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In 1385, to consolidate power against a growing Muscovy, an alliance between Lithuania and Poland was struck.
Thus, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were years of struggle to keep Ukrainian lands from Poland, Hungary, and Lithuania, as well as free of the boyars or noblemen who tried to take control.
These men were free, as opposed to the serfs of the sixteenth century, and organized to fend off marauding Tatars.
They ruled for decades, freeing Ukraine from Polish rule and helping to defend the country from Turkish, Tatar, and other invaders.
Much of the ensuing progress is attributed to the Varangians (or Vikings or Normans) who visited Rus in the mid-ninth century.
Following the reign of Oleh, Prince Ihor, and then his wife Olha ruled.
It is bordered by the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, Moldova, and Romania to the south; Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland to the west; Belarus to the north; and Russia to the north and northeast.