Ukrainians have lived on the territory of the present-day nation of Ukraine for millennia.
The powerful medieval monarchy of Kievskaya Rus was established more than 1,100 years ago. It extended to the Gulf of Finland on the north, to the upper reaches of the Volga River in the east, and to the Syan and Western Bugh rivers in the west.
The Kievskaya Rus state disintegrated in the 12th and 13th centuries and some of its territory came under the rule of Moskowia and Byelorussia.
After a lengthy struggle for its independence from Lithuania and Poland, Ukraine reappeared on the political map of Europe with the emergence of the medieval republic of Zaporozhyan Kozak Sich in the 17th century.
The Ukrainian getman Bogdan Khmelnitskiy directed the successful war of national liberation from 1648 - 1654.
Ukrainian sovereignty was short-lived, however, with Poland and the Russian empire annexing the country. In 1772, the Polish state disintegrated, and the lands it held in Ukraine came under Austrian rule.
World War I accelerated and forced dissolution of Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Revolutionary processes in February and October, 1917 destroyed monarchy and Russian Empire as well as leaded to independence of Ukraine and formation of Ukrainian People's Republic. Within 1917 - 1921 Ukraine became an arena of desperate struggle, military actions of six different armies that as the result in 1922 brought to signing of agreement on Union of Soviet Socialist Republic by Ukraine, Belarus, Transcaucasian and Russian Federations.
The 30s were the most tragic years in history of Ukraine. Stalin and his comrades-in-arms were sequentially following the policy aimed at annihilation of social background of Ukrainian national self-consciousness by means of agricultural crisis named as famine. Finally they managed to meet their goal objective. Famine-genocide 1932 - 1933 killed almost eight million of Ukrainian people who resided in rural areas. Disruption of national biological potential was accompanied by prohibition of independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church and physical liquidation of national clerisy (intellectuals).
As a part of USSR and in accordance with the Constitution of USSR, Ukrainian SSR formally saved some rights and features of sovereign state: territory, management and governmental authorities, budget, state emblem, flag, anthem and Constitution.
On July 16, 1990 Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed and approved very important historical document – ACT on state sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Its territory was announced to be integral and unimpaired. Only Constitution of Ukraine and Ukrainian laws were effective at this territory.
In June, 1994 democratic system underwent serious test, when in the result of free elections Leonid Kuchma took position of the President of Ukraine.
Consolidation of a position of Ukraine as independent state was complicated by vicissitudes of transition period which were extremely severe in economy.
Economic crisis inherited within soviet times developed during next years.
The transition from dictatorship to democracy also did not go smoothly. In late 2004 Viktor Yanukovych won a presidential election. However many people believed the election was rigged and supporters of the other candidate Viktor Yushchenko held demonstrations for 10 days. Eventually a rerun was held and Yushchenko was elected. He became president early in 2005. This was called the Orange Revolution. Ukraine suffered badly in the economic downturn of 2008 - 2009. However that was temporary and Ukraine recovered.
In 2013 and 2014 a wave of demonstrations swept across Ukraine when President Yanukovych rejected an association treaty with the EU. In February 2014 the Ukrainian parliament voted to remove Yanukovych from power. After new elections Petro Poroshenko beame president of Ukraine. Today the population of Ukraine is 44 million.