Ukrainians chose him as the most important figure in their history Jaroslav I the Wise, Grand Duke of kyiv in the first half of the 11th century. During his reign, the then Ukrainian state unity reached its political and cultural peak. He came from the Rurikov family, which ruled until the end of the 16th century. He contributed to the strengthening of international relations through marriage policy, where he chose advantageous marriage partners for himself and his descendants. One of his sons married the sister of the Polish prince Casimir I, his daughter became the wife of the Norwegian monarch Herald III. Cruel. Jaroslav I. the Wise also successfully fought the nomadic tribe of the Pechenegs, which had long threatened the Kievan Rus. He spread Christianity in his country and, at the same time, strengthened education and developed culture. He built many churches and monasteries, such as Saint Sophia Cathedral in kyiv or Saint George’s Monastery in Novgorod. During his reign, the oldest surviving Ukrainian code was called the Pravda Jaroslavova focused on criminal law. The form of punishment for various transgressions at this time depended on the ethnicity of the offender. Compared to other legal norms, Jaroslav’s Code was relatively mild.
What is Charles IV for the Czechs is Jaroslav I the Wise for the Ukrainians. Therefore, long after his death, novels, poems and operas were written about this figure in Ukrainian history.
One of the best doctors in the former Soviet Union ranks second among the most prominent Ukrainians in history Mykola Mykhailovich Amosovwhich is best known for being the birthplace of lung and heart surgery. He has received several awards for his meritorious work.
Amosov had been close to healthcare since childhood, with his mother working as a midwife. He was an electrician before studying medicine. During World War II, he worked as a surgeon in a field hospital, after the end of the conflict he became the chief of primary surgery at the Bryansk hospital. He soon went to work in kyiv, where he led a clinic for thoracic surgery and under his supervision many difficult heart and lung operations were performed. He himself invented some innovative surgeries, he was the first Soviet doctor to successfully replace a heart valve. The Amosov operation personally took place until the age of 79! During his life he wrote nearly four hundred professional works. From an early age, he cared about a healthy lifestyle, tried to exercise regularly, eat right and maintain an optimal weight. Maybe that’s why he lived to be 89.
Third place in the survey was taken by a contradictory Ukrainian personality – Stepan Bandera. The man who promoted Ukraine’s independence after World War II is often seen as a hero, but also as a war criminal. Ukrainians consider him a fighter for their national independence and therefore chose him as one of the greatest Ukrainians in history. However, because Bandera did not hesitate to kill his opponents to achieve his goals, he is also portrayed as a reprehensible figure in history. In addition to assassinations and armed attacks, he is credited with a significant part of the so-called Volyn massacre, in which tens of thousands of innocent Poles died. This mass murder can undoubtedly be qualified as an act of genocide, a war crime.
After World War II, Bandera waged a political struggle against the Soviet Union, which ultimately proved fatal to him. In October 1959, he was poisoned with cyanide by the Soviet State Security Secret Service. In 2010, the President of Ukraine sent Bandera posthumously for his fight for Ukrainian independence, making him a national hero. A year later, however, the award was stripped from him due to criticism and disagreement.
Another controversial Ukrainian hero is Bohdan Chmelnicky, the leader of a number of Cossack uprisings fought primarily against the Polish government. The hop-growing event was accompanied by vast pogroms, during which tens of thousands of Jews perished, often in very cruel ways. Khmelnytsky ordered his victims to crash into piles or burn on the border. At that time, some Jewish families saved their lives by fleeing abroad, especially to Czech lands.
Bohdan Chmelnický is perceived rather negatively by many historians, but the Ukrainian nation considers him one of the national heroes. This attitude is also evidenced by the fact that this historical figure ended up in fifth place in the poll of the greatest personality in Ukrainian history.
Ukraine has also listed a woman among the greatest figures in its history. A writer known as “Great Ukraine” has been chosen Lesja Ukrajinka, real name Larysa Petrivna Kosač-Kvitka. She was born into an aristocratic family with literary roots. Her mother was a well-known writer and her uncle worked as a journalist. Larysa received a quality education, and her literary talent developed from childhood. In addition to writing, the girl also had a talent for studying foreign languages - she learned nine of them in her life! She used her language skills in her profession to translate the works of world writers. As a writer, she has published several collections of poems and plays, and written folk tales and songs.