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30 facts about Ukraine

Interesting and little known facts about democratic traditions and personalities of Ukraine, about Crimea and outer space

On the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, the team from the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security presented 30 interesting facts about our country. They illustrate democratic traditions of state-building, our common ground with regard to Crimea, imperturbability and the pursuit of freedom. Congratulation!

5 facts about democratic traditions in our country

● According to the scientists, the Trypillja society was balanced and not organized hierarchically – with negotiations and self-management. But efforts to limit and centralize power led to its collapse.

● Prokopios of Caesarea, an early Byzantine historian, describes in his war history the wars Sclaveni and Antes – possible ancestors of the Ukrainians – as people who were independent of anyone. They regulated everything through the people’s power.

● The Pylyp Orlyk constitution, a first Ukrainian and one of the first European constitutions, proposed the division of power between branches and criticized the “autocracy”.

● In the Constitution of the Ukrainian People’s Republic of 1918 it was enshrined that the sovereign law belongs to the people and that the task of the state is to guarantee their rights.

● “The state should not be despotic like an idol-goddess, serve the slaves, who are deprived of all human rights. The state serves free citizens, in order to create mostly favorable conditions for them for the all-round development and the exercise of their creative powers!”, it was written in the “Information Sheet of the Presidium of the Liberation Council of Ukraine”, which operated illegally during the Second World War.

5 facts about the Crimea

● “Eternal friendship with Crimea”: a whole section of Pylyp Orlyk’s constitution is devoted to relations with the Crimean state, which have been described as “neighborly friendship”, “long-term brotherhood”, “eternal friendship” and “comradeship”.

● The “black century” was what the Crimean Tatars called the time after the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Empire in 1783. Until then, the peninsula had had nothing to do with Moscow for millennia.

● Ukrainian Cossacks together with the troops of the Crimean Khanate defeated the Moskvites – in the battle at Konotop they fought side by side against the common enemy. About 40,000 Crimean Tatars took part in the battle.

● “For the first time in the history of the Turks and Islam”. The first Muslim women’s magazine appeared in Crimea in 1917. The magazine was published by Şefiqa Gazprinskaya, who was closely linked to the spread of ideas about emancipation and women’s rights. She was also the first woman in the Presidium of the National Assembly – Kurultai of the Crimean Tatar People.

● The Ukrainians tried almost simultaneously with the Crimean Tatars to restore their own statehood. In 1917 the People’s Republic of Crimea was proclaimed in Bakhchysarai, the first democratic republic and the first country with voting rights for all women in the Muslim world.

5 facts about Ukrainian space

Chumatskyi Schljach (Milky Way – ed.). Ukrainians have until now kept their own name for the galaxy that contains the solar system, as well as stars that we see with the naked eye.

“Dywljus ja na nebo” (I look at the sky “- Red.) Is the first song that sounded in space. The Ukrainian cosmonaut Pavlo Popowytsch sang it in the spaceship Vostok 4 especially for the rocket designer, the Ukrainian Sergej Koroljow. The founder of the private US space company SpaceX, Elon Musk, considers Sergei Korolev to be one of the most important figures in this field.

He killed the Russian tsar and developed a missile scheme in the prison cell. Nikolai Kibaltschitsch was sentenced to death for building a powerful bomb, with which Tsar Alexander II was killed by members of Narodnaya Volya (People’s Will) (a social-revolutionary secret society in the Russian Empire – ed.). On death row, Nikolai Kibaltschitsch managed to create a project for an aircraft with a jet engine and passed it on to his lawyer a few days before the execution.

“Paved the way to the moon for Americans”. The resident of Poltava, Juri Kondratjuk, developed a “stop theory” on a celestial body with a strong gravitational field. As a high school student, he figured out how to make sure how a spaceship lands and takes off. In 40 years the Americans successfully used Yuri Kondratjuk’s calculations when astronauts landed on the moon.

● “Missiles from Ukraine”. Ukrainian companies are still helping to build missiles. The European Vega launcher is equipped with the Ukrainian propulsion system, which was manufactured in the Ukrainian state-owned company Piwdenmasch. The rocket has already successfully launched 17 times into space. It put satellites into orbit that will explore space.

5 interesting personalities

Archduke Wilhelm von Habsburg got so involved with the Ukrainian language and culture that it took away his life. Because of his love for Wyschywanka (embroidered blouse or embroidered shirt – Red.) He was nicknamed Wassyl Vyshyvanyj. He wrote poetry in the Ukrainian language, commanded a unit of Ukrainian riflemen and later became Minister of the Ukrainian People’s Republic. Soviet agents kidnapped him in Vienna and then sentenced him to 25 years in prison for trying to create an “independent Ukraine”.

Ukrainian pilot Ivan Dazenko from the Poltava region traveled to Canada, married the daughter of the chief of the Iroquois tribe and later became chief himself. Their children spoke Ukrainian. It all started with the war when Dazenko was wounded and captured near Lviv in 1944. He fled the hospital into the forest controlled by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). It is believed that Dazenko might have been in the ranks of the rebels and could have come to Canada through them.

Industrialist Oleksiy Altschewskyj, the city of Alchevsk is named in his honor, was one of the industrialists-owners of the factories in the Donetsk region that dealt with the Ukrainian language and culture. His wife said that Alchevskyj was a “fanatical Ukrainian” and invested heavily in the Ukrainian movement – and that during the period of strict Ukrainian bans at the end of the 19th century.

Anastassija Markovych – the same Nastja, as in the proverb “Ivan wears plahta (Ukrainian embroidered skirt for women – ed.) And Nastja wears bulava (mace – ed.” Mentioned as the real caretaker of the Zaporozhian Cossacks. She was a tough, strong woman. Because of her power character and her involvement in government affairs, she was also known as the “hetman in the skirt”.

Galyna Kusmenko, teacher from Huljajpole – is much less known than her husband Nestor Makhno. But it was precisely them who tried to Ukrainize his insurgent army. She sewed blue and yellow flags, translated proclamations into the Ukrainian language and tried to convince Machno to make a decision in favor of a national project, not a communist one.

5 random facts

● The Russian writer, prisoner of the Gulag, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, wrote that the first wave of resistance began in the Stalinist camps after the Ukrainians got there. According to him, they are the ones who brought the “bacilli” of the uprising to the gulag.

● “Anyone who says that independence fell from heaven does not know that we have received 10 years of imprisonment and exile”: in the 1960s, Levko Lukyanenko decided that Ukraine had to be an independent democratic state. He founded a secret organization for this purpose, which the Soviet secret service KGB later exposed. Lukyanenko spent 25 years in prison and in exile. He in particular wrote the act on Ukraine’s independence, which was proclaimed on August 24, 1991, in his notebook.

● On July 27, 1976, during the semi-final round of soccer between the teams of the USSR and the GDR in Montreal, the Canadian of Ukrainian origin, Danylo Mihal, ran onto the soccer field in Vyshivanka and with the flag of Ukraine and danced Hopak (Ukrainian folk dance – Red .). 150 Ukrainians put up posters with the words: “Freedom of Ukraine!”.

● As recently as 1939, the top Kremlin staff determined that 60% of all proven gas reserves were from Ukraine. Ukraine will become one of the largest exporters of blue fuel in Europe. In 1975 Ukraine broke its own record – almost 70 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

● Ukraine was the only republic of the former USSR that held its independence referendum that was fully in line with the laws in force at the time.

● 5 mentions of Ukraine in modern culture

“Don’t you know? Listen to me, Charlie. Leave Los Angeles. Faster, please. Because I know one thing: never joke your mother, your mother-in-law and damn Ukrainians!” Says Skinny Pete. in “The Italian Job” with Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg.

● In Tim Burton’s animated film “Wedding with a Corpse”, the main actor had to utter “Ukrainian magic” in order to return to the world of the living from the underground realm.

● In Christopher Nolan’s “Argument”, Ukraine becomes a place from which a mission evolves to save humanity from something worse than even nuclear war. In Kyiv, the main actor experiences the phenomenon of future technology for the first time – a time reversal – thanks to a stranger who saved him.

● The war of Russia against Ukraine in the computer game Combat Mission: Black Sea still 2014. Black Sea addition to the game Combat Mission is dedicated to the war between NATO and Ukraine against Russia. The Russian army occupied Crimea, in response Ukraine announced joining NATO and the EU, which resulted in an all-out war in 2017.

● Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars was released in 2011 and predicted events in 3 years. A large part of the game for 3DS is devoted to protecting Ukraine from Russian troops by the elite unit Ghost Recon.

Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security

Photos and illustrations from open sources




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