It was there where Russian forces famously defeated the combined armies of Swedish King Charles XII and Ivan Mazepa, a Cossack general.
It reminds me of a funny story a colleague once told me about former President Leonid Kuchma. Apparently while on a state visit to Sweden, Kuchma, who was famous for liking a tipple, asked the Swedish king why the Swedish forces couldn't have beaten the Russians. He then said -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- if you did, we would now be living in a civilized country.
-- Irene Chalupa