Putin claimed a 400-year-old map proved Ukraine isn’t a real country, not noticing it has ‘Ukraine’ written on it

Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday cited a 17th-Century map of Europe to back his discredited thesis that Ukraine isn’t a real country, a claim that he’s used to justify Russia’s unprovoked invasion.

But, even on the terms of Putin’s thesis, there was a problem: the document clearly marks part of the territory as being “Ukraine.”

In a meeting with the chairman of Russia’s constitutional court, Valery Zorkin, the two pored over a map made by a 17th century cartographer for France’s King Louis XIV.

The Kremlin published a video of the encounter, in which Putin and Zorkin hold the map up as proof that a Ukrainian nation is a historical fiction.

The map Putin inspected appears to be a copy of one made in 1674 by French cartographer Hubert Jaillot, showing parts of eastern Europe and Asia, with cities and territories marked out.

Here is a screengrab from the Kremlin video, and underneath a clearer copy of the map from France’s national library.

Vladimir Putin and a Russian official inspect a 17th century map showing Russia and eastern Europe.
A 17th century map by cartographer Hubert Jaillot in which the section labeled “Ukraine” is circled in red.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Skitch

Putin seized on the map to back one of the core arguments he has made in support of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine — that it’s not a real country and so should be incorporated into Russia. 

“The Soviet government created Soviet Ukraine. This is well known to everyone. Until then, there was never any Ukraine in the history of humanity,” Putin said. 

In fact, the map does clearly show Ukraine. Below is a zoomed-in version of the section highlighted in red above.

A close up view of part of a 17th century French map showing “Ukraine, land of the Cossacks.”
Bibliothèque Nationale de France

The text translates to “Ukraine or land of the Cossaks”, and sits next to the Dnipro river that runs through modern-day Ukraine. The capital Kyiv, spelled Kiow on the map, is also visible nearby. 

Back then, what was to become Russia was known in parts of Europe as the Grand Duchy of Muscovy, while Polish nobles ruled large swaths of what is now Ukraine.

In a thesis published just before the 2022 invasion, Putin claimed that Ukrainians and Russians are “one people” who have been divided by conspiring foreigners, framing his invasion as a means to reunite them.

Historian Bjorn Alexander Düben, writing for the London School of Economics, said that in the 17th century, when the map was made, Ukraine had a distinct culture and language from Russia, and Cossack tribes were emerging who asserted their independence from Polish rulers and Moscow. 

In 1790, the Russian empire absorbed much of what is now Ukraine. Ukraine briefly became independent after the 1917 Russian revolution, but was soon absorbed into the Soviet Union.

It was only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 that Ukraine became an independent nation again, a development which Russia accepted at the time.

But “Ukrainian de facto political entities struggling for their autonomy or independence had existed long before that,” Düben wrote.



  1. Marijn Markus has commented on this on LinkedIn:

    Putin declared ‘#Ukraine never existed’ on State #TV 🤣
    Based a map that clearly says ‘𝐔𝐤𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞, 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬’

    🙄 Putin proclaimed that before the USSR, Ukrainians never had their own state, pointing at a 17th century map from #France as evidence 🇫🇷

    He failed to notice the name ‘𝐔𝐤𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞’
    On the map itself, RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM.

    It mentions “Vkraine ou Pays des Cosaques”
    👉 Ukraine, country of Cossacks

    As well as ‘Crimski, Tartares du Crim’
    👉 Crimea, of the Crimean Tatars

    🗺️ The map is from the 17th century,
    By French cartographer Guillaume Sanson

    🤭 Also note on that very same map, St Petersburg, 
    The city where Putin was born, was called ‘Ingria’
    And belonged to #Sweden 🇸🇪

    🚨 This is a form of ‘𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡𝐢𝐜 #propaganda ‘
    Misleading and misrepresenting (historic) map #Data
    As a justification for political goals.

    The 𝐍𝐚𝐳𝐢𝐬 were famous for it.

    And entities like Moscow and Beijing still practice it today.

    #Media #Communication #Ethics
    #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 

    • In fact there is no country called russia on the map, russia was called muscovy. Ukraine existed before russia, but why let facts get in the way of propaganda.

  2. These 2 old Muscovites are like those couples who go on vacation driving their car and who stubbornly believe that the lane on which they are engaged at very high speed ends in a tunnel, while their GPS tells them ” watch out, it’s a dead end, watch out, it’s a dead end…”. 100m, 50m, 20m,… BAMMMM!

    There is something impressive about these ORCS. Because it is very difficult to self-hypnotize. But they manage to do it very well!

  3. Nobody needs a map to know that Ukraine existed, exists and will exist. She is bursting with life!

    On the other hand, in the 17th century, a few thousand km to the EAST, the Krai of Khabarovsk, Primorsky and the Oblast of Amur are clearly Chinese! 🙂

    • We all know that Moskali can’t read maps, that’s why they’re in the trouble they are. Truth is since the 10th century and even before that, Kyiv has been the hub between Europe and Asia and the cultural center for the Slavs/Vikings. That’s why the russo-nazis can’t stand that there is a Ukraine because as long as there is a Ukraine, the Moskali will remain nothing but outcasts and thieves with no home because they can’t MAKE their own home, they just want to STEAL one. They had centuries to build a culture or history but have spent all their time stealing and destroying instead.

  4. I admit that in my assumptions of Ukrainian history, I had thought that part of the present-day territory of Ukraine had been part of imperial russia, but this had always been the assumption of part of the territory, never the whole of Ukraine. I have understood that three of the stronger countries of the region had crowded around Ukraine, all vying against each other for those fertile farmlands. I think in my ignorance, I believed the Cossacks’ region was straddling the present-day border, and the Cossack ethnicity was on both sides. Also, many fellow Americans I’ve chatted with online and offline, have appeared to think Ukraine is STILL “part of russia.” I already knew better, that it had cut ties from the USSR after communism’s collapse, and russia used the “excuse” of liberation during the wartime period from WWI to WWII, to capture more territory. I have had to correct some of my fellow Americans, that Ukraine is its own country, NOT “part of Russia. When I’d mentioned my assumptions to the Ukrainian lady I’ve been courting, she admitted, “some Cossacks had taken the Russians’ side in the many centuries of years before. But ALL Cossacks have always been Ukrainian. %100 UKRAINIAN.”

    She might not have realized it, but I really admire that fierce patriotism, and the honesty to admit embarrassing facts. It makes me more determined to marry her, war or not.

  5. Fucking brainless cunt, too busy thinking about sucking a Schoolboy’s cock to see the evidence.

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