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Beginning in the sixth century BC, colonies of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, such as Tyras, Olbia and Chersonesus, were founded on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea.

These colonies thrived well into the 6th century AD.

Kievan Rus' included the central, western and northern part of modern Ukraine, Belarus, far eastern strip of Poland and the western part of present-day Russia.

According to the Primary Chronicle the Rus' elite initially consisted of Varangians from Scandinavia.

The Golden Age of Kievan Rus' began with the reign of Vladimir the Great (980–1015), who turned Rus' toward Byzantine Christianity.

During the reign of his son, Yaroslav the Wise (1019–1054), Kievan Rus' reached the zenith of its cultural development and military power.

In 2013, after the government of President 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 later escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that led to the overthrow of President Yanukovych and his cabinet and the establishment of a new government.

During the 20th century three periods of independence occurred.

The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodoxy, which has strongly influenced Ukrainian architecture, literature and music.

It is a member of the United Nations since its founding, the Council of Europe, OSCE, GUAM, and one of the founding states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The state soon fragmented as the relative importance of regional powers rose again.

After a final resurgence under the rule of Vladimir II Monomakh (1113–1125) and his son Mstislav (1125–1132), Kievan Rus' finally disintegrated into separate principalities following Mstislav's death.

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