The country was hopelessly and utterly devastated, and the population was ready to accept any rule, Ukrainian or foreign, which could bring about peace and order. However, amidst the ruin of the demoralized and discouraged population, at the moment of greatest turmoil, a leader appeared. Far superior to his contemporaries, he succeeded, at least for a time, in inspiring Ukrainians with hope and faith in their own strength, gave them a new ideal, and with an heroic effort raised the country out of the abyss of anarchy, re-united its divided parts, and created for a time an independent state, as Bohdan Khmelnytsky had done before him. This was Petro Doroshenko.
EXTRACT FROM: A Survey of Ukrainian History, ed. Oleh Gerus (Winnipeg, 1975) by Dmytro Doroshenko.

Petro Doroshenko [Dorošenko], b 1627 in Chyhyryn, d 9 November 1698 in the village of Yaropolcha (now Yaropolets) near Moscow.
Petro Doroshenko was born in Chyhyryn (Chigirin) in 1627 to a noble Cossack family, where his father was a Cossack colonel. The Doroshenko’s were an old Cossack family with distinguished service in the Cossack army. His grandfather, Mykhailo who held the bulava in the 1620s, had been Hetman and was killed in the Crimean war of 1628.  He was a grandson of Cossack Hetman Mykhailo Doroshenko Among his descendants are Natalia Pushkina and the Royal Houses of Luxembourg-Nassau-Weilburg (Count of Merenberg) Great Britain (Mountbatten, Mountbatten-Windsor) and the imperial House of Russia (Romanov, Countess de Torby) by Natalia Goncharowa`s daughter Nathalya Pushkin, Countess of Merenberg, married to HSH Prince Nicolas Wilhelm of Nassau-Weilburg, brother of Grand Duke Adolphe I. of Luxembourg, and therefore with almost all Royal and ruling European houses.

We do not know when and where Petro Doroshenko was educated, but he had a good knowledge of Latin, spoke Polish, knew history, and was a very able speaker, all of which points to a higher education of the period. He joined Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky in 1648, and received under him a thorough military and diplomatic training. Hetman Khmelnytsky appointed him in 1657 colonel of the Pryluka regiment. Later he sided with Vyhovsky, took part in the campaign of Chudniv, and was staff officer under Hetman Teteria, colonel of the Cherkassy regiment.

When Teteria left for Poland, in the spring of 1665 the office of hetman was seized by an insignificant rebel chieftain, Stepan Opara. He made an alliance with the Tatars who were then in Ukraine as allies of Poland, and in June, 1665, declared himself hetman. The Tatars, however, soon discerned his worthlessness, arrested him, and suggested to the Cossacks that they should elect a new hetman. It seems that the colonels of the regiments of the Right Bank assembled in Chyhyryn on October 10, and elected Doroshenko hetman.

In electing Doroshenko the Cossacks had taken into account the fact that he descended from an old Cossack family, that he had been trained by Bohdan Khmelnytsky, and that in the office of hetman he intended to do more than simply 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, Chyhyryn, Korsun, and Bila Tservka, whereas Doroshenko had hardly a thousand Cossacks under his command.

The new hetman had an enormous and very difficult task before him. The land was desolated and normal life disorganized. First, it was necessary to strengthen his authority in the county, as in some parts the people were loyal to the tsar. It was also 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, Colonel Drozdenko of Bratslav, appeared, and Doroshenko was obliged to proceed against Bratslav, taking with him a few Polish detachments. After a siege of a few weeks, Bratslav surrendered, Drozdenko was taken prisoner, and shot. Having thus secured eastern Podilia, Doroshenko returned to Chyhyryn where he had his official residence as in the time of Bohdan Kmelnytsky and Vyhovsky. The number of Doroshenko’s followers was increasing; at the siege of Bratslav he had already 20,000 Cossacks. As the nucleus of his army Doroshenko had formed regiments of serdiuky (paid volunteers) who were his main support, as they were not subject to political influences and changes and only knew their leader. Among them there were foreign officers. Doroshenko had also detachments of Tatars, but these, as of old, were unreliable and undesirable allies, costing the Ukrainian people much, as the Tatars could not refrain from plundering and taking the population prisoner to be sold as slaves. In the first months of his rule Doroshenko recognized both the supremacy of the Polish king and the protectorate of the Crimean khan, his ally.

The Introduction of Muscovite Administration into Ukraine.

When Doroshenko was taking preliminary measures to strengthen his power and to pacify the country, Brukhovetsky advanced Muscovite power in Left Bank Ukraine, meeting 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. There 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 did take place in Moscow. But the chief object of the visit was Brukhovetsky’s unusual offer to give up Ukrainian tax prerogatives in favour of the tsar. All the taxes paid by the Ukrainian town population, as well as Ukrainian state monopolies and customs, should henceforth go directly into the Muscovite treasury. He also wished to have Muscovite garrisons in all more-orless important Ukrainian towns. All this gave the tsar further jurisdiction over Ukraine, and quite naturally was accepted with the deepest satisfaction, as most of the concessions had been suggested by the Muscovite government itself. 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 11, 1665. At his departure from Moscow, the hetman and all who were with him, were presented with rich sables.

Brukhovetsky returned to 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 voievodas and had constant differences with Sheremetiev in Kyiv or with others. But the mass of the population were utterly disappointed and indignant when they at last understood what kind of “gifts” the hetman had brought them from Moscow. Muscovite voievodas with garrisons made their appearance in 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 it by their conduct, their manners, and their 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 common people. Muscovite protection lost its appeal as well.

Doroshenko took advantage of this change of sympathy with Brukhovetsky and Muscovy. During Brukhovetsky’s absence (September – December, 1666) he attempted to set foot in Left Bank Ukraine, sending there his Cossack detachments and issuing his universals (manifestos) in which he invited the population to recognize his authority. But Doroshenko’s first desire was to free himself from Poland by capitalizing on a civil war which broke out in Poland. In February, 1666, Doroshenko summoned the Cossack Council and proposed to “‘chase all the Poles out of Ukraine and back to Poland”, to conclude an alliance with the Crimea khan, and to start in the spring a campaign in Left Bank Ukraine in order to unite it with the Right Bank into one state under one government. At this time Doroshenko began negotiations with the khan and the sultan with the purpose of concluding a military alliance with the former and recognizing the political protectorate of the latter over Ukraine. He considered it impossible to free 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 Khmelnytsky, he tried to secure his position by gaining the military aid of the Tatars and the protectorate of the Turkish 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 Right Bank Ukraine in order to secure its domination over the Left Bank. He therefore decided to attack Poland and to compel the Polish government to give up its 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 secured strong support from the khan — 30,000 Tatars were put at his disposal — was ready and awaiting his opportunity. The Polish government, having terminated the civil war, sent an army 6,000 strong into Ukraine. Doroshenko, however, attacked the Polish forces between Brailov and Bratslav, completely defeating them. This was the beginning of a complete breach with Poland.

The defeat of the Polish army had the same significance for the exhausted Poland as the defeat at Zhovti Vody and Korsun of twenty years ago. The Polish government hastened to conclude the Treaty of Andrussovo with Muscovy on January 13, 1667, under which a truce of thirteen years was established between the two countries.

The Treaty confirmed Polish hold over Right Bank Ukraine and Russia over the Left Bank. Kyiv remained in Muscovite hands for a while, and the Zaporozhian Cossacks were put under the supremacy of both Poland and Muscovy. The Treaty of Andrussovo was unwelcome both to Doroshenko and to the Turks and Tatars. It rendered more difficult Doroshenko’s programme of uniting both parts of Ukraine, and the Turks and Tatars faced the danger of a united Polish-Muscovite front against them. The Treaty of Andrussovo aroused real panic in Left Bank Ukraine, 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.

Doroshenko’s War Against Poland, 1667.

However, the Muscovite government’s withdrawal from the Right Bank freed Doroshenko’s hands in his conflict with Poland. He expected Poland to be unprepared, but the Polish field marshal, Jan Sobieski, made the necessary strategic and diplomatic preparations. 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 Jan Sobieski could muster only 15,000 regulars and a few thousand armed servants. But he had a very important ally in the commander of the Zaporozhian Sich, Ivan Sirko, who in January had been in Lviv and declared that he would not recognize Doroshenko as hetman, and promised to make a diversion into the Crimea in order to check Doroshenko’s allies, the Tatars. Sobieski occupied a well-fortified position in the village of Pidhaitsi, and it was here in October, 1667, that Doroshenko with the united forces of Cossacks and Tatars, besieged him. Sobieski held out for a fortnight, but as his strength was beginning to give way, the news came that Sirko had attacked Perekop, and plundered northern Crimea, leaving behind nothing but “dogs and cats”. This news greatly upset the Tatars who were with Doroshenko. Then the usual procedure in Ukrainian-Tatar alliances recurred. 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 to fortify his camp hastily against his “allies”. When Khan Kerim Girey offered to mediate, there was nothing left to Doroshenko but to open peace negotiations with Sobieski. According to the treaty, concluded on October 19, 1667, Doroshenko and the Cossacks remained under the supremacy of the Polish king, and relinquished any wish to depart from his protection in the future; the Polish landowners were free to return to their estates ; the Polish army, however, 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 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 potential ally in the struggle for a united Ukraine. The circumstance, however, compelled him to conceal for some time his plans and intentions and carry on diplomatic relations with all sides, awaiting favourable conditions and the right moment.

Doroshenko was very popular with the masses in both parts of Ukraine. Muscovite agents informed their government of this, and of how in all Ukrainian churches prayers were offered “for the good and pious Hetman Petro”. The Muscovite government was much concerned with his popularity and opened diplomatic negotiations with Doroshenko. The hetman advised the tsar to take the whole of Ukraine under his protection, and even such Galician and Volynian towns of Peremyshl, Lviv, Halych, Yaroslav, and Volodymyr, 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 for Doroshenko, he continually gave him advice to remain under the Polish king and not carry on friendship with the Turks.

Brukhovetsky’s Uprising against Muscovy.

In the meantime, events were developing in Left Bank Ukraine which at last made it possible for Doroshenko to realize his plans for this part of 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 Ukraine to Poland, and that the only solution was to expel the Muscovites and seek the protection of the sultan. The Cossack Council accepted this proposal.

The uprising against Muscovy in Left Bank Ukraine began shortly after. Some of the small Muscovite garrisons were massacred and some capitulated; Kyiv, Nizyhn, and Chernihiv alone remained intact. An embassy was sent to Constantinople with proposals to the sultan to accept Ukraine as his vassal on the same conditions as Transylvania, and recognize Brukhovetsky as Ukrainian prince with his seat in Kyiv. Another embassy was sent to the Crimean khan asking for help against Muscovy. The sultan promised his protection, and the khan sent 7,000 Tatars. Then Brukhovetsky, together with his Cossacks and the Tatars, marched to the Muscovite frontier where the army under Romodanovsky awaited him.

Doroshenko’s Conquest of Left Bank Ukraine.

Brukhovetsky miscalculated in trying to gain personal popularity by imitating Doroshenko’s policy. Doroshenko at that time was already in contact with the sultan and the 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 Dnipro and was approaching Brukhovetsky’s camp when the Cossacks broke out in revolt against Brukhovetsky and murdered him. On June 8, 1668, they proclaimed Doroshenko hetman of both parts of Ukraine. This was the moment of Doroshenko’s greatest triumph and popularity among the Ukrainian people.
Doroshenko’s Struggle against Sukhovy.

The hardest blow of all which Doroshenko received at this time came from the Zaporozhians, who had put forward a new pretender to the office of hetman, a young man, Petro Sukhovy, whom the Crimea Tatars also supported. Doroshenko was enraged by this treachery and threatened the Tatar ambassador, declaring that, like his grandfather, Hetman Mykhailo Doroshenko, “he would turn the whole Crimea upside down”. Nonetheless he was now compelled to divert all his energies to the struggle against Sukhovy. This went on for about a year, and during this time Left Bank Ukraine was lost to him, though some of the regiments remained loyal until the spring of 1670.

Mnohohrishny, Hetman of Left Bank Ukraine.

His position, however, was far from secure; on all sides he was surrounded by enemies. The Muscovite army was advancing from the north, and the Poles, alarmed by his successes, marched from the west. Worse still, the northern part of Ukraine on the left side of the Dnipro, Chernihiv and Siversk provinces, were in close proximity to the Muscovite frontier, and hesitated to break off from Muscovy. They believed, and rightly so, that Muscovy would not so easily relinquish her claims to Ukraine and that the first blows would fall on the northern provinces. Surprised to hear of the Polish advance, Doroshenko hastened to the right side of the Dnipro in order to prepare the defence of the country, leaving behind as his lieutenant on the Left Bank, the Chernihiv colonel, Damian Mnohohrishny. Left by Doroshenko with inadequate forces and threatened by the advance of the Muscovite army led by Romodanovski, Mnohohrishny allowed himself to be 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-Siversk and elected Mnohohrishny hetman. The new hetman then proposed to the tsar to recall his voievodas and armies in order to give those in Left Bank Ukraine an opportunity of voluntarily returning under his sway. Tsar Alexis hastened to send him a “gracious” answer and the parleys started.

In January, 1669, a delegation from 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 Ukraine and Muscovy. In March, 1669, the Cossack Council took place in Hlukhiv in the presence of three Muscovite representatives; Mnohohrishny was duly elected hetman and the text of the treaty, was confirmed. In general outline, the Articles of Hlukhiv followed the Articles of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, though considerably curtailed. The text actually began with assurances that “rights and liberties” promised to Bohdan Khmelnytsky were to be maintained. The voievodas of the tsar with garrisons were still to remain in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Nizhyn, Pereiaslav, 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 officers were to be paid from the revenue collected in Ukraine. Besides the registered Cossacks, a special regiment was formed for public safety and for quelling revolts. These troops, known as kompaniitsi (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 a state monopoly there. 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 was received with suspicion in Moscow. Mnohohrishny was the son of a common Cossack; his contemporaries called him the “peasant’s son”. He was no diplomat, but 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.

Doroshenko’s Turkish Policy and the War of 1672.

Again left with no other resources to rely upon, than those of the exhausted Right Bank Ukraine, and being opposed by Poland and Sukhovy whom the Tatars supported, Doroshenko was led into closer alliance with the sultan and tried to get from him the necessary aid needed to realize the aim of a united and independent Ukrainian state. Soon after his return from the Left Bank, he summoned the Council of Cossack Officers which drew up conditions for a Turkish protectorate of Ukraine. These conditions, drawn up under fourteen headings, were sent to Constantinople in 1668 by a special ambassador. In general these conditions recall the attempt of Bohdan Khmelnytsky to enter into an alliance with the Ottoman Porte. The Cossacks did not wish to be dependent subjects nor to pay any tribute. Rather the hetman hoped with Turkish aid to unite all Ukrainian territories as far as Peremyshl and Sambir in the west, Minsk in the north, and Putyvl and Siversk in the east. Ukraine would enjoy broad autonomy. The sultan gave his formal consent to accepting Ukraine under his protection and lively diplomatic relations ensued between Constantinople and Chyhyryn.

At first, however, Turkish protection was of little use to Doroshenko. Rumors spread by his enemies of his “having sold Ukraine into Turkish slavery” undermined his popularity with the Ukrainian population. The Tatars continued to support Sukhovy. Khan Adil Girey helped Doroshenko’s enemies because he knew that Doroshenko had complained about him to the sultan and even advised the sultan to depose him. Hardly had Sukhovy disappeared, when a new pretender to the hetman’s power, Mykhailo Khanenko, colonel of Cherkassy, hastened to pay loyal homage to Muscovy and further propaganda against Doroshenko among the Cossacks. Thus, Doroshenko had to combat for several years a new and stubborn enemy whose resistance caused him even greater difficulties than Sukhovy had.

Seeing that Turkish protection did not bring him any nearer to the realization of his aim, the unification of Ukraine, Doroshenko made another attempt to gain an understanding with Poland with which he maintained relations in the person of Field Marshal Jan 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 Jan Casimir, Michael Vyshnevetski, son of Jeremy, had been elected king—and gave him instructions to obtain full autonomy for Ukraine within the meaning of the Treaty of Hadiach of 1658. But Doroshenko’s claims, as his ambassador reported, gave Polish statesmen “a great shock” and they only sent “compliments” in reply. In the summer of 1670, however, formal negotiations opened in Ostroh 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 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 section about the freedom of 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 September 2, 1670, the Polish government recognized him as hetman of Right Bank Ukraine while he acknowledged 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 assurance 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 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 Khmelnytsky had formerly tried, to establish 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 Stenka Razin, the leader of the Don Cossacks, but effective help was only obtainable from the sultan. In fact, the sultan sent Doroshenko the Tatars of Bilhorod, independent of the Crimean khan, and with their help Doroshenko’s lieutenent, Ostap Hohol, opened the campaign against Khanenko and the Poles. The year of 1671 was spent in skirmishes and guerilla warfare. In the autumn, Jan Sobieski began a systematic march against Podilia and took a number of towns. Towards the end of the year, Doroshenko obtained considerable help from his Mohammedan allies, 26,000 Tatars and a few thousand Turks. The former Crimean khan, Adil Girey, whom the Sultan, in consequence of Doroshenko’s complaints had deposed, was replaced by young, intelligent, and well-educated Selim Girey. With his allies Doroshenko set himself to the reconquest of Podilia. 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, the Tatars, and the Ukrainians of the Right Bank. 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 Girey and later by Doroshenko with 12,000 Cossacks. Together they had 200 guns. This was a tremendous force, against which Poland could only muster a feeble resistance. But Poland was guarded by her good genius, Jan 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 Lviv, and Sirko and his Zaporozhians were to make their usual diversion into the Crimea. The chief Polish hope was centred on the inaccessible fortress of Kamianets. Doroshenko defeated the Polish army and Khanenko in July, 1672 and joined the army of the sultan near Kamianets. The siege of Kamianets began in August, and after three weeks the fortress capitulated, and the sultan and Doroshenko together made their formal entry into the town.

Hardly had Kamianets fallen, when the Cossacks and Tatars began to advance into Galicia. One place after another surrendered without resistance. In the first days of September, Lviv 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. Lviv paid an indemnity. The preliminaries of the peace were drawn up on October 5, 1672, and the sultan, who was at Buchach, gave his ratification. According to the Buchach Treaty, Poland renounced her claim to Right Bank Ukraine, which became an independent state. Podilia, however, was given to the sultan. Poland undertook to withdraw the garrison from Bila Tserkva and other places in Ukraine, and to 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 dishonourable in her history.

Doroshenko returned to Chyhyryn 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 Kamianets by the Turks, where they at once turned all the churches into mosques, spread terror in Ukraine. Rumours abounded about all kinds of violence and desecration committed 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, and had done all he could for the defence of the country, now became the unchallenged leader. First, Sobieski refused to surrender to the Ukrainians the strongholds of Bila Tservka 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 result of the Turkish alliance. Considerable portions of Ukrainian territory, western Podilia and a part of Galicia, had become Turkish provinces and Doroshenko had to put up with the half-ruined and depopulated Bratslav and Kyiv provinces. About Christmas, 1672, soon after his return from the campaign, Doroshenko held a council in Chyhyryn with his officers, and the question as :to whether they should continue to remain under the Turkish protectorate was weighed and examined. The council 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’etat took place in Baturyn, the residence of the hetman of Left Bank Ukraine. On the night of March 13, 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 temper. Mnohohrishny was displeased with Muscovite policy in Ukraine and sometimes criticized it openly. This was all that the charge of treason amounted to. The unfortunate hetman was tortured in Moscow and exiled for life to Siberia, where he was followed by his family.

Doroshenko’s Downfall.

The former popularity of Doroshenko turned to hatred against him. 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 enterprises. Doubts of 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 the Tatars again came into Ukraine on their way to Poland. Their presence brought Doroshenko no advantage; the Turks completely devastated eastern Podilia, and the Tatars began negotiations with Poland without even informing DoroshenKv. All this convinced him of the necessity of b,reaKing 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 Chyhyryn must have undergone a great crisis. His faithful friend and counsellor, 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 Samoilovych. He called in Chyhyryn his last Cossack Council which was attended by the Zaporozhians, and laid down the mace before the Council which had once entrusted him with it. Sirko, the Zaporozhian leader, promised him on oath the pardon and favour of the Muscovite tsar. Then Doroshenko sent his insignia and colours to Moscow. They arrived early in 1676, and the Ukrainian colours 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 Dnipro and to take an oath in the presence of Hetman Samoilovych 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 Chyhyryn. After short battle, Doroshenko, who had only 2,000 Cossacks, decided to capitulate. On September 19, he resigned his post and title in the presence of Samoilovych and Romodanovski. Doroshenko’s political career was at an end. He was given an honourable 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 9, 1698.

Thus the “last of the Cossacks”, as he was called by the Ukrainian historians, left the political arena. He left it amidst terrible unprecedented 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 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 extraordinary energy and enterprise he showed, and the extremely difficult circumstance in which his activity was carried out. In particular, they could not pardon him his alliance with the Modammedans, the enemies of the Christian world. It is only in modern times that the heroic figure of the hetman of Chyhyryn has found true appreciation from Ukrainian historians and from the nation as a whole.


Dmytro Doroshenko, A Survey of Ukrainian History, ed. Oleh Gerus (Winnipeg, 1975). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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