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National Heroes

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National Heroes

A lot of names of Ukrainian towns and cities are connected with the names of their national heroes such as Ivan Sirko, Olexa Dovbush, and Ustim Kar-maliuk. The Ukrainian people remember their heroes. There are a lot of songs and legends about them, and they appear in the novels of Shevchenko, Marko Vov-chok, and Panas Mirny.

Even now in the areas in and around Khortitsa, Kiyiv, Lviv and the towns of the Carpathian Mountains there remain the traces of unforgettable pages of Ukrainian history. A lot of tourists visit these places and admire the beauty of the cities and landscapes, and learn about the history of their native land.

At the beginning of the 5th century the peasants of Eastern Galitsia, Volinia, Kiyivshchina, and Podillia began to run away from their landowners. They went to the endless Ukrainian steppes. In this way they saved themselves from the feudal yoke. In the steppes they made the new villages and began to call themselves "cossacks" which meant "free people". Cossacks lived in the south of Kremen-chuk and Vinnitsa. They used the river Dnieper as the convenient water way to Kiyiv. In Kyiv they sold fish, furs, honey, and other products. In the middle of the 16th century on the Dnieper Island of To-makivka near the modern town of Mar-ganets, Zaporizhskaya Sich was founded. For 200 years it was the centre of public life of Ukrainian Cossacks. Ivan Sirko was a Cossack chieftain. He was born in Kharkov. People loved him. The Tatar towns of Ochakiv, Islam-kermen and Perekop amongst others were seized by him. He was an educated person. He received his education at Padun University in Italy. At that time (18th century) Ukraine was one of the most developed and democratic states in Europe. From 1648 to 1654 most of the Ukrainian lands were part of the Russian State. Galitsia and Volinia were taken by Poland, Bukovina by Moldova, and Transcarpafhia by Hungary.

After the Ukrainian people had been under the control of foreign states for some time, they began to fight against their oppressors. They ran away to the Carpathian Mountains and forests and made small detachments of so-called "oprishki". Oprishki robbed the rich and shared what they had stolen. They lived in caves, mountains and forests. Oprishki were found in the town of Rogatin, Striy, Sokolov, Zhurov, Rozhniatin, Mi-kulichin, and Dovgopillya. Armed with topirtsi, knives, and axes they killed rich men in Kosov, Kolomia, Pechenizhin. Their leaders were Olexa Dovbush, Sa-bat, and Dranko.
The national hero, Ustim Karmalyk, lived in Podillya. There are a lot of songs and legends about Karmalyk.


 
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