Ukraine. The fighting between Ukrainian military and
Prorussian separatists in eastern Ukraine escalated in
January. According to
Countryaah.com, many people were killed and the electricity supply
was knocked out in the industrial city of Avdiivka in severe
winter cold. President Petro Poroshenko canceled a visit to
Berlin and returned home for a crisis meeting. According to
the UN, the ceasefire was broken almost every day, and the
number of casualties rose in the spring. In three years,
over 10,000 people had been killed. A quarter of the victims
were civilians. About 24,000 people had been injured.
Poroshenko planned a referendum on Ukrainian membership
in NATO, after investigations showed a majority for NATO
membership. Parliament voted during the year for Ukraine to
apply for membership, and Poroshenko hoped that the country
would meet the requirements for 2020. NATO Secretary General
visited Kiev, and it was decided to work together on a
so-called roadmap for Ukraine's path to NATO membership.
In February, Ukraine's security service accused the
Russian Federation of cyberattacks against, among other
things, the Ukrainian electricity grid.
In fighting in February, some thirty people were killed.
The parties agreed on a new ceasefire in the presence of the
contact group with the Foreign Ministers of Ukraine,
Germany, France and the Russian Federation.
A former Russian MP criticizing the Russian annexation of
Crimea was murdered in Kiev in March. The Ukrainian
government accused Moscow of being behind the act against
Denis Voronenkov, who was granted asylum in Ukraine.
Ukraine sued the Russian Federation before the
International Court of The Hague (ICJ) at the beginning of
the year on charges of supporting terrorism through
financial aid to the Prorian militias that killed civilians
and shot down a Malaysian passenger plane in 2014. In April,
the court declared that it could not prove Russian
financing. But Ukraine got right in its demand for an end to
Russian discrimination against minorities in Crimea. The
Court would continue to investigate the Russian Federation's
debt to the war in Ukraine.
The central bank's reputable head Valeria Gontareva
resigned in May. Gontareva, which was cleared up in one of
Europe's most corrupt banking systems, had been subjected to
threats and pressures from powerful oligarchs and feared for
its security. In a disintegrating economy, Gontareva had
pushed through economic reforms that opened for an IMF-led $
17.5 billion aid package to Ukraine.
In May, former President Viktor Yanukovych was indicted
in his absence for, among other things, treason by
supporting the Russian Federation's attack on Ukraine.
In May, the EU decided on visa waivers for Ukrainian
citizens to the EU Member States - Britain and Ireland
excluded. The decision came into force in June and was
celebrated with festivities in Kiev.
When the Eurovision Slag Finals were held in Kiev in May,
the mood of fighting with civilian casualties in eastern
Ukraine was disturbed. President Poroshenko canceled his
presence at the festival.
In May, Ukraine decided to block access to the most
widely used Russian social media on the Internet. The ban is
valid for three years. The closure mainly affected the
people of eastern Ukraine and received criticism from human
rights organizations for violating freedom of expression.
In July, the EU approved its previously so contentious
cooperation agreement with Ukraine. It happened before a
summit in Kiev between EU leaders and President Poroshenko.
The agreement includes political and economic cooperation,
and the Kiev government hopes it will lead to future EU
membership for Ukraine. The agreement entered into force on
Georgia's former President Micheil Saakashvili was
deprived of his Ukrainian citizenship in July. He was
charged with false information in connection with being
granted citizenship in 2015. But in September, Saakashvili
moved into Ukraine across the border from Poland during a
riot, when hundreds of his followers crowded police and
Ukraine extradited two Russian journalists in August, one
of them a TV reporter who was accused of anti-Ukrainian
propaganda when reporting from eastern Ukraine. The decision
was condemned by the OSCE cooperation organization. Two
journalists from Spain were also declared unwanted.
In September, the president approved a new law that all
school education from grade 5 should be in Ukrainian from
2020. Minority languages may only be studied as an option.
Neighboring countries such as the Russian Federation and
Thousands of people demonstrated in Kiev against
President Poroshenko in October, demanding tougher measures
against corruption. One of the speakers was Micheil
Saakashvili, who demanded Poroshenko's departure. Following
the protests, Poroshenko promised a special court against
Ukraine - Kiev
Kiev, Ukrainian Kyiv, capital of Ukraine; 2. 9 million residents
(2015). Kiev is located in central Ukraine on the Dnieper River. The city is an
important trade and transport center with a diverse industry. Machinery and
transport equipment, consumer capital goods and electrical and electronic
products are produced here. The textile, clothing and food industries are also
well represented. Despite a large Russian-speaking population, the city
maintained its position as a Ukrainian cultural center during the Soviet period.
In Kiev there are universities (founded in 1834).
Architecture and cityscape
The oldest Kiev, which is still the city center, was built on a steep hill
above the Dnieper. The city's position as the largest and most important in the
entire Slavic area was marked by several large-scale construction companies
during the 11th century, primarily the Sofia Cathedral (1017–37). In the
fortified Petjerski Monastery, founded in the 1050s south of the city center, is
the Uspensky Cathedral from the 1070s and a system of underground monastic
After a long period of decline, Kiev flourished again during the 19th
century, when large public institution buildings were erected and urban
buildings were built along tree-lined streets. The area around the city's main
street, Chreshchatyk, was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in the
monumental style of the Stalin era.
Parts of Kiev's favorably located urban area were already inhabited during
the Roman Iron Age, from which places of residence, tombs and coins are known.
Loose finds show that central parts of the urban area were inhabited during the
600s. Both on the heights and below, small Slavic settlements were now
established. During the 800s, the settlement on Starokyivska Hora was fortified,
and by the end of the 880s, the settlement increased sharply, both along the
heights and on the Dnieper beach (Podil). Several fortifications were found on
the heights, where large burial fields were also located.
During the second half of the 9th century, the buildings were concentrated in
Podil, Kyselivka and Starokyivska Hora. To the latter height was placed the
residence of the Grand Prince, which may already have included brick buildings
in the middle of the 9th century, erected by Byzantine models. Ethnically, the
majority of the population was local, but also included Asian and Scandinavian
groups; tomb condition and object finds show Scandinavian presence from the late
800s and during the 900s.
Kiev was the center of the prince state of Kievrus from the 8th century until
the conquest of the Mongols in 1240. Subsequently, the prince of Kiev stood in
feudal dependence on the Khan, until the city was subordinated to Poland and
1362 Lithuania in 1340. When Kiev became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Union in
1386, a period of struggle began over the religious supremacy between the
Patriarch of Constantinople and the Pope in Rome.
The Catholic position was strengthened in 1632, when an academy of Latin and
Catholic theology was established in Kiev. A number of Cossack-led rebellions
against the Polish rulers' oppression of the late 16th century led to the
incorporation of most of Ukraine with Kiev into the Russian Empire in 1654, and
the increasingly orthodox city became the center of a Russian government. In the
latter part of the 18th century, when Kiev had more than 40,000 residents, the
first industries were established, and the city gained economic importance.
In the middle of the 19th century, Kiev became the capital of the first
Ukrainian nationalist movement, led by the poet Taras Shevchenko, and during the
turbulent years following the 1917 Russian revolutions, Kiev was the meeting
point of the National Congress and seat of the Central Council, which fought for
an independent Ukraine. With the exception of German occupation 1941–43, the
city served as the center of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic from 1934 to 1991,
when Kiev became the capital of the independent state of Ukraine.
During the Second World War around Kiev, September 10-26, 1941, the largest
call-in operation of war history was completed, which resulted in the Germans
taking 665,000 Soviet prisoners as well as about 900 tanks and 3,500 guns. A
claw was formed by two German armored groups, one under Colonel Ewald von Kleist
from the south, the other under General Colonel Heinz Guderian from the north.
Their main departments met on September 16, 1941, in the village of Lochvytsia
(Russian Lochvitsa) east of Kiev, and thus the ring was completed. Despite the
enormous Soviet losses, the success of the Germans did not have a decisive
influence on the campaign, as the Red Army's manpower and equipment reserves far
exceeded what Germany had assumed. Kiev fell almost unharmed in the hands of the
Germans, but tenacious Soviet opponents blasted and burned parts of the city.
When the Red Army recaptured Kiev in November 1943, it was further destroyed.