SOAR - Kiev

Armenians first appeared in Ukraine during the times of Kievan Rus. During the 10th century, individual Armenian merchants, mercenaries, and craftsmen served at the courts of various Ruthenian rulers. A larger wave of Armenians settled in southeastern Ukraine after the fall of the Armenian capital of Ani in the 11th century. They arrived mainly at the Crimean peninsula and established colonies in Kaffa, Sudak, and Solcati. Their numbers were further strengthened between the 12th and 15th centuries by Armenians fleeing from a Mongol invasion. This gave the peninsula the name Armenia Maritima in medieval chronicles. Smaller Armenian communities were later established in central Ukraine, including Kiev, and the western regions of Podolia and Halychyna.

During the Second World War (1944), Armenians were deported en masse along with Greeks, Bulgarians, and Tatars as an “anti-Soviet element” and allowed to return only in the 1960s. During Soviet rule Armenians came to Ukraine to work in the heavy industry located in the eastern parts of the country. Today, there are approximately 100,000 ethnic Armenians who live in Ukraine. The Armenian population in Ukraine has nearly doubled since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, largely due to instability in the Caucasus. Today, Ukraine is home to the 11th largest Armenian community in the world.

***See what our chapter has been doing***

Board of Directors:

Kima Avetyan

Kima Avetyan graduated from Kiev National Taras Schevchenko University and earned her Master’s Degree in Political Science. In 2013, she joined the "ARI TUN" program which includes visits to major historical-cultural sites in Armenia, concerts, festivals, exhibitions, plays, as well as instruction of the Armenian language, literature, dance, history and church traditions. The important component of the program is active contacts between the youth of Armenia and the Diaspora, as well as meetings with prominent state and public figures.

Currently, Kima is working for Brainware. She spends her free time with family and friends. She recently joined the board of SOAR and is excited to be part of the organization.