Zhdanovych, Antin

Zhdanovych, Antin [Жданович, Антін; Ždanovyč], b in the early 17th century in the Kyiv region, d after 1660. Cossack officer and diplomat. He was a captain of the registered Cossacks in Chyhyryn regiment (to 1648) and then served under Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky as colonel of Kyiv regiment (1649–53 and 1656–7), Cossack envoy to Turkey (1650 and 1651), Poland (1653), and Muscovy (1654), and general judge (1656). During a critical phase of the Cossack-Polish War in 1651 (the Battle of Berestechko) Zhdanovych was put in charge of defending Kyiv from the advancing Lithuanian army of Janusz Radziwiłł. He gave up the city without a fight after consulting with Metropolitan Sylvestr Kosiv about how best to minimize destruction. In 1657 he was appointed acting hetman over an expeditionary force of 20,000 Cossacks sent by Khmelnytsky to support his allies Charles X Gustav of Sweden and György I Rákóczi of Transylvania. The combined army occupied Łańcut, Cracow, Brest, and Warsaw. By the summer of that year the situation had changed, and a mutiny fomented by Muscovite informers erupted among the Cossacks and brought about the voluntary return of many of them to Ukraine. Zhdanovych also switched his loyalties to Ivan Vyhovsky and Yurii Khmelnytsky until 1659, when Muscovite pressure on the Cossack leadership forced his abdication.

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




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