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Ukraine - History (Grades 6-8)



Ukraine - History (Grades 6-8)
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    borderland, language-Ukrainian, ruling, unimpressive, radiation, unification, radioactive, nuclear, starvation, greatly, modern-day, hatred, military, occupation, breakup, impressed
     content words:    Dnepr River, Black Sea, Baltic Sea, Scandinavian Vikings, Kievan Rus, Prince Rurik, Vladimir I., Eastern Orthodoxy, So Islam, European Christianity


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Ukraine - History
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
  

1     The history of Ukraine is an interesting story. It is the story of a group of people who lived through many hard times. These people--the Ukrainians--managed to hold on to their national identity through even the worst points in Ukrainian history. Not even the forced starvation of millions of their people split Ukrainians apart.
 
2     The history of humans in the land of modern-day Ukraine begins thousands of years ago, when nomads from across Europe and Asia settled there. Among these nomadic groups were the Scythians, Sarmatians, Cimmerians, Goths, and traders from Greece. The Greeks understood the importance of Ukraine because of its location. Ukraine is located in the middle of ancient trade routes between Europe and Asia. The unification of the people in Ukraine began with the arrival of the Slavs.
 
3     The Slavs were settling in Ukraine around the first century BC. Like the Greeks, the Slavs understood the area's importance to trade, and guarded Ukraine's Dnepr River. The Dnepr was, and is, an important water route between the Black Sea in southern Ukraine and the Baltic Sea, to the north of modern-day Russia. In 482 AD, a Slavic prince named Kyy founded the city Kiev, where many of the Slavs had settled. Within 400 years, a group of Scandinavian Vikings--called Varangians--began bringing the Slavs together and improving trade through Ukraine.
 
4     At the invitation of people in Novgorod (in present day Russia), the Varangians began ruling Ukraine and its surrounding area. The capital city was Kiev, and the region was called Kievan Rus. The first ruler of Kievan Rus was named Prince Rurik.
 
5     Much of what shaped modern-day Ukrainian life began under the rule of Vladimir I. He was Rurik's great-grandson. He ruled Kievan Rus from 956-1015. Vladimir made Eastern Orthodoxy the religion of Ukraine and Russia. According to tradition, Vladimir sent envoys around the world to research different religions. Vladimir wanted a religion for himself and his people, but didn't know which one. As he learned about world religions, he began deciding which he liked and which he didn't.

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