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A big happy crowd and very conducive to people watching..
Independence Square or Maidan is known throughout the world as the place where supporters of Yulia Tymoshenko, Viktor Yushchenko and the Orange Revolution camped for weeks on end in October 2004 only to see their dreams end in continuing poverty and cronyism before the violent overthrow of a Russophile and corrupt regime ten years later.. At the top of this quaint, very rough, cobblestone street is St Andrew's Church (closed for restoration in 2011)..
In the middle of the 13th century, Kievan Rus was overrun by the Mongols.
In 1654 the Cossack, Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, " liberated " Kiev from that Commonwealth but then promptly folded it into Russian hegemony in an action that continues to be a sore point for Ukrainian nationalists..
Full Russian annexation came in 1775 and the city remained under Russian rule, with brief independence between 19 during the chaos that followed the Russian revolution.
The Ukrainians are understandably very proud of their capital's role in establishing European civilisation in Eastern Europe.
Kiev is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, dating back to the 5th century, although settlements at this location existed much earlier..