DECLINE OF UKRAINIAN STATEHOOD AND CULTURE (1712-1783)
Lutsk - 2002
After defeat of Mazepa, tsar Peter intensified his efforts to
subjugate Ukraine. Hetman Skoropadskyi had his powers restricted by
Russian supervisors. His residence was transferred from Baturyn to
Hlukhow near Russian border, where two Russian garrisons were stationed
to ensure his loyalty to Moscow.
Ukrainian population became burdened by plundering Russian military
units, dispersed throughout the country. Cossacks were sent to work on
construction of canals near St Petersburg, connecting river Volga with
Baltic Sea, where they died in thousands from hunger, exhaustion and
sickness. Many Cossack colonels were replaced by Russian nationals.
In 1722, tsar appointed a council called "Little Russian
Collegiate", controlled by senior Russian officers and headed by
brigadier Velmyaninow, to monitor and audit hetman's activities and
decisions. This, for practical purposes, transferred all powers to
Russians, leaving Cossack hetman and his officers only with empty
Hetman Skoropadskyi was very upset by such situation; he became ill
and died in 1722. tsar Peter used this opportunity to abolish the
office of hetman altogether. He directed Cossack colonel Polubotok to
perform hetman's duties under supervision of Velmyaninow and refused to
agree to Cossack requests to elect new hetman.
Russian occupiers continued to persecute and impoverish Ukrainian
population. They kept sending more Cossacks to work on construction of