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Centuries of bloodshed, foreign domination, and internal divisions have left Ukraine in a precarious position between East and West

Centuries of bloodshed, foreign domination, and internal divisions have left Ukraine in a precarious position between East and West.

As the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to dominate the news, a look back at the long, intertwined history of the contentious neighbours reveals how the stage was set for today’s conflict.

The two countries’ shared heritage goes back more than a thousand years to a time when Kyiv, now Ukraine’s capital, was at the centre of the first Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, the birthplace of both Ukraine and Russia

n A.D. 988 Vladimir I, the pagan prince of Novgorod and grand prince of Kyiv, accepted the Orthodox Christian faith and was baptised in the Crimean city of Chersonesus.

From that moment on, Russian leader Vladimir Putin recently declared, “Russians and Ukrainians are one people, a single whole.”

REF: National Geographic

PIC: Getty Images, Guardian, Wion