Ukraine History

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UKRAINE

The area of the Ukraine represents the beginnings of the original Russian state, about twelve centuries ago. The Mongols invaded the area in the 13th and 14th centuries. At that point, control of the region was in Lithuanian and Polish hands. In 1654, Ukraine became part of the Russian empire though shortly thereafter it was partitioned between Poland and Russia. The part annexed by Poland later came under the influence of Austria as Poland itself was partitioned. After the Russian Revolution, the Ukraine made an attempt to establish its autonomy but it eventually became a Soviet republic. In 1921, the region was once again divided: the western portion of the country was given to Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania and the eastern Ukraine became the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Stalin's attempts to force collectivism on the Ukraine in the 1930s, resulted in millions of deaths, chaos, and famine (as in other of the SSRs at the time). The Ukraine declared itself sovereign in 1990 and the Communist party was outlawed in 1991, leading to a declaration of total independence. In December of that year, Ukraine joined other former SSRs in the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Tensions with Russia since then have revolved around conflicts over nuclear warheads and other issues. The Ukrainian economy has yet to stabilize.