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Welcome to Kiev

According to the legend Kiev was founded by 3 brothers - Kiy, Scheck, Khoriv 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 Dnieper River served as a good defense from incursion of nomad tribes. In 882 Oleg  of Novgorod captured Kiev and made it the capital of Old Russian powerful state - Kievan Rus. Kievan Rus' is considered to bea predecessor state of three modern East Slavic nations: Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
Thefavorable position of Kiev on the water trade route called"from Varangians (Viking) to Greeks" downstream of theDnieper contributed to its further fast development. In theIXth and first half of the Xth centuries Kiev was consideredto be the largest trade, cultural and craft center of Eastern Europe competing with the capital of Byzantine Empire - Constantinople.
In 998 the acceptance of Orthodox Christianity and centralization of state power facilitated further spreadingand development of political and cultural relations of betweenKiev, Byzantine and other Christian European countries, 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 the XIIth centuryKiev lost its role of important political center of Kievan Rus.
In 1240 Kiev was almost fully destroyed and burned out by Mongol Tatarsinvaders. 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 lordsforced back Kiev economical and cultural development of Kiev.
The grantingof the Magdeburg 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 lords againand thataffected thecity's development adversely. After thefreedom fighting war under the leadership of hetman Bogdan Khmelnitskiy Ukraine joined Russia.
After social reform and serfdom abolitionin1861 cultural and economical life of Kiev haschanged for the better.
After the revolution in Petersburg the power in Kiev had been constantly changing. On January 22, 1918 the Ukrainian Central Rada headed by the Ukrainian historian and ethnologist Mikhail Grushevskiy proclaimed  Ukrainian Independence. The first president of Ukrainian republic became Grushevskiy by himself. However, Ukrainian  politicians 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 as a sovereign state in the federation, but actually all power was handed to the center, and USSR became a totalitarian country. Then followed numerous repressions against cultural and scientific workers.
During World War II times Kiev was almost fully destroyed. The heroic defense of Kiev against fascist invaders lasted  72 days  On September 19, 1941 the troops of Nazi Germany have entered the city. It was freed on the 6 of November 1943 at the cost of big losses and human lives. In post-war period Kiev was rebuild swiftly. Political situationcharacterized by denunciation, purges, show trial, executions in NKVD prisons (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.
On the 6 of July, 1990 the parliament of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic proclaimed the sovereignty of Ukraine. Disturbing days of hapless Kremlin putsch in august, 1991 became turning-point in Ukrainian history. On the 24 of August, 1991 Verhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) proclaimed the Declaration of Independence. On the 1 of December, 1991 the population of Ukraine voted for supporting the independence.
 

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