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Much of the ensuing progress is attributed to the Varangians (or Vikings or Normans) who visited Rus in the mid-ninth century.
In 1569 the regions of Kiev, Volhynia, and Bratslav (Podillia) were annexed to the Kingdom of Poland.
Another part of this development included a new society which grew out of the plains of the Dnieper River—the Cossacks.
The direct ancestors of Ukraine's population today were the Slavs.
The Slavs made their way into the Balkans in the early seventh century A. By the middle of the ninth century, however, what was to become known as Kievan Rus was still relatively underdeveloped.
After Khmelnytsky died in 1657, Ukraine's position weakened and it was eventually betrayed by its ally, Russia, who entered into an agreement with Poland which divided Ukraine between Russia and Poland.