Ukraine is a country with centuries-long history. Early history of Ukraine dates back many years, to the times of the Paleolithic age. Sites of ancient settlements which are considered to be the first human settlements in Ukraine have been found by archeologists in the territory of modern Chernigov and Odessa, near Dniester and Desna rivers.
It is believed that the first and the most important period in Early history of Ukraine is a rise of the Trypillian culture. Trypillian culture played a big role in the formation of primitive tribal communities on the territory of Ukraine and the ancient forefathers of the Slavs. For the times, this was a highly developed culture. Existence of this culture dates back to the end of IV – beginning of III centuries B.C. Represents of Trypillian culture occupied a great part of modern Eastern Europe: from Slovakia and Rumania to the territory of modern Slobojanschina and from Chernigov to Crimea peninsula.
Representatives of Trypillian culture have been noted not only as the first one settled tribe of breeders and farmers, but also as creators of one of the most developed culture of that times. Often this period in Ukrainian Early history is called “The time of painted ceramics”. Pottery has been mostly developed during the period of Trypillian culture in Ukraine. They made crockery and equipment from ceramics. Then they decorated these wares and assigned a specific meaning to each item by means of painted elements and ornament. This composition had deep sacred meaning. In the territory of Ukraine archeologists also found quite many other signs of Trypillian culture. The most important are ceramic figures of ancient people and animals, house miniatures, equipment. All these findings are direct evidences of rich and deep history of Ukraine and Ukrainian culture.
The other one important period in early history of Ukraine was the times of Scythia. At the end of VII century B.C. Scythians, who were nomadic tribes started controlling all the territory of Ukrainian plains. There are several theories regarding the origin of Scythia. The only one thing historicists found an agreement in is a chronology of Scythia rule. Still, debates regarding the origin of Scythia culture have been continuing till now. These nomads established their nation at the end of VI century B.C. It consisted of three administrative centers. Each center has been ruled by Czar. All Scythian czars were members of one dynasty. There are so many legends composed about the bravery and courage of these nomads. These tribes left a great mark in the history and culture of Ukraine and other neighbor nations. The most valuable part of Scythians rule in the territory of modern Ukraine is a victory over the czar of Persia Darii. It was thought that Darii is invincible, he took part in dozens bloody wars against other countries, however Ukrainian Scythians brought down the government of czar of Persia.
The third one important period for Early history of Ukraine was times of Kiev Rus establishment. There are no written sources left regarding the origin of Kiev. According to the legends Kiev was a part of Khazar state. In 882, Kiev was conquered from the Khazars. Oleg won the fight and started the long period of rule of the Ruriks rule. During this time in the territory of Ukraine were living several tribes, among them are the Polans, the Drevlyans, the Severians, the Ulichs, the Tiverians, the White Croats and the Dulebes. Kiev became the center of tribes settlements. Economic, cultural, political bonds between these settlements created a new one state – Kiev Rus. A defining feature of Early history of Ukraine is absence of slavery in Ukrainian societ. Kiev Rus has been developing as a free state with the elements of feudalism. After a while Ukraine became a Feudalistic state, however in Ukraine Feudalism was called “Panstvo”.
Kiev Rus had a positive influence on the development of all branches of life: society, religion, education, politics etc. This was a time of Knyazh government, adoption of Christianity, military craft development, alphabetization, culture and literature establishment, education advancement. Christianity was introduced during the reign of Volodymyr the Great (988), and the capital city, Kyiv, became the spiritual center for spreading Christianity to Eastern Europe. All the achievements of Kiev Rus civilization have been almost lost because of internecine wars and Tatar-Mongolian invasion. Irrespective of the fact that territories of Ukraine were controlled by Tatars, Poland-Lithuania and Turkey, the Ukrainian nation survived. It preserved its language and multiplied its culture, tirelessly fighting for independence and building up its statehood in different forms.
Ukraine was able to break free only in XVI century. Then Ukraine appeared on European map as a strong and free Cossak Republic. This period in early hisoty of Ukraine dates back from the beginning of XVI to the end of XVIII century. The Ukrainian Cossacks demonstrated their bravery and founded a state: Zaporizhian Sich.
The Zaporizhian Sich was a powerful stronghold over the Dnipro River for 300 years. They defended freedom of their nation and independence. Ukrainian Cossaks took part in many wars and invasions. Many wars have been waged against Crimean Tatars, Turkey, Russia, Poland. However, Ukrainian Cossak era ended with the ruin of Zaporizhian Sich by Ekaterina the Second. Since that times Ukraine lost it’s sovereignty and fall under the long-term influence of Russian Empire.