Yurii Khmelnytsky

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Yuri Khmelnytsky
Yurii Khmelnytsky.png
Hetman of Zaporizhian Host
In office
August 27, 1657 – October 21, 1657
Preceded by Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Succeeded by Ivan Vyhovsky
In office
October 17, 1659 – 1663
Preceded by Ivan Vyhovsky
Succeeded by Ivan Briukhovetsky
Hetman of Ottoman Ukraine
In office
Preceded by Petro Doroshenko
Succeeded by George Ducas
Personal details
Born 1641
Subotiv, near Chyhyryn, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Died 1685
Kamianets-Podilskyi, Podolia Eyalet, Ottoman Empire

Yuri Khmelnytsky (Ukrainian: Юрій Хмельницький, Polish: Jerzy Chmielnicki, Russian: Юрий Хмельницкий) (1641–1685), younger son of the famous Ukrainian Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky and brother of Tymofiy Khmelnytsky, was a Zaporozhian Cossack political and military leader. Although he spent half of his adult life as a monk, he also was Hetman of Ukraine on several occasions — in 1659-1660 and 1678–1681 and starost of Hadiach. For background see The Ruin (Ukrainian history).


Hetman of Ukraine

Yuri Khmelnytsky was born in 1641[1] in Subotiv near Chyhyryn in central Ukraine. In 1659 the Cossack Rada elected the 17-year-old Yurii as their hetman in Bila Tserkva, replacing the deposed Ivan Vyhovsky. The young hetman faced problems: the uneasy alliance with the Tsardom of Russia and the ongoing wars against Poland-Lithuania and against the Crimean Khanate.

In 1659 the parliament (sejm walny) of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth granted him nobility.[1] On 24 March 1661 he became starost of Hadiach.[1]

During the latter conflict[which?], Yuri Khmelnytsky's Cossacks were defeated near the town of Korsun, he was captured by the Poles and later pledged loyalty to king Jan II Kazimierz of Poland-Lithuania (reigned 1648-1668). This provoked a civil war within Ukraine in 1661, when the new ataman Yakym Somko led the pro-Moscow Cossacks against Yuri and his new Polish allies. At the battle near the town of Pereiaslav in the summer of 1662 Somko's Cossacks and the Russians under Grigory Romodanovsky defeated Yuri Khmelnytsky.

After the defeat, Khmelnytsky entered an alliance with the Crimean Khanate, but this resulted in little beyond massive looting and raiding of Ukrainian towns and villages by the Tatars. Thereupon Yuri gave up his hetman title and became a monk at the Mharsky Monastery in the autumn of 1662. Between 1664 and 1667 the hetman Pavlo Teteria imprisoned him in Lviv.

Hetman of Right-bank Ukraine

After his release, in 1672 he participated in a campaign against the Tatars and was captured near Uman and brought to Constantinople, where he was allowed to live in a Greek Orthodox monastery. In 1676 — after the Sultan's ally, Petro Doroshenko, surrendered to the Russians — the Porte decided to use Khmelnytsky's famous name to reinforce their claim to the Right-bank Ukraine starting the Russo-Turkish War (1676–1681).

In 1678 the Turkish army captured Chyhyryn and declared Yuri Khmelnytsky as a new hetman of Ukraine, although in reality he was only a puppet for the Ottoman Sultan. Ottoman Turkish army with Yuri in tow captured and burned down Kaniv and other Ukrainian towns. He then retired to his Sultan dictated capital at Nemyriv in Turkish occupied parts of Ukraine, as a vassal of sultan Mehmed IV until 1681, when the Turks removed him from power due to his unstable mental health and unprecedented cruelty. Two years later, he was briefly re-instated by the Poles. Finally in 1685 the Turks captured Yuri and executed him (strangled[1]) in Kamianets-Podilskyi.

Unlike his father, Yuri was unable to master the very complex situation he faced and was often manipulated by foreign powers.

See also


Coat of arms Alex K Chmelnitskyi.svg
Noble family Khmelnytsky family
  1. ^ a b c d Boniecki, Adam (1900). Herbarz polski. 3. Gebenther & Wolf. p. 8.
Preceded by
Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Hetman of Ukraine
Succeeded by
Ivan Vyhovsky
Preceded by
Ivan Vyhovsky
Hetman of Ukraine
Succeeded by
Pavlo Teteria
Preceded by
Petro Doroshenko
Hetman of Ukraine
Succeeded by


  • Kostomarov, Mykola. "The Ruin: A Historical Monograph on the Life of Little Russia from 1663 to 1687" and "Rus’ History in the Biographies of Its Important Figures" - in Russian.
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