Oleshky Sich

Oleshky Sich [Олешківська Січ; Oleshkivska Sich]. The second-last Zaporozhian Sich. It was located above the Dnieper Estuary near what later became the town of Oleshky (now Tsiurupynsk, in Kherson oblast). After Russian forces razed the Chortomlyk Sich in May 1709, the Zaporozhian Cossacks, who had sided with Hetman Ivan Mazepa against Peter I, resettled along the Kamianka River. In 1711 a Russian offensive forced them to flee, and the Crimean khan permitted them to establish a Sich on the territory belonging to the Crimean Khanate. Under the provisions of the Russian-Turkish Treaty of 1713 the rights of the Zaporozhian Cossacks and their commercial contacts with the Hetman state were restricted. Ukrainian peasants and other fugitives were prevented from fleeing to the Sich by the Nogay Tatars and the Crimean Tatars. The Cossacks themselves were not allowed to build fortifications or have artillery, were frequently raided by the Nogays, and were forced to perform arduous construction labor for the khanate and to fight its enemies in the Kuban and Circassia. The Cossacks rebelled in 1728 and began returning to Russian-ruled territory, and in 1734 Empress Anna Ivanovna allowed them to establish the New Sich there. The kish otamans of the Oleshky Sich were Kost Hordiienko and Ivan Malashevych.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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