Treaty of Pereyaslav

Treaty of Pereyaslav

The Treaty of Pereyaslav (Pereiaslav) was concluded in 1654 in the Ukrainian city of Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi (Pereyaslav at that time) during the meeting, between the Cossacks of the Zaporizhian Host and Tsar Alexey I of Tsardom of Russia, following the Khmelnytsky rebellion. Known as the Pereyaslav Council ("Pereyaslavs'ka Rada" in Ukrainian), the treaty provided for the protection of the Cossack state by the tsar. Participants in the preparation of the treaty at Pereyaslav included the Cossack Hetman, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, numerous Cossacks, and a large visiting contingent from Russia and their translators. The original copies of the treaty have perished, and the exact nature of the relationship stipulated by this treaty between Ukraine and Russia is a matter of scholarly controversy. The treaty led to the establishment of the Cossack Hetmanate in left-bank Ukraine, under the Russian Empire, and to the outbreak of the Russo-Polish War (1654-1667).

The second Treaty of Pereyaslav was concluded on October 27, 1659 between the son of Khmelnytsky, Yuri Khmelnytsky and the Russian tsar and drastically limited the Ukranianian (Cossack) autonomy. This second treaty was an aftermath of the Treaty of Hadiach from 16 September 1658 between Cossacks and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which granted many privileges to Cossacks and thus threatened Russia influence over Cossacks.

Historical consequences

, with Ukrainian clergy dominating the church.

In the long run, the consequences for Ukraine were pivotal. Polish colonization and Polonization of the upper class soon became replaced by a systematic process of Russification, culminating in the Ems Ukaz, which banned the Ukrainian language. Further consequences included the disbandment of the Zaporizhian Host and reinstating the serfdom in Ukraine.

For Poland, the treaty marked a beginning of a process of dismemberment leading to its complete loss of independence (1795).For Russia, the treaty eventually led to the acquisition of Ukraine, providing a justification for the ambitious title of Russian tsars and emperors, "The Ruler of All Rus’". Russia, being at that time the only part of the former Kievan Rus which was not occupied by a foreign power, considered itself as legitimate successor and reunificator of former Rus lands.

This treaty is seen by Ukrainian nationalists as a sad occasion of the lost chance for Ukrainian independence. The "Rainbow" monument in Kiev, Ukraine being colloquially referred to as "Yoke of the Peoples" further demonstrates the controversial nature of the treaty. Pro-Russian Ukrainian parties, on the other hand, celebrate the date of this event and renew calls for the re-unification of the three Eastern Slavic nations: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

In 2004, after the celebration of the 350th anniversary of the event, the administration of president Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine established January 18 as the official date to commemorate the event, a move which created controversy. Previously, in 1954, the anniversary celebrations included the transfer of Crimea from the Russian Republic to the Ukrainian Republic of the Soviet Union.

ee also

*Cossack Hetmanate
*Pereyaslav Articles



*Hrushevs’kyi, M. Istoriia Ukraïny-Rusy, vol 9, bk 1 (Kyiv 1928; New York 1957)
*Iakovliv, A. Ukraïns’ko-moskovs’ki dohovory v XVII–XVIII vikakh (Warsaw 1934)
*Dohovir het’mana Bohdana Khmel’nyts’koho z moskovs’kym tsarem Oleksiiem Mykhailovychem (New York 1954)
*Ohloblyn, A. Treaty of Pereyaslav 1654 (Toronto and New York 1954)
*Prokopovych, V. ‘The Problem of the Juridical Nature of the Ukraine's Union with Muscovy,’ AUA, 4 (Winter–Spring 1955)
*O'Brien, C.B. Muscovy and the Ukraine: From the Pereiaslavl Agreement to the Truce of Andrusovo, 1654–1667 (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1963)
*Braichevsky, M. Annexation or Unification?: Critical Notes on One Conception, ed and trans G. Kulchycky (Munich 1974)
*Basarab, J. Pereiaslav 1654: A Historiographical Study (Edmonton 1982) []
*Pereiaslavs'ka rada 1654 roku. Istoriohrafiia ta doslidzhennia (Kyiv 2003) []


*"To the History of the Treaty of Pereyaslav", Zerkalo Nedeli (the Mirror Weekly), October 4-10, 2003, available online [ in Russian] and [ in Ukrainian] .
* [ Encyclopedia of Ukraine entry on the subject]
* [ Ukrainian World Congress' Statement Press Release - On Observance of the Pereyaslav Treaty]
* [ The Treaty of Pereyaslav]

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