1992: Ukrainian Champions in Barcelona

The 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona were held from late July to early August. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union the year before, athletes from the former USSR competed under their own flags and national anthems in individual events, and for the Unified Team in group events.

Ukrainian rhythmic gymnasts Alexandra Timochenko and Oksana Skaldina came home with the gold and bronze medals. They are the two fair-haired first place-getters pictured below at the 1991 World Championships.

Alexandra Timochenko (Ukraine), Oksana Kostina and Oksana Oxana Skaldina (Ukraine) (URSS) 1991 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Champions

Under their own flag for the first time, Ukraine’s 1992 female artistic gymnasts also outshone their teammates, with the women winning a further two gold, a silver, and two bronze medals individually, as well as a share in the team gold with their Belarusian, Uzbek and Russian teammates.

Stamp_of_Ukraine_s23 Rhythmic Gymnastics Stamp of Ukraine 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games

Ukrainian stamp from 1992, featuring Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastics. X

Despite almost no funding and an ongoing war with Russia, Ukrainian gymnasts continue to win Olympic medals, most recently gold and silver in the men’s competition in 2016. Many gymnasts from the country have moved to compete for other nations in order to access proper training facilities. Following the 2016 Rio Games, the equipment used in the competition was donated to Ukraine’s gymnastics federation.

On this day: a Rescue from the Rubble

Thredbo Landslide. 2nd August 1997. This photograph was taken moments after Stuart Diver was freed from the rubble after spending 65 hours buried in the rubble. Mr Diver lost his first w

After spending sixty-five hours trapped in freezing conditions in the rubble of the Thredbo landslide, Stuart Diver was pulled alive from his collapsed ski lodge on the evening of the 2nd of August, 1997.

Eighteen people, including Diver’s wife, were killed when the land at the New South Wales, Australia ski resort collapsed, sending over 1000 tonnes of earth and debris down on top of the village.

Despite his discovery providing hope more survivors might be found, Diver was the last person found alive in the rubble.

Diver’s second wife also died, of cancer in 2015.

On this day: the Thredbo Landslide

1997 Thredbo Landslide

At 11:35pm on the 30th of July, 1997, a landslide hit the ski village of Thredbo in New South Wales, Australia.

Eighteen people were killed as two ski lodges were destroyed by over 1000 tonnes of earth and debris.

Famously, ski instructor Stuart Diver survived in the freezing conditions of a collapsed building until his rescue on the evening of the 2nd of August. His wife Sally was beside him in the wreckage but drowned when she became trapped in a depression that filled with water.

On this day: the beginning of independence from the USSR

On the 24th of July, 1990, the year before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the people of Ukraine celebrated their first National Flag Day. At an event in the centre of Kyiv (Kiev), the capital city, the blue and yellow flag was raised for the first time since being outlawed by Moscow when Russia absorbed Ukraine into the USSR.

Today the event takes place in August.

X

Kiev_24_7_1990_Ukrainian_Flag The occasion of the raising of the Ukrainian flag outside Kiev's city hall on 24th July 1990 (during the decline of the USSR) Kyiv Soviet Union

On this day: the end of the Battle of Grozny

The Battle of Grozny, the Russian siege of the capital of Chechnya that began in 1999, ended on the 6th of February, 2000.

In 2003, the United Nations named Grozny the “most destroyed city on Earth”.

Destruction after the Russian siege.

battle-of-grozny-russia-attacks-in-chechnya-1999-6-februrary-2000

Soviet stamp of Ukraine

This Soviet stamp featuring Ukraine was issued in 1991, the year the USSR collapsed and Ukraine declared its independence.

Despite heavy restrictions on religion, Christmas was celebrated in various capacities during Soviet years, as this depiction of a wintry Christmas scene in a Ukrainian village shows.

Vintage Christmas decorations from Soviet Ukraine can be found for sale now.

X

1991_cpa_6353a-ussr-stamp-for-ukraine-winter-christmas-1991