L’viv, the “city of lions,” is a city of over 725,000 people in the far western part of Ukraine, just a few hours from Poland and Hungary. Founded in 1256, L’viv was a major trade center for medieval Europe. From its founding to present day, the city has been under the power of many countries at different times, including Austria, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Germany, and others, and the architecture and culture reflects the diversity of its history.
Today L’viv is sometimes called the “capital of Ukrainian culture…and national identity.” Residents of this beautiful city are strongly patriotic, adhering to the Ukrainian language, often donning traditional Ukrainian folk clothing, and promoting their culture through many festivities year round. The religious atmosphere in L’viv is of dedicated Catholicism, which differs from much of central and eastern Ukraine, which follow the Orthodox Church. If you would like to learn more about L’viv (especially if you’re a history buff!), check out their city website here.
Ukraine at war
You’ve seen the headlines since February, 2022. Ukraine was invaded by Russia. We have actually been defending our country against Russia since 2014.
In the winter, 2013, millions of Ukrainian people began a peaceful protest against former president Yanukovich, who was creating alliances with Russia against the people’s will. Over the course of several months, Yanukovich’s administration stirred up violence among protesters, culminating in the deaths of over 73 protesters, who were killed by snipers in the streets of Kyiv. As a result, Yanukovivh was impeached and fled to Russia. Parliament signed a series of changes into law that limited the powers of the presidential office and ensured more liberty for the Ukrainian people.
Early in 2014, Russia led attacks against Ukraine’s southern and eastern borders, annexing Crimea and taking control over the Donbas area. We’ve been at war since then, with Russia periodically building up their troops along our borders.
On February 24, 2022, Russia led a full-scale invasion and bombed multiple Ukrainian cities. We are now fighting for independence in every part of Ukraine.