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OUTSTANDING PEOPLE OF UKRAINE
In the history of Ukraine there have always been people whose actions and ideas produced a great impact on development of the whole nation. These actually outstanding people have made a great contribution to our culture, science, politics and economics.
I’d like to start the story about the great men of this land with the Grand Princes of Kyiv: Vladimir the Great, born in 956, and Yaroslav the Wise, born in 978.
Under the rule of Vladimir the Great Kyiv Russ, the cradle of the Ukrainian culture and history, turned into one of the most powerful states in Eastern Europe, especially it was converted to Christianity (in August 988).
Yaroslav the Wise – Grand prince of Kyiv from 1019, the son of Vladimir the Great was not only an outstanding ruler, that made Kyiv Russ more powerful than ever, but the greatest educationalist of his time. He initiated construction of St. Sophia’s Cathedral to commemorate his victory over the army of Pechenegs that attacked Kyiv. Later on he founded a primary school and a library at St. Sophia’s Cathedral (there were more than 1.000 books in it). He also wrote a book of laws called Yaroslav’s Justice, sponsored the translation of Greek and other texts into Church Slavonic. He strengthened the international role of Kyiv Russ through dynastic unions.
No wonder he was called Yaroslav the Wise.
The history of early modern Europe is connected with the name of B.Khmelnytsky, Hetman of the Zaporozhian Host from 1648 to 1657. The great Cossack uprising of 1648 that turned into a national revolution was a success thanks to exceptional organizational, military and political talents of its leader – Hetman B.Khmelnytsky. His greatest achievement in the process of national revolution was the Cossack Hetman State of the Zaporozhian Host (1648-1782). His statesmanship was demonstrated in all areas f state building – in the military, administration, finance, economics and culture.
Another prominent politician, publicist and writer, the most distinguished Ukrainian historian of XX century was Mikhail Grushevsky. In 1917 he headed the Ukrainian Central Council that elected the first Ukrainian Government – Secretariat General, whose main objective was the rebirth of the State of Ukraine. The events of those stormy years are called by historians the Ukrainian revolution. M.Grushevsky became the first president of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, proclaimed in November, 1917.
As to M.Grushevsky’s scientific work in 1898 the first volume of his monumental “History of Ukraine-Russ” was published in Lviv; by 1937 another nine volumes, covering the Ukrainian history to 1658, had appeared in Lviv and Kyiv. This work was the first major synthesis of the Ukrainian history ever written.
There are a lot of outstanding people famous for their contribution to our science.
Vladimir Vernadsky, for instance, was the first president of Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. He developed a special study on the composition of the Earth’s crust, the ocean and the atmosphere. Verna sky was the founder of the modern doctrine on the biosphere. His findings are universally recognized.
Another great scientist of XX century was Alexander Bohomolets – the founder of a large school of pathophysiologists. He developed the hypothesis that the course of a disease and recovery depend not only on the causal agent but also on the resistance of the organism, which depends primarily on the condition of the nervous system and the connective tissue. He demonstrated that connective tissue has a protective function in the organism and plays a role in its nourishment. He discovered an effective method of changing the condition of connective tissue by means of a stimulant discovered by him, which gained him worldwide fame. Bohomolets wrote many works in biology, physiology and pathology.
A prominent place in the Ukrainian science is occupied by the name of Alexander Potebnia, the well-known linguist, folklorist, and literary scholar of the XIX century (1835-1891). His major works on the philosophy of language are “Thought and Language”, “Language and Nationality”.
A.Potebnia regarded language as an individual’s or a nation’s only possible means of thinking and perceiving the world. He protested against denationalization in general and the russification in particular and equated this process with spiritual and intellectual disintegration.
One cannot imagine the cultural heritage of Ukraine without such names as Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Lesia Ukrainka, Lina Kostenko, Vasyl’ Stus, etc.
I.Franko (1856-1916), for instance, made a great contribution to many areas of Ukrainian culture. We know him as a poet, prose writer, playwright, critic, translator and publisher.
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