Executions of Cossacks in Lebedin

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A Memorial Cross to the tortured and executed Cossacks of Lebedin

Executions Cossacks in Lebedin (Ukrainian: Катівня в Лебедині), (Russian: Казни казаков в Лебедине)- was a large scale execution of Ukrainian Cossacks suspected of having sided with Hetman Ivan Mazepa after his break with Tsar Peter I during the Great Northern War. Cossack officials summoned to the Council of Hlukhiv who did not report to it were arrested, tortured and executed for treason. The exact number of victims is not known, but the minutes of the historical accounts indicate at least 900.


The persecutions started with a decree by Tsar Peter issued on November 1, 1708 which read "And those who by this Decree, having forgotten the fear of God and the Oath to Us, the Great Tsar, and the wholeness and indivisibility of the Motherland from him, the thief and traitor Mazepa, and from this enemy shall not depart, and to Us, the Great Tsar, would not return in the course of this month, i.e. by the 1st of December 1708, shall be declared our and our Motherland's traitors. And their titles and estates and all belongings shall be confiscated and given to the faithful ones for their service. And the wives and children [of the traitors] shall be sent into internal exile. And those caught shall be executed without mercy."[1] Consequently an investigative commission was set up by Peter I in Lebedin. The commission was presided by Alexander Menshikov [2] All those suspected of loyalty to Mazepa, including those who did not report to the Glukhovska Rada council, were taken to Lebedin for torture and execution. Archbishop Konissky wrote:

"The Execution And this was an ordinary Menshikov Craft: the wheel, put on a stake, but the easiest, is happy toy, and hang their heads cut. Guilt them to seek recognition of their own, and to serve as a reliable means prepohvalnoe then the mystery - of torture, which dogma and still is known of this Russian proverb: do not stick Yangel, soul is not he shall take off, and tell the truth, and which was carried on with the utmost accuracy and the direction of the Catholic Code is, in other words: the degree and the order-batozhem, whip and shinoyu i.e. razzhennym iron, are led with the meekness and hesitation and slowness of body of a man who from the seething, welded together and sits. Passed one test enters the second, and who all of them could not stand it, they worshiped, for a true guilty and is led to execution. Were affected in such a way as not prevozmogshih torture, to nine people, the number of these things, perhaps, increased, but, judging from the cemetery, excommunicated from the Christian and known as Getmantsev must conclude that buried them here is not enough
Reliability of events (in particular, the number of executions) is the subject of debate.[3]


After Mazepa sided with the Swedes, Peter I issued a decree, which supposedly led to the torture and executions in Lebedin. "The decree is an army sergeant who had left with the Swedes to the Mazepa" from 1 November 1708 as:

Execution by breaking on wheel. From early-18th-century engraving.

"A bude who according to these our own, a great ruler, decree, forgetting the fear of God and his oath to us, the great emperor, and the integrity of their motherland from him, thief and a traitor to the Mazepa, and from Our enemy does not lag behind and to us, the great emperor, not vozvratittsa during the month, ie December to the first number in 1708, those traitors to announce our motherland and yours. And will their ranks and maetnosti and their belongings selected and distributed to the faithful for their service. Sjá einnig wife and their children will be taken and sent into exile. And who among them will be caught, and those, like a traitors death will be executed without mercy ».[4]

Description of events in Lebedin known by anonymous "Stories Russov»[5] and compiled on the basis of its "History of Little Russia» [6] NA Markevich.[7] At the same time in the "Stories Russov" no description of the location of "grave Getmantsev" and its size.

About the torture and execution of the Cossacks in Lebedin, referring to the alleged author of "Stories Russov" Archbishop George Belarusian Konisskogo and legends preserved among the locals, says Archbishop Filaret (Gumilevsky) in his book "Historical and statistical description of Kharkiv tion diocese, "written in 1852-59 years:

" The most wonderful time for Lebedyna was the end of 1708 and beginning of 1709. Around November 20, arrived in Swan Peter the Great to the army. In Swan, along with Peter were his generals - Menshikov and others. Konissky points in Lebedin the extensive Getmantsev grave as a monument to cruelty bezchelovechnoy Prince Menshikov. He said that Menshikov different torture - batozhyami, whip, a hot iron persisted in the unfortunate victims of fraud Mazepin consciousness in their participation in Mazeppa. According to local reports, the tomb Getmantsev now located in the garden of one of the parishioners of the Church of the Ascension, 300 yards from the former city wall, a lofty mound extends more than 10 yards in length and width; places of the embankment are provaliny and at times during the buildings human bones dug out ».[8]

He gives a description of the alleged location of the" grave Getmantsev "and its size.

In various research studies and literature of Ukrainian and foreign authors on the hetman Mazeppa provides information about these events. So Lebedinskii penalty described: in the literary - artistic work "Ivan Mazeppa Ukrainian historian I. Borschaka and French historian Rene Martel,[9] published in Paris in 1931, in labor T. Matskiva "Ivan Mazepa in western springs 1687-1709» [10] (referring to Professor Ogloblin), published in Munich in 1988. The same information is resulted in Encyclopaedia of knowledges about Ukraine. But all of this information is reduced to a repetition of information from the "Stories Russov".


Sumy Regional State Administration and local authorities implemented several measures to perpetuate the memory of victims of executions. Information about them posted on the official websites Sumy Regional Council,[11] Lebedin Skog City Council [12] and Lebedinskii Regional State Administration,[13] on which the decision to place the alleged dumping established a memorial cross and planned to install a monument of Cossack glory. Board Lebedin city announced a competition to design the monument.[14] According to the deputy chairman of the Sumy Regional State Administration lungwort AV, in April 2009 was scheduled to replace a wooden cross on the grave "Getmantsev" on the monument.[15]


  1. ^ А буде кто по сим нашим, великого государя, указом, забыв страх Божий и присягу свою к нам, великому государю, и целость отчизны своей от него, вора и изменника Мазепы, и от неприятеля нашего не отстанет и к нам, великому государю, не возвратитца во время месяца, то есть декабря по первое число 1708 г., тех объявляем изменников наших и отчизны вашей. И будут их чины и маетности и пожитки их отобраны и розданы верным за службы их. Також жены и дети их взяты и сосланы будут в ссылку. А кто из них пойманы будут, и те, яко изменники, казнены будут смертью без пощады[3]
  2. ^ NA Markevich. History of Little Russia Chapter XLVII
  3. ^ Efimenko AP Tomb Getmantsev in Lebedin / / Kyiv old. - 1884. - V. 8. - № 4. - S. 693-695.
  4. ^ Listi is the mandate of Peter I-th
  5. ^ Karpov GFA Critical Review of the development of major Russian sources relating to the history of Little Russia. M., 1870.
  6. ^ NA Markevich. History of Little Russia Chapter XLVII
  7. ^ Markevich, Nikolai Andreyevich
  8. ^ Filaret (in the world Demetrios G. Gumilevsky)
  9. ^ I. Borschak, P . Martel "Ivan Mazepa»
  10. ^ mazk11.htm «Ivan Mazepa in zahidnoevropeyskih dzherela 1687-1709»
  11. ^ site of the Sumy Regional Council
  12. ^ Site Lebedinsk City Council
  13. ^ / istoriya-lebedinshhini Site Lebedinskii Regional State Administration
  14. ^ Board City Lebedin
  15. ^ Sheet Сумської обласної державної адміністрації № 01-44/6948 vid 5.12.2008 rock