Remarkable Facts About Ukraine and Ukrainians
Hundreds of outstanding Ukrainians were and remain creators of world history. Artists and scientists, politicians and composers, actors and writers – they all give the Ukrainians the opportunity to proudly say: “I am Ukrainian!” either abroad or at home.
Until its almost complete destruction in 1240 by the hordes of Mongol Tatars, Kiev was one of the largest cities in Europe, fifty times larger than London, and ten times – than Paris. It reached its heyday under the reign of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (1010-1054 AD), who became related to the royal families of France, Norway, Romania, and Poland.
The population of Kiev was about 50,000 inhabitants. And it took about 600 years to reach the same demographic indicators. Entirely possible, if it weren’t for that destruction by the Mongols, Kiev could be a well-developed and the largest city in Europe for many centuries.
The World’s First
- The Ukrainians, namely the Antonov design bureau, developed the plane with the world’s largest cargo-carrying capacity – An-225 “Mriya”. It was originally designed for the transportation of spacecraft. At the moment, An-225 “Mriya” carries out commercial cargo transportation.
- The first kerosene lamp was invented in Lviv by the workers of the pharmacy “Under the Golden Star” by Ignatius Lukasevich and Jan Sach in 1853. In the same year, the first surgical operation by a kerosene lamp illumination was performed in a Lviv hospital. Later, the kerosene lamp was presented at the international exhibition in Munich, the invention was marked there by a special diploma.
- Ukrainian “Yuzhmash” (in Dnepropetrovsk) produces the most environmentally friendly rocket carriers in the world. With their help, commercial cargoes are sent to space within the framework of the international project “Sea Launch”
- The first frame hive was invented in Ukraine in 1814 by Petr Prokopovich. In recent years Ukraine confidently retains its place among the world’s top three leaders in the production of honey. Ahead of the European countries in terms of honey production, Ukraine is also the first in the world to produce honey per capita (1.5 kg).
- Ostrog Academy is the first higher educational institution in Eastern Europe, the oldest Ukrainian research, and educational institution. In 1576 Prince Ostrozky founded the Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy in Ostrog.
Unique Facts about Ukraine
- The largest Orthodox monasteries are called Lavra. The status of Lavra has only six monasteries in the world. Three of them are in Ukraine. This is Kiev Pechersk Lavra, which received this status in 1598, Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra, and Holy Assumption Monastery Svyatogorsk.
- Arsenalna metro station in Kiev is the deepest in the world. It runs underground at a depth of 105 m. This station near the parliament building was built among the first metro stations in Kiev in 1960. According to some reports, there are secret hideouts for the political elite in the tunnels near Arsenalna station.
- In Ukraine, there is the geographical center of Europe. It’s located near the town of Rakhiv, surrounded by the picturesque Carpathians.
- Ukraine occupies the fourth place in the world in terms of the number of citizens with higher education. The population of Ukraine belongs to the most educated, and the number of people with higher education per capita – higher than the average European level.
- The territory of Ukraine accumulates 1/4 of all black soil reserves on the planet. When properly treated, this black soil produces the largest amount of crop. During the Second World War, Nazis even exported black soil to Germany in trains.
- Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) has set an absolute record, keeping and resisting almost 20 years in the occupied territory. Technologies and methods of Ukrainian UPA soldiers were studied even by Fidel Castro Cuban rebels. “If I had an army like UPA, the German boot would never trample on the land of France,” said Charles de Gaulle, French President in 1958-1969.
Interesting Stories and Personalities
- During the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1899-1902. The commander of one of the detached units of the Boers, a Ukrainian volunteer Yuri Budyak, saved from the shooting a young English journalist. Later, he helped Yuriy Budyak to enter Oxford University. In 1917, Yuri worked in the government of the Ukrainian People’s Republic. In 1943, Yuri Budyak died in a Soviet concentration camp. The name of that English journalist was Winston Churchill.
- Ukrainian artist Mykola Syadristy creates incredible masterpieces in miniature which can be seen only under a microscope. His achievement has not yet been repeated by anyone in the world. For example, Mykola created a rose inside a hair. A hair is drilled lengthwise and polished off inside and outside. A rose branch is inserted into the hair. The diameter of the flower is 0,05 mm. You can see this miracle in Kiev, in one of the museums of Kiev Pechersk Lavra.
- The “Summertime” aria by George Gershwin for the opera “Porgy and Bess” was created on the basis of the Ukrainian lullaby “Ой, ходить сон коло вікон”. Gershwin heard this composition in New York in the performance of the Ukrainian National Choir under the direction of Alexander Koshyts.
- Pablo Picasso was thrilled with the works of Ukrainian artist Kateryna Bilokur (1900-1961). When in 1954 he saw her works at the exhibition, he said that they were brilliant and compared Kateryna with the world-famous artist Seraphine Louis.