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.After Khmelnytsky died in 1657, Ukraine's position weakened and it was eventually betrayed by its ally, Russia, who entered into an agreement with Poland which divided Ukraine between Russia and Poland.
In 1569 the regions of Kiev, Volhynia, and Bratslav (Podillia) were annexed to the Kingdom of Poland.
Another part of this development included a new society which grew out of the plains of the Dnieper River—the Cossacks.
Although most of western Ukraine is agricultural—it is a country that has served as the "bread-basket of Europe"—there are large petroleum and natural gas fields as well.
Major industrial products include refined sugar, iron, steel, tractors, cement, glass, paper, and fertilizer.
One of the most notable of the Cossack leaders (hetmans) was Bohdan Khmelnytsky, who ruled from 1648 to 1657.
During this time he led an uprising and mass peasant revolt against the ruling Poles.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.Among his contributions were more than 400 churches in Kiev alone, and the establishment of Ruska pravda (Rus' Justice), the basic legal code of the country.Jaroslav's reign was followed by a period of relative decline, beginning with feuds among his sons and grandsons.Ukraine is officially named Ukrayina, which means "borderland." After Russia, it is the second-largest country in Europe in area.