Ruslana Stepanivna Lyzhychko, known mononymously as Ruslana, is a World Music Award and Eurovision Song Contest winning recording artist, holding the title of People's Artist of Ukraine. She is a former MP serving as deputy in the Ukrainian parliament for the Our Ukraine Party. Ruslana was the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in Ukraine in 2004-2005, she is recognized as the most successful Ukrainian female solo artist internationally and was included in the top 10 most influential women of 2013 by the Forbes magazine. The U. S. Secretary of State honored her with the International Women of Courage Award in March 2014, she has been named an honorary citizen of her hometown L'viv and was nominated to receive the title Hero of Ukraine. She is a singer, producer, musical conductor, multi-instrumentalist, voice actress and social activist, she writes and produces her own songs and music videos. Since 28 December 1995 she has been married to a Ukrainian record producer. Together they have run the company Luxen Studio since 1993, producing film trailers.
Ruslana was the first artist from the former Soviet Union to receive a platinum disc, her Dyki tantsi album selling more than 170,000 copies in the first 100 days after its release. This album is the best selling Ukrainian album to date, together with its English version, more than 500,000 copies being sold in Ukraine, she won the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Wild Dances" receiving 280 points, which at that time was a record of points. Following her victory, she rose to fame in Europe and became one of the biggest pop stars from the Eastern part of the continent, her winning song "Wild Dances" dominated the European charts for 97 weeks peaking at number one in Belgium for 10 consecutive weeks. Her Eurovision winning song was included on the official compilation album called The Very Best of Eurovision celebrating the 60th anniversary of the contest, her repertoire includes songs performed in Ukrainian and English, but she recorded cover versions in Spanish and Latin languages.
Ruslana was born on 24 May 1973 in Lviv, Ukraine to Ukrainian father Stepan Lyzhychko and Russian mother Nina Sapegina. She was raised in the Lviv Oblast. Encouraged by her mother, Ruslana studied from the age of four at an experimental musical school and sang in different bands, including in the vocal-instrumental band Horizon, the band Orion and the children's ensemble Smile. After finishing secondary school, Ruslana entered the Lviv Conservatory where she graduated as a classical pianist and symphonic orchestra conductor in 1995. Ruslana started her career as the winner of the Slavianski Bazaar song competition in Vitebsk, Belarus in 1996 with the song Oj, letili dyki husi. In the same year, she was among the nominees for the Ukrainian Singer of the Year award and the video for Dzvinkyi Viter was awarded Music Video of the Year. Since her early career, Ruslana's producer was Oleksandr Ksenofontov, whom she married in 1995. In 1997, Ruslana began working on Christmas with Ruslana – the first L'viv Christmas television project of an All-Ukrainian scale including the video clip Ballad of a Princess, the first animated music video made by a Ukrainian singer.
Her first album Myt Vesny – Dzvinkyi Viter, released in 1998, received high praise from the critics. Still, wider recognition did not come until 1998 with the song Svitanok and the album Myt' Vesny – Dzvinkyj Viter Live. Svitanok was the first Ukrainian big-budget music video. In 1998, Ruslana was awarded Person of the Year, the song Svitanok was awarded Song of the Year and its accompanying music video was awarded Music Video of the Year. In the second half of 1998, she organized a charity tour which had the aim of raising funds for the restoration of the old castles from Western Ukraine; the tour was a success and thanks to Ruslana's efforts, the Zolochiv Castle was restored. In 1999, she worked on the Christmas musical Ostanne rizdvo 90th, which won the Ukrainian Movie of the Year award. With the video clip to the song Znaju ya, about the ancient people of the Hutsuls living in the Ukrainian Carpathians, Ruslana set new standards for modern video clip filming. In 1995, Ruslana graduated from the Lviv Conservatory as professional conductor and classical pianist.
She was the student of one of the most prominent Ukrainian composers and conductors, Mykola Kolessa, regarded as'the father of the Ukrainian conducting school'. She used to be a part of the student choir of the Lviv Music Academy. Ruslana's father is from the West-Ukrainian area of the Hutsuls, the dwellers of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains, they have a unique culture with an ancient and rich history which inspired Ruslana to create her concept album Wild Dances. It combines powerful and permeating ethnic drums, trumpet sounds of the trembita, an ancient Hutsul music instrument, with modern dance beats; the album was composed by Ruslana after an expedition to the Carpathian Mountains in spring 2003. The album Dyki Tantsi was released in June 2003 in Ukraine; the album sold more than 170,000 copies in the first 100 days after its release without a supporting tour. Together with its English language counterpart it was the first album to be certified five times platinum in Ukraine, selling more than 500,000 copies, making it the most successful album in Ukraine ever.
Ruslana was internally selected by the NTU to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004. Before the contest, she was a hot favorite for victory by the bookmakers. At the Eurovision Song Contest 2004, she performed her self-composed song, W
Eurovision Song Contest 2009
The Eurovision Song Contest 2009 was the 54th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Moscow, following Dima Bilan's win at the 2008 contest in Belgrade, Serbia with the song "Believe" – marking the first time that the country had won the contest; the event was staged between 16 May 2009 at the Olympic Indoor Arena in Moscow. The contest was won by Norway's Alexander Rybak with his self-penned "Fairytale", which received a record-breaking 387 points out of 492, at the time the highest total score in the history of the contest and with a margin of 169 points over the second place which went to Iceland. Third place went to Azerbaijan, fourth to Turkey, the United Kingdom taking 5th, seeing their best placing since 2002. After criticism of the voting system after the 2007 Contest, changes in the voting procedure were made with the re-introduction of a national jury alongside televoting while the format of the semi-finals remained the same. Forty-two countries participated in the contest.
Latvia and Georgia announced their intention to withdraw, but it was stated by the European Broadcasting Union that both countries would indeed participate. However, Georgia decided to withdraw after the EBU rejected its selected song as being a breach of contest rules. For the first time in Eurovision history, there were four hosts, each divided in two sets: Natalia Vodianova and Andrey Malahov were the hosts of the semi-finals, while the final was presented by Ivan Urgant and Alsou Abramova; the contest was held in Russia following its victory in the 2008 contest in Belgrade, with Dima Bilan's "Believe". Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia, stated, it was proposed by Channel One that the contest be held in Moscow's Olympic Indoor Arena, this proposal was evaluated by the European Broadcasting Union and confirmed on 13 September 2008. The Director-General of the venue, Vladimir Churilin, refuted rumours of emergency reconstruction of the building, saying: "It will not be required for the Eurovision Song Contest.
We now can take up to 25 thousand spectators." The contest final took place on 16 May 2009 at the Olympic Indoor Arena in Moscow, Russia with two semi-finals preceding it on 12 and 14 May. Thirty-seven countries participated in one of the two semi-finals of the contest, with the "Big Four" countries and the host pre-qualified for the final. In addition to those pre-qualified, the final included the ten selected countries from each semi-final, making a total of twenty-five participants. A discussion on changes to the format of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest had taken place at an EBU meeting in Athens, Greece in June 2008 where a proposal was made that could have resulted in the "Big Four" losing their automatic place in the final of the contest. However, it was confirmed that the "Big Four" countries would continue to automatically qualify for the final at the 2009 contest. Host broadcaster Channel One presented the sub-logo and theme for the 2009 contest on 30 January 2009; the sub-logo is based upon a "Fantasy Bird".
As in previous years, the sub-logo was presented alongside the generic logo. 2009 was the first year since 2001 without any slogan for the contest. The stage was designed by New York-based set designer John Casey, was based around the theme of contemporary Russian avant-garde. Casey, who had designed the stage for the Eurovision Song Contest 1997 in Dublin, was involved in design teams for the 1994 and 1995 contests, he explained that "even before worked with the Russians on the TEFI Awards in Moscow in 1998, was inspired by and drawn to art from the Russian Avant Garde period the constructivists... tried to come up with a theatrical design for the contest that incorporates Russian avant-garde art into a contemporary setting entirely made up of different types of LED screens." Casey explained. Furthermore, large sections of the stage can move, including the circular central portion of curved LED screens, which can be moved to effect and allow each song to have a different feel; the postcards were as follows: Miss World 2008, Ksenia Sukhinova appeared.
On the right the ESC 2009 logo appeared with the name of the country. A phrase in transliterated Russian and its English translation were shown; the music accompanying the postcards was produced by Matthew Herbert. On Friday 30 January 2009, the draw to decide which countries would appear in either the first or second semi-final took place; the participating countries excluding the automatic finalists were split into six pots, based upon how those countries have been voting. From these pots, half competed in the first Semi Final on 10 May 2009; the other half in that particular pot will compete in the second Semi Final on 12 May 2009. The draw for the running order of the semi-finals and the order of voting, occurred on 16 March 2009. 1.^ Georgia withdrew a month and
Eurovision Song Contest
The Eurovision Song Contest simply called Eurovision, is an international song competition held among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the winner. At least 50 countries are eligible to compete as of 2018, since 2015, Australia has been allowed as a guest entrant. Winning the Eurovision Song Contest provides a short-term career boost for artists, but results in long-term success. Exceptions include ABBA, Bucks Fizz, Celine Dion, all of whom launched successful careers. Based on the Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy since 1951, Eurovision has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956, making it the longest-running annual international television contest and one of the world's longest-running television programmes, it is one of the most watched non-sporting events, with audience figures of between 100 million and 600 million internationally.
It has been broadcast in several countries that do not compete, such as the United States, New Zealand, China. Since 2000, it has been broadcast online via the Eurovision website. Ireland holds the record for most victories, with seven wins, including four times in five years in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996. Under the current voting system, in place since 2016, the highest-scoring winner is Salvador Sobral of Portugal who won the 2017 contest in Kiev, with 758 points; as a war-torn Europe was rebuilding itself in the 1950s, the European Broadcasting Union —based in Switzerland—set up an ad hoc committee to search for ways of bringing together the countries of the EBU around a "light entertainment programme". At a committee meeting held in Monaco in January 1955 with Marcel Bezençon of the Swiss television as chairman, the committee conceived the idea of an international song contest where countries would participate in one television programme to be transmitted across all countries of the union; the competition was based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy and was seen as a technological experiment in live television.
In those days it was a ambitious project to join many countries together in a wide-area international network. Satellite television did not exist and the Eurovision Network comprised a terrestrial microwave network; the concept known as "Eurovision Grand Prix", was approved by the EBU General Assembly in a meeting held in Rome on 19 October 1955, it was decided that the first contest would take place in spring 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland. The name "Eurovision" was first used in relation to the EBU's network by British journalist George Campey in the London Evening Standard in 1951; the first contest was held in the town of Lugano, Switzerland, on 24 May 1956. Seven countries participated—each submitting two songs, for a total of 14; this was the only contest in which more than one song per country was performed: since 1957, all contests have allowed one entry per country. The 1956 contest was won by Switzerland; the programme was first known as the "Eurovision Grand Prix". This "Grand Prix" name was adopted by Germany, Denmark and the Francophone countries, with the French designation being Le Grand-Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Européenne.
The "Grand Prix" was dropped in 1973 and replaced with Concours in French and in 2001 with the English name in German, but not in Danish or Norwegian. The Eurovision network is used to carry many news and sports programmes internationally, among other specialised events organised by the EBU. However, in the minds of the public, the name "Eurovision" is most associated with the Song Contest; the format of the contest has changed over the years, though the basic tenets have always been thus: participant countries submit original songs, performed live on a television programme broadcast across the Eurovision Network by the EBU to all countries. A "country" as a participant is represented by one television broadcaster from that country: but not always, that country's national public broadcasting organisation; the programme is hosted by one of the participant countries, the programme is broadcast from the auditorium in the host city. During this programme, after all the songs have been performed, the countries proceed to cast votes for the other countries' songs: nations are not allowed to vote for their own song.
At the end of the programme, the song with the most points is declared as the winner. The winner receives the prestige of having won—although it is usual for a trophy to be awarded to the winning songwriters, the winning country is formally invited to host the event the following year; the programme is invariably opened by one or more presenters. Between the songs and the announcement of the voting, an interval act is performed; these acts can be any form of entertainment. Interval entertainment has included such acts as the Wombles and the first international performance of Riverdance; as national broadcasters join and leave the Eurovision feed transmitted by the EBU, the EBU/Eurovision network logo ident is displayed. The accompanying theme music is the prelude to Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Te Deum; the same logo was used for both
Dancing Lasha Tumbai
"Dancing Lasha Tumbai" is the song sung by Verka Serduchka, chosen to represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 held in Helsinki, Finland. The original title was "Danzing", but it was changed due to a controversy about the lyrics; the song includes lyrics in five languages: German, Mongolian and Ukrainian. In the Eurovision Song Contest, "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" finished runner-up to Serbia's "Molitva", sung by vocalist Marija Šerifović. In the performance in the Eurovision Song Contest, Serduchka was accompanied by 5 back up singers and dancers, dressed in silver and gold clothing. Serduchka wore the number' 69' with reference to the sexual position; the two main companion dancers either side of this wore the number'18', referring to the entry's position on the final, 18th to sing. The choice of a drag performer as Ukraine's representative at ESC was fiercely criticized by several media and politicians of different parties. Taras Chornovil of Party of Regions was quoted saying: I guess some of our esteemed experts saw those "hot Finnish guys" dressed as monsters but didn't quite understand that there is subculture and there is pseudoculture.
Those monsters are part of their subculture. But all these hermaphrodites have never been accepted anywhere; therefore I think that this will be a serious embarrassment factor and the world will see us as complete idiots. Another subject of controversy was song's title and lyrics. According to Danilko, the phrase "Lasha Tumbai" is a Mongolian phrase for "whipped cream", "milkshake", or "churned butter", it was alleged, that there are no such words in Mongolian and the catchphrase bears no meaning at all. There have been allegations that the words were chosen due to their phonetic resemblance to "Russia Goodbye" a reference to the 2004–2005 Orange Revolution in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the song is performed in the Russian language as well. Serduchka, had the full support of the National Television Company of Ukraine, the participation in the Contest at Helsinki went ahead as planned, the song finished 2nd in a field of 24 and went on to become a major chart hit not only in Ukraine and neighbouring countries but throughout Europe.
The song has performed well on the UK since the Final. On the Irish iTunes Download chart, it has outsold any other entry by more than double - including the winning entry. On May 18, 2007 it entered the Irish singles chart only as a download. All tracks are variations on the title track."Original Version" 3:10 "Dancing Version #1" 3:32 "Pub Version Art" 3:12 "Dancing Version #2" 3:01 "Club Version" 5:52 "Long Version With Balalaika" 3:32 "Lullaby" 2:56 "Basshunter Remix" 3:08 The words "Lasha Tumbai" reappeared in Serduchka's next song, "I am Eurovision Queen" although being written in the video as Lasha Tumbay. The song is used in the movie Spy, the song can be heard in the scene where Cooper chases Ford so she would warn him about the guy who changed his backpack, it is heard on Aldo's car radio when he picks up Cooper at the airport. The song is featured in the end credits of the British comedy film "The Comedian's Survival Guide"
Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Russia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 21 times since their debut in 1994. Russia won the 2008 contest with Dima Bilan performing the song "Believe". One of the most successful countries in the contest in the 21st century with a total of nine top five placements, Russia finished second with Alsou in 2000, Dima Bilan in 2006, Buranovskiye Babushki in 2012 and Polina Gagarina in 2015. A. T.u. in 2003, Serebro in 2007 and Sergey Lazarev in 2016, fifth with Dina Garipova in 2013. In 2018, it failed to qualify for the final for the first time in its history, their debut was in the 1994 contest. Russia came second at four contests, they achieved three third-place finishes. A. T.u's song "Ne Ver', Ne Boysia", Serebro's in 2007 with their entry "Song #1", in 2016 with Sergey Lazarev's song "You Are the Only One". In 1996, Russia's entry was Andrey Kosinsky with the song "Me is me", but on the eve of competition, he scored an insufficient number of points in a special qualifying round and therefore missed the final.
In 1998, because Russia did not participate in the contest, Russia refused to broadcast the competition and the European Broadcasting Union in return forbade the country to participate the following year. According to unconfirmed information, Russia was required to submit Tatyana Ovsiyenko with the song "My Sun". Russia won their first Eurovision Song Contest in 2008, when Dima Bilan, participating for the second time in the contest, won with the song "Believe", bringing the contest to Russia for 2009. Russia was the most successful country in Eurovision in 2000-2009, with one win, two second places, two third places. However, in 2010 they finished 11th, in 2011 they were 16th, the worst place for Russia since 1995. Interest in the competition fell, but in 2012 Buranovskiye Babushki finished in second place, increasing Russia's interest in the show. Russia holds the record for the most top five finishes in the 21st century, with nine, most with Sergey Lazarev, third in 2016 with 491 points, the highest score of any Russian contestant.
In 2018, for the first time, a Russian contestant failed to reach the final. Yulia Samoylova, who represented the country with the song "I Won't Break", failed to qualify to the Grand Final from the second semi-final. In February 2019, Sergey Lazarev was once again confirmed as the Russian representative for Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv. Which makes Sergey the second return artist in Russian Eurovision participation history after Dima Bilan, who participated in 2006 and 2008 respectively; the contest has been broadcast irregularly on two different public state channels in Russia, both EBU members: for the 1994 and 1996 it was broadcast on Russia-1 of VGTRK, while in 1995, 1997 and from 1999 to 2007 the contest was broadcast on Channel One. Since 2008, there is an alternation on broadcast and selection, with Russia-1 on years, Channel One on odd ones. Table key NOTES: a. ^ In 1996 Russia failed to qualify from the audio only pre-qualification round. The official Eurovision site does not count 1996 in Russia's total list of appearances.
B. ^ Russia was forced to sit out another year in 1999, as the EBU only allows countries which had broadcast the previous year's contest to enter the next year's contest. C. If a country won the previous year, they did not have to compete in Semi Finals. In addition, back in 2005-2007, countries who done well did not have to compete in Semi Finals the following year; the top ten non-Big four along with the Big four countries automatically qualified, for example, if Germany and France placed inside the top 10, the 11th and 12th spots were advanced to next year's Grand Final along with everyone within the top 10. D. ^ Russia withdrew from the 2017 contest, after Julia Samoylova was banned from entering the host country Ukraine. The official Eurovision site does not count 2017 in Russia's total list of appearances; as of 2018, Russia's voting history is as follows: Lev Zemlinski Mikhail Finberg Rutger Gunnarsson Press Award Russia in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest – Junior version of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Russia in the Eurovision Dance Contest – Dance version of the Eurovision Song Contest. Russia in the Eurovision Young Dancers – A competition organised by the EBU for younger dancers aged between 16 and 21. Russia in the Eurovision Young Musicians – A competition organised by the EBU for musicians aged 18 years and younger. Russia in the Türkvizyon Song Contest – A contest for countries and regions which are of Turkic-speaking or Turkic ethnicity. Points to and from Russia eurovisioncovers.co.uk
Susana Alimivna Jamaladinova, better known by her stage name Jamala, is a Ukrainian singer and songwriter. She represented Ukraine and won the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with her song "1944". Susana Jamaladinova was born in Kirghiz SSR, to a Crimean Tatar father and an Armenian mother, her Crimean Tatar ancestors were forcibly resettled from Crimea to the central Asian republic under Joseph Stalin during World War II, although her own relatives fought on the Soviet side. In 1989 her family returned to Crimea, her maternal ancestors are Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh. They were well-to-do peasants until her great-grandfather's land was confiscated and he was exiled to Osh where he changed his Armenian name to make it sound more Russian. Jamala speaks Russian as her mother tongue, she is fluent in Ukrainian and English which she learned as an adolescent. Though she wrote some songs in Crimean Tatar, she is not fluent in the language, her parents divorced for about four years so that her mother could purchase a house in Crimea for the family under her maiden name.
During this period, Soviet authorities did not allow ethnic Crimean Tatars, like her father, to purchase property in Crimea. Jamala has been fond of music since her early childhood, she made her first professional recording at the age of nine, singing 12 folk and children's Crimean Tatar songs. She entered the Simferopol Music College and graduated from Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine as an opera singer, but preferred a career in pop music. On 14 February 2010, she released her first single "You Are Made of Love" from her debut studio album For Every Heart, she released "It's Me, Jamala" as the second single on 18 October 2010. On 23 November 2010, she released "Smile" as the third single from the album. Early in 2011, she participated on the national selection show in an attempt to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Smile"; the song was a crowd favorite and Jamala herself managed to land a spot in the finals of the competition. However, she decided to withdraw from the competition.
On 12 April 2011, she released her debut studio album For Every Heart through Moon Records Ukraine. On 8 November 2012, she released "Ya Lyublyu Tebya" as the lead single from her second studio album All or Nothing, she released "Hurt" as the second single, "Kaktus" was released on 6 March 2013, as the third and final single from the album. She released Nothing on 19 March 2013, through Moon Records Ukraine. On 25 September 2014, she released "Zaplutalas" as the lead single from her debut EP Thank You; the EP was released on 1 October 2014, through Enjoy Records. On 26 March 2015, "Ochyma" was released as the lead single from her third studio album. "Shlyakh dodomu" was released as the second single on 18 May 2015. On 15 June 2015, "Podykh" was released as the third single, she released her album Podykh on 12 October 2015, through Enjoy Records. Jamala represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song "1944"; the song is about the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944 and about her great-grandmother, who lost her daughter while being deported to Central Asia.
Jamala wrote the song's lyrics in 2014. In the second semi-final of the contest, Jamala performed 14th and was one of ten participants who qualified for the grand final, it was announced that she placed second, scoring 287 points, won the televoting with 152 points On 14 May 2016, Jamala won the competition with 534 points. Jamala's song was considered by Russian media and lawmakers to be critical of the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the "ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine" in Donbass. For this reason it has been announced that no other flags than the official country-participant are allowed in the arena for the Eurovision Song Contest; this included a ban for flags like Crimean Tatars' flags to be in audience, only the Ukrainian flags was allowed for her Crimean Tatars' supporters. After her win in the Eurovision Song Contest, she was awarded the title People's Artist of Ukraine by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. After winning Eurovision 2016, she has gone on to publish many songs, including "I believe in U," Which she performed at Eurovision 2017 as an interval act, along with "Zamanyly."
On 17 May 2016, Poroshenko announced that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry would be nominating Jamala for UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. On 12 October 2018, Jamala released Kryla; the title track was released as the first single on 21 March 2018. She had performed the track as the interval act for the 2018 Ukrainian National Selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, Vidbir. On 26 April 2017, Jamala married Bekir Suleimanov, their relationship became known in September 2016, when she appeared with him at the Manhattan Short Film Festival. The couple married in the Islamic Cultural Center of Kyiv using the traditional wedding ceremony Nikah. Suleimanov had graduated from the Physics and Mathematics Department of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and is an activist of the Muslim Crimean Tatar community. In November 2017, Jamala announced that she and Suleimanov were expecting their first child together. On 27 March 2018 their son Emir-Rahman Seit-Bekir ogly Suleimanov was born. Official website Jamala on Facebook Jamala's channel on YouTube
Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic; the dominant religions in the country are Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2, making it the largest country within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world; the territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kievan Rus' forming the basis of Ukrainian identity. Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, the territory was contested and divided by a variety of powers, including Lithuania, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was split between Poland and the Russian Empire, merged into the Russian-dominated Soviet Union in the late 1940s as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1991 Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its dissolution at the end of the Cold War. Before its independence, Ukraine was referred to in English as "The Ukraine", but most sources have since moved to drop "the" from the name of Ukraine in all uses. Following its independence, Ukraine declared itself a neutral state. In 2013, after the government of President Viktor Yanukovych had decided to suspend the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and seek closer economic ties with Russia, a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan began, which escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that led to the overthrow of Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government; these events formed the background for the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014, the War in Donbass in April 2014. On 1 January 2016, Ukraine applied the economic component of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union.
Ukraine is ranks 88th on the Human Development Index. As of 2018, Ukraine has the second lowest GDP per capita in Europe. At US$40, it has the lowest median wealth per adult in the world, it suffers from a high poverty rate and severe corruption. However, because of its extensive fertile farmlands, Ukraine is one of the world's largest grain exporters. Ukraine maintains the second-largest military in Europe after that of Russia; the country is home to a multi-ethnic population, 77.8 percent of whom are Ukrainians, followed by a large Russian minority, as well as Georgians, Belarusians, Crimean Tatars, Jews and Hungarians. Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system with separate powers: legislative and judicial branches; the country is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the GUAM organization, one of the founding states of the Commonwealth of Independent States. There are different hypotheses as to the etymology of the name Ukraine. According to the older widespread hypothesis, it means "borderland", while some more recent linguistic studies claim a different meaning: "homeland" or "region, country"."The Ukraine" used to be the usual form in English, but since the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, "the Ukraine" has become less common in the English-speaking world, style-guides recommend not using the definite article.
"The Ukraine" now implies disregard for the country's sovereignty, according to U. S. ambassador William Taylor. The Ukrainian position is that the usage of "'The Ukraine' is incorrect both grammatically and politically." Neanderthal settlement in Ukraine is seen in the Molodova archaeological sites which include a mammoth bone dwelling. The territory is considered to be the location for the human domestication of the horse. Modern human settlement in Ukraine and its vicinity dates back to 32,000 BC, with evidence of the Gravettian culture in the Crimean Mountains. By 4,500 BC, the Neolithic Cucuteni–Trypillia culture flourished in wide areas of modern Ukraine including Trypillia and the entire Dnieper-Dniester region. During the Iron Age, the land was inhabited by Cimmerians and Sarmatians. Between 700 BC and 200 BC it was Scythia. Beginning in the sixth century BC, colonies of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, such as Tyras and Chersonesus, were founded on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea.
These colonies thrived well into the 6th century AD. The Goths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s AD. In the 7th century AD, the territory of eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria. At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, the Khazars took over much of the land. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Antes were located in the territory of; the Antes were the ancestors of Ukrainians: White Croats, Polans, Dulebes and Tiverians. Migrations from Ukraine throughout the Balkans established many Southern Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching to the Ilmen l