Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

[image ALT: link to previous section]
Chapter 15

This webpage reproduces a chapter of

History of the Ukraine
By Dmytro Doroshenko

printed by
The Institute Press, Ltd.
Edmonton, Alberta,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


[image ALT: link to next section]
Chapter 17

 p274  Chapter XVI

 * * * *

(The numbers link directly to the sections.)

(79) Rule of Hetman Ivan Vyhovsky. (80) Breach with Muscovy. (81) The Union of Hadiach. (82) The Battle of Konotop. (83) George Khmelnitsky, Hetman. (84) Treaty of Pereyaslav of 1659. (85) Campaign of Chudniv and the New Ukrainian Polish Alliance. (86) Partition of the Ukraine. (87) Teteria and Brukhovetsky. (88) John Casimir's Campaign in the Ukraine on the Left Bank of the Dnieper. (89) Anarchy in the Ukraine on the Right Bank of the Dnieper.

 * * * *

79. Rule of Hetman Ivan Vyhovsky.

Bohdan Khmelnitsky's death at the moment when the political horizon was dark with black clouds was a great misfortune for Ukraine. The first question to arise was the succession. Who was to "hold the mace" (Bulava), the symbol of the power of the Hetman? Who was to continue the work of the great leader? Bohdan Khmelnitsky had wished to make the succession hereditary in his family. This corresponded fully with the interests of the State as well as with the wishes of the Cossacks, although traditionally, the Hetman­ship was elective. Khmelnitsky's dynastic ambitions had received a serious set‑back in the death in Moldavia of his eldest son, Timothy, a youth of considerable gifts. His second son, George, was far less naturally talented than his brother, and besides was weak and sickly. The old Hetman, who during the last years of his life had suffered from ill‑health, was preoccupied with the question of the succession and had wished to settle it during his lifetime. In April, 1657, he called the General Council of Cossack Officers in Chihirin to settle the succession. All present were unanimously in favor of having George as their Hetman "that the glory for us of having Khmelnitsky as Hetman may be continued" declared the Cossacks. The old Hetman accepted this decision and announced it to the neighboring states, Muscovy, Poland, Turkey, Sweden,  p275 Transylvania, Crimea, Moldavia and Wallachia. George Khmelnitsky was thus acknowledged by all.

In choosing the sixteen-year‑old delicate boy for their Hetman the Cossack officers well understood that in the case of the death of the old Hetman there would have to be a regent. Naturally there might have been many candidates for the "Hetman's mace" among Cossack officers of high rank. Quite a number of Khmelnitsky's collaborators had sufficient experience and military qualifications to have had ambitious designs on the office, and many indeed were ambitious in this direction. But Khmelnitsky's authority was so great and the prestige of his name so universal among the Cossacks that no one dared to criticize the choice or put forward another candidate. But when Khmelnitsky's death occurred so suddenly and in such complicated political circumstances, it was evident to all that an immediate regency must be constituted. Almost a month after Khmelnitsky's death on August 23rd, 1657, the Council of Cossack officers was called in Chihirin. At this council George Khmelnitsky declared that he was too young to take up the burden of office, and that he wished to study at the Kiev Academy and therefore would renounce the office of Hetman. The Council accepted these motives and decided that until George Khmelnitsky came of age the office of Hetman should be temporarily entrusted to Ivan Vyhovsky, the General Secretary of the Cossack Headquarters. In a few days a wider Council, including representatives of the burgesses, was called, and Vyhovsky accepted the office of temporary Hetman. Finally, on October 26th, 1657, a General Council of Cossack Officers with representatives from the ranks of the Cossacks, and the clergy, took place in Korsun, and this Council confirmed the election of Vyhovsky. Having accepted "the mace", Vyhovsky took the title of Hetman and ruled as full Hetman and not as Regent.

Ivan Vyhovsky was the closest collaborator of the great Hetman. He also belonged by birth to the Ukrainian landed gentry of Kiev province, coming from a  p276 northern distinct. He had studied in the Peter Mohyla Academy at Kiev, was a lawyer in the Courts of Justice in Lutsk, and later deputy of the starost of Lutsk. He was a member of an Orthodox Brotherhood and a very zealous member of the Orthodox Church. The war of 1648 found him in the Polish army. After the battle of Yellow Waters he was taken prisoner by the Tatars, but Khmelnitsky himself ransomed him. He entered the Cossack army and was soon General Secretary at Cossack Headquarters, a post which carried with it the function of a Minister for Foreign Affairs. From that time onwards he was Khmelnitsky's inseparable colleague. Vyhovsky showed brilliant diplomatic ability, and was zealous and devoted in building up and strengthening the Ukrainian State. His four brothers, Daniel, Constantine, Theodore and Basil, followed him in the service of the Ukrainian State. All four tendered great military and diplomatic services to their country, and two, Daniel and Basil, both Cossack Colonels, paid with their heads for their fidelity to the Ukraine, being tortured to death in Muscovite prisons.

Among Vyhovsky's closest collaborators and counsellors we see a number of gifted representatives of the Ukrainian gentry who gave their services to the new Ukrainian State. George Nemirich was possibly the most remarkable among them. Like Vyhovsky he was a native of the northern province of Kiev and was well educated, having studied in Holland, Oxford and Paris. He was the author of several works on history and theology. His father had become a Protestant of the Arian sect, and George himself was among the founders of the Protestant Arian Academy in Kisselin and Volynia. He took part in the wars against Sweden and Muscovy and was elected to the Seim. At the beginning of 1657 Nemirich entered into the Ukrainian service and proved to be a faithful follower of Khmelnitsky's political plans. So as not to differ in faith from his people he returned to the Orthodox Church. The period of his most brilliant activity falls in the period of the rule of Vyhovsky.

 p277  80. Breach with Muscovy.

The Council of Korsun was important not only because of the election of a Hetman, but also on account of the strengthening of the international position of the Ukraine. About that time ambassadors of Sweden, Poland, Austria, Turkey, Crimea, Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia arrived in the Ukraine. The text of the Treaty of Alliance with Sweden was drawn up during the session of the Korsun Council (Rada). According to this Treaty King Charles X of Sweden undertook to obtain from Poland recognition of the independence of the Ukraine, and annexation to the Ukraine of all west Ukrainian territories which would give the Ukraine a common frontier with Prussia. At the same time alliances with the Sultan and the Crimean Tatars were renewed and a mission was sent to Moscow informing them of the election of the new Hetman and asking them to confirm the Treaty of 1654. Like Khmelnitsky, Vyhovsky did not wish to take the initiative in breaking with Muscovy. A truce was concluded with Poland.

The Ukrainian-Swedish alliance was very short-lived, and was practically without result. Sweden was in trouble because of the Danish war and had to withdraw its forces from Poland. The Elector of Brandenburg, who had at first joined Sweden against Poland had now, when the Polish government renounced all claim to Prussia, leaving it entirely to him, no cause to continue the war. On the contrary, the growth of Sweden was a menace to him. So having made peace with Poland, he was anxious to persuade the Ukrainian government to do the same, and offering his services as intermediary, he sent a mission to Chihirin in order to start peace negotiations between Poland and the Ukraine. The Polish government on their side made every effort to recover the Ukraine, promising the widest measure of autonomy and perhaps independence if only they could preserve some political bond between that country and Poland.

Though the Council of Korsun terminated in Vyhovsky's favor and strengthened his position in power, there  p278 was soon seen to be a strong opposition against him. First, the discontent of the Zaporogian Cossacks was felt. After Khmelnitsky's death the Zaporogian Cossacks reared their heads again, for during his life-time they were not much in evidence. Khmelnitsky in accepting the protection of the Muscovite Tsar had not found it necessary to ask their opinion. When the oath was to be taken he had explained to the Muscovites that the Zaporogian Cossacks were only a "small people" of no consequence. But this "small people" gave asylum to all the discontented elements who, formerly in opposition to Poland, were now against the Ukrainian government of the Hetman. Khmelnitsky's iron hand had kept the Zaporogian Sich in subjection. Now that he was dead they showed signs of activity and opposition, and inquired why they had not been invited to take part in the Hetman's election. The commandant of the Zaporogian Sich, Barabash, appealed to Moscow against Vyhovsky. Another leader of the opposition, Martin Pushkar, did the same. He was Colonel of the Poltava regiment and himself had aspirations to "carry the mace". The Poltava Cossacks were the near neighbors of the Zaporogians. They were akin to them in spirit and they supported their Colonel, Pushkar. Vyhovsky was accused of being a "Liakh" (Pole) and of intending to "sell Ukraine to the Poles". Thus an agitation against Hetman Vyhovsky was on foot. The Zaporogians, not content with spreading disaffection against the new Hetman throughout Ukraine, began to make inroads on the neighboring Cossack regiments and to plunder the rich Cossacks. Vyhovsky then ordered a blockade of the Zaporogian Sich, depriving them of food and munition supplies. The Zaporogians had to yield, but were not subdued.

All this was most welcome to the Muscovite Government. Through their agents they watched attentively and observed that a differentiation of social classes was proceeding rapidly in the Ukraine and that social contrasts were becoming sharply opposed. The Cossack  p279 officers (Starshina) and those of the old Ukrainian gentry who remained with them or joined in the insurrection, practically became the upper class, holding not only military and political leader­ship but also gaining economic preponderance. The Cossack officers were concentrating landed property in their hands and were receiving charters from the Hetman and the Tsar to establish their owner­ship. The political, administrative and judicial functions were entirely in their hands. Other classes of the population were not satisfied with the predominance of the Cossacks. First the townspeople tried to escape from the control of the Cossacks claiming their Magdeburg right of self-government. From the very beginning of the Ukrainian-Muscovite alliance, Ukrainian burgesses made it their habit to approach the Muscovite authorities directly, and ask the Tsar to confirm their rights and privileges. The common Cossacks, the so‑called "chern" (rabble) looked askance at their officers as they secured in their hands not only power but also "meadows and pastures", and who as time went on became an exclusive caste, access to which depended not on military merit alone, but mostly on noble origin, wealth and connections. The exceptional conditions in the Ukraine at the beginning of the rising of 1648 naturally led to the concentration of the leader­ship in the hands of the military dictator­ship in the persons of the Hetman and his officers. But this temporary state of affairs was maintained in peace time and officers took advantage of their dominating position in order to become great landed proprietors. In consequence they were also compelled to lay their hand on the peasantry, compelling them to work part of their time on the lands, for without such labor these lands were of no value. This process of subjecting the peasants to a new bondage had hardly begun at the time of Khmelnitsky, but signs of it were felt by the peasants and provoked their discontent. The Zaporogian Sich was like a sounding board for the grievances of the masses, for in opposing the Hetman who protected his officers, it also opposed the new lords and "mighty ones".

 p280  In this way the Cossacks were gradually being divided into two separate parties, the officers (starshina) supported by the wealthier and more settled elements, and the populace behind which stood the Zaporogian Sich.

The Muscovite government observed and fully understood these affairs, and sought support from one or other of the hostile parties. For instance, they supported the townspeople, to whom the Tsar was very generous, confirming the former royal grants of self-government. These began to look upon him as their protector and defender against the Cossack officers. In the same way the Muscovite Tsar also protected the Zaporogians sending them money and presents. Monarchial traditions in the Ukraine favored the transfer of the fidelity and devotion of the people from the Polish King, whom they had formerly believed to be their ally against the nobles, to the person of the Muscovite Tsar.

Simultaneously ambassadors arrived from Hetman Vyhovsky and from the Zaporogian Cossacks, and, hearing their mutual accusations, the Muscovite Government took the opportunity of arbitrating between them and sent the Boyar Khitrovo with instructions to call a Cossack Council (Rada) to decide officially on the form of government in the Ukraine, and unofficially to promote and strengthen Muscovite influence in the Ukraine. Hetman Vyhovsky, though much displeased with this uninvited interference, nevertheless attended the Council which was called in February 1658 in Pereyaslav. The Council unanimously confirmed the election of Vyhovsky who "had burnt his fingers delivering us from the Polish thraldom", and nothing was left to Khitrovo but to acknowledge the election. Vyhovsky, however, was compelled to make concessions to the Muscovite government; he accepted Muscovite voevods in Pereyaslav, Nizhin and Chernigov, promised to surrender to Muscovy the southern provinces of White Russia and break his alliance with Sweden.

The duplicity of Muscovite policy towards Vyhovsky was made clear immediately after the Council of Pereyaslav.  p281 On leaving the town Khitrovo went direct to Pushkar in Lubny, presented him with sables, and assured him of the Tsar's favor, and this at a time when Pushkar was in open opposition to Hetman Vyhovsky, having attacked near Poltava the detachment sent by the Hetman. For Vyhovsky nothing remained but to attempt to check the mutiny with armed force. He mobilized about 20,000 Cossacks, called the Tatars to his aid and besieged the strong fortress of Poltava. The siege lasted a fortnight, and then Pushkar committed the imprudence of accepting a pitched battle in which he was utterly routed, about 15,000 mutineers being left on the battlefield and among them Pushkar himself. The Zaporogian Cossacks who supported Pushkar took refuge with the Muscovite garrisons of Nizhin and Chernigov. The town of Poltava was burnt down, and many people were seized by the Tatars, but Vyhovsky gave order that they should be returned. He nominated a new colonel in Poltava and new officers from among his faithful followers. Pushkar's mutiny cost the Ukraine about 50,000 lives.

Vyhovsky's energetic treatment of the mutiny made a great impression on the Muscovite government which sympathized with Pushkar and would gladly have seen him Hetman instead of Vyhovsky. On the other hand, Muscovite duplicity in the Pushkar mutiny must have persuaded Vyhovsky and his companions that there was nothing good to be expected from Muscovy. Their eyes again turned to Poland. Sweden was exhausted with wars and began peace negotiations with Poland and Muscovy, so nothing was now to be gained from an alliance with Sweden. After a few years experience in dealing with Muscovy the Cossack officers and even the Cossack clergy had seen that Muscovite policy definitely aimed at gradually depriving the Ukraine of all her sovereign rights and turning the country into a Muscovite province. Men brought up in the idea of political freedom, and having striven to realize them in Poland observed with astonishment and repulsion the cruel Muscovite despotism, their coarse and crude manners and customs, their intolerance and religious  p282 fanaticism. The prospect of being turned into the Tsar's "slaves" (kholop) as even the oldest Muscovite boyars used to call themselves, into subjects deprived of every political right, and dependent exclusively on the will of the autocratic Tsar held no temptation to the educated and cultured Ukrainians who knew political freedom and a highly developed political life. In spite of their monarchial traditions, the Cossack officers having seen at close quarters the Muscovite's life, now preferred to deal with a constitutional Polish king rather than an autocratic Muscovite Tsar. Observing that Poland, now weak and exhausted by war, was ready to make the greatest concessions, Ukrainian political leaders began to lean on the idea of federation with Poland under which the Ukraine could keep her complete internal independence.

Hetman Vyhovsky himself was now inclined toward a political bond with Poland and so were most the Cossack officers and high Orthodox clergy including the Metropolitan Dionysius Balaban. This idea was especially welcome to the Ukrainian nobles in Volynia, Podolia and Braslav who during ten years of incessant warfare had sacrificed their lives and possessions for the Ukrainian State and were now left outside it. But the mass of the Ukrainian people, the common Cossacks, peasants and townsfolk were against any union with Poland, fearing the former religious and national oppression and serfdom. These apprehensions were cleverly exploited by a few Ukrainian politicians who were openly or secretly opposed to Vyhovsky, and by supporting Muscovy they thought to build up their own ambitious and selfish plans.

After having subdued Pushkar's mutiny, Vyhovsky began more intensive negotiations with Poland, and on September 16th, 1658, he concluded in the town of Hadiach in the province of Poltava, the well-known Treaty of Hadiach, which had for its object the union of Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania. The Polish and Ukrainians met to draw up and elaborate its terms.

 p283  81. The Union of Hadiach.

The Treaty of Hadiach contemplated the reconstruction of the Polish state in a federation of three states, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania. The first paragraph of the Treaty established the Ukraine within the limits of the provinces Kiev, Chernigov and Braslav, which was to become a free and independent state under the name of the great Ruthenian Princedom. The three nations, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania, were to form three independent states united only in the person of the king whom they were all three to elect.

The three nations, were to conquer the shores of the Black Sea in order to open free navigation upon it. They were to conclude a military alliance by which they were to render mutual help in war, even against Muscovy if the Muscovite Tsar refused to return the conquered Lithuanian and White-Russian provinces. If Muscovy wished it was to be admitted as a fourth member of the Slavic Federation.

The second paragraph dealt with the internal arrangements of the Great Ruthenian Princedom. The legislative power was to be in the hands of a national assembly of delegates from all parts of the Ukraine. The Hetman was to be elected for life, and was to hold executive power, the election being confirmed by the king. The Ukraine was to have its own High Court of Justice for the country, its own Treasury, Mint and Army consisting of 30,000 Cossacks and 10,000 mercenaries. Neither Polish nor Lithuanian armies were to enter Ukrainian territory, except in case of urgent need in which case they were to be under the command of the Ukrainian Hetman. Every year the Hetman was to present to the King 1,000 Cossacks from each regiment to be knighted and receive the hereditary patent of nobility.

The third paragraph treated of religious questions. Church Union was to be abolished in all three countries, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania; and the Orthodox Church was to have equal rights with the Roman Catholic Church.

 p284  The fourth paragraph treated questions of education; two universities were to be founded in the Ukraine, colleges and schools teaching Latin and Greek, and other schools, printing presses were to be opened, as many "as necessary". Freedom of speech and of the press was granted even in religious questions provided that neither books nor speeches committed treason against the person of the King.

All these paragraphs were accepted after long and heated debate. Most of the Ukrainian delegates insisted on all the Ukrainian lands being incorporated into the Great Ruthenian Princedom, including Volynia and Galicia, but the moderates persuaded them to be content, meanwhile, with the smaller territory in order not to jeopardize the whole Treaty.

The deliberations at Hadiach were still going on when skirmishes and fights between Ukrainian and Muscovite forces began. Colonel Daniel Vyhovsky made an unsuccess­ful attempt to throw the Muscovite garrison out of Kiev, and was on this occasion assisted by the town population. The Muscovites repulsed the attacks and in revenge devastated and burnt the suburbs.

News of the conclusion of the Treaty of Hadiach was the signal to open hostilities between the Ukraine and Muscovy. Tsar Alexis published a manifesto to the Ukrainian population in which he declared Hetman Vyhovsky to be a traitor, and incited disobedience to his orders. The Ukrainian government on their side published a manifesto, which they sent to all European courts informing them of the rupture with Muscovy and giving the reasons:

"We, the Zaporogian Cossack army declare and witness before God and the whole world that the great war we conducted against Poland had no other motive than the defence of the Holy Eastern Church and of our ancestral freedom by the love of which we are sustained. These wars were led by our late Hetman, Bohdan Khmelnitsky, and our Chancellor Ivan Vyhovsky. We had set aside our private affairs, putting before them the Glory of God and the interests of the State. To this end we entered  p285 into an alliance with the Tatars and Her Majesty, Queen Christina of Sweden, and later with His Majesty, King Charles Gustavus, and held unbroken our faith with them. We never gave cause to Poland to break the treaties, but kept devoutly our faith, treaties and alliances. We had no other motives in seeking the protection of the great prince of Muscovy than with the Help of God to maintain our freedom won and sanctified by our blood, and bequeath it to our descendents after our death".

They proceeded to explain how the Muscovite Tsar did not keep his word, but having with the help of the Cossack arms won Lithuania, he opened peace negotiations with Poland at the expense of the Ukraine, declared war on her allies the Swedes, garrisoned Kiev, and finally schemed to destroy utterly White Russia and the Ukraine with the Zaporogian army, foster internecine war, supporting mutinies against our Hetman and advancing with armed forces into Ukraine. "The Ukrainians are not responsible for the new war thus beginning, and only under compulsion do they take to arms."

82. The Battle of Konotop.

In the early spring of 1659 a Muscovite army more than 100,000 strong, and led by Princes Trubetskoy, Romodanovsky and Posharsky started out from Putivl for the conquest of the Ukraine, devastating and plundering as they went. Not far from Konotop, a town in the province of Chernigov, the Muscovites were kept in check by the colonel of the Nizhin regiment, Hulianitsky, who had only 5,000 men, the two regiments of Nizhin and Chernigov. The town was fortified and Hulianitsky sought shelter there and for nearly three months withstood the siege of the Muscovite forces.

His courageous resistance gave Hetman Vyhovsky time to muster his forces. He already had organized an army of mercenaries consisting of Serbs, Poles, Germans and Roumanians. The Serbs were specially numerous having enrolled by thousands in the Ukrainian army. The Crimean Khan, Mahmet-Giray, with whom Vyhovsky had  p286 renewed his alliance, also came to their aid. Hetman Vyhovsky was ready in June and came to the relief of Konotop. In a fierce engagement on the 28th and 29th of June, near Konotop, the Muscovite army was completely routed and many of the leaders taken prisoner, among them being Posharsky, who was later beheaded by the Khan of the Crimea. The Russian historian, Soloviov, writes thus about this battle: "The flower of Muscovite cavalry perished in one day and never again was the Muscovite Tsar able to muster such brilliant troops in the field. Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich came out to the people dressed in mourning and Moscow was seized with panic. The blow was the heavier in that it was unexpected. Trubetskoy on whom all hopes were set, a man who was terrible to his enemies and lucky in war, had now lost a great army in one day. Having conquered so many towns in the campaigns of 1654 and 1655 against Poland, and the Lithuanian capital as well, Moscow, the Tsar's capital, trembled for its safety. The Tsar ordered people of all conditions to work on earthen mounds for the fortification of the capital and often came out himself to watch the progress of the work. The population from the surrounding district flocked to Moscow with their families, their goods and chattels. There were rumors that the Tsar was leaving for Yaroslav beyond the Volga. Vyhovsky was expected to go direct to Moscow".

All this alarm was superfluous, Vyhovsky was unable to take advantage of his brilliant victory. Behind his back treason was being fomented, and a rising against him was in preparation. He pursued the defeated remnants of the Muscovite army as far as Putivl and pressed them hard as far as the river Seym, but was soon obliged to return home with his army. A number of towns, such as Romen, Lokhvitsa, and Hadiach held to the Muscovites and he was forced to take them with arms. Kiev was occupied by the Muscovite garrison against which the Hetman had sent part of his forces under his brother Daniel, but most important of all, the Zaporogian Cossacks led by their chief (koshovyi) Sirko, made an inroad  p287 into the Crimea, the Crimean Khan departed home at once with his horde, leaving Vyhovsky with only about two or three thousand Tatars. Poltava subdued only the previous year, again rose against the Hetman. It was thus impossible to pursue the advance into Muscovy.

Trubetskoy in Putivl offered to open peace negotiations with Vyhovsky and the Hetman accepted this offer although he knew that by so doing he was only giving the Muscovites time to recover from their defeat. In the meantime the Seim in Warsaw ratified the Treaty of Hadiach. The section about the abolition of the Church Union had provoked the greatest resistance. Debates on the subject lasted for a month and finally it was decided to declare general religious freedom. The King, all the lords and magnates, spiritual and temporal, all the members of the Seim took the oath to observe the Treaty, and on their side the Ukrainians with the Metropolitan Dionysius Balaban also took the oath. The beginning of a new era in the history of the nations of eastern Europe was celebrated in triumph. This triumph, however, was premature.

In the Ukraine affairs took a bad turn. Daniel Vyhovsky had not succeeded in delivering Kiev from the Muscovite garrison. The Muscovite party among the Ukrainians was very actively destroying the work of Hetman Vyhovsky, and Trubetskoy was ready to abandon the campaign when a messenger arrived from his Muscovite followers telling him that a conspiracy was on foot against the Hetman and an uprising in favor of Muscovy was in preparation.

83. George Khmelnitsky, Hetman.

Already in September, 1659, an uprising against Hetman Vyhovsky broke out led by three colonels, Zuzura, Somko and Zolotarenko. Vyhovsky found himself in a very difficult position. His rivals were very clever in making propaganda against him saying that he had "sold Ukraine to the Poles" and that he wished to reintroduce the old order. The common people were not able to appreciate  p288 the political and national advantages of the Hadiach Treaty, the very idea of returning under the rule of the Polish king was intolerable to them, the remembrance of former sufferings being too fresh. Vyhovsky decided to appeal to the Cossack Council. His rivals made the deliberations of the Council impossible by unruly behavior, saying that he and his followers had sold the Ukraine and Cossack freedom to Poland for class privileges. The Ukrainian delegates in the Seim who had taken the oath to observe the Treaty of Hadiach were killed on the spot, and Vyhovsky had to flee. The Council broke up without any results. Later another Cossack Council assembled in Bila Tserkva, this time without Vyhovsky. He was deposed and young George Khmelnitsky was re‑elected, to the disappointment of the members of the Muscovite party, some of whom expected to be put in power. Vyhovsky acknowledged the new election and surrendered the insignia of Hetman­ship to George Khmelnitsky, then only eighteen years old. His election was, however, not by an absolute majority, as there were several aspirants to the office, and no unity among them. The Ukraine became a prey to anarchy and ruin. Vyhovsky, writing to King John Casimir, said: "The central Poltava Province is laid in ruins, the towns and villages are over-grown with nettles, the population are partly slain, partly fled in all directions, and partly taken prisoner by the Tatars". The population had, indeed, lost all interest in political or national affairs, wishing only for peace, peace at any price. Some few were tempted by the advantageous clauses of the Treaty of Hadiach, especially as they had been obtained at the price of so much bloodshed. The historian, Kostomarov relates: "Thus sadly the rule of Hetman Vyhovsky came to an end, and with it came to an end also the Great Ruthenian Princedom. The Ukrainian people proved to be unable to understand and appreciate the Treaty drawn up by a mind which was indeed superior".

 p289  84. Treaty of Pereyaslav of 1659.

The Cossack officers under pressure from the common people, having unwillingly broken with Poland, now endeavored at least to derive some advantage from the union with Muscovy. The position of the two sides was, however, not to their advantage; the Muscovite army now occupied the left bank of the Dnieper, and Trubetskoy having on his side several allies from among the Cossack officers, could simply dictate to the Cossacks his own conditions. He occupied Pereyaslav where the Cossack Council was to be held, and surrounded it with his 40,000 men. George Khmelnitsky on arriving there, was simply a hostage in his hands. In these circumstances the eighteen-year‑old boy was again proclaimed Hetman and on October 17th, 1659 a new treaty was drawn up in order to settle Ukrainian-Muscovite relations.

Now the Hetman and all Ukrainians were to be subjects of the Muscovite Tsar. The Hetman was not to be deposed or a new Hetman elected without an understanding with the Tsar. Kiev was to be held by the Muscovite garrison, and other garrisons were to be placed in Pereyaslav, Nizhin, Uman and Braslav. All Muscovite garrisons were to be provided with food and fodder by the population. The Ukrainians were to return all the trophies taken from the Muscovite army in the battle of Konotop. The Cossack officers known as Vyhovsky's followers were to be deprived of their offices and finally — a dishonorable condition — Vyhovsky's three brothers were to be delivered up to the Muscovite government, the Hetman having fled to Poland.

The Cossack Council which ratified this treaty on behalf of the Ukraine was very incomplete and attended mostly by members of the Muscovite party. The young Hetman had no choice but to acquiesce in the imposed conditions. Trubetskoy returned to Moscow taking with him as captives, the three Vyhovsky brothers in irons. The eldest, Daniel, was tortured to death on the way, and the other two died in Muscovite prisons.

 p290  85. Campaign of Chudniv and the New Ukrainian Polish Alliance.

The Pereyaslav Treaty of 1659 did not create friendly relations between Muscovy and the Ukraine, and was far from having solved the Ukrainian question. In order to annul the Treaty of Hadiach and annex the right bank of the Dnieper, Muscovy had to make war on Poland. Besides, the Cossacks on the right bank of the Dnieper had always been hostile to Muscovy. The Muscovite government broke the truce with Poland, and in the summer of 1660 opened the campaign by sending from Kiev an army of 20,000 men, well equipped and trained, and commanded by foreign officers with Sheremetiev at their head. The Ukrainian forces led by Colonel Zuzura, joined the Muscovite army. The combined forces marched into Volynia, where they expected to be joined by the young Hetman with his army. In spite of the Cossack officers belonging to the Muscovite party, there was not a good understanding between the two headquarters and the relations were far from friendly. The Polish king withdrew his forces from the Swedish front where at that time a truce had been concluded, and sent an army of 32,000 men. The former Hetman, Ivan Vyhovsky, joined the Polish army with a few thousand followers and about 20,000 Crimean Tatars came to help. The Muscovite army advanced as far as Lubar and was unexpectedly met by superior forces. Sheremetiev retired to Chudniv where he was surrounded. All his hopes were centred on the rescue of young Khmelnitsky, but the Hetman and his army were in no hurry, being unwilling to side with Muscovy. Not far from Chudniv he was met by a detachment of the Polish army led by Field Marshal Lubomirski. After a few skirmishes which were repulsed by the Ukrainians peace negotiations were offered from the Polish side and welcomed by the Ukrainians. There on the field the Treaty of Chudniv was concluded, which in the main lines followed the Treaty of Hadiach, though considerably curtailed. There was no mention of the Great Ruthenian Princedom and the Ukraine was accorded  p291 merely autonomy under a Hetman. Vyhovsky helped very much in the conclusion of the Treaty in order to obtain better conditions for the Ukraine. Lubomirski then returned to Chudniv where Sheremetiev's army, suffering from hunger and exhaustion, and abandoned by most of the Cossacks of the Zuzura detachment, was compelled to capitulate. Sheremetiev, by laying down his arms and surrendering the remaining Cossacks to the Tatars did not save himself or his army. The Tatars, in their usual manner, rushed on the disarmed Muscovites, partly killing and partly taking them prisoner. Sheremetiev himself was carried away into the Crimea where he lived a prisoner for about twenty years. The Muscovite disaster at Chudniv was even greater than at Konotop in 1659.

It should seem that this time Muscovite domination in the Ukraine was at an end, but the Polish government was not strong enough to take advantage of their victory. The Polish mercenaries were unpaid, the soldiers mutinied, the leaders quarreled amongst themselves and the army returned to Poland. The Muscovite detachment advancing under Bariatinsky to help Sheremetiev, hearing of his defeat, remained in Kiev and from there plundered and ruined the country. According to Bariatinsky's own report they murdered about 15,000 of the peaceful population for their hostile attitude towards Muscovites. Among the Cossack officers there was no unity. Those on the right bank of the Dnieper directly exposed to the Polish attacks, were in favor of an understanding with Poland, whereas the Cossack Regiments on the left bank of the river preferred Muscovy, fearing their vengeance. At the same time as the Cossack Rada in Korsun were ratifying the Treaty of Chudniv between Hetman George Khmelnitsky and the Poles, his own uncle, Colonel of Pereyaslav, Yakim Somko, was acknowledging in Pereyaslav in the name of the Cossacks of the left bank of the river their allegiance to the Muscovite Tsar.

 p292  84. Partition of the Ukraine.

Ukraine was practically divided into two sections striving against each other, one on the side of the Muscovites and the other on the Polish side. But even within these two sections there was no unity; on the left bank of the Dnieper were whole regiments which opposed the Muscovites, and on the right side of the river the peasants were much displeased with the Polish alliance and frequently rose against their Polish land­owners. The Ukraine was entering the period of her history known as "Ruina" (The Ruin).

87. Teteria and Brukhovetsky.

In the Ukraine of the left bank, which under the temporary Hetman, Somko, sided with Muscovy, the situation was complicated by the sharp antagonism between the well-to‑do Cossacks and officers on the one side, and the common Cossacks, or as they were called, rabble (chern), on the other. These latter were supported by the town population and the Zaporogian Cossacks. The antagonism was exploited by various demagogic adventurers actuated by personal ambition and selfish motives. The temporary Hetman, Somko, who represented the rich Cossacks was opposed by a pretender to the Hetman's mace, Ivan Brukhovetsky, who was put forward by the Zaporogian Cossacks. He pretended to be a defender of the interests of the common Cossacks. A former attendant or "first servant" of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnitsky, Brukhovetsky, after his master's death went to the Zaporogian Sich and after some time was elected commandant of the camp. He was an unscrupulous demagogue, one of these selfish and ambitious men who, according to the contemporary historian Velychko "for silver and gold would give not only one of his eyes but his brother or even his father. How should such as he have pity on our mother Ukraine in her distress?"

Although Somko was duly elected Hetman by a Cossack Council held in Kozelets in the spring of 1662, the Muscovite government distrusted him as he was a man  p293 of independent character and certainly a Ukrainian patriot. Somko was supported by the northern Cossack regiments on the left bank of the Dnieper and in general by the Cossack officers and well-to‑do settled Cossacks, while the southern regiments being geographically nearer to the Zaporogians and the common Cossacks on the whole were for Brukhovetsky. The final elections of the Hetman of the left bank of the Dnieper were held in 1663 in Nizhin at the so‑called "Chorna Rada" (Common Council or Council of the Populace). Both parties with their respective leaders and candidates attended the Rada as well as a number of Zaporogian Cossacks. The decisive part, however, was played by the Muscovite army which was stationed close at hand. The meeting was very stormy and ended in the victory of Brukhovetsky whose election was promptly confirmed by the Muscovite General Velikogagin. The Cossack officers, followers of Somko, were molested, their houses and property plundered. Somko was arrested and after three months imprisonment, beheaded in Borzna, together with some high officers, others being exiled to Muscovy. Brukhovetsky deposed all the former Cossack officers and nominated his own followers in their places. This was a kind of social revolution, which still further disorganized life on the left bank of the Dnieper on the eve of a new war against Poland and against their own brothers, the Ukrainians of the right bank of the Dnieper.

The situation in this part of Ukraine, from the moment when it was practically separated from the left bank of the Dnieper was also very unsettled and deplorable. There also we see the same anarchy, the same struggle for selfish interests and personal ambitions. As a parallel to Brukhovetsky we see here Pavlo Teteria coming to the surface of political life. He belonged to the Ukrainian country gentry from Volynia, was Orthodox, and by profession, a lawyer. Having joined the Cossack rising of 1648 he became one of Khmelnitsky's closest collaborators, married his daughter, was nominated colonel and was employed in important diplomatic missions; under  p294 Hetman Vyhovsky he became secretary of the Cossack Headquarters (Foreign Minister). Well educated and very intelligent, he was at the same time extremely selfish, covetous, cruel and of unbounded ambition. When the Hetman's power was for the second time in the weak hands of young Khmelnitsky, Teteria had no difficulty in easily persuading him to abdicate. George abdicated at the beginning of 1663, and entered a monastery under the name of Gedeon. The Cossack Council in Chihirin then elected Teteria, and the Polish king confirmed this election.

Thus each part of Ukraine had a different Hetman. The Polish king and government, however, could not be content with only one part of the Ukraine, knowing well that the existence of another Hetman on the left bank of the river under the protection of Muscovy would be a constant menace to Polish supremacy on this side of the river. So Poland made another attempt to recover the left side of the Dnieper, Teteria actually persuading the king to declare war.

88. John Casimir's Campaign in the Ukraine on the Left Bank of the Dnieper.

In October 1663, King John Casimir was with his army in Bila Tserkva. He was joined by Teteria with his Cossacks. They crossed the Dnieper in November and, avoiding Kiev so as not to be delayed, rapidly advanced in the direction of the Muscovite frontier taking one Ukrainian town after another and laid siege to Hlukhiv​a which was almost on the Muscovite frontier. Brukhovetsky joined the Muscovite army coming to his aid near Baturin and came to the relief of Hlukhiv. In the meantime the Zaporogians attacked the Crimean Tatars hindering the Khan from bringing Poland and Teteria the promised help. King John Casimir was compelled to abandon the siege of Hlukhiv and since his army was exhausted by the privations of the winter campaign he dared not accept a pitched battle with the united and fresh armies of Brukhovetsky and Romodanovsky. Thus in February 1664  p295 the Polish army began to retreat through Novgorod-Sieversk and Starodub into Lithuania. During King John Casimir's operations in the province of Chernigov Teteria completed the conquest of Poltava province and came to Hadiach. Hearing of the retreat of the king and of the peasant rising in Kiev province, he hastened to recross the Dnieper and dealt in a very cruel fashion with the insurgents. Among the cruel means by which Teteria secured his power was the assassination of the former Hetman Ivan Vyhovsky, whom he jealously suspected of designs on the Hetman's mace. Inviting him as if for a Council in Korsun, he had him seized and, after a mock trial, shot as a traitor. This was a flagrant crime, which called forth much indignation at the time.

In the meantime, having expelled the remaining detachments of Teteria and the Poles beyond the Dnieper and with the Muscovites having cruelly taken vengeance on those Ukrainians who had sided with Teteria and the Poles, Brukhovetsky crossed the Dnieper in the direction of Chihirin. Here, however, his advance was checked by the arrival of Polish help for Teteria led by Stefan Czarniecki, and of the Tatars. Czarniecki's repression of the peasant revolt was especially cruel; he gave the Tatars leave to take as many of them prisoners as they could. Enraged against the Ukrainian population, he gave orders that no mercy should be shown. Resistance however, only grew the more stubborn. In his report to the king, Czarniecki wrote: "The Ukrainian peasants are so furious with Poland that they prefer to perish with their huts in flames, suffer cold and every misery rather than to surrender. The whole of the Ukraine decided to die rather than acknowledge the Poles". In consequence of Teteria's intrigues, Czarniecki ordered the arrest of the newly elected Metropolitan, Joseph Tukalsky, the Archimandrite Gedeon Khmelnitsky and Colonel Hulianitsky and sent them to the fortress of Marienburg in East Prussia. In vengeance he ordered the grave of Bohdan Khmelnitsky in the Church in Subotiv to be opened and the remains to be scattered. Having at last somewhat broken the resistance  p296 of the peasants, Czarniecki returned to Warsaw to attend the Seim but died on the way there.

89. Anarchy in the Ukraine on the Right Bank of the Dnieper.

His death gave fresh hope to the insurgents, but they had neither definite plans nor leader­ship, and widely-spread guerilla warfare raged over the entire area between the Dnieper and the Dniester. Amidst this anarchy, Teteria passed from the stage of Ukrainian history. Realizing the general distaste and hatred with which he was regarded, and discouraged in his ambitions, he abdicated. Taking the treasury with him he retired to Poland. Later he became converted to the Roman Catholic Faith, and entered a Jesuit monastery, bequeathing to it all his dishonestly accumulated wealth. In the Ukraine he left behind him anarchy, disorganization and ruin. Here and there, an ambitious leader emerged and declared himself Hetman, siding sometimes with the Poles, sometimes with Muscovy. But they all disappeared, swallowed by the raging anarchy of internecine guerilla war. The country was hopelessly and utterly ruined, and the population was ready to accept any rule, Ukrainian or foreign, which could bring about peace and order.

However, amidst the ruin of the demoralized and discouraged population, at the moment of greatest turmoil, a leader appeared, far superior to his contemporaries, who succeeded at least for a time, in inspiring Ukrainians with hope and faith in their own strength, gave them a new ideal, and with a heroic effort, raised the country out of the abyss of anarchy, re‑united its divided parts, and created for a time an independent state, as Bohdan Khmelnitsky had done before him. This was Peter Doroshenko.

Thayer's Note:

a The text as printed in this paragraph (but not elsewhere in the book) has Hluchov: the name, pronounced differently from that of the town meant, of a different place altogether — in what is now the Czech Republic, quite far from both Ukraine and Russia. I have restored the correct placename. Hlukhiv (Glukhov in Russian) is a small town in what is now Sumy oblast, about 12 km from the current Russian border. There is also a very small Ukrainian village by the same name in the far west, in Lviv oblast.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 1 Jun 22