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emptied glacier melted water through the Don and the Black Sea.From springs in Gobi it flowed along the Yenisei, which was then dammed by northern glaciers.Ukraine became independent again when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.This started a period of transition to a market economy, in which Ukraine suffered an eight-year recession.In 1945 the Ukrainian SSR became one of the founding members of the United Nations.After the death of Stalin (1953), Khrushchev as head of the Communist Party of Soviet Union enabled a Ukrainian revival.Nikita Khrushchev was appointed the head of the Ukrainian Communist Party in 1938.After Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in September 1939, the Ukrainian SSR's territory expanded westward. During World War II the Ukrainian Insurgent Army fought for Ukrainian independence against both Germany and the Soviet Union.

It is estimated by Encyclopædia Britannica that 6 to 8 million people died from hunger in the Soviet Union during this period, of whom 4 to 5 million were Ukrainians.After the middle of the 14th century, present-day Ukrainian territories came under the rule of three external powers: After a 1648 rebellion of the Cossacks against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky agreed to the Treaty of Pereyaslav in January 1654.The exact nature of the relationship established by this treaty between Cossack Hetmanate and Russia remains a matter of scholarly controversy.Nevertheless, political repressions against poets, historians and other intellectuals continued, as in all other parts of the USSR.In 1954 the republic expanded to the south with the transfer of the Crimea.

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