12:32 20.03.2009

Yuschenko calls for myth of Hetman Mazepa's treason to be dispelled

Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has said that it is time to dispel the myth about the alleged treason of Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa.

"It's time to finally dispel the myth [about Mazepa]," the president said on Friday in the village of Mazepyntsi, where events to mark the 370th birthday of Hetman Ivan Mazepa are taking place.

Yuschenko said that Mazepa was a hetman of Ukraine for more than two decades, united Left-bank and Right-bank Ukraine, and formed the army of the Ukrainian Cossacks. He also noted that architecture was thriving in Ukraine over the years of his rule.

"Ukraine was reviving as the country of European cultural traditions," the president added. He also stressed that the hetman wanted to create an independent Ukraine.

Yuschenko expressed regret said that the location of the grave of Hetman Mazepa is unknown.

The president later laid flowers at a monument to Mazepa.

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