Poltava regiment

Poltava regiment (Poltavskyi polk). A military and administrative-territorial unit of the Hetman state in 1648–1775 (see Regimental system). Originally the regiment had 6 companies, 3 in Poltava and 1 each in Kobeliaky, Balakliia, and Bahachka. By October 1649 it had grown to 19 companies: 3 each in Poltava and Hadiach, 2 in Burky, and 1 each in Bahachka (see Velyka Bahachka), Balakliia, Kobeliaky, Kovalivka, Kuzemyne, Liutenka, Lukomlia, Opishnia, Rashivka, Vepryk, and Zinkiv [now Zinkiv (Poltava oblast)]. In 1654 there were 19 cities and towns in the regiment. Because of territorial changes, the creation of new regiments, and the interregimental transfer of companies the number of companies in Poltava regiment changed to 14 in 1660, 20 in 1667, and 25 in the 1670s. In the 1670s the regiment's population grew considerably because of the influx of refugees from Right-Bank Ukraine fleeing from Turkish and Crimean Tatar depredations. In the 18th century the number of companies remained stable, at 18 or 19: 2 in Poltava (3 from the 1730s), and 1 each in Bilyky, Budyshcha, Keleberda, Kobeliaky, Kyshynka, Kytaihorod, Maiachka, Nekhvoroshcha, Novi Sanzhary, Orly, Perevolochna, Reshetylivka, Sokolets, Stara Samara, Stari Sanzhary, and Tsarychanka. The regiment had a male population of 13,244 (6,497 Cossacks) in 1649, 13,839 (5,135 Cossacks) in 1721, and 76,499 (12,982 Cossacks) in 1764.

Poltava regiment was the first regiment of the Hetman state to be abolished. In 1764 most of its companies were disbanded, their Cossacks were transformed into four Russian lancer regiments, and their territory became part of New Russia gubernia. The remaining 5 companies (3 in Poltava, 1 each in Budyshcha and Reshetylivka) were abolished in 1775 and also incorporated into New Russia gubernia. Notable colonels of the regiment were Martyn Pushkar (1648–58, with interruptions), Fedir Zhuchenko (1659–61, 1670–2, 1679–80, 1686–91), P. Hertsyk (1675–7, 1683–6, 1692–5), Ivan Iskra (1696–1700), I. Levenets (1701–9, 1725–9), Vasyl Kochubei (1729–43), and A. Horlenko (1743–74).

Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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