This week in our online class for kids we venture to Ukraine, an inspiring Eastern European nation that has endured centuries of complicated territorial shifts — ruled at points by Lithuania, the Ottoman Empire, Poland, Austria-Hungry and, most prominently throughout the 20th century, Russia. Ukraine endured devastating famine and forced “Russification” under Joseph Stalin’s rule. After becoming independent from the USSR in 1991 Ukraine went back and forth between aligning more closely with Russia and then, after the “Orange Revolution,” with the West. The country continues its tempestuous relationship with Russia, in particular in a tense conflict over the Crimean peninsula.
As you’ll note in the map above, we cheated. Rather than committing to disputed Crimea matching the color of Ukraine or Russia, we cropped the map to avoid making a choice. Tricky! Elsewhere on the All Around This World site you’ll see our map of Eastern Europe with Crimea colored a mix of green and yellow.