Late in the evening, on November 21, a few thousand Kyivans gathered on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Independence Square in English, in the protest against a decision by their government to freeze negotiations with the European Union over the signing of an Association Agreement on November 29. The first messages urging people to join the protest appeared in social networks at nearly 16:00 after the decision to start gathering was first announced in the media. Many Facebook and Tweeter users expressed disappointment in the opposition for calling people out to the Maidan only for November 24 rather than the day of the scandalous decision, so they agreed online to gather that night at 22:00.
At first, the protest was mainly attended by students coming to the Maidan to express their support for Eurointegration in Ukraine. But a violent and unprecedented crackdown on peaceful protesters during the night of the 10th day of protests left scores of injured and hospitalized young men and turned the relatively small demonstration into a nationwide outcry. Soon there were hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians of all ages on the Maidan, from all over the country.
On August 24, 2013, Ukraine marked the 22nd anniversary of independence. On this day, Ukrainians celebrate the Declaration of Sovereignty of Ukraine, passed by the Verkhovna Rada, the country’s legislature, in 1991, which declared what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, an independent state. Traditionally, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, many dressed in vyshyvanky, the traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirts, gather in downtown Kyiv with their friends and families. The city organizes sporting events, exhibitions, concerts, and singing and dancing contests during the day, while at night there is a gala concert and an impressive fireworks display to officially end Ukraine's biggest annual party.
on the Black Sea, Sevastopol
was once a closed city because it was the naval base of the soviet Black Sea
Fleet. Today, although it is on the territory
of Crimea, it is
subordinated directly to the central government and now harbors the Ukrainian
Navy and the Russian Black Sea Fleet. But its location and mild Mediterranean
climate make Sevastopol
a wonderful seaside resort and it is gradually becoming a major tourist
city became strategically important as a marine port after Empress Catherine II
of Russia issued a decree in
1783 bringing the CrimeanPeninsula under Russian
control. That year, a sea captain by the name of Berseniev recommended that the
town’s harbor be turned into a strategic naval base for the future Black Sea
Fleet. Known as Sevastopol since 1784, the
city’s historic roots actually go back to Classical Greece, when the settlement
was a Greek settlement by the name of Sevastopolis, meaning the VenerableCity.
The territory of modern-day Sevastopol
was occupied by the Greek colony of Chersonesos from the 4th century
BC and the traces of this settlement are still well-preserved and accessible to
the centuries, the city remained a vital protection point, withstanding a
number of wars, battles and attacks that are reflected in city monuments and
its history museums today. The most famous museum, the Panorama, depicts the siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War of
1853-1856. Visitors can also go to the Valley
of Death or drop by the cozy harbor
town of Balaklava
that has managed to partly preserve its Greek architecture and atmosphere. A
walk in the park on Sapun Hora or Hill allows you to explore more about Sevastopol’s role in
World War II. As one of the 13 Hero Cities of the Great Patriotic War
has many soviet monuments. But the visitor who is interested in architecture
will be delighted by some of the elegant 19th century mansions and
state buildings in the city.
of the residents of Sevastopol
are of Russian ethnicity and few of them speak English because the city was
closed to the foreigners in soviet times. Still, Sevastopol is a melting pot of many cultures
other than Russian and Ukrainian, being home to Jews, Moldovans, Tatars,
Crimean Tatars, Armenians, and Azeris.
as the city of a million roses, Donetsk is the
most developed city in Eastern Ukraine, giving
an impulse to both the mining industry and the football business. The city and
its resource-rich region, known as Donbas, form a major industrial hub in Ukraine and include one of the largest free
economic zones or FEZs in the country called Donetsk.
history of Donetsk
starts back in kozak times as a small settlement in the 18th
century. The official founding of modern-day Donetsk, however, is 1869, when a Welsh
engineer by the name of John Hughes, built the first steel mill in the area,
giving his name to the original town, Yuzivka. Over the decades, little Yuzivka
grew into a major metropolis and its name was changed to Donetsk in 1924. Despite its heavily
industrial base, Donetsk
has strong green policies. In 1970, UNESCO named it the greenest among the
world’s most highly industrial cities. Today, it is one of the least polluted
urban environments in Ukraine.
geographically located in the steppe zone, Donetsk is rich in resources and minerals. In
fact, nearly all the elements in the periodic table can be found here! Today,
there are more than 40 operating coal pits within the city limits. To encourage
the further development of the industry, Ukraine recently signed contract
with Shell, the global energy and petrochemical giant, to explore the natural
resources of the region.
left the cultural aspects of a great city behind. Today, 19 post-secondary
institutions educate tens of thousands of young Ukrainians, with more than 100
museums, dozens of libraries, theaters and music performance venues at their
fingertips. The opera house holds its own against the National Opera House in
Kyiv and world-renowned dancer Vadym Pisarev hosts a major ballet festival
every year. Donetsk’s
new international airport has been named after another famous native son,
composer Sergei Prokofiev.
of all, the city is keen on sports, hosting one of the most famous national
football clubs, FC Shakhtar, meaning “Miner.” Shakhtar’s newly-built home
stadium, Donbas Arena, is in the city center and hosted some of the finals in
EURO 2012. Other sights worth seeing in Donetsk
include SheffieldPark, ShcherbakovAmusement Park, and the Park of Forged Figures. Or take a walk down
bulvar Pushkina to DonetskNationalUniversity.
Other attractions Donetsk offers include a
Botanical Garden, a Planetarium, a HorsebackRidingCenter
and its famous Museum of Arts and TrainMuseum.
Named after the DniproRiver, the city of Dnipropetrovsk
is located in south-central Ukraine
and straddles the two banks of the river. Like many cities in the region, many
of its residents still speak Russian rather then Ukrainian. Although all
signage and documents are in the state language, print and internet media are
split almost equally between Ukrainian-language and Russian-language. With an
official population of nearly one million—999,557 in the 2012
census—Dnipropetrovsk is the 4th largest city in Ukraine and one
of the five “millionaire” cities.
In soviet times, Dnipropetrovsk was the heart of the
military-industrial complex, building rockets and airplanes and other heavy
equipment. In those days, it was also a closed city and no foreigners were
allowed to visit it without a formal permit, until Ukraine gained independence 1991.
Today, it remains one of Ukraine’s
vital industrial centers. The result is that the city is heavily polluted,
although it is also generally well maintained and offers interesting insights
into the real working life in Ukraine.
Dnipropetrovsk is also one of the key financial, cultural
and scientific centers of Ukraine.
It headquarters a number of national banks, including PrivatBank, one of the
country’s largest, and has two stock exchanges. The city also has eight
universities and six institutes, many of which specialize in geotechnical
mechanics, steel production, transport systems and technologies, natural
resources and environmental studies.
Since independence, Dnipropetrovsk has gradually transformed its grey
soviet past into a welcoming modern city with a cozy
new European square, monuments to Ukrainian heroes, urban views over the
Dnipro, a beautiful avenue down its embankment and a number of museums. This
vibrant atmosphere has given rise to numerous artists in the theater,
literature, film industry, sculpture, sports, and science.Dnipropetrovsk gave the country its second
president, Leonid Kuchma, the fourth president’s nemesis Yulia Tymoshenko, and
any number of colorful personalities in the current Verkhovna Rada!
The biggest international conference for developers of internet technology in Ukraine took place on April 29 in Kyiv, gathering more than 7,000 people. The iForum 2013 was an excellent opportunity for Ukrainian IT innovators to network and establish connections with their foreign colleagues and to demonstrate their own achievements.
Conference participants were offered interactive desks that provided information about various IT companies, along with special sectionals representing different futuristic-looking products. People had an opportunity not only to watch know-how in action, but were actually allowed to test it by themselves.
For the ninth time in a row, the international ethnic festival Kraina Mriy took place on the picturesque embankment hills of the Dnipro river in Kyiv. The festival promoted Ukrainian history and culture through ethnic music and art performances. “Being natural in everything” was the credo of the festival, which offered its numerous guests and participants the option of getting away from the usual challenges of reality and fast paced modern world filled with advanced technologies.
The nation’s capital presented its second City Tulip Exhibition at the hills of Spivoche Pole, a favorite attraction during the spring months of April and May. The flowering exhibition started April 21, transforming the Pechersk Landscape Park into a sea of multicolored slopes for all to enjoy. The tulip exhibition ran for three weeks, inviting the visitors and intrigued tulip-lovers to enjoy multiple activities and of course the tulips.
The International Tournament of Historic Fencing A Knight of Kyiv Dytynets started on March 24 at the Kyivan Rus Park. The competition will last until November 24, 2012. During these eight months, the most skillful swordsmen from Ukrainian as well as foreign knight clubs will demonstrate their art of fighting with medieval weaponry. They will also reconstruct the ancient craft of war.
With the winter season finally at its end, the unforgettable celebration of Masliana commences outside of the capital, as a farewell ceremony to winter, and the celebration of the awakening of spring. For the majority of Ukrainian population, this winter season started rather late. Snow hadn’t arrived until clear after Christmas, therefore ice fishing was not possible, and the hope of sledding was merely plausible. However, all of the impatience, hoping, and wishing, finally got the snow gods in gear, and Ukraine was hit with the coldest and unbelievably iciest snowfall in its last 20 years. Now more than satisfied, Ukrainians looks forward to spring more than ever.
This year’s winter in Ukraine was the classic of the season – snowed in streets invite residents for outdoor activities and carry the sparkling magic of the coldest time of the year. The best way to spend your snowy winter day off in Kyiv would be skiing, skating, sleighing, making a snowman, or having a snowball fight in a park. If that is not extreme enough, one can engage in an unconventional picnic in the freezing temperatures, rolling downhill on a tire, and ice fishing.
With kolyada (Christmas carols), vertep (traditional Ukrainian Christmas theater), kuttya (the main dish of the Holly Dinner that is prepared only for Christmas), pampushky (traditional Christmas donuts), varenyky (traditional dumplings) and an endless number of other foods, sweets, and goodies that stretch across Ukrainian dining tables during the biggest holiday of the year, a Ukrainian Christmas commences.
Step by step Ukraine gets closer to an unprecedented event in its sports and cultural life. European Football Championship EURO 2012 will be here in less than seven months. As a co-host of the Championship, Ukraine has selected four cities with more than adequate arenas to invite these renowned football teams and their fans.
The 19th Holiday Bazaar organized by the International Women’s Club of Kyiv took place in the Ukrainian capital on December 3, 2011. Over 15,000 people and 38 foreign embassies participated in the event. The main purpose of the Bazaar was to raise charitable funds for the needy women, children, disabled and elderly people of Ukraine.
For the twelfth year in a row, the Ukrainian festival Chervona Ruta has opened the stage for the new talents performing Ukrainian music of different genres. The number of this year’s participants has set the record, bringing together 850 young musicians and performers. New to this year’s festival is the collaboration of performers from all regions of Ukraine.
The stadium seats filled quickly with spectators who came to watch thousands of performers in coordination with a myriad of lights, and music show featuring famous Ukrainian pop-star Ruslana and American singer-songwriter Anastacia. With the roar of the crowd and the explosions of confetti, the new soccer stadium of western Ukraine, built to host Euro 2012, was opened.
The ten districts of Kyiv created flower compositions utilizing three thousand chrysanthemums. The flower exhibition was opened for several weeks welcoming city’s residents and guests of the Ukrainian capital. Along with professional works presented by the landscape designers, there were compositions created by the students from Kyiv’s schools.
The premium class sports complex Olympiysky in the heart of the Ukrainian capital reopens after a major reconstruction. One of the world’s largest sports venues will host the final match of the top level football event – the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship. The opening featured many high profile guests including the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, Ukrainian football star Andriy Shevchenko, boxing world champion Vitaly Klitchko, as well as pop diva Shakira, who gave a concert at the stadium.
A unique musical illuminated floating fountain opened in the Western Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia on September 4, 2011. The fountain is the world’s only floating fountain mounted in the natural body of water and by its technical parameters can only be compared to one such water facility in the world – the Dubai Fountain.
Ukrainians, Lviv is known as the cultural capital of Ukraine. And for good reason: with its elegant architecture and lively
atmosphere, Lviv charms all comers.
city was officially founded at the beginning of the 13th century by
Danylo Halytskiy, the king of the Halych-Volyn principality, and named for his
son, Lev, meaning “lion.” First the capital of Halych-Volyn, Lviv became an
important trade center in the Middle Ages, leading to its being frequently
conquered and passed off from neighboring state to neighboring state: it was a
part of Poland and called Lwow, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and called
Lemberg, the capital of the Western-Ukrainian National Republic (ZUNR), and
finally occupied by the USSR as Lvov. Once Ukraine
became independent, Lviv was able to revert to its original name as the City of
the bad times, wars, attacks and occupations Lviv has suffered through, it has
managed to preserve its 18th and 19th century
architecture and cobbled streets, neatly complimented today by its famous
networks of thematic cafes. In fact, the entire historical center of the city
has been placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list as hosting the largest number
of historic monuments in Ukraine.
city’s dense population of over 700,000 includes not only Ukrainians, but also
Germans, Poles, Jews and Russians. Due to its demographics and geographic
location, many locals speak Polish quite well. But Lviv is also a major
intellectual center, with the tradition of universities going back to the 17th
century with the establishment of the oldest continuously operating institution
of higher education in Ukraine,
also known as LvivUniversity.
has produced many major public figures, such as the first president of an
independent Ukrainian state in 1917, historian Mykhailo Hrushevskiy; opera
singer Solomiya Krushelnytska; contemporary actor Bohdan Stupka; theater
director Roman Viktiuk; singer Sviatoslav Vakarchuk of Okean Elzy. It also has
its share of oddball historical figures, such as Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, who
even has a themed restaurant to his name.
is the second largest city in Ukraine, former formal capital and cultural capital of the Soviet Ukraine, founded in the end of the 17th century. Kharkiv is a very dynamic city with important branches of industry, such as aviation and military equipment, many leading research institutions. Though the city is quite young, it has some architectural monuments that could be of interest. These include Pokrova cathedral, the oldest of the surviving building, which was built in 1689, and represents a typical Ukrainian church style. Second biggest square in Europe is located in Kharkiv, which has the length of 670 meters and width of 96 meters. The famous Ukrainian Law Academy of Yaroslav Mudryy is located in Kharkiv. Another important architectural building is the Uspenskyy Cathedral, which was built in the Russian Baroque style. To honor the victory of Russian forces over the French army, a new bell tower with a golden dome was erected. It still remains the tallest building in Khrakiv and has a height of 89.5 meters. Each hour from the tower bell people can hear the sound of the chimes. The hall of the cathedral has the organ installed, which hosts the concerts of the organ and chamber music. Kharkiv is a young but beautiful city and could be of interest to any traveler.
is a resort city located in the south of Crimean peninsula, a tourist attraction that has its origins from 12th century, located in the area of other Ancient Greek remnants. It has been attracting tourists from many countries during the summer holidays. The Greater Yalta combines several smaller resort towns that offer great summer vocational opportunities, beaches and mountain recreation. There is the longest mountain trolley-bus line in Europe, which connects Yalta with Simferopol (85 kilometers), above which located are the lands of the wineries, among which the most known is “Massandra.” The most known street of Yalta is the Lenin’s shore drive, which nowadays is the most important street of the city with many cafes, restaurants, and shops. Within the area of the Greater Yalta there are several castles, among which “Swallow‘s nest” draws a lot of attention, as it is a very beautiful made of white stone castle located at the seashore. Though Yalta is not that big, it offers great opportunities for business in recreational sphere and great vocational deals at the seaside and in the mountainous area.
is a city that is considered a capital of the south of Ukraine. It is a big seaport and Seagate to Ukraine. It was founded in the end of the 18th century and bears the architectural influence of the east in its buildings as well as Mediterranean style influenced by French and Italian styles. It is famous for its Potemkin Stairs, which lead from the seaport up to the ensemble of buildings of Classicism style with the statue of Duc de Richelieu. This ensemble changes into the Primorskiy Boulevard – a favorite place with tourists and city inhabitants as it is full of architectural ensembles and is considered one of the most beautiful in Odessa. Another favorite place is Deribasivska street, which was named after the first city mayor. The Greek square adjoins the street and is closed for traffic, which makes them a favorite place for pedestrians and hosts many restaurants, clubs, cafes and other attractions. There is also the CityGardens, which is a usual place for meeting of the artists. Odessa seaport also features the ultra-modern style hotel, which is located right on the pier and for some seems a perfect fit whereas for others a building out of place. In addition to all this, Odessa has many popular entertainment districts, among which the most famous is Arcadia. This district is full of hotels, sanatoria, disco clubs and cafes, which are open 24/7 during the summer time, and of course there are beaches, which attract tourists in the summer. Odessa is a city to conduct business and have a pleasant sea city vacation.
capital of Ukraine
is the country’s largest and possibly oldest city. Its history goes back at
least to the 5th century AD, but its legendary founders, the
princely brothers Kiy, Shchek and Khoryv and their sister Lybid emerged from
the mists of the distant past. By the 9th century, Kyivan Rus was a
major eastern Slavic state, nurturing the religious and cultural traditions of
modern Eastern European states. In 988, Prince Volodymyr Velykiy, the Great,
christened the city state. His son, Yaroslav Mudriy, married his daughters into
so many of royal houses that he earned himself the nickname, “the father-in-law
of Europe.” The most famous of these
daughters, Anna Yaroslavna, married Henry I of France. Kyiv flourished until the
13th century, when the Mongol hordes finally overran it.
the centuries, this city witnessed many a battle, attack and revolution, and
these influenced the outlook of its residents, who built up a new, modern Kyiv
with ancient traditions that have been preserved in the heart of the city to
this day. Many of these major historical events have been memorialized in
monuments and architecture. Among others, the World War II Memorial Complex is
considered one of the best museums of its kind in the world.
is home to one of the oldest educational institutions in Eastern Europe, KyivMohylaAcademy, which opened its
doors in 1615 and became a college in 1632. However, it was shut down by the
Russian Tsar in 1817, only to reopen when Ukraine became independent. Today,
it is one of the smaller universities in Ukraine, with 3,000 students, but
also one of the best-reputed.
is also a very diverse city, offering the visitor a wide range of thematic
tours: Literary Kyiv, the Churches of Kyiv, Artistic Kyiv, Botanical Kyiv, Kyiv
on the Dnipro, and more. A casual stroll in the downtown streets and alleys of
Kyiv provides a feast of architectural masterpieces: churches, cathedrals,
theaters, parks, monuments, government buildings, and universities. A walk from
Pechersk to Podil brings to life the atmosphere of the bustling commercial
heart of Kyiv in the 18th and 19th centuries.
and entertainment are available in Kyiv to suit every taste and budget. Sports
fans can enjoy games in the country’s biggest stadium, the Olympiyskiy, which
was upgraded for EURO 2012. Contemporary art buffs will enjoy the ArsenalArtGallery and the PinchukArtCenter, while
traditionalists will find the Museum
of Art a delight. Kyiv
boasts numerous museums of various kinds and themes, theaters, opera and ballet
theaters, and operetta. Those more inclined towards the nightlife will enjoy
exploring the myriad restaurants, bars, pubs, and dance clubs offered in Kyiv.
is a city with great significance to the history of Volyn' principality, which after union with the principality of Galychyna became the successor to a state and glory of Kyivska Rus. Lutsk is a small city with interesting history, founded in 11th century. It was an ancient Lithuanian King Lubart's castle, in which royal family resided at the same time. Also of interest can be St. Peter's and Paul's Cathedral and Dimitry's church, which is one of the oldest monuments of the Christianity. There is also neo-gothic Lutheran church and synagoge. Lutsk is a city of historical and religious trends that interwined in a small place, as here you can see religious buildings of orthodoxy, Catholicism, Lutheranism and Judaism next to each other.