In the summer of 1787, determined to show foreign ambassadors the might of Russian power in the newly subjugated Ukraine and Crimea, Catherine the Great organised a boat trip down the Dnieper past modern-day Kiev.
Her trusted field marshal, and her lover at the time, Prince Gregory Potemkin, organised a series of mobile villages to appear as soon as the imperial barge, stuffed with innocent and gullible foreign dignitaries, came into view.
When the riverbank came...
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