Shvachka, Mykyta

Shvachka, Mykyta [Швачка, Микита; Švačka], b ca 1728, d after 1768 in Nerchinsk, Siberia. Zaporozhian Cossack and haidamaka leader. At the outbreak of the Koliivshchyna rebellion (1768) he joined forces with Maksym Zalizniak. Together with a detachment led by Andrii Zhurba he took the town of Fastiv and established it as a rebel operations center. In the summer of 1768 he was captured by tsarist troops near Bohuslav and sentenced to hard labor in Siberia, where he died. Shvachka became a folk hero and the subject of a poem by Taras Shevchenko.

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

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