Ukrainian is an Eastern Slavic language related to Russian and Polish. It evolved from Old Church Slavonic.

Linguistically Ukrainian is something like midway between Russian and Polish. While there are many similarities with Russian there is heavy influence from Polish.

There is some degree of mutual intelligibility both with Russian, Belorussian and Polish. A Ukrainian native speaker will understand both languages to some extent while a Russian speaker will have great difficulty understanding Ukrainian without some knowledge of Polish.

Kievan Rus

Роусь (Old East Slavic) Garðaríki (Old Norse)

A map of later Kievan Rus' (after the death of Yaroslav I in 1054).

Knyaz Vladimir of the Rurikid dynasty hailing from Scandinavia was a major figure in the history of the Kievan Rus. He was responsible for uniting many lands under his rule and the Christianisation of the Rus. 

Embassies from various peoples came to Kiev talking about their religion. The Volga-Bulgars proposed to him to convert to Islam. When they explained the way of living and behaving in Islam-alhocohol forbidden- Vladimir came out with the famous phrase 'Drinking is the joy of the Rus'.

Instead his embassy to Byzantine Constantinople came back with descriptions about how grandiose and imposing was the Church of Aghia Sophia. When they heard the Byzantine liturgical chanting they explained they thought they were in heaven.

Ukrainian phrases


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