Nikolay Kostomarov was born in the Voronezh Province but studied in Kharkiv. There he became interested in the history of Ukraine and wrote such a bold master’s thesis that censorship ordered it to be burned. But the historian did not give up. He moved to Kyiv where he began to teach at the university and together with like-minded people established a real secret society – the Brotherhood of Cyril and Methodius. As Kostomarov described the activities of the Brotherhood, “We began to contemplate a federal system as the happiest course of social life of Slavic nations.” It was predictable that the conspirators were reported to the authorities, and Kostomarov ended up imprisoned in the Petropavlovsk fortress. The historian was later exiled to Saratov a ban on teaching and publishing his works. It was only after the death of Nicholas I that he was pardoned and invited by a professor to the St. Petersburg University. Standing out among the 21 volumes of his historical works is the Russian History in the Lives of its Most Important Figures.
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