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Bohdan Khmelnytsky; portrait, 19th c.; artist unknown Bohdan Khmelnytsky; portrait, 19th c.; artist unknown

Bohdan Khmelnytsky; statue, Kyiv Bohdan Khmelnytsky; silhouette of the statue in Kyiv

Bohdan Khmelnytsky

Source: Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedic Dictionary (translated), 1987.

Khmelnytsky, Bohdan (Zynoviy) Mykhailovych.
b. circa 1595, (?)Chyhyryn (today Cherkas)
d. Aug. 6, 1657

Hetman of Ukraine from 1648. Obtained his education at the Jesuit college in Lviv. Served with registered kozaks, took part in attacks on Turks and in independence struggles of 1637-38. In 1637 he was regiment scribe; from 1638-46, lieutenant of Chyhyryn. He was persecuted by the Polish government, and at the end of 1657, he escaped and took refuge in the Zaporizhian Sich. There in 1648, he led the revolt which initiated the war for independence of the Ukrainian nation (1648-54). Under Khmelnytsky's leadership, victorious battles included Korsun' (1648) and Zboriv (1649) among others. Khmelnytsky was a noted diplomat. From 1648 he lead negotiations with the Russian government (Zemskiy Sobor, 1653), skillfully took advantage of the discord between Poland and the Ottoman Empire and other nations. Under Khmelnytsky's leadership, The Pereiaslav Treaty (1654) was drawn which united* Ukraine and [the tsar of Muscovy, now Russia].

*Many historians view this as a conditional alliance rather than a "union" of two states. See arguments against the concept of "union" under Treaty of Pereyaslav.

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