In the 15th century Kiev was granted the Magdeburg Rights, which permitted greater independence of the city in matters of international commerce.
Until the 14th century Kiev paid tribute to the Golden Horde. Then it passed under the control of Great Lithuaninan Duchy, which in 1569 was united with Poland. With the establishment of the Kiev-Mogilyanskaya Academy in 1632, the city became a center of Ukrainian learning and scholarship. The long road to the independence of Ukraine began with Cossack military campaigns. In 1648-1654 Cossack armies, headed by Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky, Ukraine’s Cossack leader, waged several wars to liberate Ukraine. In 1648, when the Ukrainian Cossacks rose against Poland, Kiev became for a brief period the center of the Ukrainian State. But soon, confronted by the armies of Polish and Lithuanian feudal lords, Bogdan Khmelnitsky sought the protection of the Russian Tsar in the Treaty of Pereyaslavl. After Ukraine’s union with Russia in 1654, however, the city was acquired by Moscow. During a long period of domination by the Russian Empire Ukraine in the 17th and 18th centuries managed to preserve and enjoy some of its rich political, economic, cultural, and religious achievements. In January 1918 after the fall of Russian Empire, the independence of Ukraine was proclaimed and the Ukrainian National Republic was established.
During the Civil War that followed the October Revolution Bolshevik Party seized power and expanded their sphere of control into Ukraine. Ukraine becomes a part of the Soviet Union. Kiev suffered severely during the World War II, when many unique architectural and artistic treasures were destroyed. Earlier, in the 1930s, the Soviet authorities systematically destroyed many churches. Extensive restoration of the after-war days has revived much of Kiev’s historical and cultural heritage. Despite repressions, suffering, political turmoil, and ecological disasters, Ukraine’s spirit and national identity have never died. On August 24, 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine proclaimed its independence. This was the beginning of the whole new period in the history of Ukraine and its beautiful capital.