A few weeks ago, many Brits would have struggled to identify the nation of Ukraine on a map, and failed to recognised the country’s blue and yellow flag that has now become widely shared on social media.
Recent events have put the world’s eyes on what is Europe’s largest country (counting Russia as being partly European and partly Asian), but one most of us know little about. This includes its remarkable history of invention, both as part of the Soviet Union and as an independent nation post-1991. Did you know, for example, that Ukraine can claim to have invented the helicopter, compact disc, cholera vaccine, X-ray and postcode system?
Some of the country’s inventions also shape the way we use the internet today. Here are three examples:
1. Grammarly was created in Ukraine
At Engage Web, we prefer to keep editing in-house and performed by humans, but a lot of online writers would be lost without Grammarly flagging up their mistakes as they go along.
Though Grammarly is now headquartered in the US, it was founded by three Ukrainians in 2009. It was initially designed to be used by universities, but its creators began to find it more profitable to sell it to end users.
Showing loyalty to its Ukrainian roots, Grammarly has responded to the invasion of Ukraine by announcing that it will donate all profits it has made from Russia and Belarus since 2014.
2. A Ukrainian firm laid the groundwork for Snapchat filters
The fun that can be had putting your friend or unfortunate colleague’s face on a “beach dad body” filter might not be possible were it not for Looksery, founded by Ukrainians Victor Shaburov and Yurii Monastyrshin.
Their facial modification technology was a hit and Looksery was snapped up by Snap Inc. in 2015, becoming the technology behind Snapchat Lenses.
3. Ukraine is represented among the top 250 global retailers
Deloitte’s 2022 Global Powers of Retailing 2022 report includes a retailer from Ukraine for the first time.
ATB-Market, which is located in Ukraine’s fourth-largest city, Dnipro, made number 230 in the list, and features in ninth place among Deloitte’s ‘Fastest 50’, which shows the retailers among the top 250 that have experienced the fastest compound growth since 2015.
These achievements highlight Ukraine’s status as not just an emerging digital force, but an established contributor to the online world. Though these facts will not be foremost in the minds of Ukrainian people right now, we all hope for a return to peace in the country that will allow it to continue its valuable input into technology.