Blog: How can EU citizens learn more about Ukraine?
April 5, 2023

Blog: How can EU citizens learn more about Ukraine?

Over the past year, the world has been riveted by Ukraine’s valiant resistance to Russian aggression and the brutal war that is being waged against it. But for many observers, this may be the first time they have become aware of Ukraine’s existence. They may be curious to find out more about it in a broader context and to learn about Ukraine’s sociopolitical environment, its history, culture, and the factors that led to the latest Russian aggression.

Russia has been seeking to destroy Ukrainian identity and sovereignty for centuries through disinformation and manipulation of the truth. The most powerful defence that we, as Ukrainians, have against this propaganda war is to encourage you to learn for yourself about Ukraine’s history and rich culture.

We are two Young European Ambassadors, Oksana Trefanenko and Mariia Arshynnikova, who have prepared a list of free, English language resources for those who wish to educate themselves about Ukraine,

Those interested in Ukrainian culture may find two websites particularly useful:

Ukrainian Culture: Understanding the Country and Its People

This Udemy course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of Ukraine’s culture,  history, and social dynamics.

It is divided into several sections covering Ukrainian cuisine, art, music, literature, religion, along with little-known historical events that have shaped Ukraine’s national identity. The course also delves into the current sociopolitical situation and how it has affected the country’s people. It is useful for anyone who plans to work or travel in Ukraine, or who is simply interested in expanding their cultural knowledge.

Ukraine: History, Culture and Identities

This is a free online course on Coursera that provides a comprehensive overview of Ukrainian history, culture and traditions, from ancient times to the present. The course includes video lectures, audio material, quizzes, and discussion forums and is taught by a team of experts in Ukrainian history and culture. It is suitable for anyone interested in learning more about Ukraine and its rich cultural heritage and is divided into several modules, each of which covers a different period in Ukrainian history, starting with ancient times and the Scythian civilisation, and moving through the medieval, early modern, and modern periods. The course also explores the country’s literature, music, art, and architecture, and examines key events that have shaped Ukrainian culture and society over the centuries.

Among the websites that explore the history of Ukraine, we can recommend:

15 Steps to Ukrainian Unity

This multilingual website explains the history of the formation of Ukrainian statehood in 15 articles and was created by the Young European Ambassador from Ukraine, Mariia Arshynnikova, as a part of the project run by the NGO “Stay on Top.” It provides a concise introduction to the thousand-year history of Ukraine, a nation whose people have overcome many differences but have managed to defend their sovereignty while influencing the development of democracy in Europe.

The Making of Modern Ukraine

This fascinating series of lectures by American historian Timothy Snyder covers significant moments in Ukrainian history and is particularly helpful for those who want to deepen their knowledge of the subject. Each lecture explores different periods of the country’s history, linking them to the events we see happening today and exploring the question: what does it mean for a nation to exist? Available on various platforms.

In addition, we recommend two documentary films about important historical events. One, about the Revolution of 2014, covers a relatively recent period in Ukraine’s history which happened under the noses of today’s European citizens.  The other reveals a bloody chapter that was carefully hidden by the Soviet Union – namely the execution of the Ukrainian cultural elite during the last century.

Winter On Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

This documentary offers a powerful and emotional glimpse into a pivotal moment in Ukraine’s history. It covers the events of 2013-14,  when the then President, Viktor Yanukovych, sparked a series of mass protests after he suspended Ukraine’s progress towards European integration. The revolution began as a series of non-violent student protests against Yanukovych’s corrupt government. On November 21, 2013, thousands of Ukrainians marched on Kyiv’s central square to demand that the president reconsider his decision. Eventually, after months of violent clashes with protesters, Yanukovych fled the country. Winter on Fire is a must-watch for anyone interested in learning more about the Euromaidan protests and the fight for democracy in Ukraine.

Slovo House

This film explores the extraordinary story of Slovo House, a creative community that was founded in the 1920s, and served as a gathering place for artists, writers, and intellectuals. This communist paradise, built under Stalin’s direction, provided writers with spacious apartments, a solarium, a dining hall and domestic staff, but it quickly became a prison. The Soviet secret service spied on the inhabitants, destroying their eccentric way of life and sealing their fate. Many of the writers who lived in Slovo House were victims of what subsequently became known in Ukrainian as the Executed Renaissance, the generation of dissident Ukrainian writers, who were shot during Stalin’s Great Terror. The film also covers the Holodomor of 1932-3, now recognised as a genocidal famine, in which millions of Ukrainians died as a result of Soviet policies. Slovo House offers a fascinating look into the cultural and political landscape of Ukraine during the Soviet era and the impact of creative communities like Slovo House on Ukrainian society.

For those who are already making plans to visit Ukraine after the victory, the following websites may be useful:

Ukraine NOW

Ukraine NOW is the official website of the Ukrainian National Tourism Organisation. Offering a wealth of information on various aspects of Ukrainian life, this is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about Ukraine and the opportunities it offers for tourism, education, and investment.  It also provides information on opportunities to study and invest in the country.

Lonely Planet. Ukraine

This travel guide publisher offers comprehensive guidebooks, online resources, and practical travel advice for those interested in exploring Ukraine. The website offers up-to-date information on attractions, accommodation, dining options and transportation, as well as reviews and ratings from other travellers. Lonely Planet’s website also features travel tips, language guides, and cultural insights that can help EU citizens navigate Ukraine’s customs and etiquette.

In addition, there are some interesting sources of information about today’s Ukraine, including articles that discuss the Russian-Ukrainian war and its geopolitical context.

Ukraine World provides an analysis of Ukraine’s politics, economy, society, and culture. The site includes different types of materials that cover the war, as well as podcasts, videos, and infographics that discuss its causes. is an excellent resource and its comprehensive sections and insightful cultural analysis make it a valuable tool for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of this fascinating country. Listening to the episode “How Russia employs misinformation as a weapon of war” is particularly important now.


This is a multimedia source that provides an in-depth look at Ukrainian life, including culture, history, and society. The website’s travel section includes guides to various regions and cities in Ukraine, with beautiful photos, along with insights into Ukrainian national heritage. It also offers articles and interviews on the Russian invasion, wartime life, politics, business, and social issues. This website is one of the best in terms of both content and visual impact.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused a lot of pain and suffering, but at the same time it has brought Ukraine to the attention of the world, prompting millions to ask the question

“How did this happen?” The resources listed here are not the only ones available, but they provide the reader with a good introduction to understanding what our country is all about.

Belgium, Brussels, 2022/05. Visit of Young European Ambassadors to Brussels with East and South region

Interested in the latest news and opportunities?

This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a GOPA PACE-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.

The information on this site is subject to a Disclaimer and Protection of personal data. © European Union,