The Lands in the Epicenter
The Dnipropetrovsk region has always been in the thick of things. It was exactly these lands that were kind of a corridor for the well-known populations moving to Europe: the Huns, the Avars, the Bulgars, the Magyars, etc.
And in the 15th century, a unique Ukrainian phenomenon emerged here — the Cossackdom: a union of free people who, being extremely skilled warriors, won their own state — the Zaporozhian Sich.
It was the Dnipropetrovsk region that served as a kind of ‘hub’ for the Cossacks. Due to various reasons, throughout different epochs, the Zaporizhian Sich — the Cossacks’ fortress and capital — was located in eight different places. Five of them were situated on the territory of modern Dnipropetrovsk region. Moreover, the region was the starting point of the Cossacks’ struggle for their own independent state. Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, an outstanding Ukrainian statesman who led the struggle, was elected hetman on today’s territory of Nikopol city.
Symbolically, Nikopol has become a fighting arena again — Russians bombard the city nearly every day now.
The Cossacks’ freedom-loving nature clearly posed an obstacle to the Russian tsarism — and the then Russian troops destroyed the Sich. However, the 21st century’s full-scale war with Russia shows that the spirit of the free warriors — the Cossacks — is still alive both in the Dnipropetrovsk region and throughout Ukraine. And this time freedom will definitely win.