Mazepa and Karl XII before the Dnieper

For quite some time now, Ukrainian nationalists are raising Ivan Mazepa on the shield. On the national currency of an independent Ukraine, his portrait adorns a ten-hryvnia banknote. According to the official storieswhich is hammered into the heads of schoolchildren and students, it is ordered to regard Mazepa as a noble hero who opposed the oppression of the Cossacks from the wilderness of Moscow. However, despite all efforts, it is not possible to wash off the white-hot Hetman, who became famous for his treason. Against Peter the Great rebelled more than once - both archers, Cossacks, and schismatics ... Why did Mazepa become so famous, having received the nickname Jude and the church anathema? Probably because Mazepa was the only one who ran for support to the foreign invaders-Swedes. It is impossible to imagine the princess Sophia asking for help from the Polish king, or the archers, that, having risen against Peter, they unite with the janissaries to march on Moscow.

The creators of the myth of the Ukrainian patriot Mazepa in their articles somehow omit the youth of his hero. And after all, the character of a person is formed in young years. Mazepa was born to a gentry family in Kyiv region around 1640 year. His native language was Polish. When he grew up, his father arranged his offspring “by the noble nobleman,” that is, by the page, at the court of the Polish king. And all the time, while Little Russia was bleeding, while Cossacks and peasants fought against Polish oppressors, Mazepa faithfully served the Poles. He probably would have remained the servant of the crown until the end of his life, but unfortunately for himself he tried to slander before the king his colleague Jan Paseka. Tom managed to justify himself, and the schemer Mazepa had to leave Poland, dear to his heart. However, he quickly found himself a new gentleman - Hetman Doroshenko of the Right Bank, a Turkish vassal and an enemy of Poland. So Mazepa from the Polish gentry turned into an enemy of the Commonwealth. This was his first betrayal.

Hetman Doroshenko

Apparently, our hero came to the liking of Hetman Doroshenko, since he appointed him the captain of the courtyard banner, that is, his personal guard, consisting of Serdyuk mercenaries. It is worth saying a few words about the new patron of Mazepa.

Doroshenko ... Perhaps a more bloody ruler was not in our history. He was brought to power in 1665, the troops of the Crimean Khan, who ruined the Dnieper region. With Khan Doroshenko paid, recognizing the power of the Turkish Sultan and giving to slavery tens of thousands of Orthodox peasants. To make the price of Turkish-Tatar aid more understandable, we note that only in 1666 a year the Tatars stole forty thousand people in the Crimea. As far as Doroshenko and his owners were hated, such a fact says: when he tried to seize Podillia with the Tatar army and his mercenaries, the Poles and the local Russian population united against him. Former implacable enemies fought together against Doroshenko. The power of the hetman in the captured territory was kept solely on Tatar sabers, he did not disdain the minting of counterfeit coins. As a result of his rule, the Right Bank was practically deserted, and this time went down in history under the eloquent name of “Ruin”.

And all this time, the faithful Mazepa helped Doroshenko turn the once flourishing land into a desert. It is not known whether he personally participated in punitive and predatory campaigns, but it was impossible to be in the company of Doroshenko and not to get his hands dirty with the blood of his compatriots. In 1674, Mazepa was sent as ambassador to the Crimea. As a gift to the Khan, he carried several dozen prisoners captured on the Left Bank, which belonged to the Moscow Tsar. But the Zaporozhye Cossacks intercepted the embassy, ​​released the prisoners, and sent Mazepa under escort to Ivan Samoilovich, the hetman of the left-bank Russian part of Little Russia. There Mazepa betrayed Doroshenko and went to the service of his enemy Samoilovich. What made the hetman save Mazepa from a well-deserved execution and take him under his wing, we do not know. But for Samoilovich this decision became fatal. Taking advantage of the failure of the campaign of Russian troops (with the participation of the Cossacks, of course) Prince Golitsyn to the Crimea, Mazepa accused his savior of sabotage. As a result, Samoilovich was sent to Siberia, his son was executed, and Mazepa was offered to the Cossacks as a new hetman. Since the proposal was supported by the royal authority and the royal archers, ready to suppress any disagreement, Mazepa was elected.

Hetman of Left-bank Ukraine Samoylovich

The period of mazepa hetmanship deserves a separate discussion. We only note that he became one of the richest people in Europe. Not so far from him, and the approximate, robbing their own people, enslaving peasants and poor Cossacks, introducing panchina. Rebellious waited reprisals. l Since Moscow did not intervene in the management of Little Russia, having confined itself to the deployment of garrisons in large cities, Mazepa, in fact, was an absolutely sovereign ruler. The following fact speaks of the level of trust in him on the part of Tsar Peter: all taxes collected in Little Russia remained at the disposal of the hetman, and Mazepa became one of the first gentlemen of the Order of St. Andrew. It would seem, live and rejoice, but Ivan Mazepa always sought to play a double game. Pretending to be the faithful servant of the tsar, he simultaneously began a secret correspondence with the king of Sweden, Charles XII, who was at war with Russia.


King of Sweden Charles XII

Of course, he moved them a naked calculation. The Swedish army since the Thirty Years War was considered the best in Europe. Moreover, Karl XII confirmed its reputation by defeating the Russian army in Narva in 1700, defeating Denmark and occupying Poland. During the first eight years of the Northern War, the Swedes demonstrated a whole series of brilliant successes, and very few people believed in the victory of Russia left without allies. So Mazepa was actively looking for an opportunity to run to the side of the winner. And he outwitted himself ... In an effort to fill his own worth, he greatly exaggerated his strength and significance. His calculation was simple: Karl, fighting in the north, smashing Russia, seizes Moscow, and Mazepa, having taken the protectorate of Sweden, remains the ruler of Little Russia untouched by the war. Unfortunately for Hetman Judah, Karl XII believed in his bikes and went on a campaign against Moscow through Poland and Ukraine, he hoped to find supplies and replenish his army at the expense of the people of Mazepa. At the same time, the royal troops moved towards the Swedes. And both Peter the Great and Karl XII considered Mazepa to be their loyal subjects. Accordingly, both the monarch and ordered the hetman to come to the rescue. Mazepa made his choice and, with two thousand Cossack bodyguards, rode into the king's camp. Further known to all. Little Russia remained loyal to the Russian Empire, guerrilla war broke out against the Swedes, and until the approach of Peter’s army, the local people fiercely defended Poltava against the Swedes. Those Ukrainians who, according to current Svidomo-Tov, should have joyfully opened the gates to the “liberators from moskalskogo yoke”.

Modern Ukrainian authors do not like the question why in the 1709 year, the people did not support Mazepa. A modern debunker of historical myths Oles Buzin gives the following explanation:

“The greedy, insidious and selfish hetman tired of Ukrainians to death. He rowed everything only to himself, without sharing with anyone. Even to Charles XII, he ran off with a barrel of gold coins, stolen from the military treasury. But greed did not bring happiness to Ivan Stepanovich. The king asked for the money "in debt." And since there was nowhere else to run, old Mazepa had to share the treasure with the Swedes. By the way, they have not returned the “credit” of Mazepa until now. ”

B.P. Villevalde "Battle of Poltava"

We note that for the peasants Mazepa was a bloodsucker and exploiter, and the free Cossacks, relegated to a serf status by the hetman, could not forgive him either their grievances or the blood of their brothers, generously watered by them during the years of government. In general, he became the enemy of all - and supporters of Peter the Great, and his opponents.

But at the same time there was a man whom ordinary people considered to be their patron. Like Mazepa, he is with weapons in his hands he spoke out against the Tsar of Moscow, but did not seek help from the enemies of the Russian state. Yes, and he did not have such a need, because under his banner at the call of the heart stood tens of thousands of people. His name was Kondraty Bulavin, but today his name is almost forgotten. By the way, it is completely undeserved. The Bulavin uprising in 1707 — 1709 covered a vast territory from the Dnieper to the Volga. More than thirty thousand people took up arms, including one and a half thousand Cossacks. Even after the death of Bulavin, his associates continued to struggle.

Kondraty Bulavin

Mazepa, who started the service of the Polish gentry, and Bulavin, who spent his life in wars, are the two poles of society. A rich and pampered nobleman, a darling of fate - and a simple Cossack, who got into the people only thanks to his own efforts. One defended his wealth and power, the other rebelled for the will and rights of the Cossacks, infringed upon by the state. One sold his fellow believers, and the second in 1696 g. storming Azov with the troops of Tsar Peter, the first to burst into the Turkish fortress.

Poltava betrayal of Mazepa

The historian Oleg Kildyushov talks about the significance of the Battle of Poltava for the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. The expert exposes the falsifications of modern Ukrainian historians and assesses attempts to make the traitor Mazepa a national hero of Little Russia.

Poltava battle. 300 years later

The Ukrainian authorities intend to turn the 300 anniversary of the Poltava battle of 1709 into the holiday of Russophobia and Mazepa’s “European choice”. On the holy field of Russian memory, Yushchenko intends to erect monuments to Mazepa and Karl XII. Hysteria around the famine 1933, political canonization of Shukhevych, and now - an insult to the memory of those who fell in the battle of Poltava. These are the stages of the formation of a new nationalist myth that should destroy the unity of the Slavic Orthodox peoples, drive Ukraine into NATO.

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