Ukraine Goldkarte Münze Kalter Krieg Weltkrieg Wolodymyr Selenskyj signiert I II III Flagge UK

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Seller: lasvegasormonaco ✉️ (2.226) 100%, Location: Manchester, Take a look at my other items, GB, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 266243105420 Ukraine Goldkarte Münze Kalter Krieg Weltkrieg Wolodymyr Selenskyj signiert I II III Flagge UK. The other side has an image of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy with his famous quote. Although he was a political novice, Zelensky’s anti-corruption platform won him widespread support, and his significant online following translated into a solid electoral base. Ukraine Coin + Card "Slava Ukraini" This is a Gold Plated Coin with Signed Photo Card One Side of the Coin has a map of Ukraine in the colours of the Ukraine Flag Blue and Yellow With the words "Invasion of Ukraine" w ith the date the war started "24th February 2002" it also has the words "Slava Ukraini" which translates to "Glory to Ukraine" The other side has an image of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy with his famous quote When offered a flight out of Ukraine by the USA he replied "The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride" it also has his name and signature There is also a card with an image of the President and his autograph is printed on the card The back of the card has a map of Ukraine The coin is 50mm x 35mm and weights 14 grams or half an ounce The card is the size of a standard business card 55mm x 85mm In Excellent Condition Sorry about the poor quality photos. They dont do the coin justice which looks a lot better in real life Starting at under a Pound...With No Reserve..If your the only bidder you win it for less than £1....Grab a Bargain!!!! AII have a lot of Ukranian Items on Ebay so why not > Check out my other items ! Bid with Confidence - Check My Almost 100% Positive Feedback All My Items start at one penny and I always discount shipping / postage on multiple items Check out my other items ! All Payment Methods in All Major Currencies Accepted. Be sure to add me to your favourites list ! All Items Dispatched within 24 hours of Receiving Payment. Instant Positive Feedback Automatically left upon receving payment Thanks for Looking and Best of Luck with the Bidding!! 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For the full article, see Ukraine. National anthem of Ukraine The instrumental version of the national anthem of Ukraine. Ukraine, Country, eastern Europe. Area: 233,032 sq mi (603,549 sq km). Population: (2021 est.) 43,879,000. Capital: Kyiv (Kiev). Ukrainians make up more than three-fourths of the population of Ukraine; there is a significant minority of Russians. Languages: Ukrainian (official), Russian, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian, Belarusian, Bulgarian. Religions: Christianity (mostly Eastern Orthodox; also other Christians, Roman Catholic, Protestant), Islam. Currency: hryvnya. Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Ukraine consists of level plains and the Carpathian Mountains, which extend through the western region for more than 150 mi (240 km). The Dnieper (Dnipro), Southern Buh (Pivdennyy Buh), Donets, and Dniester (Dnistro) are the major rivers. The Donets Basin in the east-central region is one of the major heavy-industrial and mining-metallurgical complexes of Europe. There iron ore and coal are mined, and natural gas, petroleum, iron, and steel are produced. Ukraine is a major producer of winter wheat and sugar beets. Ukraine is a unitary multiparty republic with one legislative body; its head of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. Different parts of the area that is today Ukraine were invaded and occupied in the 1st millennium BCE by the Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians and in the 1st millennium CE by the Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Avars, Khazars, and Magyars (Hungarians). Slavic tribes settled there after the 4th century. Kyiv was the chief town. The Mongol conquest in the mid-13th century decisively ended Kyivan power. From the 14th to the 18th century, portions of Ukraine were ruled by Lithuania, Poland, and Russia. In addition, Cossacks controlled a largely self-governing territory known as the Hetmanate. Most of Ukraine fell to Russian rule in the 18th century. In the aftermath of World War I and the Russian Revolution of 1917, most of the Ukrainian region became a republic of the Soviet Union, though parts of western Ukraine were divided between Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia. Ukraine suffered a severe famine, called the Holodomor, in 1932–33 under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Overrun by Axis armies in 1941 during World War II, Ukraine was further devastated before being retaken by the Soviets in 1944. By the end of the war, the borders of the Ukrainian S.S.R. had been redrawn to include the western Ukrainian territories. Ukraine was the site of the 1986 Chernobyl accident at a Soviet-built nuclear power plant. In 1991 Ukraine declared independence. The turmoil it experienced in the 1990s as it attempted to implement economic and political reforms culminated in the disputed presidential election of 2004; mass protests over the results came to be known as the Orange Revolution. The effects of the revolution were short-lived, however, and the country remained divided along regional and ethnic lines. Another mass protest movement—this one centred on Kyiv’s Maidan (Independence Square)—toppled the government in 2014. As the interim government struggled to resolve the country’s dire economic situation, Russian troops occupied the Ukrainian autonomous republic of Crimea. Shortly thereafter, in March 2014, Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and was annexed by Russia. Fighting between pro-Russian separatist militias and Ukrainian government forces remained ongoing in eastern Ukraine. In late 2021 Russia began a military buildup along its border with Ukraine, and in February 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine. Related Article Summaries Baby Yar Baby Yar summary Article Summary Yalta Conference Yalta Conference summary Article Summary Crimean War Crimean War summary Article Summary Chernobyl disaster Chernobyl accident summary Article Summary Home Geography & Travel Countries of the World Ukraine Ukraine: Facts & Stats By The Information Architects of Encyclopaedia Britannica Facts Also Known As Ukrayina Head Of Government Prime Minister: Denys Shmyhal Capital Kyiv (Kiev) Population (2021 est.) 43,879,000 Head Of State President: Volodymyr Zelensky Form Of Government unitary multiparty republic with a single legislative house (Verkhovna Rada1 [450]) Official Language Ukrainian Official Religion none Official Name Ukrayina (Ukraine) Total Area (Sq Km) 603,549 Total Area (Sq Mi) 233,032 Monetary Unit hryvnya (UAH) Population Rank (2021) 34 Population Projection 2030 42,628,000 Density: Persons Per Sq Mi (2021) 188.3 Density: Persons Per Sq Km (2021) 72.7 Urban-Rural Population Urban: (2020) 69.5% • Rural: (2020) 30.5% Life Expectancy At Birth Male: (2019) 66.9 years • Female: (2019) 77 years Literacy: Percentage Of Population Age 15 And Over Literate Male: not available • Female: not available Gni (U.S.$ ’000,000) (2020) 147,691 Gni Per Capita (U.S.$) (2020) 3,540 1Translated as Supreme Council. Ukraine, country located in eastern Europe, the second largest on the continent after Russia. The capital is Kyiv (Kiev), located on the Dnieper River in north-central Ukraine. Ukraine Ukraine Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Swallow's Nest Castle Swallow's Nest Castle Swallow's Nest Castle overlooking the Black Sea, Yalta, Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine. © Mikekiev/ A fully independent Ukraine emerged only late in the 20th century, after long periods of successive domination by Poland-Lithuania, Russia, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.). Ukraine had experienced a brief period of independence in 1918–20, but portions of western Ukraine were ruled by Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia in the period between the two World Wars, and Ukraine thereafter became part of the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (S.S.R.). When the Soviet Union began to unravel in 1990–91, the legislature of the Ukrainian S.S.R. declared sovereignty (July 16, 1990) and then outright independence (August 24, 1991), a move that was confirmed by popular approval in a plebiscite (December 1, 1991). With the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. in December 1991, Ukraine gained full independence. The country changed its official name to Ukraine, and it helped to found the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an association of countries that were formerly republics of the Soviet Union. Cultural life Cultural milieu Ukraine possesses a wealth of cultural talent and a considerable cultural legacy. Numerous writers have contributed to the country’s rich literary history. Impressive monuments of architecture and museums displaying works by generations of Ukrainian artists can be found throughout the country, and art galleries featuring contemporary Ukrainian artists have become commonplace in larger urban centres. The country’s strong tradition of folk art also continues to this day. In addition, high-calibre performing artists and ensembles appear regularly in Ukraine’s numerous theatres and concert halls. Because of the country’s geographical location, Ukrainian culture has been influenced by the cultures of both western Europe and Russia. Although these influences are particularly evident in the western and eastern halves of the country, respectively, there is no strict geographical division. For example, Russian is spoken in the streets and in many homes and institutions throughout the country; it also is used in national publications, radio broadcasts, and popular music. The country’s other ethnic minorities contribute to a measure of cultural diversity as well. Daily life and social customs The social changes brought about by Ukrainian independence are most evident in the cities, particularly Kyiv. The country’s capital now boasts high-end stores catering to a moneyed class, and a fashionable strip of contemporary art galleries and cafés winds its way down the historical street of Andriyivskyi Uzviz. The capital’s renovated airport stands in striking contrast to its decidedly dour appearance in Soviet times. The cities, with their broad sidewalks and extensive greenery, are eminently suited for walking. Ukrainians generally do a considerable amount of walking, either to get around or simply for enjoyment. Parks are plentiful and popular for strolling or picnicking, a common pastime among city dwellers, most of whom live in apartments. The cities also feature numerous kiosks, which sell all manner of wares. Cultural pursuits and entertainment are widespread. Most of Ukraine’s major cities have ornate theatres with their own opera or ballet companies. Song-and-dance ensembles, most notably the Verovka State Chorus and the Virsky Dance Ensemble, have made Ukrainian folk music and dance into an impressive stage art. Though classical music remains popular, contemporary Western-style music has expanded its audience considerably and now dominates the airwaves on numerous commercial radio stations. Street concerts and club performances are common, as are dance clubs and cabarets. Imported television soap operas have developed a dedicated following, and cinemas show American blockbusters. folk dancing in Ukraine folk dancing in Ukraine Folk dancers in traditional dress, Ukraine. © Schamin/ The country offers a variety of restaurants that serve Chinese, Greek, Continental, or other foreign cuisine. Pizza bars and other fast-food restaurants are increasingly common as well. Many Ukrainians, however, still prefer such traditional Ukrainian foods as borscht, cabbage rolls, varenyky (dumplings), studynets (a form of headcheese), and shashlyky (kebabs). On festive occasions these dishes are accompanied by vodka or champagne and eloquent toasts. The dish known as chicken Kiev, though commonly served in Ukraine, likely originated elsewhere. In the countryside, horse-drawn carts with rubber wheels have not quite disappeared. The khata (“house”), made of mud and thatch and typically whitewashed, is still found as well. These homes often contain such traditional handiwork as embroideries, weavings, and handmade feather duvets and oversized pillows. Their inhabitants are predominantly elderly Ukrainians. Ihor Stebelsky Ivan Alekseyevich Yerofeyev Andrij Makuch The arts of Ukraine Literature Written Ukrainian literature began with Christianization and the introduction of Old Church Slavonic as a liturgical and literary language. The literary heritage of the Ukrainian people in the early period, from the 11th to the 13th centuries, is that of Kyivan (Kievan) Rus; sermons, tales, and lives of the saints were the major genres. After the Mongol destruction of Kyivan Rus in the 13th century, literary activity in Ukraine declined. A revival began in the 14th century and was spurred further in the 16th century with the introduction of printing, the Reformation ferment, and the advance of the Counter-Reformation into Polish-dominated Ukrainian lands. The Ukrainian vernacular gradually became more prominent in writings in the 16th century, but this process was set back in the 17th and 18th centuries, when many Ukrainian authors wrote in Russian or Polish. At the end of the 18th century, modern literary Ukrainian finally emerged out of the colloquial Ukrainian tongue. Nineteenth-century Ukrainian writers greatly contributed to the reawakening of Ukrainian national consciousness under the Russian Empire. The classicist poet and playwright Ivan Kotlyarevsky may be considered the first modern Ukrainian author. In his work Eneyida (1798), he transformed the heroes of Virgil’s Aeneid into Ukrainian Cossacks. Classicist prose appeared only with Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnovianenko’s novel Marusya (1834). In the 1830s Ukrainian Romanticism developed, and such authors as Izmail Sreznevsky, Levko Borovykovsky, Amvrosii Metlynsky, and Mykola Kostomarov published works that recognized a particular Ukrainian culture and history. In western Ukraine, Markiian Shashkevych, Yakiv Holovatsky, and Ivan Vahylevych constituted the so-called “Ruthenian Triad” of Ukrainian Romanticism. A markedly different approach was taken by Nikolay Gogol (Ukrainian: Mykola Hohol), who wrote Romantic works with Ukrainian themes in Russian and with a “pan-Russian” spirit. The most important 19th-century Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko, treated Ukrainian history and Russian oppression, as well as broader themes. Panteleymon Kulish was another significant poet of the period. Marko Vovchok, who wrote Narodni opovidannia (1857; “Tales of the People”), ushered in Ukrainian Realism. Many Realist works depicted village life and contemporary society; some touched on populist themes. Panas Myrny, with his works on social injustice, became the major representative of Ukrainian Realism, but the novelists Ivan Nechuy-Levytsky and Ivan Franko were prominent as well. A number of competing literary movements emerged during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, though Realism, exemplified by the prose of Volodymyr Vynnychenko, remained important. Lesia Ukrainka was a leading modernist author. The poet Pavlo Tychyna followed the Symbolist movement; Mykola Bazhan, one of Ukraine’s greatest 20th-century poets, employed elements of Futurism; and Mykola Zerov, Maksym Rylsky, and Mykhaylo Dray-Khmara wrote Neoclassicist poetry (see Classicism and Neoclassicism). During the early years of Bolshevik rule, talented Ukrainian writers proliferated. Mykola Khvylovy’s prose was imbued with revolutionary and national Romanticism, Hryhory Kosynka’s prose was impressionistic, Yury Yanovsky’s stories and novels were unabashedly romantic, and Valeriyan Pidmohylny’s work adhered to the principles of realism. In 1932, however, the Communist Party began requiring writers to follow the theory of Socialist Realism. Many Ukrainian writers who did not adhere to the official style were imprisoned or executed, particularly during Stalin’s purges of the 1930s. A new generation of writers, known as the “Writers of the ’60s,” broke with Socialist Realism in the post-Stalinist period, but in the 1970s the Communist Party took new measures to repress literature that deviated from the approved style. With Ukraine’s independence in 1991 came a rebirth of free literary expression. Many of the established literary journals continued to publish, although with far-more-open editorial policies, and a plethora of new journals appeared as well. Literary journals have provided a valuable outlet for the work of writers in Ukraine, particularly younger ones, as the postindependence economic difficulties substantially limited the publication of books, especially in the realm of belles lettres. Among the literary talents of independent Ukraine, novelist Valerii Shevchuk and poet Yury Andrukhovych stand out. Oleksa Eliseyovich Zasenko Stepan Andriyovich Kryzhanivsky Andrij Makuch Visual arts Over the centuries the Ukrainian people have evolved a varied folk art. Embroidery, wood carving, ceramics, and weaving are highly developed, with stylized ornamentation that represents many regional styles. Intricately patterned Easter eggs (pysanky) have become popular in many countries that have Ukrainian immigrant populations. With the introduction of Christianity in the 10th century, the various forms of Byzantine art (e.g., architecture, mosaics, frescoes, manuscript illumination, and icon painting) spread rapidly and remained the dominant art forms through the 16th century. The mosaics and frescoes of the churches of Kyiv, notably the cathedral of St. Sophia (11th–12th century), and the icons of the more distinctively Ukrainian school in Galicia (15th–16th century) are particularly noteworthy. A number of outstanding churches of this period, notably the cathedral of St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery (early 12th century), were demolished by the Soviet authorities in the 1930s; only international protests saved the cathedral of St. Sophia from the same fate. Baroque architecture had a pronounced impact in Ukraine, and a distinctive “Cossack Baroque” style developed there. Western European influences in the 17th and 18th centuries also affected iconography and stimulated portrait painting, engraving, and sculpture. Western trends were carried to Russia by Ukrainian artists working there from the 18th century. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries the Ukrainian-born sculptor and rector of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, Ivan Martos, and the Ukrainian-born portraitists Dmytro Levytsky and Volodymyr Borovykovsky were among the leading figures of the St. Petersburg Classical school of painting. The classicism and the emergent realism of the 19th century are best exemplified by the poet-painter Taras Shevchenko. New art movements are evident in the work of such 19th-century painters as the Impressionists Ivan Trush, Mykola Burachek, and Aleksander Murashko; the Post-Impressionist Mykola Hlushchenko; and the Expressionists Oleksander Novakivsky, Alexis Gritchenko (Ukrainian: Oleksa Hryshchenko), and Anatoly Petrytsky (see Impressionism; Post-Impressionism; Expressionism). The brief renewal of Ukrainian independence in 1918 further fostered avant-garde trends that reflected a resurgence of Ukrainian national traditions. Two schools developed: in painting, the Monumentalism of Mykhaylo Boychuk, Ivan Padalka, and Vasyl Sedliar, consisting of a blend of Ukrainian Byzantine and Early Renaissance styles; and, in the graphic arts, the Neo-Baroque of Heorhii Narbut. Modernist experimentation ended in Soviet Ukraine in the 1930s, however, when both these schools were suppressed and Socialist Realism became the only officially permitted style. The Ukrainian avant-garde was rejuvenated following Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization campaigns of the late 1950s; it consisted mostly of Expressionists who wanted to illustrate Ukraine’s tragic modern history. These artists, who included Alla Horska, Opanas Zalyvakha, and Feodosy Humenyuk, were again suppressed by the Soviet authorities in the 1970s and ’80s. A number of Ukrainian artists have won considerable renown in the West, among them Gritchenko, who began with Cubism and then turned to a dynamic form of Expressionism, and the painter and engraver Jacques Hnizdovsky, who developed a simplified style of realism. The sculptor Alexander Archipenko (Ukrainian: Oleksander Arkhypenko), one of the pioneers of Cubism who later experimented in Constructivism and Expressionism, was a major figure of 20th-century European art. Music of Ukraine Folk music in Ukraine retains great vitality to this day. Ritual songs, ballads, and historical songs (dumy) were sung a cappella or accompanied by folk instruments, of which the bandura (a multistringed lutelike instrument) is the most popular. Itinerant blind musicians known as kobzars or lirnyks (depending on their instrument of choice) were a common feature of the Ukrainian countryside until the 20th century. The hopak, an energetic folk dance composed of leaps and kicks, received renewed attention in the 21st century as martial arts practitioners integrated its movements into a self-defense technique based on ethnic Ukrainian traditions. Church music was patterned on Byzantine and Bulgarian models with local variations evolving in Kyiv in the early period. Polyphonic singing had developed by the 16th century and subsequently was transmitted in the 17th century to Russia, where Ukrainian singers and musical culture soon won a dominant position. The 17th-century composer Mykola Dyletsky introduced soprano singers to church choirs and emphasized emotional expression in his compositions. Ukrainian choral music reached its peak in the 18th and early 19th centuries in the works of Maksym Berezovsky, Dmytro Bortnyansky, and Artem Vedel. Secular music became ascendant in the 19th century. The opera Zaporozhets za Dunayem (1863; “A Zaporozhian [Cossack] Beyond the Danube”) by Semen Hulak-Artemovsky gained great popularity, as did Kateryna by Mykola Arkas and the compositions of Petro Nishchynsky and Mykhaylo Verbytsky. At the turn of the 20th century, Ukrainian musical life was dominated by Mykola Lysenko, whose output encompassed vocal and choral settings, piano compositions, and operas, including Natalka Poltavka, Utoplena (“The Drowned Girl”), and Taras Bulba. Other major composers of the period were Kyrylo Stetsenko, Yakiv Stepovy, and Mykola Leontovych, the latter excelling in polyphonic arrangements of ancient folk music. In the early years of the Soviet period, several composers produced works of high artistic merit, particularly Lev Revutsky and Borys Lyatoshynsky and their contemporary in western Ukraine, Stanyslav Lyudkevych. From the mid-1930s, however, political regimentation dampened individual expression and innovation in musical language. Typical among composers of Soviet Ukraine were Kostyantyn Dankevych, Yuly Meytus, and the brothers Yury and Platon Mayboroda. An innovative group of modernist musicians, known as the Kyiv Avant-garde, emerged as a musical force in the 1960s and ’70s. The best-known composer of the group was Valentyn Sylvestrov, who composed in the postindependence period as well. Popular music grew in importance during the last three decades of the 20th century. The songs of popular composer Volodymyr Ivasiuk, as performed by the chanteuse Sofiya Rotaru, received wide applause. A form of popular music known as estrada (stage entertainment) also grew in popularity. Stage ensembles generally maintained a Europop sound. In the 1980s the Braty Hadiukiny (“Snake Brothers”) band started incorporating a broader range of contemporary influences into their music. By the 1990s rock, ska, punk, and other popular musical styles were commonplace in Ukraine. Ruslana Lyzhichko, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004, emerged as the country’s first international star of the 21st century. Theatre and motion pictures The theatre originated in Ukraine under Western influence in the 17th century. Verse dialogue (intermedia) rapidly developed into a specific genre, the school theatre, whose repertoire expanded to encompass dramatization of Christian legends, historical drama, and puppet theatre (vertep) performed on a stage of two levels. The best example of the Cossack Baroque theatre was the historical play Vladimir (1705) by Feofan Prokopovich (Ukrainian: Teofan Prokopovych). After a period of decline, a Ukrainian ethnographic theatre developed in the 19th century. Folk plays and vaudeville were raised to a high level of artistry by such actors as Mykola Sadovsky and Mariia Zankovetska in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A lifting of censorship in 1905 permitted a significant expansion of the repertoire to include modern dramas by Lesia Ukrainka (who introduced to the Ukrainian stage both ancient Greek and Shakespearian techniques), Volodymyr Vynnychenko, and Oleksander Oles (an innovator in symbolic plays), as well as translated plays. The real flowering of the Ukrainian theatre occurred between 1917 and 1933. The Berezil Theatre (1922–33) in Kharkiv, under the artistic director Les Kurbas, was the most distinguished troupe. Preeminent among the playwrights was Mykola Kulish, whose Patetychna Sonata (“Sonata Pathétique”) combined Expressionist techniques with the forms of the Ukrainian vertep. From the mid-1930s, however, the theatre in Ukraine was dominated by Socialist Realism, the style enforced by the Communist Party. Oleksander Korniychuk was the most favoured of the playwrights writing in the approved manner. Ukrainian film has achieved some marked successes. The director and scenarist Aleksandr Dovzhenko (Ukrainian: Oleksander Dovzhenko) was an important innovator in world cinematography. Several of his works produced in the 1920s and ’30s are considered classics of the silent film era. In later years, Tini zabutykh predkiv (1964; Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) won critical acclaim in the West. In the postindependence era, Western films, dubbed in Ukrainian, were increasingly popular. Ukrainian directors, on the other hand, achieved particular recognition in the early 21st century for their work on short films. Among the most accomplished of those directors are Taras Tomenko, Ihor Strembytsky, and Maryna Vroda. The Ukrainian motion picture industry is centred in Kyiv and Odessa. Cultural institutions There are numerous professional theatres in Ukraine, notably the Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theatre in Kyiv and the Mariia Zankovetska National Academic Ukrainian Drama Theatre in Lviv. Ukraine also has several opera theatres, numerous symphony orchestras, academic and folk choirs, and other performing ensembles. Amateur groups of song and dance are very popular as well. The Shevchenko Scientific Society, established in 1873, was the main Ukrainian scholarly body in western Ukraine until it was forcibly dissolved in 1940, after the Soviet Union occupied the region. It reestablished itself in western Europe and the United States in 1947, and in 1989 the society resumed operations in Ukraine. Among its many activities, the society sponsors conferences and lectures, awards research grants, and publishes scholarly works, particularly in the field of Ukrainian studies. Among the notable museums in the country are the Museum of the History of Ukraine and the Museum of the Art of Ukraine (both in Kyiv). The Museum of Folk Architecture and Folkways of Ukraine, an open-air museum in the village of Pyronovo, preserves elements of 17th- and 18th-century village life. The National Museum of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 is part of a memorial complex near the Dnieper in Kyiv that includes the iconic statue Motherland-Mother, which is more than 328 feet (100 metres) tall. Sports and recreation Ukraine benefited immensely from the Soviet emphasis on sports and physical education, which left the country with hundreds of stadiums, swimming pools, gymnasiums, and other athletic facilities. Popular sports include track and field, volleyball, shooting, basketball, swimming, and gymnastics. Football (soccer), however, is by far the favourite sport, and archrivals Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv are two of the country’s most popular clubs. Ukraine was the cohost of football’s European Championship tournament in 2012. Chess is also considered a sport. Ukraine football team at the World Cup, 2013 Ukraine football team at the World Cup, 2013 Members of Ukraine's national football (soccer) team listening to the Ukrainian national anthem before a FIFA World Cup qualifier game against France on November 15, 2013, in Kyiv, Ukraine. © katatonia82/ Ukrainian athletes excelled in international competitions while representing the U.S.S.R. Since independence, Ukraine has fielded its own Olympic teams, featuring such notable gold medal winners as figure skater Oksana Baiul, heavyweight boxer Wladimir Klitschko (Ukrainian: Volodymyr Klichko), weightlifter Timur Taimazov, gymnast Liliya Podkopayeva, and swimmer Yana Klochkova. Klitschko, along with his brother Vitali, dominated the heavyweight ranks of professional boxing in the early 21st century, and Vitali used his popularity to launch a political career. Oksana Baiul Oksana Baiul Figure skater Oksana Baiul competing at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, Lillehammer, Nor. Simon Bruty/Getty Images The country has several national parks, including the Carpathian National Park and the Shatskyy National Park. Forest parks, located near major cities, offer picnicking, swimming, hiking, and cross-country skiing. Some of the larger cities have urban “culture and recreation” parks, where theatres, lecture halls, reading rooms, and playgrounds are found amid gardens and wooded areas. Near the city of Yalta is located the Nikitsky Botanical Garden, in which plants from almost every country in the world are found. In Transcarpathia and near the cities of Lviv, Vinnytsya, Zhytomyr, Bila Tserkva, Poltava, and Kharkiv are health spas noted for their mineral springs. Spas near the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov specialize in mud baths. Media and publishing The demise of the Soviet Union brought fundamental changes to publishing and broadcasting in Ukraine. The Communist Party’s influence was no longer a factor, and state control—and funding—receded. As a result, many established newspapers and journals ceased publication. The print runs of those that did continue, as private ventures, were in general considerably smaller. At the same time, numerous new publications and private television and radio stations emerged during the 1990s. Although Soviet-era restrictions on content were lifted, publications that were critical of the local or national administration were subjected to various forms of harassment—for example, tax inspections, detailed examinations of registration documents, or libel suits of dubious credibility. In addition, state broadcasters provided slanted coverage of political events. Much of this changed in the wake of the Orange Revolution in 2004. Amid the political turmoil that marked that event and the period that followed, press freedoms expanded. The election of Yanukovych as president in 2010, however, led to an increase in official pressure on journalists, and preferential coverage of the ruling party was the norm. On the whole, however, the media remain much more open and credible than they were in Soviet times. The official news agency is the Ukrainian National Information Agency (UkrInform), which covers political, economic, cultural, and sports information. Independent news agencies include Respublika Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (UNIAR) and the Ukrainian Independent Information and News Agency (UNIAN). Official publications include the Supreme Council’s Holos Ukrainy (“Voice of Ukraine”) and the cabinet’s Uryadovy Kur’yer (“Administrative Courier”). The largest newspapers include Silski Visti (“Rural News”), a former organ of the Communist Party; Robitnycha Hazeta (“Workers’ Gazette”); Ukrainya Moloda (“Ukraine the Young”); and Pravda Ukrayiny (“Truth of Ukraine”). Other noteworthy periodicals include Den’ (“The Day”), which publishes editions in Ukrainian and Russian; the influential Zerkalo Nedeli (“Weekly Mirror”); the English-language Kyiv Post; the weekly journal Polityka i Kul’tura (“Politics and Culture”); and the high-calibre literary and cultural review Krytyka (“Critique”). The National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine regulates and monitors major television and radio broadcasting companies. Dozens of television networks are available, either as terrestrial signals or via cable or satellite. Beginning in 2011, Ukraine’s national networks switched from an analog television signal to a higher definition digital signal. Most commercial radio stations are local or regional in nature and usually feature a contemporary music and talk format. The election of Volodymyr Zelensky and continued Russian aggression In spite of Poroshenko’s efforts to direct the public conversation in the months leading to the March 2019 presidential election, official corruption and the economy remained voters’ key concerns. The race had initially appeared to be a replay of the 2014 contest between Poroshenko and Tymoshenko, but the candidacy of television personality and political novice Volodymyr Zelensky shattered the established order. Zelensky had portrayed the president of Ukraine in a popular situation comedy, and he leveraged his massive online following into a serious campaign against official corruption. Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky, 2019. Sergei Chuzavkov—SOPA Images/ In the first round of polling on March 31, 2019, Zelensky won over 30 percent of the vote, and Poroshenko finished second with 16 percent. The second round was held on April 21, and Zelensky crushed the incumbent in a landslide, capturing more than 73 percent of the vote. Poroshenko’s concession speech was marked with a promise that his political career was not yet over, while Zelensky vowed that his first goal as president would be to achieve a lasting peace in war-torn eastern Ukraine. Zelensky took office on May 20, 2019, and used his inauguration speech to announce the dissolution of parliament and the triggering of snap legislative elections. Those elections, held on July 21, delivered an absolute parliamentary majority to Zelensky’s Servant of the People party. This confirmation of Zelensky’s mandate allowed him to promote a peace settlement that would see Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed insurgents withdraw from the so-called “contact line” in eastern Ukraine. Zelensky’s opponents characterized the move as a capitulation that would do nothing but legitimize Russian aggression in the Donets Basin and Crimea, but he retained widespread support from a war-weary public. While Zelensky endeavoured to focus his months-old administration on Ukraine’s foreign and domestic challenges, he soon found himself drawn into a political scandal in the United States. Some $400 million in military aid for Ukraine had been approved by the U.S. Congress, but U.S. Pres. Donald Trump put a hold on the funds prior to a July 25, 2019, phone call with Zelensky. During that call, Trump urged Zelensky to investigate the son of a political opponent, Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, who had served on the board of one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies. Over a month later the military aid was finally released, but, by that point, congressional Democrats were investigating Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukraine. That investigation eventually served as the basis for an impeachment inquiry against Trump that was launched on September 24, 2019. Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate in a largely party-line vote, and he responded by purging senior U.S. government and national security officials whom he regarded as insufficiently loyal. Lieut. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, was fired, and the post of U.S. ambassador to Ukraine would remain vacant beyond the end of Trump’s term. Beginning in 2020, the spread of the coronvrus SARSCoV-2 pandemic led to massive disruptions of daily life in Ukraine, and the Ukrainian economy took a sharp hit from lockdowns and the closure of nonessential businesses. The situation was especially dire in the Donbas, as infrastructure damage from the Russian-backed insurgency led to serious disruptions of the water supply. Zelensky’s national mitigation strategy against C19, the potentially deadly disease caused by the virus, put him at odds with some local politicians who sought to assert their independence under 2014 government decentralization reforms, and this clash would have a significant effect on local elections in October 2020. Local parties dominated mayoral races, while national parties, including Zelensky’s Servant of the People, struggled. The poor showing in local elections also reflected an overall decline in Zelensky’s public approval. There appeared to be little progress on the populist reform agenda that had swept him into office, and the conflict in the Donbas remained unsettled. While Zelensky did manage to address the former matter with the passage of a law intended to curb the influence of oligarchs, the latter issue would soon devolve into the greatest threat to regional stability since the end of the Cold War. Between October and November 2021, Russia began a massive buildup of troops and military equipment along its border with Ukraine. Over the following months, additional forces were dispatched to Belarus (ostensibly for joint exercises with Belarusian personnel), the Russian-backed separatist enclave of Transdniestria in Moldova, and Russian-occupied Crimea. By February 2022 Western defense analysts estimated that as many as 190,000 Russian troops were encircling Ukraine and warned that a Russian incursion was imminent. Putin dismissed these accusations and claimed that an accompanying Russian naval buildup in the Black Sea was a previously scheduled exercise. While Western leaders consulted with both Zelensky and Putin in an effort to stave off a Russian invasion that appeared inevitable, Putin issued demands that included de facto veto power over NATO expansion and the containment of NATO forces to countries that had been members prior to 1997. This would, in effect, remove the NATO security umbrella from eastern and southern Europe as well as the Baltic states. These proposals were flatly rejected. On February 21, 2022, Putin responded by recognizing the independence of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukrainian territory as “peacekeepers,” and Russian military activity in the Donbas—ongoing since 2014 but consistently disavowed by the Kremlin—at last became overt. Western leaders, pledging solidarity with Ukraine, responded by levying a raft of sanctions against Russian financial institutions. In the early hours of February 24 Zelensky addressed the Russian people directly, delivering an impassioned plea for peace but vowing that Ukraine would defend itself. Later that day, at about 6:00 AM Moscow time, Putin took to the airwaves to announce the beginning of a “special military operation.” Within minutes explosions were heard in major cities across Ukraine, and air raid sirens began to sound in Kyiv. Around the world, leaders condemned the unprovoked attack and promised swift and severe sanctions against Russia. Recent Developments For CFR's full coverage of Ukraine, please visit our topic page. Since Russia launched a full-scale military invasion into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, fighting has caused over nine hundred civilian deaths and pushed millions of Ukrainians to flee to neighboring countries—the majority of whom have arrived in Poland, a NATO country where U.S. troops are preparing to offer assistance to refugees. In October 2021, Russia began moving troops and military equipment near its border with Ukraine, reigniting concerns over a potential invasion. Commercial satellite imagery, social media posts, and publicly released intelligence from November and December 2021 showed armor, missiles, and other heavy weaponry moving toward Ukraine with no official explanation. By December, more than one hundred thousand Russian troops were in place near the Russia-Ukraine border and U.S. intelligence officials warned that Russia may be planning an invasion for early 2022. In mid-December 2021, Russia’s foreign ministry issued a set of demands calling for the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to cease any military activity in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, to commit against further NATO expansion toward Russia, and to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO in the future. The United States and other NATO allies rejected these demands and warned Russia they would impose severe economic sanctions if Russia invaded Ukraine. The United States sent additional military assistance to Ukraine, including ammunition, small arms, and other defensive weaponry. In early February 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered around three thousand U.S. troops to deploy to Poland and Romania—NATO countries that border Ukraine—to counter Russian troops stationed near its border with Ukraine and reassure NATO allies. Satellite imagery showed the largest deployment of Russian troops to its border with Belarus since the end of the Cold War. Negotiations between the United States, Russia, and European powers—including France and Germany—did not result in a resolution. While Russia released a statement claiming to draw down a certain number of troops, reports emerged of an increasing Russian troop presence at the border with Ukraine. In late February 2022, the United States warned that Russia intended to invade Ukraine, citing Russia’s growing military presence at the Russia-Ukraine border. Russian President Vladimir Putin then ordered troops to Luhansk and Donetsk, separatist regions in Eastern Ukraine partly controlled by Russian-backed separatists, claiming the troops served a “peacekeeping” function. The United States responded by imposing sanctions on the Luhansk and Donetsk regions and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline a few days later. On February 24, during a United Nations Security Council meeting to dissuade Russia from attacking Ukraine, Putin announced the beginning of a full-scale land, sea, and air invasion of Ukraine targeting Ukrainian military assets and cities across the country. Biden declared this attack “unprovoked and unjustified” and has since issued severe sanctions in coordination with European allies targeting four of Russia’s largest banks, its oil and gas industry, and U.S. technology exports to the country. The United Nations, G7, EU, and other countries continue to condemn Russian actions and support Ukrainian forces. In an emergency United Nations session, 141 of 193 member states voted to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demanded that Russia immediately cease its use of force in Ukraine. The United States has issued escalating sanctions on the financial assets of Putin and Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, removing Russian banks from the global SWIFT financial messaging system, and banning U.S. imports of Russian oil and natural gas. The U.S. continues to commit military assistance to Ukraine; following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to Congress on March 16, Biden announced an additional $800 million in military assistance. Just after Russia’s invasion, Biden also ordered 7,000 U.S. troops deployed to Germany. Direct negotiations between Russia and Ukraine have continued with Russia announcing in late March 2022 that it would “reduce military activity” near Kyiv and Chernihiv. Meanwhile, Russian forces continue to combat the Ukrainian counteroffensive in and around major Ukrainian cities, although the initial Russian invasion has appeared to slow.. Several Russian long-range missile strikes have caused significant damage to Ukrainian military assets, urban residential areas, and communication and transportation infrastructure. Hospitals and residential complexes have also sustained shelling and bombing attacks. Civilians in Mariupol–a port city in southeastern Ukraine–have been facing an ongoing humanitarian crisis with acute shortages of food, water, and heat. Russian forces have surrounded the city for weeks with aerial bombardments that have killed hundreds of civilians. Background Armed conflict in eastern Ukraine erupted in early 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The previous year, protests in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to reject a deal for greater economic integration with the European Union (EU) were met with a violent crackdown by state security forces. The protests widened, escalating the conflict, and President Yanukovych fled the country in February 2014. One month later, in March 2014, Russian troops took control of Ukraine’s Crimea region. Russian President Vladimir Putin cited the need to protect the rights of Russian citizens and Russian speakers in Crimea and southeast Ukraine. Russia then formally annexed the peninsula after Crimeans voted to join the Russian Federation in a disputed local referendum. The crisis heightened ethnic divisions, and two months later pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine held a referendum to declare independence from Ukraine. Armed conflict in the region quickly broke out between Russian-backed forces and the Ukrainian military. Moscow denied military involvement, though both Ukraine and NATO reported the buildup of Russian troops and military equipment near Donetsk and Russian cross-border shelling immediately after Russia annexed Crimea. The conflict transitioned to an active stalemate, with regular shelling and skirmishes occurring along the front line that separated Russian- and Ukrainian-controlled border regions in the east. Beginning in February 2015, France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine attempted to kickstart negotiations and broker a cessation in violence through the Minsk Accords. The agreement framework included provisions for a cease-fire, withdrawal of heavy weaponry, and full Ukrainian government control throughout the conflict zone. However, efforts to reach a diplomatic settlement and satisfactory resolution were largely unsuccessful. In April 2016, NATO announced that the alliance would deploy four battalions to Eastern Europe, rotating troops through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to deter possible future Russian aggression elsewhere in Europe, particularly in the Baltics. In September 2017, the United States also deployed two U.S. Army tank brigades to Poland to further bolster NATO’s presence in the region. In January 2018, the United States imposed new sanctions on twenty-one individuals–including a number of Russian officials–and nine companies linked to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In March 2018, the State Department approved the sale of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, the first sale of lethal weaponry since the conflict began. In October 2018, Ukraine joined the United States and seven other NATO countries in a series of large-scale air exercises in western Ukraine. The exercises came after Russia held its annual military exercises in September 2018, the largest since the fall of the Soviet Union. Ukraine has been the target of thousands of cyberattacks. In December 2015, more than 225,000 people lost power across Ukraine in an attack on power generation firms, and in December 2016 parts of Kyiv experienced another power blackout following a similar attack targeting a Ukrainian utility company. In June 2017, government and business computer systems in Ukraine were hit by the NotPetya cyberattack, which was attributed to Russia; the attack spread to computer systems worldwide and caused billions of dollars in damages. In February 2022, Ukrainian government websites, including the defense and interior ministries, banking sites, and other affiliated organizations were targeted by distributed-denial-of-service attacks alongside the Russian invasion. Concerns The current conflict has severely strained U.S.-Russia relations and increased the risk of a wider European conflict. Tensions are likely to increase between Russia and neighboring NATO member countries that would likely involve the United States, due to alliance security commitments. Additionally, the conflict in Ukraine will have broader ramifications for future cooperation on critical issues like arms control, cybersecurity, nuclear nonproliferation, energy security, counter-terrorism, and political solutions in Syria, Libya, and elsewhere. Volodymyr Zelensky president of Ukraine Alternate titles: Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Volodymyr Zelenskyy By Michael Ray • Last Updated: Mar 25, 2022 • Edit History Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky See all media Born: January 25, 1978 (age 44) Kryvyy Rih Ukraine Title / Office: president (2019-), Ukraine Political Affiliation: Servant of the People Role In: Ukraine scandal Volodymyr Zelensky, also spelled Volodymyr Zelenskyy, (born January 25, 1978, Kryvyy Rih, Ukraine, U.S.S.R. [now in Ukraine]), Ukrainian actor and comedian who was elected president of Ukraine in 2019. Although he was a political novice, Zelensky’s anti-corruption platform won him widespread support, and his significant online following translated into a solid electoral base. He won a landslide victory over incumbent Petro Poroshenko in the second round of the 2019 presidential election. President Zelensky’s leadership during the Russian invasion of Ukraine won him global acclaim. Early life and career as an entertainer Zelensky was born to Jewish parents in the industrial metropolis of Kryvyy Rih in southern Ukraine. When he was a small child, his family relocated to Erdenet, Mongolia, for four years before returning to Kryvyy Rih, where Zelensky entered school. Like many people from Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region, he grew up as a native Russian speaker, but he also acquired fluency in both Ukrainian and English. In 1995 he entered Kryvyy Rih Economic Institute, the local campus of Kyiv National Economic University, and in 2000 he graduated with a law degree. Although Zelensky was licensed to practice law, his career was already headed in a different direction. While still a student, he had become active in theatre, and this would become his primary focus. In 1997 his performance group, Kvartal 95 (“Quarter 95,” the neighbourhood in central Kryvyy Rih where Zelensky spent his childhood), appeared in the televised finals of KVN (Klub vesyólykh i nakhódchivykh; “Club of the Funny and Inventive People”), a popular improvisational comedy competition that was broadcast throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States. Zelensky and Kvartal 95 became regulars on KVN, and they appeared on the program until 2003. That year Zelensky cofounded Studio Kvartal 95, a production company that would become one of Ukraine’s most successful and prolific entertainment studios. Zelensky would serve as artistic director of Studio Kvartal 95 from the company’s creation until 2011, when he was named general producer of the Ukrainian television channel Inter TV. Zelensky left Inter TV in 2012, and in October of that year he and Kvartal 95 concluded a joint production agreement with the Ukrainian network 1+1. That network was owned by Ihor Kolomoisky, one of the wealthiest people in Ukraine, and the relationship between Zelensky and Kolomoisky would become the subject of scrutiny when Zelensky declared his intention to enter politics. In addition to working in television during this period, Zelensky appeared in a number of feature films, including the historical farce Rzhevskiy Versus Napoleon (2012) and the romantic comedies 8 First Dates (2012) and 8 New Dates (2015). Servant of the People and path to the presidency In 2013 Zelensky returned to Kvartal 95 as artistic director, but his entertainment career would soon intersect with the seismic events rocking Ukraine’s political landscape. In February 2014 the government of Ukrainian Pres. Viktor Yanukovych was toppled after months of popular protests, and that May billionaire Petro Poroshenko was elected president of Ukraine. With a Russian-backed insurgency raging in eastern Ukraine and endemic corruption undermining public confidence in government, Poroshenko struggled to enact even modest reforms. It was against this backdrop that Servant of the People premiered on 1+1 in October 2015. Zelensky was cast as Vasiliy Goloborodko, an everyman history teacher who becomes a viral Internet phenomenon after a student films him delivering an impassioned and profanity-laden address against official corruption. The show was a massive hit, and Goloborodko’s unlikely path to the presidency of Ukraine would provide something of a road map for Zelensky. In anticipation of that move, in 2018 Kvartal 95 officially registered Servant of the People as a political party in Ukraine. With the Ukrainian economy stalled and Poroshenko’s approval rating approaching single digits, it seemed likely that the 2019 presidential election would be a repeat of the 2014 contest, with the incumbent facing Orange Revolution veteran Yulia Tymoshenko. Instead, more than three dozen candidates entered the race, and Zelensky emerged as one of the front-runners virtually from the moment of the declaration of his candidacy. That announcement was made on 1+1 on December 31, 2018, preempting Poroshenko’s annual New Year’s address. The provocative move raised questions about the involvement of 1+1 owner Kolomoisky in Zelensky’s campaign. Kolomoisky, formerly a staunch Poroshenko ally, had been living in self-imposed exile since June 2017, after Poroshenko nationalized PrivatBank, a financial institution that Kolomoisky had cofounded. Kolomoisky was accused of stealing billions from PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest lender, and the Ukrainian government was forced to inject more than $5.6 billion into the “too big to fail” company to keep it afloat. Zelensky took steps to distance himself from Kolomoisky, a task that was simplified by his unorthodox campaign strategy. He eschewed detailed policy statements and press conferences in favour of short speeches or comedy routines posted to YouTube and Instagram. On March 31, 2019, Zelensky won over 30 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election, and Poroshenko finished a distant second with 16 percent. Zelensky declined to debate Poroshenko until two days before the second round of polling would begin, and that meeting had all the trappings of a sporting event. On April 19, 2019, tens of thousands gathered at Kyiv’s Olympic Stadium to witness the confrontation, and, although Poroshenko attempted to portray Zelensky as a political novice who lacked the fortitude to confront Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin, he failed to land any significant blows against his opponent. A second debate was scheduled for later in the evening, but Zelensky did not attend, stating that there “had been enough debates for one day.” Presidency of Ukraine On April 21 Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine with an impressive 73 percent of the vote. Within days the president-elect faced his first foreign policy challenge, when Putin announced his decision to offer Russian passports to the Ukrainian citizens in separatist-controlled areas of war-torn eastern Ukraine. The Russian-backed hybrid war there was entering its fifth year, and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians had been displaced by the conflict. Zelensky ridiculed the offer, responding with a Facebook post that extended Ukrainian citizenship to Russians and others “who suffer from authoritarian or corrupt regimes.” Early challenges and snap election On May 20, 2019, Zelensky was sworn in as president. He used his inaugural address, which he delivered in a mix of Russian and Ukrainian, to call for national unity and to announce the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council). This move was politically necessary: his presidential victory did not confer a legislative mandate, as Servant of the People did not occupy any parliamentary seats. Snap elections were held on July 21, and Zelensky himself characterized the contest as “maybe more important than the presidential election.” Servant of the People won an absolute majority, capturing 254 of 450 seats (26 seats, representing Crimea—a Ukrainian autonomous republic that was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014—and the war zone in the east, were not contested). The result marked the first time in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history that a single party could command absolute control over the legislative agenda. While Zelensky worked to build his new administration, ties to his former business partner again became the subject of scrutiny. Kolomoisky’s media empire had provided a valuable platform for Zelensky during the presidential campaign, but Zelensky vowed that no special favours would be granted by his office. Kolomoisky himself had returned to Ukraine just days before Zelensky’s inauguration; the billionaire stated that he would not act as a “grey cardinal,” directing policy from behind the scenes. Zelensky and U.S. Pres. Donald Trump In September 2019 Zelensky found his administration thrust into the centre of a political scandal in the United States when a whistleblower in the American intelligence community lodged a formal complaint about the actions of U.S. Pres. Donald Trump. The matter concerned Trump’s alleged withholding of a significant military aid package to Ukraine unless Ukraine initiated an investigation of alleged wrongdoing by former U.S. vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Hunter Biden had served on the board of Ukrainian energy conglomerate Burisma Holdings, and Trump claimed, without evidence, that the elder Biden had used his office to benefit his son. In April 2019 Biden had announced that he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination to challenge Trump in 2020, and Biden quickly became the party’s front-runner. Contacts between Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, began in earnest soon afterward, and they predated Zelensky’s inauguration. These discussions initially focused on claims involving the 2016 U.S. presidential election and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, but they soon expanded to include Biden. Zelensky’s transition team declined a request to meet with Giuliani over what they saw as a matter of internal U.S. politics, but Trump continued to pursue the allegations. In a phone call with Zelensky on July 25, 2019, Trump discussed an investigation of the Biden family. Although Trump admitted that he had ordered the aid package withheld in anticipation of that call, he claimed that no quid pro quo was offered or demanded. Zelensky stated that he would look into the Burisma matter, and he sacked Lutsenko in August. At that time nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid remained in limbo, despite its bipartisan authorization by the U.S. Congress. Those funds were finally released on September 11, 2019, but, by that point, American lawmakers had begun to push for more information regarding Trump and the details of his July 25 call with Zelensky. That call and Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Zelensky served as the basis for a U.S. House of Representatives impeachment inquiry that was opened on September 24, 2019. Trump was convicted by the House but ultimately acquitted by the Senate, and he responded by purging those officials whom he considered disloyal. This meant the departure of some of the most experienced Russia and Ukraine experts from the U.S. national security staff. The COV-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine As was the case in many countries around the world, daily life in Ukraine was profoundly affected by the corovirus SARS-CoV pandemic. Zelensky crafted a national mitigation strategy that was designed to limit the spread of COV-19, the potentially deadly disease caused by the virus, but some local politicians resisted direction from Kyiv. Mayors of several of Ukraine’s largest cities, feeling empowered by the 2014 government reforms that had devolved significant autonomy to the local level, clashed with Zelensky over proposed business closures and lockdown measures. The tug-of-war between Zelensky and the mayors would have a significant effect on local elections in October 2020. Regional parties dominated mayoral races while national parties, including Zelensky’s Servant of the People, struggled. The poor electoral performance also reflected an overall decline in Zelensky’s public approval. The populist reform platform that had swept him into office appeared to be stalled, and the conflict in eastern Ukraine remained unsettled. While Zelensky did manage to jump-start his political agenda with the passage of a law intended to curb the influence of oligarchs, the Russian-backed insurgency in the Donbas soon devolved into the largest threat to European stability since World War II. Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelensky delivering a video address after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, February 25, 2022. The Presidential Office of Ukraine (CC BY-SA 4.0) In late 2021 Russia began a massive buildup of troops and matériel along its border with Ukraine. Additional Russian forces were sent to Belarus—ostensibly for joint exercises with that country’s military—and a sizable Russian naval flotilla was assembled in the Black Sea. Western intelligence agencies stated that the moves were a clear precursor to an invasion, but Putin denied any such intent. Western leaders carried on negotiations with both Putin and Zelensky in an effort to prevent the bloodshed that appeared inevitable, but Russia’s military preparations continued. On February 21, 2022, Putin announced that he would recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk and dispatch “peacekeepers” to both regions. Western leaders responded by leveling a new round of sanctions, and, in the early morning hours of February 24, Zelensky delivered a televised plea for peace directly to the Russian people. Shortly thereafter, at about 6:00 AM Moscow time, Putin announced the beginning of a “special military operation,” and Russian cruise missiles began to rain down on targets in Ukraine. The unprovoked attack drew condemnation from leaders around the world, and Zelensky tried to rally support from the international community. Russian troops and armoured vehicles poured into Ukraine from Russia, Russian-occupied Crimea, and Belarus, and scores of military personnel and civilians were killed in the first day of fighting. As world leaders announced increasingly tough sanctions against Russia, Zelensky tried to rally support from abroad, warning that a “new Iron Curtain” was descending on Europe. Zelensky became the face of Ukrainian resistance, and his entertainment background and media savvy provided Ukraine with a weapon for which Putin had no counter. In the information war, the winner was unquestionably Zelensky. After Russian propaganda organs attempted to promote the false claim that Zelensky had fled the capital, he took to the street and filmed himself defiantly standing in central Kyiv. When the United States offered to evacuate him from the combat zone, Zelensky reportedly said, “The fight is here. I need ammunition, not a ride.” Often clad in an olive drab T-shirt, he delivered video addresses to governments around the world, calling upon them to provide Ukraine with military aid and to limit Russia’s ability to wage an offensive war through whatever means possible. Zelensky’s efforts were largely successful; although NATO balked at enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine (such an act would have been tantamount to a declaration of war against Russia), Western countries flooded Ukraine with antitank weapons and surface-to-air missile systems. In addition, the sanctions regime that was leveled against Russia was among the most severe in history, and the Russian economy reeled as a result. Also Known As Volodymyr Zelenskyy • Volodymyr Zelenskiy Born January 25, 1978 (age 44) • Kryvyy Rih • Ukraine Title / Office president (2019-), Ukraine Political Affiliation Servant of the People Role In Ukraine scandal Photos Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky; Russian invasion of Ukraine See All Images → Related Biographies Viktor Yanukovych Viktor Yanukovych president of Ukraine Poroshenko, Petro Petro Poroshenko president of Ukraine Tymoshenko, Yulia Yulia Tymoshenko prime minister of Ukraine Yushchenko, Viktor Viktor Yushchenko president of Ukraine Kuchma, Leonid Leonid Kuchma president of Ukraine Symon Petlyura Symon Petlyura Ukrainian political leader Leonid Kravchuk president of Ukraine Donald Trump Donald Trump president of the United States Grigory Potemkin Grigory Potemkin Russian statesman Mazepa, Ivan Ivan Mazepa Ukrainian Cossack leader Yana Klochkova Ukrainian athlete Nikita Khrushchev Nikita Khrushchev premier of Soviet Union Gogol, Nikolay Nikolay Gogol Ukrainian-born writer Anatole Litvak Ukrainian-born director Leonid Brezhnev Leonid Brezhnev president of Soviet Union Theodosius Dobzhansky American scientist Vitali Klitschko Ukrainian boxer and politician Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky Russian artist Andrei Chikatilo Soviet serial killer Maya Deren American director and actress Condition: In Excellent Condition, Country/Region of Manufacture: Ukraine, Modified Item: No

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