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Rus is mentioned for the first time by European chroniclers in 839 The Kyivan state experienced a cultural and commercial flourishing from the ninth to the eleventh centuries under the rulers Volodymyr I (Saint Volodymyr), his son Yaroslav I the Wise, and Volodymyr Monomakh.
The first of these rulers Christianized Rus in 988 The other two gave it a legal code.
Its main geographical features are the Polissya and Volyn northern forests, the central forest steppes, the Donetsk eastern uplands (up to 1,600 feet [500 meters] above sea level), and the coastal lowlands and steppes along the Black and Azov Seas.
The Carpathian mountains in the west reach 6,760 feet (2,061 meters) at Mount Hoverla.
These symbols were prohibited as subversive under the Soviets, but secretly were cherished by all Ukrainian patriots.From east to west, they are Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Poltava, Zaporizhzhya, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odessa, Cherkasy, Kyiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsya, Rivne, Luts'k (Volyns'ka oblast'), Khmel'nyts'kyj, Ternopil', Lviv, Ivano-Frankivs'k, Uzhhorod (Zakarpats'ka oblast'), and Chernivtsi.The Crimean oblast became an autonomous republic in 1991.Mother Ukraine became a byword, not unlike Uncle Sam, but much more emotionally charged.After 1991 a new generation of Ukrainian writers began to free this image from its victimization aspects. Ukrainian nationhood begins with the Kyivan Rus realm, which arose from a unification of Antian tribes between the sixth and ninth centuries.