The nation’s modern history began with that of the East Slavs. From at least the IX century, the territory of Ukraine was a centre of the medieval East Slavic civilization. This state, known as the Kievan Rus’ became the largest and most powerful nation in Europe, but disintegrated in the XII century. From the XIV century on, the territory of Ukraine was divided among a number of regional powers, and by the XIX century, the largest part of Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire, with the rest under Austro-Hungarian control. After a chaotic period of incessant warfare and several attempts at independence (1917–21) following World War I and the Russian Civil War, Ukraine emerged in 1922 as one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic’s territory was enlarged westward shortly before and after World War II, and again in 1954 with the Crimea transfer. In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the co-founding members of the United Nations. Ukraine became independent again after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. This began a period of transition to a market economy, in which Ukraine was stricken with an eight year recession. But since then, the economy has been experiencing a stable increase with GDP growth averaging 24 percent annually.
Lviv, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, was founded in the mid XIII century as the capital of a powerful Eastern European state – the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia. Thanks to its unique geographic location at the intersection of main trade routes between the West and the East, during XV–XVII centuries Lviv becomes a leading trade center of Eastern Europe and the largest city in the territory of present-day Ukraine in which people representing all nationalities of the Old World live together and form their communities. Being part of European cultural medium for over half a millennium, Lviv transformed into a true architectural gem and a centre of book publishing, artisanship and arts.
In the XVIII–XX centuries Lviv (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) becomes known as a city of technical innovations: in particular, the first university in Ukraine, the Jesuit Academy was founded here, the first periodical newspaper in Ukraine, weekly Gаzette de Leopol was published here, the first Ukrainian political organization, the Supreme Rus Council was founded in Lviv, and pharmacists Johann Zeg and Ignacio Lukasewicz who worked in Lviv’s Under the Golden Star pharmacy have invented the world’s first kerosene (oil) lamp, and many other things.
Today, Lviv is the only city in Ukraine which has preserved medieval planning layout of its central part; the city has over 2,000 architectural landmarks which represent all architectural styles and many different peoples and which can tell the history of foundation and development of the city and the country.
The Ensemble of the Historic Center of Lviv is inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, which became an international recognition of Lviv’s uniqueness.
Walking around Lviv, one can’t but fall in love with the unique and majestic beauty of the city. Everybody, regardless of where he came from, will always find something appealing to him and will surely want to come back to Lviv again and again.
Kamianets-Podilskyi is a city that preserved the spirit of the Middle Ages. Here, you can visit one of the largest fortification complexes in Europe, the fortress which became one of the most important landmarks in world history of fortification architecture. According to old chronicles, the stone fortress was built by Lithuanian princes Koriatovych who ruled Podolia in the 1360’s–1390’s.
The 121-ha Old Town functions as a unique complex separated from the rest of the city by deep Smotrych River canyon.
The Old Town architecture features many examples of culture of different peoples (Ukrainians, Poles, Armenians, Turks, and Russians) and religions (Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim): XVII century Turkish minaret; XVII century Turkish and Armenian bastions; XIV century St. Nicholas (Armenian) Church; XVIII century wooden Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross; XV–XVIII century Dominican and Franciscan monasteries.
Thanks to the unique combination of town planning, architectural, and historical heritage of the Old Town with the landscape of the Smotrych River canyon the Cultural Canyon Landscape was nominated as candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The National Dendrological Park ‘Sofiyivka’ of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine located in Uman, Cherkasy Oblast is one of the most outstanding examples of world landscape garden design of the late XVIII–first half of the XIX century.
The Sofiyivsky Park was founded in 1796 by rich Polish magnate Count Stanislaw Potocki and named after his beautiful Greek wife Sofia, and was presented to her on her angel’s day in May 1802.
The idea of creating a romantic-style park with elements of Greek and Roman mythology belonged to Sofia herself. Wonderful landscape, exotic plants, antique sculptures, lakes, cascades, fountains, stone grottos – all this opens before the eyes of visitors to the park. For over 200 years this masterpiece of garden and park art impresses the visitors with its sunning beauty. Tourist season in Uman lasts around the year, and the park is crowded with visitors both in summer and in winter.
Ukraine is a country with developed scientific and industrial base and a member of the World Trade Organization (since 16 May 2008). Ukrainian economy includes such industries as heavy engineering, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, shipbuilding, bus, truck, car, tractor and other agricultural machinery, locomotive, lathe, turbine, aviation engine and airplane, power plant equipment production, oil, gas, and chemical industry, etc. Also, Ukraine is a big electricity producer. The whole number of sectors of Ukrainian economy boasts high technology level of development. Ukraine manufactures rocket launch vehicles, space satellites, and space research equipment, plus a wide range of military hardware: tanks, military transport aircraft, surface-to-air missile systems, and optical equipment.