Ukraine/Ukrainians


Ukraine/Ukrainians:
Development of a Nation
How Ukraine became
Ukraine,
and how the Ukrainians became Ukrainian.


UkraineHow
Ukrainians as a people, and the country of Ukraine as a nation-state,
evolved and materialized into current form, in terms of ancestral
bloodlines, the Ukrainian language, borders, culture, and even how they
received their name.


Ancestral Background
Development of Language
Formation of Borders
Etymology (How Name Received)
Culture
Ukraine in 2008


Ukrainian Ancestral Background:


  1. Kievan Rus
    3000
    BC – The Proto-Balto-Slavic population (based on speakers of the
    Proto-Balto-Slavic language) materialized around modern Lithuania.
  2. Around 1000 BC, a group splinters from the
    Proto-Baltic-Slavic people near the shores of the Baltic Sea
    (centered around modern Lithuania). This group becomes the Slavic
    people, settling around modern Ukraine. After becoming a distinct
    people, they begin to spread in all directions.
  3. By 750 BC, a group splintered off, migrating
    west, becoming ancestors to the modern Poles, Czechs and Slovaks,
    forever being separated and distinct from those that would remain in
    the original homeland, who would become known as the East Slavs, the
    predecessors to the modern Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians.
  4. 1-200 AD: Dacians (a sub-branch from the
    ancient Thracians, who inhabited the eastern Balkan peninsula in
    ancient times) inhabited western Ukraine. They were eventually
    absorbed by the Slavs in the region, leaving a minor genetic imprint
    on Ukrainian people.

  5. Europe 1050 AD
    In the 6th century, another group of Slavs
    would splinter from the original group centered around modern
    Ukraine, diffused east toward Russia and north toward modern
    Belarus. This branch would migrate south into the Balkan peninsula,
    filling the void left by the migrating Germanic peoples, who had
    evacuated the region for crumbling Roman lands to the west. This
    Balkan Slavic group would become known as the South Slavs, and would
    become forever separated and distinct from the East Slavs after
    groups such as the migrating Magyars (predecessors to modern
    Hungarians) settled between them.
  6. 860 – A Swedish Viking tribe migrated south
    into modern Kiev (Ukraine), subduing the Slavs in the area, founding
    the loosely organized Rus Khaganate, the predecessor to the Kievan
    Rus’ state.
  7. By the 10th century, the Rus Khaganate had
    evolved from a Swedish-ruled state to a purely Slavic nation, known
    as Kievan Rus. The Swedish Vikings had been completely absorbed into
    the local populace by this point, adding another trace element to
    the Ukrainian genetic composition. The Kievan Rus became the
    premiere Eastern European power, dominating trade routes from Baltic
    to Black Sea, and from the Khazar Kingdom in the east to the
    Germanic states to the west.


  8. Kievan Rus successor states
    After about 100 years of civil war within the
    Kievan Rus, the consolidated East Slav state finally fractured into
    three principle successor states around 1150: Novgorod Republic,
    Vladimir-Suzdal Principality and the Kingdom of Halych-Volynia.
    Vladimir-Suzdal and Novgorod would later combine to form the Grand
    Duchy of Moscow (the predecessor to Russia), and Halych-Volynia
    would later evolve into Ukraine. Another group of former Kievan Rus
    Slavs in the northwest portion of the former kingdom would be
    absorbed into the Kingdom of Lithuania. This group was the
    predecessor to the modern Belarusians.
  9. Multiple Turkic peoples migrated into modern
    Ukraine throughout Dark Ages, including the Khazars (whose kingdom
    collapsed in 1016), the Kumans (1050 -1241), and the Mongols/Golden
    Horde from 1241 to about 1440. After the collapse of the Golden
    Horde, the Turks continued as a collection of small Turkic khans in
    modern Southern Russia until the Ottoman conquest of 1526. The
    Ottomans were a Muslim, Turkic confederation that would dominate
    southeast Europe and the Middle East from the 14th century until the
    early 20th century.
  10. Russia conquered southern Ukraine from the
    Ottoman Turks by 1774, but a substantial Turkic population remained
    in the region, which would largely be driven out and/or assimilated
    by Ukrainians (under Russian direction) from that point forth,
    leaving a minor trace in the Ukrainian genetic composition.
  11. Despite non-Slavic elements added to their
    genetic pool over the centuries, Ukrainians are of primarily East
    Slav descent.

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Development of Ukrainian
Language:


  1. Mongol Golden Horde conquests
    3000 BC – The Proto-Balto-Slavic language
    (branch of

    Proto-Indo-European
    ) is spoken by Proto-Balto-Slavic group
    centered around Lithuania.
  2. After a split in the Proto-Balto-Slavic nation
    around 1000 BC, the language of those that migrate east and south
    evolves into Slavic (thus the origin of Slavic peoples). The
    language of those that remain in the Baltic region evolves into
    Baltic.
  3. By approximately the 9th century,
    the Slavic language in the Kievan Rus kingdom evolves into Old East
    Slavic. Several dialects of this language develop during existence
    of Kievan Rus.
  4. Kievan Rus splinters into multiple states in
    the 12th century due to civil war. The Eastern
    territories (including Moscow) come under rule of Mongols by 13th
    century, creating partition between eastern and western territories
    of former Kievan Rus state, causing Belarus and Ukrainian languages
    to develop in isolation from what would become Russian.
  5. By 14th century, Ukraine and
    Belarus were conquered by Lithuania, further isolating the evolution
    of their language from the Russian language spoken by East Slavs to
    the east. This “western” East Slav variation would be known as
    Ruthenian, which was influenced by Lithuanian and Polish (as
    Lithuania would join with Poland to form the Polish-Lithuanian
    Commonwealth in 16th century).
  6. After the Polish-Lithuanian Union was formed
    in 1569, most of Ukraine would be under Polish administration, while
    Belarus was largely under Lithuanian administration, isolating the
    two from each other enough to cause a split in the Ruthenian
    language, beginning the divergence of the Ukrainian and Belarusian
    languages. Ukrainian assimilated more Polish influence while
    Belarusian more Lithuanian influence. The two languages were no
    longer mutually intelligible by the 17th century.

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Formation of Ukrainian
Borders:


  1. Europe 1500 AD
    860 – A Swedish Viking tribe migrated south
    into modern Kiev (Ukraine), subduing the Slavs in the area, forming
    the loosely organized Rus Khaganate, a Swedish-ruled political
    entity among the East Slavs (predecessors to modern Russians,
    Ukrainians and Belarusians).
  2. By the 10th century, the Rus Khaganate had
    evolved from a Swedish-ruled state to a purely Slavic nation, known
    as Kievan Rus. The Kievan Rus became the
    premiere Eastern European power, dominating trade routes from Baltic
    to Black Sea, and from the Khazar Kingdom in the east to the
    Germanic states to the west.
  3. 1016 – Collapse of Khazar Kingdom as a result
    of military defeats at the hands of the Kievan Rus. Kievan Rus
    expanded southward.
  4. 1050 – Kumans (aka Kipchaks), a Turkic tribe
    from central Asia, migrated west, conquering the southern part of
    modern Ukraine.
  5. After about 100 years of civil war within the
    Kievan Rus, the consolidated East Slav state finally fractured into
    three principle successor states around 1150: Novgorod Republic,
    Vladimir-Suzdal Principality and the Kingdom of Halych-Volynia.
    Vladimir-Suzdal and Novgorod would later combine to form the Grand
    Duchy of Moscow (the predecessor to Russia), and Halych-Volynia
    would later evolve into Ukraine. Another group of former Kievan Rus
    Slavs in the northwest portion of the former kingdom would be
    absorbed into the Kingdom of Lithuania. This group was the
    predecessor to the modern Belarusians.

  6. Russia expansion
    1241 – The Mongol Empire (Golden Horde)
    conquered the Kipchak/Kuman Empire. The Golden Horde advanced as far
    as the eastern edges of Austria, submitting Poland and Hungary. They
    also conquered the Rus principalities. They retreated from their
    outermost territories when Genghis Khan died, which split the Mongol
    Empire among his four sons. The western portion that encompassed
    eastern Europe, including the Rus principalities (Ukraine, Belarus,
    Russia) is referred to as the Golden Horde. Turkics (Kipchaks)
    comprised the majority of the constituency in modern Southern
    Russia, but the Mongols were the ruling class throughout all of
    modern Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
  7. 1245 – The Mongol Empire (Golden Horde)
    conquered the southeast corner of Halych-Volynia (successor state of Kievan Rus,
    predecessor to modern Ukraine). This was followed by a period
    where the Ukraines would work with the Mongols, participating in
    raids into Poland and Hungary, gaining territory for themselves, but also entering
    in ongoing territorial battles against Poles and Hungarians.
    Ukrainians would largely be successful until about 1300, when the
    tide would turn against them.
  8. 1307 – Lithuania conquered the Principality
    of Polotsk (Rus), consisting of northern-central Belarus.
  9. 1323 – Lithuanians gained control of
    the Volynia portion of the Ukrainian state.

  10. Russia
    1349 – Poles conquered Galicia from
    the Ukrainians, ending their sovereignty.
  11. 1385 – A merger between Poland and
    Lithuania formed the Polish-Lithuanian Union. The two kingdoms still
    operated independently, but formed a defensive alliance against
    the Germanic Teutonic Knights and Moscow, common threats to both. It
    included large
    portions of both modern Belarus and Ukraine.
  12. 1440 – The Golden Horde broke up into
    several Khanates (Turkic principalities and petty kingdomds) in
    modern Southern Russia/Ukraine due to civil war, which had been ongoing since the
    Black Death of 1340.
  13. 1475 – The Crimean Khanate of modern Southern
    Ukraine came under
    control of the Ottoman empire, but maintained partial autonomy.
  14. 1526 –
    The Ottoman Empire conquered Mongol petty
    states in southern Ukraine. The Ottoman Empire was a Muslim, Turkic
    empire that would rule most of the Middle East and Southeast Europe
    from the 14th century until the early 20th century.
  15. 1569 – Establishment of
    Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This new political entity covered modern Poland, Lithuania,
    Belarus, Latvia, large parts of Ukraine and Estonia, and parts of
    Russia. Poland would be the dominant entity.
  16. 1648 – Cossack Uprising in modern
    central/northeast Ukraine against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
    regime.
    It resulted in an independent Turkic state that was a client state to Russia.
    Cossacks were a Turk people that had survived in the region for
    hundreds of years, and had developed friendly relations with
    Ukrainians. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were slaughtered by the Cossacks.
  17. 1654 – 1657

    Russia gained control over Ukraine from the Polish-Lithuanian
    Commonwealth in the Russian-Polish War.
  18. 1725 – A weakened and disorganized
    Poland-Lithuania comes under Russian domination, serving as a
    client/buffer state.
  19. 1768 – 1774 – The Russo-Turkish War ended
    in a Russian victory. It began with the Ottomans declaring war on Russia.
    Russia gained Southern Ukraine, the Northern Caucasus and Crimea, giving
    it access to the Black Sea.
  20. 1772 – First Partition of Poland.
    Poland became a protectorate of Russia, but its ill-protected
    western territories were now threatened by Prussia and
    Austria. Prussia, Austria and Russia agreed to a partition, as
    Russia realized it did not have the

    Russia
    resources to
    defend entire nation. The bulk of Poland-Lithuania remains
    intact, but largely under foreign domination. The extreme west of
    Ukraine was allocated to Austria. Both
    Austria and Russia would attempt to end Ukrainian culture and
    language.
  21. 1775 – Russia imposed direct rule over
    the independent Cossack state in modern Ukraine, absorbing into the Russian
    Empire.
  22. By 1918, following World War I, Ukraine had splintered into multiple
    republics, each claiming independence, as a result of Russia’s
    precarious condition due to civil war. Belarus had also declared
    itself as an independent republic. By 1921, Poland captured western
    part of Ukraine (Galicia), while Russia incorporated the larger
    part of Ukraine into the newly-formed USSR. Belarus was also regained
    by Russia, and
    incorporated into the Soviet Union.
  23. In 1939, as part of the Secret Nazi-Soviet Pact,
    the USSR received
    Galicia (western Poland), which it took by force, adding it to
    Ukraine.
  24. 1940 –The USSR also partitioned
    Northern Bukovina and Budjak from Romania, assigning them to Ukraine
    SSR.
  25. 1941 – 1944: Nazi occupation of Ukraine and
    Belarus. Regained by USSR in 1944.
  26. USSR demands that Carpatho-Ukraine (lost to
    Hungary in 1939, conquered by Red Army in 1944) be annexed into the
    USSR (Ukraine).
  27. 1990 – Belarus and Ukraine break away as the USSR
    fell into collapse, forming respective, independent republics.

    Soviet Bloc

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Etymology
(How Name Received):

From the
Slav word for “borderland” or “marches”. Used as early as the 12th
century, perhaps referring to its geographical location toward the
southwest extremities of the medieval Slavic political entity of Kievan
Rus.


Ukrainian Culture:

Heavily influenced
by, and similar to, Russian culture, due to close ethnic ties, and
centuries under Russian rule (Russian Empire and the Russia-dominated
Soviet Union). At various points in time, its Russian masters have
attempted to purge Ukrainian culture and language.

Ukraine in 2008:


Economy:
After independence
from USSR in 1991, set out to transform economy from state-planned to
free-market, but significant resistance has made this a slow and
incomplete transition, coupled with significant corruption. As a result,
the economy declined drastically during the 90s, compared to pre-1991
levels. Also damaged by overdependence on Russia for energy needs,
especially since it relies heavily on agriculture and industrialization.
Russia has inflated energy prices in recent years, even cutting off
service on occasion in response to pricing disputes and political
differences. Economy has been expanding the last few years due to global
price increases for steel, its leading export.
Government: Democratic Republic
Religion: Ukraine Orthodox 84%.
Demographics: Ukrainian 78%, Russian 17% (population
redistribution during Russian rule, especially USSR effort to “Russianize”).
Population has been in decline in recent years due to low birth rate.

Foreign Policy: Maintains delicate balance between the west (rest
of Europe) and Russia. Russia still aims to exert control over Ukraine,
using energy as a lever, since Ukraine is highly dependent on Russian
energy. Yet, attempts to enhance relations with the west to offset
Russian influence and to increase markets for its exports.
Population: 45,994,287 (2008)



Formation of Nations (All European Nations)


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