Raitsa (from Polish rajca). A member of the municipal magistrat. At first each magistrat had 4 to 8 elected raitsi (aka ratmany, radnyky), but with time their number increased to 12 and even 24, and they were appointed for life by the viit, starosta, or voivode. The raitsi ran the municipal administration, civil court, economy, and police. In Austrian-ruled Western Ukraine they and the magistrat were abolished in 1780, but in Russian-ruled Ukraine they survived until the judicial reform of 1864.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]