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Ukraine’s history and its centuries-long road to independence

March 8, 2022


In explaining why he launched the invasion, President Putin falsely claimed that Ukraine was always a part of Russia, while he also made bogus assertions about pro-Russian Ukrainians being under threat. To help sort fact from fiction, and gain a better understanding of how we got to this point, the NewsHour’s Ali Rogin looks at the history of Ukraine and its people’s political independence.

Five Facts

  • When did Ukraine become and independent country?
  • What did Russian president Vladimir Putin say about the relationship between Ukraine and Russia?
  • Why is what Putin said false, according to this piece?
  • Who were some of the original inhabitants of what is now known as Ukraine, according to this piece?
  • How are some of the ways Russia and Ukraine’s histories have been intertwined, according to this piece?

Focus Questions

How do you think the history of Ukraine helps explain the current war there? How does that history help predict what might happen next in the country?

Media literacy: What aspects of Ukrainian or Russian history would you like to know more about after seeing this piece? Where would you find out?

For More

To find out how the United States and its NATO allies have been intertwined in recent events in Ukraine, see this story:

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