Military Wiki
Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny
Петро Конашевич-Сагайдачний
Hetman of Registered Cossacks

In office
Preceded by Vasyl Strilkovsky[1]
Succeeded by Olifer Holub[1]
Personal details
Born near 1582[2]
Kulchytsi, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Died March 20, 1622(1622-03-20)
Kyiv, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Religion Eastern Orthodox

Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachnyi, (Ukrainian language: Петро Конашевич-Сагайдачний

Polish language
Piotr Konaszewicz-Sahajdaczny
Пётр Конаше́вич-Сагайда́чный) (born near 1582[2] in Kulchytsy – March 20, 1622 in Kyiv) - Ukrainian political and civic leader, Hetman of Ukrainian Zaporozhian Cossacks from 1616–1622,[2] a brilliant military leader both on land and sea. While being a Cossack Hetman, he transformed the Cossack Host from the erratic military formation into regular army. Under his leadership the cossacks, the Orthodox clergy and peasants had been begun to emerge as the united nation. His troops played a significant role in the battle of Khotyn against the Turks in 1621 and prince Władysław's attempt to gain the Moscovy throne in 1618.[3]

Early life

The Coat of arms of Pobuh family, to which Petro Sahaidachny belonged.

Petro Konashevych was born in the village of Kulchytsy (Przemyśl land) three miles away from Sambir in the Ruthenian Voivodeship into a Ukrainian Eastern Orthodox noble family. His fathers surname was Kononovych.[4] He graduated the school at the Ostroh Academy in Volhynia. His school mate was Meletiy Smotrytskyi, author of the Hramatyka book, by which many generations of Ukrainians, Russians, and Belarusians learned the Slavic language grammatics. From an early age he learnt the weapon and horsemanship skills. He joined to the cossacks of Zaporozhian Host and took a part in cossaks military expeditions to Moldavia in 1600 and Livonia in 1601. His talent in a military strategy, courage and ability to show leadership under great adversity and hardship were acquired by cossacks leader (otaman) Samiylo Kishka. Later, Sahaidachny moved to Lviv, and after to Kiev, where he became the assistant and the tutor in of the Kievan judge I. Aksak family.

Sahaidachnyi. Artist V.Gorbenko, 2009.

Major campaigns

Early Turkish campaign

By the end of the 16th century, Sahaidachny traveled to Zaporizhia, where in 1605, he was elected as the Kosh Otaman of the Zaporozhian Host cossacks. Under his control, the Host participated in campaigns against the Crimean Tatars and the Turks. The Сossacks fleet captured the Turkish fortress Varna, burned and destroyed a strong Turkish navy(10000 boats). He is famous for his sea sorties on Crimea and Turkey and in 1616 captured Caffa (Theodosia) on the Crimean peninsula, the largest center of the slave trade. He released from slavery many Christian men, women and children.

Defending the Polish banner at Khotyn, painting of the Battle at Khotyn in 1621 by Juliusz Kossak, 1892.

Cossacks captured Caffa (Theodosia) in 1616. Artist by V.Gorbenko, 2009.

Muscovite campaign

In 1618, Sahaidachny joined the Anti-Turkish Holy League.[4] While he was battling the Turks, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth requested his assistance for war with Moscovy; they wanted him to provide Władysław IV Vasa, the King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, with 20,000 Cossacks near Moscow. Sahaidachny did, and seized the forts in the cities of Putivl, Kursk, Livny, Yelets and many others. Near Serpukhov Sahaidachny forced the Muscovite army to flee. The Muscovite troops under command of the voivode G. Volkonsky forced Cossacks to take a detour, but were unable to stop the advance of the Cossacks regiments to Moscow. In September 1618 he forced to flee the army of another Muscovite nobleman Vasilii Buturlin. Later, united army of Jan Karol Chodkiewicz and Sahaidachny sieged Moscow and 11 October unsuccessful attempted to take the Arbat Gates.

In late October, the army of Sahaidachny moved in raid towards the south from Moscow. During this raid was captured the Serpukhov city and in early December the Kaluga city. John III Sobieski wrote that this successful raid caused panic among the Muscovites and forced them to conclude negotiations as soon as possible. The whole campaign finally culminated in December 1618 by signing the Truce of Deulino, resulting in the greatest territorial expansion of the Commonwealth.

The cossack's invasion of Muscovy "is not the best page of Sahaidachny biography".[5] Sahaidachy and his cossacks have been positioning themself as a supporters of the Orthodox Christianity and a potential ally of the Muscovy and [6] However, they left the "bloody trace" which was extended from Livny to Moscow and back to Kaluga and Kiev.[7] In research of Russian, Ukrainian and American historians Cossacks have been blamed for destroying and robbing of Orthodox churches, cities, villages, killing kids and women, which were belonged to Orthodox (Greek) Christianity.,[8] [9][10] Later, Sahaidachny asked Patriarch Teophanes III of Jerusalem to forgive him for such behavior [6]

Sahaidachny returned to Zaporizhia, and did not only become a Kosh Otaman, but was also the Hetman of Ukraine. (According to [6] in 1621 Sahaigachny was a colonel of the Commonwealth Registered Cossacks regiment). In order to avoid conflict with the Poles, Sahaidachny agreed to limit the Cossack register to 3,000 men, the remainder were regarded as peasants ("kholopy"). He also banned unauthorized Cossack's sea raids to Turkey and agreed with a King right on the approval of Sagaidachy appointed Cossack officers ("starshina").[11]

Restoration of the Ukrainian Orthodox hierarchy

Not only did Sahaidachny fight for control, he also fought for the religious and cultural rights of the Ukrainian people. In 1620, he registered himself and his entire Zaporozhian Host as students into the Kiev Epiphany Brotherhood School, that preceded the current Kyiv Mohyla Academy. It was done in order to protect the school from conversion from an Orthodox school into a Roman Catholic Jesuit Collegium. He also contributed to the establishment of a cultural center in Kiev and sought to unite the Cossack military with the Ukrainian clergy and nobility[citation needed].


In early 1620 Sahaidachny sent an embassy to the Moscow Tsar. At this time there was the Patriarch Teophanes III and this embassy held talks with him about the possibility of his arrival in the Ukraine.

In 1620, Sahaidachny convinced the Patriarch Teophanes III of Jerusalem, who recently returned from Moscow, to reconstruct the Orthodox hierarchy, that was almost destroyed by the creation of the Greek-Catholic Church.

Patriarch Teophanes III of Jerusalem blamed Cossacks for the participation in the Muscovy campaign saying that the damnation have been put on them for this, because Muscovites are the Orthodox Christians and in a future they never would fight again against them.,[12][13]

The patriarch appointed Iov Boretsky as a Kievan Metropolitan bishop and five other bishops at the same time.[4] Because the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had threatened to arrest Teophanes III as a spy, Sahaidachny was guaranteed his protection by the patriarch. After the new metropoliten and bishops were installed, Sahaidachny escorted the patriarch to the Ottoman border with a 3,000 men Cossack army.[11]

Later life and death

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth accepted the appointment, because it wanted to keep close contacts with Sahaidachny after the Turks defeated the Polish army at the Battle of Ţuţora.

Because of Sahaidachny's moderate policies towards Commowealth, he provoked dissatisfaction among the Cossacks, and in 1620, they briefly elected Yatsko Borodavka as hetman.[4] In 1621, the famous Battle of Khotyn had occurred, where close to 80000 Cossacks and Polish troops fought against 160000 Turkish army. The battle held at bay for a whole month, until the first snow compelled Osman to withdraw his weakened forces.[14] Sahaidachny and his army played a significant role in the battle, forcing the Turks to sign an unfavorable peace treaty.

During the battle, Sahaidachny was seriously wounded. After the battle, the Polish king for the service rewarded Sahaidachny by the sword.

On March 20, 1622, Sahaidachny died in Kiev due to the wounds he suffered at the Battle of Khotyn. He was later buried in the Bratsky Monastery of Kiev.[15] He left his assets to the brotherhood schools in Kiev and Lviv for church causes.[4] His legacy was so great, that most of the population of Kiev attended his funeral en masse.[11] Sahaidachny's work, "About Unia", was highly regarded by the Lithuanian Kanclerz Lew Sapieha.[16] In 1646, John III Sobieski, a monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, had said the following about Sahaidachny:

He was a man of great spirit who sought danger, did not care about his own life, was swift and energetic in battle, cautious, slept little and was sober... was careful at discussions, and non-talkative in conversations.[17]

John III Sobieski, 1646

Polish historian Jan Widacki wrote that Konashevych-Sahaidachny was among Zaphorozian hetmans the one most loyal to Poland.[18]

A Ukrainian hryvnia silver coin commemorating Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny.


See also

  • List of Ukrainian rulers


  1. 1.0 1.1 Сас П. М.,Кіркене Г. Хотинська битва 1621 – битва за Центральну Європу
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2
  3. Nataliia Polonska-Vasylenko (1992). History of Ukraine. 1. "Libid" press Kyiv. p. 440.  Adrian Kashchenko (1917). A Short History of the Zaporozhian Host (4th edition ed.). Ukrainian press in Katerinoslav, Leipsig, Germany. pp. 91–92. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Wynar, L.; Zhukovsky, A. "Konashevych-Sahaidachny, Petro". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. 
  5. Valery Smolyi, Peter Sahadachny: knight, polititan, man. Vitchizna, 13, #1, 189-194 (1990)(Валерій Смолий, Петро Сагайдачний: воїн, політік, людина. Вїтчизна, 13, №1, 189-194 (1990)) ,[1]
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Valery Smolyi, Peter Sahadachny: knight, polititan, man. Vitchizna, 13, #1, 189-194 (1990)( Валерій Смолий, Петро Сагайдачний: воїн, політік, людина. Вїтчизна, 13, №1, 189-194 (1990)) ,[2]
  7. Bel'sk monastery script, Full Collection of the Russian Chronicles, v.34, page 266 (ПСРЛ (Полное собрание русских летописей) т. 34, Бельская летопись, стр 266)[3]
  8. Dmitry Yavornitsky, History of Zaporozhian Cossacs, v.2, chapters 9-10, (Дмитрий Иванович Яворницкий ИСТОРИЯ ЗАПОРОЖСКИХ КАЗАКОВ История запорожских казаков. Киев.: Наук. думка, 1990. - Т. 2. - 660 с. Академия наук Украинской ССР Археографическая комиссия, Институт истории , Главы 9-10,[4])
  9. G.V. Vernadsky, "Moscow state", III. Restoration, 1619-1654, 3. Russia, Poland and Cossacks(1619-1654) (Г.В. Вернадский "Московское царство", III. Восстановление, 1619-1654 гг, 3. Россия, Польша и казаки (1619-1642 гг.))[5]
  10. Soloviev, Sergei Mikhailovich, "History of Russia from the ancient times", v.IX, chapter 2 (Соловьёв, Сергей Михайлович История России с древнейших времён, Том IX, Глава 2. Продолжение царствования Михаила Феодоровича) [6]
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Subtelny, Orest (2000). Ukraine: A History. University of Toronto Press. p. 116. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0. 
  13. Valery Smolyi, Peter Sahadachny: knight, polititan, man. Vitchizna, 13, #1, 189-194 (1990)( Валерій Смолий, Петро Сагайдачний: воїн, політік, людина. Вїтчизна, 13, №1, 189-194 (1990)) ,[7]
  14. Valery Smolyi, Peter Sahadachny: knight, polititan, man. Vitchizna, 13, #1, 189-194 (1990)( Валерій Смолий, Петро Сагайдачний: воїн, політік, людина. Вїтчизна, 13, №1, 189-194 (1990)),[8]
  15. Maksimovich, M.A.. Issledovanie o getmane Petre Konasheviche S. 
  16. Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary. 1906. 
  17. John III Sobieski (1646). Sahaidachny, Petro Konashevych. 
  18. Jan Widacki (1984). [htp:// Kniaź Jarema]. Wydawnictwo "Śląsk". p. 25. ISBN 978-83-216-0440-4. htp:// Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  19. "History of Academy". Army Academy named after hetman Petro Sahaydachyi. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
Further reading:
  • Antonovych, V. (1991). Hetmany Ukrayiny, istorichni portrety. Zbirnyk. 
  • Haidai, L. (2000). Petro Sahaidachny. Vezha. 
  • Sas, P. Petro (1992). Kyivska starovyna. 
  • Yavornytsky, Dmytro (1990). Hetman Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny. Dnipro. 

External links

  • Commons-logo.svg Wikimedia Commons — Media on Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachnyi
  • Dariusz Matelski, Grabież dóbr kultury w wojnach Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodów (1569-1795) [Plunder of Cultural Property during wars the Commonwealth of the Two Nations 1569-1795)], Poznań 2005.

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