History of Ukraine

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Ukraine 1648

The history of Ukraine ranges from prehistory to the present day.

Prehistory and early history

Distribution area of ​​the Cucuteni-Tripolje culture

The area of ​​today's Ukraine was settled as early as the Paleolithic . During the Neolithic Age , southern Ukraine existed from around 6500 to 5000 BC. Chr. The Bug-Dniester culture. It was followed by the Dnepr-Don culture until 4000 BC. This was followed by the Sredny-Stog culture from 4500 to 3500 BC. Chr. Derijiwka , one of the most famous archaeological sites associated with this culture, is located in the central Ukrainian Oblast of Kirovohrad . At the transition from the Neolithic to the Copper Age , today's Ukraine was one of the regions of origin of the presumably semi-nomadic Kurgan culture , which dates back to 4400 BC. BC to 4300 BC Is valued - this is scientifically not entirely undisputed (cf. criticism of the spa theory and later research ).

Chalcolithic tomb of Katral in the Odessa region

The Kurgan culture was replaced by the Yamnaja culture in the late Copper Age / Early Bronze Age or was absorbed into it - in the vicinity of Dnipro there is the “Storoschowa mohyla” - Kurgan in which Al Trenoschkin excavated early remains of wagons . The stone babas ( Ukrainian Баби кам'яні ; Russian каменные бабы ) - whose largest collection in Ukraine is in Dnipro (see Stone Babas of Dnipropetrovsk ) - are believed to have originated from this period, thanks to their 3000-year history they certainly are not just the product of one people; however, the earliest are associated with the Yamnaya culture, the Iron Age specimens with the Scythians, and the medieval specimens with various Turkic peoples .

The Yamnaja culture followed in the Bronze Age from around 2800/2500 to 2000 BC. The catacomb tomb culture takes its name from the catacombs they created , the underground part of which is most comparable to the Egyptian mastabas . In the Late Bronze Age , the Srubna culture followed in the 20th to 12th century BC (2000–1200 BC).

In the 5th century BC In BC, Pontic Greeks settled on the Ukrainian Black Sea coast and in particular the Crimea and founded colonies . It is also they who tell of the people of the Taurians - from which the name Taurien for the Crimea was derived - who describe them as a people of shepherds.

On the Kerch Strait - called "Cimmerian Bosporus" in ancient Greek sources - lived around 1300 BC. The people of the Cimmerians , until they were displaced by the Scythians in the direction of the Caucasus . The steppe area in the south of Ukraine was part of the so-called Wild Field , which was created in antiquity (8th / 7th centuries BC) by the Iranian- speaking equestrian peoples of the Scythians and later by the Sarmatians who were close to them , who lived in the 4th / 3rd century BC . Century BC BC the Scythians subjugated and assimilated, was inhabited.

In the north and west of today's Ukraine, but also in Belarus, was the Sarubinzy culture , which dates from the 3rd century BC. BC to the 1st century AD, which presumably traded with the cities on the Black Sea . The discovery of many plows also indicates the great importance of arable farming .

Migration period

From the 2nd to the beginning of the 5th century AD , the Chernyakhov culture associated with the Ostrogoths developed in the Ukraine , as the Goths were pushing from the Vistula to the coast of the Black Sea at this time . In addition, north of the Chernyakhov culture, there was also the Kiev culture , which is also dated to the 2nd and up to the 5th century AD. The Crimean Goths lived until the middle of the 8th century until they were subjugated and assimilated by the emerging Khazar Empire - where they presumably gradually defeated the Aorsi , the then largest tribe of the Sarmatians, over a period of 20 years. Around the year 374, the first should Huns under their leader Balamir the Volga crossing, while the kingdom of Alans have destroyed around then with them an alliance to close. The pressure from the east probably also pushed the Scythian tribes of the Jazygens and the Roxolans towards the west (most likely to the Balkans ). In 375 the Greutung (Ostrogoth) Ermanarich (see above all Ammianus Marcellinus , 31, 2f.) Was destroyed, at the latest here the storm of the Huns begins .

In the fourth century, the Bulgarians or proto- Bulgarians could also have been swept away in the course of the great migration. These settled in the so-called "Onoguria" and expanded their empire over today's southern and eastern Ukraine. It was probably around this time that the Slavs coming from the north settled in the area for the first time, although some of them (together with the Bulgarians) may have moved to the Balkans. After the Huns and the peoples they drove westward, a power vacuum developed across the whole of (southern) Ukraine. In the 6th century these early Bulgarians probably divided into Kutrigurs who pushed further west and the Utigurs who remained on the Don and probably founded the Greater Bulgarian Empire , to which large parts of southern and eastern Ukraine belonged. What happened to the Onogurs , another tribe associated with the Proto-Bulgarians, is unclear. So the area of ​​the whole of southern Ukraine became a transit area for the Bulgarians from their homeland, which was probably on the Volga . In the 7th century, the Bulgarians, especially under their leader Kubrat, gradually moved further and further into today's Bulgaria , a part of which probably formed the state of the Volga Bulgarians . The discovery of the significant treasure of Mala Pereshchepyna near Poltava also belongs to this period .

middle Ages

Khazar Empire and Magyar Migration

During the time of the European Early Middle Ages , eastern Ukraine became part of the Khazar Empire around the year 750 . It was also part of the Radhanite trading network ; From about the 8th to the 11th century, these Jewish merchants ensured trade relations between the warring countries of the West and the Islamic world and even traded with India and China - this is probably the best reason for the importance of Judaism in the Khazar Empire The Magyars , who still lived in the Volga region around AD 600 , settled in the area between the Dniester and Dnieper around AD 900 - probably what the Magyars called Etelköz (literally: land between the rivers ) on the western border of the Khazar Empire, to which they had to pay tribute . During this time they were also joined by the Kabars - three tribes that rebelled against the Khazar Empire - and, due to the pressure of the Pechenegs, moved westward into the Carpathians from the vastness of the Eurasian steppe areas and the Bulgarians allied with them under Tsar Simeon I. . After the decline of the Khazar Empire came the horsemen of the Pechenegs, Cumans and the Golden Horde .

Kievan Rus

Kievan Rus in the 11th century

In the 9th century, East Slavic tribes under the influence of Scandinavian Varangians established a loosely structured empire with the capital Kiev , the " Kievan Rus ", on the trade routes from Scandinavia and Novgorod southwards towards Constantinople . Its ruler Vladimir the Great (r. 980-1015) decided in 988 to adopt Christianity according to the Eastern rite . The south of today's Ukraine was ruled by nomadic steppe peoples, especially the Pechenegs and later the Kyptschaks (Cumans, " Polovzi "; Ukrainian Половці ) until the 13th century .

After cultural and economic prosperity, the decline of the Rus began in the 12th century with increasing armed conflicts between the principalities. In 1169 the Prince of Vladimir-Suzdal conquered Kiev, burned it down, acquired the title of Grand Duke and installed his son as prince in Kiev. In 1202 Roman von Halysch-Volodymyr took possession of Kiev and derived from it a claim to the dignity of the Grand Duke, but in the following year he lost the city to the Princes of Pereyaslavl . In the 13th century, Mongolian nomadic tribes from Asia (" Golden Horde ") conquered all Russian states except the Republic of Novgorod and Pskov .

Golden Horde

The realm of the Golden Horde in 1389
The defeated Mikhail Yaroslavich stands in front of Uzbek Khan ( historicizing illustration)

After initial conflicts between Europeans and the Mongols under Genghis Khan in the 1220s , particularly the Battle of the Kalka , the Mongols penetrated as far as Central Europe less than 20 years later, this time under Batu Khan , a grandson of Genghis Khan. Their armies remained undefeated there on April 9, 1241 in the Battle of Liegnitz (Poland) and two days later in the Battle of Muhi (Hungary). In European historiography, these two phases of the Mongol conquests are referred to as the Mongol storm. The siege of Kiev (1240) during the second of the two campaigns, as most historians understand, marked the end of the Kievan Rus.

The Mongols ( sometimes referred to by the Rus as " Tatars ") founded the empire of the Golden Horde - to a large extent on the territory of today's Ukraine. While they themselves mainly settled on the Volga and Kama , they placed themselves at the top of the elite of the conquered culture and ruled this and numerous neighboring peoples through a system of tribute payments, hostages and punitive expeditions: After the conquest, the able-bodied men were often incorporated into the Mongolian army , left established rulers, but family members were taken hostage and a governor appointed ( darughachi in Russian, داروغه darougheh in Persian, basqaq in Turkish) who either stayed on site or returned annually. He ensured the delivery of the tribute to the respective khan and ensured that the vassal state did not pursue a policy that was contrary to that of the Mongol Empire. If something happened to the governor or if he reported disobedience to the Khan, the hostages previously taken were killed and punitive expeditions against the vassal state were undertaken.

However, the bulk of the population of the Golden Horde was not made up of Mongols . The centers of the state were the cities of Sarai in Astrakhan , New Sarai (also Berke-Sarai), Bolgar , Kazan and Azov . The Golden Horde was a dominant power in Eastern Europe from the 13th to the 15th centuries.

Relocation and fragmentation of the Russian metropolis

The Golden Horde destroyed Kiev again in 1240, so that according to the description of one traveler it had "barely two hundred houses". In 1299/1305 the Grand Dukes of Vladiimir-Suzdal managed to move the Metropolitan of All Russians to Vladimir . At the threat of King Casimir III. from Poland to have his Russian subjects baptized Catholics, Bishop Antonios von Galitza ( Halitsch ) was raised to a metropolitan in 1371 and the dioceses of Cholm , Przemyśl and Wolodymyr-Wolynskyj were subordinate to him. But it was not until 1375 that the Patriarch of Constantinople , Philotheos Kokkinos , appointed Kiprian, a new Metropolitan of Kiev, initially with the aim of looking after all Russian Christians after the death of Metropolitan Alexej, who lived in Moscow .

Halich-Volhynia, Lithuania, Poland and the Crimean Khanate

The Principality of Halych-Volhynia in the 13th-14th centuries century

The western Ukrainian principality of Halych-Volhynia acquired an independent significance from the 12th century (see also Volhynia and the history of Galicia ). In the 13th century it had to accept the sovereignty of the Golden Horde and resist its militarily stronger adversary, Vladimir-Suzdal. So it sought support in the West and in 1253 Daniel Romanowitsch of Galicia was crowned Rex Rusiae ("King of Russia") by a papal legate. In the 14th century the principality disintegrated, its north-eastern part, like the central Ukrainian areas on the Dnieper with Kiev, became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania after the battle of the Irpen (see History of Lithuania ). Casimir the Great of Poland conquered the southwestern part of the principality (" Red Ruthenia ", " Galicia ") in the middle of the 14th century (see History of Poland ). In the Lithuanian-Polish dual state formed by the Lublin Union of 1569, the Ukrainian territories that had previously belonged to Lithuania were also placed under the Polish crown. In contrast to the previous liberal policies of Lithuania, the economic and religious oppression of the Orthodox population by Poland increased from this point on. In order to overcome the religious division, the idea of ​​a "reunification" of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches in Lithuania-Poland was pursued. Its concrete implementation in the ecclesiastical union of Brest in 1596, however, met with a lot of resistance among the Ruthenians: The newly created Greek Catholic Church , which retained the Eastern rite but was subordinate to the Pope, was not accepted by many because it was organizationally only Appendage of the western church worked. Another cause of conflict was the fact that the Ukrainian nobility was not recognized as an equal third pillar of the state alongside the Poles and Lithuanians.

Ukraine as part of Poland-Lithuania in 1660
Khanate of the Crimean Tatars was located in the south of today's Ukraine until the 18th century

The south of today's Ukraine became an independent Crimean khanate under Ottoman protection . Large parts of the steppe areas in what is now southern Ukraine were ruled by the descendants of the Nogai Horde , the Black Nogaiians , and settled in a mixture between 1368 and 1783. Many nomads perceived as " Crimean Turks " were in fact Nogai.

Designations "Little Russia" and "Ukraine"

A Greek-Byzantine document from 1380 in connection with the activities for the establishment of Kiprian as Metropolitan of Kiev described the north with Novgorod and Moscow as Greater Russia , the south as Lesser Russia .

The term Ukraine was first used in 1187 in the Hypatius Chronicle for the south-western areas of the Kiev Empire, later for the Galician-Volhyn area. It initially meant "borderland", a term that was used in Rus for many other areas up to the 17th century. In relation to today's Ukraine, this name was for a long time a narrow regional name for the areas on the central Dnieper and was not identical to the broader geographical term Little Russia.

Before one began to speak of a Ukrainian or Belarusian nation in the 19th century, the German term “ Ruthenen ” (ukr. Русини ) and little Russians (ukr. Малороси ) were used for the East Slavic inhabitants of today's Ukraine .

The Ukraine historian Andreas Kappeler criticized this in 2017 for the fact that a "Russian point of view" had been adopted unseen in the West for 200 years.

Cossack state

Against the resistance of the Polish-Lithuanian nobles, Bohdan Chmelnyzkyj established an independent Ukrainian Cossack state ( hetmanate ) with the seat of government in Tschyhyryn in 1648 through a treaty with the Polish king Jan Kazimierz , which quickly became dependent again in 1651 through alliances with Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Thereupon the Ukraine was divided between Poland, which received the right bank Ukraine and Russia , which received the left- bank territories. In the Russian part of Ukraine, the rise of the Russian language began in the Ukraine , while in the Polish part the long-standing polonization continued.

Between Russia and Austria

After the three partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795, western Ukraine, with the exception of eastern Galicia , which became part of the Habsburg Empire , became Russian.

In 1796 the southern and eastern areas of today's Ukraine, which Russia had conquered from the Ottomans, were combined into a Russian governorate ( New Russia ) and the cities of Sevastopol (1763, military port and fortress) and Simferopol (1784) on the Crimean peninsula as well the port city of Odessa (1793) founded. The previously almost uninhabited steppe areas in the southeast were made arable and mostly populated with Russians, but also with Germans . Catherine the Great (Tsarina from 1762 to 1796) promoted the settlement of foreigners in Russia in many places.

The core Ukraine was also referred to as "Little Russia" at this time. The western areas went to the Habsburg Empire as " Galicia and Lodomeria ".

At the Congress of Vienna , among other things, the great powers negotiated the territorial order of Europe. Russia was then ruled by Tsar Alexander I and the Habsburg Empire of Emperor Franz I. Russia secured this expansion to the west by recognizing its territorial gains in Finland and Bessarabia . Of the territories that Russia had acquired in the three partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795, it was allowed to keep the largest part (" Congress Poland ").

Creation of the Ukrainian national movement

The Ukrainian historian Mychajlo Hruschewskyj created the basis for a Ukrainian national movement in Lviv at the end of the 19th / beginning of the 20th century by presenting the conception of a unified East Slavic (Russian) "stream of history" his scheme of a separate development of the peoples of the Russians and Ukrainians opposed. As a result, forces began to form in Kiev demanding independence from Russia. Both Ukrainians and Russians positively relate to medieval Rus.

Independence after the First World War

Cenotaph for Ukrainian prisoners of war in the First World War in Rastatt

During the First World War , the German Reich supported the Ukrainian separation efforts as a weapon of war to weaken Russia. Among other things, up to 50,000 prisoners of war of Ukrainian origin were trained by teaching Ukrainian history and communicating socialist ideas in German prisoner-of-war camps in order to weaken the war opponent through social unrest and nationalism. However, these were no longer used. Nevertheless, some Polish nationalists advocated the theory that Ukrainians didn't really exist, that they were a German invention . Similarly, in the 19th and 20th centuries in Russia, the idea of ​​a Ukrainian cultural nation of its own was declared as an invention of Austrian diplomacy and the Uniate with Rome.

Central Na Rada

With the February revolution in Russia in 1917 and the overthrow of the Tsarist government, Ukraine saw the chance for its own independent state and social development to have come. On March 17, 1917, representatives of political, cultural and professional organizations ( Zentralna Rada ) gathered in Kiev to form a provisional government from among them to replace the tsarist government agencies that had since been abolished. On March 20, 1917, Mychajlo Hruschewskyj was elected chairman of this Ukrainian People's Council.

At the All-Ukrainian National Congress from April 19 to 21, 1917 with around 900 delegates from political parties, peasant organizations, rural and urban self-government, military organizations, cultural and educational institutions, church institutions, and the Ukrainian governorates, 115 deputies were initially elected to the Central Na Rada . This has since been the legislative assembly in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Social Democratic Labor Party and the Ukrainian Party of Social Revolutionaries were the main parties in the Central Rada.

In its 1st Universal of June 23, 1917, the Central Rada called for autonomy for Ukraine within a democratic and federally organized Russia, definition of the borders of Ukraine, and participation in a future peace conference. The demand for autonomy led to a conflict with the Provisional Government (Russia) under Alexander Kerensky , which took the view that the General Secretariat and Central Rada were still subordinate to it. A compromise was negotiated: The Provisional Government (Russia) recognized the General Secretariat as the highest governing body of Ukraine. In return, the General Secretariat and the Central Rada recognized the Provisional Government (of Russia). Ukraine refrained from “one-sided” (unilateral) autonomy. This agreement was reflected in the 2nd Universal (July 16, 1917).

Ukrainian People's Republic

Coat of arms of the Ukrainian People's Republic (1917–1920)

On November 7th, July / November 20,  1917 greg. the Central Na Rada proclaimed the Ukrainian People's Republic as an autonomous state within the new Soviet Russia after the October Revolution . On November 12th, Jul. / November 25,  1917 greg. Elections took place in which the Bolsheviks received 25% and the other parties 75% of the vote.

In mid-December the Bolsheviks organized an uprising in Winnyza. The conquest of eastern Ukrainian territories by the Russian and Ukrainian Red Guards began. On 24./25. December the first congress of delegates of the peasants', workers' and soldiers' councils took place in Kharkiv , which declared the resolutions of the Central Na Rada to be invalid. On December 26th, Bolshevik troops captured Kharkiv. On 30 December, proclaimed Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Ukraine , the Ukrainian People's Republic of Soviets .

On January 9, 1918, elections to the Constituent Assembly of Ukraine took place, but could only be held in the unoccupied areas. The Ukrainian national parties received 70% of the vote, the Bolsheviks 10%. The assembly was never called, however, the Zentralna Rad remained the political decision-making body of the Ukrainian People's Republic. On January 22, 1918 (4th Universal of the Central Rada), the full state independence of the Ukrainian People's Republic was proclaimed.

A Bolshevik uprising took place in Kiev on January 29 and was suppressed on February 4.

On February 7th, Soviet Russian and Ukrainian troops captured Kiev.

On February 9, the Ukrainian People's Republic concluded the so-called Bread Peace of Brest-Litovsk with the Central Powers .

German and Austrian intervention

In mid-February, German and Austrian troops began to conquer western Ukraine . On March 3, they captured Kiev and reinstated the Central Na Rada.

There were briefly several Soviet republics in eastern Ukraine, such as the Soviet Republic of Donetsk-Krivoy Rog , the Soviet Republic of Odessa , the Soviet Republic of Taurida (Crimea) and the Ukrainian Soviet Republic .

On April 29, General Pavlo Skoropadskyj was appointed head of the so-called Ukrainian state by the German occupying forces in Kiev . He was expelled on December 14, 1918 and the Ukrainian People's Republic was restored.

Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

In January 1919, the Bolsheviks captured Kiev and founded the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic . The first constitution was passed in March.

By 1920, the entire territory of eastern Ukraine came under their control.

Western Ukrainian People's Republic

In the former Austro-Hungarian crown land Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria , the West Ukrainian People's Republic ( Sachidno-Ukrajinska Narodna Respublika , SUNR) was formed in November 1918 , the capitals of which were successively Lemberg , Ternopil and Stanislau (now Ivano-Frankivsk ). The West Ukrainian People's Republic united with the Ukrainian People's Republic in January 1919.

Carpathian Ukraine , located in the south-west of the country , which belonged to Hungary until 1919, fell to the newly founded Czechoslovakia on September 10, 1919 , partly due to a vote by the American National Council of Russians .

In 1921 the West Ukrainian People's Republic had to capitulate after the Polish-Ukrainian War . After the war between Poland (led by Piłsudski ) and Soviet Russia , East Galicia became Polish. The Lviv Voivodeship around Lviv and the Tarnopol Voivodeship around the city of Ternopil and the Stanisławów Voivodeship around today's Ivano-Frankivsk were formed, which belonged to Poland for almost two decades. Volhynia was divided. In Poland, the Volyn Voivodeship was established for 18 years .

Soviet rule prevailed in central and eastern Ukraine. In 1922 the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic officially became part of the newly established Soviet Union after the Red Army under Leon Trotsky defeated the Machno movement in a bloody battle.

Soviet era

As part of the industrialization of the Soviet Union , large economic centers with universities were developed in eastern Ukraine in today's megacities of Dnipro (including chemistry), Donetsk (including heavy industry, coal mining) and Kharkiv (including aircraft) .

Flag of the Ukrainian SSR 1937-1949

After the establishment of collective farms within the framework of collectivization , they were obliged to transfer a certain percentage of their harvest to the state. The rate in Ukraine was around 30%. Since 1928 the quota has been increased from year to year. In 1931 the tax rate for grain was already around 40%. In 1932 there were problems pulling in the grain. The Ukrainian rural population resisted the grain tax and tried to keep parts of the harvest that they should have given up. The Soviet government then tightened the repression. Shock brigades of communist activists were assembled in the cities . These drove into the agricultural areas and carried out seizures there. The situation became more and more threatening for the rural population: reprisals, from interrogations, threats and sieges of farms to arrests with or without conviction, were the order of the day. On August 7th, the “Corn Act” was passed. This provided for a penalty of ten years up to the death penalty for any “waste of socialist property” . In the following year and a half, 125,000 people were sentenced under this law, including 5,400 to death. The law did not have the desired effect. A special commission was sent to Ukraine on October 22nd. Her job was to break the resistance, for which she had the greatest possible authority. A wave of arrests followed, affecting farmers as well as local party and administrative forces. The economic reprisals, the confiscation of all shop articles and the ban on all trade were even more serious. The rural population was cut off from supplies.

The next step was the instruction to confiscate all grain stores on the kolkhozes. These seizures were carried out with great severity, including torture and killings. On December 27, 1933, a domestic passport and mandatory registration for residents of large cities were introduced to stop rural residents from fleeing to the cities. On January 22nd, Stalin and Molotov ordered the GPU secret police to prevent rural residents from leaving the famine areas. Hundreds of thousands of people who made it to the cities were displaced from there. Thousands of children were taken to the cities by their parents and abandoned there in the hope that someone would take care of them. A special unit was then set up to remove the children from the cities. She collected the starving children on the street and left them to die in the open. Epidemics broke out in the hunger-weakened population. In the spring of 1933 mortality reached its peak. In 1933 the Soviet Union exported 1.8 million tons of grain.

The world public hardly reacted to this de facto mass murder in the Soviet Union, which is now called the Holodomor in Ukraine . Several journalists, such as Paul Scheffer in Germany, Gareth Jones in Great Britain or William Henry Chamberlin in the USA, reported repeatedly on the events. The European Nationalities Congress dealt intensively with the cause of the many starvation deaths and publicly accused the USSR of "exterminating the cultural aspirations of all ethnic groups and peoples for ideological reasons". There was no diplomatic response anywhere in the world. The Soviet Union itself censored truthful reporting. The number of victims is difficult to determine because there were no investigations during the existence of the Soviet Union. Based on the censuses of 1937 and 1939, the number of dead is estimated at 4 million Ukrainians. In other agricultural areas of the Soviet Union, another 2 million people died from the artificially caused famine.

The comparative genocide researcher Gunnar Heinsohn estimates the number of victims at 6 to 7 million Ukrainians. For him it is “the fastest mass killing of a single ethnic group of the 20th century and possibly history”. As a motif he takes the "breaking of the Ukrainian independence movement". Other Western studies assume that the Holodomor can be explained as a chain of consequences and side effects of extremely ruthless and brutal politics of forced collectivization, rule consolidation and resistance suppression as well as additional weather-related crop failures.

German occupation 1941-1944

The Second World War began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, which was followed by the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland on September 17, 1939 . Poland was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union in accordance with the agreements of the Hitler-Stalin Pact . The Soviet occupation authorities staged referendums under unfree conditions in 1939, as a result of which the south-eastern Polish voivodeships were slammed into the Soviet-Ukraine. Ukrainian became the official language there, and the Polish population suffered repression. The proportions of the different ethnic groups in the population did not change significantly despite resettlements in the interior of the Soviet Union.

German soldiers cut off a Jewish man's beard. Start of a propaganda company in Ukraine, dated July 1941

In June 1941, the German attack on the Soviet Union initially led to those areas which it had only annexed from Poland in 1939. Already in the first days there were pogroms against the Jewish population, partly guided by Himmler's SS units and ( partly ) carried out by the Ukrainian and Polish residents. The mass murder of the Jews by the SS Einsatzgruppen began here too . At first, the German troops in Ukraine found a number of supporters against the Soviet power, but this changed as a result of the inhumane National Socialist occupation policy, because in the ideology of the National Socialists Ukrainians and all other Slavs were considered "subhumans". Shortly after the annexation by Germany on June 30, 1941, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) proclaimed an independent Ukrainian state in Lviv, which saw itself as an allied ally of Hitler, which was of course not accepted by the German National Socialists. On the contrary: the leaders of the OUN were arrested and taken to the Ravensbrück and Sachsenhausen concentration camps.

During the German occupation in World War II, the country was largely under German civil administration as the “ Reichskommissariat Ukraine ”. Alongside the Baltic states and Belarus, Ukraine was one of the main theaters of World War II. The fighting between the German Wehrmacht and Waffen SS units with the Red Army and partisans caused five to seven million deaths in Ukraine, and the cities and the economy were almost completely destroyed. The plan of Hitler and the party leadership was to settle 20 million Germans in the Ukraine in the course of the next 20 years after 1941. Before that, the Ukraine was to serve as a colony that they wanted to plunder economically ruthlessly. Since the winter of 1941/42, despite the starving Ukrainian population, meat, milk and grain were “requisitioned” for the German troops, who themselves suffered from insufficient supplies due to major transport difficulties as a result of partisan activities. There were high losses due to insufficient winter clothing. From December 1941, only 30 percent of the subsistence level of food was available to the residents of Kiev. Over a million Ukrainians were deported to Germany for forced labor. Many were only able to save themselves from being abducted, shot (because of sabotage activities) and deportation by special units of the SS by fleeing to partisan units. All Ukrainian organizations were forcibly dissolved by the “Reichskommissariat”, even all sports clubs and the Ukrainian Red Cross. From the beginning of 1942 all schools and school classes above the fourth grade were closed by the "Reichskommissariat". Ukrainian books and magazines were no longer approved for printing, and a few newspapers that were still permitted were strictly censored. Mass public hostage shootings were carried out in response to partisan activities, and around 250 towns were completely destroyed.

Ukraine and Eastern Poland were the areas where most of the people fell victim to the Holocaust of Jews, Sinti and Roma . First, after the withdrawal of the Red Army, Ukrainian nationalists carried out massacres and pogroms of Jews in many areas of Ukraine. When the SS Einsatzgruppen marched in, the mass shootings of Jews began. The most famous of these massacres took place on September 29 and 30, 1941 in Babi Yar near Kiev, where more than 33,000 Jewish Kievan people were murdered, followed by further regular mass shootings with a further 70,000 dead. In addition, all communist civilians and CPSU members who could be caught were shot. In Ukraine, Himmler's SS special units set up around 180 camps in which around 1.4 million prisoners were murdered. Numerous mass graves in Ukraine found Ukrainians murdered by Stalin's Special Forces (GPU).

Fight against Soviet rule and against Poland 1943–1947

Monument commemorating the 1943 liberation in Svyatogorsk ( Donetsk Oblast )

Between 1943 and 1947, not only was partisan war raging against the German occupiers, there was also a strong nationalist independence movement (Ukrainian insurgent army : Ukrajinska Powstanska Armija UPA) against the Soviet rule, which was crushed by the NKVD . But the Polish population in what is now western Ukraine was also targeted by the UPA. In the Eastern Carpathians and Volhynia in particular , well over 100,000 Poles were victims of mass shootings by the UPA in 1944. Since the Ukrainian nationalists started a war against the Soviet Army after the end of the war, around 300,000 Ukrainians were resettled to Siberia .

Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

Territorial development of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic

After that, Ukraine became a union republic of the Soviet Union again and was named Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR).

Extension of the state territory

After the victory of the anti-Hitler coalition in World War II and at the war and post-war conferences ( Tehran Conference November 1943, Yalta Conference February 1945 and Potsdam Conference July / August 1945), allied decisions were taken by the Soviet Union or The Ukrainian SSR permanently retained those areas to the west and south-west of their original borders that were initially taken militarily by the Red Army after the agreements of the Hitler-Stalin Pact and then during the course of the war. The borders of Ukraine were thus pushed far to the west and south-west at the expense of Poland, Romania and Czechoslovakia. Soviet policy was aimed at reversing the territorial cedings forced by Russia in the peace treaties of Brest-Litovsk in 1918 and Riga in 1921 , eliminating the numerous minority problems through resettlement actions in the future, and giving these regions a Soviet-friendly orientation through a hegemonic role in Eastern and Central Europe to guarantee in order to do justice to the Soviet security interests. In 1924 the Okrug Shakyty and Taganrog were ceded by the Ukrainian Soviet Republic to the Russian Soviet Republic.

Shifting the borders of Poland

After Hitler's Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1939, in accordance with a secret additional protocol to the German-Soviet non-aggression pact signed on August 23, 1939, the eastern Polish territories were militarily occupied by the Soviet Union from September 17, 1939. In the German-Soviet border and friendship treaty of September 28, 1939, the exact / corrected course of the border between Hitler's Germany and the Soviet Union was specified, which roughly corresponded to the Curzon A line of 1920 based on the nationality principle.

Eastern Galicia and Volhynia (southern part of the so-called Kresy ) fell to the Ukrainian SSR according to these contractual provisions. After the end of the Second World War, these areas remained under the control of the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR as part of Poland's shift to the west. (See also Art. Fourth Partition of Poland ). The border line between the Soviet Union and Poland corresponded almost exactly to the line that had been agreed between the Soviet Union and Hitler-Germany in the Hitler-Stalin Pact or in the German-Soviet Border and Friendship Treaty .

As early as July 1944, the communist “Polish Committee of National Liberation” ( Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego - PKWN ) (or Lublin Committee ) was constituted in Moscow in opposition to the government in exile in London . The Lublin Committee was to take power as soon as the Red Army crossed the Curzon Line . This happened in Lublin on July 22, 1944. In January 1945, the Soviet Union officially recognized the Committee as the Polish Provisional Government. On July 27, 1944, the Lublin Committee signed a (secret) treaty with the Soviet Union on the assignment of the areas east of the Curzon Line. A border treaty with the Soviet Union followed on August 16, 1945, regulating the displacement of Poland to the west and the mutual exchange of population.

At the beginning of (9) September 1944, the Lublin Committee concluded resettlement agreements with the governments of the neighboring Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. These treaties regulated the questions of resettlement of the Polish population to the west and that of the Ukrainians, Belarusians and Lithuanians to the east. Due to these regulations, around 1,200,000 Poles from the former Polish eastern regions lost their homeland by the end of 1948. Many of these people subsequently found a new home in the former German areas of Pomerania, Silesia and southern East Prussia. By mid-1946, around 482,000 Ukrainians had been deported from Poland to Ukraine. In addition, in the summer of 1947, 140,575 Ukrainians were brought to the Oder-Neisse areas in the so-called “ Aktion Weichsel ” (Polish: Akcja “Wisła”) and settled there scattered about.

Shifting the borders of Romania

After the end of the German campaign in the west and the signing of the armistice at Compiègne on June 22, 1940, the Soviet Union saw the time to annex Bessarabia , which at that time still belonged to Romania , the northern Bukovina and the Herza area . On June 28, 1940, the Red Army occupied these territories. As agreed in a secret additional protocol to the Hitler-Stalin Pact of August 24, 1939, this approach was tolerated by Hitler-Germany. As a result, on August 2, 1940, the Soviet Union divided Bessarabia and formed the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR) from the largest (central) part of the area - including the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (MASSR) east of the Dniester . The south of Bessarabia ( Budschak / currently part of Odessa Oblast ) and northern parts (area around the city of Chotyn (Hotin) / Chernivtsi Oblast ) was added to Ukraine (at that time Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic ). In 1941 - after Hitler's Germany attacked the Soviet Union - Romanian troops initially recaptured these areas, only to lose them again to the Red Army in May 1944 . With the signing of the Paris Peace Treaty on February 10, 1947, Romania accepted the new border lines. Since then, the northern and southern areas of the former Bessarabia , the northern part of Bukovina and the Herza area belong to the Soviet Union and the Ukraine, respectively. In a secret protocol from 1948, Romania renounced Snake Island , which was annexed to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic.

Further border shifts

The eastern part of Czechoslovakia, Carpathian Ukraine , which was annexed by Hungary after 1938, also fell to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic after the Second World War.

In 1954, the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Crimea came to Ukraine by a resolution of the Supreme Soviet .

Like the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic , the Ukrainian SSR was a founding member of the United Nations alongside the USSR . 1948-49 and 1984-85 she was a non-permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations.

Flag of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic 1949–1991

Ukrainian national movement

In 1987 the first movements of a Ukrainian national movement were visible in Galicia . Clergy and lay people campaigned for the churches to be returned to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church , which as a United Church was subordinate to the Pope. The Russian Orthodox Church opposed these efforts. At the end of 1989, after Gorbachev's visit to the Vatican , the Ukrainian Catholic Church was re-admitted, and its head, Cardinal Ljubacivs'kyj , returned to Lviv in 1991 from exile in Rome .

On September 10, 1989, the Ukrainian people's movement Narodnyj Ruch Ukrajiny was founded in Kiev . The delegates demanded the national and economic sovereignty of Ukraine within a Soviet confederation, as well as an improved status of the Ukrainian language. In addition, more rights for the Christian churches alongside the Russian Orthodox Church.

In the elections to the Supreme Soviet of March 4, 1990 in the Ukrainian SSR , the Communist Party of Ukraine achieved a little over 70% of the parliamentary seats. Volodymyr Iwaschko was initially elected chairman of the parliament, but had to resign when he was on the XXVIII in July 1990. Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the newly created office of the party's Deputy Secretary General was elected. His successor was Stanislaw Hurenko , who, as leader of the Communist Party, spoke out on the one hand for the "national sovereignty" of Ukraine and for a "spiritual rebirth" of the country, on the other hand he wanted to prevent the country from leaving the Soviet Union.

On July 16, 1990, the Supreme Soviet in Kiev issued a declaration of sovereignty by 355 votes against 4, placing the laws of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic over those of the Soviet Union.

Three days after the failed August coup in Moscow in 1991, the Supreme Soviet in Kiev decided on August 24, 1991 with 346 of 450 votes to leave the Soviet Union and create an independent state.

On October 23, 1990 Witold Fokin took over the business of the chairman of the Council of Ministers of Ukraine provisionally and was confirmed in this office on November 14, 1990.

1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster

In 1986 there was a nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near the northern Ukrainian city of Prypiat . Large amounts of radioactive substances were released, which were then spread over large parts of Europe by the wind.

Renewed independence

The flag of Ukraine since January 28, 1992
Ukraine's declaration of independence on August 19, 1991

Efforts for independence, which existed all the time and had their center in western Ukraine in Lviv, led to renewed state independence of Ukraine after perestroika in 1991 in the course of the dissolution of the Soviet Union .

In the wake of the failed August coup in Moscow , the Verkhovna Rada passed a formal declaration of independence on August 24, 1991, which was confirmed by a large majority in a referendum on December 1, 1991.

On October 22, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine passed a law on the formation of Ukrainian armed forces of around 420,000 soldiers and a national guard of 30,000 soldiers. Three days later, extensive economic reforms were also approved, which provided for the privatization of real estate, the freeing up of prices, and land and financial reform.

On December 1, 1991, the Ukrainians decided in a referendum with 90.3% of the votes cast for independence. In the Crimea , more than half of the residents voted for independence. In the first direct election of the President of Ukraine with a turnout of 84%, Leonid Kravchuk prevailed with 61.6% of the vote against Vyacheslav Chornovil with 23.2%.

On December 5, 1991, the Ukrainian parliament finally terminated the 1922 treaty on the formation of the Soviet Union, but just three days later the Ukrainian government, together with Russia and Belarus, decided to found the Commonwealth of Independent States .

Territory of Ukraine

With independence, the question of the state borders of Ukraine arose .

Border with russia

On December 2, 1991, Ukraine was recognized by Russia. The territory of Ukraine and thus its borders with Russia were laid down in the Basic Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between the Russian Federation and Ukraine of May 31, 1997. The basic treaty only came into force on April 1, 1999, because the Federation Council hesitated for a long time to ratify it. With the basic contract, further contracts were concluded on the city of Sevastopol , which regulated its status. They confirmed Ukraine's sovereignty over the city and port and at the same time guaranteed Russia the right to operate a naval port there for at least another 20 years. By signing the Basic Treaty, Russia renounced all territorial claims regarding Crimea, including Sevastopol. The basic contract has a term of 10 years and is automatically extended if it is not terminated.

Border with romania

In western Ukraine, the border with Romania was disputed until 1997. It was about the affiliation of southern Bessarabia and northern Bukovina to Ukraine, areas that had belonged to Romania in the interwar period.


Controversy arose over the Crimean peninsula . It had only been part of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic since 1954 and had previously belonged to the Russian SFSR , until 1945 as an Autonomous Republic. In 1989, the ethnic Russian population in Crimea had a two-thirds majority. Because of a referendum held on January 20, 1991, the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Crimea was re-established by the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR on February 12, 1991 and remained with Ukraine after Ukraine gained independence in August 1991. The Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Crimea remained in existence for the time being.

On February 26, 1992, the Supreme Soviet of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Crimea decided to rename it to the "Republic of Crimea". After lengthy negotiations, the Verkhovna Rada passed a law on April 22, 1992 by a large majority that granted Crimea rights of autonomy. The Supreme Soviet of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Crimea declared the new Republic of Crimea to be independent on May 5, 1992, but the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea, announced the following day, described it as part of Ukraine. On May 21, 1992, the independence of Crimea was withdrawn. On June 1, 1992, the parliamentary speakers of Crimea and Ukraine agreed on a special economic status for Crimea and that the peninsula would remain with Ukraine.

On May 21, 1992, the Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR declared the 1954 cession of Crimea to Ukraine illegal. On June 30, 1992, the Ukrainian parliament passed a vote of 246 against 4 for a law that gives Crimea the greatest possible autonomy. Thereafter, the Crimean peninsula is an autonomous part of Ukraine and the areas of foreign policy, defense and monetary policy remain with Ukraine. The autonomous Crimea is given the right to shape external economic relations, social and cultural policy independently and can only dispose of the natural resources (e.g. natural gas). An annexation of Crimea to another country requires the consent of the Ukrainian parliament and the Crimean parliament. The stationing of armed forces requires the approval of the Crimean Parliament.

On September 21, 1994, the previous Republic of Crimea became the Autonomous Republic of Crimea . Previously in 1992, the parliament declared the independence of Crimea. There followed a verbal argument between Ukraine and Russia. The separatist forces finally withdrew a referendum aimed at annexing Crimea to Russia. As a compromise, the rights of Crimea as the Autonomous Republic of Ukraine were expanded. After further power struggles in the following years, the Crimea was finally given the status of an Autonomous Republic as an "integral part of Ukraine" with its own regional government and parliament, but without its own president, in the 1995 constitution, which was revised again in 1998.

In 2014, however, against the will of the Ukrainian government under a Russian occupation, a referendum on the status of Crimea that did not meet democratic standards was held, in which allegedly 97% of the electorate voted in favor of joining Russia. The subsequent admission of Crimea as a Russian Federation object is not recognized by Ukraine and the absolute majority of the UN states.

Security policy

See also: Ukrainian Armed Forces

On January 2, 1992, President Leonid Kravchuk ordered all formerly Soviet troops stationed on the territory of Ukraine, including the Black Sea Fleet , to be subordinate to Ukrainian command. Only the strategic military units were excluded.

On March 26, 1992, a presidential decree ordered the return of all Ukrainian conscripts from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova by May 20, 1992. In May 1992, the tactical nuclear weapons stationed in Ukraine began to be transported to Russia.

On July 3, 1992, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine ( Ukrainian Рада національної безпеки і оборони України , abbreviation RNBO) was founded, it is a state body of Ukraine. The council was initially created under the name of the National Security Council . Its duties are regulated in Article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine . According to the Ukrainian constitution, the task of the RNBO is to advise the president of the country on questions relating to internal and external security policy. However, the Council also regularly deals with matters that lie outside traditional security and defense policy, such as domestic and energy policy.

After independence, Ukraine became the third largest nuclear power in the world from the legacy of the Soviet Union with 130 UR-100N (SS-19) ICBMs and 46 RT-23 (NATO code name: SS-24) . On July 2, 1993, a declaration of principle officially renounced nuclear weapons and stated that Ukraine should be free of nuclear weapons in the future. On 15 July 1993, the reduction begins stationed on Ukrainian territory intercontinental ballistic missiles of the type UR-100N (NATO reporting name SS-19). The missiles were brought to Russia for scrapping. The warheads initially remained in Ukraine until the successor status of the Soviet Union and Russia with regard to nuclear weapons was internationally clarified. Ukraine demanded security guarantees for its country and financial support from the nuclear powers in order to renounce nuclear weapons.

On January 14, 1994, the Presidents of Russia, Ukraine and the United States of America signed the Agreement on the Destruction of Nuclear Weapons Stationed on Ukrainian Territory , which finally confirmed Ukraine's non-nuclear status. In return, Ukraine received security guarantees from Russia and the United States. This included the recognition of their independence , sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as a commitment not to use nuclear weapons against them.

“Many Ukrainian politicians are expressing their skepticism about the country's ability to ensure its own security. They claim that none of the main factors of national security - military strength, economic power, and a high degree of political and economic integration into the world economy - are present today. The deeper the crisis in Ukraine deepens, the more clearly it is defined as the greatest threat to the country's security - of direct foreign policy relevance. One of the most acute problems in Ukraine is its almost total dependence on energy imports from Russia. "

- Olga Alexandrova

Ukraine reached a further bilateral agreement with Russia on May 31, 1997 in Kiev, in which Moscow once again committed itself to the inviolability of the existing borders of both countries.

After joint maneuvers by US and Ukrainian troops in western Ukraine in 1995, NATO adopted a “Charter on Special Partnership” with Ukraine in July 1997. Ukrainian contingents participated in NATO-led military interventions in the Yugoslav Wars , Iraq War and Afghanistan .

Kravchuk and Kuchma

Leonid Kravchuk , Ukrainian President from 1991 to 1994
Leonid Kuchma, Ukrainian President from 1994 to 2005

Since its independence, Ukraine has struggled with severe economic problems, especially in the 1990s, and tries, on the one hand, to play a neutral role vis-à-vis the West and Russia in terms of foreign policy. In Sevastopol in Crimea, Ukraine has a military port to the Russian Black Sea Fleet lease, on the other hand, the Ukraine security alliance committed to greater economic independence from Russia, for example, with the establishment of GUAM ( G eorgien , U kraine , A serbaidschan and M oldawien ) in the year 1997.

From 1991 to 1994 Leonid Kravchuk was the first President of Ukraine . From 1992 until his resignation in September 1993, Leonid Kuchma was Prime Minister and since 1994 President of Ukraine. In 1999 he was re-elected President. During his tenure as president, from 1994 onwards, he increasingly campaigned for a new constitution , but was unable to assert himself against an alliance of left-wing parties. It was not until June 1996 that Parliament adopted the new constitution.

Viktor Yushchenko was Prime Minister of Ukraine from December 22, 1999 to May 29, 2001. He lost this office in 2001 after a vote of no confidence in parliament when his efforts to combat the growing corruption threatened some oligarchs. Successor as prime minister was composed of Mykolaiv native Anatoliy Kinakh (Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Ukraine / PPPU), then from November 21, 2002 Viktor Yanukovych , who announced his resignation on 31 December 2004. President Kuchma accepted Yanukovych's resignation on January 5, 2005 and appointed the First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mykola Azarov as Yanukovych's successor. Before joining the government, Azarov had been the head of the State Tax Service since October 1996.

"Orange Revolution"

Presidential elections were held in autumn 2004 . President Leonid Kuchma, who has been in office since 1994, was constitutionally prohibited from running for this election after two terms in office, which was generally viewed as a choice of direction for a west or east orientation of the country. The events surrounding the runoff election on November 21st resulted in the so-called Orange Revolution , a peaceful protest against election fraud that lasted several weeks, following a decision by the Supreme Court on December 26th 2004 the runoff election was repeated. Yushchenko won the repeat election. The side advocating an orientation towards Russia under Kuchma and Yanukovych recognized their defeat after negotiating a constitutional reform with the other side. This was supposed to transform Ukraine, which was previously ruled by a presidential system, into a parliamentary republic. After the reform was implemented, the president's position was significantly weakened.

The Yushchenko Presidency

Viktor Yushchenko, President 2005–2010

After the inauguration of President Viktor Yushchenko in January 2005, the Ukrainian Parliament ( Verkhovna Rada ) confirmed the new government under Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on February 4, 2005 . During the first 100 days of the Tymoshenko government, the privatizations of some large companies ( Kryvorisz Valley ) from the time of former President Kuchma were reviewed. It also became apparent, as in the election campaign, that the positions of President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko differ in their choice of means. This led to a rift after just a few months: On September 8, 2005, the President dismissed the Tymoshenko government in connection with allegations of corruption and conflicts within the cabinet. The economic politician Jurij Jechanurow became the new head of government .

Together with Georgia , Yushchenko pushed Ukraine's accession to NATO . However, a NATO summit rejected the application despite American support.

In terms of economic policy, Yushchenko wanted Ukraine to join the EU, but did not get beyond joining the Eastern Partnership .

In terms of national politics, Yushchenko took a stand for people in Ukrainian history who strongly polarized the Ukrainian population. This included the commander-in-chief Roman Schuchewytsch of the Ukrainian insurgent army . Stepan Bandera , who collaborated as a militant nationalist with the Nazi occupying power in Poland , he named the hero of Ukraine .

In the 2006 parliamentary elections , the party of the President ( Our Ukraine ) emerged as the third strongest force. Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions won the election and was elected the new Prime Minister himself. Political events were now shaped by a power struggle between the government and the president. Finally, President Yushchenko dissolved parliament and there were new parliamentary elections in September 2007 . The Party of Regions was once again the strongest force, but this time the parties of Yushchenko and Tymoshenko were able to agree on a coalition. Tymoshenko then became Prime Minister for the second time. The political power struggle between the president, government and parliament, however, continued. For Yushchenko and Tymoshenko it resulted in defeats: The president was no longer elected in the presidential elections in early 2010 and Tymoshenko lost her position as head of government shortly afterwards. Instead, Viktor Yanukovych became the new president of Ukraine.

Yanukovych and domestic political struggle

Share of votes of the Party of Regions (blue) in the 2012 parliamentary election

The President of Ukraine was Viktor Yanukovych from February 25, 2010 to February 22, 2014. Yanukovych's successor as chairman of the Party of Regions , Mykola Azarov , had been prime minister since March 11, 2010.

During the European Football Championship 2012 , the arbitrary justice of the Yanukovych government and the treatment of the imprisoned opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko were criticized. From November 2013 there were protests against the regime of Viktor Yanukovych, which became known under the title Euromaidan . These resulted in at least 77 deaths. Yanukovych was deposed by parliament on February 22, 2014 when he tried to leave the country in Donetsk. and fled to Russia.

According to Article 108, the Ukrainian constitution provides only four options for dismissal: resignation of the president, health reasons, in the course of impeachment proceedings or through the death of the incumbent. An impeachment comes under Article 111 for high treason and other serious crimes in question. To do this, however, an investigative commission of the Rada must be formed, which reports to the Constitutional Court. If the prerequisites are considered to be given in this examination procedure, the Rada could remove the president from office with a three-quarters majority. The reason given by Parliament that he would have forfeited his presidency by leaving the country was not provided for in the constitution. From a purely constitutional point of view, Yanukovych was the rightful president of the country beyond the decision of the Rada on February 23 - this the exclusive point of view to which Russia has repeatedly invoked and without further considerations of international law . William Hague noted that this was not the right question.

Transitional Government of Ukraine

This sequence led directly to the events of the Crimean crisis . The parliament there passed a referendum in an apparently invalid session that was not permitted by the Ukrainian constitution, took place among Russian troops and was falsified. On March 18, 2014, Crimea joined the Russian Federation as a result of these events. The result of the referendum is not recognized by almost all states and Crimea continues to be treated as a territory of Ukraine. After the annexation of Crimea, a Russian or pro-Russian operation took place with the aim of destabilizing regions of Ukraine with a significant proportion of the Russian-speaking population, in particular Kharkiv , Luhansk and Donetsk . While the situation in Kharkiv quickly calmed down, armed militias were formed in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, including Russian soldiers. The Ukrainian government accused Russia of supporting these militias by infiltrating rioters and delivering everything from heavy weapons to battle tanks. The government describes the militias as " terrorists ". On July 28th, the UNHCHR reported the total collapse of law and order in the areas in question, from a terrorist rule by the armed groups over the population of eastern Ukraine with deprivation of liberty, kidnappings, torture and executions.

Legitimately elected governments

On December 2, 2014, a coalition government that had formed after the parliamentary elections at the end of October was set up. Arseniy Yatsenyuk was confirmed as Prime Minister. The inauguration of President Petro Poroshenko took place on June 7, 2014.

The Ukrainian government still failed to retake the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk from the pro-Russian separatists. They are currently under the control of the internationally unrecognized Donetsk People's Republic , or Luhansk People's Republic .

After the actor Volodymyr Selenskyj the first round of voting on 21 April on 31 March 2019 ballot of the presidential election in Ukraine clearly won, he was introduced on May 20, 2019 in Kiev in the office of President.


See also


Web links

Commons : History of Ukraine  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Marija Gimbutas: The End of Old Europe. The invasion of steppe nomads from southern Russia and the Indo-Germanization of Central Europe. (= Archeolingua. Series minor 6). Archaeological Institute of Hungarian Academy of Sciences / Linguistic Institute of the University of Innsbruck, 1994, ISBN 3-85124-171-1 .
  2. Short article on the "Stone Babas" of Dnipropetrovsk , accessed on June 20, 2013.
  3. ^ JP Mallory, DQ Adams: Kemi Oba Culture. In: Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997, pp. 327-328.
  4. The Kiev culture. In: knowed.ru. January 10, 2010, accessed on August 25, 2014 (Russian, Original title: Russian Киевская культура ).
  5. Early Slavic Tribes. The archaeological Kiev culture as the ancestors of the Anten. February 5, 2010, accessed on August 25, 2014 (Russian, original title: Russian Раннеславянские племена змиевщины. Киевская археологическая культырая культыра какезны .
  6. For the following story, cf. the relevant manuals on late antiquity and Maenchen-Helfen: World of the Huns. Wiesbaden 1997, ISBN 3-928127-43-8 ; general and quite topical about Peter J. Heather: The Fall of the Roman Empire. London 2005, ISBN 0-330-49136-9 , pp. 145 ff.
  7. ↑ For an introduction see Florin Curta: The Making of the Slavs. History and Archeology of the Lower Danube Region, c . 500-700 . Cambridge 2001; Florin Curta: Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250 . Cambridge 2006; Christian Lübke: Eastern Europe. The Germans and the European Middle Ages . Munich 2004.
  8. ^ Paul Robert Magocsi: A History of Ukraine . University of Toronto Press, Toronto 1996, ISBN 0-8020-0830-5 , pp. 27 .
  9. Article about the Pereschepensky treasure on goldensands.bg (English), accessed on June 22, 2013.
  10. Article about the Pereschepensky Treasure on the St. Petersburg Hermitage website ( Memento from September 27, 2006 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on June 22, 2013.
  11. ^ JJ Saunders: Matthew Paris and the Mongols. Toronto, 1968, p. 124.
  12. Dehkhoda Persian dictionary: داروغه. [غ َ / غ ِ] (ترکی - مغولی ، اِ) رئیس شبگردان. سرپاسبانان. داروغه که در زبان مغولی به معنی «رئیس» است یک اصطلاح عمومی اداری است
  13. Carsten Goehrke u. a .: Russia. P. 79.
  14. ^ Charles J. Halperin, Russia and the Golden Horde: The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987); Donald Ostrowski, Muscovy and the Mongols: Cross-Cultural Influences on the Steppe Frontier, 1304–1589. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1998, pp.
  15. ^ A b Johannes Preiser-Kapeller: "Change of denomination" as a threat. Observations on the rise of Kyprianos to Metropolitan of Kiev and Lithuania (1375) in the context of the policy of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in contact areas with the Western Church in the 13th and 14th centuries. ( Memento of February 27, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF)
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  17. Historian tears apart Putin's justification for annexing Crimea , Der Bund, December 9, 2017
  18. Philipp Ammon : Conundrum Ruthenicum - two kinds of Rus: Judea and Israel. Attempt to shed light on the Ukrainian calamity. In: tabula rasa , February 28, 2017.
  19. ^ Ulrich Stoldt, Klaus Wiegrefe : Tinker Liberation Troops . In: Der Spiegel . No. 50 , 2007, p. 49 ff . ( online ).
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  22. ^ Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine (University of Toronto): Mykhailo Hrushevsky
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  24. ^ Frank Golczewski: Germans and Ukrainians 1914 - 1939. Paderborn 2010, p. 163.
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  28. Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine (University of Toronto): Universals of the Central Rada
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  32. An eyewitness report from the point of view of a well-known German journalist, the Middle East expert and social democrat Friedrich Schrader , about Ukraine during the civil war can be found in: Friedrich Schrader: A refugee journey through the Ukraine , Mohr / Siebeck, Tübingen, 1919.
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  49. Ukraine`s contribution to NATO peace support activities
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  64. rp-online.de
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