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Kiev is the largest city and the capital of Ukraine, is long and remarkable. The exact time of city foundation is hard to determine.

Kiev was probably founded in the 5th century by East Slavs. The legend of Kyi, Schek and Khoryv speaks of a founder-family consisting of a Slavic tribe leader Kyi, the eldest, his brothers Schek and Khoriv, and also their sister Lybid, who founded the city. Kyiv/Kiev is translated as "belonging to Kyi".

Gradually acquiring the eminence as the center of the East Slavic civilization, Kiev reached its Golden Age as the center Kievan Rus' in the tenth–twelfth centuries. Its political, but not cultural, importance started to decline somewhat when it was completely destroyed during the Mongol invasion in 1240. In the following centuries Kiev was a provincial capital of marginal importance in the outskirts of the territories controlled by its powerful neighbors: the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Muscovite Russia, later the Russian Empire. A Christian city since 988, it still played an important role in preserving the traditions of Orthodox Christianity, especially at times of domination by Catholic Poland, and later the atheist Soviet Union.

The city prospered again during the Russian industrial revolution in the late 19th century. In the turbulent period following the Russian Revolution Kiev, caught in the middle of several conflicts, quickly went through becoming the capital of several short-lived Ukrainian states. From 1921 the city was part of the Soviet Union, since 1934 as a capital of Soviet Ukraine. In the World War II, the city was destroyed again, almost completely, but quickly recovered in the post-war years becoming the third most important city of the Soviet Union, the capital of the second most populous Soviet republic. It now remains the capital of Ukraine, independent since 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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