The Jewel in the Crown

Founded in 482, Kyiv is the oldest continuously inhabited capital city in Europe, and celebrated its 1,500th anniversary in 1982. 

Kyiv is also the religious and cultural capital of the Slavic people defined as predominantly Christian and living in Eastern and Southern Europe. Ukrainians are far from the only Slavic people. Russians, Belarusians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Slovenes, Macedonians,  Montenegrins and Bulgarians are all considered Slavic.

As such, Kyiv is special place to all of them. It is the jewel in the Slavic crown.

Same Saint different Church

The oldest church in Eastern Christianity is Hagia Sofia in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul), built by the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I in 532 AD. The oldest Orthodox Church in the Slavic region is Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv which was founded in 1011 AD by the Grand Prince of Kievan Rus, Vladimir the Great.

Justinian built Hagia Sofia as a tribute to his Christian God but also as a political tool to show the power of Christianity and its emperor. For nearly a thousand years, Hagia Sofia was the world’s largest cathedral featuring the greatest domed interior space. Justinian certainly created the perfect edifice to flaunt his power and control.When Vladimir the Great wanted a centrepiece for his new Christian Empire of Kievan Rus, it must’ve seemed obvious to build a showcase cathedral. Not only did Vladimir adopt Justinian’s political strategy, he even named his church similarly, Saint Sophia. 

Both churches were the crowning achievements of the most powerful rulers of the most powerful Christian empires at the time. 

Universal Ukraine

For over a thousand years, Ukraine has been a melting pot of many different cultures because of its geographical nexus between East and West. The result is a nation of some of the most intelligent and creative people in the world. 

 Most know that Ukraine is blessed with some of the best food producing land on the planet, but few know about Ukraine’s natural resources. The Black Sea coastline of Crimea and Odessa plus the mighty Dnipro River, make it easy to ship food and minerals around the nation and to the world.

It’s no wonder that Putin, and before him the Soviets and even Tsars have always coveted Ukraine for its great wealth and proud people.

It’s Kyivan Rus not Russian Kyiv

But Kyiv is special. The cherry on top. The jewel in the crown. There’s no great Russian Slavic empire without Kyiv. There’s no legitimate role in the Orthodox Church for Putin’s spiritual lap-dog Patriarch Kiril. Putin’s obsession that Russia is the centre of the Slavic world is impossible without control of Kyiv.

The Soviet era has been history for over thirty years. Putin is just a little man with a big gun who longs for the good old days of oppressive communism. It’s time for Russians to slink back across the border because Ukrainians will never stop fighting to protect the sparkling jewel they built over the last ten centuries.