Short URL for this page:
* * * *
(The numbers link directly to the sections.)
(90) Peter Doroshenko. (91) Brukhovetsky's Journey to Moscow and Introduction of Muscovite Administration in the Ukraine of the Left Bank of the Dnieper. (92) Doroshenko's War Against Poland, 1667. (93) Brukhovetsky's Uprising Against Muscovy. (94) Doroshenko's Conquest of the Left Bank of the Dnieper. (95) Doroshenko's Struggle Against Sukhovi and Khanenko. (96) Mnohohrishny, Hetman of Ukraine of the Left Bank. (97) Doroshenko's Turkish Policy and the War of 1672. (98) Samoylovich. (99) Doroshenko's Downfall. (100) Wars About Chihirin. (101) George Khmelnitsky, "Prince of Ukraine".a
* * * *
Peter Doroshenko was born in Chihirin in 1627 where his father was a Cossack Colonel. The Doroshenkos were an old Cossack family which had "served the Cossack army well". His grandfather, Michael, had been Hetman and was killed in the Crimean war of 1628. We do not know when and where Doroshenko was educated, but he had a good knowledge of Latin, spoke Polish, knew history and was a very good speaker, all of which points to a school education of the period. He entered active service under Hetman Bohdan Khmelnitsky in 1648, and received under him a thorough military and diplomatic training. Hetman Khmelnitsky nominated him in 1657 Colonel of the regiment. He sided with Vyhovsky, took part in the campaign of Chudniv, and was Cossack staff officer under Hetman Teteria, whose abdication found him Colonel of the Cherkassy regiment.
When Teteria in the spring of 1665 left for Poland, the office of Hetman had been seized by an insignificant man, Stepan Opara. He made an alliance with the Tatars who were then in the Ukraine as allies of Poland, and in June, 1665, declared himself Hetman. The Tatars, however, soon discerned his insignificance, arrested him and suggested to the Cossacks that they should elect a new Hetman. The Colonels of the Regiments of the p298 Right Bank assembled in Chihirin on October 10th, and elected Doroshenko temporary Hetman, which election was confirmed by the General Cossack Council called in Chihirin in January, 1666.
In electing Doroshenko the Cossacks had taken into account his descent from an old Cossack family, that he had been trained by Bohdan Khmelnitsky, and that in the office of Hetman he intended to do more than satisfy his personal ambitions. At first the new Hetman had to recognize Polish supremacy, were it only for the reason that Polish garrisons were stationed in several of the most important towns of the country, Chihirin, Korsun, and Bila Tserkva, whereas Doroshenko had hardly a thousand Cossacks under his command, all his power "lying with the Tatars", as we are told by a contemporary.
The new Hetman had an enormous and very difficult task before him. The country was ruined and normal life disorganized. First it was necessary to strengthen his power in the country, as in some parts the people held to the Muscovites, and it was necessary to create a strong and reliable army. But above all, he had to deal with the pretenders to the Hetmanship of whom there was no lack. Hardly had Opara disappeared from the stage, when a new pretender, Drozdenko, Colonel of Braslav appeared, and Doroshenko was obliged to proceed against Braslav, taking with him a few Polish detachments. After a siege of a few weeks, Braslav surrendered, Drozdenko was taken prisoner and shot. Having secured eastern Podolia, Doroshenko returned to Chihirin where he had his residence as in the time of Bohdan Khmelnitsky and Vyhovsky. The number of Doroshenko's followers was increasing; at the siege of Braslav he had already 20,000 Cossacks. As a nucleus of his army Doroshenko had formed regiments of "Serdyuki", paid volunteers, who were his main support, as they were not subject to political influences and changes and only knew their leader. Among them also there were foreign officers. Doroshenko had also detachments of Tatars, mercenary or allies, but these, as of old, were unreliable and undesirable p299 allies, costing the Ukrainian people much, as they could not refrain from plundering and taking the population prisoner, regarding this as the price of their alliance even in the time of Bohdan Khmelnitsky. In the first months of his rule Doroshenko recognized the supremacy of the Polish King and the protectorate of the Crimean Khan, his ally.
When Doroshenko was taking preliminary measures to strengthen his power, and pacify the country, Brukhovetsky advanced on the left bank of the Dnieper, ever strengthening Muscovite power in the Ukraine, coming half‑way to meet Muscovite wishes and making concessions to the disadvantage of himself and his followers. In September, 1665, he went to Moscow with a numerous retinue of Cossack officers, clerical representatives, burgesses and common Cossacks, where he was solemnly received in audience by the Tsar to whom he brought rich presents. Then began the business side of his visit. The Hetman expressed the wish to "marry a Muscovite woman", and asked that a bride should be found for him; he requested a grant of land near the Muscovite frontier, and an important detachment of Muscovite military forces for his personal security. Brukhovetsky was advised to marry the daughter of Prince Dolgoruki, one of the most aristocratic Muscovite families, and this marriage shortly took place in Moscow. But the chief object of the visit was Brukhovetsky's "humble offer to the Tsar of all Ukrainian towns" by which he meant that all the taxes paid by the Ukrainian town population as well as Ukrainian State monopolies and customs should henceforth go direct into the Muscovite treasury. He also wished to have Muscovite garrisons in all more or less important Ukrainian towns. He further offered to the Tsar jurisdiction over the Ukraine with the exception of the Cossack class. All this was of course accepted with p300 the deepest satisfaction, the more so as most of the concessions had been suggested by the Muscovite government and were made to meet its wishes. All these generous concessions made at the price of Ukrainian autonomy were repaid by rich grants of land to Brukhovetsky and his followers. The new arrangements were drawn up in the form of a special charter from the Tsar to the Hetman and signed by both sides on December 11th, 1665. At his departure from Moscow, the Hetman and all who were with him were presented with rich sables.
Brukhovetsky returned to the Ukraine early in 1666. He felt himself secure and looked down on the Cossack officers. Those who opposed him in anything he habitually seized and sent to Moscow, whence they were despatched to Siberia or elsewhere. His officers had always disliked him and intrigued against him, even at the time of their visit to Moscow. Now they were continually sending to Moscow complaints and accusations against him. Brukhovetsky himself could not agree with the Muscovite voevods, and had constant differences with Sheremetiev in Kiev or with others. But the mass of the population were the most disappointed and indignant when they at last understood what kind of "gifts" the Hetman had brought them from Moscow. Muscovite voevods with garrisons made their appearance in the Ukraine early in 1666, followed by Muscovite officials who at once set about making a census of the population, recording their incomes, and imposing taxes in money, corn and other products. By April, 1666, these taxes in money, corn and honey collected from the peasants and townspeople began to arrive in Moscow. The Ukrainians were greatly dissatisfied and their discontent was augmented as Muscovite officials and agents came into closer contact with the local population and vexed them by their conduct, their manners and customs so foreign and so distasteful to Ukrainians. General indignation arose against Brukhovetsky, who lost all the popularity he had enjoyed as protector and defender of the interest of the p301 common people and Muscovite protection lost its popularity also.
Doroshenko took advantage of this change of sympathy with Brukhovetsky and Muscovy. During Brukhovetsky's absence (September-December, 1666) he attempted to set foot on the left bank of the Dnieper, sending there detachments of his Cossacks and making known his "Universals" (manifestos) in which he invited the population to recognize his power. But Doroshenko's first desire was to free himself from Poland, by taking advantage of a civil war which broke out in Poland in consequence of the uprising of Lubomirski against the king. In February, 1666, Doroshenko summoned the Cossack Council (Rada) and proposed to "chase all the Poles out of Ukraine back to Poland", conclude an alliance with the Khan of the Crimea, and in spring start a campaign on the left bank of the Dnieper in order to unite it with right bank into one State under one government. At this time Doroshenko began negotiations with the Khan of the Crimea and the Sultan with the purpose of concluding a military alliance with the former and recognizing the political protectorate of the latter over the Ukraine. He considered it impossible to free the Ukraine with her own forces. He had only an exhausted part of the country behind him, while his opponents, Poland and Muscovy were two powerful states; so following the example set by Bohdan Khmelnitsky, he tried to secure his position by gaining the military aid of the Tatars and the protectorate of the Sultan.
Doroshenko knew that Poland and Muscovy had for some time been conducting peace negotiations in the village of Andrussovo, and that the Muscovite government intended to forsake the right bank of the Dnieper in order to secure their domination over the left bank. He therefore decided to attack Poland and compel the Polish government to give up their claims on the right bank, and thus face the two negotiators in Andrussovo with the fact of the actual independence of this part of Ukraine. In the autumn of 1666, Doroshenko, having p302 secured strong support from the Khan — 30,000 Tatars were put at his disposal — was ready and awaiting his opportunity. The Polish government, having dealt with Lubomirski's uprising, sent an army 6,000 strong into the Ukraine. They crossed the Ukrainian frontier in December, 1666, and began by taking and destroying Ivanhorod, which refused to submit. Doroshenko attacked the Polish forces between Brailov and Braslav, completely defeating them.
This was the beginning of a complete breach with Poland. This defeat of the Polish army by Doroshenko had the same significance for the exhausted Poland as the defeat at Zhovti Vodi and Korsun of twenty years ago. The Polish government hastened to conclude the Treaty of Andrussovo on January 13th, 1667, under which a truce of thirteen years was established between Muscovy and Poland, the right bank of the Dnieper remaining with Poland and the left with Muscovy. Kiev remained in Muscovite hands for two years only, and the Zaporogian Cossacks were put under the supremacy of both Poland and Muscovy. The Treaty of Andrussovo was unwelcome to both Doroshenko and to the Turks and Tatars. It rendered more difficult Doroshenko's programme of uniting both parts of the Ukraine, and the Turks and Tatars had the danger of a united Polish-Muscovite front against them. The Treaty of Andrussovo aroused real panic in the Ukraine of the left bank, the warmest partisans of Muscovy being shocked and indignant with Muscovite policy in thus acknowledging the partition of Ukraine and leaving half of it in Polish hands.
However, the Muscovite government's withdrawal from the right bank freed Doroshenko's hands in his contest with Poland, with the Sultan and Crimean Khan as his allies. He relied on Poland being unprepared, but the Polish Fieldmarshal, John Sobieski, was informed of his intentions. He warned the nobles of the border p303 provinces of the Tatar danger, and was himself prepared to repulse the attack. In September, 1667, Doroshenko, with 24,000 Cossacks, 40 guns and considerable Tatar forces advanced into Galicia. The Sultan sent him 3,000 janissaries and 12 guns. Against these forces John Sobieski could muster only 15,000 regular and a few thousand armed servants. But he had a very important ally in the commander of the Zaporogian camp, Ivan Sirko, who in January had been in Lvov and declared that he would not recognize Doroshenko as Hetman, and promised to be ready to make a diversion in the Crimea in order to hold Doroshenko's allies, the Tatars. Sobieski occupied a well-fortified position in the village of Pidhaitsi, and it was here that Doroshenko in October, 1667, with the united forces of Cossacks and Tatars, besieged him. Sobieski held out for a fortnight, but his strength was beginning to give way when news came that Sirko had attacked Perekop, plundered northern Crimea, leaving behind nothing but "dogs and cats". This news greatly upset the Tatars who were with Doroshenko, and they no longer wished to continue the siege. Many deserted. Then recurred the usual procedure in Ukrainian-Tatar alliances, the Tatars started independent peace negotiations with the Poles and, in a few hours, a treaty "of eternal friendship and inviolable peace between Poland and the Tatars" was prepared. Doroshenko found himself in such a dangerous position that he was compelled hastily to fortify his camp against his "allies". When Kerim offered to mediate, there was nothing left to Doroshenko but to open peace negotiations with Sobieski. According to this treaty, concluded on October 19th, 1667, Doroshenko and the Cossacks remained under the supremacy of the Polish king, and relinquished any wish to depart from their protection in the future; the Polish landowners were free to return to their estates; the Polish army was not to enter Cossack territory and the Polish garrison of Bila Tserkva was to be reduced. The final wording of the text of the Treaty was postponed until p304 the next Seim, but both Doroshenko and Sobieski took an oath to observe it.
A Treaty concluded in such circumstances could not satisfy Doroshenko. Seeing that neither Poland nor Muscovy could reconcile themselves with an independent Ukraine, he began to think of the Sultan as his ally in the struggle for this aim. He was, however, compelled to conceal for some time his plans and intentions and carry on diplomatic relations with all sides, and await favorable conditions and the right moment. He had the powerful moral support of his friend, the Metropolitan Joseph Tukalsky, who after three years of imprisonment had escaped from the Polish fortress of Marienburg in East Prussia. Henceforth he stayed in Chihirin and became Doroshenko's counsellor and his best and truest friend.
Doroshenko was very popular among the mass of the population in both parts of Ukraine. Muscovite agents informed their government of this, and how in all Ukrainian churches prayers were offered "for the good and pious blessing, Hetman Peter". The Muscovite government were much afraid of this popularity and opened diplomatic negotiations with Doroshenko. Doroshenko advised the Muscovite Tsar to take the whole of Ukraine under his protection, and even such Galician and Volynian towns as Peremysl, Lvov, Halich, Yaroslav and Vladimir, but the Tsar, after his recent experience had not much confidence in the Ukrainians; he wished no united Ukraine, especially under the rule of such an independent and active Hetman as Doroshenko. Tsar Alexis preferred for the present to maintain the status quo brought about by the Treaty of Andrussovo, and as to Doroshenko, he continually gave him advice to remain under the Polish king and not carry on friendship with the infidel.
In the meantime events were developing on the left bank of the Dnieper which at last made it possible for Doroshenko to realize his aspiration for this part of p305 Ukrainian territory. Brukhovetsky, seeing the general discontent with his rule because of the introduction of Muscovite fiscal administration, and feeling his position endangered, thought of anticipating the growing revolt against Muscovy by putting himself at the head of an anti-Muscovite uprising. In 1668 he called the Cossack Council to his residence in Hadiach and announced to them that the Muscovite government definitely wished to surrender the whole of the Ukraine to Poland, and that the only solution was to expel the Muscovites and seek the protection of the Sultan. The Cossack Rada accepted this proposal.
The uprising against Muscovy on the left bank of the Dnieper began shortly after. Some of the small Muscovite garrisons were massacred and some capitulated, Kiev, Nizhin and Chernigov alone remained intact. An embassy was sent to Constantinople with proposals to the Sultan to accept the Ukraine as his vassal on the same conditions as Transylvania, and recognize Brukhovetsky as Ukrainian Prince with his seat in Kiev. Another embassy was sent to the Crimean Khan asking for help against Muscovy. The Sultan promised his protection and the Khan sent 7000 Tatars. Then Brukhovetsky, together with his Cossacks and the Tatars, marched to the Muscovite frontier where their army under Romodanovsky awaited him.
Brukhovetsky made a miscalculation in trying to gain personal popularity by imitating Doroshenko's policy. Doroshenko at that time was already in relations with the Sultan and the Crimean Khan, and had been promised the help and protection of the Sultan on the same conditions as the Danubian Princes. In promising the same to Brukhovetsky, the Sultan was evidently prepared to wait and see which of the two would gain the upper hand. Doroshenko crossed the Dnieper and was approaching Brukhovetsky's camp when the Cossacks broke out in revolt p306 against Brukhovetsky and murdered him, and on June 8th, 1668, proclaimed Doroshenko Hetman of the whole of Ukraine on both banks of the Dnieper. This was the moment of Doroshenko's greatest triumph and popularity among the Ukrainian people.
The hardest blow of all which Doroshenko received at this time came from the Zaporogians, who had put forward a new pretender to the office of Hetman, a young man, Peter Sukhovi, whom the Crimean Tatars also supported. Doroshenko was enraged by this "blow on the mouth" and threatened the Tatar ambassador declaring that like his grandfather Hetman, Michael Doroshenko, "he would turn the whole Crimea upside down", but he was now compelled to divert all his energies to the struggle against Sukhovi. This went on for about a year, and during this time the left bank of the Dnieper was lost to him, though some of the regiments remained loyal to Doroshenko until the spring of 1670.
His position, however, was far from secure; on all sides he was surrounded by enemies. On the one side the Muscovite army was advancing from the north, on the other the Poles, alarmed by his successes, marched into the Ukraine. Worse still, the northern part of Ukraine on the left side of the Dnieper, the Chernigov and Sieversk provinces, in close proximity to the Muscovite frontier, hesitated to break off from Muscovy. They believed, and rightly, that Muscovy would not so easily relinquish her claims to the Ukraine and that the first blows would fall on the provinces of Chernigov and Sieversk. Surprised to hear of the Polish advance, he being in friendly correspondence with John Sobieski, Doroshenko hastened to the right bank of the Dnieper in order to prepare the defence of the country, leaving behind as his lieutenant on the left side of the river, the Chernigov p307 Colonel Damian Mnohohrishny. Left by Doroshenko with inadequate forces, the country being strongly garrisoned by Muscovites and threatened by the advance of the Muscovite army led by Romodanovski, Mnohohrishny allowed himself to be over-persuaded by some of the Cossack officers and clergy of the Muscovite party, and entered into negotiations with the Muscovites. The Cossack Council of the officers of the northern regiments assembled in Novhorod-Sieversk and elected Mnohohrishny the "Sieversk" Hetman. The new Hetman than proposed to the Tsar to recall his voevods and armies in order to give those on the left bank of the Dnieper an opportunity of voluntarily returning under his sway. Tsar Alexis hastened to send him a "gracious" answer and thus the parleys started.
In January, 1669, a delegation from the "Sieversk" Hetman, Mnohohrishny, arrived in Moscow, listened demurely to all the reproaches of faithlessness and treason, and then presented a petition containing a draft of a new Treaty, and requested that a date should be fixed for the assembly of the Cossack Council for the final election of the Hetman and the ratification of a new Treaty of Union between the Ukraine and Muscovy. In March, 1669, the Cossack Council took place in Hlukhovº in the presence of three Muscovite representatives; Mnohohrishny was duly elected Hetman and the text of the treaty, known in Ukrainian history as the Articles of Hlukhiv was confirmed. In general outline the Articles of Hlukhiv followed the Articles of Bohdan Khmelnitsky, though considerably curtailed. The text actually began with assurances that "rights and liberties" promised to Bohdan Khmelnitsky were to be maintained. The voevods of the Tsar with garrisons were still to remain in Kiev, Chernigov, Nizhin, Pereyaslav and Oster, but they were not to interfere with the local authorities. The taxes for the Tsar's treasury were henceforth to be collected by the Hetman's administration. The rolls of the Registered Cossacks were to be raised to 30,000 and all Cossacks and Cossack officers were to be paid from the revenue p308 collected in the Ukraine. Besides the Registered Cossacks a special regiment was formed for public safety and for quelling revolts. These troops, under the name of "Kompaniytsi" (Volunteers) were later increased in number. The hetman had no right to entertain relations with foreign powers. Ukrainians were strictly forbidden to export to Muscovy spirits or tobacco for sale, these goods being there a State monopoly. The Hetman, Cossack officers and representatives of the common Cossacks and burgesses took the oath of observance of the Treaty.
Though Doroshenko was displeased with the election of Mnohohrishny and at first ignored him, he showed him no hostility and maintained relations with him which in Moscow were looked upon with suspicion. Mnohohrishny was the son of a common Cossack, his contemporaries calling him "peasant's son". He was no diplomat though a straightforward man and a Ukrainian patriot. He did not know how to manage his officers nor the Muscovites, and very soon made enemies everywhere. In a short time this brought about his end.
Again left with no other resources to rely upon than those of the exhausted country on the right bank of the Dnieper, and being opposed by Poland and Sukhovi whom the Tatars supported, Doroshenko was led into closer alliance with the Sultan and tried to get from him the efficient help he needed to realize his aim, namely a united and independent Ukrainian State. Soon after his return from the left bank of the Dnieper he called together the Council of Cossack officers which drew up conditions for a Turkish protectorate of the Ukraine. These conditions, drawn up under fourteen headings were sent to Constantinople in 1668 by a special ambassador. On general lines these conditions recall the attempt of Bohdan Khmelnitsky to enter into an alliance with the High Porte. The Cossacks did not wish to be dependent subjects nor to pay any tribute. The Hetman hoped with the help of the Sultan to unite all Ukrainian territories as far as p309 Peremysl and Sambor in the west, Minsk in the north, and Sieversk in the east. The Sultan and the Crimean Khan should not conclude treaties with Poland or Muscovy without an understanding with the Ukrainian Hetman. If the Cossacks conquered a town with Turkish help it should remain under the rule of the Ukrainian Hetman and not become a Turkish province. The Sultan gave his formal consent to accepting the Ukraine under his protection; lively diplomatic relations ensued between Constantinople and Chihirin, and a Ukrainian representative was sent to the court of the Sultan. At first, however, Turkish protection was of little use to Doroshenko. Rumors spread by his enemies of his "having sold Ukraine into Turkish thraldom" undermined his popularity with the Ukrainian population. The Tatars continued to support Sukhovi. Khan Adil-Giray helped Doroshenko's enemies because he knew that Doroshenko had complained about him to the Sultan and that he had advised the Sultan to depose him. Hardly had Sukhovi disappeared when a new pretender to the Hetman's power, Michael Khanenko, Colonel of Cherkassy, hastened to pay loyal homage to Muscovy and began propaganda against Doroshenko among the Cossacks. Henceforth Doroshenko had for several years to combat a new and stubborn enemy whose resistance caused him even greater difficulties than even Sukhovi before him had.
Seeing that Turkish protection did not bring him any nearer to the realization of his aim, the unification of the Ukraine, Doroshenko made another attempt to gain an understanding with Poland with whom he maintained relations in the person of the Field-marshal John Sobieski. Sobieski did everything to bring him over to the Polish side. Doroshenko, therefore, sent his ambassador to the Coronation Seim in the autumn of 1669 — after the abdication in that year of John Casimir, Michael Wisniowiecki, son of Jeremy had been elected king — and gave him instructions to obtain full autonomy for the Ukraine within the meaning of the Treaty of Hadiach of 1658. But claims, as his ambassador reported, gave Polish p310 statesmen "a great shock" and they only sent "compliments" in reply. In the summer of 1670, however, formal negotiations opened in Ostrog in Volynia. Doroshenko put forward such conditions as the abolition of Church Union within the frontiers of the whole Polish State and complete autonomy for the Ukraine, including, of course, the annulment of the Treaty of Andrussovo. Generally speaking, it was a repetition of the Treaty of Hadiach, even including the sections about the freedom of schools, speech and the press. The Polish government would never accept this if not directly forced by overwhelming military strength. Just at that moment Khanenko also sent a mission with far more modest claims. The Polish delegates then concluded a treaty with Khanenko, and on the 2nd of September, 1670, the Polish government recognized him as Hetman of the Ukraine of the right bank of the Dnieper, he acknowledging Polish supremacy on condition of autonomy for the Cossack class only. At the end of the year the Polish Seim ratified this treaty. This signified to Doroshenko a final breach with Poland. On the other hand it made him enormously popular with the Cossacks. In answer to the king's letter in which he advised the Cossacks not to confide in Doroshenko, the Cossack Council assembled in Korsun early in 1671, gave assurances of complete confidence in their Hetman and wrote a letter to the king to this effect. In another joint letter to the Cossacks of the left bank of the Dnieper inviting them to join Doroshenko, the Cossack officers wrote: "In the person of Doroshenko the Ukrainian people have a good and true leader whose only aim is to unite Ukrainian lands". Now Doroshenko set himself to a decisive struggle with Poland. He tried, as Bohdan Khmelnitsky had formerly tried, to start relations with the Elector of Brandenburg, Frederick William, in order to draw him into the anti-Polish coalition, but his letter was intercepted by the Poles. He tried to win over Muscovy, Hetman Mnohohrishny, even Stepan Razin, the leader of the Don Cossacks, but effective help was only obtainable from the Sultan. Meanwhile the Sultan sent to p311 Doroshenko the Tatars of Bilhorod, independent of the Crimean Khan, and with their help Doroshenko's lieutenant, Ostap Hohol, opened the campaign against Khanenko and the Poles. The year of 1671 was spent in skirmishes and guerilla warfare. In the autumn, John Sobieski began a systematic march against Podolia and took a number of towns. Towards the end of the year Doroshenko obtained considerable help from his Mahommedan allies, 26,000 Tatars and a few thousand Turks. The former Crimean Khan, -Giray, whom the Sultan, in consequence of Doroshenko's complaints had deposed, was replaced by young, intelligent and well educated Selim-Giray. With his allies Doroshenko set himself to the reconquest of Podolia. Against those who voluntarily went over to the Poles, he used severe repressions and surrendered them to the Tatars.
This campaign was only a prelude to a great war between Poland and the united forces of Turkey, Tatars and Ukrainians of the right bank of the Dnieper. It broke out in the spring of 1672. The Sultan had just finished a successful war against Venice and now his hands were free. Sultan Mahomet IV came at the head of his army 100,000 strong. He was joined by 50,000 Tatars under Selim-Giray and later by Doroshenko with 12,000 Cossacks. Together they had 200 guns. This was a tremendous force, against which Poland could only put up a feeble resistance. But Poland was guarded by her good genius, John Sobieski. He put in the field all he could possibly mobilize in Poland, together with a few thousand Cossacks under Khanenko and sent them as a vanguard to cut off Doroshenko and prevent him from joining his allies. Sobieski himself was covering the route to Lvov, and Sirko and his Zaporogians were to make their usual diversion in the Crimea. The chief Polish hope was centred on the inaccessible fortress of Kamenets. Doroshenko defeated the Polish army with Khanenko in July 1672, and joined the army of the Sultan near Kamenets. The siege of Kamenets began in August and after three weeks the p312 fortress capitulated, and the Sultan and Doroshenko together made their formal entry into the town.
Hardly had Kamenets fallen, when the Cossacks and Tatars began to advance into Galicia. One place after another surrendered without resistance. In the first days of September Lvov again saw the Cossack and Tatar army beneath her walls. Sobieski retreated westward. Doroshenko laid siege, but after a few days ambassadors from King Michael arrived offering peace. Negotiations began at once. Lvov paid an indemnity. The preliminaries of the peace were drawn up on October 5th, 1672, and the Sultan who was at Buchach gave his ratification. According to the Buchach Treaty, Poland renounced her claim to Cossack Ukraine, which became an independent state. Podolia was given to the Sultan. Poland undertook to withdraw the garrison from Bila Tserkva and other places in the Ukraine, and pay to the Sultan an annual war indemnity of 22,000 ducats. These were the chief articles of the Buchach Treaty and according to Polish historians, the most dishonorable in her history.
Doroshenko returned to Chihirin and announced to the people that the war with Poland was over. The towns which formerly adhered to Khanenko recognized Doroshenko's power. But his position was a very difficult one; his resources were completely exhausted. The conquest of Kamenets by the Turks, where they at once turned all the churches into mosques, spread terror in the Ukraine. Rumors were afloat about all kinds of violence and desecration offered by the Mohammedans to the Christian Faith. The indignant population turned against Doroshenko, holding him responsible for all this. In Poland, the danger of Turkish invasion once averted, government circles recovered and began to prepare revenge. The blow of the defeat and of the humiliating treaty provoked a certain reaction amongst the population. Sobieski, who alone during the disaster had not lost his head, did all he could for the defence of the country, and now became very popular, his authority being unquestioned. First Sobieski refused to surrender to the Ukrainians the strongholds p313 of Bila Tserkva and others occupied by Polish garrisons, and which according to the Buchach Treaty, Poland was to evacuate. Doroshenko was powerless to enforce this. On the whole Doroshenko had cause to be greatly disappointed with the results of the Turkish alliance, considerable portions of Ukrainian territory, western Podolia and a part of Galicia had become Turkish provinces and Doroshenko had to put up with the half-ruined and depopulated Braslav and Kiev provinces. About Christmas 1672, soon after his return from the campaign, Doroshenko held a Council in Chihirin with his officers, and the question as to whether they should continue to remain under the Turkish protectorate was weighed and examined. The Rada voted to stay under the Turkish Sultan because "besides the Sultan there was nowhere to go for protection".
As Doroshenko was preparing his campaign with the Turks against Poland a "coup d'état" took place in Baturin, the residence of the Hetman of the Ukrainian on the left bank of the Dnieper. On the night of March 13th, 1672, a group of Cossack officers, in accordance with a previous understanding with the Muscovite garrison, arrested Hetman Mnohohrishny, and delivered him to the Muscovites, who secretly brought him in irons to Moscow. Mnohohrishny was accused of having secret relations with Doroshenko and of planning to go over to Turkish protection. It was already said that the Cossack officers disliked Mnohohrishny because by origin he did not belong to their class, and also because of his violent and uncontrolled character. Mnohohrishny was displeased with Muscovite policy in the Ukraine and sometimes spoke of it openly to his neighbors and also to the Muscovites themselves. This was all that the charge of treason amounted to. The unfortunate Hetman was tortured in Moscow and exiled for life to Siberia, whither he was followed by his family.
Having got rid of Mnohohrishny, the Cossack officers p314 sent a delegate to Moscow in the person of Ivan Lissenko, with a draft of new conditions for the election of a new Hetman. It was stipulated that the Hetman was not to enter into relations with the foreign powers; he was not to punish the Cossacks or peasants except after judgment by the Cossack Court of Justice; only Cossack officers were in future to elect the Hetman, the common Cossacks were not even to be present at the election; and the Tsar was to send an army to safeguard the election. The Cossack Council took place on June 16th, 1672, in a desert steppe near the small town Kozacha Dibrova, on the Muscovite frontier. Only the Cossack officers took part in the elections, the common Cossacks who came to the number of about 4,000, were merely witnesses. The Council drew up new articles known in Ukrainian history under the name of the Articles of Konotop. In the main they only completed the Articles of Hlukhiv of 1669. The Hetman power was curtailed while the volunteer regiments which could give support to a hetman, were abolished. Ivan Samoylovich, the Supreme Cossack Judge, was elected Hetman. He had been one of the conspirators against Hetman Mnohohrishny.
The new Hetman was the son of a priest, originally from the right bank of the Dnieper who settled on the other bank and had a parish near Konotop. For this reason, Samoylovich, bore all his life the nickname of "popovich" (son of a priest). He had been in the Kievan Academy and was an intelligent and well-educated man. He was a follower of Brukhovetsky and had taken part in the rising against Muscovy of 1668. He then attached himself to Mnohohrishny, obtained the pardon of the Tsar, and at the Council of Hlukhiv, was elected Supreme Judge of Cossack Headquarters. Samoylovich was very hostile to Poland, but in favor of an alliance with the Sultan. He was against the partition of the Ukraine and insisted on uniting both parts, the right and left banks, under one government, his own, of course, not that of Doroshenko.
The defeat of 1672 caused a patriotic reaction in Poland. The Seim voted an extra grant for an army of p315 60,000 men. The Pope sent a considerable sum for its armament. The Polish government decided not to pay the promised indemnity and started to prepare for a new war. The Muscovite government, having placidly witnessed Poland's defeat, considered, that by the Treaty of Buchach, the Polish government had renounced their rights and claims to the Ukraine of the right bank of the Dnieper and thus annulled the Treaty of Andrussovo. Therefore, the Tsar began negotiations with Doroshenko, offering him protection and threatening that if this was not accepted there would be war. At the same time Poland made new attempts to win over Doroshenko or to put Khanenko in his place. Under these complicated and uncertain conditions there was nothing left for Doroshenko but to wait and see who would win, and take advantage accordingly to realize his plans.
In the autumn of 1673 Polish preparations for a new war were completed, and the king could, according to a Polish historian, "review an army the like of which Poland had not produced since the battle of Berestechko in 1649"; and consisting of 40,000 well-armed men with 50 guns, and 12,000 Lithuanians not counting armed servants. John Sobieski was at the head of the army. Circumstances were also generally in favor of Poland; the Khan of the Tatars was ill and the whole population of Crimea stricken by an epidemic. Sirko, the Zaporogian leader, was harassing the Tatars; the princes of Moldavia and Wallachia sided with Poland. Doroshenko showed no great wish to fight, although he was promised munitions by the Turks. The Sultan himself was not very active at this time.
In November 1673, Sobieski defeated the vanguard of the Turkish army near Khotin and next day captured Khotin with its powerful fortress. The victory of Khotin made a great impression and soon procured the Polish crown for John Sobieski, as King Michael Wisniowiecki died on the very day of the Khotin victory. The Poles, however, as once before after the battle of Chudniv, could take no advantage of their brilliant victory. The Lithuanian p316 army refused to go any further and started homewards. The discomfort of an autumn campaign in a ruined and devastated country caused many desertions also in the Polish army. Nearly half of the army left the ranks after Khotin because they had received no pay. When news of the king's death arrived, many nobles also returned home. The campaign was bound to come to an end. When in the spring of 1674 it was renewed the Turks were prepared and drove the Poles out of Moldavia.
In the meantime Samoylovich persuaded the Muscovite government to declare war on Doroshenko just as Poland and Turkey were engaged in their strife. At the end of January 1674, the united forces of Muscovy and Samoylovich crossed the Dnieper. Doroshenko's Cossacks made stubborn resistance, but they were not able to withstand the overwhelming force of the enemy. The Hetman's brother, Gregory Doroshenko, was defeated near Lysianka and taken prisoner. On March 17th, 1674, Samoylovich called a General Council of Cossacks, and was proclaimed Hetman on both sides of the Dnieper. In June Samoylovich and Romodanovski besieged Doroshenko in Chihirin. For a fortnight they bombarded the place, but Doroshenko resisted. He was expecting help from the Turks and Tatars.
At that time, the Sultan was in Moldavia pursuing his campaign against Poland. Hearing of Doroshenko's distress, instead of continuing to advance into Poland, he returned into the Ukraine. The Turkish army crossed the Dnieper at Soroki and entered the territory of Cossack Ukraine. Here the Sultan was joined by the Crimean Khan, Selim-Giray, whom the Sultan had sent in advance to hasten to Doroshenko's help. Hearing of the approaching Khan, Samoylovich and the Muscovites raised the siege and crossed the Dnieper. After that Doroshenko and the Khan on one side, and the Sultan on the other, set themselves to re‑conquer the Ukraine under the power of the Hetman of Chihirin. The unhappy country was drowned in blood. The territory of the regiment of Uman who had adhered to Khanenko suffered specially. The p317 Grand Vizier, Kara Mustapha, having taken Uman, razed the town to the ground, its population being partly butchered and partly taken prisoner. Doroshenko having met the Sultan in September 1674 near the ruined town of Uman obtained pardon for the prisoners. Afterwards the Turks and Tatars returned home, and Doroshenko continued to re‑assert his authority in the country. Enraged against those who had gone over to Samoylovich, he took cruel reprisals against them.
The Ukraine of the right bank of the Dnieper was once again under Doroshenko's authority, but at what a price! The country lay half ruined. Many thousands of people, taking their families and belongings, fled to the left bank, hoping to find there more peaceful living conditions. To complete the misfortunes of the unhappy country, immediately following on the Turks and Tatars, John Sobieski now king, advanced into the Ukraine and started the re‑conquest of Podolia. Quite a number of Podolian towns were besieged, captured and burnt to the ground, leaving hardly any population at all. The country was turned into a vast desert, covered with ruins and charred remains, and strewn with human bones.
The former popularity of Doroshenko turned to hatred against him. The Ukraine blamed him for the devastation. His closest colleagues and friends, even the members of his family, turned from him and forsook him one after another, being discouraged through the failure of his enterprise. Doubts in the reasonableness of his policy must have penetrated the soul of the Hetman himself. But he did not lay down his arms though the iron ring of his enemies was drawing ever closer and closer around him. In the summer of 1675 the Turks and Tatars again came into the Ukraine on their way into Poland. Their presence brought Doroshenko no advantage; the Turks completely devastated eastern Podolia and the Tatars began negotiations with Poland without even informing Doroshenko. All this convinced him of the necessity of breaking p318 with his Mohammedan allies, especially as he was informed that they did not trust him and were at any moment ready to put forward another pretender against him. In the autumn of 1675 we may suppose that the Hetman of Chihirin must have undergone a great crisis. His faithful friend and counsellor, the Metropolitan Joseph Tukalsky, died just at that time. Abandoned and forsaken by all, disappointed and discouraged, he decided to abdicate, only it was hard for him to surrender his Hetman's mace to Samoylovich. He called in Chihirin his last Cossack Council and laid down before the Council his Hetman's mace, as if surrendering it to the Council of Cossacks who had once entrusted him with it. Sirko, the Zaporogian leader, who attended the Council, promised him on oath the pardon and favor of the Muscovite Tsar. Then Doroshenko sent his insignia and colors to Moscow. They arrived early in 1676, and the Ukrainian colors were dragged in triumph through the streets and put at the feet of the Tsar, who ordered them to be exhibited for three days before the public.
This, however, was not the end of Doroshenko. The Muscovite government ordered him to cross to the left side of the Dnieper and take an oath in the presence of Hetman Samoylovich and Romodanovski. Doroshenko having refused, Tsar Theodore (Tsar Alexis had died) declared a new war on him. In September 1676, the united Ukrainian and Muscovite forces with an army of 30,000 surrounded Chihirin. After a short battle, Doroshenko, who had only 2,000 Cossacks, decided to capitulate. On 19th September, he resigned his post and title in the presence of Samoylovich and Romodanovski. Doroshenko's political career was at an end. He was given an honorable exile in Muscovy. The Tsar, who treated him with exceptional generosity, presented him with an estate, Yaropolche, near Moscow, where he lived until his death on November 9th, 1698.
Thus the "last of the Cossacks" as he was called by the Ukrainian historians, left the political arena. He left it p319 amidst terrible unheard‑of ruin and devastation, having exhausted all its strength in the struggle for the realization of the high ideal of a united and independent Ukrainian state. He left it unappreciated by his contemporaries and by the generations immediately following, for they judged him by the results at the close of his career, without taking into account his efforts, the energy and enterprise he showed and the extremely difficult circumstances amidst which his activity was carried out. In particular they could not pardon him his alliance with the Mohammedans, the enemies of the Christian world. It is only in modern times that the heroic figure of the Hetman of Chihirin has found true appreciation from Ukrainian historians and from the nation as a whole.
With Doroshenko's downfall however, the struggle for the devastated and ruined right bank of the Dnieper was not at an end. The Sultan wished to retain it in his hands at any price. Doroshenko having abdicated, the Sultan decided to bring George Khmelnitsky once more into the foreground. After his imprisonment in the Polish fortress of Marienburg in East Prussia, George returned to the Ukraine but was soon taken prisoner by the Tatars. These surrendered him to the Turks who had kept him ever since in honorable imprisonment in the castle of Edicul near Constantinople. Now the Sultan decided to make use of him, counting on the popularity of the name of Khmelnitsky in the Ukraine. George Khmelnitsky was proclaimed "Prince of the Ukraine" and was sent in the spring of 1677 into Podolia with a small military detachment. The Sultan intended to send more substantial forces to conquer Chihirin later on. George settled down in the half-ruined town of Nemirov, and began sending out "Universals" (Manifestos) inviting the population to recognize his power. The appearance of George Khmelnitsky, a pretender to the Ukraine of the right bank of the Dnieper, roused great alarm in Baturin and Moscow. Chihirin was fortified in haste, and p320 its garrison raised to 30,000, about 24,000 Muscovite forces under the command of German officers, and about 5,000 Cossacks. Considerable Muscovite forces were stationed in Putivl ready to depart at any moment. In August 1677 a strong Turkish army aided by the Tatars besieged Chihirin. They had George Khmelnitsky with them. The fortress resisted the attacks and when in about three weeks the united forces of Romodanovsky and Samoylovich came to their relief, the Turks and Tatars raised the siege.
It was expected both in the Ukraine and in Moscow that the Sultan would return with a stronger army and again try to capture Chihirin. The Muscovite government not wishing to spend money and men on the new struggle for Chihirin was willing to pull the fortress down and arrange with the Sultan to declare the country round about it neutral. But the Ukrainian government was decidedly against this plan; the old Hetman capital was surrounded with a halo of tradition and thus was too dear to the Ukrainians. The Muscovites thus in spite of themselves had to prepare for a new war. Fresh Muscovite forces were sent to Chihirin under the Muscovite voevod, Rzhevski, and the engineering was confided to Patrick Gordon, a Scotsman in Muscovite service. He was at first a mercenary in the Polish army and took part in the battle of Chudniv. Later he entered Muscovite service as a sapper and served about fifteen years in the Ukraine. His diary is invaluable, and is the chief source of our knowledge about the struggle for Chihirin.
In July 1678 considerable Turkish and Tatar forces laid siege to Chihirin. The attacks were very violent, bombardment with heavy artillery, and underground mining went on incessantly causing great damage to the fortress. In the whole Ukraine of the left bank, the defence of Chihirin was considered a question of national importance. Church services, prayers and fasts were ordered by the clergy. Hetman Samoylovich mobilized all his forces, Cossacks and Kompaniytsi (Volunteers). Romodanovsky was sent from Muscovy to the relief of p321 Chihirin, but received secret instructions not to make any unnecessary efforts, and rather to evacuate and destroy the fortress. Therefore Romodanovsky was in no great haste to come to Chihirin, and when arrived there, he displayed no great energy, paying no heed to the reasonable advice that Samoylovich and Gordon were giving him. In fact, Romodanovsky behaved in such a strange fashion that contemporaries, not knowing of his secret instructions considered him a traitor and believed he had been bought by the Turks. Though his army was now stationed in the proximity of Chihirin, Romodanovsky showed no intention of coming to the relief of the besieged, and the chief burden of the defence lay with the Ukrainian forces. During the attack of August 15th, the commander of the garrison, Rzhevski, was killed and Patrick Gordon took over the command. The fortress held out for about a week longer, undergoing terrible bombardment and uninterrupted attacks. At last, receiving no help from Romodanovski, Gordon set fire to the fortress in several places, and with the remains of the garrison fought his way out to Romodanovski's camp. The Turks immediately occupied the abandoned fortress, but a terrible exploitation of the powder magazine followed, blew the citadel into the air, burying under the ruins thousands of Turks. The Muscovite and Ukrainian armies retreated under fire and succeeded in crossing the Dnieper. The Turkish Grand Vizier gave orders to raze the fortress to the ground. Thus the former capital of Bohdan Khmelnitsky and Doroshenko ceased to exist.
The tragic issue of the struggle for Chihirin made an enormous impression on contemporary Ukrainians as is clearly seen from the literature and memoirs of the time. The ruin and downfall of Chihirin was in their eyes a symbol of the downfall of the Cossack Ukraine on the right bank of the Dnieper. One contemporary historian, Velychko, bemoaned Chihirin in moving lines reminiscent of the Biblical prophets; "Thus fell and disappeared the beautiful Cossack Ukraine like unto ancient Babylon, the p322 mighty city . . . because of their discord the Cossacks fell, and all perished, having fought one against the other".
Returning home the Grand Vizier left to George Khmelnitsky small detachments of Turks and Tatars, with the help of which he was expected to command the devastated and almost depopulated country, middle and southern Kiev province and eastern Podolia. George Khmelnitsky chose Nemirov as his residence. He was joined by several active and energetic Cossack officers who formed a little army and helped him with the colonization and organization of the country. Having to some extent induced the impoverished and terrorized population to recognize his rule, George Khmelnitsky attempted to extend his power to the left bank of the Dnieper. Samoylovich however, was very energetic in repulsing him. Many refugees, tempted by George Khmelnitsky's invitations began to return to their former homes. The Muscovite government as well as the Hetman Samoylovich, saw in this great danger to themselves; if the right bank of the Dnieper became populated and prosperous, George Khmelnitsky would be able to draw new forces and resources from it, and be a constant menace to the left bank. In order to prevent this danger, Samoylovich sent his son Simon with a Cossack army early in the spring of 1679 to the right bank. Simon Samoylovich captured and razed to the ground the remaining more or less important towns and forced the inhabitants to come over to the left side of the river. This is called in Ukrainian history "The Great Eviction", in consequence of which the middle and south of the province of Kiev was definitely transformed into a desert. George Khmelnitsky was now left with only Podolia. He attempted to invite settlers from Moldavia and elsewhere but treated them with such cruelty in exacting taxes that those who found themselves in his power regarded it as the hardest slavery. Finally George Khmelnitsky's cruelty took an undoubtedly pathological aspect, and he began to show signs of p323 insanity. The Turkish government wishing to put an end to their experiment, beheaded the unhappy "Prince of the Ukraine" in Kamenets in the autumn of 1681.
All the participants in the struggle for the Ukraine of the right bank of the Dnieper, Muscovy, Poland, the Tatars and Turks were so utterly exhausted that they at last desired peace, at least for a time. Poland was the first to conclude peace with Turkey in Zuravna in Galicia under which the Polish king renounced Podolia and Kiev province with the exception of the northern part of the latter. In July 1678, Muscovy and Poland prolonged the Treaty of Andrussovo. Kiev was finally attached to Muscovy. In return, Poland recovered part of the Vitebsk province and 200,000 roubles. In the spring of 1681 Muscovy and Turkey concluded the Treaty of , making a truce for twenty years. During this period neither Crimea, Muscovy nor Turkey could permit people to settle in the area between the rivers Bug and Dniester (that is the middle and southern parts of Kiev province) which was to remain desert and neutral.
Such was the end of the long war for the possession of the Ukraine of the right bank of the Dnieper. A desert was created in the very heart of the Ukraine, a rich and fertile country, on the spot where its history had dawned and where Bohdan Khmelnitsky's state had been centred. This desert was as a symbolic tombstone on the grave of the Ukrainian people's aspirations for independence, a people who would rather ruin their country and strew it with their bones than voluntarily accept an alien political and social order. But at the same time the Ukrainian people had shown that they were not sufficiently mature politically nor steadfast enough to grasp the aims of their own more farsighted leaders and support them in the struggle for the realization of their lofty ideal. Ukrainians were too immature to sacrifice their immediate advantage to a remote ideal. In consequence they remained but the tools of their politically more advanced and better organized neighbors and ceased to be lords of their own land.
a Here, the printed edition further indicates a section "(102) Treaty of Bakhchisaray." — but there is no such section, and that treaty is coved in section 101. Next chapter starts with a section 102, but differently titled.
Images with borders lead to more information.
The thicker the border, the more information. (Details here.)
of the Ukraine
History of Ukraine
A page or image on this site is in the public domain ONLY
if its URL has a total of one *asterisk.
If the URL has two **asterisks,
the item is copyright someone else, and used by permission or fair use.
If the URL has none the item is © Bill Thayer.
See my copyright page for details and contact information.
Page updated: 23 May 22