Suceava, Battle of

Suceava, Battle of. An engagement of the armies of Tymish Khmelnytsky’s Cossacks and some detachments of the Moldavian army against the Polish-supported leader of Wallachia Matei Basarab, György II Rákóczi of Transylvania, and the Moldavian army of Gheorghe Ştefan. The latter group, fearing a Ukrainian-Moldavian alliance, attacked the area controlled by the Moldavian hospodar Vasile Lupu, captured Iaşi (the capital), and besieged Suceava. Upon Lupu’s call for assistance Bohdan Khmelnytsky sent a 12,000-man force under Tymish Khmelnytsky. In 1653 they broke through the encirclement, and for the ensuing three weeks they staged a staunch defense of the city against an attacking force of 20,000 men. Tymish Khmelnytsky was mortally wounded on 12 September 1653, and died four days later. After his death the leadership of the Cossack contingent was taken over by I. Fedorenko, who saw no reason to continue fighting for Lupu’s interests. Having secured a right of safe passage from Suceava, the Cossack force returned from Moldavia to Ukraine with Tymish Khmelnytsky’s body.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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