Tag Archives: cossacks

The Cossack Letter to the Sultan Mahmud IV

In the 17th Century, Ukraine was a constantly disputed borderland between Catholic Poland and Muslim Turkey (both more powerful in those days), and Orthodox Russia (just starting to emerge as a great power). Indeed the very name “Ukraine” means “border.”

The Cossacks were Ukrainian cavalrymen originally chartered by Poland to establish autonomous military communities on the Turkish border. The most famous Cossack settlement was the Zaporogian “Syech'” near present-day Continue reading