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Bill Thayer

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Public service message, 24 Feb 22: A Ukrainian historical researcher who has contributed to this site has advised me that The Ukrainian Red Cross Society is accepting donations from abroad in relief of civilian populations in Ukraine and persons displaced due to the Russian war against that country, and has set up a page for those wishing to donate. (And yes, I've donated a bit myself, about $350 thru Oct 2023.)

Treaty of Pereyaslav 1654

Alexander Ohloblyn

The Book and the Author

At first glance the book appears to have been published only in English translation, since nowhere in the printed copy are we told what exactly was translated; but, as far as I can tell, it is a verbatim translation of an original Ukrainian-language text, separately published by the same publisher under the title Українсько-московська угода 1654 (Ukrayinsʹko-moskovsʹka uhoda 1654The Ukrainian-Muscovite Agreement of 1654), which can be found online at Ukrainica.

The author's name is more strictly transliterated Oleksandr Ohloblyn: a good biographical capsule of him is provided at the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine.

For technical details on how this site is laid out, see below, following the Table of Contents.

 p104  Contents



Causes of the Ukrainian-Muscovite Alliance


Negotiations at Pereyaslav and Moscow (January and March, 1654)


The Ukrainian-Muscovite Treaty


An Appraisal of the Pereyaslav Agreement of 1654


Ukrainian Draft Treaty of 1654. A Byelorussian Copy of the Articles Sent by the Cossack Envoys Samoylo Bohdanov and Pavlo Teterya on the 14th day of May, 7162 (A.D. 1654)


The Tsar's Charter Granted to Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky and the Cossack Army. Moscow, March 27, 1654 (7162)


The Moscow "Articles" of March 27, 1654 (7162)


Notes (I've folded these endnotes into their chapters)


Table of Illustrations

[Bohdan Khmelnytsky]


The letter of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky to Frederick William, the Elector of Brandenburg, Chyhyryn, June 21, 1657.


Technical Details

Edition Used and Copyright

The text I transcribed is that of the first and maybe only edition,

Canadian League for Ukraine's Liberation
Organization for Defense of Four Freedoms
for Ukraine
Toronto    1954    New York

The book — an English translation by B. Budurovych of Oleksander Ohloblyn's original text — was published in 1954: on the face of it, simultaneously published in Canada and the United States. My copy was printed in Canada.

If, despite "Toronto 1954 New York" on the title page, the book was not in fact simultaneously published in the United States, it was immediately in the public domain in the latter country.

If on the contrary the book was actually published simultaneously in the United States, its copyright is subject to American law, which at the time specifically required a copyright notice in the form of "Copyright ––––––––– 1954" in order to be valid. The printed book does not include such a notice, nor even any other statement of rights, so that it can be considered to have been in the public domain from the very moment of its first publication. The question is moot, however, since any United States copyright that there might have been was not renewed in 1981/82 as then required by the same American law to maintain it, and the translation has definitely been in the public domain since January 1, 1983: details here on the copyright law involved.


The printed book includes two pro forma black-and‑white illustrations preceding the text, as a sort of frontispiece. I've inserted them at appropriate places in the text.

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line); p57  these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.


As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

My transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree; a red background would mean that the page had not been proofread. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The printed book was poorly proofread. Most of the many errors were trivial, and I marked them with a dotted underscore like this; some errors were significant, however, and having corrected them (sometimes leaning on the Ukrainian text, which does seem to be the exact book here translated) I marked them with a bullet like this:º as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the underscored words to read what was actually printed. Similarly, glide your cursor over bullets before measurements: they provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

Some odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic  in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

More generally, sometimes the English is not idiomatic and the translation as a whole bears the mark of haste, so caution is in order: there may very well be a few places where the original text has not been correctly translated. Here and there I've done some spot checking, but no thorough review: for one thing, my Ukrainian is rudimentary. If then you are using any part of Ohloblyn's work for any serious scholar­ly purpose, I recommend — in my professional opinion as a translator for several decades — that you do perform a thorough translation review of it before proceeding further; or of course, go to his original Ukrainian text.

All that aside, if you find any mistakes that slipped by me, or that I might have added myself, please do drop me a line: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.

[image ALT: A middle-aged man with a long drooping moustache and a rich ceremonial costume, standing and speaking; to his left, the viewer's right, a much more plainly dressed man holds open a large parchment scroll, which curls down as he unrolls it. The image is a detail from a 20c painting imagining the scene of the proclamation of a Ukrainian-Muscovite agreement at Pereyaslav in 1654, and serves as the icon on this site for the book 'Treaty of Pereyaslav 1654' by Alexander Ohloblyn.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is a detail from an officially commissioned Soviet painting imagining the scene at Pereyaslav — Hetman Khmelnytsky and apparently the text of the treaty being proclaimed — glorifying the "reunion of Ukraine with Russia" it effected according to the official Russian government line. The full painting and a more detailed caption may be found at Kyiv Post.º

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Site updated: 26 Sep 22