- Khmelnitsky, Bogdan
(c. 1595–1657) led an uprising against Poland, which resulted in the creation of a Cossack state. In 1654, he concluded a treaty with Russia, which led to the eventual loss of independence to the Russian Empire. In this light, Khmelnytsky is viewed to this day as a national hero of Russia for bringing Ukraine into the ‘eternal union’ of all the Russias. The Russians present this role (even today) as a model for all Ukrainians to follow. This view was expressed in a monument commissioned by the Russian nationalist Mikhail Yuzefovich, which was installed in the centre of Kiev (Ukraine) in 1888. This statue had the inscription: ‘For Bohdan Khmelnytsky, a united, indivisible Russia, 1654–1888’. This inscription has disappeared.
- Mikeshin, Mikhail
(1835–1896) was a Russian artist who regularly worked for the Romanov family and designed a number of outdoor statues in the major cities of the Russian Empire.
Originally, the artist wanted the horse to be portrayed trampling a Jesuit, a Polish noble and a Jew. Tsar Alexander III did not oppose the idea, but the Kiev authorities feared resistance. In the end, the idea did not materialize due to a lack of funds. Another point of discussion was the positioning of the statue. The original idea was that Bogdan would point his ‘hetman club’ in the direction of Poland, but that would mean that the rear of the horse would face the Sofia cathedral in a blasphemous way. So the statue was turned a little bit, with the result that Bogdan now threatens Sweden.