Background. The question of Ukrainian statehood after the February events of 2014 in Ukraine rightfully attracted increased attention, triggering a number of historical myths and political science speculations that need to be answered adequately. In parallel with this, the current state of Ukrainian statehood encourages us to turn to the theory and practice of federalism, offering Ukraine the most optimal ways out of the domestic political and international crisis.
Materials and methods. The author uses an extensive historical and state material, as well as a comparative method, to isolate the characteristics of Ukrainian statehood and propose optimal ways to reform it.
Results. It is alleged that the historical construction of Kievan Rus, at the request of Academician B. D. Grekov, received an unreasonably wide interpretation, at the same time displacing the true history of the South Russian lands after the Tatar-Mongol invasion. Meanwhile, these lands were drawn into the orbit of influence of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and then the Polish Kingdom of the Commonwealth. The annexation of part of the South Russian (Cossack) lands to Russia in 1653 brought them, and then adjacent territories to the path of social progress, but did not lead to the accumulation of experience of independent statehood even in Soviet times. Moreover, after the declaration of independence in 1991, Ukraine has to deal with Ukrainian-Russian ethnic dualism, the expansion of aggressive nationalism with Galicia, the struggle of oligarchic clans, pressure on the power of illegal armed groups and illegal arms trafficking, artificial public polarization as a result of nationalist propaganda , local civil war in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions.
Conclusions. In Ukraine, objective conditions for federalization have long ripened. Belated federalization, or at least regionalization (as a first step) could reduce the chances of a local civil war developing into universal war. If you want to keep the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics in their composition, the Ukrainian authorities should go for their actual confederalization. For the rest of Ukraine, a mandatory territorial reorganization is necessary either in the form of regionalization (without changing the borders of existing regions), taking into account the positive experience of Italy and the negative experience of Spain, or in the form of federalization with the allocation, for example, of 6 regions with clear cultural, historical and ethnic features, and creating for them an influential representative body.
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