Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monument to Hetman Ivan Mazepa in Poltava…. Be or not to be?

Kyiv, August, 26th 2009. President of Ukraine Viktor Uschenko has sent a letter to Poltava City Major Andriy Matkovsky in connection with nonfulfillment of presidential decree about erection of the monument to Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa. On October 28, 1708 as the army of Charles XII turned to Ukraine Hetman Mazepa allied himself with him. As a result an anathema was read against Mazepa by the order of Peter I. Hetman Mazepa as a political figure put himself on record in culture development of his land. In particular, he opened about 200 religious and scientific establishments in Ukraine and supported the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy financially. On October 9, 2007 President Yushchenko signed a decree on celebration of the 300th anniversary of events related to the military-political actions of hetman Ivan Mazepa and making a Ukrainian-Swedish alliance. This decree among many things presumed an erection of the monument to Charles XII in Ukraine and another monument to Hetman Mazepa in Sweden (after being submitted to Swedish side for approval). This decree has produced an ambiguous reaction in Russian and Swedish mass media. Initially it was planned to inaugurate this monument for the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava on the Cathedral Square (photo 1, 2). Afterward the target date for inauguration was put off till Independence Day (August 24th). Now it is rumored that it will be unveiled up to the end of December 2009.President Uschenko holds that Poltava Major Andriy Matkovsky as a member of Yulia Timoshenko Bloc simply takes antistate and treasonable position caused by oncoming new presidential election. Not long ago supporters of Hetman Mazepa organized a rally in Kiev. Some protesters held placards calling for support for Hetman Ivan Mazepa as a National Hero and deportation of Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko from Ukraine to Ural Mountains in Russia (photo 4). As about the monument created by architect Mykola Bilyk and sculptor Viktor Shevchenko (photo 3), it is already completed and waiting for the final decision.

But how long will it take to come to an agreement?

Learn more about Hetman Ivan Mazepa at: