The area of eastern Europe which is today Ukraine, particularly the northern shore of the Black Sea, has attracted many cultures and empires over the centuries. In this collection, we examine the history of that region and look at the Scythians, Greeks, Persians, Mongols, and Ottomans who all incorporated parts of what is today Ukraine into their empires. In addition, we look in detail at the history of the Kievan Rus federation, the Saint Sophia Cathedral of Kyiv, and the famous Khotyn fortress, one of the best-preserved medieval castles in eastern Europe.
Kievan Rus (862-1242) was a medieval political federation located in modern-day Belarus, Ukraine, and part of Russia (the latter named for the Rus, a Scandinavian people). The name Kievan Rus is a modern-day (19th century) designation but has the same meaning as 'land of the Rus,' which is how the region was known in the Middle Ages.