State Historical and Cultural Reserve «The Field of the Great Poltava Battle»
Ukr Rus Eng
1709 2009

The Fifth Hall Annotation. Military company in Ukraine (October 1708 - June 1709). Ivan Mazepa Resistance

Charles XII army entrance into Ukraine and Hetman Mazepa steps against Moscow caused sudden warning actions of Peter I.

On 2 November, 1708, the Hetman residence, Baturyn town, was destroyed — bulk of the fortress defenders and all civilians were killed. At the same time, Peter I sent a manifesto addressed to Ukrainian people — there he blamed Ivan Mazepa in his intentions to return Ukraine to Poland and to bring Union; also Peter I announced himself the only protector of Orthodox religion and «rights and liberties of the Hetman state». According to his order, Moscow church anathematized Mazepa. Ivan Skoropadsky became the new Hetman of Ukraine. Ivan Mazepa and Charles XII also sent manifests, but Ukrainian people were so scared after Baturyn events, that they took these manifests very suspiciously.

The Ukrainian population was demoralized by the tsar government actions and avoided loud support of I. Mazepa actions. A wave of Mazepa supporters arrests crossed Ukraine — they were brought to Glukhov and Lebedyn; after horrible tortures all suspects were executed.

After Mazepa actions against Moscow, the Swedish army met rather tolerant attitude of locals, who gave food to Charles XII army. But at the same time the Swedish warriors suffered from permanent attacks of Russian regiments, which were transported to Ukraine.

Bulk of Ukrainian towns decided to keep the neutral position — they just let in fortress those troops, which reached them the first. That was also a decision taken by Poltava colonel I. Levenets, who was the active supporter of I. Mazepa. Russian troops entered the fortress of Poltava in December 1708, and Poltava became one of the main fort-posts of Peter I on the territory of the Left-bank Ukraine.

The majority of Poltava Cossacks supported Anti-Moscow opposition of I. Mazepa, but they had to obey Skoropadsky and joined Russia troops. More than 4 thousand soldiers of Russian garrison troops were located in the fortress of Poltava; but now they were headed by the colonel O.Kelin — Levenets was exited to Kharkiv with whole his family as an unreliable person. In March 1709 Zaporizhzhya Sich, headed by K. Hordiyenko, joined the Union of I. Mazepa and Charles XII. Southern parts of Poltava regiment cleaned the road to Swedish-Ukrainian forces in districts of Dykanka and Velyki Budyshcha for Zaporizhzhya Cossacks to join allies.

On March 27, 1709, the Ukrainian-Swedish agreement was signed. The main idea of it was the formation of independent Ukrainian state. Zaporizhzhya Cossacks joined I. Mazepa — Peter I wanted to use Cossacks as his allies and that idea failed. In return, Peter I destroyed Chortomlyts’ka Sich with help of G. Yakovlev and G. Galagan troops on May 14, 1709.

In April 1709, the Union army concentrated forces near Poltava. The siege of Poltava started on May 1 and lasted till the Great battle. While Charles XII was waiting for help from the side of his allies — S. Leshchynsky from Poland and Devlet-Girey from Crimea — Poltava fortress siege was rather inactive. This situation was used by Russian commanders — they strengthened Poltava garrison with brigadier F. Golovin and more than a thousand of his soldiers on May 15, 1709. In end of May 1709 there were concentrated all possible military forces of Peter I near Poltava; the Russian tsar came there by himself on June 4, 1709.

Preparations to the Great battle started, though Peter I proposed to Charles XII to sign a peace agreement just on May 2, 1709.

The exposition of the Hall shows Poltava fortress at the beginning of XVIII century, ammunition of that time warriors; illustrations, maps and graphical materials tell us about the Great Northern war in Ukraine and at the territory of Poltava province.

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«The Field of the Great Poltava Battle»