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Jaroslav divided his kingdom among his sons with the idea that the eldest hold a position of seniority in maintaining unity, but Kiev declined as the political and economic center of Ukraine as each principality lived almost autonomously.
Eventually Kiev fell to the Mongols in 1240, under Ogodei Khan and Batu, the latter being the grandson of Genghis.
After Khmelnytsky died in 1657, Ukraine's position weakened and it was eventually betrayed by its ally, Russia, who entered into an agreement with Poland which divided Ukraine between Russia and Poland.
Ukraine often tried to loosen the grip of Russia and Poland.
The direct ancestors of Ukraine's population today were the Slavs.
The late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries were periods of recolonization in Ukraine, particularly in the provinces of Kiev and Bratslav.In 1385, to consolidate power against a growing Muscovy, an alliance between Lithuania and Poland was struck.Thus, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were years of struggle to keep Ukrainian lands from Poland, Hungary, and Lithuania, as well as free of the boyars or noblemen who tried to take control.In 1708-1709 Hetman Ivan Mazepa led the Cossacks to fight alongside Sweden's King Charles XII in the Swedish king's war with Russia's Peter I.But the Swedes and Cossacks lost, and Peter destroyed the hetman's capital and the hetmanate itself.
It is bordered by the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, Moldova, and Romania to the south; Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland to the west; Belarus to the north; and Russia to the north and northeast.