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Tuesday 24th October
Ukraine Facts
After the European part of Russia, Ukraine is the largest country in Europe.

Crimea is an autonomous republic within Ukraine. (Crimea was annexed by Russia in 1783 and transferred to Ukraine in 1954).

In 1982 Kyiv celebrated an anniversary of one thousand five hundred years of history. However, excavations have shown that Kyiv has been inhabited since the Stone Age.

The Stone Grave, sixteen kilometres from the city of Melitopol in the region of Zaporizhzhya, is an important archaeological site. The monument, also known as the Stone Library, contains petroglyphs (stone drawings) from ancient times.

Homes made from mammoth bones found in Mezhirich, Ukraine, in 1965 are thought to be some of the oldest known dwellings in the world. The site, dating back fifteen thousand years, contained a number of artifacts including a map scratched on bone.

Kyivan Rus, the Slavic State of the tenth and eleventh centuries, was centred in Ukraine. During this time Kyivan Rus was the most powerful state in Europe.

In 988 Prince Vladimir introduced Christianity to Kyivan Rus.

Prince Yaroslav the Wise, who ruled Kyivan Rus between 1019 and 1054, is remembered for the promotion of learning and culture.

The name "Ukraine" is derived from the word "krai" which means border.

The Zaporozhian Sich, founded in 1553, was a stronghold of Ukrainian Cossacks. The Cossacks were an important military force for the defence of the borders.

The territory known as Ukraine only had only brief periods of independence before 1991.

Between 1917 and 1920 Ukraine was an autonomous republic. However in 1920 Russia reasserted its control.

At the end of December 1922 Ukraine became a member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Igor Sikorsky, the designer of the first practical helicopter, was born in Kiev in 1889.

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953), the composer particularly known for "Peter and the Wolf", was born in Ukraine.

Nijinsky (1890-1950), the famous ballet dancer, was born in Kyiv.

Many Ukrainians have emigrated to countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Canada, the USA, Brazil and Australia.

Golda Meir (1898-1978), who became Israel's Prime Minister in 1969 and the world's second female Prime Minister, was born in Kyiv in Ukraine.

Lew Grade (Lord Grade) was born Louis Winogradsky (1906-1998) in the village of Tokmak near Odessa. He migrated to England with his family in 1912 and became a successful entertainment executive founding Associated Television (ATV).

Ukraine suffered from radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident which occurred in Ukraine (USSR) in 1986.

Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991.

At the end of 2004 Viktor Yanukovych resigned as prime minister following days of street protest (Orange Revolution) over reports of election rigging in the presidential election. Viktor Yushchenko was officially declared president.

Viktor Yanukovych returned as prime minister in August 2006.

In January 2009 a number of European countries were affected by a dispute over the payment of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine.

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