Vyhovsky, Ivan

Vyhovsky, Ivan [Vyhovs’kyj], b ?, d 19 March 1664 in Olkhivka, near Korsun. (Portrait: Ivan Vyhovsky.) Hetman of Ukraine in 1657–9 and close confederate of Bohdan Khmelnytsky. He studied at the Kyivan Mohyla Academy, worked in the Kyiv civic court, and joined the Lutsk Brotherhood of the Elevation of the Cross. Before the Cossack-Polish War he was secretary to a Polish starosta in Lutsk, and in 1648 served in a crown force under the command of Stanisław Rewera Potocki. He was captured by the Tatars at the Battle of Zhovti Vody. His release was arranged by Khmelnytsky, who admired his learning and experience. Vyhovsky then joined forces with the hetman, together with his brothers, Danylo Vyhovsky and Kostiantyn Vyhovsky (colonel of Pynsk-Turiv regiment). He became the military chancellor and then general chancellor; he participated in diplomatic negotiations and drafted some of the more important treaties of the time. After Khmelnytsky's death he became the guardian of and second-in-command to Yurii Khmelnytsky. He was chosen hetman at the Korsun Council in 1657, and immediately entered into an agreement with Charles X Gustav of Sweden in the hope of establishing an independent Ukraine that would extend as far as the Vistula River. He was assisted in those negotiations by Yurii Nemyrych. At the same time Vyhovsky understood the relative weakness of the fledgling Ukrainian state and was willing to consider a rapprochement with the Polish Commonwealth.

Vyhovsky ran into problems when internal opposition to his command began to grow. A revolt, led by the Zaporozhian otaman Yakiv Barabash and the colonel of Poltava regiment, Martyn Pushkar, culminated in a bloody confrontation near Poltava in June 1658. Vyhovsky, who emerged victorious but weakened, decided to sever his ties with Muscovy and concluded the Treaty of Hadiach with Poland on 16 September 1658. The agreement proposed to bring Ukraine back into the Commonwealth as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Rus’. In response to the signing of the treaty Muscovy sent a large force under Prince A. Trubetskoi to stop the hetman. Vyhovsky annihilated the Muscovite troops on 8 July 1659 near Konotop, with Polish and Tatar aid. The victory was short-lived. Widespread dissatisfaction with the Hadiach agreement and the possibility of renewed Polish influence in Ukraine gave rise to a revolt headed by Tymish Tsiutsiura, Vasyl Zolotarenko, and others, who were supported by the Zaporozhian leader, Ivan Sirko. Vyhovsky was forced to flee to Hermanivka, in the Kyiv region, in September 1659, and his title of hetman was officially revoked at a council in Bila Tserkva. He was later made voivode of Kyiv and starosta of Bar by the Polish king. He joined the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood in 1662 and actively defended the interests of the Ukrainian Orthodox citizenry. He was later denounced by Pavlo Teteria as a leader of a Cossack insurrection, and was shot by the Poles near Korsun.

Vyhovsky has been considered in Ukrainian historiography a leading statesman who strove for the freedom and independence of Ukraine. Soviet historians, however, have portrayed him as a traitor of his people.

Herasymchuk, V. ‘Vyhovs’kyi i Iurii Khmel’nyts’kyi: Istorychna studiia,’ ZNTSh, 59–60 (1904)
Budzynovs’kyi, V. Hadiats’ki postuliaty i Het’man Vyhovs’kyi (Lviv 1907)
Herasymchuk, V. ‘Vyhovshchyna i Hadiats’kyi traktat,’ ZNTSh, 87–9 (1909)
Lypyns’kyi, V. Ukraïna na perelomi (Vienna 1920)
Seniutovych-Berezhnyi, V. ‘Rid i rodyna Vyhovs’kykh,’ UI, nos 25–7 (1970)

Borys Krupnytsky, Arkadii Zhukovsky

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

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