Posted BY: Alexander G. Markovsky

The starting point of the history of Ukraine began is 1654 when Bohdan Khmelnitsky, a Hetman of the Zaporozhian Host, leader of Cossacks living beyond the Dnieper Rapids, petitioned Russian czar Alexey to accept the Zaporozhian Host into Russia. The land inhabited by the Cossacks (the orange area on the map) was part of what Russians called the Wild Fields, or “u kraine,” which means in Russian “at the edge.” The term originated in the 12th century to describe lands populated by half-savage tribes on the outskirts of Russia.

Khmelnitsky was desperate to save his Cossacks from annihilation by the Poles. Initially, Alexey turned down the request. But eventually, the request was granted, and the Treaty of Pereyaslav was signed. According to the treaty, the territory was to be absorbed into Russia and named Malorossiya or Little Russia, administered by the Hetmanate with limited suzerainty.

Trending: So many people recently ‘died suddenly’ – What’s going on?

During the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-1796), the Russian Empire underwent a massive expansion, and new territories were added to Malorossiya, including the city of Kiev, where the land of the Rus began in the 8th century (yellow and orange areas on the map). In 1764, as Malorossiya had grown in size, Catherine, for administrative reasons, abolished the Hetmanate and created the Malorossian Governorate.

Full Story