Kiev is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper river. Kiev has 2,660,401 inhabitants. Administratively, Kiev is a national-level subordinated municipality, independent from surrounding Kiev Region. Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational and cultural center of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions, world-famous historical landmarks. One of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, the city is considered to have been founded in the fifth century as a trading post. It gradually acquired eminence as the center of the East Slavic civilization, becoming in the tenth to twelfth centuries a political and cultural capital of Kievan Rus. Completely destroyed during the Mongol invasion in 1240, the city lost most of its influence for the centuries to come. The city prospered again during the Russian industrial revolution in the late 19th century. After the turbulent period following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Kiev was the capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. During World War II, the city suffered significant damage, but quickly recovered in the post-war years becoming the third most important city of the USSR. It now remains the capital of Ukraine, independent since 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Kiev is located on both sides of the Dnieper River, which flows south through the city towards the Black Sea. Both the Dnieper and Desna rivers are navigable at Kiev, although regulated by the reservoir shipping locks and limited by winter freeze-over. Kiev has a continental humid climate. The warmest months are June, July, and August, with mean temperatures of 13.8 to 24.8°C (56.9 to 76.7°F). The coldest are December, January, and February, with mean temperatures of -4.6 to -1.1°C (23.7 to 30.0°F). Modern Kiev is a mix of the old and the new, seen in everything from the architecture to the stores and to the people themselves. With the Ukrainian independence on the turn of the millennium, changes came and western-style residential buildings, hip nightclubs, classy restaurants and prestigious hotels opened in the center. And most importantly, with the easing of the visa rules in 2005, Ukraine is positioning itself as a prime tourist attraction, with Kiev, among the other large cities, looking to profit from the new opportunities. Many historic areas of Kiev, such as Andriyivsky Descent, have become popular street vendor locations, where one can find traditional Ukrainian art, religious items, books, as well as jewelry for sale. Also an important part of Kiev's culture are its many theatres: Lesya Ukrainka National Academic Theatre of the Russian Drama, Kiev Opera House, October Palace, Ivan Franko National Drama Theatre, National Philharmonic of Ukraine. Other cultural items include the: Olexandr Dovzhenko Film Studios, and the Kiev Circus. The most important of the city's museums are the Kiev State Historical Museum, the Kiev State Museum of Russian Art, and the Kiev State Museum of Ukrainian Art. Kiev has 3 soccer clubs, including the Dynamo and Arsenal. During the 1980 Summer Olympics held in the Soviet Union, Kiev held the preliminary matches and the quarter-finals of the football tournament at its Olympic Stadium, reconstructed for the event. Kiev's noteworthy architecture includes government buildings such as the Mariyinsky Palace and the sweeping Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, several Orthodox churches and church complexes such as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves) and St. Sophia Cathedral, St. Michael's Cathedral, St. Andrew's, St. Vladimir's, the recently reconstructed Golden Gate, and others such as a nineteenth-century Lutheran church. The cylindrical Salut hotel, located across from Glory Square and an eternal flame at the WWII Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is one of Kiev's most recognized landmarks. Among Kiev's best-known public monuments are the statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky up the hill from Independence Square and the venerated Volodymyr the Great, baptizer of Rus, overlooking the river above Podil. The publicly owned and operated Kiev Subway is the fastest, the most convenient and affordable network that covers most, but not all, of the city. There are also trams, buses and trolleybuses. One unusual mode of public transportation Kiev has is a funicular, that climbs on the steep right bank of the Dnieper River. Recently, privately owned minibuses, marshrutkas, occupied Kiev's streets. They provide a good coverage of smaller residential streets and have routes that are convenient for the residents. There is a strong competition between private taxi companies. Also, it is quite common for a local with a car to provide taxi service unofficially. Suburban transportation is provided by buses and short-range trains (elektrichkas). Once existing suburban riverboats service is now extinct due to unprofitability, limiting Kiev's water transport for cargo and tourism uses. Railways are Kiev's main kind of outer transport connection. The city has a developed railroad infrastructure including a long-distance passenger station and cargo stations. Passenger airlink to Kiev can be made through two of its airports: the Boryspil Airport, which is served by the most major international airlines from all parts of the world, and a smaller Zhulyany Airport, serving mostly local flights. Kiev is one of the centers of world aviation industry, being a home for Antonov aircraft manufacturing company. Kiev is known as a green city, with two botanical gardens and numerous large and small parks. Notable among these are the World War II Museum, which offers both indoor and outdoor displays of military history and equipment surrounded by verdant hills overlooking the Dnieper river; the Hidropark: an island on the river and accessible by metro or by car, which includes an amusement park, swimming beaches, and boat rentals; and the Victory Park, a popular destination for strollers, joggers, and cyclists. The center of Kiev (Independence Square and Khreschatyk Street) becomes a large outdoor party place at night during summer months, with thousands of people having a good time in nearby restaurants, clubs and outdoor cafes. Wide varieties of farming products are available in many of Kiev's farmer markets with the Besarabsky Market located in the very center of the city being the most famous one. Kiev, as the capital of Ukraine, has major administrative functions, with considerable status in the offices of the ministries responsible for the economy of Ukraine. Factories in Kiev are found in all parts of the city, with locations of major concentrations of industrial organizations located to the west of the city center and on the left bank of the Dnieper River. The Kiev engineering plants make equipment for chemical works, such as conveyor lines for vulcanized rubber, linoleum, fertilizer factories, and also metal-cutting machines. Other engineering products of Kiev area include aircraft, hydraulic elevators, electrical instruments, armatures, river-and-sea crafts, motorcycles, and cinematography apparatuses. Another important sector is the chemical industry, which produces resin products, fertilizers, plastics, and chemical fibres. Lumber milling and the production of bricks and reinforced concrete items are another well developed industry. Consumer manufactured goods include cameras, thermos flasks, knitwear, footwear, a range of foodstuffs, and hand watches. Kiev mainly receives its power supply in the form of natural gas and by electricity from the Kiev Hydroelectric Station. Kiev hosts many universities, the major ones being Kiev National Taras Shevchenko University, the National Technical University, and the Kiev-Mohyla Academy. Some research establishments located throughout the city are headed by the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, which also maintains the largest of the city's many libraries.
Kharkov is the second largest city in northeast Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Kharkov Region. Its population is 1,461,300. Kharkiv is one of the main industrial, cultural and educational centres of Ukraine. Its industry and research specialize in arms production and machinery. There are hundreds of industrial companies in the city. Among them are world famous giants Morozov Design Bureau and Malyshev Tank Factory, Hartron (aerospace and nuclear electronics) and Turboatom (turbines producer). Another landmark of Kharkov is its Freedom Square, the largest city center square in Europe, and second only to China's Tiananmen Square. Founded in the middle of 17th century, the city has had a university since 1805. During the early years of the Soviet Union, Kharkov was the capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (from 1917-1934). During World War II Kharkov was the site of several military engagements. The city was captured by Nazi Germany and its military allies and then finally liberated on August 23, 1943. Seventy percent of the city was destroyed and tens of thousands of the inhabitants were killed. Kharkov's residents are primarily Russian-speaking. Of the many attractions of the city are the: Gosprom building, Memorial Complex, Freedom Square, Taras Shevchenko Monument, Mirror Stream, Uspensky Cathedral, Militia Museum, Pokriv Cathedral, Shevchenko Gardens, and a funicular. Kharkov is one of the largest transportation centers in Ukraine, which is connected to numerous cities of the world by air, rail and road traffic. Kharkov's transportation system includes subway, buses, trolleybus, trams, and marshrutkas (private minibuses). A new railway station was built in 1952. Today Kharkov is served by an international airport. Flights to Kiev, Vienna, Istanbul and other cities are available.
Dnepropetrovsk is Ukraine's third largest city with 1.1 million inhabitants. It is located in the south-central section of the country on the Dnieper River. Dnepropetrovsk is also the administrative centre of the Dnepropetrovsk Region. A vital industrial center of Ukraine, Dnepropetrovsk was one of the key centers of the nuclear, arms, and space industries of the former Soviet Union. In particular, it is home to Yuzhmash, a major space and ballistic missile designer and manufacturer. Because of its military industry, the city was a closed city until the 1990s. The city also contains a Ukrainian Premier League football club FC Dnipro Dnepropetrovsk. During the summer, Dnepropetrovsk is very warm (average day temperature in July is 24 to 27 °C (76 to 80 °F), and in the winter, it is cold (average day temperature in January is ?3 to +4 °C (24 to 39 °F). Long periods of rain are normal in autumn. The city was founded in the 18th century as a result of southern expansion of the Russian Empire. Dnepropetrovsk was an important center of Jewish life, and 80,000 Jews lived in the city before the Holocaust, but soon after the Nazis conquered the city in 1941, 11,000 were shot; only 15 Jews of Dnepropetrovsk survived at the end of the war. The city is served by the Dnepropetrovsk International Airport and is connected to other European cities with daily flights. The city is a large railway junction. Daily trains run to and from many parts of Eastern Europe. The largest bus station in Eastern Ukraine is in Dnepropetrovsk. Bus routes to all over the country, including some routes to Russia, Poland, Germany, Moldova and Turkey are available. Dnipropetrovsk has some highways crossing the city. The most popular routes are from Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkov and Zaporozhie. Various tourist ships on their way down the Dnieper River (Kiev-Kherson-Odessa) always make a stop in the city. Dnepropetrovsk has comprehensive transportation network: trolleybuses, trams, buses, subway. The variety of theaters, museums, parks, restaurants and beaches will exceed any expectations of the most sophisticated visitor. The central street of the city has the name of Karl Marx. It is a very beautiful, wide and long parkway, which stretches through the central part of the city. It was founded in the eighteenth century and parts of its buildings are the actual decoration of the city. In the nucleus of the city is Zhovtneva square, on which is the majestic Cathedral that was founded by order of Catherine the Great in 1787. On the square, there are some remarkable buildings: the Museum of History, Diorama "Battle for the Dnieper River (Second World War)", and also the beautiful park in which one can rest in the hot summer. Walking down the hill to the Dnieper River, one arrives in the large Taras Shevchenko Park and on Monastery Island. The compact old town does not exist in Dnepropetrovsk anymore. Many historic buildings and churches were destroyed in the Second World War and in Stalin's communist times in the 1930s. However all of the central avenue, some street-blocks on the main hill between Pushkin Avenue and Embankment have been untouched for 150 years.
Donetsk is a city in Eastern Ukraine on the Kalmius river. Administratively, it is a center of Donetsk Region, while historically it is the unofficial capital and largest city of the Donets Basin region, or Donbass. The city has 1,131,700 inhabitants. It is currently the fourth-largest city in Ukraine. Donetsk was founded in 1869 when a Welsh businessman John Hughes built a steel plant and several coal mines near a Cossack settlement Olexandrivka. It attained the status of a city in 1917. In 1924, under the Soviet rule, the city's name was changed to Stalino after Joseph Stalin. The Nazi invasion during World War II almost completely destroyed the city, which was mostly rebuilt on a large scale at the war's end. During Nikita Khrushchev's second wave of destalinization in 1961 Stalino's name was changed to Donetsk, after the Donets river. Donetsk and the surrounding territories are heavily urbanized and agglomerated into conurbation. The workforce is heavily involved with heavy industry, especially coal mining. Donetsk lies 95 km north of the Sea of Azov, a popular vacation spot. The city's professional football teams are FC Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Metalurg Donetsk. The main forms of transport within Donetsk are trams, trolleybuses, buses, and marshrutkas (private minibuses). There is currently a subway system under construction in Donetsk, but no station is yet operational. Donetsk's main railway station is located in the northern part of the city. There is a museum near the main station, dealing with the history of region's railroads. Donetsk has an international airport. There is a city-based DonbassAero airline.
Odessa is the fifth largest city in Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Odessa Region and a major port on the Black Sea. The population is estimated to be around 1,012,500. An ancient Greek settlement had once occupied the site of the city. In the Middle Ages these lands were a part of the Kievan Rus, the Golden Horde, and the Ottoman Empire. In the course of Russian-Turkish wars these lands were captured by Russia at the end of the 18th century. The city was officially founded in 1794 as a Russian naval fortress on the ruins of the Turkish settlement of Khadjibey. The new city quickly became a major success. Its early growth owed much to the work of the Duke de Richelieu, who served as the city's mayor between 1803-1814. Odessa became home to an extremely diverse population of Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Armenians, Italians, Frenchmen, Germans and traders representing many other European nationalities. Its cosmopolitan nature was documented by the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, who lived in exile in Odessa. In 1819-1858 Odessa was a free port. Odessa's growth was interrupted by the Crimean War, during which it was bombarded by British and French naval forces. It soon recovered and the growth in trade made Odessa Russia's largest grain-exporting port. The city became the home of a large Jewish community during the 19th century, and by 1897 Jews were estimated to comprise some 37% of the population. They were, however, repeatedly subjected to severe persecution. In 1905 Odessa was the site of a workers' uprising supported by the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin. Sergei Eisenstein's famous motion picture The Battleship Potemkin commemorated the uprising and included a scene where hundreds of Odessan citizens were murdered on the great stone staircase (now popularly known as the "Potemkin Steps"). Following the Bolshevik Revolution, in 1920, the Red Army took control of Odessa and united it with the USSR. During World War II Odessa was occupied by Romanian and German forces. It was one of the first four Soviet cities to be awarded the title of Hero City in 1945. During the Soviet period it was the most important trade port in the USSR. On January 1, 2000, the Quarantine Pier of Odessa trade sea port was declared a free port and free economic zone for a term of 25 years. Odessa is a warm water port, but of limited military value. The city of Odessa hosts two important ports: Odessa itself and Yuzhny (also an internationally important oil terminal), situated in the city's suburbs. Another important port, Illichovsk, is located in the same region, to the south-west of Odessa. Together they represent a major transportation junction integrated with railways. Odessa's oil- and chemical-processing facilities are connected to Russia's and EU's respective networks by strategic pipelines. The city's industries include shipbuilding, oil refining, chemicals, metalworking and food processing. Odessa is also home to a fishing fleet. It is also known for its huge outdoor market, the Seventh-Kilometer Market. The city's historical architecture has a flavor more Mediterranean than Russian, having been heavily influenced by French and Italian styles. Most of the city's 19th century houses were built of limestone mined nearby. This created a complicated labyrinth of underground tunnels beneath Odessa, known as "catacombs". The transportation network of Odessa consists of trams, trolleybuses, buses and marshrutkas. The city has a mild and dry climate with average temperatures in January of -2 °C (29 °F), and July of 22 °C (73 °F). It averages only 350 mm (14 in) of precipitation annually. The primary language spoken is Russian, with Ukrainian being less common despite its being an official language in Ukraine. The city is a mix of many nationalities and ethnic groups, including Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, Greeks, Moldovans, Bulgarians, Armenians, Georgians, Turks, and Vietnamese, among others. Odessa is a popular tourist destination, with many therapeutic resorts in and around the city. The Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy is one of the leading institutes for eye care. The writer Isaac Babel was born in the city, which has also produced several famous musicians, including the violinist David Oistrakh and the pianists Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels. Odessa has always possessed a spirit of freedom and ironic humour, probably by virtue of its location and its willingness to accept and tolerate people of many different backgrounds. The most popular Russian show-business people from Odessa are Mikhail Zhvanetsky (humorist writer) and Roman Kartsev (comedian). Their success in the 1970s contributed to Odessa's established status of the "Capital of Soviet Humour". Later several humour festivals were established in the city, including the celebration of the April Fool's Day.
Lvov is a city in Western Ukraine, the administrative center of the Lvov Region. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of Ukraine. It has 733,000 inhabitants. The city is home to many industries, higher learning institutions (University of Lvov, Lvov Polytechnic), a philharmonic orchestra, and the Lvov Opera and Ballet Theatre. The historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city celebrated its 750th anniversary in September 2006. Lvov's climate is moderately continental. The average temperatures are ?4 °C (27 °F) in January and +18 °C (65 °F) in June. Average annual rainfall is 660 mm (26 in), with notable water deficit in the summer months. Lvov was founded by King Danylo of the Duchy of Halych-Volhynia, and named in honor of his son, Lev. Later it became part of Poland. As it grew, Lvov became religiously and ethnically diverse. The 17th century brough invading armies of Swedes and cossacks to the city's gates. In 1772, the city became the capital of the Austrian Kingdom of Galicia. With the collapse of the Habsburg Empire at the end of World War I, the local Ukrainian population proclaimed Lvov as the capital of the Western Ukrainian Republic. The city and its population suffered greatly from the two world wars, the Holocaust, and the invading armies of the period. As in most Ukrainian cities, Lvov's the public bus network is not well-developed and the number of lines is limited. A cheap alternative to the public transport are the "marshrutkas", which are small private-run minivans cruising around the city and the suburbs. Marshrutkas do not have any fixed stops nor timetables, yet their services are relatively cheap, fast and efficient. Other types of transportation include trams and trolleybuses. Modern Lvov retains its nodal position, with nine railways converging on the city. There are many destinations, both within Ukraine and international. The Lvov International Airport lies only 6 km from the city center. There are many museums and art galleries in Lvov, most notable are the National Gallery, Museum of Religion and National Museum. Portions of the film Schindler's List were shot in the Lvov city center. Tourist attractions include the Old Town (Market Square, Black House, Armenian Cathedral, Greek Cathedral, Latin Cathedral, St. Yura church, Dominican Abbey), High Castle hill overlooking the historical centre, Union of Lublin mound and Lychakivskiy Cemetery.
Yalta is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea. The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony. It is situated on a shallow bay facing south towards the Black Sea, surrounded by wooded mountains. It enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate with many vineyards and orchards in the vicinity. The existence of Yalta dates back to the 12th century when it was a fishing settlement. It became part of a network of Genoese trading colonies on the Crimean coast in the 14th century. Yalta and the rest of Crimea was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1475, which made it a semi-independent subject territory under the rule of the Crimean Khanate. Yalta was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1783, along with the rest of Crimea. In the 19th century, the town became a fashionable resort for the Russian aristocracy and gentry. The writers Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov spent their summers there. The town was also closely associated with royalty. In 1889 Tsar Alexander III built the Massandra Palace a short distance to the north of Yalta and Nicholas II built the Livadia Palace in the south of the town in 1911. During the 20th century Yalta was the principal holiday resort of the Soviet Union. Numerous workers' sanatoria were constructed in and around Yalta. There were, in fact, few other places that Soviet citizens could come for a seaside holiday, as foreign travel was forbidden to all but a handful. The Soviet elite also came to Yalta; the Soviet dictator Stalin used the Massandra Palace as his summer residence. The town came to worldwide attention in 1945 when the Yalta Conference between the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom was held at the Livadia Palace. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Yalta has struggled economically. In recent years, Yalta has staged a recovery, as economic conditions have improved and tourists have returned. It is still almost entirely frequented by Russian and Ukrainian tourists, with relatively few visitors from Western Europe. Today, Yalta has a beautiful embankment along the Black Sea. People can be seen strolling there all seasons of the year, and it also serves as a place to gather and talk. There are several beaches along the embankment where people relax and go swimming. This embankment is also the site of several hotels and sanatoria. In addition, the city has several movie theaters, and many restaurants and cafes, as well as a large open-air market.
Sevastopol is a port city located on the Black Sea coast of Crimean peninsula. It has a population of 328,600. Former home of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, the city is now a naval base shared by the Russian and Ukrainian Navy. The unique geographic location and navigation conditions of the city's harbours make Sevastopol an ever-important naval point. It is also a seaside resort and tourist destination. The trade and shipbuilding importance of Sevastopol's port is growing since the fall of the Soviet Union. Also, Sevastopol is an important centre of marine biology. In particular, studying and training of dolphins has been developing in the city since the end of World War II, initially as a secret naval programme of using these animals in underwater special operations. Administratively, Sevastopol is a municipality excluded from the surrounding Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Sevastopol rivals Kronstadt and Gibraltar as the most famous naval citadel in Europe. It was founded in 1783, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula. It became an important naval base and later a commercial port. It was besieged by the British and French during the Crimean War, falling after 11 months. A panorama created by Franz Roubaud, and restored after its destruction in 1942, is housed in a purpose-built building, and depicts the situation at the height of the siege, on 18 June 1855. During World War II Sevastopol withstood an Axis siege for 250 days in 1941-1942. It was liberated by the Red Army on May 9, 1944 and was awarded the title of Hero City. At the Soviet times Sevastopol, a city of significant military importance, was a "closed city". Like the rest of Crimea, Sevastopol remains predominantly Russian-speaking. According to a 1997 treaty, the Russian naval base is declared to be located in Sevastopol on the terms of lasting rent, following a long diplomatic and political dispute between Russia and the newly independent Ukraine. The ex-Soviet Black Sea Fleet with all facilities was divided between Russia's Black Sea Fleet and the Ukrainian Navy after a continuous struggle. Two navies now share some of the city's harbours and piers, while others were demilitarised or controlled by one country. Sevastopol remains the home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet Headquarters and the Ukrainian Naval Headquarters.
Chernigov is an ancient city in Northern Ukraine. It is the capital of the Chernihiv Region. The current estimated population is around 295,500. Chernigov was first mentioned in chronicles in 907. In the southern portion of the Kievan Rus the city was the second by importance and wealth. From the early eleventh century it was the seat of powerful Grand Principality of Chernigov, the largest in Kievan Rus. The golden age of Chernigov lasted until 1239 when the city was sacked by the hordes of Batu Khan, which started a long period of relative obscurity. The city in the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries it changed hands several times between Lithuania, Muscovy and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Then Chernigov was an important center of the autonomous Cossack Hetmanate. With the abolishment of the Hetmanate, the city became an ordinary administrative center of the Russian Empire. Chernigov's architectural monuments chronicle two most flourishing periods in the city's history - those of Kievan Rus (11th and 12th centuries) and of the Cossack Hetmanate (late 17th and early 18th centuries). The oldest church in the city and in the whole of Ukraine is the five-domed Saviour Cathedral commissioned in the early 1030s. The Cathedral of St Boris and St Gleb, dating from the mid-12th century, was much rebuilt in succeeding periods, before being restored to its original shape in the 20th century. The crowning achievement of Chernigov masters was the exquisite Church of St Paraskeba (Pyatnitskaya), constructed at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries. This graceful building was seriously damaged in the Second World War; its original medieval outlook was reconstructed. The earliest residential buildings in the downtown date from the late 17th century, a period when a Cossack regiment was deployed there. One of the most profusely decorated Cossack structures is undoubtedly the ecclesiastical collegium, surmounted by a bell-tower (1702). The archbishop's residence was constructed nearby in the 1780s. St Catherine Church (1715), with its 5 gilded pear domes, traditional for Ukrainian architecture, is thought to have been intended as a memorial to the regiment's exploits during the storm of Azov in 1696. All through the most trying periods of its history, Chernigov retained its ecclesiastical importance as the seat of bishopric or archbishopric. At the outskirts of the modern city lie two ancient cave monasteries, formerly used as the bishops' residences. Eletsky monastery cathedral was modeled after that of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. The caves of the Eletsky Monastery are said to predate those of Kiev. Its magnificent cathedral was erected at the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries; some traces of its 750-year-old murals may still be seen in the interior. The wall, monastic cells, and bell-tower all date from the 17th century. The nearby mother superior's house is thought to be the one of the oldest residential building in Ukraine. The roomy Trinity cathedral, one of the most imposing monuments of the Cossack baroque, was erected between 1679 and 1689. Other historic abbeys may be visited in the vicinity of Chernigov; they contain superb samples of Ukrainian national architecture.
Kamenets-Podolsky is a city located on the Smotrich River in the Western Ukraine. The city is the administrative center of the Kamenets-Podolsky District within the Khmelnytsky Region. The current estimated population is around 99,068. The town is first mentioned in 1062. In 1241 it was sacked and destroyed by Mongol invaders. In 1352 it was annexed by the Polish King Casimir III and became the seat of local civil and military administration. The ancient castle was reconstructed and substantially expanded by the Polish kings to defend Poland from the southeast against Ottoman and Tatar invasions. In 1699 the city was recaptured by Poland. The fortress was continually enlarged and was regarded as the strongest in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The preserved ruins of the fortress still contain the iron cannon balls stuck in them from various sieges. Since 1793, the city belonged to the Russian Empire. One of the towers was used as a prison cell for Ustym Karmeliuk (a prominent peasant rebel leader of the early nineteenth century), who managed to escape from it three times. During the Polish-Soviet War (1919-1921) the city was captured by the Polish Army, but it was later ceded to the Soviet Union. Poles and Ukrainians have always dominated the city's population. However, as a commercial center, Kamenets-Podolsky has been a multiethnic and multi-religious city with substantial Jewish and Armenian minorities. Under Soviet rule it became subject to severe persecutions, and most of the Poles were forcibly deported to Siberia. Kamenets-Podolsky is famous for its ancient fortress and for ballooning activities in the canyon of the Smotrich River. Since 1998 the city has been growing as a tourist center. Annual Cossack Games festivals, which include the open ballooning championship of Ukraine, car racing and various music, art and drama activities, attract an estimated 140,000 tourists and stimulate the local economy. More than a dozen privately owned hotels have recently been built there.
Evpatoria is a city in Crimea. The first recorded settlement in the area was built by Greek colonists around 500 B.C. From roughly the 7th through the 10th centuries Evpatoria was a Khazar settlement. It was later subject to the Mongols and the Crimean Khanate. For a short period in 1478-1485 the city was administrated by the Ottoman Empire. In 1783 with the whole Crimea it was captured by the Russian Empire. Its name was officially changed to Evpatoria in 1784. The city was briefly occupied in 1854 by British, French and Turkish troops during the Crimean War, when it was the site of the Battle of Evpatoria. Today Evpatoria is a major Ukrainian Black Sea port, a rail hub, and resort town. The main industries include fishing, food processing, wine making, limestone quarrying, weaving, and the manufacture of building materials, machinery, furniture manufacturing and tourism. The National Space Agency of Ukraine has ground control and tracking facilities here. The 400 years old Cuma Cami mosque is one of the many designed or built by the Ottoman architect Sinan.