According to, Kiev is the capital of Ukraine and has 2.7 million residents. The city lies on both sides of the Dnieper in the central part of the northern lowlands of Ukraine. Its history can be traced back to the 9th century, when it was the capital of an empire founded by the Vikings. Today, many cultural monuments testify to the great importance of the city over the centuries. These include buildings that are now recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.


The city is the scientific and cultural center of Ukraine. It has a university and many colleges and is the seat of the Academy of Sciences. 25 larger museums and seven theaters underline its importance as a cultural center. In Kiev there is a Goethe Institute as well as a planetarium, a botanical and a zoological garden, and film studios.

The city is the seat of the Metropolitan of the Autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Patriarch, who is not recognized by Moscow. Kiev is an industrial center. The main branches of industry are machine, apparatus, precision equipment and vehicle construction as well as chemical, pharmaceutical, textile and food industries.

As the capital of the country, Kiev is a transport hub. The river port is accessible for smaller ships. The city has a subway and an international airport.

A dam with a power plant and a pumped storage plant located above Kiev is important for the energy supply. The reservoir has a size of 922 km².

Today’s cityscape

During the Second World War, the metropolis was largely destroyed by German troops. Around 200,000 to 300,000 residents were killed. The city was rebuilt after 1945. The city was generously laid out by Soviet architects with lots of green spaces and extensive parks.

Cultural monuments

Despite the war damage, Kiev is rich in historical buildings. For UNESCO heritage site include the built 1037-1100 Sophia Cathedral with five naves cross-domed plant and the 1,051 of the Holy ANTONI founded and until the 18th century. Built in Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. It was the first monastery in Ukraine. From here the Christianization of Russia took place. The famous Nestor Chronicle, one of the most important sources on the early history of Russia and Ukraine, was also created here around 1113. The most impressive buildings of the monastery are the Trinity Church (1106–1108) with the 96 m high bell tower and the All Saints Church (1696–1698).

Only remains of the city wall and the famous Golden Gate of Kiev (1037) have survived. Like many other magnificent buildings, they were destroyed by the Mongols in 1240.

From the history of Kiev

The capital of the Kievan Rus was established in the 9th century on the right-hand Dnieper, rising up to 180 m. The Kievan Rus was a union of the two empires founded in the 9th century by Vikings in the north near Novgorod and in the south near Kiev. With the Christianization in the 10th century, the city began to flourish, from which many buildings such as churches, city walls and the Golden Gate emerged. In the 17th century, Kiev was the capital of the Cossack state, which was largely under Russian influence. Large parts of Ukraine came to Russia in the 18th century. Kiev became the capital of a governorate in 1793. Industrialization began around 1900. In 1934, Kiev replaced Kharkov as the capital of Ukraine. The city of Kiev, rebuilt after 1945, remained the capital of the Soviet Republic of Ukraine until 1991. Since then it has been the capital and center of the Republic of Ukraine.


Donetsk, Doneck [-tsk], Ukrainian Donec’k, until 1924 Jusowka [-z-], 1924–61 Stalino, regional capital in eastern Ukraine and center of the Donets coal basin (Donbass), on Kalmius, (2019) 913 300 Residents (predominantly Russian-speaking).

University (founded in 1965), TU, medical university, Islamic university, economic and other universities, conservatory, branch of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, numerous research institutes, art museum, several theaters, philharmonic orchestra, planetarium and important botanical garden, Donbass Arena stadium (opened in 2009); Banking center, mining and industrial city with coal shafts and processing plants, diverse mechanical and plant engineering (heavy machinery, electrical engineering) as well as iron smelting and coke extraction, as well as light (especially textile) and food industries; Railway junction, major airport (opened in 2012). Industry and mining led to heavy pollution and the destruction of the landscape in Donetsk and the surrounding area. The city has been a special economic area since 1998.

Donetsk emerged from several miners’ settlements that had existed since 1820 and finally the settlement (1869) of the iron and steel works of the British industrialist John Hughes (* 1815, † 1889), after whom the city was named Jusowka. In 2014 there were serious clashes between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces in the city, which culminated on April 7, 2014 with the proclamation of the “Donetsk People’s Republic”. The city’s economic life largely came to a standstill.

Kiev, Ukraine