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 Editor's Review
The Ukraine
Ukraine or ‘Little Russia’ has been a state for over a millennium with its capital, Kiev (Kyiv), founded in around 900. In the west, lie the Carpathian mountains; the central fertile steppes make it a granary; in the south, is the warm and attractive Black Sea coast. This includes Odessa (of Battleship Potemkin fame) and Sevastapol, besieged in the Crimean War and still used by the Russian navy. The resort town of Yalta was the scene of the WW II conference of Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. Kiev is a glorious city with characteristic Orthodox church domes dominating the skyline. St Sophia Cathedral dates from 1017 and its golden globes sit atop striking green roofs. St Andrews is a five-dome cruciform church with a vivid blue, white, green and gold exterior. The ‘Cave Monastery’ of Kyiv Pechersk, overlooking the River Dnieper, has an underground labyrinth (with a slightly gruesome mummified monk). The Maryinski Palace is a colorful reminder of pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The ‘Golden Gate’, part of a defense wall built in 1037 still stands (though Mussorgsky’s musical ‘Great Gate’ was never actually built). Perhaps the best panoramic view of the city is the funicular ride from Lower to Upper quarters for just a few kopeks. On a lighter note, the Bond girl Olga Kurylenko is Ukrainian.

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