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History of Ukraine



Early history

Human settlement in Ukraine and its vicinity dates back to 32,000 BCE, with evidence of the Gravettian culture in the Crimean Mountains. By 4,500 BCE, the Neolithic Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture flourished in a wide area that included parts of modern Ukraine including Trypillia and the entire Dnieper-Dniester region. During the Iron Age, the land was inhabited by Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians. Between 700 BC and 200 BC it was part of the Scythian Kingdom, or Scythia.

Later, colonies of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and the Byzantine Empire, such as Tyras, Olbia, and Hermonassa, were founded, beginning in the 6th century BC, on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea, and thrived well into the 6th century AD. The Goths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s AD. In the 7th century AD, the territory of eastern Ukraine was the center of Old Great Bulgaria. At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, and the Khazars took over much of the land.

Golden Age of Kiev

Kievan Rus' was founded by the Rus' people, Varangians who first settled around Ladoga and Novgorod, then gradually moved southward eventually reaching Kiev about 880. Kievan Rus' included the western part of modern Ukraine, Belarus, with larger part of it situated on the territory of modern Russia. According to the Primary Chronicle the Rus' elite initially consisted of Varangians from Scandinavia.

During the 10th and 11th centuries, it became the largest and most powerful state in Europe. In the following centuries, it laid the foundation for the national identity of Ukrainians and Russians. Kiev, the capital of modern Ukraine, became the most important city of the Rus'.

During the Golden Age of Kiev, the lands of Rus' covered modern western, central and northern Ukraine, Belarus, and western Russia. Modern eastern and southern Ukraine were inhabited by nomads
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