Acting hetman

Image - Hetman Petro Doroshenko Image - A Portrait of Yurii Khmelnytsky. Image - Portrait of Ivan Samoilovych

Acting hetman (nakaznyi hetman). Governing authority who in 17th–18th-century Ukraine temporarily substituted for the hetman. The acting hetman was appointed by the hetman or elected by the council of officers, consisting of the senior general officer staff, or of colonels. The acting hetman performed the duties of the hetman in the following circumstances, which gave rise to distinct forms of the office of acting hetman: (1) during military campaigns in which the hetman did not participate (the oldest and most-frequent form of the office, which was particularly common in the 17th century), (2) during a prolonged absence of the hetman from his residence (because of war or foreign travels, particularly visits to Moscow) or his incapacitation (eg, Vasyl Mnohohrishny became acting hetman when his brother, Hetman Demian Mnohohrishny, fell ill in 1671), and (3) when the hetman's office became vacant because of his death, resignation, or ouster (eg, V. Borkovsky became acting hetman in 1687 when Hetman Ivan Samoilovych was ousted).

The third form of the office of acting hetman was particularly important because the acting hetman retained the powers of the hetman for an extended period. The following acting hetmans held this form of the office: Yakym Somko, who was appointed by Yurii Khmelnytsky in 1660 and retained the office until 1663; Demian Mnohohrishny, who was the acting hetman of Petro Doroshenko in the northern region in 1668–9; and particularly Pavlo Polubotok (1722–4), who was appointed by the dying Ivan Skoropadsky and confirmed by Peter I.

Oleksander Ohloblyn

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]


Image - A portrait of Pavlo Polubotok Image - Portrait of Hetman Ivan Skoropadsky by an unknown painter (early 19th century).


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