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In 1787, Catherine the Great, the Empress of Russia, was scheduled for a grand tour of the newly acquired lands of Crimea and New Russia—now part of Ukraine—which she gained by defeating the Ottoman Empire and after signing peace treaties with the Cossack Hetmanate. The trip was to be arranged by Gregory Potemkin, the governor of the region, who was clearly Catherine's favorite and one of her numerous lovers.

The region had been devastated by the war, and one of Potemkin's major tasks were to rebuild it and bring in Russian settlers. In 1787, as a new war was about to break out between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, Catherine II with her court and several ambassadors made an unprecedented six-month trip to New Russia. The purpose of this trip was to impress Russia's allies prior to the war.


Fireworks in honor of Catherine the Great on the Dnieper River.

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