We asked you five questions about Ukraine. Here come the answers!
- The Kievan Rus’ federation of tribes that gave rise to Ukraine (as well as Russia and Belarus) may not have been Slavs. What people are the most likely other contenders?
Varangians, although you can give yourself a point if you said Norsemen or Vikings. There’s plenty of controversy about this, but it seems most likely that many Varangians – a tribe of Norsemen who provided an elite guard in the Byzantine Empire – remained in Eastern Europe at the end of their travels rather than returning to their homeland (believed to have been Sweden).
- Salo is widely eaten in Eastern Europe but is particularly popular in Ukraine. What is it?
Cured fatback, the fatty layer under the skin of a pig. It contains no meat so it’s not the same as bacon; and it’s not rendered, so it’s not the same as lard. In the early 2000s Kyiv’s poshest restaurant added sticks of salo coated in chocolate to its menu as a joke. Contrary to expectations, they sold quite well.
- The city of Lviv in western Ukraine went under three other names during the twentieth century. What were they?
As capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, it was known as Lemberg at the beginning of the century. After the First World War it briefly became capital of the Western Ukrainian National Republic but ended up as part of Poland under the name Lwów. After Stalin and Hitler divided up Poland in September 1939 it became part of the Soviet Union’s Ukrainian SSR, which at various times tried to impose Russification and the name Lvov. It assumed its current name definitively on independence in 1991.
- Professional boxer Vitali Klitschko was a three-time world champion before retiring in 2007. What new job did he take up on 5 June 2014?
Mayor of Kyiv. Klitschko holds the title of WBC “Eternal Champion” as he successfully defended his world title ten times and retired undefeated. He supported liberaliser Viktor Yushchenko in the 2004 Presidential election and himself came second in the 2006 Kyiv mayoral election. He was a dominant figure in the Euromaidan protests in 2014 and considered running for the Presidency before opting for the Kyiv mayoral election instead.
- What geographical claim to fame does the small village of Dilove near Rakhiv in Zakarpattia Oblast boast?
It’s one of several villages claiming to be the geographical centre of Europe. The Austro-Hungarian geographers calculated it as the halfway mark between the extremes of longitude and latitude, but it’s not known what points they used to determine their extremes. Other candidates include Suchowola in Poland, Polotsk in Belarus and even Mõnnuste in Estonia.
How did you get on? Why not let us know?