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Born to a loving Ukrainian family of an Electronic Engineer and Financial Analyst, she was raised in arguably the most beautiful country on Earth, Ukraine. An outspoken Ukrainian teacher and lawyer, Svitlana continued her education in U.S. rediscovering her passion for acting. She fondly remembers her drama and choreography instructors from university's student theater and many amazing, talented people that continue inspiring her. Formerly a radio program host, Svitlana speaks excellent English with a very slight, pleasant accent that many people interpret as French. A rhythmic gymnast in the past, she loves dancing, arts and technology and enjoys teaching languages.
DNA Ancestry (updated): Svitlana is Baltic, Ukrainian and Polish, partly Greek (one of her ancestors was allegedly 100% Balkan and lived between 5 and 8+ generations ago in Greece and possibly one more Balkan region), a bit French and German (one of her ancestors was allegedly 100% French and German and lived between 5 and 8+ generations ago in a general area of Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and France; a precise region could not be identified), [possibly a bit British & Irish (one of her ancestors was allegedly 100% British & Irish and lived 7-8 generations ago in that region)], [a bit Native American with a number of DNA relatives that have some Native American and/or Siberian ethnicity (relevant data was removed)] and a goodly amount of DNA relatives with Eskimo ethnicity. She is also broadly North Western European and broadly European to indicate unspecified regions until more relatives join a genealogy research.
Svitlana's ancestry line traces back directly to one of Cossacks' families that used to live in a historic Turbai Village of Poltava region in Ukraine. Historically, free people that were not attached to master's land but held a separate community protecting and farming their own land, sometimes with help of serfs of their own, were called Cossacks or Kazaks. In the old days, most Cossacs were receiving respectable nobelty privileges based on ancestry by joining a Cossack Host (a so called mini squad), which was a uniquely skilled military group that held its own elections and claimed an autonomy from anyone else while closely collaborating with other Cossack Hosts to protect the land and keep an overall social order in their settlements.
The Turbai Village, among others, with its primarily Cossack population was considered an independent military settlement after a Bohdan Khmelnitsky uprisal (also known as Khemlnytsky Insurrection, The Deliberation War of Ukraine or National Ukrainian Revolution) as was officially agreed upon by the Tsar of Russia in a Pereyaslav Treaty of 1654. The Khmelnitsky uprisal turned into an eventual, massive military preparation and flowed into Russian-Polish War of 1654-1667, where Russia needed a vigorous fighting power and exceptional horse riding skills of Cossacs as they were native to the area for a very long time and had to vigorously protect their lands, constantly striving to keep away numerous foreign armies that outnumbered Cossacks significantly. In the Pereyaslav Treaty, Russia's Tsar promised to uphold and respect Ukraine's autonomy from Russia, to provide financial assistance to better arm Cossacks and provide more troops to jointly watch over both Ukrainian and Russian borders.
Much later, in 1789-1793, legendary Turbai Cossacks started to continuiously rise against injustices of Catherine II. The tragic event became known as Turbai Insurrection. She refused to uphold Russia's promise in Pereyaslav Treaty to respect their Constitution (considered the first Independent Ukraine Constitution), the-first-in-the-world elected President of an independent Republic (Hetman) and a proclaimed autonomy of their lands. On a whim, Catherine II gifted their historic lands to some lord that mistreated them. He demanded that all residents including all Cossacs pay him a toll to live and work on their own land and serve him. Turbai Cossacks' letters to Catherine II were left unanswered and negotiators were returning from Russia with no resolution on hand. Cossacks' formal complaint to Russian senate received an unfavorable decision that refused to recognize a Cossack status and noble Cossack rights of some military village residents. It resulted in an unheard-of at that time, historic Turbai uprisal. Although some wealthier Cossacks owned serfs themselves, their active unrest inspired many anti-serfdom uprisals around the country that eventually led to an abolishment of serfdom (where peasants had to work on feudal's land to benefit his nobelty status) by Alexander II in 1861 in all lands of then Russian Empire (formerly known as Kyevan Rus' with a capital in Kyiv, before more lands were attached). A few years earlier, the same liberation of peasants took place in Austria and other German lands.
In the meanwhile, Turbai Cossacks (all of them, in addition to those that allegedly put the lord's entire family to rest), were severely punished by Russia's military that was sent to the village by Catherine II. She took their insurrection as a direct threat to her imperial order. Cossacks and their families that survived were forced to relocate to sandy, extremely windy steppe areas of Ukraine to live without water or vegetation. In 1783, Russian Empire claimed Crimean Chanate and its control over steppe lands that were added to Ukraine. Russia took Crimea from Ottoman Empire that year but could not keep it for long. Much later, Russia started a Crimean War (October 1853 - February 1856) fighting for Crimean peninsula against the British, French, and Ottoman Turkish on pretenses of protecting Orthodox people there as well as fighting with France over a status of Russian Orthodox churches in a holy land of Palestine (according to Britannica Encyclopedia, see link 17).
Turbai Cossacks managed to thrive in nearly lifeless steppe settling by the river bank, nearly across from a fortess that Russia founded on another side of the river in 1778. That fortess became a city and turned crucial in Russo-Turkish War to build and strengthen the Russian Black Sea Fleet. In 20th century, ancestors of Turbai Cossacks created one more village by the Black Sea coast. An earlier Black Sea Cossack Host existed there since 1787 but was resettled to Kuban river area in Russia following an award of Kuban lands by Catherine II to Black Sea Cossacks in 1792. Allegedly, she was grateful for their important role in Russo-Turkish War of 1787-1797.
Svitlana's maternal haplogroup (her mother's line information that is passed to all kids in the family through their mothers) is one of the newer discoveries in genetics. Her maternal line is rather unique and rarely found in Europe. One of Svitlana's female ancestors is responsible for making an unbelievable journey along the Silk Road (as it was named in Byzantine times) approximately 18,000 years ago. Presumably, she moved much closer towards Europe from an area that is now known as India. Europe was covered in ice for a long time before and after that move. Scientists state that not many representatives of her maternal line survived after the end of a glacier episode and ice age. It makes linking some scattered ancient discoveries together more difficult.
Another branch of the root maternal haplogroup ended up in Polynesia. It is believed that the New World was tribalized about 16,000 years ago. As a hypothetical, if people from Polynesia reached Hawaiian islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean by sea, the very same people could have made it to America, either by sea or, as scientists believe, by land when Alaska was still connected to the Eastern area of today's Russia through Bering land bridge. They could have been the very first tribalizers that gave start to the Native American tribes in North America. Offsprings of those tribes populated the South America eventually as well, approximately 6,000 years ago. If the land connection through Alaska already existed, they could have moved back and forth between the continents both by land and by sea.
Svitlana's maternal haplogroup is also evident in two Siberian tribes (in discoveries from 25,000 years ago) that registered most of their tribe members in Siberia and found some members in Ukraine. Her maternal line is not uncommon among Native American tribes while Siberian tribes are considered genetically related to Native Americans. This discussion brought us to the following speculation. Some genetics' papers are attempting to find a connection between Svitlana's haplogroup and ancient Yamnaya people that lived in steppes on the north shores of the Black Sea (areas of Ukraine and further to the North including Finland). Yamnaya people gave a start and a significant boost to most European nations and might be responsible for a light color of skin in modern Europeans, in additiona to many innovations and technologies that Yamnaya brought. Maybe Siberian tribes hold an answer to that quest and can "give" an explanation since some samples have an evidence of both haplogroups, possibly connecting two dots. The ultimate question is whether the samples are ancient enough to support that idea.
1. Turbai Insurrection: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Турбаевское_восстание
2. Khemlnytsky Insurrection: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Восстание_Хмельницкого
3. Pereyaslav Council: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pereyaslav_Council
4. March Articles (Pereyaslav Treaty): https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Мартовские_статьи
5. Hetmanschyna: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Гетманщина
6. Cossack Hetmanate: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cossack_Hetmanate
7. Zaporozhian Cossacks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaporozhian_Cossacks
8. Turbai: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Турбаи
9. Serfdom in Russia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom_in_Russia
10. History of the Cossacks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Cossacks
11. Ukraine and Cossacks: https://latest-cossacks.blogspot.com
12. Cossacks (encyclopedia article): http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pages%5CC%5CO%5CCossacks.htm
13. The Cossack Sorcerers of Folk Legends and Historical Chronicles:
14. History of Poltava Region: http://ua.interestingukraine.kiev.ua/poltavska-oblast/istoriya-poltavskoji-oblasti/
15. Russo-Polish War (1654-1667): https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Русско-польская_война_(1654—1667)
16. History of the Russo-Turkish wars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Russo-Turkish_wars
17. Crimean War: https://www.britannica.com/event/Crimean-War
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