The Ukrainian painter Vasyl Diadyniuk does not possess much of a household name except in the more specialized of art historical circles. However, his paintings of luminaries from the annals of Ukrainian history — from the Princely era of Kyivan Rus’, the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia, to the Cossacks and the Hetman state, for example — ubiquitously appear in widely distributed illustrations, poster designs, book publishing, and even postcards.

The icon-inspired pictures exhibited here — from the J. Makohin Family collection permanently housed in The Ukrainian Institute of America — memorialize leaders and heads of state who during their day took decisions that affected an entire burgeoning nation. Dictating the course of Ukrainian history, they had much to contend with. Wars, economic crises and humanitarian plights landed at the feet of these icons, and each answered the call in different and necessary ways. They were often far from straight forward, and almost never universally revered. Centuries of progress and adversity shaped not only the society of the day, but generations to come. Behind this progress stood these incredible individuals who chose to defy convention, and in doing so changed a nation forever.

Vasyl Diadyniuk brought to life the spirit of the ages with these images of great leaders burned into the Ukrainian nation’s collective consciousness. Born in 1900, Diadyniuk studied at the Oleksa Novakivsky Art School in Lviv (today, the seat of western Ukraine). A post-academic exhibition came to the attention of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky who commissioned the young painter to copy portraits of the church hierarchs of the 17th and 18th centuries at the Basilian monastery in Vilnius, and later in Rome and Florence.*

From 1932–33, Diadyniuk executed the series displayed on these walls, again at the behest of his sponsor, Metropolitan Sheptytsky, with the plan of them making a tour around the capitals of Europe. When the project for travel failed to materialize, the artist returned to Lviv, where he immersed himself in studio work, decorated church murals in a modernized Byzantine style and gave instruction in ecclesiastical painting in the years leading up to the Second World War. Vasyl Diadyniuk died in Vienna in 1945.

*Kubijovyc, Volodymyr, editor. “Vasyl Diadyniuk.” The Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984. vol. 1 (A-F).

Andrew Horodysky

OLEH
Grand Prince of Kyiv
{
died 912 }

Little is known about this first historically verifiable ruler of Kyiv. It is unclear whether he was a member of the Riurik dynasty or an interloper whom the chronicler Nestor, writing several centuries later, associated with that dynasty. What is evident, however, is that Oleh was a gifted and decisive ruler.

After conquering Kyiv in 882 and establishing control over the Polianians, he forcefully extended his authority over the surrounding tribes, the most prominent being the Derevlianians. This conquest involved him in a war with the Khazars whose ports on the Caspian Sea he plundered.

The highlight of Oleh’s career came in 911, when at the head of a large army, he attacked and pillaged Constantinople. The “Chronicle of Bygone Years” probably exaggerated his success when it recounted how he nailed his shield to the main gates of the Greek capital. The pressure that Oleh exerted on Byzantium must have been considerable because the Greeks were forced to conclude a trade treaty that was favorable to the Kyivan prince.
IHOR
Grand Prince of Kyiv
{ 877–945 }


According to the Rus’ Primary Chronicle – The Tale of Bygone Years – Ihor was the son of Riurik, but he could have been his grandson.

In what became a pattern in the reigns of the early Kyivan princes, Ihor spent the initial years of his rule asserting his authority over rebellious subjects. First the Derevlianians and then the Ulychians rose up against him. It took several years of hard campaigning before Ihor and his retinue could force the rebels to pay tribute again. Only after he reasserted his authority at home could Ihor undertake the large-scale, far-flung, part-trading, and part-pillaging expeditions that his predecessor Oleh had conducted.

When the peace that Oleh had arranged with Byzantium crumbled in 941, Ihor launched a campaign against Constantinople. It was a disaster. With the help of a flammable concoction called “Greek fire,” the Byzantines destroyed the Rus’ fleet and forced Ihor in a hasty retreat. As a result, in 944, he was compelled to sign a highly unfavorable treaty with the Byzantine emperor. That same year, Ihor tried his luck in the east with much better results. A large Rus’ force sailed down the Volga, plundered the rich Muslim cities on the Caspian coast, and then managed to return to Kyiv with the spoils. Ihor’s reign ended as it began, with a revolt of Derevlianians. Angered by his repeated tribute-collecting, the Derevlianians ambushed the prince, savagely killing him and his small entourage. Legend states that Ihor’s body was strung up between two trees and split in half. His death was avenged by his wife Princess Olha, who succeeded him on the Rus’ throne in 945.
OLHA
Grand Princess of Kyiv
{
died 969 }

The compilers of the “Chronicle of Bygone Years” were clearly sympathetic to Olha, the wife of Ihor and regent during the minority of their son, Sviatoslav. They depict her as being beautiful, vigorous, crafty, and above all, wise. Her private conversion to Christianity in ca. 955 explains some of the adulation that the monk-chroniclers lavished upon her. But even without these biased accounts, Olha would have stood out as a remarkable ruler.

Vengeance being the moral prerogative of the times, she quickly and effectively avenged herself on the Derevlianians. She realized that the arbitrary and haphazard collection of tribute that had been the cause of Ihor’s death would have to be altered. Therefore, she introduced the first “reforms” in Kyivan Rus’, establishing clearly demarcated areas from which specified amounts of tribute were regularly collected.

To familiarize herself with her vast domain, Olha made numerous and extensive trips to all its major towns and regions. Her foreign relations were characterized by diplomacy, nor war. In 957 she journeyed to Constantinople to negotiate with the Byzantine emperor. Although the chronicles are replete with tales of how she outwitted the emperor, other sources indicate that the talks did not go well. Nonetheless, the very fact that Olha was accepted as a negotiating partner by the mightiest ruler in Christendom was a reflection of Kyiv’s growing importance.
SVIATOSLAV
Grand Prince of Kyiv
{ died 972 }


Brave, impetuous, simple, and severe, Sviatoslav was a warrior-prince par excellence. His name, Varangian values, and nomadic lifestyle reflected a Eurasian synthesis. His reign marked the culmination of the early, heroic period of Kyivan Rus’.

In 964, the young Sviatoslav launched an ambitious campaign to subjugate the Viatichians, the Volga Bulgars, and the mighty Khazars, ending with the conquering of the northern Caucasus. The results of this campaign were far reaching with all of the East Slavs coming under Kyivan rule and the northeast – the Russia of today – was opening to Slavic colonization.

During the latter part of his reign, Sviatoslav focused his attention to the Balkans. In 968 he helped the Byzantines in a war against the powerful Bulgarian kingdom. So impressed was he with the wealth of the land that he preferred to live on the Danube, thereby dividing the Kyivan domain amongst his sons.

Worried by this aggressive neighbor, Byzantium turned against the Kyivan ruler and forced him to withdraw. On the way back to Kyiv, the Rus’ forces were ambushed by the Pechenegs and Sviatoslav was killed. According to the “Chronicle of Bygone Years,” the Pecheneg khan had a chalice made out of his skull. Thus, ended Sviatoslav’s great adventure.
VOLODYMYR THE GREAT
Grand Prince of Kyiv
{ ca. 958–1015 }

The focus of Volodymyr’s attention rested primarily on the welfare of the realm rather than on the acquisition of territory and tribute, as had been the case with his predecessors. It was during his reign that Rus’ began to emerge as an integrated society and polity. Instead of launching traditional long-range expeditions, Volodymyr concentrated on securing his borders. This new orientation was guided by his desire to control the main trade routes to the west and to develop alternate routes to Constantinople, making his realm the largest in Europe. Volodymyr’s greatest achievement was the Christianization of his vast realm in 988. Despite popular resistance, pagan idols were destroyed, and Christian churches built in their place. Ten percent of princely revenues were assigned for the support of the church and its organization, which was imported from Constantinople. As a result, the political prestige of Volodymyr’s dynasty, now linked to the highly respected Byzantine ruling house, was greatly enhanced.

As a member of the Christian “family of rulers,” contacts with other European monarchs became much closer. Kyivan society was enriched by a dynamic institution that not only provided it with unprecedented spiritual and cultural unity, but that exerted a tremendous influence on its social and economic life, as well.
YAROSLAV THE WISE
Grand Prince of Kyiv
{ ca. 978–1054 }


Yaroslav’s long reign is usually considered to be the highpoint of the historyof Kyivan Rus’. Much of what Volodymyr had initiated was expanded byYaroslav. Like his father, he continued to extend the boundaries of an already huge realm, winning back territories that had been lost to the Poles during The internecine fighting conquering more Baltic and Finnish tribes, and finally destroying the Pechenegs.

It was his achievements at home, however, that assured Yaroslav lasting fame. With his support, the church grew rapidly. Monasteries were established and became the centers of learning for an increasingly urban and cultivated population. During his realm, “golden domed” Kyiv was studded with over 400 churches. Its crowning jewel was the church of St. Sophia, modeled on the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople.

The accomplishment with which Yaroslav’s name is perhaps most closely linked, and from which he gained his sorbent “the Wise,” was his codification of customary laws that became the basic legal code of the land, the Ruska Pravda (Rus’ Justice).

It is evident from these and other examples that the wealthy and increasingly urban and sophisticated society of Kyivan Rus’ had come a long way from the days when the isolated, forest-bound tribes first came into contact with the rough Scandinavian warrior-merchants.
ROMAN MSTYSLAVYCH
Prince of Galicia
{
1152–1205 }

Immersed in political struggles from early youth, Roman was chosen as prince by the Novogorodians in 1168 to defend their city against Suzdal’s aggressive designs in the north, while his father, Mstyslav of Volhynia, competed for control of Kyiv in the south. In 1199, years after his father’s death, Roman returned to Galicia to unite it with Volhynia, creating an imposing conglomerateon the political map of Eastern Europe with an energetic, forceful prince of great ability at its head.

In his domestic policies Roman concentrated on expanding his mighty princely power: that is, on undermining the boyars, many of whom he either exiled or executed. “You can’t enjoy the honey without killing the bees” was one of his favorite sayings. However, it was his foreign exploits that added the most to Roman’s widespread fame. He defeated his Suzdalian rivals and gained control of Kyiv in 1203. Thus, all the Ukrainian principalities came under the rule of one prince.

In his efforts to protect the Ukrainian principalities, Roman launched a series of highly successful campaigns against the Polovtsians, while in the north, he pushed deep into Polish and Lithuanian territory. This desire to extend the boundaries of an already vast realm proved to be the cause of his undoing. In 1205, while crossing into Polish territory, Roman was killed in an ambush.

The territorial conglomerate he had assembled lasted only six years, too short a time fort to crystallize into a stable, permanent political entity. Still, by referring to him as “the Great” and “Autocrat of all Rus’,” Roman’s contemporaries showed their appreciation for his remarkable achievements.
DANYLO ROMANOVYCH
King of Galicia and Volhynia
{
1201–1264}

After the death of his father, Prince Roman Mstyslavych, in 1205, unrest among the boyars forced Danylo to take refuge at the Hungarian court, and later, with his mother and brother, in small principalities in Volhynia. Following a long struggle with neighboring princes and Galician boyars (1219–27), Danylo unified Volhynia. He failed in several attempts to gain control of Halych, but finally succeeded in 1238, with the support of the burghers. The next year he took Kyiv, which had entered his sphere of influence.

However, the Mongol invasion of 1240–41, during which Kyiv, Volodymyr and Halych were destroyed, interfered with Danylo’s plans for the unification of Ukrainian territories. Nevertheless, on August 17, 1245, he defeated a coalition of the Chernihiv princes and their Hungarian and Polish allies at the Battle of Yaroslav and finally to establish his control over Galicia. In order to save his state, Danylo was compelled to recognize the khan’s suzerainty, which he did in a visit to the khan’s court at Sarai in 1246. Yet he prepared to overthrow his Mongol overlords. In 1254, Danylo repulsed a Mongol attack on Ponyzia and Volhynia. The Mongol leader Burundai led a new campaign in 1260, forcing Danylo to dismantle his fortifications and to abandon his plans for independence.

Danylo was an exceptionally gifted ruler. For a time, he unified the western territories of Ukraine. He built a number of new cities, including Kholm and Lviv; reformed the military forces, creating a heavy infantry based on the peasantry; and gained control over the boyars. Under his reign Western European cultural influences were strong in Ukraine, and Western European political and administrative forms took hold, particularly in the provinces.

DMYTRO “BAIDA” VYSHNEVETSKY
Hetman
{ 1516–1563 }

 
The magnates who initially began to organize the Cossacks in the mid-16th century still were Orthodox and not yet Polonized Ukrainians. The most famous among them was “Baida” Vyshnevetsky, the starosta of Kaniv. The kaleidoscopic nature of his career and his legendary fame often make it difficult to separate fact from fiction. However, it is uncontestable that in 1553–54, he gathered together scattered groups of Cossacks and, on the remote island of Mala Khortytsia below the Dnipro rapids, built a fort designed to obstruct Tatar raids into Ukraine. In so doing, he laid the foundations for the Zaporizhian Sich, regarded as the cradle of Ukrainian Cossackdom.
 
Soon afterwards, he launched a series of attacks against the Crimea and even had the temerity to attack the Ottoman Turks themselves. When the Commonwealth refused to support him in his anti-Muslim crusade, Vyshnevetsky moved to Muscovy, from where he continued his attacks on Crimea. Before long, he grew dissatisfied there and, after returning to Ukraine, involved himself in Moldavian affairs. This proved to be his undoing, for the Moldavians treacherously handed him over to the Ottomans, who executed him in Constantinople in 1563.
 
Numerous Ukrainian folk songs, some of them surviving to this day, have preserved the memory of “Baida’s” exploits.
 
PETRO KONASHEVYCH-SAHAIDACHNY
Hetman
{
1570–1622 }

Prior to Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Sahaidachny was considered the most outstanding Cossack leader. Convinced that the Cossacks were not yet a match for the forces of the Commonwealth, he made conciliation with the Poles the keystone of his policy. He mobilized and led large Cossack armies the fought for the Poles against Moscow and the Ottomans. A strict disciplinarian Sahaidachny liquidated roving bands of undisciplined Cossacks and forced them to recognize his authority.

Sahaidachny’s most outstanding achievement was that he perceived the Cossacks in terms not only of their specific class interests, but also as a potential leading force in Ukrainian society as a whole. He allied the rough and militarily potent Cossacks with the politically weak Ukrainian religio-cultural elite. In 1620, Sahaidachny enrolled himself and the entire Zaporizhian Host in the Kyivan brotherhood. This step was meant to demonstrate that henceforth the Zaporizhians intended to uphold Ukrainian religious and cultural demands.

In that same year, Sahaidachny together with the Orthodox clergy, invited the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Teofan, to visit Kyiv in order to consecrate a new Orthodox hierarchy. Since the Poles threatened to arrest Teofan as a spy, the hetman guaranteed his safety. After the new metropolitan and bishops were installed, Sahaidachny escorted the patriarch to the Ottoman border at the head of 3,000 Cossacks. So great was the prestige of this Cossack hetman that when he died in 1622, the populace of Kyiv turned out for his funeral en masse.
BOHDAN KHMELNYTSKY
Hetman
{
1595–1657 }

It is difficult to overestimate Khmelnytsky’s impact on the course of Ukrainian history. Ukrainian, Polish and Russian historians have compared his achievements to those of such giants of the 17th century history as Cromwell of England or Wallenstein of Bohemia. Studies of the hetman and his age frequently stress his ability to create so much from so little. Where a Ukrainian political entity had long ceased to exist, he established a new one; out of hordes of unruly peasants and Cossacks he molded powerful, well-organized armies; from among a people abandoned by their traditional elite he found and united around him new, dynamic leaders. Most important, in a society bereft of self-confidence and a clear sense of identity, he instilled pride in itself and a will to defend its interests.

Clearly, Khmelnytsky had his share of setbacks, mistakes and miscalculations. There was Berestechko, the disastrous Moldavian venture, the failure of the combined Cossack/Transylvanian campaign into Poland, and, finally, the inability to ensure that both Ukraine’s enemies and allies would recognize its integrity. For these failings, historians and writers have been quick to take Khmelnytsky to task.

Nonetheless, the fine points of scholarly evaluation have had little effect on the Ukrainian people’s instinctive, unbounded admiration for “Batko (father) Bohdan.” For the vast majority of Ukrainians, both in his day and up to the present, Khmelnytsky has towered as the great liberator, as the heroic figure who by the force of his personality and intellect roused Ukrainians from a centuries-long miasma of passivity and hopelessness and propelled them toward national and socioeconomic emancipation.
IVAN VYHOVSKY
Hetman
{
1608–1664 }

Vyhovsky was one of the more sophisticated and best educated of the Cossack hetmans. An Orthodox nobleman from the Kyiv region, he had studied at the renowned Kyivan Mohyla Academy. In international relations, his preference was for the establishment of an independent Ukrainian principality. Yet, as Ukraine was too weak for such a step, Vyhovsky focused on finding a counter-balance to Muscovite influence in Ukraine. For this reason, he established closer ties with Poland. While the Cossack and ecclesiastical elite supported the rapprochement with Poland, the masses including the Zaporizhians vehemently opposed it.

A revolt culminated in a bloody confrontation near Poltava in June 1658. Vyhovsky, who emerged victorious but weakened, decided to sever his ties with Muscovy and concluded the Treaty of Hadiach with Poland on September 16, 1658. In response to the signing of the treaty Muscovy sent a large force to stop the hetman. Vyhovsky annihilated the Muscovite troops on July 8, 1659 near Konotop, with Polish and Tatar aid. Victory was short-lived.

Widespread dissatisfaction with the Hadiach agreement and the possibility of renewed Polish influence in Ukraine gave rise to a revolt. Vyhovsky was forced to flee to Hermanivka, in the Kyiv region, in September 1659, and his title of hetman was officially revoked at a council in Bila Tserkva.
IVAN SAMOILOVYCH
Hetman
{ 1630–1690 }

The son of a priest, Samoilovych had studied with notable success at the Kyiv Academy before enrolling in the Zaporizhian Host. For most of his tenure as hetman, he was careful to maintain good relations with the Cossack leadership (starshyna). He awarded generous land grants and created the so-called companions of the standard, a corps of junior officers. By creating this corps, Samoilovych encouraged the development of a hereditary elite on the Left Bank of the Dnipro.

Probably the most satisfying moment in his career occurred in 1676 when Hetman Doroshenko ceremoniously surrendered his mace, whereupon Samoilovych began to title himself “Hetman of both sides of the Dnipro.”
Within two years, the Ottomans forced Samoilovych and his allies to abandon the Right Bank. His evacuation left the original homeland of the Cossacks uninhabited.

Another setback to Samoilovych’s hopes of reuniting Ukraine came in 1686 when the Poles and Russians signed the so-called eternal peace. It placed Kyiv and the Zaporizhian lands under the sovereignty of the tsar. Disgruntled by Moscow’s policies, Samoilovych was not very cooperative when the Russians launched a huge campaign against the Tatars in 1687. Poor preparedness and natural calamities turned the campaign into a fiasco. Accused by dissident members of the starshyna illegally enriching himself and his family and blamed by Russian commanders for the failure of the campaign, Samoilovych was removed from office in 1687 and exiled to Siberia.
PETRO DOROSHENKO
Hetman
{ 1627–1698 }


With Ukraine divided into Polish and Russian spheres of influence and with rival hetmans who were little more than puppets of their foreign overlords, responsible Cossack leaders called for a return to past glories. Among the most forceful proponents of Cossack regeneration was Petro Doroshenko. The son of a Cossack colonel and grandson of a hetman, he had worked closely with Khmelnytsky. He stressed that his goal was to unite Right- and Left-Bank Ukraine under his aegis. In the hope of winning over the masses, Doroshenko frequently called general councils where he listened to the opinions of the rank and file. To free himself from the overdependence on the starshyna, the hetman organized a corps of mercenaries who took orders only from him.

In 1668, he reached the height of his power when, backed by the Ottomans and with both Right- and Left-Bank Ukraine under his control, he proclaimed himself hetman of all Ukraine. His success was fleeting, however. Alarmed by his growing power, his numerous internal enemies set about to undermine it. With his unpopularity growing because of his support with the hated infidels, the hetman’s support was dwindling fast.

The final blow came in 1675-76 when the Muscovites engaged the Ottomans in a bloody battle for Chyhyryn fortress and Doroshenko found himself supporting the “infidel” Ottomans against his Orthodox countrymen. Realizing that his position was untenable, he surrendered the regalia of his office to Ivan Samoilovych, the new hetman of the Left Bank. Treating him with leniency, the tsar ordered this “last of the true Cossacks” into exile near Moscow.
IVAN MAZEPA
Hetman
{ 1639–1709 }

A man of intellect and refinement, Mazepa contributed a significant part of his personal wealth toward the support of religious and cultural institutions. His support of the Kyiv Academy, for example, made possible the construction of new buildings and increased enrollment. Many other institutions of higher learning also were endowed with building funds and printing presses.

Mazepa’s extended alliance with Tsar Peter I caused onerous responsibilities and losses to be inflicted on the population, in particular as a result of the Great Northern War and Russian exploitation in Ukraine. Peter I not only interfered in the Hetmanate’s internal affairs and mercilessly exploited the population in his belligerent pursuits but embarked on a policy of annihilating Ukrainian autonomy and abolishing the Cossack order and privileges. When Peter’s intentions became clear, Mazepa, began secret negotiations in 1706 with the kings of Poland and Sweden, and forged with them an anti-Russian coalition in 1708.

His efforts at organizing a broad anti-Russian front in Eastern Europe proved unsuccessful, and his and Swedish Charles XII’s defeat at the Battle of Poltava on 8 July 1709 sealed Ukraine’s fate. Mazepa, his allies, together with 3,000 followers, fled to Turkish-held territory. Broken by his defeat, old and ill, Mazepa died in Bendery, Moldavia. He was buried at Saint George’s Monastery in Galaţi, where his tomb was subsequently desecrated. Although there have been controversial assessments of Mazepa, he has remained a symbol of Ukrainian independence. The period of his hetmancy has justifiably been known as the Mazepa renaissance.
PAVLO POLUBOTOK
Hetman
{ 1660–1724 }


After Hetman Mazepa’s defeat at the Battle of Poltava in 1709 and subsequent flight abroad, Pavlo Polubotok submitted his candidacy for the position of hetman, but Tsar Peter I did not trust him and supported Ivan Skoropadsky’s candidacy instead. In compensation, Polubotok was given many properties in the Hetman state that made him one of the wealthiest members of the Cossack starshyna. After Skoropadsky’s death in 1722, Polubotok became acting hetman. Peter, however, forbade the election of a new hetman and created the Little Russian Collegium to rule in the Hetman state in place of the GeneralMilitary Chancellery. Polubotok’s repeated appeals to Peter to abolish the Collegium, fully restore the starshyna’s privileges, and allow the election of a new hetman angered the emperor and resulted in the arrest of Polubotok and his closest associates in November 1723.

Polubotok was imprisoned in St. Petersburg’s Peter and Paul Fortress, where he died a year later, his properties immediately confiscated and redistributed.

His general defense of Ukrainian rights and his tragic fate made him a hero in the eyes of his contemporaries and subsequent generations of Ukrainians. Non-Soviet 20th century Ukrainian historians, though admitting that he was primarily a spokesman for the Cossack elite and its privileges, have viewed Polubotok as a defender of the principles of Ukrainian autonomy articulated in the Pereiaslav Treaty of 1654.
DANYLO APOSTOL
Hetman
{ 1654–1734 }

The general approval with which Apostol’s election to hetman was met was tempered by the fact that the imperial government (Moscow) not only refused to confirm all the articles of the 1654 Pereiaslav Agreement, but imposed limitations on the hetman. A Russian resident was to supervise all his foreign contacts, a Russian field marshal was to control military affairs, and the tsar had the right to make land grants in the Hetmanate. Realizing that any attempt to restore the Hetmanate’s political prerogatives was doomed to fail, Apostol concentrated on improving social and economic conditions in it.

He continued with the reform of the judicial system and its first annual budget. Apostol conducted a thorough survey and restored many of the lost lands. He was especially effective in supporting Ukrainian commercial interests, successfully protecting Ukrainian merchants from unfair Russian competition and reducing the onerous customs duties that had been imposed by imperial officials. By regaining the right to appoint the general staff and colonels, Apostol greatly reduced the number of Russians and other foreigners in his administration. He also brought Kyiv, which had long been under the sway of the Russian governor, under his own jurisdiction.

A dramatic indication of the improved conditions in the Hetmanate was the return to Russian sovereignty in the spring of 1734 of the Zaporizhians who had lived in exile on Crimean territory since 1708. Apostol did not live to see this event, for he died in January of that year.
KYRYLO ROZUMOVSKY
Hetman
{
1728–1803 }

Although he spent much of his time in St. Petersburg where he was deeply involved in court politics, Rozumovsky maintained close contacts with the Left Bank. The Hetmanate was divided into twenty judicial districts, judges were elected, and townsmen were judged before their own courts.

Rozumovsky also extended once again the hetman’s authority over Kyiv and the Zaporizhians. He initiated a somewhat superficial attempt at modernizing the Cossack army by systematizing drills, providing it with uniforms and improving its artillery.

With the hetman frequently away at the imperial court, the starshyna governed the land as it saw fit. The Cossack officer corps completed its transformation, begun in the late 17th century, to a typical nobility. It now began to refer to itself as shliakhta. After Catherine II came to power in 1762, Rozumovsky returned to the Hetmanate to concentrate on its affairs. In 1763, the hetman and starshyna held an important council at Hlukhiv. In the end, the delegates sent a strongly worded petition to the new empress that called for the return of their lost rights and the creation of a parliament of nobles on the Left Bank loosely modeled on the Polish sejm. In other words, what the Ukrainians were asking from Catherine was a permanent commitment to their autonomy. But the Ukrainian elite had miscalculated. At exactly this time, influenced by a scathing attack on Ukrainian autonomy written by Teplov, Rozumovsky’s former tutor. Catherine II decided to abolish this autonomy altogether. She ordered Rozumovsky to the capital where, after some attempts at bargaining, he relinquished his office in 1764.