Customs and traditions
Ukrainian nationalism has been strengthened
since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and many are
expressing strong patriotism. Some emphasize the unique
Ukrainian, through, among other things, language and
culture, as opposed to Russian. Others speak Russian and
feel great affiliation even with Russian culture, but
consider themselves Ukrainians and are proud of their
Many of the traditions that have been revived have a
religious foundation: Christian holidays are celebrated
as are church weddings, baptisms and burials. There are
also a wide range of other ethnic groups in Ukraine that
to varying degrees maintain their own customs and
traditions (see also Population and Languages).
Overview of the capital city of Ukraine, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
A visitor can easily praise the country or city you
are in. In public contexts one should not point with the
index finger, but use the whole hand. It is considered
inappropriate to sit on the ground or on a staircase.
Usually punctuality is not very accurate - being a
quarter of a second is normal. For a business meeting,
it may be appropriate to arrive on time, but be prepared
Men greet by firm handshake and eye contact, and are
happy to repeat the counterpart's name. In a business
context, women can also shake hands, otherwise it is
more common with just a nod. Women who know each other
well can exchange cheek kisses, and men who are friends
sometimes complain about each other.
The gender roles may appear a little old-fashioned
for a Westerner.
In formal contexts, one often addresses each other
with three names: first name, patronymic icon and last
name. A patronymic icon is a family name formed by an
extension of the father's first name - Andrej's son is
called Andrejevich and his daughter Andrejevna, for
example. In less formal contexts, Ukrainians often use
only the first two names.
Ukrainians often describe themselves as relatively
restrained in public contexts; it is considered a virtue
not to do too much of it among strangers. In more
private contexts, the situation is different. Ukrainians
often take pride in showing great hospitality - and the
guest can expect to be invited to home-cooked food and
plenty of horilka, or vodka. At the table, the
guest should taste everything, otherwise it is
unpleasant. Toasting is important and usually occurs if
at least three people participate at the table. Alcohol
is also common in business contexts. You avoid refilling
your own glass.
Dinner is the most important meal of the day. It
often consists of soup followed by a meat or fish dish
and salad. Bread is a staple that is included in all
meals and also has a strong symbolic value. In a welcome
ceremony that is common even in other Slavic countries,
the host often gives his guests bread with salt. Potato
dishes are also common.
Borscht is called a variety of soups, which
usually contain cabbage or beetroot, and often meats,
and served with sour cream. Salo is salted pork
and can be eaten as a snack, since it is served in a
thin slice of black bread, preferably with garlic and
In the business context, men often dress in dark
suits, and women are strictly business-dressed.
Traditional folk costumes, sometimes used for example
at weddings, are richly embellished with embroidery and
lace. Tissues and embroidery have a central place in
Ukrainian folk culture.
The New Year is celebrated much like Christmas in the
West, when the children dress the Christmas tree and
receive gifts. Many are free for three days. Orthodox
Christmas falls on January 7 and is mainly a religious
celebration. Even December 25 is now a public holiday.
International Women's Day on March 8 is a holiday,
and the workers have two own days in Ukraine, on May 1
The Orthodox Easter is celebrated with painted eggs
and other things, and Pentecost is also a holiday. The
dates vary from year to year.
On Victory Day, 9 May is celebrated in the memory of
the Second World War and the victory over
fascismen.Författningsdagen June 28 attention when
Ukraine gained their first constitution in 1996 and
Independence Day, 24 August, when the country became
independent from the Soviet Union in 1991 (see Modern
History). At the recent holidays, fireworks and military
parades are common.
Foreigners are thrown out
The government declares 36 undesirable foreign nationals in the country,
including Georgia's former president Micheil Saakashvili, 29 other Georgians,
five Americans working for voluntary organizations and a Serb. All are suspected
of cooperating with the opposition to try to "destabilize" Ukraine.
Ukraine increasingly closer to Russia
President Yanukovych travels to Moscow where he meets Vladimir Putin. Ukraine
promises that Russia will cut gas prices by about 30 percent and buy Ukrainian
government bonds for $ 15 billion. The purchase of government bonds is in effect
a loan to Ukraine to save the country's economy in the short term. But the
opposition demands information on what the government has promised in Russia and
threatens to try to block the settlement in Parliament.
The protests are growing and spreading
Up to 350,000 people, led by several leading opposition politicians, begin
the month of continued demonstration in central Kiev for the demand for
government resignation. Protesters carry the blue and yellow flags of Ukraine
and the EU. Clashes between police and protesters are described as the worst in
the country since the Soviet Union disbanded. Members of the Nationalist Party
Svoboda occupy Kiev's city hall. In the city of Lviv, 50,000 people take part in
a demonstration, and minor protests against the government also occur in
Russian-speaking areas in the east, where Yanukovych usually has the most
supporters. In several cities in western Ukraine, local leaders are joining a
call for a general strike. The country's three former presidents after the fall
of the Soviet Union, in a joint statement, support the protesters. Leonid
Kravtjuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko warn that the situation can be
dangerous in a dangerous way. The demonstrations continue this month, and many
gather especially on Sundays.
The break with the EU is triggering protests
Over 100,000 people are demonstrating in Kiev against the government,
demanding that it tear up the decision a few days earlier not to sign the
agreement with the EU. Imprisoned opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko is
launching a hunger strike, which she says will last until the government signs
an agreement with the EU. Tens of thousands of protesters form human chains in
protest. Dozens of people are reported to have been injured in Kiev when riot
police disperse protesters demanding that Yanukovych resign and new elections
The government reverses EU agreements
The government orders that the preparations for entering into a cooperation
agreement with the EU be interrupted. The government refers to the threat to the
security of the nation that would impede trade relations with Russia. Prime
Minister Azarov admits a short time later that his government acted on direct
demand from Russia to begin negotiating with Moscow instead on strengthening
trade relations and economic relations between the two countries. President
Yanukovych claims that the EU's conditions for financial support for Ukraine
have been degrading.
Russia demands that Ukraine pay a debt of the equivalent of close to one
billion US dollars for delivered gas, otherwise the country could be without gas
for the winter.
Ukraine is approaching the EU
Parliament adopts a number of laws designed to make it easier for Ukraine to
enter into a free trade agreement with the EU; Among other things, prisoners'
conditions should be improved, customs regulations reformed and court decisions
more carefully implemented.
Putin threatens Ukraine financially
Ukraine is told by Russian President Putin that if the country signs a free
trade agreement with the EU in November, the Russian-led Customs Union may be
forced to resort to "safeguard measures". The statement is made the days before
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov travels to Moscow to negotiate with the
Russian leadership. During a visit to Kiev in July, Putin urged the Ukrainian
leaders to join the country in the Russian-led customs union. Russia has exerted
pressure, among other things, by stopping imports of Ukrainian chocolate.
The IMF tightens control of Ukraine
The IMF decides to tighten oversight of the Ukrainian economy after the
country's debt to the fund has risen to around US $ 8 billion.
Sentenced ex-ministers are pardoned
President Yanukovych grants former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, former
Environment Minister Heorhij Filipjuk and four other people (see
February 2012 and April 2012). The judges have been
criticized in the outside world for being politically based and the pardons are
interpreted as an attempt to persuade the EU to fulfill the cooperation
agreement with Ukraine. Yanukovych says he has no legal opportunity to pardon
opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko as long as legal proceedings against her are
The ex-president's party is dissolved
Former President Viktor Yushchenko's Party Our Ukraine is disintegrating. The
party's founding document, seal and flag are handed over to the Museum of the
Orange Revolution. In the 2012 parliamentary elections, the party received just
over one percent of the vote.
The EU calls for political reform
At a summit between Ukraine and the EU, the Ukrainian government is given a
three-month deadline to secure the courts' freedom from political control and to
reform the electoral system. If this is done, the EU will look to sign in
November the signed Association and Cooperation Agreement with Ukraine.
The opposition is blocking parliament
The opposition is launching a blockade of the work in Parliament, in protest
of what is perceived as cheating by the government.
Tymoshenko is suspected of murder
Tymoshenko is suspected of murder. According to the prosecutor, together with
the then Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, she must have ordered the 1996 murder
of the businessman and MP Jevhen Sjtjerban. The prosecutor claims that they both
paid the equivalent of $ 2.8 million to have the competing businessman