3. Kievan Rus (Київська Русь)
During the 10th and 11th centuries, the Ukraine was the
center of the first eastern Slavic state. This country was
developed along an important trade route from the Baltic Sea
to the Black Sea. This was also the time when Orthodox
Christianity was adopted, creating a connection between
4. With essentially no
central government in
place, Kievan Rus
disintegrated into rural
succumbed to disunity and
political weakness. People
stopped paying taxes,
Europeans established new
trading routes that
excluded them, and
eventually they were
invaded by the Mongols
(Tartars). The capital city
was eventually moved to
Moscow in 1328. For both
Russians and Ukrainians,
the period before this
decline is still looked upon
with great fondness and
5. Cossak Hetmanate state after
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569
Austro-Hungary & Russia in the 18th century Soviet Union after 1920
Freedom finally came for the Ukrainians with the
dissolving of the Soviet Union in 1991. On December 1st of
that year, a referendum was held in the Ukraine on national
independence and passed with 90 percent of the vote.
8. The Ukrainian Constitution was adopted in 1996 and
has since been amended. It sets up a government structure
very similar to that of Russia’s. With a dual executive,
proportionally representative legislature, and an appointed
judiciary branch, this is a multiparty system.
Communist Party of
Party of Regions
People’s Movement of
Socialist Party of Ukraine
Alliance for Reforms
10. POLITICAL & CULTURAL INSTABILITY
The Western region
shares much in
common with the
middle, but was
influenced for a
long time by the
The Eastern region
has very little in
common with the
the area well into
the 19th century.
The middle region, which includes Kiev, has been
heavily influenced by both sides. As the cradle of
Russian society, ties have historically been strong
with the Byzantine Empire and with the East. Yet,
having been ruled by the Poles, it also has strong
11. Today, 67 percent of people living in the Ukraine speak
Ukrainian and 30 percent speak Russian (shown above).
Furthermore, 71 percent are ethnically Ukrainian, while only 17
percent identify as ethnically Russian. The other 12 percent are
12. FAILED RELATIONS WITH THE WEST
Despite it’s pull towards
the West, the Ukraine
remained much more
closely tied with Russia than
other former Soviet
republics because the West
never fully embraced the
Ukraine as a potential trade
Many other states were
offered the prospect of
membership in the EU or
NATO for the diligent pursuit
of democratic and market
reforms. No such offer was
seriously extended to the
Ukraine. This has made
transition to democracy very
13. CONTINUED RUSSIAN INFLUENCE
не было и
быть не может!
At the same time, many Russians had never
truly gotten used to the idea of an independent
Ukraine. The reluctance of the West to be involved left
a void Russia was more than happy to fill.
16. DEMOCRATIC PULSE
The Orange Revolution, the protest in
Independence Square, up to the current situation in
the Ukraine, tells us that the people are unhappy
enough with their government to stand up and fight
18. SOVIET UNION IMPACT :
The late 80s to early 90s
• During Soviet rule Ukraine was known as one of
the poorest regions, only falling ahead of
Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Uzbekistan.
• During the later years of soviet rule Ukraine relied
heavily on the Soviet Union for reduced gas prices.
This in turn lead the gas to being exported at
higher costs bringing in additional income.
• The best sources available at the time shows
Ukraine's GDP at just above $1,000.00 even with
the Soviets giving Ukraine the lowered gas prices.
19. In 1991, when Ukraine gained independence, the
United States had high hopes that it would become a
wealthy free market Democratic system. However, as
of today the Ukraine has plummeted to be known
lately as the “next Greece,” or “sick old man of
20. INITIAL RESULTS AFTER THE SOVIET UNION
• With the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union,
Ukraine tried to build up its infrastructure
essentially from nothing to the economic standing
expected by the U.S. and the rest of Europe.
• With the building of a new free market economy
came many costs, such as a black market of
economic goods and political corruption between
1991 and 1996 as well as mass inflation.
• In order to stabilize the economy Ukraine began to
tax heavily on all available businesses, which lead
to further separation and shadow economics.
22. • In 1996, the Ukraine incorporated its first national
currency called the Hryvnia, which helped to stabilize
the economy and rid the country of all previous
• Even with the national currency, Ukraine’s economy
has struggled and since the 2008 recession has not
shown continuous strides of improvement like
• Since 2008, the Ukraine has acquired around 60
billion dollars in debt. This will rise in the near future
due to the older populations beginning to retire and
rely more on the government.
A New Currency
23. INDEX OF ECONOMIC FREEDOM
As of today Ukraine is ranked 162nd out of 183
in the 2014. They are only ahead of countries such as
Iran (171), Republic of Congo(170), and North Korea
(178) the other 5 countries listed as “not ranked” on
the current list.
25. • Novikov, Tatyana. "Christianization of Russia: 988
AD." Russian Culture and Civilizations. Omaha.
• The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency, n.d.
• Remington, Thomas F. Politics in Russia. 7th ed.
Boston: Pearson Longman, 2012. Print.
• McLaughlin, Lauren. "The Conflict in Ukraine: A
Historical Perspective." A Harvard Scholar
Explains. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2015.
• Liaugminas, Tatiana. "An Ambivalent Relationship."
Russian Life Sept.-Oct. 2014: 64. Print.
• "Transition in Ukraine." NATO Parliamentary Assembly. N.p., 2006.
• "Corruption by Country / Territory." Transparency International.
N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.
• Gray, Julia. "The Problem With Ukraine's Transition
to Democracy." Political Violence a Glance. N.p.,
03 Mar. 2014. Web.
• Understanding Ukraine: The Problems Today and Some Historical
Context. Perf. Vlogbrothers. 2014. YouTube.
• Danilevsky, Nikolai. "The Slav Role in World Civilization." Readings in Russian
Civilization; Edited with Introductory Notes by Thomas Riha; 2nd Ed.,
Revised. Vol. 2. Chicago London: U of Chicago P, 1969. 384-85. Print.
26. • "Ukrainian Hryvnia." Wikipedia. Wikimedia
Foundation. Web. 16 Mar. 2015
• "Ukraine's Underachieving Economy Since
1991.” Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
• "The Underachiever: Ukraine's Economy Since 1991."
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 9 Mar.
2012. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.
• "Ukraine." Economy: Population,
GDP, Inflation, Business, Trade, FDI,
Corruption. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.
• "Country Rankings." : World & Global Economy
Rankings on Economic Freedom. Web. 16
Notes de l'éditeur
Ukraine has been ruled by various other countries over the course of its existence. Weak after the rule of the Mongols (Tatars), the Ukraine was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. After an uprising against the Poles, a new Ukrainian state was formed. The Cossak Hetmanate remained independent into the 18th century. They were then absorbed into Russia and parts belonged to the Austria-Hungarian Empire. The Ukraine maintained a short period of independence again from 1917-1920 (which was not at all a peaceful time) with the fall of Tsarist Russia, and eventually become part of the Soviet Union until it’s fall in 1991. This created some stability for a while, however, the rise of Stalin caused millions of Ukrainian deaths.
Politicians in the Soviet Union recognized that the breakup of the union was inevitable, and they looked for ways to preserve at least some of the formal ties among the republics. The leaders of the three Slavic core state – Russia, Ukraine and Belorussia (Belarus) – met on December 8, and declared the USSR dissolved. In its place, they agreed to form a new entity to coordinate their economic and strategic relations, called the “Commonwealth of Independent States” (CIS).
-3% threshold for parliament (Verkhovna Rada)
-amended in 2004 and 2010
To understand the current political situation in the Ukraine, it’s really important to understand the stark cultural differences that exists there. Political life often revolves heavily around these divides as well. This tug of war between the West and the East has historically and currently played a large role in shaping conditions in the country. Any leader of Ukraine will have to balance the country’s west — formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and strongly identified with western Europe– with its Russian-oriented east and south.
The details of corruption here could easily bog us down, but the main point here is that Russia continued to heavily influence Ukrainian politics. This has involved a lot of political corruption that has further hindered democracy in the Ukraine.
[Speaking of the Ukraine]
“Popular enthusiasm, favorable circumstances, and the genius of a leader placed at the head of a popular movement can achieve independence for them. But preservation of their independence and of the Slav character of life and culture will be impossible without a close mutual union with Russia.” – The Slav Role in World Civilization by Nikolai Danilevksky (1869)
----- Meeting Notes (3/16/15 18:52) -----
Why did the west not offer help to the ukraine like other countries
This corruption has not gone unnoticed by any means, nor do Ukrainians seem to be apathetic towards the state of their country. These statistics from Transparency International shows just how badly Ukrainians (and the world) view their government. Please do keep in mind, these numbers are relatively recent in nature (2013). However, polls have also shown that 63 percent of people view the level of corruption as having remained the same since 2007.
Police – 84%, Judiciary – 87%, Legislative – 77%, Executive – 74%
142/175 – Corruption Perception Index
This is another area in which it is very easy to get overwhelmed with details...
Orange Revolution (2004) – Widespread elections held and there were reports of vote rigging when the Russian-friendly Viktor Yanukovych. His opponent, Viktor Yushchenko, led massive street protests that become known as the Orange Revolution. During this he was poisoned and almost died. The revolution led to a second election, which Yushchenko won. He wasn’t the best at dealing with the Ukrainian economy, and his push towards Europe angered Russia so much they cut off Ukrainian gas supply.
In 2010, there were elections and Viktor Yanukovych was declared the legitimate leader of the Ukraine. In November 2013, he announced that he would abandon a deal to strengthen ties with Europe and more closely align with Russia. That is when the protests began in Kiev’s Independent Square. This resulted in the deaths of many protestors and the flight of Yanukovych to Moscow. They were able to hold new elections and install a new government, but Putin then entered the Crimean Peninsula and the current problems we are seeing today ensued.