A New Piece in the Geopolitical Game: The Invention of Ukraine

  • Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira


In the Early Middle Ages, the country known today as Ukraine was part of a region where Viking raiders mixed with the East Slavs to form the Kievan Rus’. During the Middle Ages, the Kievan Rus’ split into several principalities. In the seventeenth century, most of the region was taken over by its neighbors. One of the eastern principalities, however, evolved into the Russian Empire under Ivan the Terrible, who expanded the empire eastward and consolidated rule to the east of the Dnieper. The region of the Dnieper itself, however, was ruled by Poland to the west and Cossack tribes to the east. It was only with Peter the Great and the war against Sweden that the region finally fell into the fold of the Russian Empire, although it remained disputed with the Ottoman Empire. The region of the Ukraine, therefore, has always been a heterogeneous territory, penetrated through the centuries by different cultures, religions, and political currents. It was only invented as a country in the First World War, caught up in the turbulent waters of the Russian revolution. But the region remained “essentially Russian.” “Russians populated it and gave the region its working muscles.”

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira
    • 1
  1. 1.Emeritus professor for HistoryUniversity of BrasíliaSt. Leon-RotGermany

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