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Jaroslav divided his kingdom among his sons with the idea that the eldest hold a position of seniority in maintaining unity, but Kiev declined as the political and economic center of Ukraine as each principality lived almost autonomously.
The late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries were periods of recolonization in Ukraine, particularly in the provinces of Kiev and Bratslav.
The earliest evidence of human settlement in Ukraine dates back 150,000 years.
Early inhabitants of the territory included the Balkans, the Cimmerians (the first nomadic horsemen to appear in Ukraine in about 1500 to 1000 ).
It is bordered by the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, Moldova, and Romania to the south; Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland to the west; Belarus to the north; and Russia to the north and northeast.
Of its population, 73 percent are of Ukrainian ethnic origin.