Poltava is a city located on the Vorskla River in central Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Poltava Oblast (province), as well as the surrounding Poltava Raion (district) of the oblast. Poltava's estimated population is 298,652 (as of 2011). It is still unknown when Poltava was founded, although the town was not attested before 1174. However, for reasons unknown, municipal authorities chose to celebrate the town's 1100th anniversary in 1999.
The settlement is indeed an old one, as archeologists unearthed a Paleolithic dwelling as well as Scythian remains within the city limits. The present name of the city is traditionally connected to the settlement Ltava which is mentioned in the Hypatian Chronicle in 1174. The region belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from the 14th century. The Polish administration took over in 1569. In 1648, Poltava was captured by the Ruthenian-Polish magnate Jeremi Wiśniowiecki (1612–51).
Poltava was the base of a distinguished regiment of the Ukrainian Cossacks, and served as a Cossack stronghold during the Khmelnytsky Uprising. After the pro-Polish hetman Ivan Vyhovsky came to power and a civil war broke out, In 1658 Poltava, under polkovnyk Martyn Pushkar, was the leading town of the rebels. However, it was ultimately burned down and pillaged by the troops of Vyhovsky, while many of its women and children were enslaved by the Crimean Tatars. In 1667 the town passed to the Russian Empire.