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THE MODERN HISTORY of Ukraine began with the efforts of the Ukrainian people to throw off Russian Bolshevik rule in the Revolution of 1917. Conquered by Russia in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Ukrainians had never lost their zest for freedom. One of their heroes had been the Cossack Bohdan Kmehlnitsky, who had fought for Ukrainian freedom in the 17th century. Tragically, his Cossacks, in fighting for their own rights, savagely murdered thousands of innocent Jews in one of the first pogroms in East European or Russian history. The greatest account of the Ukrainian Cossack struggle for freedom was Taras Bulba, written by one of Russia's greatest writers, Nikolai Gogol. Coincidentally, Gogol was born in the Ukraine in March 1809.

When Tzar Nicholas II was ...

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