History of Kiev

Kiev information for foreigners

ukraine-kievKiev is one of the largest cities in Europe. The capital of Ukraine, Kiev is situated in the north central part of Ukraine. It is located on the majestic Dnieper River. Kiev is a notable scientific, educational, cultural and industrial centre of Eastern Europe. You can find plenty of higher education institutions, high-tech industries and famous historical landmarks in Kiev. The extensive infrastructure and public transport such as Kiev Metro also makes it a wonderful city.

There is a fascinating history associated with the city of Kiev. It is a very old city of Eastern Europe. It has played a major role in the development of East Slavic Civilization in the Medieval Age and also in the development of the modern Ukrainian nation. People believe that this old city was founded during the late 9th century. There are several legends associated with the origin of Kiev.

Ukraine map

There is a story that a family consisting of Kyiv, Slavic Tribe Leader was the eldest brother. He, along with his younger brothers, Khoryv and Shchek and sister, Lybid founded the city of Kiev. According to this legend, the name of the city Kiev originates from Kyi, its founder. The name “Kiev” implies “belong to Kyi”. According to another legend, Saint Andrew had once passed through the city. He built a cross in a certain place where a church was erected. Also, the image of the great Saint Michael characterized the city since the middle Ages. These are the three legends that are associated with the city of Kiev.

There is very less historical evidence during the period when the old city was founded. Researchers have found that Slavic settlements existed in the area in a very scattered way during the 6th century. In the 8th century, many fortifications were built in a Slavic settlement that was left abandoned for a few decades. Researchers are still clueless whether the fortifications were built by the Khazars or the Slavs. Some people say that the Slavic people residing in the area since 6th century must have built the fortifications whereas some others argue that the city was founded under the rule of the Khazars.

There is a primary source of information about the history of Kiev known as Primary Chronicle. According to it, Slavic Kievans told that although they paid some amount of tribute to the Khazars, they actually lived without any local ruler. This is during the 9th century, when Sambat, a hill fortress was built to defend the large area. During the early 10th century, the city was under the rule of Varangians. Kiev became the nucleus of Rus polity.

During 1000 AD, Kiev had a population of about 45000 people. In 1169, Andrey Bogolyubsky plundered Kiev taking away the Mother of God icon. During 1203, the city was burned ruthlessly after it was captured by Prince Rurik Rostislavich. In 1240, the city was completely destroyed by Batu Khan, who led the Mongol invasion. During the period of Mongol destruction, Kiev was known was the world’s largest city.

From 1667, Kiev became a part of Russia and enjoyed some degree of autonomy. It was like the main Christian Centre of the Russian Empire, which attracted several pilgrims. The commercial importance of the city was marginal till the 19th century.

The Saint Vladimir University was successfully established in 1834. During the 18th and 19th century, the city of Kiev was dominated by several Russian Military and other authorities. At the beginning of the 20th century, Kiev was dominated by people who spoke Russian. The lower classes lived on the outskirts of the city.

During the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, the city prospered and became an important city of the Russian Empire. The city became the capital of Ukraine in 1934. During the World War 2, the city suffered some amount of damage as it was occupied by Nazi Germany.

kyiv direction

It recovered economically in the years post war. It again regained its title of one of the largest cities in the world. This is the history of one of the oldest cities of the world. Despite several pitfalls and adversities, this city has always stood back on its feet again and again.

Languages of Ukraine

Spoken languages in Ukraine

ukraine-victoryUkraine is famous for its diverse and rich culture. The official state language of Ukraine is Ukrainian. It is an East Slavic language that is basically the native language of almost 65% of the total population of the country. 33% speak Russian as their native language while the rest 2% speak different languages. It is one among the two major languages of the country and was one of the three official languages of Transnistria, an unrecognised state.

A recently organised poll results can give us a more detailed knowledge about the number of languages being used all over Ukraine. Over 1000 random people were interviewed for this survey. Almost 52% stated that their language of communication is mainly Russian, while 41% stated that they use Ukrainian as their mode of communication. 8% stated they use both the languages as a mixture. It is a curious case and quite evident that Ukrainian is more spoken in the rural areas, than the urban ones. A bilingual society of the country gets reflected due to this data, as often a mixture of both the languages can be found.

English is the most popular foreign language in Ukraine. Major restaurants, bars and hotels appointed English speaking staff. Though being so popular it is not spoken much in the country.

Here is a list of languages being spoken in Ukraine. And there are quite a few of them!

  • Ukrainian
  • Polish
  • Eastern Yiddish
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Belarusian
  • Bulgarian
  • Hungarian
  • Crimean Tatar
  • Armenian
  • Urum
  • Tatar
  • German
  • Jakati
  • Georgian
  • Czech
  • Erzya
  • Northern Uzbek
  • Kazak
  • Greek
  • Serbian
  • Osetin
  • Bashkort
  • Latvian
  • Tajiki
  • Lezgi
  • Karaim
  • Abkhaz
  • Dargwa
  • Lak
  • North Azerbaijani

shop-in-ukraineThe Constitution of Ukraine passed an Article 10 to make sure the state bears an obligation towards making Ukrainian the most important language of the country. Functioning and comprehensive development of the language throughout Ukraine covering all spheres of social life, while also providing the guarantee that Russian and other minority languages should be protected and allowed free development. Ukrainian can be termed as a mixture of Belarusian and Russian, all of them comprising of a Slavic background. So if you are planning to visit Ukraine we recommend you hire a translator for the first few days as it can be quite confusing.

About Kiev

Kiev for foreigners – visit Kiev

visit-Kiev-UkraineThe bustling capital of Ukraine and one of the largest cities on the continent of Europe is Kiev. It has a population of about 3 million individuals and it happens to be the center of scientific, educational, economic, administrative and culture welfare. It is located on the Shore of Dnepr River and it is definitely a city with invaluable cultural and historical monuments.

Among its treasures, the famous writers, artists and poet have strong hold in the uniqueness of this city and it is considered as one of the greatest places for its architecture. Some of the landmarks include the Ukrainian Baroque Church of St Andrew, the 19th century magnificent cathedral of St Vladimir, Cathedral of St Sophia and its mosaics drawing back till the 11th century and not to forget, the Kievo – Pecherskaya Lavra featuring the many cathedrals and monasteries. These are the few among various attractions of this city.

church-in-ukraineKiev being the oldest city in the continent of Europe happens to be the ‘mother of all places’ by the Ukrainians and Russians. Due to all the historical monuments present in Kiev, it is often referred to as the spirit of all the past historical stories. The other things famous in Kiev are its rich cultural and theatre life. The theatres of Kiev offer various theatrical programs for the young drama aspirants and most of the performances and plays are held in Russia or Ukraine. The Ivan Franko Theatre is one of the centers of musicals, drama and comedy. The Opera house in Kiev is another hub of ballet and it presents a wonderful opera as well. There are also other centers for various exhibitions displaying art galleries and works by famous artists.

Meet Kiev women

Meet Kiev women

Since Kiev is the educational and scientific center of Ukraine, it has many universities and research facilities for aspiring scientists and science majors. There is the Kiev Mogilyanskaya Academy, which was probably the first scientific universities of Eastern Europe. Kiev being the capital city of Ukraine is also the economic and commercial capital of the country. The industries Kiev is famous for being food, manufacturing, machinery, metallurgy, textiles, chemicals and building materials. The developmental capabilities of the city have  been given various business opportunities and the commercially based population of Kiev has proved to be very economical for various business activities. There are also many office centers, trade exhibitions, banks, learning and commercial establishments in Kiev.

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