Hetmans of Ukrainian Cossacks

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Historical map of Cossack Hetmanate and territory of Zaporozhian Cossacks under rule of Russian Empire (1751).

Hetman of Zaporizhian Cossacks is a historical term that has multiple meanings.

Officially the post was known as Hetman of the Zaporizhian Host (Ukrainian: Гетьман Війська Запорозького, Hetman Viyska Zaporozkoho).[1] Hetman of Zaporizhian Cossacks as a title was not officially recognized internationally until the creation of the Cossack Hetmanate. With the creation of Registered Cossacks units their leaders were officially referred to as Senior of His Royal Grace Zaporozhian Host (Ukrainian: старший його Королівської Милості Війська Запорозького, Starshyi Yoho Korolivskoyi Mylosti Viyska Zaporozkoho).[1] Before 1648 and the establishment of the Cossack Hetmanate there were numerous regional hetmans across the Dnieper-banks, who usually were starostas or voivodes.

The first widely recognized hetman of Zaporizhia was Dmytro Vyshnevetsky, however later several Polish starostas were added to the Hetman registry such as Lanckoroński and Daszkiewicz who also led their own cossack formations. According to Mykola Hrushevsky they were not really considered as hetman, at least by their contemporaries. Among other such starostas were Karpo Maslo from Cherkasy, Yatsko Bilous (Pereyaslav), Andrushko (Bratslav), and many others. Even Princes Konstanty Ostrogski and Bohdan Hlinski were conducting Cossack raids on Tatar uluses (districts).

The commanders of Zaporozhian Host (the Kosh) often considered as hetmans in fact carried a title of Kosh Otaman. As from 1572,[2] hetman was the unofficial title of commanders of the Registered Cossack Army (Ukrainian: Козаки реєстрові, Polish: Kozacy rejestrowi, Russian: Казаки реестровые) of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. From the 1648 Bohdan Khmelnytsky uprising, Hetman was the title of the head of the Cossack state, the Cossack Hetmanate. Cossack hetmans had very broad powers and acted as supreme military commanders and executive leader (by issuing administrative decrees).

After the split of Ukrainian territory along the Dnieper River by the Polish-Russian Treaty of Andrusovo 1667, there was an introduction of dual leadership for each bank, or for each Ukraine of Dnieper (left and right). After the Treaty of Andrusovo there existed two different Cossack Hetmanates with two Hetmans the one in Poland being called Nakazny Hetman of His Royal Mercy of Zaporizhian Host and the Russian one titled Hetman of His Tsar's Mercy of Zaporizhian Host.

Eventually the official state powers of Cossack Hetmans were gradually diminished in the 18th century, and finally abolished by Catherine II of Russia in 1764.

Cossack leaders[edit]

Hetmans of Cossack Hetmanate[edit]

No. Hetman Elected (event) Took office Left office
1 BChmielnicki.jpg Alex K Chmelnitskyi.svg Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Зиновій-Богдан Хмельницький
1648 (Sich) 26 January 1648 6 August 1657 died
2 Yurii Khmelnytsky.png Alex K Chmelnitskyi.svg Yurii Khmelnytsky
Юрій Хмельницький
death of his father 6 August 1657 27 August 1657 reconsidered by the Council of Officers
3 Iwan Wyhowski.PNG Alex K Ivan Vygovskyi.svg Ivan Vyhovsky
Іван Виговський
1657 (Korsun) 27 August 1657
(confirmed: 21 October 1657)
11 September 1659 surrendered title
4 Yurii Khmelnytsky.png Alex K Chmelnitskyi.svg Yurii Khmelnytsky
Юрій Хмельницький
1659 (Hermanivka) 11 September 1659
(confirmed: 11 September 1659)
October 1662 surrendered title
Pavlo Teteria
Павло "Тетеря" Моржковський
1662 (Chyhyryn) October 1662 July 1665 (legitimacy questioned)
5 Ivan Briukhovetsky.png Alex K Ivan Briuhovetskyi.svg Ivan Briukhovetsky
Іван Брюховецький
1663 (Nizhyn) 27 June 1663
(confirmed: 27 June 1663)
17 June 1668 died
6 Petro Doroshenko 19.jpg Alex K Petro Doroshenko.svg Petro Doroshenko
Петро Дорошенко
1666 (Chyhyryn) 10 October 1665
(confirmed: January 1666)
19 September 1676 surrendered to Ivan Samoylovych
Demian Mnohohrishny
Дем'ян Многогрішний
1669 (Hlukhiv) 17 December 1668
(confirmed: 3 March 1669)
April 1672 arrested and exiled to Siberia
7 Hetman Ivan Samoylovych.jpg Alex K Ivan Samoilovych.svg Ivan Samoylovych
Іван Самойлович
1672 (Cossack Grove) 17 June 1672 August 1687 arrested and exiled to Siberia
8 Portret Mazepa.jpg Alex K Ivan Mazepa.svg Ivan Mazepa
Іван Мазепа
1687 (Kolomak) 4 August 1687 6 November 1708 "stripped" of a title, discredited
9 I.Skoropadsky.jpg Alex K Ivan Skoropadskyi.svg Ivan Skoropadsky
Іван Скоропадський
1708 (Hlukhiv) 6 November 1708 14 July 1722 died
Pavlo Polubotok
Павло Полуботок
appointed hetman 1722 1724 died in prison
Collegium of Little Russia (Stepan Velyaminov) 1722-1727
10 Danylo Apostol.png Alex K Danylo Apostol.svg Danylo Apostol
Данило Апостол
1727 (Hlukhiv) 12 October 1727 29 March 1734 died
Yakiv Lyzohub
Яків Лизогуб
appointed hetman 1733 1749 died
provisional Hetman Government Administration 1734-1745
11 Kirill Razumovsky Tokke.jpg Alex K Rozumovski family.svg Kyrylo Rozumovsky
Кирило Розумовський
1750 (Hlukhiv) 22 February 1750 1764 resigned
Collegium of Little Russia 1764-1786 (Pyotr Rumyantsev)

Historians such as Mykola Arkas[6] question legitimacy of the Teteria's elections accusing the later in corruption.[7] Also some sources claim election of Teteria being taken place in January 1663.[8] The election of Teteria led to the Povoloch Regiment Uprising in 1663, followed by bigger number of unrest in the modern region of Kirovohrad Oblast as well as Polesie (all in the Right-bank Ukraine).[9] Moreover, the political crisis that followed the Pushkar–Barabash Uprising divided the Cossack Hetmanate completely on both bank of Dnieper River.[9] Coincidentally, on January 10, 1663, the Tsardom of Muscovy created the new Little Russian Office (Prikaz) within its Ambassadorial Office.

Vouched by Charles Marie François Olier, marquis de Nointel, Yuriy Khmelnytsky was freed from the Ottoman captivity, appointed and along with Pasha Ibragim was sent to Ukraine fight the Moscow forces of Samoilovych and Romadanovsky. In 1681 Mehmed IV appointed George Ducas the Hetman of Ukraine, replacing Khmelnytsky.

Following the anathema on Mazepa and the election of Ivan Skoropadsky, Cossack Hetmanate was included into the Russian Government of Kiev in December 1708. Upon the death of Skoropadsky, the Hetman elections were disrupted and were awarded as a gift and a type of princely titles, first to Moldavian nobleman and later to the Russian Empress favorite.

On 5 April 1710 the council of cossacks, veterans of the battle at Poltava, elected Pylyp Orlyk as the Hetman of Ukraine in exile. Orlyk waged a guerrilla warfare at the southern borders of the Russian Empire with the support from Ottoman and Swedish empires.

Tsardom of Russia appointed hetmans[edit]

Polish appointed hetmans[edit]

The Appointed Hetman Mykhailo Khanenko was elected the Hetman of Ukraine by a council of Sukhoviy's Cossacks in Uman to depose Doroshenko. In 1675 John III Sobieski awarded the title to some Ostap Hohol (died in 1679). Same thing happened in 1683 when John III Sobieski awarded the title to Stefan Kunicki and in 1684 to Andriy Mohyla. Those awards were given during the Great Turkish War.

No. Hetman Elected (event) Took office Left office
(1) Mykhailo Khanenko.jpg Mykhailo Khanenko
Михайло Ханенко
1669 (Uman) 1669
(confirmed: 2 September 1670)
1674 pro-Polish faction[a]
(2) Hetman Stefan Kunicki 0001.jpg Stefan Kunicki
Стефан Куницький
23 August 1683 23 August 1683
(confirmed: 24 August 1683)
January 1684 pro-Polish faction
(3) Hetman Andrij Mohyla.jpg Andriy Mohyla
Андрій Могила
January 1684 January 1684
(confirmed: 30 January 1684)
January 1689 pro-Polish faction

Sanjak-bey, Prince of Sarmatia (Turkish appointments)[edit]

In 1669 Petro Doroshenko received a title of Sanjak-bey from Mehmed IV. Title existed in 1669 to 1683.

Hetman in exile[edit]

The title existed in 1710–1760.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Following the truce of Andrusovo, the Polish government was appointing its own hetmans of Zaporizhian Host on its territory (so called Right-bank Ukraine). It is unknown whether the position performed any administrative functions over the territory.


  1. ^ a b Mytsyk, Yu. Hetman (ГЕТЬМАН). Encyclopedia of History of Ukraine.
  2. ^ Гетьман [Hetman (definition)]. history.franko.lviv.ua (in Ukrainian). Handbook of the History of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 11 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Dashkevych, Ostafii". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b Hrushevsky, M. Illustrated History of Ukraine. "BAO". Donetsk, 2003. ISBN 966-548-571-7
  5. ^ Dovidnyk z istorii Ukrainy (1st ed.). 1993. Retrieved 30 March 2007.
  6. ^ Pavlo Teteria, Hetman of the Right-bank Ukraine. Cossack leaders of Ukraine (textbook).
  7. ^ Lohvyn, Yu. Pavlo Teteria. Hetmans of Ukraine. "Merry Alphabet".
  8. ^ Pavlo Teteria. History of the Great Nation.
  9. ^ a b Horobets, V. Civil wars in Ukraine of 1650s-1660s. Encyclopedia of history of Ukraine. Vol.2. Kyiv: "Naukova Dumka", 2004.
  10. ^ Bilousko, O. A.; Mokliak, V. A. "Pylyp Stepanovych Orlyk". Друга половина XVI — друга половина XVIII століття [The second half of XVI — the second half of the XVIII century]. histpol.narod.ru (in Ukrainian). pp. 205–206.

External links[edit]