Ukrainian civilisation (mainly based on Cossacks)


Jan 13, 2022
All you have to do to fix the Italy problem (And the problem of limited civilizations in general) is make the idea of civilizations more flexible.

If one region of Russia's empire has a different culture from it, then when that region breaks off it becomes Ukraine and you get an option to play as it.

If you play as Rome and lose to Germanic barbarians/Hunnic barbarians/Mongolians/Chinese/Whatever, you can unite your original starting location to become Italy

There you go, now everyone's favorite civilization can be in the game


Feb 14, 2011
Personally I'm Polish, not Ukrainian, but it is enough for me to get invested about our eastern eighbors who share cuisine with us

There are many negative associations around Ukrainian history, which actually ma be connected to certain political events and agenda of their actors, and which shoot down interest in Ukrainian nation making it barely ever apear in discussions like this, silently treating it as "not as real" nation as other European peoples:
- "Ukrainian language is just an offshoot of Russian": no it isn't, they are highly different languages evolving separatedly since the medieval era
- "Ukrainian culture is just an offshoot of Russian culture": no it isn't, it is quite different since the medieval era in writing, pronunciation and vocabulary (which contained a ton of Polish, Latin and Turkish influences, not seen in Russian)
- "Ukraine has little history": Ukraine has very rich ancient history (Tripolye culture, Bronze Age, Scythians, Greeks), it was the center of Kievan Rus in the early medieval era instead of Russia, it was a huge part of Poland - Lithuania, and since 16th century Cossack leaders and states and very strong Ukrainian identity emerged. Certain Cossack states were also independent or highly autonomous for 100 - 150 years. And then as a part of Russian and Soviet empires...
- "What have Ukrainians ever done for us?" a ton of top tier "Russian" or "Soviet" famous people, scientists etc were actually Ukrainian. Ukraine was super important for Eastern Europe, Russian military relied on Cossacks (Napoleon feared them), they have settled Siberia etc. Ukraine had flourishing higher education since 16th century, which turned it into the relay of Western civilisation to Russia.

- "Okay but do they have something interesting to offer games like this?"

Cossack culture was a super unique stratocratic, egalitarian society of lightning fast warriors, ruled to a large degree by a military democracy and accepting refugees wanting to be free. Cossack armies (usually given as a military unit to Russia) were very powerful, as I said, and you could find a lot of unit diversity within them, not being limited to one generic unit. Architecture, music and art were very distinctively different from Russia and Poland. And as I said, the image of brutish warriors collides with the flourishing of education under their rule. They also had many powerful personalities leading them, so they are not only limited to Bogdan Khmelnytsky but have several other candidates, such as Ivan Mazepa for example.

Also Ukrainian people would love to appear as a separate, respected nation in a game like this, so it would be a nice gesture.

Usually I have advocated for Kievan Rus instead, but then I have realized that 1) It doesn't represented Ukraine at all, 2) It really collides with Russian city list and stuff, 3) Ukrainian civ would be far more spectacular and interesting and 4) Regarding delicate political stuff, Ukrainians themselves wouldn't necessarily be happy when presented as "the exact same people as Russians, under one umbrella"
This sounds like another pitch, in more diplomatic terms, of politicizing the game to current events, which I, and others, have opposed, and which would be a ruinous path for Firaxis to seriously start down.
Doesn't it? It seems to me it's as much Ukraine's heritage as Russia's, and as far as I'm aware Ukrainians consider it as such. Now it's true that I've personally been advocating for a Ruthenian-flavored Russia, but I'd be open to seeing Kyiv as its own civ. (Though again this runs into problems. Europe is always going to be overrepresented. To some degree I'm okay with this even as I want more non-European civs. But this also makes new European civs a very competitive slot, and I don't see either Ukraine or Kyiv as a high priority there when Kyiv could easily be represented under the banner of Russia. From Southern and Central Europe, I'd be much more interested in Bohemia or Romania/Wallachia/Transylvania [for the love of Vlad, without vampires or any reference there to--even sans Vlad Tepes would be nice--Romania has a rich history--it's not just a bunch of superstitious peasants stuffing corpses' mouths with garlic!]. I think Bulgaria would be interesting, but it's just overshadowed by Byzantium.)

I may have communicated not clearly; it definitely is considered by Ukrainians as 'theirs' but it is also shared with other peoples and not exactly "Ukrainian", in the same way French =/= Gauls etc. Explicite Ukrainian civ to me would be more, well, Ukrainian (that culture has a great charm) and simultaneously more interesting and more emotionally touching in all aspects. Also Firaxis avoids political drama at all costs, and there would totally be a metric ton of it here, because of course Russia - Ukraine modern political conflict extends into their ancient history and its interpretations. I'd have no idea how to write Kievan Rus' city list to begin with - their spelling is already a political problem (there is simply no way to go into East Slavic linguistics here without greatly angering some faction), Russian cities under Kyiv instead of Novgorod leadership is a political problem, Russian cities not present at all is a political problem, and so on, and so on, relationship between Kievan Rus and Russian civ etc etc.

Europe may be overrepresented, but the idea that Ukraine has to replace Russia is gobbledygok - it's basically buying into the Putinist propaganda that Ukraine and Russia are really both Russia.

The "but cossacks are the Russian UU" defense is weak - Russia has plenty of non-cossack options for a UU, and cossacks are associated with multiple empires. And the Russians spent at least as much time oppressing the cossacks as using them as military forces, so, you know.
I still continue to support the Kievan 'Rus as an option, which is equally ancestral to Russians, Ukrainians, and the forgotten Belarussians living deep in the second most heavily forested country in Europe that everyone forgets about.
Mixing modern politics would be choosing controversial contemporary leaders like Barack Obama, Donald Trump, or Angela Merkel. Not kowtowing to a dictator's sanitized version of history is simply being honest. Granted, an honest corporation is a contradiction of terms, much like an honest politician or an honest journalist...
Agreed, fully, as I pretty much said above.
I personally wouldn't have a problem putting a Tibetan civ in the game, considering they were a powerful empire in their own right when they weren't part of a China.
If one couched it right, there is a chance the PRC might allow the Tibetan Empire of the 8th Century, because it was so long ago, so culturally and politically different, was a militaristic conquering empire, and Buddhism was newly introduced and had not eclipsed the native Bon religion, yet. But, that being said, players who want Tibet in game would want the Lamaite, and there would lay the problem.

Duke William of Normandy

King of England & Unofficial Welcoming Committee
Jul 27, 2020
Rouen, Normandy
But was necessary to achieve the freedom
Careful, there.

On the topic of possible Ukrainian Leader, if we wanted to have a more modern Leader, Nestor Makhno could be an interesting choice. He's basically Ukrainian Lenin if Lenin were a violent cossack. :p Although, now with the Russia-Ukraine war and Ukraine using his symbols as propaganda, it might not be the best move. :V Still, he'd make an interesting choice, and is definitely interesting enough to warrant his appearance.


Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari
May 14, 2016
Babylon 5
Mar 11, 2012
north of Steilacoom, WA
..."Nestor." Unless there's another etymology here I don't know about, this feels a bit like a Catholic naming their kid Martin Luther. :p
Given that his parents were poor and probably only semi-literate peasants who had been serfs until 1861, there's no telling where the Greek-based name came from, but describing Nestor Ivanovych Makhno as a "Ukrainian Lenin" is a bit of a stretch. In fact, he was a prime example of the peculiar political/social theories that came out of the eastern European revolutionaries: at one time or the other he fought against the Ukrainian Nationalists, Red Communists, White Guards, German/Austrian occupying powers, and finally was outlawed by Lenin's Bolsheviks. His political movement has been described as Anarcho-Communism or Libertarian-Communism, which looks like a bag of internal contradictions waiting to implode, but in fact embraced redistribution of land to private ownership by the peasants (always a Winning Hand in eastern European politics!), government by freely elected Soviets (councils), breaking up former aristocratic estates into Communes, and Internationalism - but he has been co-opted at various times by Russian and Ukrainian Communists, post-Soviet intellectuals, and modern Ukraine - all of whom, I suspect, he would have been loathe to support.

The 'Cossack' appellation is not hereditary, but Political: his title as head of the anarchic movement was 'Otaman' a traditional Cossack title, and among the groups he gathered under the banner of his Revolutionary Insurgent Army of Ukraine were Kuban and Don Cossack hosts as well as conscripted peasants from both Ukraine and deserting Red and White Russian forces

There are some great elements in his career to exploit as a Civ Leader. He was a very good tactician and had a knack for co-opting deserters from opposing armies into his own, had an opposing commander assassinated while in a meeting with him (Now there's a Diplomatic Unique to play with!), and is credited with inventing the Tachanka; a heavy machinegun mounted on a 4-wheeled cart that could be fired without having to dismount it, and could keep up with mounted cavalry, which gave his cavalry forces a ferocious edge in firepower against their opponents (it was adopted by both the Polish and Soviet armies in the 1930s, and the Red Army even built a 'motorized' version by mounting a heavy machinegun in the back of Lend Lease jeeps).

Henri Christophe

Aug 17, 2018
Rio de Janeiro, K11 (Kwanza)
Careful, there.
You quote me when I was talking about Haiti, so I understand you are talking about the massacre of 1804. What was a necessary event to achieve freedom on Haiti once for all, to be the first and the only slave revolt sucefull on the world. They sucede where Spartacus fails.

But here is not the place to talk about that; if you want to continuo this discussion we can use this thread:
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