Ukraine at the Glance:

History

Present-day Ukraine was ruled by the Scythians since the seventh century BC. More and more parts of Ukraine have been under the control of foreign powers, and in the third century the area is ruled by the Goths. They were driven out by the Huns in the fourth century. Slavic tribes occupied central and eastern Ukraine in the sixth century and played an important role in the establishment of Kyiv. Situated on lucrative trade routes, Kyiv quickly prospered as the center of the powerful state of Rus' ('Kyivan Rus'). In the 11th century, Kyivan Rus is, geographically, the largest state in Europe. Kyivan Rus Prince Volodymyr converts the Kyivan nobility and most of the population to Christianity in 988. Conflict among the feudal lords led to decline in the 12th century and many small feudal Russian states are formed. Halytsian-Volynian Principality is the main state in the Ukraine.

In 1239, the Mongols capture large parts of the area and Ukraine becomes part of Khanate of the Golden Horde (Mongolian State). The northern parts of the area became part of Poland and Lithuania around 1350 and the southern part was ruled by the Tatars since 1430. The latter part became part of the Ottoman Empire. The free (non-Polish or Lithuanian) parts of the country merge into Russia between 1654 and 1667. After the divisions of Poland between 1772 and 1795 all of Ukraine, except for the extreme west (under Austrian rule), was part of Russia. In the nineteenth century Russia bans the use and study of the Ukrainian language.





   
Orange Revolution:
Ukraine's "Orange Revolution" of 2004-2005 was a series of protests and political events that took place throughout the country in response to allegations of massive corruption, voter intimidation and direct electoral fraud during the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election.

The protests were prompted by reports from numerous domestic and foreign observers and the widespread public perception that the results of the run-off vote of November 21, 2004 between leading candidates Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych were rigged in favor of Yanukovych. The run-off was mandated by Ukrainian law due to the official results of the presidential vote held on October 31, 2004, in which no candidate carried more than 50% of the cast ballots. The winner of the run-off would become Ukraine's third president since its 1991 independence following the demise of the Soviet Union.

The orange ribbon became a symbol of the Ukrainian Orange Revolution. Ribbons are a common symbol of a non-violent protest.Orange was adopted by the protesters as the official color of the movement since it was the election campaign color of the main opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko. The symbol of solidarity with Yushchenko's movement in Ukraine was an orange ribbon or a flag bearing the "???! ??????!" ("Yes! Yushchenko!") slogan. Millions of Ukrainians demonstrated daily in Kyiv, which was the center of the revolution where a large 24-hour tent city was set up by Yushchenko's supporters , and this action was highlighted by a series of nationwide protests, sit-ins, and general strikes organized by the opposition. This was all following the disputed results of the November 21 run-off election.

Due in large part to the opposition’s efforts, the results of the original run-off were annulled and a second run-off election was ordered by Ukraine's Supreme Court for December 26, 2004. Under intense international scrutiny, the official results of the second run-off proved to be virtually problem-free, legally valid and clearly in Yushchenko's favor. He was declared the official winner and was inaugurated into office as the third President of Ukraine on January 23, 2005. The Orange Revolution reached its successful and peaceful victory.





                   
                   


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