Ukraine Connection: World's Top Innovations Linked With Ukraine

November 25, 2020

Over the last few centuries, Ukraine has often served as a borderland for empires, and a country where different cultures met and enriched each other.

Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Jews, Greeks, Romanians, Georgians, Armenians, Germans, Austrians, and people from many other ethnic backgrounds were born, studied or worked here, or had parents who were born in Ukraine.

They have given the world many useful innovations in numerous spheres. Let's have a look at some of them.


Mykola Amosov, a Soviet Ukrainian doctor, scientist and best-selling author, known for his invention of numerous surgery treatments of various heart illnesses. He lived and worked in Kyiv for 49 years, where he died in 2002.

Elie Metchnikoff, a famous biologist, pathologist and immunologist, alongside Paul Ehrlich is the winner of the Nobel Prize in 1908 in Physiology or Medicine as an acknowledgement of his contribution to immunology issues. He was born in a village in Kharkiv region in 1845.

Selman Waksman, a Ukrainian-born Jewish-American scientist,  famous biochemist and microbiologist who triggered the discovery and development of many antibiotics. In 1952, Waksman was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contribution to the discovery of an antibiotic against tuberculosis. Born in 1888 near Vinnytsia to Jewish parents.

Mykola Hamaliya, world-renowned microbiologist and epidemiologist. Hamaliya launched the Bacteriological Station in 1886 in Odesa, and vaccinations of human beings against rabies were carried out for the first time in the Russian Empire.

Yuriy Voroniy, a doctor and surgeon, holder of a post-doctoral degree in medicine, was born in a village in Poltava Region. Voroniy conducted the first ever human kidney transplantation in 1933, when he transplanted a dead man's kidney to a woman.


Jewish-American scientist Erwin Chargaff, born in Chernivtsi in 1905, contributed to the deciphering of DNA. His work helped to discover the DNA's structure and its method of replication. His studies estimated that DNA was different from species to species and they had made reasonable that DNA was a genetic material.


Serhiy Koroliov, prominent rocket engineer, father of practical astronautics. Koroliov was involved in the development of the first artificial Earth satellite, as well as the first human space flight, among other projects. Born in 1906 in Zhytomyr to Ukrainian-Belarusian parents.

Yuri Kondratyuk, born in Poltava in 1897, calculated the best space flight route to the Moon. Kondratyuk's space-related research work was used during the planning of the moon landing by American astronauts. One of the moon's craters is named after this Poltava-born scientist.


Ihor Sikorsky, born in Kyiv in 1889, pioneer in aircraft design, well known for the world's first invented helicopter. His design "Ilya Muromets" has set a number of records: load capacity, number of passengers, time and maximum flight altitude.


Soviet-American scientist George Gamow (born in Odesa) first  proposed the Big Bang model of the universe's creation. His research on DNA has made a great contribution to modern genetic theory as well.


Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp and executive director of Facebook. Born in 1976 in Kyiv to a Ukrainian-Jewish family.

Max Levchin, a USA-based entrepreneur, scientist and one of the co-founders of PayPal international payment system. Born in 1974 in Kyiv, Levchin moved to the USA at the age of 16.

Steve Wozniak , an inventor and pioneer in the sphere of computer technologies, a co-founder of Apple Inc. Called himself ethnic Ukrainian on numerous occasions.


Simon Kuznets, a famous economist and statistician, described as "the father of GDP", the winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Before he emigrated to the USA, Kuznets lived in Rivne and studied in Kharkiv.

Milton Friedman, a world-famous American economist, winner of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy. Born in the USA in 1912 to Jewish parents that emigrated from the city of Berehove, Zakarpattia Region.

There are many more of people with Ukraine Connections who have given vital innovations to the world and will continue to do so in the future.

Read more in this booklet from Ukraine Crisis Media Centre:

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