When did Ukraine come under Russian control and who was responsible for this?

The short answers are January 1654 and Bordan Khmelnytsky.

Khmelnytsky was the leader of the Hetmanate Cossacks who led a successful uprising against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of which Ukraine was then a part. At the small town of Pereiaslav, he signed an agreement that, in return for allegiance to the Russian Tsar, the Cossack Hetmanate would receive the military protection of Russia.

For the next three and a quarter centuries, Kiev (now Kviv) would be ruled from Moscow.

This is a fundamental part of the historical background to why Putin wants to take over Ukraine and why the Poles are so welcoming to Ukrainian refugees. Of course, there are many contemporary factors but history casts a long shadow.

For more detail, follow the links.

For my part, I first learned this information through my reading of “Borderland” by Anna Reid.


  • Dirk F Havlak

    Hi Roger,
    I see the “Borderland” book was originally published in 1997, and reissued in 2015. Was it updated, or just reprinted? Still probably valid regardless, because it’s history, right?
    Dirk Havlak, Olympia, WA, USA

  • Roger Darlington

    Hi, Dirk. It was fully updated with an extra 60 pages.


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