Independence Day special project: Ukraine's Pride: Movers and shakers of nation's independence

14:50 Aug. 24, 2016

Ukraine's Pride: Movers and shakers of nation's independence

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UT presents special project to celebrate 25th birthday of Ukraine 

Today Ukraine is celebrating its 25th Independence Day. Since the USSR fell apart in 1991, Kyiv has been struggling to break with its Soviet past. Often eclipsed, and even confused with Russia, the country has its unique identity and personality nonetheless.

UT's new project is aiming to help you discover this identity and, perhaps, understand it better.  

UT special project: Top 25 Significant Ukrainian Startups

Our editorial team has prepared several articles which demonstrate the best Ukraine has to offer.

We start off with the Top 25 significant Ukrainian startups.

The IT field is among the most prominent industries in Ukraine, and in fact, the country is going to host one of the biggest tech conferences in Eastern Europe this September. The organizers of the event, the Lviv IT Cluster experts, agreed to participate in the composition of the list. Some of the startups are already in production and attract people across the world, such as Petcube. Others are gaining popularity by offering all kinds of services – from managing resources to assembling unique self-propelled wooden models.

UGEARS self-propelled model (photo source:

Ukraine is known for its nature and architecture, and many secrets that they keep. That's why we've chosen 25 unique places that one can and should visit in Ukraine. From Ukrainian Hogwarts to a Neanderthal's home, these locations are sure to make a tourist feel like a moving around a film set like a movie character. The list features both well-known areas as well as more undiscovered ones.

Watch also Fascinating video gives bird's eye view of Ukraine   

From Ukrainian Hogwarts to a Neanderthal's home, these locations are sure to make a tourist feel like a moving around a film set like a movie character. The list features both well-known areas as well as more undiscovered ones.   

I went through the list and my first reaction was "oh my word, I really need to travel a lot more in and around Ukraine!" because the locations are indeed quite mysterious and believe it or not, I have not even heard of most of them. However, there are a few places that are indeed familiar to me, some of which I have even ventured to in the past being very dear to me, such as Bakota, for example, the medieval cave monasteries that still remain along the cliff face, preserving the mummified remains of monks', our travel expert and writer Darius Roby said.

Tunnel of Love in Western Ukraine (UNIAN Photo)

While travelling the length and breadth of Ukraine for sightseeing, tourists might also want to discover the country's distinctive music and folk songs. Local musicians have gone a long way and developed a great deal in the past two decades. By exploring our list of the Top 25 of Ukraine's most influential artists, you will surely find something new and exciting to add to your playlist. Our picks feature a wide range of the genres, from classic music and jazz to rockabilly and glam rock.

Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, the lead vocalist of Ukrainian rock band Okean Elzy, performs at Euromaidan in Kyiv in late 2013 (UNIAN Photo)

‘The list demonstrates the bands that have influenced the establishment and development of Ukrainian music. I can say music is in a good position, but when it comes to showbiz, we only have the 'show' and little to no business. The business is barely kicking due to the absence of the specific institutes. Not every big city even has a club, suitable to hold a concert. We have very few contract agencies, artists don't get royalties, they live off their concerts, not the rotation of their music. But I'm optimistic as to the future of the industry', Ukrainian music expert Vadym Karpiak says.

But what drives the country in its goal to improve and develop? The people, of course! Our journalists have composed a list of the top 25 volunteers that change Ukraine for the better.

The conflict in the East has heavily impacted people's attitude, and many of them decided to get involved in the military affairs, helping the army with equipment and provisions as well as provide training and rehabilitation services. But that's not all. Reforming the country, fighting corruption, aiding the sick and defending the rights – these and many other burdens average Ukrainians have shouldered during these 25 years.

You can start your Ukrainian adventure by exploring the top 25 significant Ukrainian startups. Stay tuned for the other articles as we upload them. 

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