Author: Hlib Kapustin
Ukrainian historian Mykhailo Hrushevsky has already answered this question:
"The Ukrainian people belong to the Western European or, in short, simply the European circle, not only by the force of historical ties that have connected Ukrainian life with the West for centuries but also by the very composition of the people's character.". – Mykhailo Hrushevsky "Who are Ukrainians and what do they want", 1917
People of different religions live in Ukraine. Most of the population is Orthodox, but some Ukrainians are also Catholics, protesters, Muslims, Jews, etc. However, this is not a problem! The Constitution of Ukraine guarantees freedom of religion. So, it is quite natural, for example, to see a synagogue and an Orthodox church on the neighboring streets in Kyiv.
8 minutes to walk from Brodsky Synagogue to the Orthodox Church of St. Michael.
Representatives of national minorities live in Ukraine. They are also citizens of Ukraine and are therefore protected by law. In addition, national minorities in Ukraine have the right to free development. National minorities include Belarusians, Russians, Poles, Jews, Bulgarians, Hungarians, and Greeks.
Greeks and Bulgarians live in the Azov Sea. The Greeks founded the city of Mariupol in the 18th century, although the first Greeks settled here in the 10th century. That is why the name of the city is also written in Greek – Μαριούπολη.
The city of Mariupol, which you see in the photo, no longer exists. Russian troops and ruthless bombing destroyed it.
Bulgarians established settlements in the Crimea, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolayiv, and Odesa regions. For example, the Bulgarians became one of the first inhabitants of the city of Berdyansk when they arrived in the 9th century (then the city was known as Berdyansk).
Many Hungarians live in the Transcarpathian region. The Hungarians appeared here in the 13th century when they fled from the Mongol invasions. Now Hungarians in Ukraine study Hungarian, publishing their own newspapers and programs on local television.
Hungarian in national dress.
Crimean Tatars have a special status among national minorities in Ukraine. They are the indigenous population of Crimea and have no other homeland outside the region. Crimean Tatars have their own language (Crimean Tatar), anthem (Crimea – Ant Etkenmen, Ukrainian – I swore), coat of arms (Crimea - taraq tamga, Ukrainian – tarak-tamga), and unique culture.
National clothes of Crimean Tatars.
Ornek is a Crimean Tatar ornament included in the intangible heritage of UNESCO. Drawing by Adavia Efendieva (1920).
Flag of the Crimean Tatars with the coat of arms in the corner.
You can know at least one representative of the Crimean Tatar people. This is the winner of Eurovision-2016 Ukrainian singer of Crimean Tatar origin – Jamala. Her victory song is written in two languages English and Crimean Tatar, and is called "1944"; these are not random numbers. This was the year when Crimean Tatars lost their homeland.
On May 18-21, 1944, the Soviet authorities deported about 200,000 Crimean Tatars from Crimea and deported them to the Far East of Russia. Crimean Tatars were forcibly deported in freight cars intended for cattle transportation, where there were no proper sanitary conditions, food, water, and even air. 42% of Crimean Tatars did not survive this "journey".
Crimean Tatars are put in freight cars for deportation.
The whole nation was accused of "unreliability" and forced to cooperate with the Nazis during World War II, which was not true. Crimean Tatars were not traitors. Some of them fought in the Red Army and received the highest awards during the war.
Amet-Khan Sultan – Soviet pilot of Crimean Tatar origin, Hero of the Soviet Union. He and his family were deported.
They were deported to Russify Crimea. After the deportation, Russians settled in Crimea, which changed the ethnic composition of the peninsula. The names of settlements, schools, and cultural institutions were also subject to Russification. Any mention of the Crimean Tatar Crimea was erased.
This is the tragedy of the Crimean Tatar people, which in the film "Haytarma" (Crimean – qaytarma, English – haytarma) was shown by the Ukrainian director of Crimean Tatar origin Akhtem Seitablaev.
Only in 1989 were Crimean Tatars allowed to return home to the Crimea.
Some Crimean Tatars lost their homes for the second time when Russia illegally annexed the peninsula in 2014. Some were forced to leave, and some were persecuted by the Russian occupation authorities, restricting the freedom of the Crimean Tatars.
There are many national minorities in Ukraine; you can't tell about them in one lesson, but we hope that we have told you something new and interesting. 😉
The cultural traditions of Ukrainians differ depending on the region but have common features. We can speak different languages but understand each other. You can learn about our traditions and language from other lessons.
Look at the photo project "Be Any" and you will understand that our strength is in diversity.
There is no "collective portrait" of Ukrainians. We are all different, sometimes even ethnically. But it is this diversity that makes us stronger and teaches mutual respect. So who are we Ukrainians?
Video of congratulations of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on the new 2020 year
We are active.
First of all, public activity. We are not indifferent to what is happening around us. We have public organizations that take care of various issues: from the problems of people with disabilities to the environment. These organizations are changing Ukraine now, and there are many of them.
For example, we offer to get acquainted with the activities of two organizations.
They tell about the lives of people with disabilities and debunk myths about them. They are working on creating an accessibility trend in Ukraine.
Ecodia – is a non-governmental organization that brings together experts and activists to work together to protect the environment.
They talk about the lives of people with disabilities and debunk myths about them. They are working on creating an accessibility trend in Ukraine.
Have you ever heard of Ukrainian startups? Here are some examples that prove the entrepreneurship and hard work of Ukrainians:
Esper Bionics – develops the bionic prosthetic arm Esper, which is connected to its own cloud platform. This allows the device to recognize various hand-use scenarios.
Manna – has developed an interactive media platform for creating the author's 3D-animated content, streaming, and social interaction in VR.
Grammarly – with it, you can write texts according to all the English language rules, check them for plagiarism, correct incorrectly constructed language appeals, and even assess the tone of the message to understand how the recipient perceives it.
But not the only startups. You probably know that Ukrainian grain is bought by the EU, Africa, and Asia. In 2022, Ukrainian farmers in some regions sowed land in bulletproof vests due to the threat of Russian shelling. Even in such circumstances, they do their job because they know it is essential to others.
When a Russian missile fire damaged the Ukrainian Railways connection, traffic resumed two hours later! Watch the video of the Ukrainian blogger to learn more.
During the war, we rallied on the first day (!) of the Russian invasion and raised $ 20.5 million for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
We were democratic even before it became mainstream. In the Hetmanate (the state of Ukrainians of the 17th-18th centuries), they voted for the decision-making and election of the hetman. Ukrainians solved their problems without waiting for a "decision from above" and, if necessary, could overthrow the hetman.
We continue this trend even now. Being a European citizen also means enjoying political rights. Every adult citizen of Ukraine has the right to vote and be elected.
Ukrainians are about opportunities.
In the past, a comedian could become president, and a former boxer could become the capital's mayor.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy. President of Ukraine.
Vitaliy Klitschko. World Heavyweight Boxing Champion (1999-2000), WBC (2004-2005, 2008), The Ring (2004-2005).
Vitaliy Klitschko. Kyiv Mayor.
Equality and dignity are important to us.
The principle of gender equality is at the heart of European values, and we share them. 20% of the Ukrainian parliament are women, and about 50% of doctors and entrepreneurs are women. In 2022 – 37 thousand women serve in the Armed Forces, more than a thousand of them – commanders.
Ukrainian women defend not only at the front but also in the rear. Women volunteer, work, and care for children.
"Madonna from the Kyiv metro". A woman is breastfeeding a baby in the Kyiv metro during an air raid. Hungarian journalist András Földes took the photo, and Maryna Solomennikova created the illustration.
Ukrainians to the touch like a granite rock. The difference is that we are strong only inside. Ukrainians are ardent defenders for whom freedom is the highest value. We know the price of freedom and are ready to fight for it. Ukrainians are about the right to resist and even revolution if human and civil rights are violated.
In 2013, we launched the Revolution of Dignity. Ukraine did not want the agreement with Russia imposed by then-President Viktor Yanukovych. The authorities did not want to hear this, so hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians came to the squares of their cities to express their vision of the future – European.
The authorities tried to disperse the first protests in Kyiv by force, but the Ukrainians not only resisted but were not afraid, and the next day we did even more.
President Yanukovych has ordered the shooting of protesters in Kyiv. More than a hundred people, whom we call the Heavenly Hundred, died then. Ukrainians are about pride. We honor our heroes and remember them because "Heroes do not die."
By the way, there is a documentary about the Revolution of Dignity on Netflix – "Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom", available on YouTube.
The Revolution of Dignity won, the agreement with Russia was not signed, and Viktor Yanukovych fled the country and was impeached. In March 2014, Ukraine signed an Association with the European Union.
Russia disagreed with this development, so in 2014 it launched an armed conflict against Ukraine (annexed Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions), which in 2022 escalated into open war.
However, Ukrainians are talking about the desire for freedom, not the fear of the enemy.
Remember that we are like a granite rock?)
These are the ones who choose “anyone who sincerely wants to be with Ukrainians and feels like-minded and a friend, a member of the Ukrainian people, wants to work for their good. It doesn't matter what kind, faith, or title he is. His will and consciousness decide the matter " – Mykhailo Hrushevsky" Who are the Ukrainians and what they want ", 1917.
Territory of Ukraine