Bohdan Khmelnytsky (Ruthenian language: Ѕѣнові
Богдан Хмелнiцкiи; modern Ukrainian: Богдан
Зиновій Михайлович Хмельницький,
translit. Bohdan Zynoviy Mykhailovych Khmelnytsky; Polish: Bohdan
Zenobi Chmielnicki; c. 1595 – 6 August 1657) was a
Hetman of the
Zaporozhian Host of the Crown
of the Kingdom of Poland in the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (now
part of Ukraine). He led an uprising against the Commonwealth and its
magnates (1648–1654) that resulted in the creation of a state led by
Cossacks of Ukraine. In 1654, he concluded the Treaty of
Pereyaslav with the Tsardom of Russia.
1 Early life
1.1 Marriage and family
2 Service with Cossacks
3 Czapliński Affair
5 Initial successes
5.1 Establishment of
6 Treaty with tsar
7 Final years
8.1 Ukrainian assessment
8.2 Polish assessment
8.3 Russian and Soviet history
8.4 Jewish history
9 See also
11 Further reading
12 External links
Coat of arms
Although there is no definite proof of the date of Khmelnytsky's
birth, Ukrainian historian
Mykhaylo Maksymovych suggests that it is
likely 27 December 1595 (St. Theodore's  day). As was the custom in
the Orthodox Church, he was baptized with one of his middle names,
Theodor, translated into Ukrainian as Bohdan. A biography of
Khmelnytsky by Smoliy and Stepankov, however, suggests that it is more
likely he was born on 9 November (feast day of St Zenoby, 30
October in Julian calendar) and was baptised on 11 November (feast day
of St. Theodore in the Catholic Church).
Khmelnytsky was probably born in the village of Subotiv, near Chyhyryn
Crown of the Kingdom of Poland
Crown of the Kingdom of Poland at the estate of his father
Mykhailo Khmelnytsky. His father, a courtier of Great Crown Hetman
Stanisław Żółkiewski, was of noble birth and belonged to the Clan
Massalski, Abdank or Syrokomla, but there has been controversy as to
whether Bohdan belonged to the szlachta (Polish term for noblemen).
Some sources state that in 1590 his father Mykhailo was appointed as a
sotnyk for the Korsun-
Chyhyryn starosta Jan Daniłowicz, who continued
to colonize the new Ukrainian lands near the
According to the above-mentioned-source, Mykhailo established Chyhyryn
and later his own family estates of
Subotiv (5 miles from Chyhyryn)
and Novoseltsi. Khmelnytsky identified as a noble, and his father's
status as a deputy
Starosta (elder) of
Chyhyryn helped him to be
considered as such by others. During the Uprising, however,
Khmelnytsky would stress his mother's
Cossack roots and his father's
exploits with the
Cossacks of the Sich.
Khmelnytsky's early education cannot be documented. Several historians
believe he received his elementary schooling from a church clerk until
he was sent to one of Kiev's Orthodox fraternity schools. He continued
his education in Polish at a Jesuit college, possibly in Jarosław,
but more likely in
Lviv in the school founded by hetman Żółkiewski.
He completed his schooling by 1617, acquiring a broad knowledge of
world history and learning Polish and Latin. Later he learned Turkish,
Tatar, and French. Unlike many of the other Jesuit students, he did
not embrace Roman Catholicism but remained Orthodox.
Marriage and family
Bohdan Khmelnytsky married Hanna Somkivna, a daughter of a rich
Pereyaslavl Cossack; the couple settled in Subotiv. By the second half
of the 1620s, they had three daughters: Stepanida, Olena, and
Kateryna. His first son Tymish (Tymofiy) was born in 1632, and another
son Yuriy was born in 1640.
Service with Cossacks
Part of a series on
Colonisation of Siberia
Upon completion of his studies in 1617, Khmelnytsky entered into
service with the Cossacks. As early as 1619 he was sent together with
his father to Moldavia, when the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
entered into war against the Ottoman Empire. His first military
engagement was a tragic one. During the battle of Cecora (Țuțora) on
17 September 1620, his father was killed, and young Khmelnytsky, among
many others including future hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski, was
captured by the Turks. He spent the next two years in captivity in
Constantinople as a prisoner of an Ottoman
Kapudan Pasha (presumably
Parlak Mustafa Pasha). Other sources claim that he spent his
Ottoman Navy on galleys as an oarsman, where he picked up a
knowledge of Turkic languages.
While there is no concrete evidence as to his return to Ukraine, most
historians believe Khmelnytsky either escaped or was ransomed. Sources
vary as to his benefactor — his mother, friends, the Polish king —
but perhaps by Krzysztof Zbaraski, ambassador of the Commonwealth to
the Ottomans. In 1622 he paid 30,000 thalers in ransom for all
prisoners of war captured at the Battle of Cecora. Upon return to
Subotiv, Khmelnytsky took over operating his father's estate and
became a registered
Cossack in the
Chyhyryn Regiment. He was later
promoted to pysar (a historical officer title among Cossacks). From
1625, he participated in several sea raids on
with Zaporozhian Cossacks. In those raids he earned his title of
sotnyk (a leader of a hundred).
During this period his widowed mother remarried, to Belarusian noble
Vasyl Stavetsky, and moved to his estate, leaving Khmelnytsky in
charge of Subotiv. Within year she gave birth to another son,
Hryhoriy; later he took his mother's name, becoming known as Hryhoriy
Khmelnytsky. For a short time, the senior Khmelnytsky served as a
koniuszy to hetman
Mikołaj Potocki but departed relatively quickly
after a personal conflict.
Khmelnytsky ran his estate and advanced in rank in his regiment. He
first became a sotnyk and later advanced to the rank of a regiment
scribe. He had significant negotiation skills and commanded respect of
his fellow Cossacks. On 30 August 1637, he was included in a
Warsaw to plead the Cossacks' case before the Polish
King Władysław IV. Serving in the army of a Polish magnate and
respected commander, hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski, he participated
in a successful campaign when the Commonwealth army (and his regiment)
scored a decisive victory over the
Crimean Khanate in 1644. According
to archival documents, he also had a meeting in
Warsaw with the French
ambassador Count De Bregie, during which he discussed the possibility
Cossack participation in war in France. Sources vary as to whether
in April 1645 he travelled to France (to Fontainebleau) to discuss
further details of
Cossack service in France; this claim is supported
by Ukrainian historiography but disputed by Polish scholarship. In
October 1644 around 2,000 (two thousand) Polish infantry soldiers
(some scholars think they were Cossacks, but the French sources do not
identify them as such) went to France by sea via
Gdańsk and Calais,
where they participated in the siege and capture of Dunkirk.
Upon the death of magnate Stanisław Koniecpolski, an advocate of fair
treatment of Cossacks, his successor, Aleksander, redrew the maps of
his possessions. He laid claim to Khmelnytsky's estate, claiming it as
his. Trying to find protection from this grab by the powerful magnate,
Khmelnytsky wrote numerous appeals and letters to different
representatives of the Polish crown but to no avail. At the end of
Daniel Czapliński officially received
authority from Koniecpolski to seize Khmelnytsky's
Bohdan Khmelnytsky (c. 1650) in the District Museum in
Tarnów. Khmelnytsky obtained ready-made garments from the East.
According to a 1651 message, Sultan
Mehmed IV sent to him "a samite
caftan, one of his honorable royal caftans."
In the summer of 1646, Khmelnytsky arranged an audience with King
Władysław IV to plead his case, as he had favourable standing at the
court. Władysław, who wanted
Cossacks on his side in the wars he
planned, gave Khmelnytsky a royal charter, protecting his rights to
Subotiv estate. But, because of the structure of the Commonwealth
at that time and the lawlessness of Ukraine, even the King was not
able to prevent a confrontation with local magnates. In the beginning
Daniel Czapliński started to harass Khmelnytsky in order to
force him off the land. On two occasions the magnate had Subotiv
raided: considerable property damage was done and Khmelnytsky's son
Yuriy was badly beaten. Finally, in April 1647, Czapliński succeeded
in evicting Khmelnytsky from the land, and he was forced to move with
his large family to a relative's house in Chyhyryn.
In May 1647, Khmelnytsky arranged a second audience with the king to
plead his case but found him unwilling to confront a powerful magnate.
In addition to losing the estate, Khmelnytsky suffered the loss of his
wife Hanna, and he was left alone with their children. He promptly
remarried, to Motrona (Helena Czaplinska (Wikidata)), the
so-called "Helen of the steppe". He was less successful in real
estate, and was unable to regain the land and property of his estate
or financial compensation for it. During this time, he met several
higher Polish officials to discuss the Cossacks' war with the Tatars,
and used this occasion again to plead his case with Czapliński, still
While Khmelnytsky found no support from the Polish officials, he found
it in his
Cossack friends and subordinates. His
Chyhyryn regiment and
others were on his side. All through the autumn of 1647 Khmelnytsky
travelled from one regiment to another, and had numerous consultations
Cossack leaders throughout Ukraine. His activity raised suspicion
among the local Polish authorities already used to
Cossack revolts; he
was promptly arrested. Koniecpolski issued an order for his execution,
Cossack polkovnyk, who held Khmelnytsky, was
persuaded to release him. Not willing to tempt fate any further,
Khmelnytsky headed for the
Zaporozhian Sich with a group of his
Main article: Khmelnytsky Uprising
Bohdan Khmelnytsky (left) with
Tugay Bey (right) at Lviv, oil on
canvas by Jan Matejko, 1885, National Museum in Warsaw
While the Czapliński Affair is generally regarded as the immediate
cause of the uprising, it was primarily a catalyst for actions
representing rising popular discontent. Religion,
ethnicity, and economics factored into this discontent. While the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth remained a union of nations, a
sizable population of Orthodox
Ruthenians were ignored. Oppressed by
the Polish magnates, they took their wrath out on Poles, as well as
Jewish traders, who often managed the estates of Polish nobles. The
advent of the
Counter-Reformation worsened relations between the
Orthodox and Catholic Churches. Many Orthodox
Union of Brest as a threat to their Orthodox faith.
At the end of 1647 Khmelnytsky reached the estuary of the Dnieper
river. On 7 December, his small detachment (300–500 men), with the
help of registered
Cossacks who went over to his side, disarmed the
small Polish detachment guarding the area and took over the
Zaporozhian Sich. The Poles attempted to retake the
Sich but were decisively defeated as more registered
the forces. At the end of January 1648, a
Cossack Rada was called and
Khmelnytsky was unanimously elected a hetman. A period of feverish
Cossacks were sent with hetman's letters to many
Ukraine calling on
Cossacks and Orthodox peasants to join
Khortytsia was fortified, efforts were made to acquire
and make weapons and ammunition, and emissaries were sent to the Khan
of Crimea, İslâm III Giray.
Initially, Polish authorities took the news of Khmelnytsky's arrival
at the Sich and reports about the rebellion lightly. The two sides
exchanged lists of demands: the Poles asked the
Cossacks to surrender
the mutinous leader and disband, while Khmelnytsky and the Rada
demanded that the Commonwealth restore the Cossacks' ancient rights,
stop the advance of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, yield the
right to appoint Orthodox leaders of the Sich and of the Registered
Cossack regiments, and to remove Commonwealth troops from Ukraine.
The Polish magnates considered the demands an affront, and an army
headed by Stefan Potocki moved in the direction of the Sich.
Cossacks stayed at Khortytsia, they might have been defeated,
as in many other rebellions. However, Khmelnytsky marched against the
Poles. The two armies met on 16 May 1648 at Zhovti Vody, where, aided
by the Tatars of Tugay Bey, the
Cossacks inflicted their first
crushing defeat on the Commonwealth. It was repeated soon afterwards,
with the same success, at the
Battle of Korsuń
Battle of Korsuń on 26 May 1648.
Khmelnytsky used his diplomatic and military skills: under his
Cossack army moved to battle positions following his
Cossacks were proactive and decisive in their manoeuvrers and
attacks, and most importantly, he gained the support of both large
contingents of registered
Cossacks and the Crimean Khan, his crucial
ally for the many battles to come.
Coat of arms
Coat of arms of the
At Christmas in 1648, Khmelnytsky made a triumphant entry into Kiev,
where he was hailed as "the Moses, saviour, redeemer, and liberator of
the people from Polish captivity... the illustrious ruler of
Rus." The Patriarch of Jerusalem Paiseus, who was
Kiev at this time, referred to Khmelnytsky as the Prince of
Rus, the head of an independent Ukrainian state, according to
contemporaries. In February 1649, during negotiations in
Pereiaslav with a Polish delegation headed by Senator Adam Kysil,
Khmelnytsky declared that he was "the sole autocrat of Rus" and that
he had "enough power in Ukraine, Podilia, and Volhynia... in his land
and principality stretching as far as Lviv, Chełm, and Halych."
I already did more than was thinking before, now I will obtain what I
revised recently. I will liberate out of the Polish woe all of the
Ruthenian people! Before I was fighting for the insults and injustice
caused to me, now I will fight for our Orthodox faith. And all people
will help me in that all the way to Lublin and Krakow, and I won't
back off from the people as they are our right hand. And for the
purpose lest you won't attack cossacks by conquering peasants, I will
have two, three hundred thousands of them.
— (Bohdan Khmelnytsky, the Prince of Ruthenia)
The Polish envoys recognized that Khmelnytsky claimed to be leader of
Cossacks but also of
Ukraine and the heritage of the
Vilnius panegyric in Khmelnytsky's honour (1650–1651) said:
"While in Poland it is King Jan II Casimir Vasa, in Rus it is Hetman
After the period of initial military successes, the state-building
process began. His leadership was demonstrated in all areas of
state-building: military, administration, finance, economics and
culture. Khmelnytsky made the
Zaporozhian Host the supreme power in
the new Ukrainian state and unified all the spheres of Ukrainian
society under his authority. Khmelnytsky built a new government system
and developed military and civilian administration.
A new generation of statesmen and military leaders came to the
forefront: Ivan Vyhovsky, Pavlo Teteria,
Danylo Nechai and Ivan
Nechai, Ivan Bohun, Hryhoriy Hulyanytsky. From
officers, and military commanders, a new elite within the Cossack
Hetman state was born. Throughout the years, the elite preserved and
maintained the autonomy of the
Cossack Hetmanate in the face of
Russia's attempt to curb it. It was also instrumental in the onset of
the period of Ruin that followed, eventually destroying most of the
achievements of the Khmelnytsky era.
Bohdan Khmelnytsky's banner that was taken at the battle of
Berestechko. It was later taken by the Swedes in
Warsaw 1655 and is
now to be seen at Armémuseum, Stockholm, Sweden.
Khmelnytsky's initial successes were followed by a series of setbacks
as neither Khmelnytsky nor the Commonwealth had enough strength to
stabilise the situation or to inflict a defeat on the enemy. What
followed was a period of intermittent warfare and several peace
treaties, which were seldom upheld. From spring 1649 onward, the
situation turned for the worse for the Cossacks; as Polish attacks
increased in frequency, they became more successful. The resulting
Treaty of Zboriv on 18 August 1649 was unfavourable for the Cossacks.
It was followed by another defeat at the battle of Berestechko on 18
June 1651 in which the Tatars betrayed Khmelnytsky and held the hetman
Cossacks suffered a crushing defeat, with an estimated
30,000 casualties. They were forced to sign the Treaty of Bila
Tserkva, which favoured the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Warfare
broke open again and, in the years that followed, the two sides were
almost perpetually at war. Now, the
Crimean Tatars played a decisive
role and did not allow either side to prevail. It was in their
interests to keep both
Ukraine and the Polish–Lithuanian
Commonwealth from getting too strong and becoming an effective power
in the region.
Khmelnytsky started looking for another foreign ally. Although the
Cossacks had established their de facto independence from Poland, the
new state needed legitimacy, which could be provided by a foreign
monarch. In search of a protectorate, Khmelnytsky approached the
Ottoman sultan in 1651, and formal embassies were exchanged. The Turks
offered vassalship, like their other arrangements with contemporary
Moldavia and Wallachia. However, the idea of a union with the
Muslim monarch was not acceptable to the general populace and most
The other possible ally was the Orthodox tsar of Russia. That
government remained quite cautious and stayed away from the
hostilities in Ukraine. In spite of numerous envoys and calls for help
from Khmelnytsky in the name of the shared Orthodox faith, the tsar
preferred to wait, until the threat of a Cossack-Ottoman union in 1653
finally forced him to action. The idea that the tsar might be
favourable to taking
Ukraine under his hand was communicated to the
hetman and so diplomatic activity intensified.
Treaty with tsar
Main article: Treaty of Pereyaslav
Flag of Bohdan Khmelnytsky. Bohdan (Б) Khmelnytsky (Х), hetman (Г)
of Army (В) of Zaporozhia (З) and of his (Е) king's (К) majesty
(МЛС) of Rzecz Pospolita.
After a series of negotiations, it was agreed that the
accept overlordship by the Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. To finalize the
treaty, a Russian embassy led by boyar Vasily Buturlin came to
Pereyaslav, where, on 18 January 1654, the
Cossack Rada was called and
the treaty concluded. Historians have not come to consensus in
interpreting the intentions of the tsar and Khmelnytsky in signing
this agreement. The treaty legitimized Russian claims to the capital
Kievan Rus' and strengthened the tsar's influence in the region.
Khmelnytsky needed the treaty to gain a legitimate monarch's
protection and support from a friendly Orthodox power.
Historians have differed in their reading of Khmelnytsky's goal with
the union: whether it was to be a military union, a suzerainty, or a
complete incorporation of
Ukraine into the Tsardom of Russia.
The differences were expressed during the ceremony of the oath of
allegiance to the tsar: the Russian envoy refused to reciprocate with
an oath from the ruler to his subjects, as the
Cossacks and Ruthenians
expected since it was the custom of the Polish king.
Khmelnytsky stormed out of the church and threatened to cancel the
entire treaty. The
Cossacks decided to rescind the demand and abide by
As a result of the 1654 Treaty of Pereyaslav, the geopolitical map of
the region changed. Russia entered the scene, and the Cossacks' former
allies, the Tatars, had gone over to the Polish side and initiated
warfare against Khmelnytsky. Tatar raids depopulated whole areas of
Ukraine. Cossacks, aided by the Tsar's army, took revenge on Polish
possessions in Belarus, and in the spring of 1654, the
the Poles from much of the country. Sweden entered the mêlée. Old
adversaries of both Poland and Russia, they occupied a share of
Lithuania before the Russians could get there.
The occupation displeased Russia because the tsar sought to take over
the Swedish Baltic provinces. In 1656, with the Commonwealth
increasingly war-torn but also increasingly hostile and successful
against the Swedes, the ruler of Transylvania, George II Rákóczi,
also joined in.
Charles X of Sweden
Charles X of Sweden had solicited his help because of
the massive Polish popular opposition and resistance against the
Swedes. Under blows from all sides, the Commonwealth barely survived.
Church of Subotiv, Ukraine, where Khmelnytsky was buried
Russia attacked Sweden in July 1656, while its forces were deeply
involved in Poland. That war ended in status quo two years later, but
it complicated matters for Khmelnytsky, as his ally was now fighting
his overlord. In addition to diplomatic tensions between the tsar and
Khmelnytsky, a number of other disagreements between the two surfaced.
In particular, they concerned Russian officials' interference in the
finances of the
Cossack Hetmanate and in the newly captured Belarus.
The tsar concluded a separate treaty with the Poles in
1656. The Hetman's emissaries were not even allowed to attend the
Khmelnytsky wrote an irate letter to the tsar accusing him of breaking
Pereyaslav agreement. He compared the Swedes to the tsar and said
that the former were more honourable and trustworthy than the
In Poland, the
Cossack army and Transylvanian allies suffered a number
of setbacks. As a result, Khmelnytsky had to deal with a Cossack
rebellion on the home front. Troubling news also came from Crimea, as
Tatars, in alliance with Poland, were preparing for a new invasion of
Ukraine. Though already ill, Khmelnytsky continued to conduct
diplomatic activity, at one point even receiving the tsar's envoys
from his bed.
On 22 July, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and became paralysed
after his audience with the
Kiev Colonel Zhdanovich. His expedition to
Halychyna had failed because of mutiny within his army. Less than
a week later,
Bohdan Khmelnytsky died at 5 a.m. on 27 July 1657. His
funeral was held on 23 August, and his body was taken from his
capital, Chyhyryn, to his estate, at Subotiv, for burial in his
ancestral church. In 1664 a Polish hetman
Stefan Czarniecki recaptured
Subotiv, which according to some Ukrainian historians, ordered the
bodies of the hetman and his son, Tymish, to be exhumed and
desecrated, while others claim that is not the case.
Khmelnytsky had a crucial influence on the history of Ukraine. He not
only shaped the future of
Ukraine but affected the balance of power in
Europe, as the weakening of Poland-Lithuania was exploited by Austria,
Saxony, Prussia, and Russia. His actions and role in events were
viewed differently by different contemporaries, and even now there are
greatly differing perspectives on his legacy.
Ukrainian hryvnia banknote depicting
Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky
The Khmelnytsky Monument in
Kiev in 1905
In Ukraine, Khmelnytsky is generally regarded as a national
hero. A city and a region of the country bear his
name. His image is prominently displayed on Ukrainian banknotes and
his monument in the centre of
Kiev is a focal point of the Ukrainian
capital. There have also been several issues of the Order of Bohdan
Khmelnytsky — one of the highest decorations in
Ukraine and in the
former Soviet Union.
However, with all this positive appreciation of his legacy, even in
Ukraine it is far from being unanimous. He is criticised for his union
with Russia, which in the view of some, proved to be disastrous for
the future of the country. Prominent Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko,
was one of Khmelnytsky's very vocal and harsh critics. Others
criticize him for his alliance with the Crimean Tatars, which
permitted the latter to take a large number of Ukrainian peasants as
Cossacks as a military caste did not protect the kholopy,
the lowest stratum of the Ukrainian people). Folk songs capture this.
On the balance, the view of his legacy in present-day
Ukraine is more
positive than negative, with some critics acknowledging that the union
with Russia was dictated by necessity and an attempt to survive in
those difficult times.
Khmelnytsky's role in the history of the Polish State has been viewed
mostly in a negative light. The rebellion of 1648 proved to be the end
Golden Age of the Commonwealth and the beginning of its demise.
Although it survived the rebellion and the following attacks, within
100 years it was divided among Russia, Prussia, and
Austria in the
partitions of Poland. Many blamed Khmelnytsky for the decline of the
Commonwealth. Polish historians such as
Ludwik Kubala compared
Khmelnytsky with the influence of
Oliver Cromwell in England.
Khmelnytsky has been a subject to several works in the 19th century
Polish literature, but the most notable treatment of him in Polish
literature is found in Henryk Sienkiewicz's With Fire and Sword.
The rather critical portrayal of him by Sienkiewicz has been moderated
in the 1999 movie adaptation by Jerzy Hoffman.
Russian and Soviet history
The official Russian historiography stressed the fact that Khmelnytsky
entered into union with Moscow's Tsar
Alexei Mikhailovich with an
expressed desire to "re-unify"
Ukraine with Russia. This view
corresponded with the official theory of Moscow as an heir of the
Kievan Rus', which appropriately gathered its former territories.
Khmelnytsky was viewed as a national hero of Russia for bringing
Ukraine into the "eternal union" of all the Russias — Great, Little
and White Russia. As such, he was much respected and venerated in
Imperial Russia. His role was presented as a model for all Ukrainians
to follow: to aspire for closer ties with Great Russia. This view was
expressed in a monument commissioned by the Russian nationalist
Mikhail Yuzefovich, which was installed in the centre of
Russian authorities decided the original version of the monument
(created by Russian sculptor Mikhail Mikeshin) was too xenophobic; it
was to depict a vanquished Pole, Jew, and a Catholic priest under the
hoofs of the horse. The inscription on the monument reads "To Bohdan
Khmelnitsky from one and indivisible Russia." Mikeshin also
created the Monument to the Millennium of Russia in Novgorod, which
has Khmelnytsky shown as one of Russia's prominent figures.
Soviet historiography followed in many ways the Imperial Russian
theory of re-unification while adding the class struggle dimension to
the story. Khmelnytsky was praised not only for re-unifying
Ukraine with Russia, but also for organizing the class struggle of
oppressed Ukrainian peasants against Polish exploiters.
Khmelnytsky Uprising § Jews
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The assessment of Khmelnytsky in
Jewish history is overwhelmingly
negative because he used Jews as scapegoats and sought to eradicate
Jews from Ukraine. The
Khmelnytsky Uprising led to the deaths of an
estimated 18,000-100,000 Jews. Atrocity stories about
massacre victims who had been buried alive, cut to pieces or forced to
kill one another spread throughout Europe and beyond. The pogroms
contributed to a revival of the ideas of Isaac Luria, who revered the
Kabbalah, and the identification of
Sabbatai Zevi as the Messiah.
Orest Subtelny writes:
Between 1648 and 1656, tens of thousands of Jews—given the lack of
reliable data, it is impossible to establish more accurate
figures—were killed by the rebels, and to this day the Khmelnytsky
uprising is considered by Jews to be one of the most traumatic events
in their history.
Bohdan Khmelnitsky Bridge
Bohdan Khmelnitsky Bridge in Moscow
List of Ukrainian rulers
Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, a state military award in Ukraine
With Fire and Sword
With Fire and Sword (1884), an historical novel by the Polish author
Henryk Sienkiewicz about these events.
^ See, for example, the title of Samuil Velichko 1720 chronicle.
^ "Житие и страдание святого
преподобномученика и исповедника
Феодора и брата его преподобного
Феофана1 начертанных" pravoslavie.uz and
^ Страдание святого священномученика
Зиновия епископа Эгейского, и сестры
его Зиновии [The suffering of the Holy Martyr St. Zinovy the
Bishop of the Aegean, and his sister Zenova] (in Russian). monar.ru.
Archived from the original on 6 April 2016. Retrieved 10 June
^ Смолій В.А., Степанков В.С. "Богдан
ISBN 966-7217-76-0, 2003
Chyhyryn are most commonly identified as
alternative places for his birth, historian Stanisław Barącz
believes that he was born in
^ Whether Khmelnytsky was or was not a noble is still uncertain. He
claimed nobility when it suited him, and it was not often disputed by
his contemporaries. Khmelnytsky/Chmielnicki once wrote in a letter to
Jan Kazimierz that he was "born Chmielnicki;" however, that
surname was never associated with the
Abdank coat of arms
Abdank coat of arms hesed. His
father, a noble, was married to a
Cossack woman and, according to the
Polish Statute of 1505, his mother's status might have prevented
Bohdan from being considered a nobleman. Other historians' theories
suggest that his father or grandfather was stripped of noble status.
Most controversially, 19th-century Polish historian Tomasz Padura
claimed (without giving sources) that Khmelnytsky's father was a
Jewish convert to Catholicism (and therefore not of the nobility).
^ a b Bohdan Khmelnitsky (in Russian)
^ V. A. Smoliy, V. S. Stepankov. Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
Sotsialno-politychnyi portret. page 51. Lebid. Kiev. 1995.
^ V. A. Smoliy, V. S. Stepankov. Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
Sotsialno-politychnyi portret. page 70, Lebid, Kiev. 1995.
^ a b Biedrońska-Słotowa, Beata (2005). Polski ubiór narodowy zwany
kontuszowym: dzieje i przemiany opracowane na podstawie zachowanych
ubiorów zabytkowych i ich części oraz w świetle źródeł
ikonograficznych i literackich (in Polish). Muzeum Narodowe w
Krakowie. p. 76. ISBN 978-83-89424-28-0.
^ V. A. Smoliy, V. S. Stepankov. Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
Sotsialno-politychnyi portret. page 91, Lebid, Kiev. 1995
^ a b Hrushevsky,M. History of Ukraine-Rus. New ed. Bao. Donetsk,
^ V. A. Smoliy, V. S. Stepankov. Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
Sotsialno-politychnyi portret, p. 203, Lebid, Kiev. 1995
^ "Bohdan Khmelnytsky", Encyclopedia of Ukraine
^ a b c Orest Subtelny. Ukraine. A history. University of Toronto
Press, p. 133. 1994. ISBN 0-8020-0591-8.
^ "Treaty of 1654", Encyclopedia of Ukraine
^ V. A. Smoliy, V. S. Stepankov. Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
Sotsialno-politychnyi portret. page 591. Lebid. Kiev. 1995.
^ Hrushevsky, M. Illustrated History of Ukraine. "BAO". Donetsk, 2003.
ISBN 966-548-571-7 page 330
^ Some Ukrainian historians dispute that his grave was desecrated. In
1973, an expedition investigated the site of the church and discovered
remains of people, not been found before.
^ Dalton, Meredith (2000). Culture Shock!: Ukraine. Graphics Arts
Center. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-55868-420-1.
^ Steinlauf, Michael C. (1997). Bondage to the Dead: Poland and the
Memory of the Holocaust. Syracuse University Press. p. 148.
ISBN 978-0-8156-0403-7. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
^ Strmiska, Michael F. (2005). Modern Paganism in World Cultures:
Comparative Perspectives. ABC-CLIO. p. 228.
ISBN 978-1-85109-608-4. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
^ Hlushko, Halyna. "
Pereyaslav Khmelnytsky — a town of museums".
Wumag.kiev.ua. Archived from the original on 13 June 2008.
^ Konoval, Oleksiy (2002). Чи варто відзначати
річницю Переяславського договору? [Is it
worth celebrating the anniversary of the Treaty of Pereyaslav?] (in
Ukrainian). universum.lviv.ua. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
^ Голобуцький, Володимир (1994).
Запорозьке Козацтво - Розділ XI.
Хмельниччина і Запорозьке Козацтво
[Zaporozhian Cossackdom - Section XI. Khmelnychchyna and Zaporozhian
Cossackdom] (in Ukrainian). Litopys. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
^ Koropeckyj, Roman (19 August 2015). "The Image of Bohdan Khmelnytsky
in Polish Romanticism and Its Post-Romantic Reflex". In Amelia Glaser.
Stories of Khmelnytsky: Competing Literary Legacies of the 1648
Cossack Uprising. Stanford University Press.
pp. 110–111. ISBN 978-0-8047-9382-7.
^ Kalinowska, Izabela; Kondratyuk, Marta (19 August 2015).
"Khmelnytsky in Motion: The Case of Soviet, Polish, and Ukrainian
film". In Amelia Glaser. Stories of Khmelnytsky: Competing Literary
Legacies of the 1648 Ukrainian
Cossack Uprising. Stanford University
Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-8047-9382-7.
^ Scott, Douglas D. (2007). Fields of Conflict: Battlefield
Archaeology from the Roman Empire to the Korean War. Searching for war
in the ancient and early modern world. Praeger Security International.
p. 194. ISBN 978-0-275-99316-0.
^ a b Georgiy Kasianov; Philipp Ther, eds. (2009). A Laboratory of
Ukraine and Recent Ukrainian Historiography.
Central European University Press. pp. 54–55.
^ "Ems Ukase". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
Mikhail Yuzefovich was also known for his contribution to the Ems
Ukase, which restricted the use of Ukrainian in Ukraine.
^ Kyrkevych, Viktor. Памятник Богдану
Хмельницкому [Monument to Bohdan Khmelnytsky] (in
Russian). oldkiev.info. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
^ "The Monument to the Millennium of Russia". novgorod.ru. 2007.
Retrieved 11 June 2016.
^ Stampfer, Shaul (May 2003). "What Actually Happened to the Jews of
Ukraine in 1648?". Jewish History. Springer Nature. 17 (2): 207–227.
doi:10.1023/a:1022330717763. ISSN 0334-701X.
^ Sources estimating 100,000 Jews killed:
"Bogdan Chmelnitzki leads
Cossack uprising against Polish rule;
100,000 Jews are killed and hundreds of Jewish communities are
destroyed." Judaism Timeline 1618–1770, CBS News. Accessed May 13,
"The peasants of
Ukraine rose up in 1648 under a petty aristocrat
Bogdan Chmielnicki. ... It is estimated that 100,000 Jews were
massacred and 300 of their communities destroyed". Oscar Reiss. The
Jews in Colonial America, McFarland & Company, 2004,
ISBN 0-7864-1730-7, pp. 98–99.
"Moreover, Poles must have been keenly aware of the massacre of Jews
in 1768 and even more so as the result of the much more widespread
massacres (approximately 100,000 dead) of the earlier Chmielnicki
pogroms during the preceding century." Manus I. Midlarsky. The Killing
Trap: genocide in the twentieth century, Cambridge University Press,
2005,ISBN 0-521-81545-2, p. 352.
"... as many as 100,000 Jews were murdered throughout the
Cossack soldiers on the rampage." Martin Gilbert.
Holocaust Journey: Traveling in Search of the Past, Columbia
University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-231-10965-2, p. 219.
"A series of massacres perpetrated by the
Ukrainian Cossacks under the
leadership of Bogdan Chmielnicki saw the death of up to 100,000 Jews
and the destruction of perhaps 700 communities between 1648 and 1654
..." Samuel Totten. Teaching About Genocide: Issues, Approaches, and
Resources, Information Age Publishing, 2004, ISBN 1-59311-074-X,
"In response to Poland having taken control of much of the
the early seventeenth century, Ukrainian peasants mobilized as groups
of cavalry, and these "cossacks" in the Chmielnicki uprising of 1648
killed an estimated 100,000 Jews." Cara Camcastle. The More Moderate
Side of Joseph De Maistre: Views on Political Liberty And Political
Economy, McGill-Queen's Press, 2005, ISBN 0-7735-2976-4, p. 26
"Is there not a difference in nature between Hitler's extermination of
three million Polish Jews between 1939 and 1945 because he wanted
every Jew dead and the mass murder 1648–49 of 100,000 Polish Jews by
General Bogdan Chmielnicki because he wanted to end Polish rule in the
Ukraine and was prepared to use
Cossack terrorism to kill Jews in the
process?" Colin Martin Tatz. With Intent to Destroy: Reflections on
Genocide, Verso, 2003, ISBN 1-85984-550-9, p. 146.
"... massacring an estimated one hundred thousand Jews as the
Ukrainian Bogdan Chmielnicki had done nearly three centuries earlier."
Mosheh Weiss. A Brief History of the Jewish People, Rowman &
Littlefield, 2004, ISBN 0-7425-4402-8, p. 193.
^ Jerome A. Chanes, Antisemitism: A Reference Handbook, ABC-CLIO,
2004, pp. 56 
^ Karen Armstrong, The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism,
Random House, 2001, p25-28.
^ Orest Subtelny, Ukraine: A History, 1988, pp. 127-128.
V. A. Smoliy, V. S. Stepankov. Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
Sotsialno-politychnyi portret. Second Edition. Lebid, Kiev. 1995.
Orest Subtelny. Ukraine. A history. University of Toronto press. 1994.
S. Velychenko, THE INFLUENCE OF HISTORICAL, POLITICAL, AND SOCIAL
IDEAS, ON THE POLITICS OF BOHDAN KHMELNYTSKY AND THE COSSACK OFFICERS
BETWEEN 1648 AND 1657[dead link], PhD Dissertation, (University of
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Look up Khmelnytskyi in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Oleksander Ohloblyn, Khmelnytsky, Bohdan, article originally appeared
in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).
Cossack State after 1649 (map)
Biography of Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Mykola Mashchenko, Film about Khmelnytsky (2008), Dovzhenko Film
Dr. Henry Abramson, Video on Nathan of Hanover and the Ukrainian
Revolution of 1648-1649, 19 February 2013, Jewish Biography as
History, Jewish History lectures, Henry Abramson website
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