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Charles XII and Mazepa at Dnieper River after the Battle of Poltava by Gustaf Cederström (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Great Northern War

  • Sweden and “Ukraine” were Allies at the Battle of Poltava (8 July 1709).
  • Both Sweden, under Charles XII, and Ukraine, under Ivan Mazepa, fell to Peter I, Peter the Great, at the Battle of Poltava.
  • Poltava was a decisive step in the rise of the Russian Empire, which began in 1721.

The image above is confusing. It shows Charles XII of Sweden and Ivan Mazepa of Ukraine, also called Ruthenia, at the Battle of Poltava, fought on 8 July 1709. Sweden and Ukraine were allies in the Great Northern War (1700-1721). Ivan Mazepa was the Hetman of Zaporizhian Host, a Cossack Hetmanate, in 1687–1708. A Hetman was a leader. Tsar Peter’s wish for near supremacy over Hetmanates threatened what has become present-day Ukraine.

Sweden’s defeat at Poltava was a turning point in the history of Europe. After the Battle of Poltava, Charles XII and Ivan Mazepa fled to Turkey for protection. Ivan Mazepa died in Turkey at the age of 70. In 1721, Sweden ceased to be an Empire, and Ukraine remained under Russian control until 1991, or the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Ukraine had also been autonomous for a few years after the Russian Revolution of 1917.

A Nation

Under the control of Sweden, Ukrainians were likely to gain more independence and escape brutality. It did not during World War I (See Alchetron.com). Cruelty toward Ukrainians did not start with the current invasion of Ukraine. When Tsar Nicholas II ordered the quelling of riots at Odessa, it was a blood bath. But Ukraine always remained a nation. Many Ukrainians speak Russian, but they have retained their own language, and they are the Petits Russes who commandeered the Potemkin.

Complicity …

Ukraine has survived as a nation, so a nation is not necessarily a country. Ukraine did not have territorial integrity until 1991, but its territorial integrity is now threatened by Vladimir Putin’s invasion. Ukraine has been attacked, and it is defending its territory. So, what we are witnessing isn’t altogether a war. It is an invasion, and it seems a genocide. I read and heard that Russians did not know what was happening in Ukraine. This could be the case, but I wish they knew Putin has invaded Ukraine and could help send their President to an international court of justice. The more prolonged Putin’s attacks and destruction, the more substantial the bill, assuming Putin fails to annihilate Ukraine. He must not be successful. Sanctions may not suffice, and various ententes to prevent war could turn the world into Vladimir Putin’s accomplice.


A Brief Disappearance (6 April 2022)
Ukraine: The Battle of Poltava (5 April 2022)
The War in Ukraine: la petite Russie (1st April 2022)
The Great Gate of Kiev [sic] (21 March 2022)
Sweden’s Age of Liberty, Part Two (9 November 2018)
Sweden’s Age of Liberty, Part One (8 November 2018)
Europe (page)

Love to everyone 💕

Peter the Great by Alexandre Benois (WikiArt.org)
Ivan Mazepa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

© Micheline Walker
8 April 2022