Ukrainians

Ukrainians

Overview
Ukrainians are an East Slavic
East Slavs
The East Slavs are Slavic peoples speaking East Slavic languages. Formerly the main population of the medieval state of Kievan Rus, by the seventeenth century they evolved into the Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian peoples.-Sources:...

 ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 native to Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. The Constitution of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens. According to some dictionary definitions, a descriptive name for the "inhabitants of Ukraine" is Ukrainian or Ukrainian people.

The oldest recorded ethnonym
Ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

s used for Ukrainians are Rusy, Rusyny, and Rusychi (from term Rus').
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Encyclopedia
Ukrainians are an East Slavic
East Slavs
The East Slavs are Slavic peoples speaking East Slavic languages. Formerly the main population of the medieval state of Kievan Rus, by the seventeenth century they evolved into the Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian peoples.-Sources:...

 ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 native to Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. The Constitution of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens. According to some dictionary definitions, a descriptive name for the "inhabitants of Ukraine" is Ukrainian or Ukrainian people.

The oldest recorded ethnonym
Ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

s used for Ukrainians are Rusy, Rusyny, and Rusychi (from term Rus'). From the 9th to 12th centuries those names applied to the population of Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

 of what is today the national and ethnic territory of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. Similar designations were adopted by the proto-Russian inhabitants of the northeastern principalities of Rus'.

Before the medieval period, Ukrainians were preceded in the area by the ancient Greeks, Scythians, Sarmatians
Sarmatians
The Iron Age Sarmatians were an Iranian people in Classical Antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD....

, Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

, and Norsemen
Norsemen
Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

. After the 14th century, Ukraine was split between several neighboring states. Until the 17th century, Ukrainians and Belarusians
Belarusians
Belarusians ; are an East Slavic ethnic group who populate the majority of the Republic of Belarus. Introduced to the world as a new state in the early 1990s, the Republic of Belarus brought with it the notion of a re-emerging Belarusian ethnicity, drawn upon the lines of the Old Belarusian...

 identified as the same people, known as Ruthenians
Ruthenians
The name Ruthenian |Rus']]) is a culturally loaded term and has different meanings according to the context in which it is used. Initially, it was the ethnonym used for the East Slavic peoples who lived in Rus'. Later it was used predominantly for Ukrainians...

. In the last few centuries, Ukraine was subjected to periods of Polonization
Polonization
Polonization was the acquisition or imposition of elements of Polish culture, in particular, Polish language, as experienced in some historic periods by non-Polish populations of territories controlled or substantially influenced by Poland...

 and Russification
Russification
Russification is an adoption of the Russian language or some other Russian attributes by non-Russian communities...

, but they managed to preserve a sense of common national identity and culture.

In the last few decades of the 19th century, Ukrainians under Russian rule
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 were forced to emigrate to the Asian regions of the empire, as the Russians sought to colonize it. Many of their counterpart Slavs under Austro-Hungarian
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 rule emigrated to the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 seeking work and better economic opportunities. Today, a large ethnic Ukrainian minority reside in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the United States, Brazil, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and Argentina. According to some sources, around 20 million people outside Ukraine identify as having Ukrainian ethnicity, however the official data of the respective countries calculated together doesn't show more than 10 million. Ukrainians have one of the largest diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

s in the world.

Geographic distribution




Most ethnic Ukrainians live in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 where they make up over three-quarters of the population. The largest population of ethnic Ukrainians outside of Ukraine live in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 where about 2,9 million Russian citizens consider themselves ethnic Ukrainians, while millions of others (primarily in southern Russia
Southern Federal District
Southern Federal District is one of the eight federal districts of Russia. Its territory lies mostly on the Pontic-Caspian steppe. Its population was 13,856,700 according to the 2010 Census, living on an area of...

 and Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

) have some Ukrainian ancestry. The inhabitants of the Kuban
Kuban
Kuban is a geographic region of Southern Russia surrounding the Kuban River, on the Black Sea between the Don Steppe, Volga Delta and the Caucasus...

, for example, have vacillated among three identities, Ukrainian, Russian (supported by the Soviet regime
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

), and "Cossack
Cossack
Cossacks are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who originally were members of democratic, semi-military communities in what is today Ukraine and Southern Russia inhabiting sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper and Don basins and who played an important role in the...

".

According to some previous assumptions, there are also almost an estimated 2.1 million of people of Ukrainian origin in North America (1.2 million in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and 890,000 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

). Large numbers of Ukrainians live in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 (500,000), Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

 (375,000), Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 (about 333,000), Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 (estimates from 300,000 to 400,000), Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 (300,000), Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

 (estimates from 250,000 to 300,000), Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 (100,000), Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 (estimates from 60.000 to 90.000) and Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 (55,000). There are also Ukrainian diasporas in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and the former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

.

Identity



The watershed in the development of modern Ukrainian national consciousness was the struggle for independence during the creation of Ukrainian People's Republic
Ukrainian People's Republic
The Ukrainian People's Republic or Ukrainian National Republic was a republic that was declared in part of the territory of modern Ukraine after the Russian Revolution, eventually headed by Symon Petliura.-Revolutionary Wave:...

 (1917–21). A concerted effort to reverse the growth of Ukrainian national consciousness was begun by the regime of Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 in the late 1920s, and continued with minor interruptions until the most recent times. The man-made Famine-Genocide of 1932–3
Holodomor
The Holodomor was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian SSR between 1932 and 1933. During the famine, which is also known as the "terror-famine in Ukraine" and "famine-genocide in Ukraine", millions of Ukrainians died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of...

, the deportations of the so-called kulak
Kulak
Kulaks were a category of relatively affluent peasants in the later Russian Empire, Soviet Russia, and early Soviet Union...

s, the physical annihilation of the nationally conscious intelligentsia, and terror in general were used to destroy and subdue the Ukrainian nation. Even after Joseph Stalin's death the concept of a Russified though multiethnic Soviet people was officially promoted, according to which the non-Russian nations were relegated to second-class status. The creation of a sovereign and independent Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 in 1991, however, pointed to the failure of the policy of the "merging of nations" and to the enduring strength of the Ukrainian national consciousness. Today, one of the consequences of these acts is Ukrainophobia
Anti-Ukrainian sentiment
Anti-Ukrainian sentiment or Ukrainophobia is animosity towards Ukrainians, Ukrainian culture, language or Ukraine as a nation. It is widely present in Poland and in the former Soviet Union, mainly in the Russian Federation and in some parts of Eastern Ukraine...

.

Biculturalism
Biculturalism
Biculturalism in sociology involves two originally distinct cultures in some form of co-existence.A policy recognizing, fostering or encouraging biculturalism typically emerges in countries that have emerged from a history of national or ethnic conflict in which neither side has gained complete...

 is especially present in southeastern Ukraine with a significant Russian minority. Historical colonization of Ukraine is one of the reasons for creating confusion about national identity to this day. Many citizens of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 took the Ukrainian national identity in the past 20 years. According to the concept of nationality dominant in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 the Ukrainians are people whose native language is Ukrainian (an objective criterion) whether or not they are nationally conscious, and all those who identify themselves as Ukrainian (a subjective criterion) whether or not they speak Ukrainian.

Attempts to introduce a territorial-political concept of Ukrainian nationality on the Western European model (presented by political philosopher Viacheslav Lypynsky) were unsuccessful until the 1990s. Territorial loyalty has also been manifested by the historical national minorities living in Ukraine. The accepted view in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 today is that all permanent inhabitants of Ukraine are its citizens (i.e., Ukrainians) regardless of their ethnic origins or the language in which they communicate. The official declaration of Ukrainian sovereignty of 16 July 1990 stated that "citizens of the Republic of all nationalities constitute the people of Ukraine."

Etymology



The modern name
Name
A name is a word or term used for identification. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. A personal name identifies a specific unique and identifiable individual person, and may or may not include a middle name...

 Ukraintsi (Ukrainians) is derived from Ukraina (Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

), a name first documented in 1187. It is derived from the Proto-Slavic root *kraj-, meaning ‘edge, border’, and originally had the sense off "periphery", "borderland" or "frontier region" etc.

The appellation Ukrainians initially came into common usage in Central Ukraine and did not take hold in Galicia and Bukovyna until the latter part of the 19th century, in Transcarpathia
Carpathian Ruthenia
Carpathian Ruthenia is a region in Eastern Europe, mostly located in western Ukraine's Zakarpattia Oblast , with smaller parts in easternmost Slovakia , Poland's Lemkovyna and Romanian Maramureş.It is...

 until the 1930s, and in the Preshov region until the late 1940s. Those Western Ukrainians used the name Rusyny (Ruthenians) prior to the national revival
Romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...

 of the 19th century.

Origin



Genetic


Ukrainians show the characteristic R1a genes of the patrilineal descent from a single male at a very high frequency of 41.5-54.0%.
Such high frequencies of R1a have been found only in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, and on the Indian subcontinent.


DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 tests of Y chromosomes from representative sample of Ukrainians were analyzed for composition and frequencies of haplogroups. In the Ukrainian gene, pool six haplogroups were revealed: E, F (including G and I), J, N3, P, and R1a1. The major haplogroup in the Ukrainian gene pool, Haplogroup R1a is thought to mark the migration patterns of the early Indo-Europeans
Proto-Indo-Europeans
The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language , a reconstructed prehistoric language of Eurasia.Knowledge of them comes chiefly from the linguistic reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics...

 and is associated with the distribution of the Kurgan
Kurgan
Kurgan is the Turkic term for a tumulus; mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves, originating with its use in Soviet archaeology, now widely used for tumuli in the context of Eastern European and Central Asian archaeology....

 archaeological culture. The second major haplogroup is haplogroup F, which is a combination of the lineages differing by the time of appearance. Haplogroup P
Haplogroup P (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup P is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup.This haplogroup contains the patrilineal ancestors of most Europeans and almost all of the indigenous peoples of the Americas...

 found represents the genetic contribution of the population originating from the ancient autochthonous population of Europe.

Haplogroup J
Haplogroup J (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup J is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. It is one of the major male lines of all living men...

 and Haplogroup E
Haplogroup E (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup E is a human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. Haplogroup E is one of the two main branches of the older Haplogroup DE, the other main branch being haplogroup D. The E clade is divided into two subclades: E1 and E2 .-Origins:Underhill et al. proposed that haplogroup E...

  mark the migration patterns of the Middle-Eastern agriculturists during the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

. The presence of the N3 lineage is likely explained by a contribution of the assimilated Finno-Ugric
Finno-Ugric peoples
The Finno-Ugric peoples are any of several peoples of Europe who speak languages of the proposed Finno-Ugric language family, such as the Finns, Estonians, Mordvins, and Hungarians...

 tribes. A recent study (Rebala et al. 2007) studied several Slavic populations with the aim of localizing the Proto-Slavic homeland. A significant finding of this study is that according to the authors most Slavic populations have similar Y chromosome
Y chromosome
The Y chromosome is one of the two sex-determining chromosomes in most mammals, including humans. In mammals, it contains the gene SRY, which triggers testis development if present. The human Y chromosome is composed of about 60 million base pairs...

 pools, and this similarity can be traced to an origin in middle Dnieper basin of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

.

Ethnic


Cucuteni-Trypillian culture is a late Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 archaeological culture
Archaeological culture
An archaeological culture is a recurring assemblage of artifacts from a specific time and place, which are thought to constitute the material culture remains of a particular past human society. The connection between the artifacts is based on archaeologists' understanding and interpretation and...

 which flourished between ca. 5500 BC and 2750 BC, from the Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

 to the Dniester
Dniester
The Dniester is a river in Eastern Europe. It runs through Ukraine and Moldova and separates most of Moldova's territory from the breakaway de facto state of Transnistria.-Names:...

 and Dnieper regions. It is assumed that this is the first significant culture that influenced the culture of the Ukrainian people, although anatomically modern humans have been present in the region since 32,000 BCE. Later numerous nomadic tribes inhabited the territory of modern Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. The Pontic-Caspian steppe region in the south of Ukraine and Russia is suspected to be the homeland of the Indo-Europeans. Groups would begin breaking off from the main Indo-European pool beginning around 4,000-4,500 BC and continued for centuries, with Indo-Iranian estimated to have separated about 2,000 BC.

In the framework of the Kurgan hypothesis
Kurgan hypothesis
The Kurgan hypothesis is one of the proposals about early Indo-European origins, which postulates that the people of an archaeological "Kurgan culture" in the Pontic steppe were the most likely speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language...

, "the Indo-Europeans who remained after the migrations became speakers of Balto-Slavic". Some of the other Indo-European tribes would return to the region. They included Iranic
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

-speaking Scythians and Sarmatians
Sarmatians
The Iron Age Sarmatians were an Iranian people in Classical Antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD....

, Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 from the Black Sea colonies
Colonies in antiquity
Colonies in antiquity were city-states founded from a mother-city—its "metropolis"—, not from a territory-at-large. Bonds between a colony and its metropolis remained often close, and took specific forms...

, Thracians
Thracians
The ancient Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting areas including Thrace in Southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family...

 from modern-day Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 and Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Illyrians
Illyrians
The Illyrians were a group of tribes who inhabited part of the western Balkans in antiquity and the south-eastern coasts of the Italian peninsula...

 from modern day Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Germanic-speaking Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

 and Varangians
Varangians
The Varangians or Varyags , sometimes referred to as Variagians, were people from the Baltic region, most often associated with Vikings, who from the 9th to 11th centuries ventured eastwards and southwards along the rivers of Eastern Europe, through what is now Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.According...

, and the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

n Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 in the early second millennium AD. There were also non-Indo-European Finno-Ugrians
Finno-Ugric peoples
The Finno-Ugric peoples are any of several peoples of Europe who speak languages of the proposed Finno-Ugric language family, such as the Finns, Estonians, Mordvins, and Hungarians...

 and Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

-speaking Bulgars
Bulgars
The Bulgars were a semi-nomadic who flourished in the Pontic Steppe and the Volga basin in the 7th century.The Bulgars emerge after the collapse of the Hunnic Empire in the 5th century....

, Khazars
Khazars
The Khazars were semi-nomadic Turkic people who established one of the largest polities of medieval Eurasia, with the capital of Atil and territory comprising much of modern-day European Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the northern Caucasus , parts of...

, Pechenegs and Cumans
Cumans
The Cumans were Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman-Kipchak confederation. After Mongol invasion , they decided to seek asylum in Hungary, and subsequently to Bulgaria...

.

At the beginning of 9th century a significant number of Varangians
Varangians
The Varangians or Varyags , sometimes referred to as Variagians, were people from the Baltic region, most often associated with Vikings, who from the 9th to 11th centuries ventured eastwards and southwards along the rivers of Eastern Europe, through what is now Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.According...

 was present in central Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. They used the water ways of Eastern Europe for military raids and trade, particularily the Trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks
Trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks
The trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks was a trade route that connected Scandinavia, Kievan Rus' and the Byzantine Empire. The route allowed traders along the route to establish a direct prosperous trade with Byzantium, and prompted some of them to settle in the territories of...

. Until 11th century these Varangians also served as key mercenary troops for a number of princes in mediaeval Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, as well as for some of the Byzantine emperors, while others occupied key administrative positions in Kievan Rus’ society. After a few centuries those Varangians
Varangians
The Varangians or Varyags , sometimes referred to as Variagians, were people from the Baltic region, most often associated with Vikings, who from the 9th to 11th centuries ventured eastwards and southwards along the rivers of Eastern Europe, through what is now Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.According...

 have adopted local customs of Ukrainian ancestors and they have become slavicized. Besides the other cultural traces, today among Ukrainian names there can be notice a several of those who have Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 origins as a result of mutual influences from that period.

Modern researches confirm that Ukrainian origins are predominantly Slavic, while non-Slavic nomads who lived in the steppes of eventually colonized southern Ukraine did not have a significant influence on the formation of modern Ukrainians. Gothic
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

 historian Jordanes
Jordanes
Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

 and 6th-century Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 authors named two groups that lived in the south-east of Europe: Sclavins (western Slavs) and Antes
Antes (people)
The Antes or Antae were an ancient Slavic-Iranian tribal union in Eastern Europe who lived north of the lower Danube and the Black Sea in the 6th and 7th century AD and who are associated with the archaeological Penkovka culture.- Historiography :Procopius and Jordanes mention the Antes as one of...

. The Antes are normally identified with proto-Ukrainians. Historians believe that the ancestors of Ukrainians were members of large ethnic community of Antes
Antes (people)
The Antes or Antae were an ancient Slavic-Iranian tribal union in Eastern Europe who lived north of the lower Danube and the Black Sea in the 6th and 7th century AD and who are associated with the archaeological Penkovka culture.- Historiography :Procopius and Jordanes mention the Antes as one of...

. The name Antes is of probably of Iranic (Scythian) origin and means people living on the borderland. The state of Antes existed from the end of 4th to early 7th century.

Archeological and linguistic evidence indicates that at the dawning of the Christian era the lands between the Oder River or the Vistula River and the middle Dnieper River
Dnieper River
The Dnieper River is one of the major rivers of Europe that flows from Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine, to the Black Sea.The total length is and has a drainage basin of .The river is noted for its dams and hydroelectric stations...

 basins were inhabited by proto-Slavic tribes. The southern Ukrainian steppes were dominated by Iranian peoples and then Turkic nomadic peoples, although some Slavic agrarian colonization occurred. From the 5th to 7th century AD on, proto-Ukrainian tribes are known to have inhabited Ukrainian territory: the Volhynians, Derevlianians
Drevlyans
The Drevlians were a tribe of Early East Slavs between the 6th and the 10th century, which inhabited the territories of Polesia, Right-bank Ukraine west of Polans, down the stream of the rivers Teteriv, Uzh, Ubort, and Stviga...

, Polianians
Polans (eastern)
The Polans ; also Polianians; were a Slavic tribe between the 6th and the 9th century, which inhabited both sides of the Dnieper river from Liubech to Rodnia and also down the lower streams of the rivers Ros', Sula, Stuhna, Teteriv, Irpin', Desna and Pripyat...

, and Siverianians
Severians
The Severians or Severyans or Siverians were a tribe or tribal union of early East Slavs occupying areas to the east of the middle Dnieper river around the rivers Desna, Sejm and Sula on the territory of the archaeological Romny culture....

 and the less significant Ulychians, Tivertsians, and White Croats
White Croats
White Croats is the designation for the group of Slavic tribes, of which seven tribes led by 5 brothers and 2 sisters migrated to Dalmatia as part of the migration of the Croats in the 7th century, being invited to settle on this vastly depopulated area by Roman...

. These tribes are the ancestors of the Ukrainian nation. Polianians
Polans (eastern)
The Polans ; also Polianians; were a Slavic tribe between the 6th and the 9th century, which inhabited both sides of the Dnieper river from Liubech to Rodnia and also down the lower streams of the rivers Ros', Sula, Stuhna, Teteriv, Irpin', Desna and Pripyat...

 founded the city of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 — later capital of a powerful state known as Rus' (aka Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

). Polianians
Polans (eastern)
The Polans ; also Polianians; were a Slavic tribe between the 6th and the 9th century, which inhabited both sides of the Dnieper river from Liubech to Rodnia and also down the lower streams of the rivers Ros', Sula, Stuhna, Teteriv, Irpin', Desna and Pripyat...

 played the key role in the formation of the Kievan Rus' state. Polianians
Polans (eastern)
The Polans ; also Polianians; were a Slavic tribe between the 6th and the 9th century, which inhabited both sides of the Dnieper river from Liubech to Rodnia and also down the lower streams of the rivers Ros', Sula, Stuhna, Teteriv, Irpin', Desna and Pripyat...

 have played a key role in formation of future Ukrainian nation.

Historical theories that Ukrainians share certain linguistic traits with the two other East Slavic nations, the Belarusians
Belarusians
Belarusians ; are an East Slavic ethnic group who populate the majority of the Republic of Belarus. Introduced to the world as a new state in the early 1990s, the Republic of Belarus brought with it the notion of a re-emerging Belarusian ethnicity, drawn upon the lines of the Old Belarusian...

 and Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

, has been interpreted variously. That the three nations shared a religion and a ruling dynasty in the time of Kievan Rus’ has been used to hypothesize the existence of an "ancient Rus'" nationality, that is, one proto-Rus’ people, that disintegrated under the impact of Mongol, Lithuanian, and Polish domination during the 13th and 14th centuries. That originally "Muscovite concept" became dogma in the USSR and has often been repeated in the West; among Ukrainian scholars it was advocated by Myron Korduba. A second theory states that a single, proto-Ukrainian people lived in the area from the Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

 to the White Sea
White Sea
The White Sea is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast of Russia. It is surrounded by Karelia to the west, the Kola Peninsula to the north, and the Kanin Peninsula to the northeast. The whole of the White Sea is under Russian sovereignty and considered to be part of...

, and that the Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 and Belarusians
Belarusians
Belarusians ; are an East Slavic ethnic group who populate the majority of the Republic of Belarus. Introduced to the world as a new state in the early 1990s, the Republic of Belarus brought with it the notion of a re-emerging Belarusian ethnicity, drawn upon the lines of the Old Belarusian...

 later separated from it. That thesis has been supported by many Ukrainian scholars.

Subethnic groups - Among Ukrainians, there are several distinct subethnic groups, especially in western Ukraine: places like Zakarpattia
Carpathian Ruthenia
Carpathian Ruthenia is a region in Eastern Europe, mostly located in western Ukraine's Zakarpattia Oblast , with smaller parts in easternmost Slovakia , Poland's Lemkovyna and Romanian Maramureş.It is...

 and Halychyna. Among them the most known are Hutsuls
Hutsuls
Hutsuls are an ethno-cultural group of Ukrainian highlanders who for centuries have inhabited the Carpathian mountains, mainly in Ukraine, the northern extremity of Romania .-Etymology:...

, Volhynia
Volhynia
Volhynia, Volynia, or Volyn is a historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Southern Bug River, to the north of Galicia and Podolia; the region is named for the former city of Volyn or Velyn, said to have been located on the Southern Bug River, whose name may come...

ns, Boyko
Boyko
Boyko or Boiko are a distinctive group of Ukrainian highlanders or mountain-dwellers of the Carpathian highlands. The Boykos inhabited the central and the western half of the Carpathians in Ukraine, including the Dolynskyi and a part of the Rozhniativskyi Raions in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast ,...

s and Lemkos
Lemkos
Lemkos , one of several quantitatively and territorially small ethnic groups who also call themselves Rusyns , are one of the ethnic groups inhabiting the Carpathian Mountains...

 (otherwise known as Rusyns
Rusyns
Carpatho-Rusyns are a primarily diasporic ethnic group who speak an Eastern Slavic language, or Ukrainian dialect, known as Rusyn. Carpatho-Rusyns descend from a minority of Ruthenians who did not adopt the use of the ethnonym "Ukrainian" in the early twentieth century...

 - a derivative of Ruthenians
Ruthenians
The name Ruthenian |Rus']]) is a culturally loaded term and has different meanings according to the context in which it is used. Initially, it was the ethnonym used for the East Slavic peoples who lived in Rus'. Later it was used predominantly for Ukrainians...

), each with peculiar area of settlement, dialect, dress, anthropological type and folk traditions. There are several theories about the origin of each of these groups. Ukrainian subethnic groups also include Polishchuks, Bodnars and Kuban Cossacks
Kuban Cossacks
Kuban Cossacks or Kubanians are Cossacks who live in the Kuban region of Russia. Most of the Kuban Cossacks are of descendants of two major groups who were re-settled in the Western Northern Caucasus during the Caucasus War in the late 18th century...

. Some of these subethnic groups were strongly influenced by the neighboring nations, but according to all relevant indicators they belong to the mainstream of Ukrainian people.

History




Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 had a very turbulent history, a fact explained by its geographical position. In the 9th century the Varangians
Varangians
The Varangians or Varyags , sometimes referred to as Variagians, were people from the Baltic region, most often associated with Vikings, who from the 9th to 11th centuries ventured eastwards and southwards along the rivers of Eastern Europe, through what is now Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.According...

 from Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 conquered the proto-Slavic tribes on the territory of today's Ukraine, Belarus, and western Russia and laid the groundwork for the Kievan Rus’ state. The ancestors of the Ukrainian nation such as Polianians
Polans (eastern)
The Polans ; also Polianians; were a Slavic tribe between the 6th and the 9th century, which inhabited both sides of the Dnieper river from Liubech to Rodnia and also down the lower streams of the rivers Ros', Sula, Stuhna, Teteriv, Irpin', Desna and Pripyat...

 had a important role in the development and culturalization of Kievan Rus’ state. The internecine wars between Rus' princes, which began after the death of Yaroslav the Wise, led to the political fragmentation of the state into a number of principalities. The quarreling between the princes left Kievan Rus’ vulnerable to foreign attacks, and the invasion of the Mongols in 1236. and 1240. finally destroyed the state. Another important state in the history of the Ukrainians is Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia (1199–1349).

Third importan state for Ukrainians is Cossack Hetmanate
Cossack Hetmanate
The Hetmanate or Zaporizhian Host was the Ruthenian Cossack state in the Central Ukraine between 1649 and 1782.The Hetmanate was founded by first Ukrainian hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky during the Khmelnytsky Uprising . In 1654 it pledged its allegiance to Muscovy during the Council of Pereyaslav,...

. The Cossacks of Zaporizhia since the late 15th century controlled the lower bends of the river Dnieper, between Russia, Poland and the Tatars of Crimea
Crimean Khanate
Crimean Khanate, or Khanate of Crimea , was a state ruled by Crimean Tatars from 1441 to 1783. Its native name was . Its khans were the patrilineal descendants of Toqa Temür, the thirteenth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan...

, with the fortified capital, Zaporizhian Sich
Zaporizhian Sich
Zaporizhian Sich was socio-political, grassroot, military organization of Ukrainian cossacks placed beyond Dnieper rapids. Sich existed between the 16th and 18th centuries in the region around the today's Kakhovka Reservoir...

. Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Bohdan Zynoviy Mykhailovych Khmelnytsky was a hetman of the Zaporozhian Cossack Hetmanate of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth . He led an uprising against the Commonwealth and its magnates which resulted in the creation of a Cossack state...

 is one of the most celebrated and at the same time most controversial political figures in Ukraine's early-modern history. A brilliant military leader, his greatest achievement in the process of national revolution was the formation of the Cossack Hetmanate
Cossack Hetmanate
The Hetmanate or Zaporizhian Host was the Ruthenian Cossack state in the Central Ukraine between 1649 and 1782.The Hetmanate was founded by first Ukrainian hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky during the Khmelnytsky Uprising . In 1654 it pledged its allegiance to Muscovy during the Council of Pereyaslav,...

 state of the Zaporozhian Host (1648–1782). Period of the Ruin
The Ruin (Ukrainian history)
The Ruin is a period of Ukrainian history from the death of hetman Bohdan Khmelnitsky in 1657 and until ascension of hetman Ivan Mazepa in 1687. This period is characterised by continuous strife, civil war, and foreign intervention of Ukraine's neighbours...

 in the late 17th century in the history of Ukraine is characterized by the disintegration of Ukrainian statehood and general decline. During the Ruin Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 became divided along the Dnieper River into Left-Bank Ukraine
Left-bank Ukraine
Left-bank Ukraine is a historic name of the part of Ukraine on the left bank of the Dnieper River, comprising the modern-day oblasts of Chernihiv, Poltava and Sumy as well as the eastern parts of the Kiev and Cherkasy....

 and Right-Bank Ukraine
Right-bank Ukraine
Right-bank Ukraine , a historical name of a part of Ukraine on the right bank of the Dnieper River, corresponding with modern-day oblasts of Volyn, Rivne, Vinnitsa, Zhytomyr, Kirovohrad and Kiev, as well as part of Cherkasy and Ternopil...

, and the two halves became hostile to each other. Ukrainian leaders during the period were largely opportunists and men of little vision who could not muster broad popular support for their policies.

At the final stages of the First World War, a powerful struggle for an independent Ukrainian state developed in the central Ukrainian territories, which, until 1917, were part of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. The newly established Ukrainian government, the Central Rada, headed by Mykhailo Hrushevsky
Mykhailo Hrushevsky
Mykhailo Serhiyovych Hrushevsky was a Ukrainian academician, politician, historian, and statesman, one of the most important figures of the Ukrainian national revival of the early 20th century...

, issued four universals, the Fourth of which, dated 22 January 1918, declared the independence and sovereignty of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) on 25 January 1918. The session of the Central Rada on 29 April 1918 ratified the Constitution of the UNR and elected Hrushevsky president.

Soviet period


From 1932–1933 millions of Ukrainians starved to death in a famine, known as the Holodomor
Holodomor
The Holodomor was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian SSR between 1932 and 1933. During the famine, which is also known as the "terror-famine in Ukraine" and "famine-genocide in Ukraine", millions of Ukrainians died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of...

. The Soviet regime remained silent about the Holodomor and provided no aid to the victims or the survivors. But news and information about what was going on reached the West and evoked public responses in Polish-ruled Western Ukraine and in the Ukrainian diaspora
Ukrainian diaspora
The Ukrainian diaspora is the global community of ethnic Ukrainians, especially those who maintain some kind of connection, even if ephemeral, to the land of their ancestors and maintain their feeling of Ukrainian national identity within their own local community.-1608 To 1880:After the loss...

. Since the 1990s the independent Ukrainian state, particularly under President Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko is a former President of Ukraine. He took office on January 23, 2005, following a period of popular unrest known as the Orange Revolution...

, the Ukrainian mass media and academic institutions, many foreign governments, most Ukrainian scholars, and many foreign scholars have viewed and written about the Holodomor
Holodomor
The Holodomor was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian SSR between 1932 and 1933. During the famine, which is also known as the "terror-famine in Ukraine" and "famine-genocide in Ukraine", millions of Ukrainians died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of...

 as genocide and issued official declarations and publications to that effect. Modern scholarly estimates of the direct loss of human life due to the famine
Famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

 range between 2.6 million (3-3.5 million) and 12 million although much higher numbers are usually published in the media and cited in political debates. As of March 2008, the parliament of Ukraine
Verkhovna Rada
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is Ukraine's parliament. The Verkhovna Rada is a unicameral parliament composed of 450 deputies, which is presided over by a chairman...

 and the governments of several countries have recognized the Holodomor as an act of genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

.

Historical maps of Ukraine


The Ukrainian state has occupied a number of territories since its initial foundation. Most of these territories have been located within Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, however, as depicted in the maps in the gallery below, has also at times extended well into Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

 and South-Eastern Europe.
At times there has also been a distinct lack of a Ukrainian state, as its territories were on a number of occasions, annexed by its more powerful neighbours.


Culture



Due to Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

's geographical location, its culture primarily exhibits central and eastern European influences. Over the years it has been invariably influenced by movements such as those brought about during the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 and the Renaissance. Today, the country is somewhat culturally divided with the western regions bearing a stronger central European influence and the eastern regions showing a significant Russian influence. A strong Christian culture
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 was predominant for many centuries, although Ukraine was also the center of conflict between the Catholic, Orthodox and Islamic world. Ukrainian culture has elements of some of the oldest cultures in the world such as Trypillian culture.

Languages





Ukrainian (украї́нська мо́ва, ukrayins'ka mova, ukraˈjinʲsʲka ˈmɔʋa) is a language of the East Slavic subgroup
East Slavic languages
The East Slavic languages constitute one of three regional subgroups of Slavic languages, currently spoken in Eastern Europe. It is the group with the largest numbers of speakers, far out-numbering the Western and Southern Slavic groups. Current East Slavic languages are Belarusian, Russian,...

 of the Slavic languages
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

. It is the only official state language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. Written Ukrainian uses a Cyrillic alphabet
Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

. The language shares some vocabulary with the languages of the neighboring Slavic nations, most notably with Belarusian
Belarusian language
The Belarusian language , sometimes referred to as White Russian or White Ruthenian, is the language of the Belarusian people...

, Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

, Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 and Slovak
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

.

The Ukrainian language traces its origins to the Old East Slavic language
Old East Slavic language
Old East Slavic or Old Ruthenian was a language used in 10th-15th centuries by East Slavs in the Kievan Rus' and states which evolved after the collapse of the Kievan Rus...

 of the medieval state of Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

. In its earlier stages it was called Ruthenian language
Ruthenian language
Ruthenian, or Old Ruthenian , is a term used for the varieties of Eastern Slavonic spoken in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later in the East Slavic territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth....

. Ukrainian, along with other East Slavic languages, is a lineal descendant of the colloquial language used in Kievan Rus' (10th–13th century).

While the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

 placed officials in key Russian areas, practised forced resettlement, and even renamed urban centers to suit their own language, the Mongols did not attempt to annihilate Kievan society and culture.
The second onslaught began with the destruction of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 by the Golden Horde in 1240. This khanate formed the western part of a great Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 that had been founded by Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 in the early 13th century. After the Mongol destruction of Kievan Rus in the 13th century, literary activity in Ukraine declined.
A revival began in the late of the 18th century in the eastern Ukraine with overlapping literary and academic phases at a time when nostalgia for the Cossack
Cossack
Cossacks are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who originally were members of democratic, semi-military communities in what is today Ukraine and Southern Russia inhabiting sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper and Don basins and who played an important role in the...

 past and resentment at the loss of autonomy still lingered on.

The language has persisted despite several periods of bans and/or discouragement throughout centuries as it has always nevertheless maintained a sufficient base among the people of Ukraine, its folklore songs, itinerant musicians
Kobzar
A Kobzar was an itinerant Ukrainian bard who sang to his own accompaniment.-Tradition:Kobzars were often blind, and became predominantly so by the 1800s...

, and prominent authors.

According to 2001 All-Ukrainian census, 85.2% of all people of Ukrainian ethnicity living in Ukraine named Ukrainian as their mother-tongue, and 14.8% named Russian as their mother-tongue. This census doesn't cover Ukrainians living in other countries.

Religions


Ukrainians are predominantly Orthodox Christians. In the eastern and southern areas of Ukraine the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate is the most common. In central and western Ukraine there is support for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate
Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate
Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate is one of the three major Orthodox churches in Ukraine, alongside the Ukrainian Orthodox Church , and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church...

 headed by Patriarch Filaret
Patriarch Filaret (Mykhailo Denysenko)
Patriarch Filaret is the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate , former Metropolitan bishop of Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Filaret (secular name in Ukrainian Mykhailo Antonovych Denysenko, in Russian Mikhail Antonovich Denisenko, officially His Holiness, the Patriarch of...

 and also in the western areas of Ukraine and with smaller support throughout the country there is support for the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church is one of the three major Orthodox Churches in Ukraine. Close to ten percent of the Christian population claim to be members of the UAOC. The other Churches are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Russophile Orthodox...

 headed by Metropolitan Mefodiy
Metropolitan Mefodiy (Kudryakov)
Metropolitan Mefodiy in the city of Kopychentsi, Husyatyn region in the district of the Ternopol region.A graduate of the Moscow Theological Academy in Zagorsk....

. In the Western region known as Galicia the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church , Ukrainska Hreko-Katolytska Tserkva), is the largest Eastern Rite Catholic sui juris particular church in full communion with the Holy See, and is directly subject to the Pope...

, one of the Eastern Rite Catholic churches
Eastern Rite Catholic Churches
The Eastern Catholic Churches are autonomous, self-governing particular churches in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. Together with the Latin Church, they compose the worldwide Catholic Church...

 has a strong membership. Various Protestant churches have a growing presence among the Ukrainian population. There are also ethnic minorities that practice other religions, i.e. Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars or Crimeans are a Turkic ethnic group that originally resided in Crimea. They speak the Crimean Tatar language...

 (Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

), and Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 and Karaim
Karaite Judaism
Karaite Judaism or Karaism is a Jewish movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh alone as its supreme legal authority in Halakhah, as well as in theology...

 (Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

).

Music



Ukrainian folk oral literature, poetry, and songs (such as the dumas) are among the most distinctive ethnocultural features of Ukrainians as a people. Religious music existed in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 before the official adoption of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, in the form of plainsong "obychnyi spiv" or "musica practica". Traditional Ukrainian music is easily recognized by its somewhat melancholy tone. It first became known outside of Ukraine during the 18th century as musicians from Ukraine would perform before the royal courts in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. A large number of famous musicians around the world was educated or born in Ukraine, among them are famous names like Dmitry Bortniansky, Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century...

, Myroslav Skoryk
Myroslav Skoryk
Myroslav Skoryk is a famous Ukrainian composer of diverse and impressive compositions. His music is contemporary in style and contains stylistic traits from two disparate folk traditions: Ukrainian and American.- Early life :...

, etc.

Dance



Ukrainian dance refers to the traditional folk dance
Folk dance
The term folk dance describes dances that share some or all of the following attributes:*They are dances performed at social functions by people with little or no professional training, often to traditional music or music based on traditional music....

s of the peoples of Ukraine. Today, Ukrainian dance is primarily represented by what ethnographers
Ethnography
Ethnography is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group...

, folklorists
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 and dance historians refer to as "Ukrainian Folk-Stage Dances", which are stylized representations of traditional dances and their characteristic movements that have been choreographed for concert dance
Concert dance
Concert dance is dance performed for an audience. It is frequently performed in a theatre setting, though this is not a requirement, and it is usually choreographed and performed to set music.By contrast, social dance and participation dance may be performed without an audience and, typically, these...

 performances. This stylized art form has so permeated the culture of Ukraine
Culture of Ukraine
Ukrainian culture refers to the culture associated with the country of Ukraine and sometimes with ethnic Ukrainians across the globe. It contains elements of other Eastern European cultures as well as some Western European influences. Within Ukraine, there are a number of other ethnic groups with...

, that very few purely traditional forms of Ukrainian dance remain today.

Ukrainian dance is often described as energetic, fast-paced, and entertaining, and along with traditional Easter eggs (pysanky), it is a characteristic example of Ukrainian culture recognized and appreciated throughout the world.

Symbols




The national symbols of the Ukrainians are the Flag of Ukraine
Flag of Ukraine
The flag of Ukraine is the national flag of Ukraine. The national flag was officially adopted for the first time in 1918 by a short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic. At that time the commonly used yellow–blue flag had already turned into blue and yellow and sported a trident in the upper left...

 and the Coat of arms of Ukraine
Coat of arms of Ukraine
The state coat of arms of Ukraine or commonly the Tryzub is the national coat of arms of Ukraine, featuring the same colors found on the Ukrainian flag; a blue shield with yellow trident, called the tryzub...

.

The national flag of Ukraine is a blue and yellow bicolour rectangle. The colour fields are of same form and equal size. The colours of the flag represent a blue sky above yellow fields of wheat. The flag was designed for the convention of the Supreme Ruthenian Council, meeting in Lviv
Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...

 in October 1848. Its colours were based on the coat-of-arms of the Galicia-Volhynia Principality.

The Coat of arms of Ukraine
Coat of arms of Ukraine
The state coat of arms of Ukraine or commonly the Tryzub is the national coat of arms of Ukraine, featuring the same colors found on the Ukrainian flag; a blue shield with yellow trident, called the tryzub...

 features the same colours found on the Ukrainian flag
Flag of Ukraine
The flag of Ukraine is the national flag of Ukraine. The national flag was officially adopted for the first time in 1918 by a short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic. At that time the commonly used yellow–blue flag had already turned into blue and yellow and sported a trident in the upper left...

: a blue shield
Shield
A shield is a type of personal armor, meant to intercept attacks, either by stopping projectiles such as arrows or redirecting a hit from a sword, mace or battle axe to the side of the shield-bearer....

 with yellow trident
Trident
A trident , also called a trishul or leister or gig, is a three-pronged spear. It is used for spear fishing and was also a military weapon. Tridents are featured widely in mythical, historical and modern culture. The major Hindu god, Shiva the Destroyer and the sea god Poseidon or Neptune are...

—the symbol of ancient Slavic tribes that once lived in Ukraine, later adopted by Ruthenian
Ruthenians
The name Ruthenian |Rus']]) is a culturally loaded term and has different meanings according to the context in which it is used. Initially, it was the ethnonym used for the East Slavic peoples who lived in Rus'. Later it was used predominantly for Ukrainians...

 and Kievan Rus rulers. Others say that the coat represents also the importance of the Holy Trinity, although coincidentally prior to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 the people of today's Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 believed in Triglav
Triglav (mythology)
Triglav also sometimes called troglav is a deity in Slavic mythology.It is generally believed that Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia and Troglav, highest peak of Dinara in Bosnia and...

, with the similar concept of three.

See also


  • List of Ukrainians
  • List of Ukrainian rulers
  • Lemkos
    Lemkos
    Lemkos , one of several quantitatively and territorially small ethnic groups who also call themselves Rusyns , are one of the ethnic groups inhabiting the Carpathian Mountains...

  • Rusyns
    Rusyns
    Carpatho-Rusyns are a primarily diasporic ethnic group who speak an Eastern Slavic language, or Ukrainian dialect, known as Rusyn. Carpatho-Rusyns descend from a minority of Ruthenians who did not adopt the use of the ethnonym "Ukrainian" in the early twentieth century...

  • Ruthenians
    Ruthenians
    The name Ruthenian |Rus']]) is a culturally loaded term and has different meanings according to the context in which it is used. Initially, it was the ethnonym used for the East Slavic peoples who lived in Rus'. Later it was used predominantly for Ukrainians...

  • Ukrainians in Russia
    Ukrainians in Russia
    The Ukrainians in Russia make up the largest single Ukrainian diaspora of the Ukrainian people. Officially there are 2,942,961 Ukrainians living in Russia or just over 2% of the total population making them the third largest ethnic group after ethnic Russians and Tatars in the Russian...

  • Green Ukraine
    Green Ukraine
    Zeleny Klyn , also known as the Green Ukraine is a historical Ukrainian name of the land in the Russian Far East area between the Amur River and the Pacific Ocean....

  • Soviet population transfers

Online sources


  • "How Rusyns Became Ukrainians", Zerkalo Nedeli
    Zerkalo Nedeli
    Zerkalo Nedeli , usually referred to in English as the Mirror Weekly, is one of Ukraine’s most influential analytical newspapers published weekly in Kiev, the nation's capital. It was founded in 1994, and as of 2006 its print circulation was 57,000. It offers political analysis, original...

     (the Mirror Weekly), July, 2005. Available online in Russian and in Ukrainian.
  • "When Was the Ukrainian Nation Born", Zerkalo Nedeli
    Zerkalo Nedeli
    Zerkalo Nedeli , usually referred to in English as the Mirror Weekly, is one of Ukraine’s most influential analytical newspapers published weekly in Kiev, the nation's capital. It was founded in 1994, and as of 2006 its print circulation was 57,000. It offers political analysis, original...

     (the Mirror Weekly), April 23 – May 6, 2005. Available online in Russian and in Ukrainian.
  • 'We are more "Russian" then them', the History of Myths and Sensations, Zerkalo Nedeli
    Zerkalo Nedeli
    Zerkalo Nedeli , usually referred to in English as the Mirror Weekly, is one of Ukraine’s most influential analytical newspapers published weekly in Kiev, the nation's capital. It was founded in 1994, and as of 2006 its print circulation was 57,000. It offers political analysis, original...

     (the Mirror Weekly), January 27 – February 2, 2001. Available online in Russian and in Ukrainian.
  • External Migration – the Main Cause of Ethnically non-Ukrainian Population in Modern Ukraine. Zerkalo Nedeli
    Zerkalo Nedeli
    Zerkalo Nedeli , usually referred to in English as the Mirror Weekly, is one of Ukraine’s most influential analytical newspapers published weekly in Kiev, the nation's capital. It was founded in 1994, and as of 2006 its print circulation was 57,000. It offers political analysis, original...

    (the Mirror Weekly), January 26 – February 1, 2002. Available online in Russian and in Ukrainian.
  • Halyna Lozko, "Ukrainian ethnology. Ethnographic division of Ukraine" (in Ukrainian). Available online.


External links