And, if we have started the subject about her, probably it's necessary to give the small historical inquiry. Sofia Frederica Augusta Angalt-Tserbstskaya (that's the true name of Catherine the Great) was born on April, 21st (on May, 2nd) 1729 in German Pomeranian city of Stettin (nowadays the city of Szczecin in Poland). The father, Christian August was the Prussian field marshal, and her mother Johanna Elizabeth was the aunt-cousin to the future Peter III. The history confirms the fact of "original" Catherine's coming to the power, after Peter III death accordingly. And, though many historians assert, that the palace revolution was inspired by Catherine, the circumstances of husband's death i.e. emperor Peter III, who was ruling Russia for only 183 days, are yet unknown. But it is known, that in a counterbalance to her husband, who wasn't interested in the country affairs, so Ruthenia, Catherine, from the first days of entrance in the role of tsarina, gave the basic attention to the state affairs.
Policy of Catherine II, after her coming to the power, i.e. since 1764, was characterized only by one direction - development and eminence of the state. There is no sense today to retell her merits in transformation of Russian empire which became the real reorganization (not to confuse with «Gorbachev's»). After accession to the throne she held a number of cardinal reforms: from judicial and administrative to military and diplomatic. But it's very important that the territory of the Russian state essentially increased at the expense of joining of fertile southern earths - Crimea, Black Sea Coast, and also the east part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, i.e. those territories which name today - UKRAINE. I haven't casually written the name of our state with big letters as Catherine the Great made such "gain".
I'm sure that not everyone will agree with me, especially the part of the military historians, engaged to the researches of the Ukrainian Cossacks. And they will put an example - Catherine destroyed Zaporozhian Host. But we'll speak about it later.
In Odessa Sevastopol Tiraspol
This memory for her affairs, victories and state interests that is surprisingly today she put above her personal affairs (well unless not to recollect «affairs of bygone days», i.e. amorous; well, she was great, but nevertheless, she was just a woman). Yes, indeed, she was the empress-tsarina, but nevertheless, she was still the woman. And, as we know, tsars and presidents are not gods, but usual guilty people, with their weakness and strangeness. Let's forgive her this «small weakness». Well, that'll do with it. Wars of Russia, means the wars of Catherine with Turkey were marked by large military victories of Rumyantsev, Suvorov, Potemkin, Kutuzov, Ushakov and the definitive statement of Russia on the Black sea. As a result the Northern Black Sea Coast, Crimea, Prikubanye departed to Russia, and its political positions on Caucasus and Balkans amplified, the authority of Russia on the world scene was also strengthened. The Ukrainian, Ruthenian and Novorossiysk people were not afraid of attacks, ruins and the death of their enemy. Its province with the same name - Ekaterinoslavskaya, which today became the base for Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Lugansk and parts of Kirovograd region became one more monument, founded to Catherine the Great. And that's not enough ...
Now it is necessary to answer the question about liquidation of Zaporozhian Host by Catherine the Great. By time of administrative-territorial formation liquidation which, actually, Zaporozhian Host was, in 1783 - 1785 provincial reform took place, i.e. the whole heritage of Bogdan Khmelnitsky and Ivan Mazepa in the foreman-regimental form of management, was abolished. Provinces henceforth consisted of districts with their own management that in any way didn't correspond to the spirit of times. In addition, as it was already marked, Russia was strongly fixed on the Black Sea Coast and Priazovye. And the western borders after the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth division were reliably protected. Thus, the further necessity in Zaporozhian Host preservation and free Cossacks presence (not settled and those, who had family) on their historical native land for protection of southern Russian borders, disappeared. At the same time their traditionally-dissolute and aggressive way of life, often led to conflicts with Novorossiysk and Ruthenian authorities. After numerous pogroms of Serbian settlers, and also in connection with support by Cossacks of Pugachevsky revolt (from modern politicians who will be glad to have such conglomerate of extremism near them?), Catherine II ordered to disband Zaporozhian Host that was executed under the order of Grigory Potemkin (there will be a separate story about him). The Host was disbanded, and the fortress on Hortitsa was destroyed then. But Cossacks hadn't been destroyed. The majority of them was dismissed on «the free-defined settlement», but half ten years later they were recollected and the Army of True Zaporozhean Cossacks, subsequently the Black Sea Cossack army, in 1792 Catherine signed the manifesto which gave them Kuban on the eternal using where the Cossacks moved, having founded the city of Ekaterinodar (nowadays it is Krasnodar where the monument to her was founded). By the way, our Aleksandr Vasilevich Suvorov, who was the generalissimo and the world famous commander, highly appreciated fighting characteristics of Cossack and personally asked the Empress to give hem twenty daredevils with their flotilla of seagulls «... who are capable to pursuit infidelic vessels».
But, being engaged in the history, it is necessary to remember, that this or that historic figure, lived in a certain historical epoch, is shouldn't be estimated from the height of nowadays. And if on the bowl of Empress' acts there is a significant amount of «kind and nice affairs» but on the on smaller counterbalanced scale, there will be a place for «unpopular acts». Such act was her decree from May, 3rd 1783, forbidding peasants of Left-bank Ukraine and Slobodskaya Ukraine to transfer from one owner to another. It renewed serfdom in Ukraine. The decree forbade peasants to complain of the nobleman. Peasants couldn't take the oath, take the payoff and labour contracts. The trade of peasants reached the wide sizes: they were sold in the markets, in newspaper announcements; they were lost in cards, exchanged, presented, and violently married. At Catherine the serfdom zone already extended to all Ukraine. At the same time the position of monastic peasants was facilitated, they were transferred in conducting board of economy together with the lands. All their duties were replaced by a monetary quitrent that gave the peasants more independence and developed their economic initiative. Revolts of monastic peasants stopped as a result. How to estimate Catherine's actions today if Pugatchevshina and Zaporizhzhia loosened empire? It is difficult to discuss and to justify, but it's necessary to remember that it was «in the right place at the right time». But «in plus» to the Catherine we can write down the whole block of «social sphere», as now speak i.e. creation of the "widow" and invalid houses, establishment of military pensions, creation of local government system (with the liquidation of Magdeburg right for the cities of Ruthenia), national schools and system of national (relatively) education. The most part of these transformations concerned Novorossia and Ruthenia.
1791 became a really star year for Ekaterina when Ottoman Empire was compelled to sign the Yassky peace treaty fixing Crimea and Ochakov beyond Russia, and also removing the border between two empires to Dnestr. After the victory the Empress together with Austrian emperor Joseph II made a triumphal trip across Crimea about what all Europe learnt. It learnt and then trembled.
Desires of Novorossiysk university and conservatory creation and construction of tens factories in Ekaterinoslav remained unfulfilled (both because of financing and constant wars). Potemkin didn't managed at once to create the shipbuilding centre in Mykolaiv. From the huge amount of official papers and letters of Potemkin's office, being in archives, it is visible, as manysided his activity on management of southern Ruthenia and Novorossia was. But at the same time, in all that a feverish haste, self-flattery, boasting, and aspiration to excessively difficult aims were felt. The invitation of colonists, new sorts establishment, cultivation of woods (which are still on Kherson region) and vineyards, encouragement of silk culture, establishment of schools, factories, printing houses, ship shipyards - all that was undertaken extremely widely, in the big sizes, and even, in relative comparison with Peter the Great affairs, in what connection Potemkin, as well as the tsar-reformer, didn't have mercy upon neither money, nor work and people. He made, built, dreamt, altered, but he didn't leave a thought on the termination of South Russian edge creation. He was indefatigably criticised that he simultaneously started to build Odesa, Sevastopil and Mykolaiv, but they have taken place and we are very grateful for what they are today. Grigory Aleksandrovich, the prince of sacred Roman Empire tried for the future Ukraine. But he did it as for the sake of Russia, so for his Katenka.
In 1787 the well-known travel of Empress Catherine on the south which turned out in Potemkin's triumph was undertaken. The place of their meeting is designated today, it was the village in Crimea near Simferopol, with the symbolical name Pleasant Appointment. The fact of Potemkin correspondence with the Empress is very interesting when the question whether there were small navigable rivers in Crimea was put, he answered: «not only navigable, the mother, but also foot rivers». Kherson, with the fortress surprised even foreigners and the view of Sevastopol spot-check with an efficient squadron was the most effective show of the travel. At the farewell with the Empress in Kharkiv Potemkin received a count prefix "Taurian". But that merits Potemkin fairly shared with his adherents - Suvorov and Ushakov.
However Novorossiysk epopee left the mark on his destiny in Petersburg. Catherine had a new favorite - Zubov, who pushed Potemkin aside both from the court yard, and from the Empress. Henceforth Grigory Aleksandrovich closely connected himself with the new Russian southern edge. He placed his stake on the city of Yassy where he lived in luxury, but in confusion of feelings. It is considered to be, that his excessive working capacity and separation with Catherine undermined his health. It's difficult to tell is it true or not, but the fact that he lived «in a grand style and full stomach» proves to be true by contemporaries. On October, 5th (18) 1791 in steppe in the area of Yass, Potemkin died, going to Mykolaiv on viewing of shipyards. His last words were: «That's all, there is no place to go, I'm dying! Take me out from the carriage: I want to die on the field!». He was buried in Kherson, in the cathedral which was constructed under his project.
The Empress was strongly struck by Potemkin's death. Responses about him after his death, as well as during his lifetime, so today, were and remain rather various and inconsistent. The only thing that is true that without Potemkin's persistence there would be neither Southern Ruthenia nor Novorossia. It's a historical fact that came true. Not only cities and villages, constructed by him as well as monuments to the prince-performer are the memory about Potemkin.
For this reason the names of Catherine the Great and Potemkin Taurian are entirely adhered to the history of Russia-Ukraine and nobody can delete their affairs and acts from the history of our country, either someone like it or not.