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.

Background[edit]

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 Hlukhiv Rada council, were taken to Lebedin for torture and execution. Archbishop Konissky wrote:

"Execution was an ordinary Menshikov's Craft: the wheel, putting on a stake, but the easiest, a happy toy, is hanging and having their heads cut off. Guilt them to seek recognition of their own, and to serve as a reliable praiseworthy means by the mystery - of torture, which is a dogma and still it is known of this Russian proverb: do not stick an angel, soul he shall not 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-whip, whip and splint i.e., hot iron, are led with the meekness and hesitation and slowness of the body of a man from the seething, who is welded together and sitting. After passing one test enters the second, and all of them who could not stand it, they recognized their guilt and were led to execution. Were affected in such a way as not overcoming torture, nine people, the number of these things, perhaps, increased, but, judging from the cemetery, excommunicated from the Christian and known as Getmantsy [Hetman's people], it must be concluded that not all of them were buried there".
Reliability of events (in particular, the number of executions) is the subject of debate.[3]

Description[edit]

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

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

"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».[4]

Description of the events in Lebedin are known from the anonymous "History of Ruthenians»[5] and compiled on the basis of its "History of Little Russia» [2] NA Markevich.[6] At the same time in the "History of Ruthenians" there is no description of the location of the "grave of Hetman's people" and its size.

About the torture and execution of the Cossacks in Lebedin, referring to the alleged author of "History of Ruthenians" Archbishop George Konissky of Belarus and legends preserved among the locals, writes Archbishop Filaret (Gumilevsky) in his book "Historical and statistical description of Kharkov diocese, "written in 1852-59:

" The most wonderful time for Lebedyn was the end of 1708 and beginning of 1709. Around November 20, Peter the Great arrived in Lebedyn to the army. In Lebedyn, along with Peter were his generals - Menshikov and others. Konissky points the extensive Getmantsy grave in Lebedin as a monument to the inhumane cruelty of Prince Menshikov. He said that Menshikov used different torture - whip, hot iron were used against the unfortunate victims of Mazepa's fraud, conscious about their collaboration Mazeppa. According to local reports, the tomb of Getmantsy is 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 collapsed and at times during construction human bones are dug out ».[7]

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

Various research studies and literature by Ukrainian and foreign authors on hetman Mazeppa provide information about these events. Lebedyn penalty is described in the literary - artistic work "Ivan Mazeppa" by Ukrainian historian I. Borschaka and French historian Rene Martel,[8] published in Paris in 1931, in T. Matskiv's work "Ivan Mazepa in western sources 1687-1709» [9] (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 "History of Ruthenians".

Memory[edit]

Sumy Regional State Administration and local authorities implemented several measures to perpetuate the memory of the victims of executions. Information about is them posted on the official websites of Sumy Regional Council,[10] Lebedin City Council [11] and Lebedyn Regional State Administration,[12] on which the decision to establish a memorial cross and to install a monument of Cossack glory. Board of Lebedin city announced a competition to design the monument.[13] According to the deputy chairman of the Sumy Regional State Administration, in April 2009 it was scheduled to replace a wooden cross on the grave of "Getmantsy" for the monument.[14]

References[edit]

  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. ^ a b "Маркевич, Н. История Малой России". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "Ефименко П. Могила гетманцев в г. Лебедине. Киевская старина, 1884, Т. 8, № 4". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  4. ^ "Листи та накази Петра I-го: липень-грудень 1708 р. Письма и бумаги Петра Великого: июль-декабрь 1708 г.". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Karpov GFA Critical Review of the development of major Russian sources relating to the history of Little Russia. M., 1870.
  6. ^ "Маркевич Николай Андреевич". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  7. ^ "Филарет (в миру Димитрий Григорьевич Гумилевский)". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  8. ^ I. Borschak, P . Martel "Ivan Mazepa»
  9. ^ "ІЗБОРНИК. Історія України IX-XVIII ст. Першоджерела та інтерпретації. Нульова сторінка". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  10. ^ site of the Sumy Regional Council
  11. ^ "404 - Ошибка: 404". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  12. ^ "Black Hair Cuts - Black Haircuts Inspiration". Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  13. ^ Board City Lebedin
  14. ^ Sheet Сумської обласної державної адміністрації № 01-44/6948 vid 5.12.2008 rock

Bibliography[edit]