The Greatest Ukrainians (Ukrainian: Великі українці) was a Ukrainian TV project. The programme was the result of a vote conducted to determine whom the Ukrainian public considers the greatest Ukrainians have been in history.
The show is running under a license from the BBC and originally appeared on British TV under the name 100 Greatest Britons and was a successful show. Such countries as Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands and many others have also created their own versions.
The TV show was broadcast on Inter being 90–180 minutes long during Sunday prime-time. The host of the program, Savik Shuster, started primaries (pre-voting) during his other Friday talk show The Freedom with Savik Shuster. The co-host of the programme was Inter's news anchor Hanna Homonai. Pre-voting took place in a number of Ukrainian cities such as Kiev, Lviv, Yalta, Kharkiv, Odessa, Donetsk, Simferopol, Nizhyn, Mykolayiv, Ostroh, Chernivtsi, and Kamianets-Podilskyi.
On 11 April 2008, the top 100 of Great Ukrainians were announced. The top 10 was to be re-voted, and the results were shown on 16 May 2008. The final top 10 were:
- Yaroslav I the Wise (40% of the votes)
- Mykola Amosov (19.88%)
- Stepan Bandera (16%)
- Taras Shevchenko (9.3%)
- Bohdan Khmelnytsky (4.02%)
- Valeri Lobanovsky (3.18%)
- Vyacheslav Chornovil (2.63%)
- Hryhorii Skovoroda (1.73%)
- Lesya Ukrainka (1.64%)
- Ivan Franko (1.49%)
11 – 100
Great Ukrainians series
An hour-long documentary was filmed on each of the top 10 nominees, each of them hosted by a celebrity advocate, who delivered a passionate argument as to why their choice should be voted the greatest Ukrainian of all. The series concluded with a debate on the merits of each selected Ukrainian, bringing all of the advocates together to make a final plea to voters.
|No.||Great Ukrainian||Celebrity Supporter|
|1||Nikolai Amosov||Vitaly Korotich|
|2||Stepan Bandera||Vakhtang Kipiani|
|3||Valeri Lobanovsky||Leonid Kravchuk|
|4||Hryhorii Skovoroda||Ostap Stupka|
|5||Lesya Ukrainka||Roman Viktiuk|
|6||Ivan Franko||Svyatoslav Vakarchuk|
|7||Bohdan Khmelnytsky||Dmytro Korchynsky|
|8||Vyacheslav Chornovil||Taras Chornovil|
|9||Taras Shevchenko||Bohdan Stupka|
|10||Yaroslav I the Wise||Dmytro Tabachnyk|
The Chief of Great Ukrainians project, journalist Vakhtang Kipiani, informed the public in his blog, that the voting system had been manipulated by unknown persons. He stated that a couple of days prior to publishing the results he was aware of a possible win for Yaroslav the Wise. Prior to that, with a huge lead in first place was the controversial Stepan Bandera. For example, the winner, Yaroslav I, received 60,000 votes in one month and almost 550,000 in just one day. Mykola Amosov, who took second place, received almost 150,000 votes in just one day. Kipiani said that if these manipulation hadn't taken place Yaroslav would not have won, but the highly controversial Stepan Bandera. To many - especially in western Ukraine - he is a hero and a freedom fighter, but to others (not specified by BBC), Bandera was a terrorist, and a traitor to the Soviet motherland.
Among other Great Ukrainians for whatever reasons appeared Vladimir Lenin as well as such names like Stakhanov, Glushkov, Vatutin, Khrushchev, Sviatoslav I, Vladimir II, Olga of Kiev. And if the last three at least were born on the territory of Ukraine, the rest not only were not born in Ukraine, but never even spoke a word of Ukrainian and have little or nothing at all to do in contribution to authenticate their Ukrainian culture.
- Yaroslav the Wise - the Greatest Ukrainian of all times, Inter TV (19 May 2008)
- BBC dragged into Ukraine TV furore, BBC News (5 June 2008)
- Official website of the project
- Blog of the project in Live Journal
- Telekritika: Hanna Homonay will be co-hosting "Great Ukrainians"
- Kyiv Post: Ukrainians choose their ‘greats’(Ukrainian)
- Manipulations in Ukraine(Ukrainian)
- Manipulations in Ukraine II(Ukrainian)