Reveal the major periods of Ukrainian History. What points would you emphasize?
Ukraine history is very unique. Archeological discoveries show that the earliest settlements in the Dnepr and Dniester valleys appeared several thousand years ago (1st century BC). The territory of present-day Ukraine was inhabited by Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Goths throughout the first millennium BC. Antes and the Ros', the ancestors of the Eastern Slavs, occupied central and eastern Ukraine in the 6th century A.D. About 14 East Slav tribe unions existed in Ukraine during the 6th - 9th centuries and they became the political foundation for forming the core of the powerful Kievan Rus. Kievan Rus' is the beginning of the Ukraine history as a state. The time of the greatest influence of the Slavic State was reached during the reigns of Prince Vladimir (Vladimir the Great, r. 980 -1015) and Prince Yaroslav (Yaroslav the Wise, r. 1019-1054).Vladimir's most important accomplishment was the Christianization of Kievan Rus'. Yaroslav's most important achievement was improved relations with the rest of Europe, particularly the Byzantine Empire. After Yaroslav's death the Kievan Rus split into two principalities: Galicia-Volhynia in the south-west and several regional centers in the north-east that eventually became Muscovy. After the conquest of the Kievan Rus (13th cent.) by the Mongols of the Golden Horde, the history of Ukraine and Russia went their separate ways. In the mid-14th century Lithuania and Poland began to enlarge their territory at the expense of their eastern neighbors. As a result of the dynastic union between Poland and Lithuania in 1386, Ukraine came under Polish rule. After being pulled on from every direction, the end of the 15th century began a glorious period of struggle for national independence in the Ukraine. The Cossack Republic is usually viewed as the precursor of Ukraine. The Cossack liberation movement is one of the most tragic and heroic periods in Ukraine history. The revolutionary events of 1917 put an end to the Russian Empire. The dream of an independent Ukraine ended in 1922 when the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian SSR) was founded. For 74 years Ukraine history became an organic part of the USSR history. The collapse of the Soviet Union has not only brought new freedoms and opportunities, but completely transformed the lives of all those who once lived there. A new page of Ukraine history has been turned over and is being written. There are a lot of expectations for major changes in the country, but at the same time there are still severe economical, political and social problems.