Company

Company (sotnia). A military and administrative-territorial unit. In the Princely era a company was a military unit of the popular militia (opolchennia) that at first numbered 100 men. In the 16th century companies of Registered Cossacks appeared as subunits of Cossack regiments. In the Cossack register of 1649 the companies were named after their locality or their captain.

In the Hetman state of the 17th–18th century and in Slobidska Ukraine a company was an administrative-territorial, judicial, and military entity within a regiment (see Regimental system). Companies were named after the city or town in which their headquarters were located. Each company was divided into kurins. The number of companies in a regiment was not uniform (ranging from 7 to 20) or fixed. In the 18th century some companies, particularly regimental companies, were divided into two, three, and even four (in the Nizhyn regiment) companies, which were numbered accordingly. The military strength of a company consisted of several dozen to a few hundred men (usually 200–250, and fewer in Slobidska Ukraine). A company was commanded by a captain (see Company system), who was subordinate to the regimental authorities. Companies connected with the hetman's capital (Baturyn, Hlukhiv) or with the hetman's estates were directly subordinate to the hetman. There were also companies in volunteer regiments and Serdiuk regiments (mercenaries), but they had a strictly military function.

In recent times companies have been strictly military units. As such they existed in the Cossack armies (Kuban Cossack Host, Don Cossacks, etc) of the Russian Empire and in the Cossack formations in 1918–20, where they corresponded to squadrons and squads of the regular army. In the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic they were divided into 2–3 choty (platoons), called chety in the Ukrainian Galician Army. They were also units in the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the Division Galizien.

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




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