Serdiuk regiments

Serdiuk regiments (serdiutski polky). Units of mercenary infantry (see Mercenary regiments) organized by the Hetman state in the late 17th and early 18th century for military and police duty. They were paid and outfitted by the Hetman state. The first regiments were organized by Petro Doroshenko in Right-Bank Ukraine, and they soon spread to Left-Bank Ukraine as well. Their volunteer soldiers (see Volunteer regiments) were mainly Ukrainian peasants, Moldavians, and defecting registered Cossacks. There were three or four Serdiuk regiments, each consisting of approx 400 to 500 soldiers. They were used in frontier military campaigns, as guards for the hetman's residence, and as guards at weapons depots. They were responsible directly and only to the hetman. Serdiuk regiments were abolished by a tsarist ukase issued on 14 July 1726.

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




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