Ukraine in 1996: the country has its own currency and the Main Law

Screenshot of video

In 1996, the national currency – the hryvnia – and the country’s main document, the Constitution, appeared in Ukraine. Besides, the United Kingdom has given us its Antarctic station.

We tell about it in the new issue of the documentary series “30 years of Independence” on the UA TV channel.

In the autumn of 1996, Ukraine switched to a permanent currency, the hryvnia.

And when 1996 was on the calendar, the hryvnia banknotes showed 1992. The fact is that they have been printed in Canada long ago, but they simply did not dare to put the new currency into circulation.

“Already when the hryvnia went on ships to Ukraine, hyperinflation began, that is, the currency depreciated 2-3 times in a month. If we exchanged the karbovanets for hryvnias then, in a year these hryvnias would turn into rubbish, so we decided to hold and release temporary coupons-karbovanets” – said Oleksandr Savchenko, adviser to the Prime Minister of Ukraine (1996-1997).

The time of the exchange came in September. One, five, ten, twenty, fifty hryvnias were put into circulation. The largest denomination at that time was a hundred with a portrait of Taras Shevchenko. And there were coins from one to fifty kopecks.

Ukraine has also become a polar state again. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, all Antarctic stations went to Russia. But an unexpected gift happened: the UK presented Ukraine with its 40-year-old “Faraday” station for a symbolic pound sterling. It was a whole polar complex with laboratories and a housing for living.

Ukraine renames the station in honor of its scientist – “Academician Vernadsky” – and sends the first expedition.

The Constitution of Ukraine was adopted on June 28, 1996. The sitting of the Verkhovna Rada at that time lasted almost a day. It went down in history as the “Constitutional Night”.