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Olha had converted from paganism to Christianity in 955 and, with Volodymyr, is credited with bringing Christianity to a pagan land in 988.The reign of Jaroslav the Wise (1036-1054) is often seen as the pinnacle in the history of Kievan Rus.

Jaroslav's reign was followed by a period of relative decline, beginning with feuds among his sons and grandsons.This led to a new ruling state with the hetman as leader and a tumultuous relationship with Russia in order to fight Poland.There was also a treaty signed with Muscovy in 1654 to help protect against invaders.In 1708-1709 Hetman Ivan Mazepa led the Cossacks to fight alongside Sweden's King Charles XII in the Swedish king's war with Russia's Peter I.


But the Swedes and Cossacks lost, and Peter destroyed the hetman's capital and the hetmanate itself.

One of the most notable of the Cossack leaders (hetmans) was Bohdan Khmelnytsky, who ruled from 1648 to 1657.



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