What came before Proto Indo Europaeer
Is it true that proto-Ukrainians conquered Europe and India?
Unfortunately, what your teacher is teaching you is utter nonsense and political propaganda. There were no "Ukrainians" until the 17th century, and the term "proto-Ukrainians" (as people who lived in this area) is unscientific.
This is a good example of the use of history for political propaganda.
In the past, very many different peoples lived on the territory of what is now Ukraine. Descendants of some of these peoples are now called "Poles". Where were the ancestors of modern Poles "proto-Ukrainians", because they lived on the territory of modern Ukraine? Why not "Proto-Poland"?
Look at the Jews now living in the United States. Most of their ancestors lived on the territory of modern Ukraine. Were they "Proto-Ukrainians"? Then why aren't these Jews called "Ukrainians"?
Before the 17th century there were no Ukrainians. And there were no "proto-Ukrainians". All of these are projections into the past of modern political realities.
The distinction between Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians and Lithuanians was not established until 1795 after the final division of Rzeczpospolita. Much later, actually.
TO EDIT. Let me give you two specific, randomly selected examples. There is one city in Lviv (Lviv, Lviv, Lviv, Lemberk) in the present region of Ukraine. It was founded in the 13th century by Prnice / King Danila / Danylo. According to your teacher, this Danylo was a "proto-Ukrainian". But any high school teacher in Moscow will teach that he was "Pro-Russian" or just "Russian".
Now, in the 19th century, Lviv was part of Austria. Is that why Danilo should be called a "Ptoto-Austrian"? In the first half of the 20th century Lviv was in Poland. Is Danylo a Proto-Pole? What can the other criteria be? Language? It can be said that Danylo probably spoke "proto-Ukrainian". But a Moscow teacher who will say he speaks "Pro-Russian" will be just as right. Also, the Moscow teacher will have the advantage of saying that Danila was a blood relative of a Yuri (from the same family) who founded Moscow.
Religion? Danylo was likely raised in the Greek Orthodox. But they say he converted to Catholicism. Is that why he is a "Proto-Pole"?
What else allows him to call him a "proto-Ukrainian"? Just the fact that modern Ukrainians like him.
Second example. Adam Mickiewicz's great poet from the 19th century. He wrote in Polish, but his most famous poem (Pan Tadeusz) begins with the words: "Lithuania! My fatherland!" He was born and raised on the territory of the modern Belarusian state. Is he a "Proto-Pole", a "Proto-Lithuanian" or a "Proto-Belarusian"?
Ask your teacher. University professors in Warsaw, Vilnius and Minsk give you three different answers: They all count him as "their". (Ukrainians usually don't. But there is a famous monument to him in the center of Lviv).
These little examples are meant to show that there is no reasonable conception of Proto-Ukrainian. This is a meaningless word. And a high school teacher prescribes a meaning for it, depending on the modern political division (or her own political affiliation).
That's why I named all of this business propaganda.
Suppose Russia invades all of Ukraine tomorrow and annexes it (God forbid !!). Then the teachers in Lviv (who will become "Lviv" again) will teach you that "Dan-ee-la-ah" was a Pro-Russian (or simply Russian as they teach in Moscow these days).
These examples related to the 13th and 19th centuries. It is even more nonsensical, however, to speak of "proto-Ukrainians" earlier.
Of course, you are not advised to contradict your teacher :-) I recommend criticizing what you are taught and reading Sienkiewicz novels, for example, to complement what they teach you in school. Just try Sienkiewicz. You will not regret it. Most of the action takes place on the territory of modern Ukraine. This is fiction, of course, but this is much closer to history than what they teach in modern high schools. And then you just think: Who are his heroes: "Proto-Ukrainians", "Proto-Poles" or "Proto-Lithuanians"?
Who were Adam Kisiel, Jeremia / Yarema Wisniowiecki, Ivan Bogun and Bogdan Khmielnicki? All proto-Ukrainians? Or were some of them protopoles? And why?
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