Category: History

Have you ever heard of Petrykivka?

Have you ever heard of Petrykivka?

Petrykivka is a town in the east of Ukraine, and decorative painting art included into the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage. Take a look at it, and you’ll understand why.

The urban-type settlement Petrykivka is situated in Dnipro (Dnipropetrovsk) province in east-central Ukraine. According to a legend, it was founded by the Cossack Petryk, who gathered the serfs from the local villages under his protection. Petrykivka was first mentioned in historical documents in 1772. Today it has about five thousand inhabitants, and is famous as a folk art center and for its unique style of decorative painting.

The people of Petrykivka decorate their living quarters, household belongings and musical instruments with a richly symbolic style of ornamental painting, characterized by fantastic flowers and other natural elements. In folk belief, the paintings protect people from sorrow and evil. Every family has at least one practitioner and the tradition is taught at all levels in the local schools, making Petrykivka painting an integral part of daily existence in the community.

Early decorative paintings in Petrykivka were mostly murals on the walls of the peasants’ houses rather than easel paintings. The folk poetic interpretation of the surrounding world was and is at the basis of the Petrykivka paintings. Stylized flowers and guilder-rose are among the most popular motifs of the murals with even regular thistles and other weeds featuring rather prominently in the paintings. Murals decorated not only the walls of the houses, both inside and outside, but also the walls of barns and sheds, thus creating a decorative ensemble within individual households.

Later on the paintings started to appear on other materials — paper, wood panels or canvas. Mineral pigments were used for making paints, and instead of brushes short lengths of reed stocks, twigs or even fingers were used to apply the paint onto the primed walls, the primer mostly being a thin layer of clay. Egg-based paints were used in later times to do paintings on paper. Three colors were predominant — red, yellow (or yellow-green), and dark blue.

Today’s Petrykivka painting is also a modern art that is in process of developing and reforming. While traditionally it was done on white background, contemporary painters often work on black, green, red or blue ones. Petrykivka has often been a family craft, and many well-known artists (both historical and contemporary) often have well-known artists in their immediate family.

Do you like the vivacious art?

15 Ukrainian Inventions That Changed the World

15 Ukrainian Inventions That Changed the World

Ukraine is a land of inventors. Some of the names are well known worldwide (even though the world may not know that that are Ukrainians). Some will be new for you. Let’s go.

1. Helicopter

The inventor of the helicopter is the Kyiv aircraft designer, who emigrated to the USA, Igor Sikorsky. In 1931, he patented a design of a flying machine with two propellers – horizontal one on the roof and vertical one on the tail. In September 1939 the test of the helicopter VS-300 began first on a leash, and on May 13, 1940 the constructor first took his invention from the ground. The tests were successful, and Sikorsky obtained the first order from the American Army. Gradually, his small company turned into a powerful concern, annually producing hundreds of civilian and military helicopters. Even all US presidents have been using Sikorsky invention for more than half a century.

2. Compact Disc

The prototype of the future CD was invented by the post-graduate student of the Kyiv Institute of Cybernetics Viacheslav Petrov in the late 1960s. Back then the development was scientific in nature and had nothing to do with music. The first optical disc was created for a super computer of the time.

3. Bloodless Blood Test

Anatoliy Malikhin, a Ph.D. in medical sciences, had been studying the dependence between biochemical parameters and formula of blood. In the middle of 2000s the scientist created a unique device called “BioPromin” exploring more than 100 blood parameters at once. The analysis includes the rate of sedation of erythrocytes, total protein, lymphocytes etc. and takes only five minutes. Unfortunately, the device that costs around $20 thousand is not affordable for most of Ukrainian clinics. But “BioPromin” by the Kharkov scientist is used in China, the UAE, the Czech Republic, the USA and Belarus.

4. Life Saving Capsule

Volodymyr Taranenko developed a capsule that separates from an aircraft in a matter of seconds, which allows passengers to be saved. The system of operation of the capsule is quite simple – at first a small parachute pulls out a large parachute, and the later one pulls out the capsule. The whole process takes 2-3 seconds. Taranenko made a patent for his invention, and now he continues to improve the capsule and tries to introduce it into mass production.

5. Vaccines Against Plague and Cholera

Vladimir Havkin (Waldemar Haffkine) was the first in the history who created a vaccine against plague and cholera. He worked first in Odessa, and later in Paris. In France, he invented an anti-cholera vaccine. The tsarist government refused to use the invention of the political opponent of the Moscow Empire. When a number of European countries refused to apply his anti-cholera vaccine, Havkin moved to India where he created the first anti-plague vaccine. The scientist’s efforts were supported by the British government. While working on his inventions, Havkin conducted most of the tests on his own body. Later on in India, more than 4 million people were vaccinated. And the outstanding scientist was appointed chief bacteriologist of the country and director of the Bombay Anti-Plague Laboratory (later Haffkine Institute).

6. Liquid Scalpel

Scientists at the National Aviation University and the Aerospace Institute have introduced a development called the liquid scalpel. This tool allows removing malignant tumors without damaging the vascular system. The streaming technology has been successfully tested on animals. Now, at a minimum blood loss, a person can be operated with a convenient, reliable and reusable inkjet scalpel that has no analogues in the world.

7. Air Driven Eco Car

A resident of Kharkiv, 48-year-old Oleg Zbarsky, created a car working on compressed air. The car can speed up only to 40 km/h, but does not produce any harmful emissions. At the moment the eco-car car is quite cumbersome, but there are some prospects for upgrading and improvement.

8. Anti Hurricane Device

The unique device intended to protect the coasts from hurricanes was developed by the associate professor of the Faculty of Physics and Technology of the Rivne State University Victor Bernatsky. It captures the streams of a strong wind and reduces its power by countering the counterflow of air. The Ukrainian received the award of the European Scientific and Industrial Chamber for his invention.

9. Rocket

Native of Zhitomir Sergei Korolev is a designer of the Soviet rocket and space technology and the founder of astronautics. In 1931, he and his colleague Friedrich Zander made a public organization for the study of jet propulsion, which later became the State Research and Development Laboratory for the development of missile aircraft. In 1957, Korolev launched the first artificial satellite into Earth’s orbit.

10. X-ray

Ukrainian Ivan Puluiyev constructed a tube, which later became a prototype of modern X-ray machines 14 years before the German Wilhelm Röntgen. He analyzed the nature and mechanisms of the origin of the rays much deeper than Röntgen, and he also demonstrated their essence on the examples. Ivan Puluiy was the first in the world who made x-ray of the human skeleton.

11. Desalination of Sea Water

The technology of desalination of sea water for drinking was developed by Professor of the Odessa State Academy of Cold Leonard Smirnov. The water frozen in a special way turns into crystals, from the surface of which salts, harmful substances and heavy isotopes of hydrogen, which adversely affect the genes and human nervous system, may be removed.

12. First Kidney Transplant

Yuri Voronyi made the world’s first kidney transplant in 1933. He proved in clinical conditions that “the kidneys of fresh corpses are able to revive and function when transplanted to another person,” and that “dead organs transplanted to live bodies do not give any kind of specific intoxication or anaphylaxis.”

13. Kinescope

Joseph Timchenko is a man who, in cooperation with physicist Mykola Lyubimov, developed the “snail” jumping mechanism two years before the Brothers Lumiere. The principle of action was the basis for the creation of a kinescope. In 1893, two films made with the help of the first kinescope were shown in Odessa. Timchenko was ahead of the western inventors of cinema, but his device was not patented.

14. Postal Code

A unique system of marking letters was created in Kharkiv in 1932. Initially, it used numbers from 1 to 10, and later the format was changed to a number-letter-number. With the start of the Second World War, this indexing system was abolished, but later it continued to be used in many countries around the world.

15. Gas Lamp

The kerosene combustion lamp was created by the Lviv pharmacists Ignatius Lukasevich and Jan Zech in 1853. At the same time the lamp was invented and a new way of obtaining kerosene by distillation and oil purification.

10 Interesting Facts About Ukraine

10 Interesting Facts About Ukraine

1. It is the largest country in Europe

Ukraine is the continent’s largest county at 603,628 square kilometers. France is next at 551,695 square kilometers.

2. It lies at the heart of Europe

Within Ukraine there is the geographical center of Europe. Ok, a number of locations claim to the title and it depends on how you measure Europe, but the small town of Rakhiv in western Ukraine is one such place. The country has a second claimant in Transcarpathia, where an obelisk marks the spot.

3. It is not The Ukraine

The English-speaking world commonly referred to the country as The Ukraine. That is, until independence in 1991 when the West gradually dropped the definite article. In 1993 the Ukrainian government requested that the country be called just Ukraine. US ambassador William Taylor, who knew that addition of the “the” was considered insulting by some Ukrainians, said it implied a disregard for the country’s sovereignty.

4. It boasts seven wonders

Within its large borders, Ukraine has 7 World Heritage Sites, including but not limited by 11th century Saint-Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, the ancient city of Khersoneses in Crimea, and many others.

5. It hosted plenty of history

Ukraine has played the stage for much destruction during its history. But it was also the host of the Yalta Conference in 1945, where Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt met to discuss the organization of post-war Europe. Livadia Palace, which hosted the meeting, is open today as a museum. Today, Yalta is part of history once again as it lies on the disputed Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014. The Crimea is one of 3 regions advised against travel to (Donetsk and Lugansk are the others). The rest of the country is safe and highly recommended to visit!

6. It is tasteful

Ukrainian cuisine is extremely yummy, and many of its regions compete to be its kitchen capitals. The city of Lviv is surely Ukraine’s cafe capital – it claims to have the most cafes in the world per capita. The other must visit places for those who are especially interested in tasty food and drinks are surely Kyiv and Odessa.

7. It is very romantic

Recognize this? This is just one of the many examples of romantic places to be found in Ukraine. The Tunnel of Love is located in the forests near the town of Klevan. The rail road is for a private train that provides wood for a local factory. Do you want to find more places like this? Welcome to Ukraine!

8. The world’s biggest plane is built here

Kyiv was the birthplace of the world’s largest plane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya. It has the longest wingspan of any aircraft, at 88.4 meters and weighs 640,000 kg. A brainwave of the Soviet Union, only one was ever made.

9. It is home to ghost towns and a mighty Soviet relic

Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear power plant disaster, is situated in northern Ukraine. Within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, established by the USSR soon after the accident in 1986, there is a number of abandoned towns, most notably Pripyat, that draw interest from all over the world. Tours of the area, including the power plant, are available, at the risk of the traveler. The safer option is to explore Soviet relics still found in many towns of the country. The biggest one is very prominent in Kyiv: 62 meters tall Mother Motherland monuments standing high on the right coast of Dnipro river. While Communist symbols and street names were outlawed from Ukraine in 2015, Second World War monuments – like this titanium statue – were allowed to remain.

10. You can ski there

It’s no French Alps, but Ukraine has about ten ski resorts to shout about, including Bukovel in the Carpathian mountains, with 55 km of slopes and 15 lifts.



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