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The Modern History of Kyiv

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The Modern History of Kyiv

In 1984' Kyiv became the capital of Ukraine, which triggered a period of extensive construction. It, however, was interrupted by the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). Immeasurable destruction was caused to Kyiv by the Nazi occupation forces. More than 195 thousand people were either brutally murdered at Babyi Yar or tortured in the concentration camps at Darnytsia and Syrets. Over two thousand factories, public buildings and apartment houses, many outstanding architectural monuments were destroyed. The magnificent eleventh-century Cathedral of the Dormi-tion was blown up, and nearly thirty other buildings of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra were turned into rubble. The main building of the University was set afire. Khreshchatyk and other central streets lay in ruins.

After liberation of the city in November 1943, Kyiv rose from the ruins anew. Architecture of the post-war decade is typified by a very decorative style and by wide use of forms of baroque and neo-classicism. Then this tendency changed toward simplicity. Greater attention was given to modern trends in the design of houses.

Since the war Kyiv has steadily expanded, annexing villages to its west, east, and north. New residential districts were created in the suburbs, and new industries were established.

Today Kyiv is one of the most verdant cities in Ukraine. Its "green zone" of parks, suburban forested areas, and chestnut-, poplar-, and linden-lined boulevards and squares has a total area of about 400,000 ha.


 
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