Ukraine as a part of Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Map of Europe in middle of XVII century. Rzech Pospolita is one of the powerful players

The period of Lithuanian ruling of Ukrainian lands considered by many influential historians as one of the most democratical and loyal as for Ruthenian people (modern Russians, Belorusians and Ukrainians). The details are below.

The Grand Duchy of Lithuania for a long time included Ukrainian and Belorussian lands, and with the rule of the Golden Horde in these lands was largely done away with the efforts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

When the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas (1316-1341) was to strengthen the territorial unity of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania – (with Minsk, Orsha, Brest, Pinsk, Turov, there were attempts to attach principality of Kiev), to approve the succession of princely power.


In 1323 died the last legitimate heirs of Roman Mstislavich in Galicia – Andrew and Leo II. This leads to the fact that "the Galician heritage" to the Polish sovereign Boleslav Yuri II.

In 1340, Boleslaw was poisoned, and the prince invited the boyars table Liubard Gediminovich, baptized under the name of Demetrius. Actual power of Lyubart-Dimitri was limited by Volyn, and the capital was in Lutsk. In the years following the 1344-1345 campaign of the Polish king Casimir III Galicia is gradually coming under the rule of Poland. Kingdom of Poland and Galicia finally captured Kholmsk land in 1387.

At this time, weakened by the struggle with the Mongols and internal adversities, Russian land came in sight Gediminas dynasty. When the Lithuanian Prince Algirdas in 1362 joins the principality of Kiev to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Gradually Black Rus, White Russia, Chernigov and Novgorod-Seversky Principality passed under the authority of the Lithuanian Gediminas dynasty; it was very strange association in which Russian (Ukrainian and Belarusian) population and land were the majority (ie, 80% of the population), so the rule of Lithuania was not oppressive, and in fact it was the state with the Ruthenian language as the state and the Orthodox Church in as the main religion.

Bukovina from 1359 goes to the Moldavian Principality called Shipinska land, and Transcarpathia in the second half of the XIII century is returned to the Kingdom of Hungary. Thus the lands of modern Ukraine in XIII-XIV centuries became part of the neighboring states of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Kingdom of Poland, the Moldavian Principality and Kingdom of Hungary.

Map of Europe in middle of XVII century. Rzech Pospolita is one of the powerful playersSince 1398 the state is likely to be called the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Russian and Samogitian. Russian culture, laws (Russian Truth) and customs were fundamental in the principality. Ukrainian and Belarusian nobility supported the princes Kejstuta, Vytautas, Svydrygailo in their struggle for the unification of all, by the time the Ukrainian and Belorussian lands into a single state.

In the fight against the Crusaders, the Moscow principality and due to internal conflicts Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Russian and Samogitian entered into an alliance with the Kingdom of Poland, signed Krevsk Union (1385).

In the Grand Duchy of Lithuania for a hundred years, there were three internal war in 1381-1384, in 1389-1392 and in 1432-1439. During the last of them borders of the Grand Duchy for three years in fact comprised a state – Grand Duchy of Russian.

In the second half of the XV century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania has become a kind of federation of Ukrainian, Belarusian and Lithuanian principalities itself into a centralized state.


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