360 years ago, 18 January 1654, Ukraine reunited with the Russian kingdom. A meeting of representatives of the Zaporizhzhya Cossacks, led by hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky, which was held in Pereyaslav, unanimously declared its firm intention to reunite with the fraternal people of Russia and swore allegiance to the Russian Tsar. The Pereyaslav Agreement led to the reunification of the Russian kingdom with a part of the lands of Western Russia (including the city of Kiev) and made the war with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth inevitable. As a result of the war, which lasted from 1654 to 1667, a part of the Russian lands and the Orthodox population under the rule of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were liberated from Polish rule.
Nowadays, the adherents of the Ukrainian “independence” of the Pereyaslav Rada are considered a bunch of traitors who brought the greatest evil to Ukraine. Allegedly, the Cossack elite, led by hetman Khmelnitsky, in their narrow-group mercenary interests, concluded an agreement with the government of Alexei Mikhailovich. Like, "Muscovites", obsessed with great-power ambitions, by hook or by crook, dragged Little Russia into the Russian "prison of nations", in which she suffered to the blessed 1991 year. The fact that without the help of the Russian kingdom Little Russia would not have survived in the fight against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Poles would have drowned the liberation war in the rivers of blood, they prefer to remain silent. They do not raise the question that there was no concept “Ukrainian people”: from ancient times, Rus, Rus, Rusyns lived on these lands, and this land was called Russia.
Battle for Little Russia
During the Liberation War, which began in 1648, with the uprising of the lower Zaporozhye Cossacks under the command of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, a complicated political and diplomatic knot was tied around Little Russia. Here are the interests of the Commonwealth, Russia, the Crimean Khanate, the Ottoman Empire, the Vatican, Hungary and Sweden.
The Turkish Sultan was ready to take Ukraine under his protectorate in order to stop the attacks of the Cossacks and weaken Poland and Russia. Little Russia could become a stronghold of Turkey in Eastern Europe. In the Crimea, they sent orders not to enter into allied relations with the Commonwealth. The Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV (1648 — 1687) even sent one of his dignitaries, Vizier Chaush Osman-agu, to Chyhyryn as ambassador. Vizier handed Khmelnitsky expensive gifts. Sultan was ready without any preconditions to take Zaporizhzhya Cossacks into his citizenship, and Ukraine on both sides of the Dnieper to make one of the provinces of his empire, while maintaining its autonomy. Bogdan and his descendants offered to recognize the hereditary rulers of the "Ukrainian principality", the Cossack elite to confer the rights of Turkish feudal lords. The sultan was even ready to send help to the Cossacks for war with Poles and Russians, except for the Crimean horsemen, 100-thousand. Ottoman army. Bogdan himself, in 1650, sent plenipotentiary ambassadors to Porto, who expressed their readiness to the Zaporozhian troops to serve the Ottoman throne faithfully and faithfully. The “Turkish card” was needed for Khmelnitsky in a complex political game that he was playing at that time.
Crimean Khan Islam Giray III (1644-1654), outwardly expressing submission to the will of the Ports, led his game. For him and his feudal master was able to safely make raids on the war-torn Poland and Little Russia. Crimean troops “sucked dry” Ukraine, leading tens of thousands of people to slavery for sale. Crimean Khan and his generals received gifts of Poles, at critical moments, substituting the Cossack army under the Polish-kick. Khan had plans for a big campaign on Russia. Crimean top was advantageous to a constant war on the territory of Poland, Ukraine and Russia, it allows impunity to loot and to divert thousands of prisoners. Moreover, the Crimean Khan sent ambassadors to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden with a proposal for a joint campaign against Muscovy. Khan expected to attract the Cossacks. Islam Giray wanted to create from the Khmelnitsky Cossacks a kind of buffer hostile to Poland and Muscovy, which can exist only with the military support of the Crimean Khanate.
Poland and Rome did not want to lose Ukraine, which has long been considered their patrimony. Russian Western Russia planned to gradually detach from a single superethnos Russes, Orthodoxy uniatism replaced first, followed by Catholicism. After this, the process of "recoding" the population of Malaya (Western) Russia would become irreversible. The rapprochement of Ukraine and Russia could not be allowed. Rome and Poland were not going to give Ukraine and Turkey. The priest of Vimin was sent to Chigirin, who covered himself as the ambassador of Venice. He began to persuade the hetman Khmelnitsky to start a war with the Ottoman Empire, promising the support of the European powers. However, the hetman was not the fool, to fight for the interests of others disagreed, listened diplomat and shoved with nothing. On the other hand, Poland conducting intensive negotiations with the Crimean khan, throws it on the Russian realm, missed through their territory of the Crimean embassy in Sweden.
Khmelnitsky initially wanted to get autonomy, to create a state entity like Wallachia or Moldavia (they depended on the Ottomans, then on the Poles). However, more and more clearly Hetman knew to get in control of an autonomous state entity, only formally dependent on Poland, will not work. Therefore, he began to purposefully focus on autonomy under the rule of the Russian Tsar. Similar examples were in Khmelnitsky before my eyes - like Don, who preserved his self-government.
This position reflected the mood of society. A significant part of the elders and the clergy of the Kiev was ready to remain under the rule of Poland, if it is to equate the rights of the Polish top. In this respect they resemble the current Ukrainian "elite", ready to pluck sell West when Westerners will offer a good price and will guarantee capital and ownership intact. Ordinary peasants and townspeople, whom the lords during the suppression of the uprising slaughtered, burned and drowned thousands, and the Crimean Tatars drove into slavery, "freedom" did not deceive. They do not mind if, then "subcortex" understood that it is necessary to unite with the Russian realm and without "freedom". Guarantee their safety were Russian orders, without any autonomy, with a strong king power to limit the appetite and arbitrariness of local boyars superiors. In addition, as during any distemper, there was a layer of “anarchists,” a rampage of freemen, for which the main thing was to walk, “the will”. They opposed any strong government, Polish, Russian or Turkish, that would stop the turmoil.
And yet, despite all the throwings, the will of the people gradually pushed through the line of integration with Russia. Without reunification, Ukraine was awaited by even more calamity — Polish terror, famine, and death. Military ruin the peasant uprising that crowds went to war, the destruction of villages in the Crimean Tatars have created the threat of hunger. Rescued Moscow, allowing for cheap to buy food, or supplying it for free. Khmelnitsky expressed warm gratitude for the royal mercy. Deliveries also continued weapons and gunpowder: so Khmelnitsky troops were supported in the fight against the Poles. Khmelnitsky, back in January 1649, sent the first embassy to Moscow, which was secretly headed by the Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, Paisiy. Ukraine was secretly represented by Colonel of the Zaporozhian Army Konstantin Muzhilovsky. Paisiy was an ardent supporter of the unification of Ukraine with Russia and, when communicating with Khmelnitsky, reproached him for the anti-Christian alliance with the Crimean Tatars. The patriarch urged the hetman to seek help from Christian Moscow.
Russia also provided diplomatic support for Little Russia. In the spring of 1650, the ambassadors of the Pushkin brothers arrived in Warsaw. They declared that the Poles had violated the “eternal end”, that is, the 1634 peace treaty of the year. The Russian embassy frankly provoked Poland to war. Polyakov was accused of writing a royal title with mistakes and demanding the execution of those responsible, including such influential magnates as Vishnevetsky, Pototsky and Kalinovsky. They also demanded to burn the "dishonest" books, where there were mistakes, and to execute their writers, as well as the owners of printing houses, typesetters, printers and local administration, which allowed the release of such books. In Poland, they understood: Moscow is ready for war and is looking for an excuse for it.
The Poles zayulili, they did not want to fight with Russia at this time. They were responsible that the state is not responsible for the actions of private individuals, that it is impossible to execute such actions under Polish law. They persuaded Russian ambassadors to decide the matter in peace. However, the ambassadors stubbornly stood their ground. And then agreed to settle the case, but put forward new conditions - Poland had to return Smolensk and some other cities and pay 500 thousand zlotys. Having thoroughly ruffled the nerves of the people, the Russian embassy did not break the relations between the two powers. Warsaw received a "black mark", being on the verge of war with Moscow. The Poles ottyanuli part of the forces on the Russian border, this Moscow tore 1650 campaign of the year.
Russia did not enter the war, considering it premature. We must not forget that by 1649, Russia itself was in a difficult situation. She was not up to the war. The year was hard - crop failure, invasion of locusts. The Tsar experienced personal grief - the heir Dmitry Alekseevich died. In 1648-1649 a series of riots swept across Russia. In addition, the threat of war with Sweden. The Swedes clung to the "refugee problem" - peasants from Sweden fled to Russia. Moscow had to make great efforts to avoid conflict. To block the Swedish threat, Russia stepped up contacts with Denmark. At the same time, a Russian embassy led by Pushkin and Ivanov was sent to Stockholm. They were able to reach an agreement on refugees, using the weak point of Sweden - the lack of money in the treasury. Of the subjects of both parties who fled abroad for 32 of the year, only those who fled in the last 2 of the year were subject to extradition. Taking into account that more people fled to Russia than to Sweden, Moscow agreed to pay 190 thousand rubles, partly in cash, partly in grain.
The agreement with Sweden caused a new wave of riots in Russia. There were rumors that the boyars-traitors were deceiving the king and gave the Germans a lot of money and grain. At first, Pskov rebelled. Pskov sent walkers to Novgorod and Moscow, offering to support them and prevent the export of money and grain to Sweden. Novgorod rebelled for Pskov. Then the Danish (allied) embassy, which was passing through the city, came under the distribution. Danes robbed and arrested. Metropolitan Nikon and Governor Khilkov tried to reassure people, sent unarmed archers to disperse the crowd and close the taverns. However, the archers were beaten. When the metropolitan with the clergy also went out to reassure the people, they were also beaten. Metropolitan generally wanted to execute. But he was beaten off by the children of the boyars, who were sided with the rebellion, but proved to be more prudent and saved the hierarch. The royal commissioners arrived in Pskov and Novgorod. But they did not listen to them and put them in prison.
Alexey Mikhailovich did not bring the matter to a collision that could cause riots in other cities. He convened the Zemsky Sobor, where he explained the situation. Representatives of all counties supported the king, Novgorod and Pskov were convicted. It so happened that the two cities opposed themselves to the entire Russian land, the rebellion was localized. Novgorod, and then Pskov surrendered. Several instigators were executed, hundreds were sent to exile. Thus, Russia itself was in a difficult situation and could not immediately get involved in a war with Poland.
There was a threat from the south. Crimean Khan was preparing a big trip and invited Khmelnitsky to join him. The army of Sergei Trubetskoy, which was preparing to storm Novgorod and Pskov, was urgently redeployed to Tula. Khmelnitsky, on the other hand, rejected the offer of the Khan, citing the danger from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. At that time, he planned to marry the son of Timothy (Timosha) to the daughter of the Moldavian ruler. So, Khmelnitsky wanted to exalt his kind, he still hoped to become an independent force. Khmelnitsky wrote a letter to Lord Vasily Lupu. Getman proposed to marry Timothy on the daughter of the Moldavian ruler, otherwise promising to destroy him. However, the Polish hetman Kalinowski was considered the fiancé of the daughter of the Moldavian principality Rozanda (Roxanne). Vishnevetsky and Pototsky also claimed her hand. In addition, Roxana was the sister of Princess Maria Radziwill (the oldest daughter of Lupu), the second wife of the great Hetman of Lithuania Janusz Radziwill. Lupu, not wanting to be related with the “peasant” and hoping for Polish help, refused to Bogdan. Khmelnitsky immediately organized a punitive expedition. The Crimean Tatars also took part in the campaign. They realized that there was no point in attacking Russia, the Russians were ready to repel the blow, and in Moldova they would face easy prey. Cossacks and Tatars invaded the principality and occupied Iasi. Lupu was forced to make peace with Khmelnitsky and seal him with his daughter's marriage to the son of a hetman.
The Poles are enraged. The Sejm decided to break the Zborovsky peace and immediately make a new punitive campaign against the rebels. Warsaw senators shouted furiously that "it is better for everyone to die than to give up their own flakes." Warsaw attempted to mend relations with Moscow in order to weaken the Khmelnytsky army. An embassy was sent to Moscow, which out of “friendship” announced Khmelnitsky’s readiness together with the Crimean Tatars to strike the Russian kingdom. However, in Moscow they knew about it and did not let themselves be deceived. The Poles did not calm down on this. The new embassy brought copies of Khmelnitsky's correspondence with the Crimean Khan and the Ottoman Sultan. Poland offered Moscow an alliance against Khmelnitsky. At the same time, the Don Cossacks were to strike the Crimea. The Poles also asked for permission to buy food in Russia for the army and allow Polish troops to enter Russian territory during the fighting. Thus, Warsaw tried to solve three problems at once: 1) to embroil Moscow with Khmelnytsky in order to defeat the rebels without interference; 2) push Russia with the Crimea and Turkey, distracting from the events in Ukraine; 3) solve the problem of supplying troops. It is clear that Moscow did not agree to such an agreement. The answer was no. Moreover, the king banned trade with the Poles during the war. With Ukraine confirmed the duty-free trade regime. Given the fact that Warsaw did not heed the diplomatic warning, the king ordered to prepare the convocation of the Zemsky Sobor.
In January-February 1651, the Poles began to collect troops. They planned to strike a sudden blow from several directions at once - from Poland, Moldova and Lithuania. However, due to the usual Polish lack of organization, things went badly. The nobility slowed down, did not rush to the service, taxes were collected slowly. Therefore, the first to go on the attack, before the collection of the main forces, detachments Kalinowski and Lyantskoronskogo. They moved to Bratslavshchina, then to Vinnitsa. In Red, they were able to destroy the regiment of Nechay, which was blithely feasting and was not ready for battle. Bohun in Vinnitsa could not take it on the run, he repelled the raid.
Moscow responded toughly to the new stage of the war. 19 February 1651 was opened Zemsky Sobor about the "Lithuanian business." At the cathedral, the king commanded "to declare the Lithuanian king and pans are pleased with the former and current lies that they are passing by the eternal end, as well as the Zaporozhye hetman Bohdan Khmelnitsky sending, that they beat their heads under the sovereign with a high hand in citizenship." Zemsky Sobor spoke in favor of breaking with the Commonwealth and taking Ukraine under the authority of the tsar. True, the final decision on the war with Poland has not yet been made. It was the preparation of public opinion in Russia for the war and the last warning to Warsaw.
Russia has become almost openly helping Khmelnitsky. Ukrainian troops were allowed to cross their territory. As a result, 6 thousand Cossacks crossed the Bryansk district and hit the rear of the Lithuanian troops, capturing Roslavl and Dorogobuzh. The Cossacks were also helped with the guides. The peasants were mobilized to build bridges to facilitate the attack on Poland. Lithuanian getman Janusz Radziwill reported that Moscow troops were concentrated on the border and asked for reinforcements. However, Russia has not yet entered the war. Two more years were spent on diplomatic maneuvers. Arrogant Poles did not want to find a compromise. War has become inevitable.
18 (28) On June 1651, the Berestetsk battle began. Both sides thoroughly prepared for the battle. The Poles collected 150-thousand. the army. The papal envoy Torres declared the Polish king Jan II Casimir "defender of the holy faith", girded with a sword, which the pope himself consecrated. Cossacks and Crimean Tatars put up an equal army. It was headed by Bogdan Khmelnitsky and Islam Giray Khan. Kazakov was blessed by the Metropolitan of Corinth, who traveled through Little Russia to Moscow. The battle ended sadly for the Cossacks. The Crimean Tatars once again betrayed the Cossacks. Islam Giray, having suffered unexpectedly heavy losses in the first battles, threw allies and led the troops, taking Khmelnitsky with it. The Cossacks, stunned by the departure of the allies and the loss of their leader, went over to the defensive. The Khmelnitsky army camp, headed by Bohun, was surrounded on three sides, and on the fourth there was a river and a swamp. During the attempt to escape through the hastily constructed crossing, a significant part of the army, consisting of inexperienced peasants, was destroyed by the Poles.
However, the Polish command could not take full advantage of success. Commonwealth destruction (the militia of the Polish and Lithuanian gentry) for the most part went home. The king also left the troops, went to celebrate the victory. The army remained only detachments of magnates and minor regular troops. Vishnevetsky and Pototsky moved deep into Ukraine, destroying everything and killing everyone in their path. From a different direction, the troops of Radzivill were advancing. Nebaby squad, which mainly consisted of peasants, could not resist the enemy. 26 July Poles captured Kiev. Terror and violence again swept Little Russia.
Khmelnitsky still in captivity asked for help from Moscow. The general clerk Vyhovsky delivered a ransom to the Crimean Tatars. Bogdan let go. He showed unprecedented energy and composure, from the defeated troops and individuals began to collect a new army. He called the people to arms. Resistance increased. Polish troops did not have enough to suppress the people's war. Kievans themselves burned the city to deprive the enemy of the operating base. It was difficult to find food in a country devastated by war. Everywhere there were so many uncleaned corpses that they poisoned the air and water. In the Polish army began an epidemic. 10 (20) August 1651, the most irreconcilable and terrible enemy of Little Russia, Jeremiah Vishnevetsky, died. Apparently, he was killed by the plague. There was no unity among the other lords; the gentry and the soldiers grumbled, demanding a truce. Negotiations began.
Khmelnitsky proposed to preserve the conditions of Zborovsky peace. The Polish delegation did not want to talk about it either. The Poles proposed to reduce the number of registered Cossacks to 12 thousand people, Khmelnytsky to deprive the hetman, from the previous three governors with the Orthodox-Russian administration to save only one - Kiev. The Cossack mass was worried, threatened to kill the Poles and its hetman if he accepted the terms of Warsaw. The Polish delegation had to make concessions. They removed the paragraph on the removal of Khmelnitsky, who could cope with the Cossack freemen, expanded the registry.
18 (28) September 1651 was signed Belotserkovsky peace. The number of registered Cossacks was 20 thousand people; self-government was retained only for the Kiev Voivodeship; in other provinces were located the Polish royal troops; Hetman lost the right to deal with foreign countries and had to break with the Crimean Tatars. In fact, the Cossacks were almost in the same position as they were before 1648. Moreover, the terms of the contract are constantly violated by both parties.
Both sides were preparing for a new war. The commander of the royal troops Kalinowski began to lead to the submissiveness of the Bratslav and Chernihiv voivodeships. The participants in the uprising were hung, burned and quartered. The soldiers robbed the village and mocked the peasants. Vengeance to the local population and the nobility returning to the estates. Polish lords punished the peasants with mass executions and corporal punishment. For all the years they pushed taxes, repaid losses. People fled en masse to Russia. That was the way Slobodskaya Ukraine appeared - it consisted of tax exemptions.
To be continued ...