How Ukraine Become Independent Democracy

Threats To Ukrainian Independence Do Not Exist Only on the Battlefield.  Here's a look at the history of Ukraine and its path toward democracy.

World War I resulted in the creation of two Ukrainian republics – one on either side of the former Russian-Austrian border. They unified in 1919 as an independent state: the Ukrainian People’s Republic.

Ukraine's independence had been established, but the country would soon become part of the Soviet Union.

With most of the territory under the control of the Red Army, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic became the founding member of the USSR in 1922.

In the postwar period, the USSR launched efforts to assimilate Ukrainian lands into Russian culture. The number of Ukrainian books, newspapers and schools decreased gradually and were replaced by Russian ones.

In December 1991, a referendum on Ukrainian independence was backed by a majority in every region of Ukraine, producing a more than 90% landslide. A week later, the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

After the 1991 vote, an independent Ukraine sought to shed its Soviet past.

Since Ukraine became independent in 1991, there has been a peaceful transfer of power through free and fair democratic elections.