Ukraine

Article

July 6, 2022

Ukraine (/y.kʁɛn/; Ukrainian: Україна, Ukraïna /ukrɑˈjinɑ/) is a state in Eastern Europe, the second largest in Europe by area and the first entirely European. It is bordered by the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov to the south, borders with Russia to the northeast and east, with Belarus to the north, with Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west and with Romania and Moldova to the southwest. The capital, and the most populous city in the country, is kyiv. The origins of Ukrainian culture can be traced back to the medieval Eastern Slavic state of Kievan Rus'. After the fall of the latter following the Mongol invasions of the 13th century, the territory was partitioned and claimed by several foreign powers, including the Republic of the Two Nations to the west and the Ottoman Empire to the west. south. The independent Cossack Hetmanate existed between the 17th and 18th centuries, before its eastern and central parts were incorporated into the Russian Empire. Western Ukraine will, for its part, be integrated into the Austrian Empire, its successor Austria-Hungary, then the Second Republic of Poland. During the Russian Revolution, the Ukrainian People's Republic briefly gained independence with international recognition, became part of the former Western Ukrainian People's Republic, but eventually became the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union, in the 1920s following the Russian Civil War. In 1939, the Soviet Union completed its conquest of Western Ukraine in accordance with the German-Soviet pact. Ukraine once again became independent in 1991, with the breakup of the USSR, and was then the world's third nuclear power in terms of the number of warheads. On December 5, 1994, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons within the framework of the Budapest Memorandum in exchange for guarantees on its security and territorial integrity, of which Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom were guarantors. Following the 2014 revolution, Crimea was annexed by Russia and a civil war broke out in the east of the country with pro-Russian separatists. Faced with the Russian threat and Russia's non-respect of its 1994 commitments, Ukraine sought new security guarantees by drawing closer to NATO. The crisis took on a new dimension on February 24, 2022, when Ukraine was invaded by Russian armed forces on the orders of Vladimir Putin. The official language is Ukrainian, but Russian is also widely used, especially in the south and east of the country, due to the domination of the old Russian empire and several centuries of Russification that this region has experienced. part of the country.

Etymology

The name of the country comes from the Ukrainian Україна or the Russian Украина, Oukraïna (respective scholarly transcriptions: Ukrajina and Ukraina), composed of the prefix or, "in, at, near, inside", and the root Slavic krai (край), which initially designates an incision, a notch, then a line delimiting something, hence, by extension, the meaning of "country, province" (in Russian: "end, extremity, periphery", " edge, edge” or “country, region, province”; in Bulgarian: “edge, corner, extremity, termination, end”, “proximity, neighborhood, surroundings”). This root is itself inherited from the proto-Turkish kırım, "edge, break", in reference to the confines of the world of the proto-Turkish nomads, which became a bastion of the Huns of Europe in the 4th century up to the Tatars of the Horde of Gold in the 15th century. In French, this etymology attested in the 17th century.

History

Ukraine is the home of the first Eastern Slavic state, founded by Scandinavians: Rus' of kyiv (also called in Western writings Ruthenia), which during the 10th and 11th centuries