Ivan Mazepa

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mazepa, Ivan Stepanovich


Born 1644; died Aug. 28 (Sept. 8), 1709, in Bendery. Hetman of the Left-bank Ukraine (1687-1708).

Mazepa was the son of a Ukrainian nobleman, and he was educated at the court of the Polish king. From 1669 to 1673 he was in the service of the hetman of the Right-bank Ukraine, P. D. Doroshenko, and from 1674 to 1681 he served the hetman of the Left-bank Ukraine, I. Samoilovich; from 1682 to 1686 he was an esaul general. In 1687, Mazepa became hetman of the Left-bank Ukraine; he was one of the largest landowners. Nurturing nationalistic ideas about the independence of the Ukraine and separation from Russia, Mazepa conducted secret negotiations with the Polish king Staniłsaw Leszczynski and then with the Swedish king Charles XII. In October 1708, during the Northern War of 1700-21, Mazepa openly went over to the side of Charles XII. After the defeat of the Swedes at the battle of Poltava (1709), Mazepa and Charles XII fled to the Turkish Fortress of Bendery.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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