Pylyp Orlyk’s Constitution

Swden sends three copies of Pylyp Orlyk’s Constitution, which is of Ukrainian heritage. The Ukrainian government received it on June 28. 

Ukraine celebrated its Constitution Day Monday, a public holiday, and Sweden made the day extra special by providing the Ukrainians with a special gift. Sweden sent three copies of Pylyp Orlyk’s Constitution, which dates back to 1710, according to Kyiv Post, and Ukraine is said to receive the original from Sweden on Aug. 24.  

“First, the National Archives of Sweden handed over three copies of Pylyp Orlyk’s Constitution to Ukraine. One was exhibited in the lobby of the Verkhovna Rada in the morning. The second will be located in the President’s Office. The third will be located in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. After updating and rebooting the Court,” said the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a speech, according to the Presidential office

“On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of our Independence, for the first time in 311 years, the original Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk will arrive in Ukraine. Together with the mace of Hetman Pylyp Orlyk and Hetman Ivan Mazepa, everyone will be able to see it in St. Sophia Cathedral. The canvas of our history has a thousand years and as many missing puzzle pieces. We return these pieces to Ukrainians,” said the Ukrainian President. 

Zelensky thanked the Swedish people for returning the original copies. Sweden gave the copies after the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine sent a request to Sweden for their transfer. Still, the Ukrainian government has insisted that the original will be sent as well. 

Its history

The Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk was written by Cossack hetman Pylyp Orlyk in 1710 and is said to be the first document to establish the Ukrainian government. It also addressed the executive and judiciary branches of the state and is vital for the history of Ukraine. 

It limited the executive authority of the hetman and, instead, established a parliament called the General Council. It came after the Battle of Poltava, where Charles XII of Sweden and Hetman Ivan Mazepa were defeated by Peter I of Russia.

Mazepa died on 5 April 1710, and Pylyp Orlyk was elected as the new Hetman and formed the new constitution – Pylyp Orlyk’s Constitution.

“The presence of the original Constitution in an independent state is another step in restoring our historical continuity from the times of Kyivan Rus, the Cossack state, the Ukrainian National Republic up to this day,” said the Ukrainian foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, according to Kyiv Post.