I already mentioned Oleksiy Honcharenko in my recent post but I remember for a while I have had a video of him on my YouTube channel. Oleksiy has a decent command of the English language and during the time of Petro Poroshenko in the office of the Ukrainian president, Oleksiy represented Ukraine in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe…
So recently, Honcharenko defaced the landscape of the Ukrainian city of Poltava with billboards featuring Ivan Mazepa, the Hetman of the Zaporozhian Host during the reign of Peter the Great. The Zaporozhian Host were Cossacks and vassals of the Russian Tsar, and for many years Mazepa was a loyal subject of Peter. But when in the course of the Great Northern War, the King of Sweden, Charles XII, Hetman Mazepa chose to betray Peter and back the Swedish invaders.
Charles and Mazepa were squarely defeated at Poltava, and the men loyal to Mazepa fled to the Ottoman Empire. Mazepa was reviled by the Tsarist government for his treason but his persona periodically resurfaced since the first half of the eighteenth century in a more positive light.
In the Romanticist period of the nineteenth century, a story from Mazepa’s youth became somewhat popular in the West. The story goes that the young Mazepa, who then was a Polish courtier, was humping one of the wives of some magnate. The magnate discovered this love affair, tied naked Mazepa to a horse and set the animal loose. The horse carried Mazepa east to the lands of the Cossacks.
Around the same time, Mazepa found some favour with the Decembrists, who saw him as fighter against autocracy, and slightly later he was adopted by the Svidomites, who made him a fighter for independent Ukraine. It would seem that modern political movements have a tendency to make Mazepa into something he really was not. That is, an old fool who backed the wrong horse.
But Mazepa animates the Svidomites because he is the personification of their own archetype. Their ideology of the Ukrainian nationalists is in a nutshell basically the betrayal of Russia and embracement of the West. And Oleksiy Honcharenko is another personification of a collective Mazepa. He campaigned in Odessa in defense of the Russian language but then in 2014, a crisis hit, a crisis no doubt influenced by Western interference. Honcharenko completely flipped the script…
Happy Birthday Poltava, The Battle of Poltava is not finished yet. To Moscow!
I am willing to bet that a repeat of the Poltava battle would have a grim ending for any adepts of Mazepa. And Honcharenko would be the first to make a run in the Western direction.