Witch (vidma). According to folk beliefs a woman with magical powers to harm people and animals. Ukrainians attributed various evils to witches—hailstorms, droughts, lack of milk in cows, diseases, and crop failure. Witches were portrayed as beautiful young women or ugly old hags. Some were born witches; others acquired the art from other witches or devils. Flying on brooms, witches gathered after major Christian feasts on Lysa Hora (Bald Mountain) near Kyiv. Although witches were widely feared, there was no systematic or large-scale persecution of them in Ukraine. Unlike the Roman Catholic church authorities in medieval Europe, the church authorities in Ukraine never showed any interest in such actions. Private actions against witches usually led to lenient verdicts. The peasants used various spells and rituals to safeguard themselves and their livestock from witches.

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