Many of its people are not Russian Orthodox but belong to the Uniate church – the Greek Catholic church as it is often known – that conducts its rite in Ukrainian and acknowledges the pope as its spiritual head. In 1954, the Russian-populated oblast of Crimea was transferred from the Russian to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic. New cities were founded, most importantly Lviv; trade—especially with Poland and Hungary, as well as Byzantium—brought considerable prosperity; and culture flourished, with marked new influences from the West. Yale historian Marci Shore recommends the best books on the land of many identities and languages that is modern Ukraine. Brief History of Ukraine Since Independence. The War had tremendous negative consequences for Ukraine, including the loss of one sixth of the population and destruction of over 28,000 cities and villages, which left about 10 million people homeless. The authorities in many instances exacted such high levels of procurement from collective farms that starvation became widespread.  Later in April 2014 fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Ukrainian volunteer battalions against forces supporting the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic escalated into the War in Donbass.  (There had been several previous attempts to provide former Ukrainian nationalist fighters with official veteran status, especially during the 2005-2009 administration President Viktor Yushenko, but all failed. All these territorial gains were internationally recognized by the Paris Peace Treaties, 1947. One of Ukraine's national dishes is salo, cured pig fat. A period of great migrations began with the descent of the Goths from the Baltic region into Ukraine about 200 ce. During the Miocene Period in Tertiary Age of Cenozoic Era, some 12 million years ago, most of Ukraine was covered by sea. 1772-1795 - Most of western Ukraine is absorbed into the Russian Empire through the partitions of Poland. Rus entered the orbit of Byzantine (later, Orthodox) Christianity and culture. In March 2006, the Verkhovna Rada elections took place and three months later the official government was formed by the "Anti-Crisis Coalition" among the Party of Regions, Communist, and Socialist parties. However, the industrialisation had a heavy cost for the peasantry, demographically a backbone of the Ukrainian nation. The fallout contaminated large areas of northern Ukraine and even parts of Belarus. During the Yushchenko term, relations between Russia and Ukraine often appeared strained as Yushchenko looked towards improved relations with the European Union and less toward Russia. Forcing the local Nogai population out and resettling the Crimean Greeks, Catherine the Great renamed all populated places and invited other European settlers to these newly conquered lands: Poles, Germans (Black Sea Germans, Crimea Germans, Volga Germans), Swiss, and others. By the end of 18th century most of Ukraine was completely annexed by Russia. Sometime after the deportation of Crimean Tatars, in 1954 the Crimean Oblast was transferred from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR. According to the researcher Rolf Michaelis who is referring to the SS-Hauptamt's document No. Introduction. Protesters set up camps in Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), and in December2013 and January 2014 protesters started taking over various government buildings, first in Kyiv and, later, in Western Ukraine. Following the conclusion of the World War I and with the peace of Riga, Ukraine was partitioned once again between Poland and the Bolshevik Russia. In its capacity as a member of the UN, the Ukrainian SSR was an elected member of the United Nations Security Council in 1948–1949 and 1984–1985. In 2005, a highly publicized dispute over natural gas prices took place, involving Russian state-owned gas supplier Gazprom, and indirectly involving many European countries which depend on natural gas supplied by Russia through the Ukrainian pipeline. The industrialisation brought about a dramatic economic and social transformation in traditionally agricultural Ukraine. Polish rule over the provinces ended in September 1939, following Nazi and Soviet attack. Many members of the Soviet leadership came from Ukraine, most notably Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev a Soviet leader from 1964 to 1982, as well as many prominent Soviet sportsmen, scientists and artists. Such an important role resulted in a major influence of the local elite. The Soviet famine of 1932–33, called Holodomor in Ukrainian, claimed up to 10 million Ukrainian lives as peasants' food stocks were forcibly removed by Stalin's regime by the NKVD secret police. A political crisis erupted after the opposition started massive street protests in Kyiv and other cities, and the Supreme Court of Ukraine ordered the election results null and void. Retreating Soviets murdered thousands of prisoners. The war was won by the Poles, and their rule over these disputed lands was cemented after another Polish victory, in the Polish-Soviet War. Textbook / N. N. Savchenko, R. I. Filippenko, S. M. Kudelko, O. K. Maliutina, Ye. by S. N. Smolensky. As the area of Ukraine fell into warfare and anarchy, it was also fought over by German and Austrian forces, the Red Army of Bolshevik Russia, the White Forces of General Denikin, the Polish Army, anarchists led by Nestor Makhno. The history is written very well and explains the complicated story of the Ukraine. The arrival of the third wave of immigrants after World War II further exacerbated the already complicated picture of Ukrainian diaspora. When Stalin took power in 1927, he looked upon Ukraine as a laboratory for testing Soviet restructuring while stamping out ‘harmful’ nationalism. By the 19th century, although the western part of Ukraine was under Austro-Hungarian control, most of the country became part of the Russian Empire. Between 1917 and 1919, several separate Ukrainian republics manifested independence, the anarchist Free Territory, the Ukrainian People's Republic, the West Ukrainian People's Republic, and numerous Bolshevik revkoms. When young, Yanukovych was sentenced to 3 years because of theft, looting and vandalism and later had his sentenced doubled. The first wave of purges between 1929 and 1934 targeted the revolutionary generation of the party that in Ukraine included many supporters of Ukrainization. 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