The word "Ruin" Ukrainian people called the era of internecine strife and bloody strife, which lasted on the Little Russian lands in the XVII century over two decades. The main reason for the “Ruins” was the fact that a significant part of the Cossack officers took the course for the return of Ukraine under the scepter of the Polish king.
"Should you give up before the hetman rank ..."
6 August 1657. Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky died, raising the Ukrainian people to the liberation struggle to get out of slave subordination to the Polish-Lithuanian state - Rzecz Pospolita. Before his death, he placed the hetman's mace in the hands of his youngest son, Yuri, who, however, had not yet turned sixteen. Despite his unprecedented youth, close associates of Hetman Khmelya at the Rada in Chigirin agreed with this choice.
According to the will of Khmelnitsky, the general military clerk Ivan Vyhovsky (in the picture above) was appointed guardian and mentor of the new hetman, and this appointment played a fatal role in the fate of Ukraine.
By origin, the Polish nobleman, Vyhovsky first fought with the Cossacks, and after capturing them, allegedly fully took the side of the insurgent Little Russians. He liked the hetman with his keen mind, dexterity in treating almost any business and, as Khmelnitsky seemed, with his complete devotion. In the end, the hetman began to trust him as a friend. But the intrigue was that Ivan Yevstafyevich had long before the Pereyaslav Rada had special, secret relations with Moscow, which consisted in informing the Kremlin about everything happening in the hetman's headquarters and, in particular, about the foreign policy plans and relations of the rebellious Little Russia, which then spread not only to Russia, but also to many other neighboring states. The clerk-general in advance devoted the hetman to the fact that he was a secret informant, and, in agreement with him, reported to Moscow only what was beneficial to Khmelnitsky. Therefore, the hetman before his death saw in Vygovskiy the most reliable comrade in arms, severely mistaken about his "devotion" ...
From the Jesuit slyness and ability to lead the insidious intrigue of this man, whom Bogdan Khmelnitsky actually endowed with the powers of the regent with his minor son, and the Ukrainian Ruin caught fire ...
He started Vyhovsky by having achieved that Khmelnitsky Jr. would give his hetman's mace to him, the general clerk, and quite voluntarily. In order not to look in anyone's eyes, God save us, with a vile usurper, Ivan Evstafyevich skillfully played a comedy of his own hesitation about whether to take over the hetman’s power.
Vyhovsky’s dexterous maneuvers around the hetman’s mace were described in detail by the historian N.I. Kostomarov in the capital work "Getmanstvo Vyhovsky". For example, at first, the clerk himself casually instigated disapproving rumors between the deserved Cossacks, that they now obey the boy, whose milk on his lips is not dried, and then he painted to young Yuri, that the Cossacks are reason began to grumble and do not even want to obey such a young hetman. At the same time, Vyhovsky skillfully pretended that he himself did not need supreme power over Ukraine at all. It was not for nothing that the clerk general sent the dispatch to the frontier Russian voivode for the dispatch, repeating the same thing: “After the warrior’s works, I’m glad to let go of it, and I don’t want any disguise and bosses!”
Of course, inexperienced Yuri asked Vyhovsky, whom he trusted as a father, advice: what should he do?
“You should give up the hetman’s title in front of you and thereby gain favor and love of the people,” Khmelnytsky’s son was instructed on the “true path” by the general clerk ... And then he explained that, say, the Cossacks have an unwritten law long since several times excuses from the proposed position and accepts it as if forced, that is, only when the Cossack circle almost forcibly inclines him to it.
At the same time, Vyhovsky himself did not lose time and tried his best to please those on whom his election to hetman depended.
To this end, he dug up treasures stored up for a “rainy day” and hidden by him on the orders of Khmelnytsky Sr. - more than a million zlotys (a fabulous sum at that time!) And began to give gold coins and generously treat the oncoming and transverse ones. “Merry feasts for several weeks went without interruption,” Kostomarov remarks. - Vyhovsky was a sober man, but in order to please the crowd, he pretended to be drunk, showed the burglar treatment of ordinary Cossacks, was extremely courteous with his subordinates, and people shouted in delight: from schiriy (idle time. - A.P.), not proud Cossack!"
And soon Yuri, having listened to the arguments of the “mentor” -cisaster, at the regular 1657 meeting of the year, put on the table the signs of his hetman's power - bunchuk and mace, modestly stating that due to his youth and inexperience he could not bear such important dignity. But instead of persuading him to remain a hetman (as it certainly should have happened, according to the clerk's general), the crowd of Cossacks screamed like one person: handing the hetman’s kleynods to Vyhovsky! But this skilful playboy with a downcast gaze kept pretending not to bear the burden of power ... But, the more stubbornly Ivan Yevstafyevich, the louder the Cossacks shouted, charmed by the hospitable and "scrappy" general scribe, that only their leader and all of Ukraine wanted to see only him and no one more. In the end, Ivan Yevstafyevich submitted to the popular choice - indeed, as if reluctantly, only yielding to the universal unanimous opinion ...
The quiet coup in Ukraine, as a result of which Khmelnitsky’s unnecessarily trusting successor — his own son, voluntarily placed the hetman’s mace into the hands of a secret supporter of the Polish king, did not at first greatly disturb Moscow.
The very fact of the appearance on the Ukrainian stage of Vyhovsky, who for many years had informed Moscow about everything that had happened to Hetman Bogdan and near him, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich for some time even regarded it as a good sign.
The devout king saw in this nothing less than a real evidence of the Creator's favor for his policy of uniting the Orthodox Eastern Slavs under the rule of Moscow, for which Russia led the hardest war with Rzecz Pospolita (having entered the war with Sweden along the way)! Moreover, in the letters to the tsar, the new hetman did not cease to assure the king of unlimited devotion ...
Meanwhile, all of a sudden, as if in those years there existed all sorts of media (of course, biased!), Ukraine was filled with alarming rumors that slandered the Russian policy recklessly in the eyes of the Little Russian population. It was passed from mouth to mouth, for example, as if “the king wants the Cossacks not to wear red boots, but certainly everyone put on black shoes, and pospolitnye (that is, not serving, peaceful people) would dress like Great Britain men and wear bast shoes” . This detail is not so small as it may seem at first glance. It shows a sharp contradiction, which, in essence, was the root cause of the bloody feuds that lasted for decades.
As you know, not only the Cossacks, but almost the entire Ukrainian people participated in the liberation of Little Russia from the Polish yoke. Naturally, for the period of the struggle all its participants turned out to be equal to each other. Almost the entire male population turned into Cossacks. But with the end of the war of liberation, it became obviously necessary that one part of the people still remain on guard of the new order of things, remaining Cossacks, and the other, obviously the majority, still returned to peaceful pursuits, becoming pospolitnymi - that is, ordinary villagers and city burghers.
But at the same time, the Cossacks remained with the conquered rights and liberties, in their entirety, while the Commonwealth in that feudal era had no rights at all, but a sea of duties, and the first among them was to pay taxes. The situation was complicated by the fact that between the two main Ukrainian estates, then, there was still no clear boundary, and if necessary, the pospolites took weapon and thus turned into Cossacks, and previously recognized as Cossacks could suddenly fall into the rank of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ...
This confusion, fraught with incessant upheavals, was once supposed to end. Therefore, every now and then attempts were made to compile a register (list of names) of the Cossack troops. Naturally, the population was greatly worried by the rumors spread by supporters of Vyhovsky that Moscow would drastically reduce the Cossack roster, turning the majority of free people into claps and serfs, ordering them to change into peasant sermyagi and change into bast shoes.
In fact, this is one of the rather early examples of the information war, which at all times has the most important goal in every possible way to blacken the enemy and present any of his actions in the most unfavorable light ...
Meanwhile, in fact, the Ukrainian historian Golobutsky testifies that Moscow at that time was not going to touch upon the issue of the Cossack registry. In order not to revive the peasants, who were almost all polls, who did not want to bend their backs on the feudal lords (even their own ones), the tsarist government did not require an immediate list of the Cossacks, and even less - its limits. This very delicate enterprise was postponed by the tsarist government indefinitely. But since, at that time, no press services of state bodies, naturally, existed, but the most incredible rumors were spreading well, Moscow’s rather well-balanced position reached ordinary Russians in a distorted form.
By the way, Vyhovsky, barely taking possession of the hetman's mace, immediately began to provoke the tsar to actually send authorized persons to compile the 60-thousand registry of the Cossack troops, not otherwise, hoping to cause outrage among the masses by the policy of Russia, and to set themselves up as their protector.
The goal pursued by the hetman, his envoy Mirgorod, Colonel Lesnitsky, arrived in Moscow, expressed quite clearly. The registry, he said, will only enter “direct and old service Cossacks”, that is, the well-to-do part of the class, and all “stupid and not direct Cossacks” (peasants and tradesmen, mostly poor) will be declared out of the registry and, accordingly, will lose of all rights won in the bloody struggle, and even many of them will be enslaved again. In the same provocative, insidious purposes, the representative of Vyhovsky asked the king, together with the authorities, to send the governor and regiments of servicemen to Ukraine, “so that the Cossack army would be scared and no one would dare revolt.”
Day by day, month by month, the rampant anti-Moscow agitation was growing. Detractors of Russia on both banks of the Dnieper hammered tales at gatherings and in the taverns to the people.
“This is how the Tsar and Moscow will take you into their hands, then they will introduce the taverns, they will not be able to smoke vodka and cook any honey, they will not wear cloth coats, they will send their priests, they will take our Metropolitan in Kiev, but and all the people will be driven there, but only ten thousand Cossacks will remain, and those in Zaporozhye (in the Sich. - A. P.) ... ”.
Ambassadors of "civilized Europe"
As we see, supporters of the then “European choice” frightened commoners with very unpretentious horror stories. But for the top elders, Vygovsky invented means that were much more sophisticated. At that time, the rumors were strongly exaggerated that Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, having concluded a truce with the Poles and having agreed with them in Vilnius in October 1656 about joint actions against the Swedes, now seeks to be elected to the Polish throne. But since, in the Vilna treatise, the king promised the Poles to elect all the lands rejected by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth after their election as king, this meant that ... the Polish magnates and gentlemen, who still considered Cossack leaders as their “rebellious claps,” returned to Ukraine again !
Such a development of events Vyhovsky and his supporters proposed to pre-empt Ukraine with a voluntary union of Ukraine with federal rights, under conditions that would ensure the Cossack officers preserve their rights.
The treacherous agreement was concluded in the Hetman Vyhovsky rate in Gadyach in September 1658 of the year. Little Russia returned to the citizenship of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth under the name of the “Grand Duchy of Russia” (this name was worn by Lithuania before the union with Poland, which resulted in the Rzeczpospolita). The register of Zaporozhye troops was determined all the same 60 thousands of people, but the hetman made a secret commitment to actually reduce the number of Cossacks in half. But now, in his view, the king could build a sergeant in the gentry dignity. A number of seats in the Polish senate were assigned to the Orthodox nobility, for Vyhovsky himself, in addition to hetmanship and the senatorial title, he also bargained for the position of the “first Kiev voivode”.
The Rada in Gadyach was like a note - quite like the political plays on the Independence Square in Kiev are being played now ... The ceremony of the glad was played out by Vyhovsky as cleverly as if he were a theater director. Introducing the Polish representatives of Benevsky and Yevlashevsky to the Maidan, where the colonels in festive kontushs sat importantly, with hands in their hands, Ivan Evstafevich exclaimed:
- The Zaporizhia Army expresses a desire for everlasting peace and unity with the Commonwealth, if only they hear from the gentlemen commissioners the gracious word of his royal majesty!
The word of the royal commissioner roused in the agitated souls of the colonels "the brightest, the highest" feelings ...
“The highest being, who exalts and destroys the kingdoms at will,” Benevsky said pompously, “took an innate love of the fatherland into the heart of each of you, so that no matter where anyone wanders, he always wants to go home ...” (the whole of Ukraine was meant. - A. P.) when it called upon his majesty King Jan Casimir with the name of his hetman and with the desire of faithful citizenship, and asks for his protection for himself and all Russian (that is, Little Russia. - A. P.) to the people ... now esyat years, like the mother of one child, arguing for Ukraine two nations: the Poles and the Muscovites. The Poles call it their property, their birth and member, and the Muscovites, using your courage and your weapon, want to take possession of someone else ... You have now tried both Polish and Moscow rule, tasted both freedoms and bondages. They said: Poles are not good! And now, probably, you will say: Moskal is even worse! What else to delay? Motherland appeals to you: I gave birth to you, not Moskal; I fed you, nursed you - come to your senses, be true children of mine, not geeks!
- And scho! - Vyhovsky cried out promptly, noticing how the colonels were moved, - did you be honored, Panov, by the radio, (comrade - AP) to his grace Pan Commissioner?
- Garazd talk! - Colonels zagaldeli.
The trouble was that the salary to Ukraine (and in some places the royal troops, and the Cossacks) was then sent not by silver, but by copper money, which rapidly depreciated. The lack of money encouraged some of the archers and hired soldiers sent by Moscow to earn their living by looting and looting, many turned into deserters.
The wars with Poland and Sweden drained the Russian treasury, which is why the Kremlin, unfortunately, could not reconsider its financial policy in Ukraine. But instead of any explanatory measures addressed to the Cossacks and the population of Little Russia, Moscow only ordered Russian commanders who appeared in Kiev and several other Little Russian cities from 1658 onwards to catch and hang out of the troops on the Maidan!
Bloody price treason
The Russian government, which had allowed Vyhovsky for some time to lead himself by the nose, was quite early in the knowledge of the hetman’s treacherous policy. The first news of her Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich received back in the fall of 1657 of the year from a Zaporozhian deputation that came to Moscow, sent by the ataman Yakov Barabash. The deputation complained to the elders that they were plundering a salary, which the king sends not to them alone, but to the entire Cossack army, and at the same time they themselves besieged the people with heavy taxes. The Cossacks told that Vyhovsky was negotiating with the Polish king about the conditions for the return of Little Russia under his arm.
Disturbing signals were sent to Moscow by Poltava Colonel Martin Pushkar, who dared to raise an uprising on the Left Bank of the Dnieper against Vyhovsky.
But the Kremlin continued to bend the line on "non-interference" in Little Russia affairs, as if he had been completely indifferent both to the fate of the Ukrainian brothers and to their own geopolitical perspectives.
And hetman Vyhovsky, making sure that Moscow was not up to him, gathering strength, in May 1658 of the year moved on the insurgent Poltava. But he really wanted the blood of the rebels to stab his hands and the Russian warriors. Therefore, he, as they say, “in the blue eye,” assured the governor Gregory Romodanovsky who had come with his army to Pereyaslavl that the rebellious “willful people” allegedly betray Russia and intend to betray the Ukrainian lands to the enemies: who is the Polish king, and who is the Crimean khan. But Romodanovsky - "grated kalach" - showed caution and avoided the dubious honor of conducting a punitive expedition in the interests of the traitor Vyhovsky.
Having received no support from the boyar, the hetman quickly agreed with the Crimean Khan. He sent a multi-thousand horde to Ukraine under the command of Perekop Murza Karach Bey.
18 May 1658, the fierce battles of Poltava broke out. The Cossacks of the Pereyaslavsky, Chernigovsky and other regiments turned into punishers reluctantly fought with their fellow countrymen, and Vyhovsky used the Krymchaks and the German hired infantry more. In the midst of the battle, alas, the leader of the rebels, Martin Pushkar, was killed. The rebels were defeated, and the Cossacks who supported them decided to go back to Sich.
Having taken Poltava, the hetman ruthlessly dealt with the population. The city was burned to the ground, its inhabitants, including women and children, mercilessly killed. Saying goodbye to the Krymchak allies, Vyhovsky paid off with them ... compatriots: the Tatars were given complete freedom of all the surviving inhabitants of the surrounding villages to steal into captivity! By the will of self-serving hetmans, such tragedies were repeated in Ukraine in the second half of the XVII century almost a dozen times, until the terrible era of “Ruins” disappeared into the past ...
The fate of Poltava, wiped out from the face of the earth, has befallen a number of towns and villages of Left Bank, which were outraged by the treacherous (both in relation to Russia and Little Russia) Vyhovsky policy. Fleeing from the punitive and Tatars, peasants and commoners went to the Russian lands, settling on the border Sloboda Ukraine. Vyhovsky, this characteristic predecessor of Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych and others like them, had the audacity to even demand that the Russian governors give out fugitives. But the heads of the border towns, who had already figured out what Vyhovsky was, rejected his harassment and willingly provided asylum, patronage, and assistance to the displaced ...
... and the price of blissful illusions
When the whole truth about the Hadiach Treaty (including the secret article on the Cossack registry) came to light, most Cossacks opposed the break with Moscow. Moreover, in Ukraine they firmly remembered what the price was for the promises of the Polish king and the senate of the Commonwealth. And perhaps the opponents of Vyhovsky could quickly unite and overthrow him, if Moscow supported them immediately and honestly. But even after the alarming news about the Poltava and Hadiach events, Aleksei Mikhailovich continued to indulge himself with illusions that Poland is very weak, longs to see him on his throne, hates Sweden, with which he is fighting, and therefore, for the sake of self-preservation, he will give up everything lost, including Ukraine. Yes, and Vyhovsky proved his loyalty even during the hetman Bogdan, and if sometimes he “staggers”, then of necessity, either by removing his opponents, or by maneuvering between his quarreling supporters. He is a rational man and will not cross the line, he will not change the oath (although the hetman’s treason has already presented the true facts of treason to the king).
Self-deception began to disperse from the autocrat only when, at the Vilna talks at the end of 1658, the Polish-Lithuanian representatives suddenly “forgot” the honeyed tone and resolutely refused him to be elected to the Polish throne.
And besides, they demanded that Smolensk, other border cities, and, of course, the whole of Ukraine, be reclaimed by the Russian troops, be returned.
The war with Poland broke out with a new force. In the spring of 1659, the Russian army commanded by Boyar A.N. Trubetskoy moved from Sevsk to Little Russia. But the hands of boyar Alexei Nikitich were immediately tied up: he was instructed first to “persuade the Cherkas to finish off their sovereign's wines with their brow”, and only otherwise, “if they do not finish them with war, go to war with them”. As Vygovsky continued to cheat and play up incessantly, still assuring Trubetskoy of loyalty to Russia, the boyar remained in constant doubt and indecision, and instead of taking the initiative and dictating the course of events, he had to follow them all the time.
In the meantime, Vyhovsky waited for the approach of a new one hundred thousandth Crimean horde and the Polish khorugvies promised by the king and attacked the Moscow regiments under Konotop. 27 June 1659, as a result of the military cunning applied by the hetman, Trubetskoy's army was defeated.
The trick applied by the Cossacks was to first rush to the attack, and then turn to flight and lure the enemy into a pre-prepared trap. Having bought this trick, Trubetskoy sent in pursuit of the "quivering" Cossacks and Tatars regiments of noble militia led by the princes Pozharsky and Lvov. Having conceived to captivate Khan Mohammed Giray himself, S.R. Pozharsky forgot about any caution. And when his numerous noble squad crossed the Sosnovka River, he landed a powerful blow from the Tatars who were sitting in ambush. Very soon the fight turned into a beating of the color of the Russian nobility. Up to five thousand representatives of famous names were killed. Both princes were captured wounded.
Pozharsky first led to Vygovsky. The prince began to pronounce the hetman for his treason, and then Ivan Evstafyevich sent him to the khan. The proud boyar refused to bow his head before the sovereign of Crimea and, according to Moscow custom, he chose Khan, spitting in his eyes. Furious Mohammed Giray ordered to immediately cut off the head of Prince Semen Romanovich ...
Changeling not spared and "their"
After the defeat at Konotop, Trubetskoy's army retreated to Putivl. However, Vyhovsky did not celebrate for long. The Tatar horde, like locusts, made incredible devastation on Ukrainian soil and did not return to Perekop. The mood of all segments of the population of Ukraine began to change rapidly not in favor of Vyhovsky.
Soon even the part of the foreman who had hailed the Hadiach Treaty renounced the hetman the traitor. Pereyaslavsky Colonel Timofey Tsetsura led negotiations with the Russian commander Sheremetev about returning to Moscow citizenship.
One by one, the Cossack regiments went from Vyhovsky to Yury Khmelnitsky, on whom the sergeant once again put. Despite the tragic embarrassment with the addition of hetman powers, one surname Khmelnitsky fascinated Cossacks, reviving in memory of past good luck and former power. And now the moment came when yesterday's accomplices demanded that Vyhovsky deny the hetman's Kleynods. He was forced to agree (putting forward the obviously impracticable condition that the Zaporozhye army would remain loyal to the king), and went to Poland, for which he had committed the darkness of such heinous crimes ... But in 1664, according to slander of his regular protégé Hetman Teteri, the Polish authorities accused Vyhovsky of a freak in treason and still shot ...
And the pendulum is swinging ...
After the news of the fall of Vyhovsky, the Russian army moved again to Ukraine and strengthened the position of supporters of reunification with Russia. In October 1659 of the year in Pereyaslavl, where the boyar Trubetskoy stayed, arrived Prilutsk colonel Peter Doroshenko (the future hetman, who will donate part of the Right Bank Ukraine of the Ottoman Empire). He brought a list of conditions on which the Zaporozhye army (and with it all of Ukraine) agreed to return to royal citizenship. The treaty provided for the broadest autonomy: the hetman received the right, without even informing the king, to communicate with all states and enter into any agreements; without a hetman's signature in Moscow they should not have received any letters from Ukraine; royal governors could stand only in Kiev ...
October 18 1659 of the year near Pereyaslavl took place on which Yury Khmelnitsky was declared hetman. Then the articles of the treaty were read, but not brought by Doroshenko, but sent from Moscow. They differed quite significantly. Along with the conditions adopted by Bogdan Khmelnitsky, clauses were added which obliged the hetman to participate with the army in military campaigns, forbade him to hand out colonel’s maces to their liking, allowed Russian garrisons to be held in six Ukrainian cities. The pendulum of changeable Cossack sentiments has now swung towards Moscow, and Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich caught it ...
After the ceremonial mutual oath-kissing, the Cossack and Moscow chiefs gathered for a feast with the boyar Trubetskoy. Celebrated the end of the "great shatosti", defeating the ruins.
But quite a bit of time will pass, and those who joined the cuisines at the boyar’s table will again be enemies. That was by no means an ending, but only a repetition of what was happening with different cyclicalities of the Ukrainian people walking around the torment ... “Trubetskoy did the trick in favor of the Moscow authorities skillfully,” writes Kostomarov about the Pereyaslav Rada of 18 in October. “But in the future, this business involved further causes of adultery, unrest and popular enmity” ...
Nevertheless, in the end, peace and tranquility came to the land of Ukraine, and it was almost all the time (except for the periods of the Civil and Great Patriotic Wars) one of the most prosperous and fertile territories within the Russian Empire, and then Soviet Union.
And what is happening in Ukraine today? Is the cycle repeated? Again - “Ruin”?