Vyshnevetsky, Dmytro

Image - The Vyshnevetsky (Wisniowiecki) family coat of arms.

Vyshnevetsky, Dmytro [Vyšnevec’kyj] (Wiśniowiecki), b after 1516, d 29 October 1563 in Istanbul. (Portrait: Dmytro Vyshnevetsky.) The first Cossack otaman in the history of Ukraine, a founding member of the Cossack nobility, and a landowner in southern Volhynia; nephew of Kostiantyn Ostrozky. In the 1550s he was starosta of Cherkasy and Kaniv. He built a fort (ca 1552) on Mala Khortytsia Island, in the Dnieper River. He recruited Cossacks for war against the Tatars, which he waged with the help of Lithuania and Muscovy, and he traveled to Turkey to enlist the aid of the Ottoman Empire in 1553. In 1557–61 he served the Muscovite government and then again organized wars against the Tatars, but his attempts to form an alliance to do battle in the Crimea failed in 1561. In 1563, during a military campaign in Moldavia, he was defeated, taken prisoner by the Turks, and executed. Vyshnevetsky is the hero of the folk historical song about Baida. Soviet historians disputed the fact that he founded the Zaporozhian Sich and that he is the folk hero Baida.

Storozhenko, A. ‘Kniaz' Dmitrii Ivanovich Vishnevetskii po narodnomu Baida,’ KS, 1894
Hrushevs’kyi, M. ‘Baida-Vyshnevets'kyi v poeziï i istoriï,’ ZNTK, 3 (1909)
Lutsiv, V. ‘Kniaz' Dmytro Vyshnevets'kyi-Baida,’ Vyzvol’nyi shliakh, 1958, no. 3
Vynar, L. Kniaz' Dmytro Vyshnevets'kyi (Munich 1964)

Arkadii Zhukovsky

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

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