Ukraine's Ancient Hatreds

Three hundred years of history explain why Putin can never see his neighbor as a fully legitimate sovereign nation.

Issue: July-August 2014

IN 1708, Charles XII of Sweden invaded Ukraine. His aim was to use it as a base for a final advance on Peter the Great’s Moscow. The Cossack hetman, Ivan Mazeppa, decided to throw his lot in with the Swedes in a bid to secure Ukraine’s complete independence. His decision split the Cossacks; while some followed Mazeppa, others elected a new leader, Ivan Skoropadsky, who reaffirmed his loyalty to the Cossack alliance with Russia.

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