Kiev history

By the legend Kiev was founded by 3 brothers – Kiy, Scheck, Horif and their sister Lybid. The city was named after the eldest brother – Kiev. Historians claim that first people settled on the territory of modern Kiev by the V century. The place for the city was well selected – high bank vaults of the river Dnieper served as a good defense from incursion of nomad tribes. In 882 Oleg prince of Novgorod captured Kiev and made it the capital of Old Russian powerful state – Kievan Rus. Kievan Rus’ is considered a predecessor state of three modern East Slavic nations: Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

Favorable position of Kiev on the water trade route “from Varangians(Viking) to Greeks” downstream Dnieper contributed to its further fast development. In IX and first half of X centuries Kiev considered to be the largest trade, cultural and craft center of Eastern Europe contesting with the capital of Byzantine Empire – Constantinople.

In 998 the acceptance of Orthodox Christianity and centralization of state power facilitated further straightening and development of political and cultural relations of Kiev with Byzantine and other Christian countries of Europe, its economical prosperity. During the rule of Grand Duke Yaroslav the Wise the St. Sofia Cathedral and first Kievan Rus library were constructed. But internal wars of Russian principalities, popular uprisings, caused by the increasing of feudal oppression leaded to collapse of former powerful Old Russian state. In the first half of XII Kiev lost its role of important political center of Kievan Rus.

In 1240 Kiev was almost fully destroyed and burned out by Mongol Tatars invaders. Headed by Batiy Khan they captured Kiev in autumn of 1240, crossed the Dnieper and surrounded the city. Mongol Tatar yoke, and later the rule of Polish and Lithuanian feudal forced back Kiev economical and cultural development of Kiev.

Introducing of the Magdeburg’s Law has resulted in quick development of foreign affairs and economic growth.

After signing a Lublin Union between Poland and Lithuanian princedom Kiev was again captured by polish feudal what adversely affect city’s development. After freedom fighting war under the leadership of hetman Bogdan Khmelnitskiy Ukraine joined Russia.

After social reform of 1861 and serfdom abolition in cultural and economical life of Kiev change for the better.

After the revolution in Petersburg the power in Kiev changed constantly. By the 22 of January in 1918 Ukrainian Central Rada by the lead of historic Mikhail Grushevskiy proclaimed Ukraine’s Independence. The first president of Ukrainian republic became Grushevskiy by itself. However Ukrainian politics lacked enough political economical and military power to stand up for the Independence of Ukrainian state.

In 1922 the Soviet Union was created and Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic joined it. Officially like a sovereign state in the federation, actually all power was handed to center, and USSR became totalitarian country. Followed numerous repressions against cultural and scientist workers.

During the times of World War II Kiev was almost fully destroyed , 72 days lasted heroically Kiev defense against fascist invaders / 19 September 1941 the troops of Nazi Germany have entered the city. The city was Released on the 6 November 1943 by the price of big loss and human lives. In post-war period Kiev rebuild swiftly. Political situation indeed was – denunciation, purges, show trial, executions in NKVD prisons (Народный комиссариат внутренних дел (people’s commissariat of foreign affairs), deportation to GULAG out of court and investigation. After Stalin’s death Ukraine has adopted more humane civil rights.

By the 6 of July 1990 the parliament of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic proclaims the sovereignty. Disturbed days of hapless Kremlin putsch in august of 1991became turning-point in Ukrainian history. On the 24 of August 1991 Verhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) proclaims the Declaration of Independence. 1 December 1991 the population of Ukraine by the majority of votes 93% supports independence.

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