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Yurii Khmelnytsky ( ) (1641–1685), son of the famous Hetman Bohdan 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.

Biography

Hetman of Ukraine

Yurii Khmelnytsky was born in Subotivmarker near Chyhyrynmarker in central Ukraine. In 1659 the Cossack Rada elected 17-year-old Yurii as their hetman in Bila Tserkvamarker instead of deposed Ivan Vyhovsky. The young hetman was faced with the uneasy alliance with Tsardom of Russiamarker Russia and the ongoing wars against Poland-Lithuania and the Crimean Khanate.

During the latter conflict, Yurii Khmelnytsky's Cossacks were defeated Near the town of Korsunmarker, he was captured by the Poles and later pledged loyalty to king Jan II Kazimierz. This provoked a civil war within Ukraine in 1661, when the new otaman Yakym Somko led the pro-Russian Cossacks against Yurii and his new Polish allies. At the battle near the town of Pereiaslavmarker in the summer of 1662 Yurii Khmelnytsky was defeated by Somko's Cossacks and the Russians under Grigory Romodanovsky.

After the defeat, Khmelnytsky entered an alliance with the Crimean Khanate but this resulted in little beyond massive looting and raiding of Ukrainian towns by the Tatars. Thereupon Yurii gave up his hetman title and became a monk at one of Korsun monasteries in the autumn of 1662. Between 1664 and 1667 he was imprisoned in Lvivmarker by hetman Pavlo Teteria.

Hetman of Right-bank Ukraine

After his release, in 1672 he participated in a campaign against the Tatars and was captured near Umanmarker and brought to Constantinoplemarker, 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 .

In 1678 the Turkish army captured Chyhyryn and declared Yurii Khmelnytsky as a new hetman of Ukraine, although in reality he was only a puppet for the Ottoman Sultan. Together with his Muslim army Yurii captured and burned down Kanivmarker and other Ukrainian towns. He then established his capital at Nemyrivmarker, reigning 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 Yurii and executed him in Kamianets-Podilskyimarker.

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

See also



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