Kyiv, a scenic city of close to 3 million people situated on the Dnipro River, is the bustling capital of Ukraine. Ancient Kievan
Rus, which reached its greatest period of ascendancy during the 11th and 12th centuries, was a center of trade routes
between the Baltic and the Mediterranean. The city of Kyiv and the power of Kievan Rus were destroyed in 1240 by Mongol
invaders and the lands of Kievan Rus were divided into principalities located to the west and north: Galicia, Volynia, Muscovy
and later, Poland, Lithuania, and Russia. Once a powerful force on the European scene, Ukraine's fate in modern times has
been decided in far-off capitals. As a result, modern Ukrainian history, for the most part, has been defined by foreign
occupation. But after gaining the independence by Ukraine in 1991 it significantly restored it's political and economic weight.