Ivan Mazepa (ca. 1644-1709) was the Ukrainian Cossack leader, Hetman.
Ivan Stepanovich Mazepa was raised in Poland and educated in the West. In 1663 he returned to Ukraine to enter the military service during the turbulent period of Ukrainian history known as the Ruin. Mazepa reached the rank of inspector general while still in his early 30s.
In 1687 he was elected hetman (chief) of the Ukrainian Cossack state. Mazepa managed to build new schools and churches, but his chief goal became the freeing of his people from Russian domination and the formation of an independent state including all of the Ukraine.