26 Facts for Ukraine's 26th Birthday!


1) Ukraine's National Day of Independence is August 24.

Ukraine's declaration of independence was voted for by a resounding majority on August 24 1991

2) Up until then a large majority of the Ukrainian Diaspora considered January 22nd as independence day.

This was because in 1918, a predecessor of modern Ukraine, The Ukrainian People's Republic voted for the national-individual autonomy. (A declaration of independence)

3) The Ukrainian Declaration of Independence was written by Levko Lukyanenko

The ratification took place during a special 11 hour session on a Saturday.

4) They also voted that day to create a national guard and turn the jurisdiction of all armed forces located within Ukraine's territory over to itself.

On August 28 1991 more than 200,000 Lvlv and Lviv oblast residents declared their readiness to serve in the national guard.

5) Ukraine's first President was Leonid Kravchuk.

Their first elections were held on December 1, 1991 and all 6 candidates supported independence and campaigned for the citizens to vote yes to independence.

6) 90% of those who voted voted in favor of the Act of Declaration of Independence.

82% of all eligible voters turned up to vote for this. Contrast that with the United States where in our last election (2016) only 59.7% of those registered voted.

(sidenote: If you aren't registered to vote,Register to vote here. If you are unhappy with the current state of a policy or the state of affairs get out and vote. Not just in the big elections but the local elections. If you don't participate how do you expect things to change or your views to actually be heard. )

7) On August 26 1991 the permanent representative of the Ukrainian SSR told that UN that moving forward his permanent mission to the international assembly would officially be designated as representing Ukraine.

8) Poland and Canada were the first countries to recognize Ukraine's independence on December 2nd, 1991.

9) The United States recognized Ukraine's independence on December 25, 1991

10) During the 20th century 3 periods of independence occurred.

First immediately after the German occupation near the end of the 1st World War. The second occurred also briefly during the German occupation during the 2nd world war. The 3rd period of independence began in 1991 and continues today.

11) In 1995 Ukraine became a permanent member of the the Council of Europe.

12) In 1996 Ukraine adopted their first constitution

13) In 2004 the Orange Revolution started which protested against rigged elections.

14) In 2004 Ukraine became a Parliamentary Presidential Republic.

15) Ukraine was the 5th Republic to break away from the Kremlin

16) Ukraine is ranked 6th in the world for alcohol consumption.

According to the World Health Organisation Ukraine is ranked 6th behind, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Russia and Romania.

17) Ukraine is geographically at the heart of Europe.

Within the boarders of Ukraine likes the geographical center of Europe. Depending on how it is measured, the town of Rakhiv in western Ukraine claims to be at the geographical center of Europe.

18) Ukraine is home to the worlds deepest subway station.

In the capital city Kyiv ( read this post about the correct way to pronounce it) is home to the worlds deepest subway. It's deepest station is the Arsenalna station which is 105.5 meters (over 346 feet) Having navigated this subway a few times and this station as well. I can attest to it being super deep. It takes about 5 or 6 minutes of a high speed escalator to get out.

19) Ukraine is host to 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Ukraine is host to seven officially recognized UNESCO world heritage sites. They are as follows:

  • Saint Sophia's Cathedral, Kyiv

  • Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, Kyiv

  • Church of the Saviour at Berestove, Kyiv

  • Lviv the Ensemble of the Historic Center. - Lviv

  • Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans- Chernivtsi (MY CITY!!)

  • Struve Geodetic Arc - Khmelnytsky & Odessa Oblasts.

  • Wooden Tserkvas of Carpathian region - Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Zakarpattia Oblasts

  • Ancient city of Tauric Chersonese - Crimea

  • Primeval Beech forests of the Carpathians- Zakarpattia Region

Ukraine has 15 submissions on the tentative list as well.

20) The Ukrainian flag is commonly know to represent the blue of their sky and the yellow of their wheat fields.

The blue and yellow bicolour has been used as the official flag since 1848. It was adopted as the state flag for the first time in 1918. When Ukraine was part of the USSR the flag was outlawed. People hoisting the flag during that time period were prosecuted as criminals.

In 1991 the flag was adopted on a provisional basis. Then on January 28, 1992 it was officially restored as the flag of Ukraine.

21) There is a flag used durin the Ukrainian National Republic (1917-1921) that hoisted the colors the opposite of what it is now.

Yellow on top was said to signify the golden domes of Christian Churches ( which are breathtaking)(seriously come visit the churches in Ukraine.) The blue was to represent the Dnieper river.

22) A traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirt is called a Vyshyvanka and it is traditionally made with intricately embroidered stitching and beading.

The embroidery patterns on Vyshyvanka's speak of the region that they come from. Each having their own style and patterns. Historically the thread was colored with local things available such as bark or berries which led to the distinct colors and regional identification.

23) Historically Vyshyvanka is used as a means to protect the wearer.

The embroidery was placed on "vulnerable" places on the garment to protect from evil spirits entering the body. This was generally along the neckline, cuffs, shoulders, back and hemline.

24) In Ukraine, the wedding ring is typically worn on the right hand.

Ukraine predominate religion is Orthodox Christianity. Within that religion is is customary to wear your ring on the right hand ring finger.

25) Taras Shevchenko is thought to have the most statues in Ukraine.

Following Ukraine's independence many Lenin statues were replaced with Shevchenko statues.

26) The world's first constitution is said to have been drafted and introduced in Ukraine in 1710.

Hetman Pylyp Orlyk wrote the article to establish a democratic standard for the separation of powers in government. It limited the power of the hetman and established a democratically elected cossack parliament.

#PeaceCorpsUkraine #3rdgoal #ukraine