The Complex and Distinct History of Ukraine

TLDR Ukraine has a rich and distinct history that dates back to the time of the Scythians and has been shaped by various nomadic peoples, Viking influences, and the establishment of Kievan Rus. Throughout its history, Ukraine has faced challenges such as Mongol invasions, Polish rule, Cossack rebellions, and Russian control, and has experienced immense suffering during events like the Battle of Poltava and World War II.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Modern Ukraine was not entirely created by Russia and has a distinct history and national sensibility, despite Putin's claims.
06:08 Ukraine's history dates back to the time of the Scythians and has been marked by various nomadic peoples and Viking influences, leading to the establishment of Kievan Rus.
11:51 Kievan Rus, a riverine empire of trading stations with Constantinople as its economic and cultural center, declines in the 11th-13th centuries due to the sack of Constantinople in 1204, internal feuding, and the arrival of the Mongols who ultimately destroy Kiev and break the power of Kievan Rus.
17:32 In the 14th century, Kievan Rus is divided between the Mongols, Poland, and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, leading to the separate identities of Belarus and Ukraine, with Ukraine being ruled by Polish overlords and tensions arising between the Catholic Poles and Orthodox Ukrainians.
23:07 The emergence of a distinctive religious and intellectual culture in Ukraine is accompanied by the rise of the Cossacks, a group of outlawed individuals who establish their own community in the wild fields of Southeastern Ukraine and eventually rebel against Polish rule with the help of the Russian Tsar.
28:52 The period known as "the ruin" in Ukrainian history during the 17th century is marked by chaos, conflict, and famine as various groups, including the Cossacks, Poles, Russians, Crimeans, and Ottomans, fight each other for control of Ukraine.
34:31 In the aftermath of the Battle of Poltava, Ivan Mazepa, the Top Cossack, turns against Peter the Great and forms an alliance with Charles XII of Sweden, resulting in a comprehensive defeat for Mazepa and Sweden, and Ukraine falling under Russian control.
39:44 Ukraine has experienced a long history of being absorbed by different empires, with the western region of Galicia being more culturally and politically distinct, and the industrialized areas like Donetsk having a significant Russian presence.
45:11 The period between 1917 and 1922 in Ukraine is incredibly complex and chaotic, with multiple factions and armies vying for control, but it is important to recognize that there was a strong belief in the idea of an independent Ukraine during this time.
50:37 During the Russian Civil War, multiple armies, including the White Armies, the Red Army, and the Ukrainian Nationalist Army, were constantly fighting and changing control of Kiev, resulting in violence, pogroms, and the emergence of the Holocaust in Ukraine even before the Nazis arrived.
55:57 Stalin's repression of Ukrainian self-expression and nationalism, as well as the Nazi occupation of Ukraine during World War II, resulted in immense suffering and brutality for the Ukrainian people.
01:01:05 During World War II, Ukraine suffered immense casualties, with 7 million people killed and 10 million left homeless, resulting in the loss of half of its national wealth and unimaginable human suffering.
01:06:28 Ukraine's history since independence has been difficult, marked by events such as the Orange Revolution, the Euromaidan movement, Putin's annexation of Crimea, and the fermenting of separatism in Donetsk and Luhansk.
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