 after months of popular protest against his failure to complete a key trade agreement with the European Union, but his departure comes at a time when the nation’s treasury is empty and the government in disarray.

For the most up-to-date information please visit Visa Requirements For Foreigners page of the MFA government website. Select your country to get more information.

More up-to-date country-specific information and requirements may be available at Ukraine’s Embassy website. You may find a list of embassies of Ukraine here, on official government MFA website: press ‘Find an Embassy’ and select your region and then country or visit MFA website, Visa requirements page.

Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan can visit and stay in Ukraine indefinitely visa free. However, citizens of Moldova and Uzbekistan must hold proof of sufficient funds on arrival.

Citizens of all European Union member states, Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Russia, San Marino, St. Kitts and Nevis, South Korea, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United States/American Samoa and Vatican City can visit visa free for up to 90 days within a 180 day period. However, citizens of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan must also have proof of sufficient funds when arriving in Ukraine. For citizens of Mongolia, the visa free only applies to service, tourist and private trips on conditions that documents certifying the purpose of the trip are provided.

Citizens of Argentina can visit visa free for up to 90 days within a 365 day period.

Citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei and Serbia can visit visa free for up to 30 days within a 60-day period.

Citizens of Hong Kong can visit visa free for up to 14 days.

Those holding a diplomatic or official/service passports of Albania, Cambodia, Chile, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Laos, Morocco, North Korea, Peru, Qatar, Singapore, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam and only diplomatic passports of India and Mexico do not require a visa for Ukraine.

For the most up-to-date details, visit MFA website, Visa On Arrival page

More up-to-date country-specific information and requirements may be available at Ukraine’s Embassy website. You may find a list of embassies of Ukraine here, on official government MFA website: press ‘Find an Embassy’ and select your region and then country or visit MFA website, Visa requirements page.

Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, China (PRC), Dominica, East Timor, El Salvador, Guatemala, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, New Zealand, Oman, Palau, Peru, Qatar, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu can visit Ukraine for up to 15 days, provided that the citizens of the countries obtain a visa at the Kyiv Boryspil Airport, Kyiv Zhuliany Airport or Odesa Airport (as of August 2017).

Those obtaining a visa on arrival need to provide one of the following documents:

Please note, the Visa Office at the airport is only open between 9:00am and 7:30pm. Arrivals outside of these hours must first wait for the office to open before a visa will be issued and then proceed to Passport Control. It is also important to note that at times, the Visa on Arrival office may suffer from a lack of manpower (for example, a single officer to deal with a plane of passengers manually doing data entry for all fields of the application form as well as single handedly doing all necessary checks and controls). This can lead to delays in exiting the airport of 2-4 hours, which is especially crucial to note for transit visa applicants hoping to do a day trip into Kyiv. If you have limited time, then you may consider an ordinary visa application at your embassy. Payment for Visa on Arrival can be done by credit card.

For other countries, visas are obtainable within a few hours of visiting a Ukrainian consulate/embassy. ‘Letter of invitation’ from friend, family member, perspective lodging or business provider may be required. For the most up-to-date details, visit MFA website, Visa requirements page and select your country from the list. Information below may be not up-to-date.

More up-to-date country-specific information and requirements may be available at Ukraine’s Embassy website. You may find a list of embassies of Ukraine here, on official government MFA website: press ‘Find an Embassy’ and select your region and then country or visit MFA website, Visa requirements page.

Always know how much currency you have with you. Customs officials might inquire about the amount being brought into the country. It is prohibited to bring large amounts of Ukrainian currency (hryvnia) in to the country unless it was declared upon leaving Ukraine. Cash equvivalent of EUR 10,000 or more must be declared upo entry or leaving Ukraine.

When entering the country you will no longer normally be required to complete an immigration form. However, if your passport has no space for stamps, or you don’t want it to be stamped, you can still fill out an immigration form at home and have it stamped instead of the passport.

Citizens of Australia, Albania, Guatemala, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore do not require a invitation letter to visit Ukraine.

After the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014, Russian immigration and custom agencies started operating in the peninsula’s ports of entries. It was announced by the Russian authorities on April 1, 2014, that foreign citizens would need regular Russian entry visas to visit Crimea. However, Crimea’s authorities plan to petition Russia’s federal government for introducing a simplified visa regime for certain categories of short-term visitors, different from that applied in mainland Russia.

Since Ukraine does not recognize Russian’s annexation of the peninsula, an entry to Crimea not from mainland Ukraine is considered by the Ukrainian authorities as an “illegal entry to the territory of Ukraine”. If the fact of such a visit is discovered by the Ukrainian border authorities when a foreign national later tries to enter the mainland Ukraine, the foreign citizen will be subject to an “administrative punishment” (a fine, or possibly denial of entry to Ukraine).

The cheapest way to fly into Ukraine is through the Boryspil International Airport near Kiev. The main international hubs for these flights are Budapest, Frankfurt, Milan, Munich, Prague, London, Rome, Vienna and Warsaw with several flights a day of Austrian AUA, CSA Czech Airlines, LOT, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Air France, British Airways, KLM and Ukraine International, which code-shares on these routes with the respective carriers. Special offers on flights come and go, depending on the whim of the carrier.

Low-cost airline Wizzair started operations from other countries and within Ukraine as well. The only other low cost carrier serving Ukraine is AirBaltic, with flights routing through either Riga, Latvia, or Vilnius, Lithuania. Be advised that if you have a lot of baggage, Wizzair offers 30kg against the others 20kg allowances.

There are several airlines which offer direct flights to cities like Dnipropetrovsk (Lufthansa), Odessa (LOT, Austrian, CSA Czech Airlines), Kharkiv and Lviv (LOT, Austrian Airlines), but they are more expensive.

To fly inside Ukraine, the most common airline is Ukraine International Airlines. It is the unofficial national airline, and its routes cover all of Ukraine’s major destinations. Planes used are newer Boeing 737 aircraft.

There are daily direct overnight trains from Prague, Warsaw, Belgrade, Budapest, Bucharest and Vienna and Sofia to Lviv or Kiev. When coming from Western Europe there will be a 2-3 hour wait at the border while the train’s bogies are changed in order to adapt to a different rail gauge. It’s generally quicker and cheaper to buy a ticket to the border and then change trains, rather than to wait for a through train.

From Kiev there are good international connections with central Europe and Russia. Departures from Belgrade (36h), Budapest (24h), Chiinu (15h), Minsk (12h), Prague (35h), Sofia (37h) via Bucharest (26h) and Warsaw (16h) are nightly. From Moscow there are a multitude of trains with the fastest one being Metropolitan Express taking just 8 hours. Saint Petersburg is also well served with an overnight train taking 23 hours. There is also a connection from Venice (45h) via Ljubljana (41h) once a week, departing Thursdays.

More exotic cities with infrequent departures from Kiev include Astana (73h, Thu), Baku (64h, Wed) and Murmansk (61h, seasonal). And if you are looking for a real journey, hop on train 133E linking Kiev with Vladivostok. It’s one of the longest journeys possible by train, taking eight nights!

Information about trains can be found on the website of the Ukrainian rail-roads in English and Ukrainian. The website is still ‘beta’ and has some issues, particularly with booking online.

There are inexpensive direct bus services to Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk from Poland.They usually offer a budget level of comfort and cost about UAH 90-100.

There are ferries to Ukraine several times a week from Batumi and Poti in Georgia (48 hours), and from Istanbul Haydarpasa (27 hours). For schedules, prices and tickets see www.ukrferry.com. These ferries land in Ukraine at Chornomorske (formerly called Illichivs’k) 20 km SW of Odessa – see that page for onward transport options. They run all year and take vehicles.

This network of ferries serves other Black Sea ports such as Samsun, Varna & Constanta, but usually without direct sailing to Odessa.

The nearest significant town on the Polish side is Przemyl, and it’s easy to find by following route #4 (which passes through Przemyl), also known as the E40 in European terms.

When you arrive, the road is fairly narrow (no motorway/autobahn this) with a queue of trucks and vans parked to the right of the road; a hard-core parking area with cafe/bar to the left. Don’t stop behind the goods vehicles, slip up the side of them and then feed into the customs area when the guy flags you forward (for courteous Europeans, you’re not jumping the queue – commercial traffic goes through a different process).

If you’re in an EU registered car then make for the EU-passports, passport control section. Thence to Ukrainian passport control and then Ukrainian customs and then you’re through. It used to be a nightmare, with apocalyptic tales of 5-6+ hours at the border, but the Ukrainians have made great advances in efficiency and it takes about an hour to make the crossing (2012). Don’t expect the border police to treat you in a friendly or even respectful manner, in fact, expect anything ranging from neutral to extremely obnoxious behaviour.

Once through, just follow the main road towards Lviv on the E40 – this is the route right across Ukraine to Kiev (and thence on to the east). Stick to this – the main towns on the way are Lviv, Rivne, Zhytomyr.

Watch out about 15-20km inside Ukraine, in Mostyska, as police have gone crazy about traffic calming measures here (speed bumps or “sleeping policemen”). They are like icebergs across the road, and very badly marked. There are about four or five sets of them through the village.

Other than that, take care on the road, which although the main east/west highway, and the main road route into the EU, still remains in a miserable condition (surface-wise). You will soon realise why Ukraine has such poor statistics in relation to driver and pedestrian fatalities and injuries. Drive defensively!

You can walk across the 200m long bridge from Sighetu Marmaiei, Romania. Once you get to Solotvino, Ukraine, you can continue your travel in a car or a train. Bicycling is also a possibility in summer. When you have crossed the wonderful old bridge go uphill, at the church turn right. After some 50 metres there is an ATM right-hand! That’s important because train tickets can be bought only in hryvnya and there is neither an exchange point nor an ATM nor the possibility to pay by credit card on the train station! Go ahead and before the rail-road crossing turn left.There is one train a day to Lviv (in the late afternoon). It stops in every village and takes about 13 hours to get to the final destination, the ticket is about 10.

You cannot cross the border at Krocienko (Poland) by foot or by bicycle. You must be in a vehicle. Coming from Poland by bicycle in August 2011 a cyclist only has to wait about 5 minutes to flag down a driver who was willing (and had space) to take him, a bicycle, and a full cycle touring kit. The actually crossing then took about an hour or so. There was no charge by the driver or the immigration officials. Update July 2017: crossing with a bicycle was not a problem at all, there is even a signposted cycling route (R63) between Poland and Ukraine. You might also be able to skip the car queue and go straight to the checkpoint.

Be aware that all foreigners are subject to higher scrutiny by police when travelling on public transportation, especially intercity forms of it. Be prepared to show your passport and entry papers and keep your embassy/consulate number handy in case you come across a corrupt official. If you are caught outside your base city without your official documents, be prepared for a big fine.

The quickest way to get around big cities is the so-called marshrutka: the minibuses which follow routes much like the regular buses do. You can generally flag them down or ask them to stop at places other than the specified bus stops. The fare is paid as soon as you get in, and is fixed no matter how far you want to go. This is the same for the conventional buses, tram, trolley-buses and the Metro. Tell the driver that you want to get off when you are approaching the destination.

Each city has an intercity bus station from which you can go pretty much anywhere in Ukraine. Fares and quality of service vary widely.

UIA offers cheap flights that can be booked on-line and can be a time-saving alternative. For example, the flight Odessa-Kiev (one way) is USD180 (including tax and fees) and takes 1.5 hours. However, be sure to book early for the cheapest fares.

Trains are operated by state-owned Ukrainian Railways. Train classes, coaches and ticket system are very similar to Russia and other CIS countries, see Russian train article.

Ukrainian trains are quite old and slow by West European standards, and not very frequent, but they are punctual, reliable and very cheap. For example Kiev to Odessa only has 3 direct services per day, 7 hours & 550 uah by the fastest “Inter-city”, 9-10 hours & 400 uah by the slower “express”. So for a 300-mile journey with some half a dozen stops, the trains are averaging 30-40 mph on straight level terrain – the Bullet Train it’s not.

Generally, in Ukraine, for long distance the train is preferred over the bus because of their comfort and because often they are even cheaper. The “Lux” sleeping cars have a two-berth cabin. Second class are cabins with four berths. Third class have six berths through which the aisle passes.

Advance online booking is highly recommended, firstly because some trains are popular and will sell out, secondly because it avoids having to negotiate your journey at a frenetic foreign railway station. For timetables, prices and bookings visit Ukraine Railways or Ukrainian Railways e-shop (these websites are in English, Russian and Ukrainian). Tickets with a little QR code icon should be printed off at home and are good to go. Other e-tickets are just a voucher which must be exchanged in advance for a ticket, at any mainline station in Ukraine. (So don’t buy such a ticket for a journey that starts outside Ukraine.) Do this preferably an hour before departure, because close to departure of a long-distance express, the ticket area will become a frantic maul. Large train stations may have dedicated counters for e-vouchers; eg Kiev does, while in Odessa any window will do. Either way, before queuing look out for the “technical break” times posted on each window.

If you have to buy on the day, write your destination and train number on a piece of paper; desk clerks have little English or German. Large stations have big screens that show tickets available for the upcoming trains.

There are two major bus companies that run buses from all of the major cities to and from Kiev: they are Avtolux, and Gunsel. Prices run about UAH100-120 for service to Dnipro and Kharkiv.

The major advantage of the bus service is that it leaves from Boryspil and stops in Kiev, so if your destination is not Kiev, its easier than taking a bus to the Main Passenger Railway Station in Kiev. The buses are standard coach buses, serve cold drinks and tea, show movies, and make a stop about every 3-4 hours. They run every few hours.

Avtolux has a VIP bus to and from Odessa that has nice leather seats and is more less non-stop. It departs once a day, takes four hours or so both to and from Kiev and costs about UAH160-170.

In addition, just as in Russia, there are private minibuses called Marshrutka. These run on fixed routes and may be licensed as either buses or taxis. You can board one at the start of the route or at fixed stops. Some of them will also stop at any point between designated stops, but this largely depends on the region and even on the driver’s mood. Officially, they are not supposed to drop passengers outside designated bus stops, but in reality they do it quite often. At the start of the route and at fixed routes, you may find a queue you will have to stand in. At other places, just wave your hand when you see one. if there are seats available, the minibus will stop for you. To get off, tell the driver when you reach your destination and he will stop. You need to pay the amount of your fare to the driver. You don’t get a ticket, unless you ask for it. Often it’s not easy to figure out which Marshrutka will take you to your destination, as in any city there are literally hundreds of different routes.

Taxi is probably the most safe way to get around the city. You want to ask your hotel or restaurant to call you a taxi. Ukraine is largely a referral based economy, and this is how you get quality, safety and good service. Taxis are always busy. Locals will tell you to call in advance. Trying to hail a cab won’t be productive at best and get you in deep trouble at worst.

It might seem unreasonable to hire a taxi to take you 100km to the next city. If you use your hotels referral, you will get a decent rate. It might be twice as expensive as train, but convenient, less time consuming, and secure. Keep in mind, you need a taxi to take you to the bus or train station. Americans will find the buses for long distance travel crowded and uncomfortable.

It is possible to get around in Ukraine by car, but one must be aware of certain particulars:

The signs are all in Ukrainian (Cyrillic alphabet). Only a few signs (every 200km or so) are written in the Latin alphabet, and indicate main cities. It is recommended you have a good road map (those available are mainly in Ukrainian, but Latin alphabet maps are starting to appear), because place names aren’t well posted on road signs.

You are strongly advised to respect the signs, especially speed limits. Be aware that unlike in Western countries, where limits are repeated several times, in Ukraine, an obligation or a prohibition is often indicated on a single sign, which you must not miss. And even these signs are often far off the road, covered by branches, etc. The police are always there to remind you.

Speed in cities is limited to 60km/h (40mph). However people do drive fast anyway.

Speed in “nationals” (single carriageway countryside roads) is limited to 90km/h (55mph). The poor average quality of the roads already acts as a speed checker.

Speed on highways (motorways) is limited to 110-120km/h (75mph).

Be aware that corruption is widespread among Ukrainian police, and tourists are an especially profitable target. When you are stopped for speeding or other offences, officers might aggressively try and extract ridiculous sums of money from you (100 and up), offering “reductions” if you pay on the spot (the proposed alternative being some unpleasant and more expensive way, all made up). If you’re asked anything beyond that, demand a written ticket for you to pay later instead. Don’t let them intimidate you. It’s very useful to have an embassy phone number handy for these cases. If you mention that, they’ll let you off the hook quicker than you know it. At any rate, write down the officers’ badge numbers, rank, plate number of the police car, and notify the nearest embassy/consulate in detail, to help fight these corrupt practices.

Fuel is no longer a problem in Ukraine, especially for those who remember travelling to Ukraine during the early 1990s, when petrol was considered precious. Today, there are plenty service stations. There are varying types of fuel, such as diesel, unleaded 95 octane, and (more rarely) unleaded 98 octane; one finds also 80 and 76 octane. Note that if you choose to fill-up in a rural filling station, you will need to pay first, and in cash. Even there many stations do accept credit cards, however.

The state of the roads is a huge subject:

The main roads are OK for all cars, as long as you don’t go too fast. Numerous running repairs have created a patchwork road surface, and it will seriously test your suspension – even on the major dual carriageways.

Secondary roads are passable, but beware: certain zones can be full of potholes and you must treat them with extra care, or avoid them entirely. Roads between villages are often little more than dirt tracks and not metalled.

Road works have been ongoing, but the quality of the roads is shy of Western Europe (with the exception of Kiev).

Be careful when driving in towns or villages. Sometimes animals prefer to walk on the road, and they are a hazard for all drivers. You’re likely to see plenty of animals hit by cars, so be prepared…

Bicycle traffic is not very common, but you will sometimes see an aged man transporting a sack of grass on an old road-bike or a cycling enthusiast in bright clothes riding a semi-professional racing bike. Those are even more likely to be met on well-maintained roads where the pavement is smooth. Also cyclists will use both lanes of the road in both directions equally i.e. you are just as likely to meet a cyclist coming towards you, riding on the verge, as you will travelling in your direction. And almost invariably without lights or bright clothing so be extra careful when driving at night and dawn/dusk.

Also, don’t be surprised to see plenty of horse drawn carts – even on the dual carriageways.

Hitchhiking in Ukraine is average. It’s possible to go by hitchhiking – usually cargo trucks will take you for free – but it’s still worth to try stop personal cars as well. Good people are everywhere; you may be picked up in a Lada or a Lexus. (More usually the former.)

The usual hitchhiking gesture (also used to hail taxis and marshrutkas) is to face oncoming traffic and point at the road with a straight right arm held away from the body. Sometimes, for visibility, you may add a downward waving motion of the open right hand. It’s a good idea to write on a piece of paper your destination’s name.

Ukrainian is the official language. Near the neighbouring countries, Russian, Romanian, Polish, and Hungarian are spoken. Russian is a close relative of Ukrainian and is most often the language of choice in the south and east of Ukraine. It is safe to assume that virtually any Ukrainian will understand Russian; however, in the western parts people may be reluctant to help you if you speak Russian, though to foreigners, Ukrainians will be more forgiving than to Russians. Especially in Lviv, you will have the hardest time because they not only mostly speak Ukrainian but they have a special dialect of their own.

On the other hand, in the eastern parts, Russian is the most commonly spoken language. In the central and eastern parts of the country, you may also find people speaking transitional dialects (generically referred to as the surzhyk, i.e. the “mix [of languages]”). It is also common for people to talk to others in their native language, irrespective of the interlocutors one, so a visitor speaking Russian may be responded to in Ukrainian and vice versa.

Kiev, the capital, speaks both languages, but Russian is more commonly used. So Ukrainian is more frequently met in Central and Western Ukraine, Russian in Eastern and Southern Ukraine.

Young people are more likely to speak a little English, as it is the most widely taught foreign language in school. Most people in the tourism industry (hostels etc.) do speak English. Also, thanks to Ukraine hosting the Euro 2012, there was a lot of improvement in tourist facilities and police learning English to better assist the people there for the games.

In general, Ukrainian is gaining more ground as time goes on. Certain regions may have special rules and can have schooling in Russian like in Luhansk. Russian is in general still the lingua franca but the newer generation of people are encouraging their children to speak Ukrainian in the home. The biggest wall to Ukrainization is that there is a resistance in the East and South from people who would even like Russian to be an official language of the state. Moreover, a lot of media such as books, videos, and video games are only in Russian but there have been a few titles with the option of Ukrainian subtitles on DVDs and some authors write exclusively in Ukrainian, so it is making ground. Universities used to have a choice between Ukrainian or Russian but now most of the national universities except those in special areas or private schools are exclusively taught in Ukrainian. There are plenty of people, however, that believe Ukraine will always have both languages and don’t feel one threatens the other’s existence.

Though everyone there is Ukrainian by citizenship, there are more than a million who are of Russian origin; for example Kharkiv itself sports 1 million ethnic Russians. It’s hard to say they are really ethnically different, but they did migrate during the Soviet Union and are proud of their roots as Russians and continue speaking Russian with their kids even though their kids are getting an education in Ukrainian. The whole language thing in Ukrainian is a touchy subject, so hopefully the information provided seems neutral.

If you are travelling to Ukraine, learn either basic Ukrainian or basic Russian beforehand (know your phrasebook well) and/or have some means of access to a bilingual speakera mobile/cell number (almost everyone has a mobile phone) can be a godsend. Virtually nobody in any official position (train stations, police, bus drivers, information desks, etc.) will be able to speak any language other than Ukrainian and Russian. If you already know another Slavic language, you will, however, be able to communicate as the Slavic languages are closely related.

It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Cyrillic alphabet to save you a lot of time and difficulty. Knowing the alphabet helps a lot, because certain words are close to English, like telefon (telephone), so if you can read the Cyrillic alphabet you’ll understand them.

– A – B – V – G – D – Zh – Z

– I – Y – K – L – M – N – O

– P – R – S – T – U – F – Kh

– Ts – Ch – Sh – Shch – ‘ – Yu – Ya

– G – E – Ye – I – Yi

E – Ye – Yo – ‘ – I – E

Vast in size and diverse in culture and landscapes, Ukraine has a range of great attractions to offer. Largely unknown to the world, the country’s main draws include some great and quintessentially Slavic cities, impressive cultural heritage and of course top class natural areas.

Head to the historic city of Lviv, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site but still a bustling place and a true centre for learning and culture in the country. Its cobblestoned streets are packed with monuments going back to Medieval times, seemingly untouched by the destructive force of wars that have changed some of Ukraine’s other cities so thoroughly. Even the extensive Soviet planning that has shaped many other places on the far east side of Europe have left only a minimal mark on the colourful mix of building styles. Highlights include the Korniakt Palace (right on the market square) and several beautiful churches. For an even more sophisticated taste of culture, try the fine collection of the Lviv National Art Gallery.

Then there’s the must-see’s of Kiev, a colourful place where the golden roofs of the Unesco World Heritage sites Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Pechersk Lavra make for some excellent highlights. Take an afternoon stroll through Andriyivsky Uzviz, the Montmartre of Kiev, where you’ll find a bustling mix of artist and souvenir sellers. Follow in the footsteps of Apostle Andrew, who – according to legend – climbed the steep stairs of this bohemian neighbourhood two thousand years ago, to the top where you’ll now find a church with his name. Don’t miss the excellent Pyrohovo Museum of Folk Architecture. Last but not least, Kiev is one of the best spots to visit Ukraine’s lively markets (but Odesa or Kharkiv have good ones too). Also, consider a trip to the Residence of Bukovinian and the Dalmatian Metropolitans in Chernivtsi.

In terms of natural attractions, the lovely Carpathian Mountains are among the best destinations this otherwise remarkably flat country has to offer. They hold beautiful panoramas of forested hills, lush valleys and snowy peaks and offer ample opportunities for hiking and biking as well as for winter sports. The rather little explored Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is another great pick for nature lovers and bird watchers. Base yourself in the charming town of Vylkovo, with its many canals, and go boating and bird-watching during the day.

Exchange rates for Ukrainian hryvnia

As of January 2018:

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Ukraine Travel guide at Wikivoyage

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July 7, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ukraine  Comments Closed

Holidays and observances in Ukraine in 2018

Jan 1MondayNew Year’s DayNational holidayJan 7SundayOrthodox Christmas DayNational holiday, OrthodoxJan 8MondayChristmas holidayNational holiday, OrthodoxJan 14SundayOrthodox New YearObservance, OrthodoxJan 22MondayUkrainian Unity DayObservanceJan 25ThursdayTatiana DayObservanceFeb 14WednesdayValentine’s DayObservanceMar 3SaturdaySpecial Working DayObservanceMar 8ThursdayInternational Women’s DayNational holidayMar 9FridayInternational Women’s Day holidayNational holidayMar 20TuesdayMarch equinoxSeasonMar 25SundayDaylight Saving Time startsClock change/Daylight Saving TimeApr 1SundayApril FoolsObservanceApr 8SundayOrthodox Easter DayNational holiday, OrthodoxApr 9MondayOrthodox Easter Day holidayNational holiday, OrthodoxApr 30MondayLabor Day HolidayNational holidayMay 1TuesdayLabor DayNational holidayMay 5SaturdaySpecial Working DayObservanceMay 9WednesdayVictory Day / Memorial DayNational holidayMay 13SundayMother’s DayObservanceMay 19SaturdayEurope DayObservanceMay 27SundayOrthodox PentecostNational holiday, OrthodoxMay 27SundayCultural Workers and Folk Artists DayObservanceMay 27SundayKiev DayObservanceMay 28MondayOrthodox Pentecost holidayNational holiday, OrthodoxJun 21ThursdayJune SolsticeSeasonJun 23SaturdaySpecial Working DayObservanceJun 28ThursdayConstitution DayNational holidayJun 29FridayConstitution Day HolidayNational holidayJul 7SaturdayKupala NightObservanceJul 8SundayFamily DayObservanceJul 28SaturdayBaptism of Kyivan RusObservanceJul 29SundayNavy DayObservanceAug 24FridayIndependence DayNational holidaySep 23SundaySeptember equinoxSeasonOct 7SundayTeacher’s DayObservanceOct 14SundayDefenders’ DayNational holidayOct 15MondayDefenders’ Day observedNational holidayOct 28SundayDaylight Saving Time endsClock change/Daylight Saving TimeNov 21WednesdayDignity and Freedom DayObservanceDec 6ThursdayArmy DayObservanceDec 19WednesdaySt. Nicholas DayObservance, OrthodoxDec 21FridayDecember SolsticeSeasonDec 22SaturdaySpecial Working DayObservanceDec 24MondayCatholic Christmas holidayNational holidayDec 25TuesdayCatholic Christmas DayNational holidayDec 29SaturdaySpecial Working DayObservanceDec 31MondayNew Year’s Day holidayNational holiday

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Gallery Of Single Women From Russia & Ukraine.Free to Date …

Experience a new level of online dating with GoDateNow.com. We are not just another Ukrainian bridal service we like to think that we connect lonely hearts from all over the world. Women in Ukraine are willing to meet decent men from foreign countries. It is not because they want to move away from their native country but because there are just not enough men in Ukraine. Therefore, Ukrainian women often feel very lonely and want to find someone special for partnership and dating. But why would you prefer a Ukrainian mate to other girls? Just look below: you can find numerous beautiful and intelligent girls for dating, and we readily claim that these girls are one of the most attractive in the world! What is so special about them? Maybe, its their sparkling eyes? Or their caring and cheerful mindsets? Yes, all of these features make these girls even more attractive. However, we believe that the most significant characteristic of Ukrainian women is their family-oriented approach. Men all over the world experience troubles with finding women that would eagerly want to create a family and have children because Western girls have recently become overly fastidious and career-oriented. You will never have such problems with a life partner from Ukraine! Even though they often have successful careers and interesting hobbies, they are always ready to leave everything behind to become mothers and spouses. Do you still hesitate? Scroll through our catalog of Ukrainian women. They look truly amazing. Without doubts, you will find one that fits your ideas of beauty and sex appeal. Your soulmate might be much closer than you think.

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Ukraine | USEmbassy.gov

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Kyiv travel – Lonely Planet

Highlights of Kiev Private Sightseeing Tour

The tour will start at 10am from the centrally located hotel or apartment of your stay in Kiev. Your guide will meet you at hotel lobby area on reception. The first part of your big tour will start with 3h city tour by private transport. You will know the most interesting places of Kiev and can expect to see them. Among them are: the Golden Gate, Vladimirskiy Cathedral, St. Michaels Square and St. Michael’s Domed Monastery, Foundation Monument to Bohdan Khmelnytskiy, Security Head Office of Ukraine, All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Pedagogical Museum, Red Building of the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kiev, Bessarabskiy Market, House of Chimeras, House of President of Ukraine, National Bank of Ukraine, Ukrainian House, National Philharmonic Society, Maidan Nezalezhnosti /Independence Square, Kievs Funicular, Post Office Square, St. Alexanders Catholic Church, Contract House, Fountain Samson, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,Holy Spirit Church, Clergy House, and Mariinskiy Park and Palace.Visit the the hill where St. Andrew’s Church is situated. Here you will know about the history of the St. Andrews Decent and old town.Then your private guide will bring you at 1pm toview the hill of the Pechersk districtwhere Museum of World War II is situated. Here you will start another walking part of the tour to get familiar with territory of Museum.At 1:30pm enjoy lunch at an Ukrainian cuisine restaurant or cafe on your way. Lunch time is from 12pm – 4pm, except on weekends. The average price about $8US per person.Lastly, enjoy Kiev Pechersk Lavra Monastery while visiting the Near and Far caves. The Lavra, a large monastery with 28 hectares of land, got this title in 1688. Review the monastery constructions, galleries of the Near and Far Caves, possibility to visit in extra the Museum of Historic Treasures of Ukraine, Museumminiatures and other exhibits. In 1990 Kiev-Pecherskaya Lavra Monastery was enlisted into the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.Finally, you will go to the nearest Metro station where learn more about Kiev Metro lines and visit the deepest Metro Station in the World Arsenalna (105.5 meters (346 ft)). Tour ends after the 6-hour ride and you can return to your hotelby public transport, metro, taxi, or by bus to Downtown Independence Square called Maidan Nezalezhnosti and the guide will help you.

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Kyiv travel – Lonely Planet

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History of Ukraine – Wikipedia

Prehistoric Ukraine, as part of the Pontic steppe, has played an important role in Eurasian cultural contacts, including the spread of the Chalcolithic, the Bronze Age, Indo-European expansion and the domestication of the horse.[1][2][3]

Part of Scythia in antiquity and settled by Getae, in the migration period, Ukraine is also the site of early Slavic expansion, and enters history proper with the establishment of the medieval state of Kievan Rus, which emerged as a powerful nation in the Middle Ages but disintegrated in the 12thcentury. After the middle of the 14th century, present-day Ukrainian territories came under the rule of three external powers:[4]

After a 1648 rebellion against dominantly Polish Catholic rule, an assembly of the people (rada) agreed to the Treaty of Pereyaslav in January 1654. In consequence, the southeastern portion of the Polish-Lithuanian empire (east of the Dnieper River) came under Russian rule for the following centuries.[5] After the Partitions of Poland (17721795) and the Russian conquest of the Crimean Khanate, Ukraine found itself divided between the Russian Empire and Habsburg Austria.

A chaotic period of warfare ensued after the Russian Revolutions of 1917. The internationally recognised Ukrainian People’s Republic emerged from its own civil war of 1917-1921. The UkrainianSoviet War (1917-1921) followed, in which the bolshevik Red Army established control in late 1919.[6] The Ukrainian Bolsheviks, who had defeated the national government in Kiev, established the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which on 30 December 1922 became one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. Initial Soviet policy on Ukrainian language and Ukrainian culture made Ukrainian the official language of administration and schools. Policy in the 1930s turned to russification. In 1932 and 1933, millions of people, mostly peasants, in Ukraine starved to death in a devastating famine, known as Holodomor. It is estimated by Encyclopdia Britannica that 6 to 8 million people died from hunger in the Soviet Union during this period, of whom 4 to 5 million were Ukrainians.[7] Nikita Khrushchev was appointed the head of the Ukrainian Communist Party in 1938.

After Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in September 1939, the Ukrainian SSR’s territory expanded westward. Axis armies occupied Ukraine from 1941 to 1944. During World War II the Ukrainian Insurgent Army fought for Ukrainian independence against both Germany and the Soviet Union. In 1945 the Ukrainian SSR became one of the founding members of the United Nations.[8] After the death of Stalin (1953), Khrushchev as head of the Communist Party of Soviet Union enabled a Ukrainian revival. Nevertheless, political repressions against poets, historians and other intellectuals continued, as in all other parts of the USSR. In 1954 the republic expanded to the south with the transfer of the Crimea.

Ukraine became independent again when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. This started a period of transition to a market economy, in which Ukraine suffered an eight-year recession.[9] Subsequently, however, the economy experienced a high increase in GDP growth. Ukraine was caught up in the worldwide economic crisis in 2008 and the economy plunged. GDP fell 20% from spring 2008 to spring 2009, then leveled off.[10]

The prolonged Ukrainian crisis began on 21 November 2013, when then-president Viktor Yanukovych suspended preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union. This decision resulted in mass protests by pro-Europeans – events which became known as the “Euromaidan”. After months of such protests, the protesters ousted Yanukovych on 22 February 2014. Following his ousting, unrest enveloped the largely Russophone eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, from where Yanukovych had drawn most of his support. An invasion by Russia of the Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea resulted in the annexation of Crimea by Russia on 18 March 2014. Subsequently, unrest in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine evolved into a war between the post-revolutionary Ukrainian government and pro-Russian insurgents. The Ukrainian crisis also very negatively influenced the Ukrainian economy.

Settlement in Ukraine by members of the genus Homo has been documented into distant prehistory. The Neanderthals are associated with the Molodova archaeological sites (43,000-45,000 BC) which include a mammoth bone dwelling.[11][12] Gravettian settlements dating to 32,000 BC have been unearthed and studied in the Buran-Kaya cave site of the Crimean Mountains.[13][14]

Around 10,000 years ago the world’s longest river[15] emptied glacier melted water through the Don and the Black Sea. From springs in Gobi it flowed along the Yenisei, which was then dammed by northern glaciers. Through the West Siberian Glacial Lake flowed about 10,000km;[16] It was longer than any river known today.[17]

The late Neolithic times the Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture flourished from about 45003000BC.[18] The Copper Age people of the Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture resided in the western part, and the Sredny Stog Culture further east, succeeded by the early Bronze Age Yamna (“Kurgan”) culture of the steppes, and by the Catacomb culture in the 3rd millennium BC.

During the Iron Age, these were followed by the Dacians as well as nomadic peoples like the Cimmerians (archaeological Novocherkassk culture), Scythians and Sarmatians. The Scythian Kingdom existed here from 750250BC.[19] Along with ancient Greek colonies founded in the 6th century BC on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea, the colonies of Tyras, Olbia, Hermonassa, continued as Roman and Byzantine cities until the 6th century.

In the 3rd century AD, the Goths arrived in the lands of Ukraine around 250375AD, which they called Oium, corresponding to the archaeological Chernyakhov culture.[20] The Ostrogoths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s. North of the Ostrogothic kingdom was the Kiev culture, flourishing from the 2nd5th centuries, when it was overrun by the Huns. After they helped defeat the Huns at the battle of Nedao in 454, the Ostrogoths were allowed by Romans to settle in Pannonia.

With the power vacuum created with the end of Hunnic and Gothic rule, Slavic tribes, possibly emerging from the remnants of the Kiev culture, began to expand over much of the territory that is now Ukraine during the 5th century, and beyond to the Balkans from the 6th century.

In the 7th century, the territory of modern Ukraine was the core of the state of the Bulgars (often referred to as Old Great Bulgaria) with its capital city of Phanagoria. At the end of the 7th century, most Bulgar tribes migrated in several directions and the remains of their state were absorbed by the Khazars, a semi-nomadic people from Central Asia.[20]

The Khazars founded the Khazar kingdom in the southeastern part of today’s Europe, near the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus. The kingdom included western Kazakhstan, and parts of eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, southern Russia, and Crimea. Around 800AD, the kingdom converted to Judaism.

In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Antes Union was located in the territory of what is now Ukraine. The Antes were the ancestors of Ukrainians: White Croats, Severians, Polans, Drevlyans, Dulebes, Ulichians, and Tiverians. Migrations from Ukraine throughout the Balkans established many Southern Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching almost to the Ilmen Lakes, led to the emergence of the Ilmen Slavs, Krivichs, and Radimichs, the groups ancestral to the Russians. After an Avar raid in 602 and the collapse of the Antes Union, most of these peoples survived as separate tribes until the beginning of the second millennium.[21]

As Hrushevsky states, the city of Kiev was established during the time when area around the mid- and low-Dnipro was the part of the Khazar state. He derived that information from local legends because no written chronicles from that period are left.

In 882, Kiev was conquered from the Khazars by the Varangian noble Oleg who started the long period of rule of the Rurikid princes. During this time, several Slavic tribes were native to Ukraine, including the Polans, the Drevlyans, the Severians, the Ulichs, the Tiverians, the White Croats and the Dulebes. Situated on lucrative trade routes, Kiev among the Polanians quickly prospered as the center of the powerful Slavic state of Kievan Rus.

In CE 941, the prince of Kiev invaded the Byzantine Empire but was defeated in the Rus’Byzantine War (941).

In the 11th century, Kievan Rus’ was, geographically, the largest state in Europe, becoming known in the rest of Europe as Ruthenia (the Latin name for Rus’), especially for western principalities of Rus’ after the Mongol invasion. The name “Ukraine”, meaning “in-land” or “native-land”,[22] usually interpreted as “border-land”, first appears in historical documents of the 12th century[23] and then on history maps of the 16th century period.[24]

This term seems to have been synonymous with the land of Rus’ propriathe principalities of Kiev, Chernigov and Pereyaslav. The term, “Greater Rus'” was used to apply to all the lands of entire Kievan Rus, including those that were not just Slavic, but also Uralic in the north-east portions of the state. Local regional subdivisions of Rus’ appeared in the Slavic heartland, including, “Belarus'” (White Russia), “Chorna Rus'” (Black Russia) and “Cherven’ Rus'” (Red Russia) in northwestern and western Ukraine.

While Christianity had made headway into the territory of Ukraine before the first ecumenical council, the Council of Nicaea (325) (particularly along the Black Sea coast) and, in western Ukraine during the time of empire of Great Moravia, the formal governmental acceptance of Christianity in Rus’ occurred in 988. The major promoter of the Christianization of Kievan Rus’ was the Grand-Duke, Vladimir the Great (Volodymyr). His Christian interest was midwifed by his grandmother, Princess Olga. Later, an enduring part of the East-Slavic legal tradition was set down by the Kievan ruler, Yaroslav I, who promulgated the Russkaya Pravda (Truth of Rus’) which endured through the Lithuanian period of Rus’.

Conflict among the various principalities of Rus’, in spite of the efforts of Grand Prince Vladimir Monomakh, led to decline, beginning in the 12th century. In Rus’ propria, the Kiev region, the nascent Rus’ principalities of Halych and Volynia extended their rule. In the north, the name of Moscow appeared in the historical record in the principality of Suzdal, which gave rise to the nation of Russia. In the north-west, the principality of Polotsk increasingly asserted the autonomy of Belarus. Kiev was sacked by Vladimir principality (1169) in the power struggle between princes and later by Cumans and Mongol raiders in the 12th and 13th centuries, respectively. Subsequently, all principalities of present-day Ukraine acknowledged dependence upon the Mongols (12391240). In 1240, the Mongols sacked Kiev, and many people fled to other countries.

Five years after the fall of Kiev, Papal envoy Giovanni da Pian del Carpine wrote:

A successor state to the Kievan Rus’ on part of the territory of today’s Ukraine was the principality of Galicia-Volhynia. Previously, Vladimir the Great had established the cities of Halych and Ladomir (later Volodimer) as regional capitals. This state was based upon the Dulebe, Tiverian and White Croat tribes.

The state was ruled by the descendants of Yaroslav the Wise and Vladimir Monomakh. For a brief period, the country was ruled by a Hungarian nobleman. Battles with the neighbouring states of Poland and Lithuania also occurred, as well as internecine warfare with the independent Ruthenian principality of Chernihiv to the east. At its greatest extension the territory of Galicia-Volhynia included later Wallachia/Bessarabia, thus reaching the shores of the Black Sea.

During this period (around 12001400), each principality was independent of the other for a period. The state of Halych-Volynia eventually became a vassal to the Mongolian Empire, but efforts to gain European support for opposition to the Mongols continued. This period marked the first “King of Rus'”; previously, the rulers of Rus’ were termed, “Grand Dukes” or “Princes.”

During the 14th century, Poland and Lithuania fought wars against the Mongol invaders, and eventually most of Ukraine passed to the rule of Poland and Lithuania. More particularly, the lands of Volynia in the north and north-west passed to the rule of Lithuanian princes, while the south-west passed to the control of Poland (Galicia). Also the Genoese founded some colonies in Crimean coasts until the Ottoman conquest in the 1470s.

Most of Ukraine bordered parts of Lithuania, and some say that the name, “Ukraine” comes from the local word for “border,” although the name “Ukraine” was also used centuries earlier. Lithuania took control of the state of Volynia in northern and northwestern Ukraine, including the region around Kiev (Rus’), and the rulers of Lithuania then adopted the title of ruler of Rus’. Poland took control of the southeastern region. Following the union between Poland and Lithuania, Poles, Germans, Lithuanians and Jews migrated to the region. The 15th-century decline of the Golden Horde enabled the foundation of the Crimean Khanate, which occupied present-day Black Sea shores and southern steppes of Ukraine. Until the late 18th century, the Crimean Khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East,[26] exporting about 2 million slaves from Russia and Ukraine over the period 15001700.[27] It remained a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire until 1774, when it was finally dissolved by the Russian Empire in 1783.

Kingdom of Poland

After the Union of Lublin in 1569 and the formation of the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth Ukraine fell under Polish administration, becoming part of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. The period immediately following the creation of the Commonwealth saw a huge revitalisation in colonisation efforts. Many new cities and villages were founded. Links between different Ukrainian regions, such as Galicia and Volyn were greatly extended.[28]

New schools spread the ideas of the Renaissance; Polish peasants arrived in great numbers and quickly became mixed with the local population; during this time, most of Ukrainian nobles became polonised and converted to Catholicism, and while most Ruthenian-speaking peasants remained within the Eastern Orthodox Church, social tension rose.

Ruthenian peasants who fled efforts to force them into serfdom came to be known as Cossacks and earned a reputation for their fierce martial spirit. Some Cossacks were enlisted by the Commonwealth as soldiers to protect the southeastern borders of Commonwealth from Tatars or took part in campaigns abroad (like Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny in the battle of Khotyn 1621). Cossack units were also active in wars between the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth and Tsardom of Russia. Despite the Cossack’s military usefulness, the Commonwealth, dominated by its nobility, refused to grant them any significant autonomy, instead attempting to turn most of the Cossack population into serfs. This led to an increasing number of Cossack rebellions aimed at the Commonwealth.

The 1648 Ukrainian Cossack (Kozak) rebellion or Khmelnytsky Uprising, which started an era known as the Ruin (in Polish history as The Deluge), undermined the foundations and stability of the Commonwealth. The nascent Cossack state, the Cossack Hetmanate,[29] usually viewed as precursor of Ukraine,[29] found itself in a three-sided military and diplomatic rivalry with the Ottoman Turks, who controlled the Tatars to the south, the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania, and the Tsardom of Muscovy to the East.

The Zaporizhian Host, in order to leave the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth, sought a treaty of protection with Russia in 1654.[29] This agreement was known as the Treaty of Pereyaslav.[29] Commonwealth authorities then sought compromise with the Ukrainian Cossack state by signing the Treaty of Hadiach in 1658, butafter thirteen years of incessant warfarethe agreement was later superseded by 1667 PolishRussian Treaty of Andrusovo, which divided Ukrainian territory between the Commonwealth and Russia. Under Russia, the Cossacks initially retained official autonomy in the Hetmanate.[29] For a time, they also maintained a semi-independent republic in Zaporozhia, and a colony on the Russian frontier in Sloboda Ukraine.

During subsequent decades, Tsarist rule over central Ukraine gradually replaced ‘protection’. Sporadic Cossack uprisings were now aimed at the Russian authorities, but eventually petered out by the late 18th century, following the destruction of entire Cossack hosts. After the Partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795, the extreme west of Ukraine fell under the control of the Austrians, with the rest becoming a part of the Russian Empire. As a result of Russo-Turkish Wars the Ottoman Empire’s control receded from south-central Ukraine, while the rule of Hungary over the Transcarpathian region continued. Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were inspired by the nationalistic spirit stirring other European peoples existing under other imperial governments and became determined to revive the Ukrainian linguistic and cultural traditions and re-establish a Ukrainian nation-state, a movement that became known as Ukrainophilism.

Russia, fearing separatism, imposed strict limits on attempts to elevate the Ukrainian language and culture, even banning its use and study. The Russophile policies of Russification and Panslavism led to an exodus of a number of Ukrainian intellectuals into Western Ukraine. However, many Ukrainians accepted their fate in the Russian Empire and some were to achieve a great success there. Many Russian writers, composers, painters and architects of the 19th century were of Ukrainian descent. Probably the most notable were Nikolai Gogol, one of the greatest writers in the history of Russian literature, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, one of the greatest composers in the history of Russian music, whose father came of Ukrainian Cossack stock.

The fate of the Ukrainians was far different under the Austrian Empire where they found themselves in the pawn position of the Russian-Austrian power struggle for the Central and Southern Europe. Unlike in Russia, most of the elite that ruled Galicia were of Austrian or Polish descent, with the Ruthenians being almost exclusively kept in peasantry. During the 19th century, Russophilia was a common occurrence among the Slavic population, but the mass exodus of Ukrainian intellectuals escaping from Russian repression in Eastern Ukraine, as well as the intervention of Austrian authorities, caused the movement to be replaced by Ukrainophilia, which would then cross-over into the Russian Empire. With the start of World War I, all those supporting Russia were rounded up by Austrian forces and held in a concentration camp at Talerhof where many died.

Ukraine emerges as the concept of a nation, and the Ukrainians as a nationality, with the Ukrainian National Revival in the mid-18th century, in the wake of the peasant revolt of 1768/69 and the eventual partition of the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth. Galicia fell to the Austrian Empire, and the rest of Ukraine to the Russian Empire.

While right-bank Ukraine belonged to the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth until late 1793, left-bank Ukraine had been incorporated into Tsardom of Russia in 1667 (under the Treaty of Andrusovo). In 1672, Podolia was occupied by the Turkish Ottoman Empire, while Kiev and Braclav came under the control of Hetman Petro Doroshenko until 1681, when they were also captured by the Turks but in 1699 the Treaty of Karlowitz returned those lands to the Commonwealth.

Most of Ukraine fell to the Russian Empire under the reign of Catherine the Great; in 1793 right-bank Ukraine was annexed by Russia in the Second Partition of Poland.[30]

Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were inspired by the nationalistic spirit stirring other European peoples existing under other imperial governments. Russia, fearing separatism, imposed strict limits on attempts to elevate the Ukrainian language and culture, even banning its use and study. The Russophile policies of Russification and Panslavism led to an exodus of a number some Ukrainian intellectuals into Western Ukraine, while others embraced a Pan-Slavic or Russian identity. This led to many of the great Russian authors and composers of the 19th century being of Ukrainian origin (notably Nikolai Gogol and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky).

Ukraine, which included Crimea, the Kuban, and portions of Don Cossack lands with large Ukrainian populations (along with ethnic Russians, and Jews), tried to break free from Russia after the February 1917 revolution in St. Petersburg. Historian Paul Kubicek states:

A Canadian scholar Orest Subtelney provides a context from the long span of European history:

The Ukrainian War of Independence of 1917 to 1921 produced the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (in 1919 merged from the Ukrainian People’s Republic and West Ukrainian People’s Republic) which was quickly subsumed in the Soviet Union. Galicia, South Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina, and Carpathian Ruthenia were added as a result of the MolotovRibbentrop Pact in 1939 and the Soviet victory over Germany in the Second World War, 1939-45.

The Soviet famine of 193233, now known as the Holodomor, left millions dead in the Soviet Union, the majority of them Ukrainians not only in Ukraine but also in Kuban and former Don Cossack lands.[33][34]

The Second World War began in September 1939, when Hitler and Stalin invaded Poland, the Soviet Union taking most of Western Ukraine. Nazi Germany with its allies invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. Some Ukrainians initially regarded the Wehrmacht soldiers as liberators from Soviet rule, while others formed a partisan movement. Some elements of the Ukrainian nationalist underground formed a Ukrainian Insurgent Army that fought both Soviet forces and the Nazi. Others collaborated with the Germans. In Volhynia, Ukrainian fighters committed a massacre against up to 100,000 Polish civilians.[35] Residual small groups of the UPA-partizans acted near the Polish and Soviet border as long as to the 1950s.[36]

After World War II some amendments to the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR were accepted, which allowed it to act as a separate subject of international law in some cases and to a certain extent, remaining a part of the Soviet Union at the same time. In particular, these amendments allowed the Ukrainian SSR to become one of founding members of the United Nations (UN) together with the Soviet Union and the Byelorussian SSR. This was part of a deal with the United States to ensure a degree of balance in the General Assembly, which, the USSR opined, was unbalanced in favor of the Western Bloc. In its capacity as a member of the UN, the Ukrainian SSR was an elected member of the United Nations Security Council in 19481949 and 19841985. The Crimean Oblast was transferred from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine became an independent state, formalised with a referendum in December 1991.

On January 21, 1990, over 300,000 Ukrainians[37] organized a human chain for Ukrainian independence between Kiev and Lviv. Ukraine officially declared itself an independent state on August 24, 1991, when the communist Supreme Soviet (parliament) of Ukraine proclaimed that Ukraine would no longer follow the laws of USSR and only the laws of the Ukrainian SSR, de facto declaring Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union. On December 1, voters approved a referendum formalizing independence from the Soviet Union. Over 90% of Ukrainian citizens voted for independence, with majorities in every region, including 56% in Crimea. The Soviet Union formally ceased to exist on December 26, when the presidents of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia (the founding members of the USSR) met in Biaowiea Forest to formally dissolve the Union in accordance with the Soviet Constitution. With this Ukraine’s independence was formalized de jure and recognized by the international community.

(Also) on 1 December 1991 Ukrainian voters first presidential election elected Leonid Kravchuk.[38] During his presidency the Ukrainian economy shrank by more than 10% per year (in 1994 by more than 20%).[38]

The presidency (1994-2005) of the 2nd President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma was surrounded by numerous corruption scandals and the lessening of media freedoms; including the Cassette Scandal.[38][39] During Kuchma’s presidency, the economy recovered, with GDP growth at around 10% a year in his last years in office.[38]

In 2004, Kuchma announced that he would not run for re-election. Two major candidates emerged in the 2004 presidential election. Viktor Yanukovych, the incumbent Prime Minister, supported by both Kuchma and by the Russian Federation, wanted closer ties with Russia. The main opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, called for Ukraine to turn its attention westward and aim to aim to eventually join the EU. In the runoff election, Yanukovych officially won by a narrow margin, but Yushchenko and his supporters alleged that vote rigging and intimidation cost him many votes, especially in eastern Ukraine. A political crisis erupted after the opposition started massive street protests in Kiev and other cities, and the Supreme Court of Ukraine ordered the election results null and void. A second runoff found Viktor Yushchenko the winner. Five days later, Yanukovych resigned from office and his cabinet was dismissed on January 5, 2005.

During the Yushchenko term, relations between Russia and Ukraine often appeared strained as Yushchenko looked towards improved relations with the European Union and less toward Russia.[40] In 2005, a highly publicized dispute over natural gas prices with Russia caused shortages in many European countries that were reliant on Ukraine as a transit country.[41] A compromise was reached in January 2006.[41]

By the time of the presidential election of 2010, Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko allies during the Orange Revolution had become bitter enemies.[38] Tymoshenko ran for president against both Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych, creating a three-way race. Yushchenko, whose popularity had plummeted,[40] persisted in running, and many pro-Orange voters stayed home.[42] In the second round of the election Yanukovych won the run-off ballot with 48% to Tymoshenko’s 45%.

During his presidency (2010-2014) Yanukovych and his Party of Regions were accused of trying to create a “controlled democracy” in Ukraine and of trying to destroy the main opposition party Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, but both have denied these charges.[43] One frequently cited example of Yankukovych’s attempts to centralise power was the 2011 sentencing of Yulia Tymoshenko, which has been condemned by Western governments as potentially being politically motivated.[44]

In November 2013, President Yanukovych did not sign the UkraineEuropean Union Association Agreement and instead pursued closer ties with Russia.[45][46] This move sparked protests on the streets of Kiev and, ultimately, the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. Protesters set up camps in Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square),[47] and in December 2013 and January 2014 protesters started taking over various government buildings, first in Kiev and, later, in Western Ukraine.[48] Battles between protesters and police resulted in about 80 deaths in February 2014.[49][50]

Following the violence the Ukrainian parliament on 22 February voted to remove Yanukovych from power (on the grounds that his whereabouts were unknown and he thus could not fulfil his duties), and to free Yulia Tymoshenko from prison. The same day Yanukovych supporter Volodymyr Rybak resigned as speaker of the Parliament, and was replaced by Tymoshenko loyalist Oleksandr Turchynov, who was subsequently installed as interim President.[51] Yanukovych had fled Kiev, and subsequently gave a press conference in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.[52]

In March 2014, the 2014 Crimean crisis resulted in Crimea being annexed by Russia. Though official results of a referendum on reunification with Russia were reported as showing a large majority in favor of the proposition, the vote was organized under Russian military occupation and was denounced by the European Union and the United States as illegal.[53]

The Crimean crisis was followed by pro-Russian unrest in east Ukraine and south Ukraine.[54] In April 2014 Ukrainian separatists self-proclaimed the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic and held referendums on 11 May 2014; the separatists claimed nearly 90% voted in favor of independence.[55][54] Later in April 2014, fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Ukrainian volunteer battalions on one side, and forces supporting the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics on the other side, escalated into the War in Donbass.[54][56] By December 2014 more than 6,400 people had died in this conflict and according to United Nations figures it led to over half a million people becoming internally displaced within Ukraine and two hundred thousand refugees to flee to (mostly) Russia and other neighboring countries.[57][58][59][60] During the same period, political (including adoption of the law on lustration and the law on decommunization) and economic reforms started.[61] On 25 May 2014, Petro Poroshenko was elected president in the first round of the presidential election.

By the second half of 2015 independent observers noted that reforms in Ukraine had considerably slowed down, corruption did not subside, and the economy of Ukraine was still in a deep crisis.[61][62][63][64]

By December 2015, more than 9,100 people had died (largely civilians) in the War in Donbass, according to United Nations figures.[65]

The scholarly study of Ukraine’s history emerged from romantic impulses in the late 19th century. The outstanding leaders were Volodymyr Antonovych (18341908), based in Kiev, and his student Mykhailo Hrushevsky (18661934).[66] For the first time full-scale scholarly studies based on archival sources, modern research techniques, and modern historical theories became possible. However, the demands of government officialsespecially Soviet, but also Czarists and Polishmade it difficult to disseminate ideas that ran counter to the central government. Therefore, exile schools of historians emerged in central Europe and Canada after 1920.[67]

Strikingly different interpretations of the medieval state of Kievan Rus’ appear in the four schools of historiography within Ukraine: Russophile, Sovietophile, Eastern Slavic, and Ukrainophile. The Sovietophile and Russophile schools have become marginalized in independent Ukraine, with the Ukrainophile school being dominant in the early 21st century. The Ukrainophile school promotes an identity that is mutually exclusive of Russia. It has come to dominate the nation’s educational system, security forces, and national symbols and monuments, although it has been dismissed as nationalist by Western historians. The East Slavic school, an eclectic compromise between Ukrainophiles and Russophilism, has a weaker ideological and symbolic base, although it is preferred by Ukraine’s centrist former elites.[68]

Many historians in recent years have sought alternatives to national histories, and Ukrainian history invited approaches that looked beyond a national paradigm. Multiethnic history recognises the numerous peoples in Ukraine; transnational history portrays Ukraine as a border zone for various empires; and area studies categorises Ukraine as part of Eurasia, or more often as part of East-Central Europe. Plokhy (2007) argues that looking beyond the country’s national history has made possible a richer understanding of Ukraine, its people, and the surrounding regions.[69]

After 1991, historical memory was a powerful tool in the political mobilization and legitimation of the post-Soviet Ukrainian state, as well as the division of selectively used memory along the lines of the political division of Ukrainian society. Ukraine did not experience the restorationist paradigm typical of some other post-Soviet nations, including the Baltic states, although the multifaceted history of independence, the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Soviet-era repressions, mass famine, and World War II collaboration were used to provide a different constitutive frame for the new Ukrainian nation. The politics of identity (which includes the production of history textbooks and the authorization of commemorative practices) has remained fragmented and tailored to reflect the ideological anxieties and concerns of individual regions of Ukraine.[70]

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History of Ukraine – Wikipedia

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Ukraine, Seeking U.S. Missiles, Halted Cooperation With …

The order issued in April isolated these four investigations. The cases were not closed, the prosecutor generals office said in a statement, but the order blocked Mr. Horbatyuk from issuing subpoenas for evidence or interviewing witnesses.

We have no authority to continue our investigation, Mr. Horbatyuk said in an interview.

One inquiry dealt with possible money laundering in a single $750,000 payment to Mr. Manafort from a Ukrainian shell company. The payment formed one part of the multimillion dollar transfers to Mr. Manafort from politicians in Ukraine that underpin indictments filed by Mr. Mueller in federal court in Washington and Virginia. Before the case was frozen, prosecutors had subpoenaed records from Ukrainian banks.

Another concerned a former chairman of the Ukrainian Parliaments foreign relations committee, Vitaly Kalyuzhny, who had signed nine of 22 entries designated for Mr. Manafort in a secret ledger of political payoffs uncovered after the 2014 revolution. The ledger showed payouts totaling $12.5 million for Mr. Manafort.

The handwritten accounting document, called in Ukraine the Black Ledger, is an evidential linchpin for investigating corruption in the former government. Mr. Manafort denied receiving under-the-table payments from the party and his spokesman said the ledger might be a forgery.

The other two cases looked at Skadden Arps, which wrote a report with Mr. Manaforts participation that was widely seen as whitewashing the politically motivated arrest and imprisonment of Mr. Yanukovychs principal rival, Yulia V. Tymoshenko.

Two months before Ukraines government froze the cases, Mr. Horbatyuk reached out to Mr. Muellers office with a formal offer to cooperate by sharing evidence and leads. Mr. Horbatyuk said that he sent a letter in January and did not receive a reply, but that the offer was now moot, since he has lost the authority to investigate.

But entries in the ledger appear to bolster Mr. Muellers money laundering and tax evasion case against Mr. Manafort, said Serhiy Leshchenko, a lawmaker who has closely followed the investigation. They indicate, for example, payments from Ukraine to a Cypriot company, Global Highway Limited, that was also named in an indictment Mr. Mueller filed in federal court in Virginia this year. The company covered hundreds of thousands of dollars of Mr. Manaforts bills at a high-end mens clothing store and antique shop in New York.

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Ukraine, Seeking U.S. Missiles, Halted Cooperation With …

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Ukraine – The Telegraph

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Ukraine – The Telegraph

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Ukraine Crisis in Maps – The New York Times

Protests in Kiev Turn Deadly as Tensions Persist in Eastern Ukraine

Published September 1

At least three police officers have been killed and dozens of police officers and protesters wounded in clashes in Kiev after a vote to give greater powers to separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. Separatist control of these regions, including the border with Russia, has remained unchanged for months. Violence between the two sides has waned in recent weeks and the number of cease-fire violations has decreased, but the situation remains tense.Related Article

Source: Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council; Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Area under

rebel control

Sept. 1

Some sites of

fighting since

Aug. 30

Rebel-controlled

border crossings

Some sites of

fighting since

Aug. 30

Area under

rebel control

Sept. 1

Some sites of

fighting since

Aug. 30

Area under

rebel control

Sept. 1

Source: Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council; Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Cease-Fire Brings Lull, But Clashes Persist In Some Areas

Published March 10

The latest cease-fire in Ukraine, brokered by Germany and France and put into effect on Feb. 15, has been more effective than the previous two negotiated truces, which collapsed quickly. Both Ukraine and the Russia-supported separatists claim they removed all heavy weaponry from the buffer zone by the March 7 deadline. But fighting has continued in some areas, including Donetsk, Horlivka and Mariupol.Related Article

Source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

Some sites of

fighting since

March 6

Proposed zone

for withdrawal of

heavy weaponry

Area under

rebel control

MArch 10

Cease-fire

demarcation

line

Proposed zone

for withdrawal of

long-range rocket systems

Some sites of

fighting since

March 6

Area under

rebel control

March 10

Cease-fire

demarcation

line

Proposed zone

for withdrawal of

heavy weaponry

Some sites of

fighting since

March 6

Cease-fire

demarcation

line

Area under

rebel control

March 10

Proposed zone

for withdrawal of

heavy weaponry

Source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

Ukrainian Forces Withdraw From Strategic Town

Published February 18

Ukrainian soldiers retreated from Debaltseve, a strategic railroad hub, where intense fighting raged in recent days despite the cease-fire agreement. As many as 8,000 Ukrainian soldiers were trapped, surrounded by Russian-backed militants who had taken control of the main road. It was unclear how many of the soldiers survived and avoided capture.Related Article

Source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

Ukraine controls this section of the road, though heavy fighting has been reported.

Luhanskoye

Last Ukrainian checkpoint

Railroads through Debaltseve

The main supply road was controlled by rebels.

Escape route

Ukrainian soldiers who were trapped

in Debaltseve escaped to Luhanskoye

through farm fields.

Lohvynove

Rebels claimed to

control this village.

Luhanskoye

Last Ukrainian checkpoint.

Escape route

Soldiers trapped

in Debaltseve escaped

through farm fields.

Main road

controlled

by rebels.

Lohvynove

Rebels claim

to control

this village.

Escape route

Ukrainian soldiers who were trapped in Debaltseve escaped through farm fields.

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Ukraine Crisis in Maps – The New York Times

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Ukraine Travel guide at Wikivoyage

Ukraine (Ukrainian: ) is a large country in Eastern Europe. It lies at the northwest end of the Black Sea, with Russia to the east, Belarus to the north, Poland to the northwest, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, and Romania to the south west and south, with Moldova in between. Most parts of the country are still as safe as before the war, as the fighting zone is contained and also very far from Kiev and most parts of the country, where life goes on as normal. While the international community recognizes Crimea as part of Ukraine, it is under the de facto control of Russia, and travellers can only realistically reach it from Russia. Accordingly, we cover it as part of Southern Russia. This is not a political endorsement of claims by either side in the dispute. Below is a selection of nine of Ukraine’s most notable cities. Other cities can be found under their specific regions. See also UNESCO World Heritage List, Ukraine section Most of Ukraine (the central and eastern portions) was formerly a part of the Russian Empire; after the October Revolution and the Civil War, the entire country, known as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, was a part of the Soviet Union. Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe, albeit with one of the most rapidly declining populations of any large country due to high emigration, low immigration, early deaths (particularly amongst males) and a shrinking birthrate that was already below replacement levels. Ukrainian history is long and proud, with the inception of Kyivan Rus (possibly founded by Swedish Vikings) as the most powerful state in Medieval Europe. While this state fell prey to Mongol conquest, the western part of Ukraine became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from the 14th until the 18th century, even modern Ukraine owes it a debt of sorts. A subsequent Ukrainian state was able, in the face of pressure from the ascendant Muscovy, to remain autonomous for more than a century, but the Russian Empire absorbed much of Ukraine in the 18th century to the detriment of their culture and identity. Despite a brief, but uncertain, flash of independence at the end of the czarist regime, Ukraine was incorporated into the new USSR after the Russian Civil War in 1922 and subject to two disastrous famines (1932-33 and 1946) as well as brutal fighting during World War II. As a Soviet republic, the Ukrainian language was often ‘sidelined’ when compared to Russian to varying degrees; Stalinist repressions during the 1930s, attempts at decentralisation during the Khrushchev administration and the re-tightening of control during the Brezhnev-Kosygin era of the 1970s and early 1980s. In any case, the traditionally bilingual province had signs in both Russian and Ukrainian in virtually all cities, including Lviv, where Ukrainian is most prevalent. The 1986 Chernobyl accident was a further catastrophe for the republic but also widely considered as an event which, in the long run, galvanized the population’s regional sentiment and led to increasing pressure on the central Soviet government to promote autonomy. Ukraine declared its sovereignty within the Soviet Union in July 1990 as a prelude to unfolding events in the year to come. The Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s Parliament) again declared its independence in early December 1991 following the results of a referendum in November 1991 which indicated overwhelming popular support (90% in favour of independence). This declaration became a concrete reality as the Soviet Union formally ceased to exist on 25 December 1991. Initially, severe economic difficulties, hyperinflation, and oligarchic rule prevailed in the early years following independence. The issues of cronyism, corruption and alleged voting irregularities came to a head during the heavily-disputed 2004 Presidential election, where allegations of vote-rigging sparked what became known as the “Orange Revolution”. This revolution resulted in the subsequent election of opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko as President. During the ongoing five years the “Orange coalition” broke up and Viktor Yushchenko lost the support of majority of Ukrainians. Ironically, his former adversary Viktor Yanukovich was elected President; ultimately the pro-Russian Yanukovich was ousted in early 2014 after months of popular protest against his failure to complete a key trade agreement with the European Union, but his departure comes at a time when the nation’s treasury is empty and the government in disarray. For the most up-to-date information please visit Visa Requirements For Foreigners page of the MFA government website. Select your country to get more information. More up-to-date country-specific information and requirements may be available at Ukraine’s Embassy website. You may find a list of embassies of Ukraine here, on official government MFA website: press ‘Find an Embassy’ and select your region and then country or visit MFA website, Visa requirements page. Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan can visit and stay in Ukraine indefinitely visa free. However, citizens of Moldova and Uzbekistan must hold proof of sufficient funds on arrival. Citizens of all European Union member states, Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Russia, San Marino, St. Kitts and Nevis, South Korea, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United States/American Samoa and Vatican City can visit visa free for up to 90 days within a 180 day period. However, citizens of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan must also have proof of sufficient funds when arriving in Ukraine. For citizens of Mongolia, the visa free only applies to service, tourist and private trips on conditions that documents certifying the purpose of the trip are provided. Citizens of Argentina can visit visa free for up to 90 days within a 365 day period. Citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei and Serbia can visit visa free for up to 30 days within a 60-day period. Citizens of Hong Kong can visit visa free for up to 14 days. Those holding a diplomatic or official/service passports of Albania, Cambodia, Chile, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Laos, Morocco, North Korea, Peru, Qatar, Singapore, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam and only diplomatic passports of India and Mexico do not require a visa for Ukraine. For the most up-to-date details, visit MFA website, Visa On Arrival page More up-to-date country-specific information and requirements may be available at Ukraine’s Embassy website. You may find a list of embassies of Ukraine here, on official government MFA website: press ‘Find an Embassy’ and select your region and then country or visit MFA website, Visa requirements page. Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, China (PRC), Dominica, East Timor, El Salvador, Guatemala, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, New Zealand, Oman, Palau, Peru, Qatar, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu can visit Ukraine for up to 15 days, provided that the citizens of the countries obtain a visa at the Kyiv Boryspil Airport, Kyiv Zhuliany Airport or Odesa Airport (as of August 2017). Those obtaining a visa on arrival need to provide one of the following documents: Please note, the Visa Office at the airport is only open between 9:00am and 7:30pm. Arrivals outside of these hours must first wait for the office to open before a visa will be issued and then proceed to Passport Control. It is also important to note that at times, the Visa on Arrival office may suffer from a lack of manpower (for example, a single officer to deal with a plane of passengers manually doing data entry for all fields of the application form as well as single handedly doing all necessary checks and controls). This can lead to delays in exiting the airport of 2-4 hours, which is especially crucial to note for transit visa applicants hoping to do a day trip into Kyiv. If you have limited time, then you may consider an ordinary visa application at your embassy. Payment for Visa on Arrival can be done by credit card. For other countries, visas are obtainable within a few hours of visiting a Ukrainian consulate/embassy. ‘Letter of invitation’ from friend, family member, perspective lodging or business provider may be required. For the most up-to-date details, visit MFA website, Visa requirements page and select your country from the list. Information below may be not up-to-date. More up-to-date country-specific information and requirements may be available at Ukraine’s Embassy website. You may find a list of embassies of Ukraine here, on official government MFA website: press ‘Find an Embassy’ and select your region and then country or visit MFA website, Visa requirements page. Always know how much currency you have with you. Customs officials might inquire about the amount being brought into the country. It is prohibited to bring large amounts of Ukrainian currency (hryvnia) in to the country unless it was declared upon leaving Ukraine. Cash equvivalent of EUR 10,000 or more must be declared upo entry or leaving Ukraine. When entering the country you will no longer normally be required to complete an immigration form. However, if your passport has no space for stamps, or you don’t want it to be stamped, you can still fill out an immigration form at home and have it stamped instead of the passport. Citizens of Australia, Albania, Guatemala, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore do not require a invitation letter to visit Ukraine. After the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014, Russian immigration and custom agencies started operating in the peninsula’s ports of entries. It was announced by the Russian authorities on April 1, 2014, that foreign citizens would need regular Russian entry visas to visit Crimea. However, Crimea’s authorities plan to petition Russia’s federal government for introducing a simplified visa regime for certain categories of short-term visitors, different from that applied in mainland Russia. Since Ukraine does not recognize Russian’s annexation of the peninsula, an entry to Crimea not from mainland Ukraine is considered by the Ukrainian authorities as an “illegal entry to the territory of Ukraine”. If the fact of such a visit is discovered by the Ukrainian border authorities when a foreign national later tries to enter the mainland Ukraine, the foreign citizen will be subject to an “administrative punishment” (a fine, or possibly denial of entry to Ukraine). The cheapest way to fly into Ukraine is through the Boryspil International Airport near Kiev. The main international hubs for these flights are Budapest, Frankfurt, Milan, Munich, Prague, London, Rome, Vienna and Warsaw with several flights a day of Austrian AUA, CSA Czech Airlines, LOT, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Air France, British Airways, KLM and Ukraine International, which code-shares on these routes with the respective carriers. Special offers on flights come and go, depending on the whim of the carrier. Low-cost airline Wizzair started operations from other countries and within Ukraine as well. The only other low cost carrier serving Ukraine is AirBaltic, with flights routing through either Riga, Latvia, or Vilnius, Lithuania. Be advised that if you have a lot of baggage, Wizzair offers 30kg against the others 20kg allowances. There are several airlines which offer direct flights to cities like Dnipropetrovsk (Lufthansa), Odessa (LOT, Austrian, CSA Czech Airlines), Kharkiv and Lviv (LOT, Austrian Airlines), but they are more expensive. To fly inside Ukraine, the most common airline is Ukraine International Airlines. It is the unofficial national airline, and its routes cover all of Ukraine’s major destinations. Planes used are newer Boeing 737 aircraft. There are daily direct overnight trains from Prague, Warsaw, Belgrade, Budapest, Bucharest and Vienna and Sofia to Lviv or Kiev. When coming from Western Europe there will be a 2-3 hour wait at the border while the train’s bogies are changed in order to adapt to a different rail gauge. It’s generally quicker and cheaper to buy a ticket to the border and then change trains, rather than to wait for a through train. From Kiev there are good international connections with central Europe and Russia. Departures from Belgrade (36h), Budapest (24h), Chiinu (15h), Minsk (12h), Prague (35h), Sofia (37h) via Bucharest (26h) and Warsaw (16h) are nightly. From Moscow there are a multitude of trains with the fastest one being Metropolitan Express taking just 8 hours. Saint Petersburg is also well served with an overnight train taking 23 hours. There is also a connection from Venice (45h) via Ljubljana (41h) once a week, departing Thursdays. More exotic cities with infrequent departures from Kiev include Astana (73h, Thu), Baku (64h, Wed) and Murmansk (61h, seasonal). And if you are looking for a real journey, hop on train 133E linking Kiev with Vladivostok. It’s one of the longest journeys possible by train, taking eight nights! Information about trains can be found on the website of the Ukrainian rail-roads in English and Ukrainian. The website is still ‘beta’ and has some issues, particularly with booking online. There are inexpensive direct bus services to Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk from Poland.They usually offer a budget level of comfort and cost about UAH 90-100. There are ferries to Ukraine several times a week from Batumi and Poti in Georgia (48 hours), and from Istanbul Haydarpasa (27 hours). For schedules, prices and tickets see www.ukrferry.com. These ferries land in Ukraine at Chornomorske (formerly called Illichivs’k) 20 km SW of Odessa – see that page for onward transport options. They run all year and take vehicles. This network of ferries serves other Black Sea ports such as Samsun, Varna & Constanta, but usually without direct sailing to Odessa. The nearest significant town on the Polish side is Przemyl, and it’s easy to find by following route #4 (which passes through Przemyl), also known as the E40 in European terms. When you arrive, the road is fairly narrow (no motorway/autobahn this) with a queue of trucks and vans parked to the right of the road; a hard-core parking area with cafe/bar to the left. Don’t stop behind the goods vehicles, slip up the side of them and then feed into the customs area when the guy flags you forward (for courteous Europeans, you’re not jumping the queue – commercial traffic goes through a different process). If you’re in an EU registered car then make for the EU-passports, passport control section. Thence to Ukrainian passport control and then Ukrainian customs and then you’re through. It used to be a nightmare, with apocalyptic tales of 5-6+ hours at the border, but the Ukrainians have made great advances in efficiency and it takes about an hour to make the crossing (2012). Don’t expect the border police to treat you in a friendly or even respectful manner, in fact, expect anything ranging from neutral to extremely obnoxious behaviour. Once through, just follow the main road towards Lviv on the E40 – this is the route right across Ukraine to Kiev (and thence on to the east). Stick to this – the main towns on the way are Lviv, Rivne, Zhytomyr. Watch out about 15-20km inside Ukraine, in Mostyska, as police have gone crazy about traffic calming measures here (speed bumps or “sleeping policemen”). They are like icebergs across the road, and very badly marked. There are about four or five sets of them through the village. Other than that, take care on the road, which although the main east/west highway, and the main road route into the EU, still remains in a miserable condition (surface-wise). You will soon realise why Ukraine has such poor statistics in relation to driver and pedestrian fatalities and injuries. Drive defensively! You can walk across the 200m long bridge from Sighetu Marmaiei, Romania. Once you get to Solotvino, Ukraine, you can continue your travel in a car or a train. Bicycling is also a possibility in summer. When you have crossed the wonderful old bridge go uphill, at the church turn right. After some 50 metres there is an ATM right-hand! That’s important because train tickets can be bought only in hryvnya and there is neither an exchange point nor an ATM nor the possibility to pay by credit card on the train station! Go ahead and before the rail-road crossing turn left.There is one train a day to Lviv (in the late afternoon). It stops in every village and takes about 13 hours to get to the final destination, the ticket is about 10. You cannot cross the border at Krocienko (Poland) by foot or by bicycle. You must be in a vehicle. Coming from Poland by bicycle in August 2011 a cyclist only has to wait about 5 minutes to flag down a driver who was willing (and had space) to take him, a bicycle, and a full cycle touring kit. The actually crossing then took about an hour or so. There was no charge by the driver or the immigration officials. Update July 2017: crossing with a bicycle was not a problem at all, there is even a signposted cycling route (R63) between Poland and Ukraine. You might also be able to skip the car queue and go straight to the checkpoint. Be aware that all foreigners are subject to higher scrutiny by police when travelling on public transportation, especially intercity forms of it. Be prepared to show your passport and entry papers and keep your embassy/consulate number handy in case you come across a corrupt official. If you are caught outside your base city without your official documents, be prepared for a big fine. The quickest way to get around big cities is the so-called marshrutka: the minibuses which follow routes much like the regular buses do. You can generally flag them down or ask them to stop at places other than the specified bus stops. The fare is paid as soon as you get in, and is fixed no matter how far you want to go. This is the same for the conventional buses, tram, trolley-buses and the Metro. Tell the driver that you want to get off when you are approaching the destination. Each city has an intercity bus station from which you can go pretty much anywhere in Ukraine. Fares and quality of service vary widely. UIA offers cheap flights that can be booked on-line and can be a time-saving alternative. For example, the flight Odessa-Kiev (one way) is USD180 (including tax and fees) and takes 1.5 hours. However, be sure to book early for the cheapest fares. Trains are operated by state-owned Ukrainian Railways. Train classes, coaches and ticket system are very similar to Russia and other CIS countries, see Russian train article. Ukrainian trains are quite old and slow by West European standards, and not very frequent, but they are punctual, reliable and very cheap. For example Kiev to Odessa only has 3 direct services per day, 7 hours & 550 uah by the fastest “Inter-city”, 9-10 hours & 400 uah by the slower “express”. So for a 300-mile journey with some half a dozen stops, the trains are averaging 30-40 mph on straight level terrain – the Bullet Train it’s not. Generally, in Ukraine, for long distance the train is preferred over the bus because of their comfort and because often they are even cheaper. The “Lux” sleeping cars have a two-berth cabin. Second class are cabins with four berths. Third class have six berths through which the aisle passes. Advance online booking is highly recommended, firstly because some trains are popular and will sell out, secondly because it avoids having to negotiate your journey at a frenetic foreign railway station. For timetables, prices and bookings visit Ukraine Railways or Ukrainian Railways e-shop (these websites are in English, Russian and Ukrainian). Tickets with a little QR code icon should be printed off at home and are good to go. Other e-tickets are just a voucher which must be exchanged in advance for a ticket, at any mainline station in Ukraine. (So don’t buy such a ticket for a journey that starts outside Ukraine.) Do this preferably an hour before departure, because close to departure of a long-distance express, the ticket area will become a frantic maul. Large train stations may have dedicated counters for e-vouchers; eg Kiev does, while in Odessa any window will do. Either way, before queuing look out for the “technical break” times posted on each window. If you have to buy on the day, write your destination and train number on a piece of paper; desk clerks have little English or German. Large stations have big screens that show tickets available for the upcoming trains. There are two major bus companies that run buses from all of the major cities to and from Kiev: they are Avtolux, and Gunsel. Prices run about UAH100-120 for service to Dnipro and Kharkiv. The major advantage of the bus service is that it leaves from Boryspil and stops in Kiev, so if your destination is not Kiev, its easier than taking a bus to the Main Passenger Railway Station in Kiev. The buses are standard coach buses, serve cold drinks and tea, show movies, and make a stop about every 3-4 hours. They run every few hours. Avtolux has a VIP bus to and from Odessa that has nice leather seats and is more less non-stop. It departs once a day, takes four hours or so both to and from Kiev and costs about UAH160-170. In addition, just as in Russia, there are private minibuses called Marshrutka. These run on fixed routes and may be licensed as either buses or taxis. You can board one at the start of the route or at fixed stops. Some of them will also stop at any point between designated stops, but this largely depends on the region and even on the driver’s mood. Officially, they are not supposed to drop passengers outside designated bus stops, but in reality they do it quite often. At the start of the route and at fixed routes, you may find a queue you will have to stand in. At other places, just wave your hand when you see one. if there are seats available, the minibus will stop for you. To get off, tell the driver when you reach your destination and he will stop. You need to pay the amount of your fare to the driver. You don’t get a ticket, unless you ask for it. Often it’s not easy to figure out which Marshrutka will take you to your destination, as in any city there are literally hundreds of different routes. Taxi is probably the most safe way to get around the city. You want to ask your hotel or restaurant to call you a taxi. Ukraine is largely a referral based economy, and this is how you get quality, safety and good service. Taxis are always busy. Locals will tell you to call in advance. Trying to hail a cab won’t be productive at best and get you in deep trouble at worst. It might seem unreasonable to hire a taxi to take you 100km to the next city. If you use your hotels referral, you will get a decent rate. It might be twice as expensive as train, but convenient, less time consuming, and secure. Keep in mind, you need a taxi to take you to the bus or train station. Americans will find the buses for long distance travel crowded and uncomfortable. It is possible to get around in Ukraine by car, but one must be aware of certain particulars: The signs are all in Ukrainian (Cyrillic alphabet). Only a few signs (every 200km or so) are written in the Latin alphabet, and indicate main cities. It is recommended you have a good road map (those available are mainly in Ukrainian, but Latin alphabet maps are starting to appear), because place names aren’t well posted on road signs. You are strongly advised to respect the signs, especially speed limits. Be aware that unlike in Western countries, where limits are repeated several times, in Ukraine, an obligation or a prohibition is often indicated on a single sign, which you must not miss. And even these signs are often far off the road, covered by branches, etc. The police are always there to remind you. Speed in cities is limited to 60km/h (40mph). However people do drive fast anyway. Speed in “nationals” (single carriageway countryside roads) is limited to 90km/h (55mph). The poor average quality of the roads already acts as a speed checker. Speed on highways (motorways) is limited to 110-120km/h (75mph). Be aware that corruption is widespread among Ukrainian police, and tourists are an especially profitable target. When you are stopped for speeding or other offences, officers might aggressively try and extract ridiculous sums of money from you (100 and up), offering “reductions” if you pay on the spot (the proposed alternative being some unpleasant and more expensive way, all made up). If you’re asked anything beyond that, demand a written ticket for you to pay later instead. Don’t let them intimidate you. It’s very useful to have an embassy phone number handy for these cases. If you mention that, they’ll let you off the hook quicker than you know it. At any rate, write down the officers’ badge numbers, rank, plate number of the police car, and notify the nearest embassy/consulate in detail, to help fight these corrupt practices. Fuel is no longer a problem in Ukraine, especially for those who remember travelling to Ukraine during the early 1990s, when petrol was considered precious. Today, there are plenty service stations. There are varying types of fuel, such as diesel, unleaded 95 octane, and (more rarely) unleaded 98 octane; one finds also 80 and 76 octane. Note that if you choose to fill-up in a rural filling station, you will need to pay first, and in cash. Even there many stations do accept credit cards, however. The state of the roads is a huge subject: The main roads are OK for all cars, as long as you don’t go too fast. Numerous running repairs have created a patchwork road surface, and it will seriously test your suspension – even on the major dual carriageways. Secondary roads are passable, but beware: certain zones can be full of potholes and you must treat them with extra care, or avoid them entirely. Roads between villages are often little more than dirt tracks and not metalled. Road works have been ongoing, but the quality of the roads is shy of Western Europe (with the exception of Kiev). Be careful when driving in towns or villages. Sometimes animals prefer to walk on the road, and they are a hazard for all drivers. You’re likely to see plenty of animals hit by cars, so be prepared… Bicycle traffic is not very common, but you will sometimes see an aged man transporting a sack of grass on an old road-bike or a cycling enthusiast in bright clothes riding a semi-professional racing bike. Those are even more likely to be met on well-maintained roads where the pavement is smooth. Also cyclists will use both lanes of the road in both directions equally i.e. you are just as likely to meet a cyclist coming towards you, riding on the verge, as you will travelling in your direction. And almost invariably without lights or bright clothing so be extra careful when driving at night and dawn/dusk. Also, don’t be surprised to see plenty of horse drawn carts – even on the dual carriageways. Hitchhiking in Ukraine is average. It’s possible to go by hitchhiking – usually cargo trucks will take you for free – but it’s still worth to try stop personal cars as well. Good people are everywhere; you may be picked up in a Lada or a Lexus. (More usually the former.) The usual hitchhiking gesture (also used to hail taxis and marshrutkas) is to face oncoming traffic and point at the road with a straight right arm held away from the body. Sometimes, for visibility, you may add a downward waving motion of the open right hand. It’s a good idea to write on a piece of paper your destination’s name. Ukrainian is the official language. Near the neighbouring countries, Russian, Romanian, Polish, and Hungarian are spoken. Russian is a close relative of Ukrainian and is most often the language of choice in the south and east of Ukraine. It is safe to assume that virtually any Ukrainian will understand Russian; however, in the western parts people may be reluctant to help you if you speak Russian, though to foreigners, Ukrainians will be more forgiving than to Russians. Especially in Lviv, you will have the hardest time because they not only mostly speak Ukrainian but they have a special dialect of their own. On the other hand, in the eastern parts, Russian is the most commonly spoken language. In the central and eastern parts of the country, you may also find people speaking transitional dialects (generically referred to as the surzhyk, i.e. the “mix [of languages]”). It is also common for people to talk to others in their native language, irrespective of the interlocutors one, so a visitor speaking Russian may be responded to in Ukrainian and vice versa. Kiev, the capital, speaks both languages, but Russian is more commonly used. So Ukrainian is more frequently met in Central and Western Ukraine, Russian in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. Young people are more likely to speak a little English, as it is the most widely taught foreign language in school. Most people in the tourism industry (hostels etc.) do speak English. Also, thanks to Ukraine hosting the Euro 2012, there was a lot of improvement in tourist facilities and police learning English to better assist the people there for the games. In general, Ukrainian is gaining more ground as time goes on. Certain regions may have special rules and can have schooling in Russian like in Luhansk. Russian is in general still the lingua franca but the newer generation of people are encouraging their children to speak Ukrainian in the home. The biggest wall to Ukrainization is that there is a resistance in the East and South from people who would even like Russian to be an official language of the state. Moreover, a lot of media such as books, videos, and video games are only in Russian but there have been a few titles with the option of Ukrainian subtitles on DVDs and some authors write exclusively in Ukrainian, so it is making ground. Universities used to have a choice between Ukrainian or Russian but now most of the national universities except those in special areas or private schools are exclusively taught in Ukrainian. There are plenty of people, however, that believe Ukraine will always have both languages and don’t feel one threatens the other’s existence. Though everyone there is Ukrainian by citizenship, there are more than a million who are of Russian origin; for example Kharkiv itself sports 1 million ethnic Russians. It’s hard to say they are really ethnically different, but they did migrate during the Soviet Union and are proud of their roots as Russians and continue speaking Russian with their kids even though their kids are getting an education in Ukrainian. The whole language thing in Ukrainian is a touchy subject, so hopefully the information provided seems neutral. If you are travelling to Ukraine, learn either basic Ukrainian or basic Russian beforehand (know your phrasebook well) and/or have some means of access to a bilingual speakera mobile/cell number (almost everyone has a mobile phone) can be a godsend. Virtually nobody in any official position (train stations, police, bus drivers, information desks, etc.) will be able to speak any language other than Ukrainian and Russian. If you already know another Slavic language, you will, however, be able to communicate as the Slavic languages are closely related. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Cyrillic alphabet to save you a lot of time and difficulty. Knowing the alphabet helps a lot, because certain words are close to English, like telefon (telephone), so if you can read the Cyrillic alphabet you’ll understand them. – A – B – V – G – D – Zh – Z – I – Y – K – L – M – N – O – P – R – S – T – U – F – Kh – Ts – Ch – Sh – Shch – ‘ – Yu – Ya – G – E – Ye – I – Yi E – Ye – Yo – ‘ – I – E Vast in size and diverse in culture and landscapes, Ukraine has a range of great attractions to offer. Largely unknown to the world, the country’s main draws include some great and quintessentially Slavic cities, impressive cultural heritage and of course top class natural areas. Head to the historic city of Lviv, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site but still a bustling place and a true centre for learning and culture in the country. Its cobblestoned streets are packed with monuments going back to Medieval times, seemingly untouched by the destructive force of wars that have changed some of Ukraine’s other cities so thoroughly. Even the extensive Soviet planning that has shaped many other places on the far east side of Europe have left only a minimal mark on the colourful mix of building styles. Highlights include the Korniakt Palace (right on the market square) and several beautiful churches. For an even more sophisticated taste of culture, try the fine collection of the Lviv National Art Gallery. Then there’s the must-see’s of Kiev, a colourful place where the golden roofs of the Unesco World Heritage sites Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Pechersk Lavra make for some excellent highlights. Take an afternoon stroll through Andriyivsky Uzviz, the Montmartre of Kiev, where you’ll find a bustling mix of artist and souvenir sellers. Follow in the footsteps of Apostle Andrew, who – according to legend – climbed the steep stairs of this bohemian neighbourhood two thousand years ago, to the top where you’ll now find a church with his name. Don’t miss the excellent Pyrohovo Museum of Folk Architecture. Last but not least, Kiev is one of the best spots to visit Ukraine’s lively markets (but Odesa or Kharkiv have good ones too). Also, consider a trip to the Residence of Bukovinian and the Dalmatian Metropolitans in Chernivtsi. In terms of natural attractions, the lovely Carpathian Mountains are among the best destinations this otherwise remarkably flat country has to offer. They hold beautiful panoramas of forested hills, lush valleys and snowy peaks and offer ample opportunities for hiking and biking as well as for winter sports. The rather little explored Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is another great pick for nature lovers and bird watchers. Base yourself in the charming town of Vylkovo, with its many canals, and go boating and bird-watching during the day. Exchange rates for Ukrainian hryvnia As of January 2018:

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Holidays and observances in Ukraine in 2018

Jan 1MondayNew Year’s DayNational holidayJan 7SundayOrthodox Christmas DayNational holiday, OrthodoxJan 8MondayChristmas holidayNational holiday, OrthodoxJan 14SundayOrthodox New YearObservance, OrthodoxJan 22MondayUkrainian Unity DayObservanceJan 25ThursdayTatiana DayObservanceFeb 14WednesdayValentine’s DayObservanceMar 3SaturdaySpecial Working DayObservanceMar 8ThursdayInternational Women’s DayNational holidayMar 9FridayInternational Women’s Day holidayNational holidayMar 20TuesdayMarch equinoxSeasonMar 25SundayDaylight Saving Time startsClock change/Daylight Saving TimeApr 1SundayApril FoolsObservanceApr 8SundayOrthodox Easter DayNational holiday, OrthodoxApr 9MondayOrthodox Easter Day holidayNational holiday, OrthodoxApr 30MondayLabor Day HolidayNational holidayMay 1TuesdayLabor DayNational holidayMay 5SaturdaySpecial Working DayObservanceMay 9WednesdayVictory Day / Memorial DayNational holidayMay 13SundayMother’s DayObservanceMay 19SaturdayEurope DayObservanceMay 27SundayOrthodox PentecostNational holiday, OrthodoxMay 27SundayCultural Workers and Folk Artists DayObservanceMay 27SundayKiev DayObservanceMay 28MondayOrthodox Pentecost holidayNational holiday, OrthodoxJun 21ThursdayJune SolsticeSeasonJun 23SaturdaySpecial Working DayObservanceJun 28ThursdayConstitution DayNational holidayJun 29FridayConstitution Day HolidayNational holidayJul 7SaturdayKupala NightObservanceJul 8SundayFamily DayObservanceJul 28SaturdayBaptism of Kyivan RusObservanceJul 29SundayNavy DayObservanceAug 24FridayIndependence DayNational holidaySep 23SundaySeptember equinoxSeasonOct 7SundayTeacher’s DayObservanceOct 14SundayDefenders’ DayNational holidayOct 15MondayDefenders’ Day observedNational holidayOct 28SundayDaylight Saving Time endsClock change/Daylight Saving TimeNov 21WednesdayDignity and Freedom DayObservanceDec 6ThursdayArmy DayObservanceDec 19WednesdaySt. Nicholas DayObservance, OrthodoxDec 21FridayDecember SolsticeSeasonDec 22SaturdaySpecial Working DayObservanceDec 24MondayCatholic Christmas holidayNational holidayDec 25TuesdayCatholic Christmas DayNational holidayDec 29SaturdaySpecial Working DayObservanceDec 31MondayNew Year’s Day holidayNational holiday

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Gallery Of Single Women From Russia & Ukraine.Free to Date …

Experience a new level of online dating with GoDateNow.com. We are not just another Ukrainian bridal service we like to think that we connect lonely hearts from all over the world. Women in Ukraine are willing to meet decent men from foreign countries. It is not because they want to move away from their native country but because there are just not enough men in Ukraine. Therefore, Ukrainian women often feel very lonely and want to find someone special for partnership and dating. But why would you prefer a Ukrainian mate to other girls? Just look below: you can find numerous beautiful and intelligent girls for dating, and we readily claim that these girls are one of the most attractive in the world! What is so special about them? Maybe, its their sparkling eyes? Or their caring and cheerful mindsets? Yes, all of these features make these girls even more attractive. However, we believe that the most significant characteristic of Ukrainian women is their family-oriented approach. Men all over the world experience troubles with finding women that would eagerly want to create a family and have children because Western girls have recently become overly fastidious and career-oriented. You will never have such problems with a life partner from Ukraine! Even though they often have successful careers and interesting hobbies, they are always ready to leave everything behind to become mothers and spouses. Do you still hesitate? Scroll through our catalog of Ukrainian women. They look truly amazing. Without doubts, you will find one that fits your ideas of beauty and sex appeal. Your soulmate might be much closer than you think.

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Ukraine | USEmbassy.gov

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July 7, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ukraine  Comments Closed

Kyiv travel – Lonely Planet

Highlights of Kiev Private Sightseeing Tour The tour will start at 10am from the centrally located hotel or apartment of your stay in Kiev. Your guide will meet you at hotel lobby area on reception. The first part of your big tour will start with 3h city tour by private transport. You will know the most interesting places of Kiev and can expect to see them. Among them are: the Golden Gate, Vladimirskiy Cathedral, St. Michaels Square and St. Michael’s Domed Monastery, Foundation Monument to Bohdan Khmelnytskiy, Security Head Office of Ukraine, All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Pedagogical Museum, Red Building of the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kiev, Bessarabskiy Market, House of Chimeras, House of President of Ukraine, National Bank of Ukraine, Ukrainian House, National Philharmonic Society, Maidan Nezalezhnosti /Independence Square, Kievs Funicular, Post Office Square, St. Alexanders Catholic Church, Contract House, Fountain Samson, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,Holy Spirit Church, Clergy House, and Mariinskiy Park and Palace.Visit the the hill where St. Andrew’s Church is situated. Here you will know about the history of the St. Andrews Decent and old town.Then your private guide will bring you at 1pm toview the hill of the Pechersk districtwhere Museum of World War II is situated. Here you will start another walking part of the tour to get familiar with territory of Museum.At 1:30pm enjoy lunch at an Ukrainian cuisine restaurant or cafe on your way. Lunch time is from 12pm – 4pm, except on weekends. The average price about $8US per person.Lastly, enjoy Kiev Pechersk Lavra Monastery while visiting the Near and Far caves. The Lavra, a large monastery with 28 hectares of land, got this title in 1688. Review the monastery constructions, galleries of the Near and Far Caves, possibility to visit in extra the Museum of Historic Treasures of Ukraine, Museumminiatures and other exhibits. In 1990 Kiev-Pecherskaya Lavra Monastery was enlisted into the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.Finally, you will go to the nearest Metro station where learn more about Kiev Metro lines and visit the deepest Metro Station in the World Arsenalna (105.5 meters (346 ft)). Tour ends after the 6-hour ride and you can return to your hotelby public transport, metro, taxi, or by bus to Downtown Independence Square called Maidan Nezalezhnosti and the guide will help you.

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July 7, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ukraine  Comments Closed

History of Ukraine – Wikipedia

Prehistoric Ukraine, as part of the Pontic steppe, has played an important role in Eurasian cultural contacts, including the spread of the Chalcolithic, the Bronze Age, Indo-European expansion and the domestication of the horse.[1][2][3] Part of Scythia in antiquity and settled by Getae, in the migration period, Ukraine is also the site of early Slavic expansion, and enters history proper with the establishment of the medieval state of Kievan Rus, which emerged as a powerful nation in the Middle Ages but disintegrated in the 12thcentury. After the middle of the 14th century, present-day Ukrainian territories came under the rule of three external powers:[4] After a 1648 rebellion against dominantly Polish Catholic rule, an assembly of the people (rada) agreed to the Treaty of Pereyaslav in January 1654. In consequence, the southeastern portion of the Polish-Lithuanian empire (east of the Dnieper River) came under Russian rule for the following centuries.[5] After the Partitions of Poland (17721795) and the Russian conquest of the Crimean Khanate, Ukraine found itself divided between the Russian Empire and Habsburg Austria. A chaotic period of warfare ensued after the Russian Revolutions of 1917. The internationally recognised Ukrainian People’s Republic emerged from its own civil war of 1917-1921. The UkrainianSoviet War (1917-1921) followed, in which the bolshevik Red Army established control in late 1919.[6] The Ukrainian Bolsheviks, who had defeated the national government in Kiev, established the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which on 30 December 1922 became one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. Initial Soviet policy on Ukrainian language and Ukrainian culture made Ukrainian the official language of administration and schools. Policy in the 1930s turned to russification. In 1932 and 1933, millions of people, mostly peasants, in Ukraine starved to death in a devastating famine, known as Holodomor. It is estimated by Encyclopdia Britannica that 6 to 8 million people died from hunger in the Soviet Union during this period, of whom 4 to 5 million were Ukrainians.[7] Nikita Khrushchev was appointed the head of the Ukrainian Communist Party in 1938. After Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in September 1939, the Ukrainian SSR’s territory expanded westward. Axis armies occupied Ukraine from 1941 to 1944. During World War II the Ukrainian Insurgent Army fought for Ukrainian independence against both Germany and the Soviet Union. In 1945 the Ukrainian SSR became one of the founding members of the United Nations.[8] After the death of Stalin (1953), Khrushchev as head of the Communist Party of Soviet Union enabled a Ukrainian revival. Nevertheless, political repressions against poets, historians and other intellectuals continued, as in all other parts of the USSR. In 1954 the republic expanded to the south with the transfer of the Crimea. Ukraine became independent again when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. This started a period of transition to a market economy, in which Ukraine suffered an eight-year recession.[9] Subsequently, however, the economy experienced a high increase in GDP growth. Ukraine was caught up in the worldwide economic crisis in 2008 and the economy plunged. GDP fell 20% from spring 2008 to spring 2009, then leveled off.[10] The prolonged Ukrainian crisis began on 21 November 2013, when then-president Viktor Yanukovych suspended preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union. This decision resulted in mass protests by pro-Europeans – events which became known as the “Euromaidan”. After months of such protests, the protesters ousted Yanukovych on 22 February 2014. Following his ousting, unrest enveloped the largely Russophone eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, from where Yanukovych had drawn most of his support. An invasion by Russia of the Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea resulted in the annexation of Crimea by Russia on 18 March 2014. Subsequently, unrest in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine evolved into a war between the post-revolutionary Ukrainian government and pro-Russian insurgents. The Ukrainian crisis also very negatively influenced the Ukrainian economy. Settlement in Ukraine by members of the genus Homo has been documented into distant prehistory. The Neanderthals are associated with the Molodova archaeological sites (43,000-45,000 BC) which include a mammoth bone dwelling.[11][12] Gravettian settlements dating to 32,000 BC have been unearthed and studied in the Buran-Kaya cave site of the Crimean Mountains.[13][14] Around 10,000 years ago the world’s longest river[15] emptied glacier melted water through the Don and the Black Sea. From springs in Gobi it flowed along the Yenisei, which was then dammed by northern glaciers. Through the West Siberian Glacial Lake flowed about 10,000km;[16] It was longer than any river known today.[17] The late Neolithic times the Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture flourished from about 45003000BC.[18] The Copper Age people of the Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture resided in the western part, and the Sredny Stog Culture further east, succeeded by the early Bronze Age Yamna (“Kurgan”) culture of the steppes, and by the Catacomb culture in the 3rd millennium BC. During the Iron Age, these were followed by the Dacians as well as nomadic peoples like the Cimmerians (archaeological Novocherkassk culture), Scythians and Sarmatians. The Scythian Kingdom existed here from 750250BC.[19] Along with ancient Greek colonies founded in the 6th century BC on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea, the colonies of Tyras, Olbia, Hermonassa, continued as Roman and Byzantine cities until the 6th century. In the 3rd century AD, the Goths arrived in the lands of Ukraine around 250375AD, which they called Oium, corresponding to the archaeological Chernyakhov culture.[20] The Ostrogoths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s. North of the Ostrogothic kingdom was the Kiev culture, flourishing from the 2nd5th centuries, when it was overrun by the Huns. After they helped defeat the Huns at the battle of Nedao in 454, the Ostrogoths were allowed by Romans to settle in Pannonia. With the power vacuum created with the end of Hunnic and Gothic rule, Slavic tribes, possibly emerging from the remnants of the Kiev culture, began to expand over much of the territory that is now Ukraine during the 5th century, and beyond to the Balkans from the 6th century. In the 7th century, the territory of modern Ukraine was the core of the state of the Bulgars (often referred to as Old Great Bulgaria) with its capital city of Phanagoria. At the end of the 7th century, most Bulgar tribes migrated in several directions and the remains of their state were absorbed by the Khazars, a semi-nomadic people from Central Asia.[20] The Khazars founded the Khazar kingdom in the southeastern part of today’s Europe, near the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus. The kingdom included western Kazakhstan, and parts of eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, southern Russia, and Crimea. Around 800AD, the kingdom converted to Judaism. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Antes Union was located in the territory of what is now Ukraine. The Antes were the ancestors of Ukrainians: White Croats, Severians, Polans, Drevlyans, Dulebes, Ulichians, and Tiverians. Migrations from Ukraine throughout the Balkans established many Southern Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching almost to the Ilmen Lakes, led to the emergence of the Ilmen Slavs, Krivichs, and Radimichs, the groups ancestral to the Russians. After an Avar raid in 602 and the collapse of the Antes Union, most of these peoples survived as separate tribes until the beginning of the second millennium.[21] As Hrushevsky states, the city of Kiev was established during the time when area around the mid- and low-Dnipro was the part of the Khazar state. He derived that information from local legends because no written chronicles from that period are left. In 882, Kiev was conquered from the Khazars by the Varangian noble Oleg who started the long period of rule of the Rurikid princes. During this time, several Slavic tribes were native to Ukraine, including the Polans, the Drevlyans, the Severians, the Ulichs, the Tiverians, the White Croats and the Dulebes. Situated on lucrative trade routes, Kiev among the Polanians quickly prospered as the center of the powerful Slavic state of Kievan Rus. In CE 941, the prince of Kiev invaded the Byzantine Empire but was defeated in the Rus’Byzantine War (941). In the 11th century, Kievan Rus’ was, geographically, the largest state in Europe, becoming known in the rest of Europe as Ruthenia (the Latin name for Rus’), especially for western principalities of Rus’ after the Mongol invasion. The name “Ukraine”, meaning “in-land” or “native-land”,[22] usually interpreted as “border-land”, first appears in historical documents of the 12th century[23] and then on history maps of the 16th century period.[24] This term seems to have been synonymous with the land of Rus’ propriathe principalities of Kiev, Chernigov and Pereyaslav. The term, “Greater Rus'” was used to apply to all the lands of entire Kievan Rus, including those that were not just Slavic, but also Uralic in the north-east portions of the state. Local regional subdivisions of Rus’ appeared in the Slavic heartland, including, “Belarus'” (White Russia), “Chorna Rus'” (Black Russia) and “Cherven’ Rus'” (Red Russia) in northwestern and western Ukraine. While Christianity had made headway into the territory of Ukraine before the first ecumenical council, the Council of Nicaea (325) (particularly along the Black Sea coast) and, in western Ukraine during the time of empire of Great Moravia, the formal governmental acceptance of Christianity in Rus’ occurred in 988. The major promoter of the Christianization of Kievan Rus’ was the Grand-Duke, Vladimir the Great (Volodymyr). His Christian interest was midwifed by his grandmother, Princess Olga. Later, an enduring part of the East-Slavic legal tradition was set down by the Kievan ruler, Yaroslav I, who promulgated the Russkaya Pravda (Truth of Rus’) which endured through the Lithuanian period of Rus’. Conflict among the various principalities of Rus’, in spite of the efforts of Grand Prince Vladimir Monomakh, led to decline, beginning in the 12th century. In Rus’ propria, the Kiev region, the nascent Rus’ principalities of Halych and Volynia extended their rule. In the north, the name of Moscow appeared in the historical record in the principality of Suzdal, which gave rise to the nation of Russia. In the north-west, the principality of Polotsk increasingly asserted the autonomy of Belarus. Kiev was sacked by Vladimir principality (1169) in the power struggle between princes and later by Cumans and Mongol raiders in the 12th and 13th centuries, respectively. Subsequently, all principalities of present-day Ukraine acknowledged dependence upon the Mongols (12391240). In 1240, the Mongols sacked Kiev, and many people fled to other countries. Five years after the fall of Kiev, Papal envoy Giovanni da Pian del Carpine wrote: A successor state to the Kievan Rus’ on part of the territory of today’s Ukraine was the principality of Galicia-Volhynia. Previously, Vladimir the Great had established the cities of Halych and Ladomir (later Volodimer) as regional capitals. This state was based upon the Dulebe, Tiverian and White Croat tribes. The state was ruled by the descendants of Yaroslav the Wise and Vladimir Monomakh. For a brief period, the country was ruled by a Hungarian nobleman. Battles with the neighbouring states of Poland and Lithuania also occurred, as well as internecine warfare with the independent Ruthenian principality of Chernihiv to the east. At its greatest extension the territory of Galicia-Volhynia included later Wallachia/Bessarabia, thus reaching the shores of the Black Sea. During this period (around 12001400), each principality was independent of the other for a period. The state of Halych-Volynia eventually became a vassal to the Mongolian Empire, but efforts to gain European support for opposition to the Mongols continued. This period marked the first “King of Rus'”; previously, the rulers of Rus’ were termed, “Grand Dukes” or “Princes.” During the 14th century, Poland and Lithuania fought wars against the Mongol invaders, and eventually most of Ukraine passed to the rule of Poland and Lithuania. More particularly, the lands of Volynia in the north and north-west passed to the rule of Lithuanian princes, while the south-west passed to the control of Poland (Galicia). Also the Genoese founded some colonies in Crimean coasts until the Ottoman conquest in the 1470s. Most of Ukraine bordered parts of Lithuania, and some say that the name, “Ukraine” comes from the local word for “border,” although the name “Ukraine” was also used centuries earlier. Lithuania took control of the state of Volynia in northern and northwestern Ukraine, including the region around Kiev (Rus’), and the rulers of Lithuania then adopted the title of ruler of Rus’. Poland took control of the southeastern region. Following the union between Poland and Lithuania, Poles, Germans, Lithuanians and Jews migrated to the region. The 15th-century decline of the Golden Horde enabled the foundation of the Crimean Khanate, which occupied present-day Black Sea shores and southern steppes of Ukraine. Until the late 18th century, the Crimean Khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East,[26] exporting about 2 million slaves from Russia and Ukraine over the period 15001700.[27] It remained a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire until 1774, when it was finally dissolved by the Russian Empire in 1783. Kingdom of Poland After the Union of Lublin in 1569 and the formation of the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth Ukraine fell under Polish administration, becoming part of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. The period immediately following the creation of the Commonwealth saw a huge revitalisation in colonisation efforts. Many new cities and villages were founded. Links between different Ukrainian regions, such as Galicia and Volyn were greatly extended.[28] New schools spread the ideas of the Renaissance; Polish peasants arrived in great numbers and quickly became mixed with the local population; during this time, most of Ukrainian nobles became polonised and converted to Catholicism, and while most Ruthenian-speaking peasants remained within the Eastern Orthodox Church, social tension rose. Ruthenian peasants who fled efforts to force them into serfdom came to be known as Cossacks and earned a reputation for their fierce martial spirit. Some Cossacks were enlisted by the Commonwealth as soldiers to protect the southeastern borders of Commonwealth from Tatars or took part in campaigns abroad (like Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny in the battle of Khotyn 1621). Cossack units were also active in wars between the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth and Tsardom of Russia. Despite the Cossack’s military usefulness, the Commonwealth, dominated by its nobility, refused to grant them any significant autonomy, instead attempting to turn most of the Cossack population into serfs. This led to an increasing number of Cossack rebellions aimed at the Commonwealth. The 1648 Ukrainian Cossack (Kozak) rebellion or Khmelnytsky Uprising, which started an era known as the Ruin (in Polish history as The Deluge), undermined the foundations and stability of the Commonwealth. The nascent Cossack state, the Cossack Hetmanate,[29] usually viewed as precursor of Ukraine,[29] found itself in a three-sided military and diplomatic rivalry with the Ottoman Turks, who controlled the Tatars to the south, the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania, and the Tsardom of Muscovy to the East. The Zaporizhian Host, in order to leave the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth, sought a treaty of protection with Russia in 1654.[29] This agreement was known as the Treaty of Pereyaslav.[29] Commonwealth authorities then sought compromise with the Ukrainian Cossack state by signing the Treaty of Hadiach in 1658, butafter thirteen years of incessant warfarethe agreement was later superseded by 1667 PolishRussian Treaty of Andrusovo, which divided Ukrainian territory between the Commonwealth and Russia. Under Russia, the Cossacks initially retained official autonomy in the Hetmanate.[29] For a time, they also maintained a semi-independent republic in Zaporozhia, and a colony on the Russian frontier in Sloboda Ukraine. During subsequent decades, Tsarist rule over central Ukraine gradually replaced ‘protection’. Sporadic Cossack uprisings were now aimed at the Russian authorities, but eventually petered out by the late 18th century, following the destruction of entire Cossack hosts. After the Partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795, the extreme west of Ukraine fell under the control of the Austrians, with the rest becoming a part of the Russian Empire. As a result of Russo-Turkish Wars the Ottoman Empire’s control receded from south-central Ukraine, while the rule of Hungary over the Transcarpathian region continued. Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were inspired by the nationalistic spirit stirring other European peoples existing under other imperial governments and became determined to revive the Ukrainian linguistic and cultural traditions and re-establish a Ukrainian nation-state, a movement that became known as Ukrainophilism. Russia, fearing separatism, imposed strict limits on attempts to elevate the Ukrainian language and culture, even banning its use and study. The Russophile policies of Russification and Panslavism led to an exodus of a number of Ukrainian intellectuals into Western Ukraine. However, many Ukrainians accepted their fate in the Russian Empire and some were to achieve a great success there. Many Russian writers, composers, painters and architects of the 19th century were of Ukrainian descent. Probably the most notable were Nikolai Gogol, one of the greatest writers in the history of Russian literature, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, one of the greatest composers in the history of Russian music, whose father came of Ukrainian Cossack stock. The fate of the Ukrainians was far different under the Austrian Empire where they found themselves in the pawn position of the Russian-Austrian power struggle for the Central and Southern Europe. Unlike in Russia, most of the elite that ruled Galicia were of Austrian or Polish descent, with the Ruthenians being almost exclusively kept in peasantry. During the 19th century, Russophilia was a common occurrence among the Slavic population, but the mass exodus of Ukrainian intellectuals escaping from Russian repression in Eastern Ukraine, as well as the intervention of Austrian authorities, caused the movement to be replaced by Ukrainophilia, which would then cross-over into the Russian Empire. With the start of World War I, all those supporting Russia were rounded up by Austrian forces and held in a concentration camp at Talerhof where many died. Ukraine emerges as the concept of a nation, and the Ukrainians as a nationality, with the Ukrainian National Revival in the mid-18th century, in the wake of the peasant revolt of 1768/69 and the eventual partition of the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth. Galicia fell to the Austrian Empire, and the rest of Ukraine to the Russian Empire. While right-bank Ukraine belonged to the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth until late 1793, left-bank Ukraine had been incorporated into Tsardom of Russia in 1667 (under the Treaty of Andrusovo). In 1672, Podolia was occupied by the Turkish Ottoman Empire, while Kiev and Braclav came under the control of Hetman Petro Doroshenko until 1681, when they were also captured by the Turks but in 1699 the Treaty of Karlowitz returned those lands to the Commonwealth. Most of Ukraine fell to the Russian Empire under the reign of Catherine the Great; in 1793 right-bank Ukraine was annexed by Russia in the Second Partition of Poland.[30] Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were inspired by the nationalistic spirit stirring other European peoples existing under other imperial governments. Russia, fearing separatism, imposed strict limits on attempts to elevate the Ukrainian language and culture, even banning its use and study. The Russophile policies of Russification and Panslavism led to an exodus of a number some Ukrainian intellectuals into Western Ukraine, while others embraced a Pan-Slavic or Russian identity. This led to many of the great Russian authors and composers of the 19th century being of Ukrainian origin (notably Nikolai Gogol and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky). Ukraine, which included Crimea, the Kuban, and portions of Don Cossack lands with large Ukrainian populations (along with ethnic Russians, and Jews), tried to break free from Russia after the February 1917 revolution in St. Petersburg. Historian Paul Kubicek states: A Canadian scholar Orest Subtelney provides a context from the long span of European history: The Ukrainian War of Independence of 1917 to 1921 produced the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (in 1919 merged from the Ukrainian People’s Republic and West Ukrainian People’s Republic) which was quickly subsumed in the Soviet Union. Galicia, South Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina, and Carpathian Ruthenia were added as a result of the MolotovRibbentrop Pact in 1939 and the Soviet victory over Germany in the Second World War, 1939-45. The Soviet famine of 193233, now known as the Holodomor, left millions dead in the Soviet Union, the majority of them Ukrainians not only in Ukraine but also in Kuban and former Don Cossack lands.[33][34] The Second World War began in September 1939, when Hitler and Stalin invaded Poland, the Soviet Union taking most of Western Ukraine. Nazi Germany with its allies invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. Some Ukrainians initially regarded the Wehrmacht soldiers as liberators from Soviet rule, while others formed a partisan movement. Some elements of the Ukrainian nationalist underground formed a Ukrainian Insurgent Army that fought both Soviet forces and the Nazi. Others collaborated with the Germans. In Volhynia, Ukrainian fighters committed a massacre against up to 100,000 Polish civilians.[35] Residual small groups of the UPA-partizans acted near the Polish and Soviet border as long as to the 1950s.[36] After World War II some amendments to the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR were accepted, which allowed it to act as a separate subject of international law in some cases and to a certain extent, remaining a part of the Soviet Union at the same time. In particular, these amendments allowed the Ukrainian SSR to become one of founding members of the United Nations (UN) together with the Soviet Union and the Byelorussian SSR. This was part of a deal with the United States to ensure a degree of balance in the General Assembly, which, the USSR opined, was unbalanced in favor of the Western Bloc. In its capacity as a member of the UN, the Ukrainian SSR was an elected member of the United Nations Security Council in 19481949 and 19841985. The Crimean Oblast was transferred from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine became an independent state, formalised with a referendum in December 1991. On January 21, 1990, over 300,000 Ukrainians[37] organized a human chain for Ukrainian independence between Kiev and Lviv. Ukraine officially declared itself an independent state on August 24, 1991, when the communist Supreme Soviet (parliament) of Ukraine proclaimed that Ukraine would no longer follow the laws of USSR and only the laws of the Ukrainian SSR, de facto declaring Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union. On December 1, voters approved a referendum formalizing independence from the Soviet Union. Over 90% of Ukrainian citizens voted for independence, with majorities in every region, including 56% in Crimea. The Soviet Union formally ceased to exist on December 26, when the presidents of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia (the founding members of the USSR) met in Biaowiea Forest to formally dissolve the Union in accordance with the Soviet Constitution. With this Ukraine’s independence was formalized de jure and recognized by the international community. (Also) on 1 December 1991 Ukrainian voters first presidential election elected Leonid Kravchuk.[38] During his presidency the Ukrainian economy shrank by more than 10% per year (in 1994 by more than 20%).[38] The presidency (1994-2005) of the 2nd President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma was surrounded by numerous corruption scandals and the lessening of media freedoms; including the Cassette Scandal.[38][39] During Kuchma’s presidency, the economy recovered, with GDP growth at around 10% a year in his last years in office.[38] In 2004, Kuchma announced that he would not run for re-election. Two major candidates emerged in the 2004 presidential election. Viktor Yanukovych, the incumbent Prime Minister, supported by both Kuchma and by the Russian Federation, wanted closer ties with Russia. The main opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, called for Ukraine to turn its attention westward and aim to aim to eventually join the EU. In the runoff election, Yanukovych officially won by a narrow margin, but Yushchenko and his supporters alleged that vote rigging and intimidation cost him many votes, especially in eastern Ukraine. A political crisis erupted after the opposition started massive street protests in Kiev and other cities, and the Supreme Court of Ukraine ordered the election results null and void. A second runoff found Viktor Yushchenko the winner. Five days later, Yanukovych resigned from office and his cabinet was dismissed on January 5, 2005. During the Yushchenko term, relations between Russia and Ukraine often appeared strained as Yushchenko looked towards improved relations with the European Union and less toward Russia.[40] In 2005, a highly publicized dispute over natural gas prices with Russia caused shortages in many European countries that were reliant on Ukraine as a transit country.[41] A compromise was reached in January 2006.[41] By the time of the presidential election of 2010, Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko allies during the Orange Revolution had become bitter enemies.[38] Tymoshenko ran for president against both Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych, creating a three-way race. Yushchenko, whose popularity had plummeted,[40] persisted in running, and many pro-Orange voters stayed home.[42] In the second round of the election Yanukovych won the run-off ballot with 48% to Tymoshenko’s 45%. During his presidency (2010-2014) Yanukovych and his Party of Regions were accused of trying to create a “controlled democracy” in Ukraine and of trying to destroy the main opposition party Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, but both have denied these charges.[43] One frequently cited example of Yankukovych’s attempts to centralise power was the 2011 sentencing of Yulia Tymoshenko, which has been condemned by Western governments as potentially being politically motivated.[44] In November 2013, President Yanukovych did not sign the UkraineEuropean Union Association Agreement and instead pursued closer ties with Russia.[45][46] This move sparked protests on the streets of Kiev and, ultimately, the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. Protesters set up camps in Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square),[47] and in December 2013 and January 2014 protesters started taking over various government buildings, first in Kiev and, later, in Western Ukraine.[48] Battles between protesters and police resulted in about 80 deaths in February 2014.[49][50] Following the violence the Ukrainian parliament on 22 February voted to remove Yanukovych from power (on the grounds that his whereabouts were unknown and he thus could not fulfil his duties), and to free Yulia Tymoshenko from prison. The same day Yanukovych supporter Volodymyr Rybak resigned as speaker of the Parliament, and was replaced by Tymoshenko loyalist Oleksandr Turchynov, who was subsequently installed as interim President.[51] Yanukovych had fled Kiev, and subsequently gave a press conference in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.[52] In March 2014, the 2014 Crimean crisis resulted in Crimea being annexed by Russia. Though official results of a referendum on reunification with Russia were reported as showing a large majority in favor of the proposition, the vote was organized under Russian military occupation and was denounced by the European Union and the United States as illegal.[53] The Crimean crisis was followed by pro-Russian unrest in east Ukraine and south Ukraine.[54] In April 2014 Ukrainian separatists self-proclaimed the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic and held referendums on 11 May 2014; the separatists claimed nearly 90% voted in favor of independence.[55][54] Later in April 2014, fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Ukrainian volunteer battalions on one side, and forces supporting the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics on the other side, escalated into the War in Donbass.[54][56] By December 2014 more than 6,400 people had died in this conflict and according to United Nations figures it led to over half a million people becoming internally displaced within Ukraine and two hundred thousand refugees to flee to (mostly) Russia and other neighboring countries.[57][58][59][60] During the same period, political (including adoption of the law on lustration and the law on decommunization) and economic reforms started.[61] On 25 May 2014, Petro Poroshenko was elected president in the first round of the presidential election. By the second half of 2015 independent observers noted that reforms in Ukraine had considerably slowed down, corruption did not subside, and the economy of Ukraine was still in a deep crisis.[61][62][63][64] By December 2015, more than 9,100 people had died (largely civilians) in the War in Donbass, according to United Nations figures.[65] The scholarly study of Ukraine’s history emerged from romantic impulses in the late 19th century. The outstanding leaders were Volodymyr Antonovych (18341908), based in Kiev, and his student Mykhailo Hrushevsky (18661934).[66] For the first time full-scale scholarly studies based on archival sources, modern research techniques, and modern historical theories became possible. However, the demands of government officialsespecially Soviet, but also Czarists and Polishmade it difficult to disseminate ideas that ran counter to the central government. Therefore, exile schools of historians emerged in central Europe and Canada after 1920.[67] Strikingly different interpretations of the medieval state of Kievan Rus’ appear in the four schools of historiography within Ukraine: Russophile, Sovietophile, Eastern Slavic, and Ukrainophile. The Sovietophile and Russophile schools have become marginalized in independent Ukraine, with the Ukrainophile school being dominant in the early 21st century. The Ukrainophile school promotes an identity that is mutually exclusive of Russia. It has come to dominate the nation’s educational system, security forces, and national symbols and monuments, although it has been dismissed as nationalist by Western historians. The East Slavic school, an eclectic compromise between Ukrainophiles and Russophilism, has a weaker ideological and symbolic base, although it is preferred by Ukraine’s centrist former elites.[68] Many historians in recent years have sought alternatives to national histories, and Ukrainian history invited approaches that looked beyond a national paradigm. Multiethnic history recognises the numerous peoples in Ukraine; transnational history portrays Ukraine as a border zone for various empires; and area studies categorises Ukraine as part of Eurasia, or more often as part of East-Central Europe. Plokhy (2007) argues that looking beyond the country’s national history has made possible a richer understanding of Ukraine, its people, and the surrounding regions.[69] After 1991, historical memory was a powerful tool in the political mobilization and legitimation of the post-Soviet Ukrainian state, as well as the division of selectively used memory along the lines of the political division of Ukrainian society. Ukraine did not experience the restorationist paradigm typical of some other post-Soviet nations, including the Baltic states, although the multifaceted history of independence, the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Soviet-era repressions, mass famine, and World War II collaboration were used to provide a different constitutive frame for the new Ukrainian nation. The politics of identity (which includes the production of history textbooks and the authorization of commemorative practices) has remained fragmented and tailored to reflect the ideological anxieties and concerns of individual regions of Ukraine.[70]

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Ukraine, Seeking U.S. Missiles, Halted Cooperation With …

The order issued in April isolated these four investigations. The cases were not closed, the prosecutor generals office said in a statement, but the order blocked Mr. Horbatyuk from issuing subpoenas for evidence or interviewing witnesses. We have no authority to continue our investigation, Mr. Horbatyuk said in an interview. One inquiry dealt with possible money laundering in a single $750,000 payment to Mr. Manafort from a Ukrainian shell company. The payment formed one part of the multimillion dollar transfers to Mr. Manafort from politicians in Ukraine that underpin indictments filed by Mr. Mueller in federal court in Washington and Virginia. Before the case was frozen, prosecutors had subpoenaed records from Ukrainian banks. Another concerned a former chairman of the Ukrainian Parliaments foreign relations committee, Vitaly Kalyuzhny, who had signed nine of 22 entries designated for Mr. Manafort in a secret ledger of political payoffs uncovered after the 2014 revolution. The ledger showed payouts totaling $12.5 million for Mr. Manafort. The handwritten accounting document, called in Ukraine the Black Ledger, is an evidential linchpin for investigating corruption in the former government. Mr. Manafort denied receiving under-the-table payments from the party and his spokesman said the ledger might be a forgery. The other two cases looked at Skadden Arps, which wrote a report with Mr. Manaforts participation that was widely seen as whitewashing the politically motivated arrest and imprisonment of Mr. Yanukovychs principal rival, Yulia V. Tymoshenko. Two months before Ukraines government froze the cases, Mr. Horbatyuk reached out to Mr. Muellers office with a formal offer to cooperate by sharing evidence and leads. Mr. Horbatyuk said that he sent a letter in January and did not receive a reply, but that the offer was now moot, since he has lost the authority to investigate. But entries in the ledger appear to bolster Mr. Muellers money laundering and tax evasion case against Mr. Manafort, said Serhiy Leshchenko, a lawmaker who has closely followed the investigation. They indicate, for example, payments from Ukraine to a Cypriot company, Global Highway Limited, that was also named in an indictment Mr. Mueller filed in federal court in Virginia this year. The company covered hundreds of thousands of dollars of Mr. Manaforts bills at a high-end mens clothing store and antique shop in New York.

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May 5, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ukraine  Comments Closed

Ukraine – The Telegraph

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April 5, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ukraine  Comments Closed

Ukraine Crisis in Maps – The New York Times

Protests in Kiev Turn Deadly as Tensions Persist in Eastern Ukraine Published September 1 At least three police officers have been killed and dozens of police officers and protesters wounded in clashes in Kiev after a vote to give greater powers to separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. Separatist control of these regions, including the border with Russia, has remained unchanged for months. Violence between the two sides has waned in recent weeks and the number of cease-fire violations has decreased, but the situation remains tense.Related Article Source: Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council; Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Area under rebel control Sept. 1 Some sites of fighting since Aug. 30 Rebel-controlled border crossings Some sites of fighting since Aug. 30 Area under rebel control Sept. 1 Some sites of fighting since Aug. 30 Area under rebel control Sept. 1 Source: Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council; Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Cease-Fire Brings Lull, But Clashes Persist In Some Areas Published March 10 The latest cease-fire in Ukraine, brokered by Germany and France and put into effect on Feb. 15, has been more effective than the previous two negotiated truces, which collapsed quickly. Both Ukraine and the Russia-supported separatists claim they removed all heavy weaponry from the buffer zone by the March 7 deadline. But fighting has continued in some areas, including Donetsk, Horlivka and Mariupol.Related Article Source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Some sites of fighting since March 6 Proposed zone for withdrawal of heavy weaponry Area under rebel control MArch 10 Cease-fire demarcation line Proposed zone for withdrawal of long-range rocket systems Some sites of fighting since March 6 Area under rebel control March 10 Cease-fire demarcation line Proposed zone for withdrawal of heavy weaponry Some sites of fighting since March 6 Cease-fire demarcation line Area under rebel control March 10 Proposed zone for withdrawal of heavy weaponry Source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Ukrainian Forces Withdraw From Strategic Town Published February 18 Ukrainian soldiers retreated from Debaltseve, a strategic railroad hub, where intense fighting raged in recent days despite the cease-fire agreement. As many as 8,000 Ukrainian soldiers were trapped, surrounded by Russian-backed militants who had taken control of the main road. It was unclear how many of the soldiers survived and avoided capture.Related Article Source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Ukraine controls this section of the road, though heavy fighting has been reported. Luhanskoye Last Ukrainian checkpoint Railroads through Debaltseve The main supply road was controlled by rebels. Escape route Ukrainian soldiers who were trapped in Debaltseve escaped to Luhanskoye through farm fields. Lohvynove Rebels claimed to control this village. Luhanskoye Last Ukrainian checkpoint. Escape route Soldiers trapped in Debaltseve escaped through farm fields. Main road controlled by rebels. Lohvynove Rebels claim to control this village. Escape route Ukrainian soldiers who were trapped in Debaltseve escaped through farm fields.

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April 5, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ukraine  Comments Closed


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