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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope

28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.


Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.


Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.


Ukraine History

Danylo: legendary Ukrainian King

Danylo Halytsky, Prince of Volhyn and Galicia, is a titan of Ukrainian history, a Kyivan Rus prince who built a number of new cities in western Ukraine, including Lviv, which he named in honour of his son Lev. In 1253 he became the king of Rus, instituting western reforms before Mongol invasions weakened his reign.

The son of the powerful Prince Roman Mstyslavych and grandson of Rus Prince Volodymyr Manomakh of the Romanovych dynasty, Danylo was born in 1201. At that time his father ruled both Volhyn and Galicia, western outposts of whats now Ukraine. When his father died in 1205, Galicias boyars forced Danylo, his mother Anna of Byzantium and his brother Vasylko into exile, fearing them as potential power rivals. After the boyars named their own prince in 1213, the Poles and Hungarians invaded the principality in support of the claims of young Danylo and Vasylko. Danylo regained power. In 1221 he re-established his rule over Volhyn, where the boyars and populace had remained loyal to his dynasty, and then defeated the Teutonic Knights to regain most of Galicia. The capital of Galicia was located in whats now the regional centre Halych, which is where Danylos name, which translates as Danylo of Halych, comes from. (The modern town is about 20 km from Ivano-Frankivsk and 110 km from Lviv.) In 1238 Danylo acquired Kyiv, the traditional Rus capital. Despite his efforts to protect it, the city fell to the Mongols in 1240. The Mongol invasion of 12401, during which Kyiv, Volodymyr- Volynsky, and Halych were destroyed, interfered with Danylos plans to unify Ukrainian territories. In 1245 he was nevertheless able to defeat a coalition of Chernihiv princes, disaffected boyars, and their Hungarian and Polish allies at Jarosław and establish control over Volhyn and Galicia. Yet the Mongol threat remained. In order to save his state, Danylo visited the Golden Horde leadership at Sarai on the Volga river and was forced to accept Mongol dominion. According to Ukrainian-Canadian historian Orest Subtelny, Mongol khan Batu handed Danylo a cup of fermented mares milk and told him to get used to the drink, saying: You are one of ours now.

In 1253, trying to reinforce his position, he sought alliances with powers west of Ukraine, particularly with the papacy. To gain Pope Innocent IVs support, Danylo agreed to acknowledge the pope as head of the church in his principalities and accepted a crown from him in the town of Dorohychyn. The Pope did not ultimately provide the aid that

By medieval standards, and indeed by the standards of many modern potentates in Eastern Europe, his was a model of enlightened rule

Danylo had hoped for, leaving him to fight off a 1254 Mongol attack on the cities of Ponzyia and Volhyn on his own. The triumph didnt last long. In 1260 Mongol leader Burundia led another attack that broke Danylos fortifications and eventually led him to abandon his plans to keep his lands independent. In the last years of his reign, Danylo busied himself with dynastic politics, trying to advantageously marry off his children and acquiring territorial concessions in Poland. He arranged for the marriage of his son Roman to Gertrude, the heiress to the ruling family of Babenberg, Austria, but was unsuccessful in his bid to have him placed on Austrias ducal throne. Danylo Halytsky died in 1264 in Kholm, his last capital (and now in Poland). It was a dark time for Galicia, and it would get darker at times in coming years. Yet Danylos accomplishments as a ruler remain. He was quite a successful king. He attempted to unify Ukraines western territories and focused on conciliation, stability and economic growth. Lviv became a centre for trade and commerce, which led to rapid economic development. Danylo also reformed the military forces, creating a heavy infantry based on the peasantry, and gained control over the boyars. He encouraged Western European cultural influences to spread in Ukraine, and administrative reforms in the towns. He expanded Ukrainian territory, held off expansionist threats and did what he could to minimise Mongol influence. In addition, during his rule, German, Polish, and Ukrainian merchants and artisans were invited into Galicia and numbers of Armenians and Jews established themselves in the towns and cities. He appointed officials to protect the peasantry from aristocratic exploitation and formed peasant-based heavy infantry units. By medieval standards, and indeed by the standards of many modern potentates in Eastern Europe, his was a model of enlightened rule. Danylo of Halych was succeeded in Galicia by his son Lev, but the power of his house declined. There are many monuments to him in both Ukraine and Poland, including in Lviv, Halych and Kholm.

 Anatoli Artemenko

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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.

    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.


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