Pereiaslav Articles of 1659

Pereiaslav Articles of 1659 (Pereiaslavski statti). An agreement between the Hetman state and Muscovy concluded in Pereiaslav in October 1659 by Hetman Yurii Khmelnytsky and the Muscovite representative, A. Trubetskoi. After Khmelnytsky's election as hetman his government drafted a modified version of the Pereiaslav Treaty of 1654 that was more advantageous to Ukraine (the Zherdev Articles). Taking advantage of the hetman's difficult position (Pereiaslav was surrounded by a 40,000-man Muscovite army), the Muscovite government rejected the new version and imposed a falsified version of the 1654 treaty and 14 ‘New Articles’ that considerably restricted Ukraine's sovereignty.

The articles forbade Ukraine to conduct an independent foreign policy, to enter into international accords (particularly military alliances), and to declare war on neighboring states without the prior consent of the Muscovite government. Muscovite military governors and garrisons thenceforth had the right to be not only in Kyiv (where they had been since the Pereiaslav Treaty of 1654), but also in Bratslav, Chernihiv, Nizhyn, Pereiaslav, and Uman. Cossack forces were to be withdrawn from Belarus, and the Zaporozhian Host was deprived of the right to depose and elect hetmans. The hetman himself was forbidden to appoint or remove members of the General Officer Staff and regimental colonels, and that authority was given exclusively to the CossacksGeneral Military Council. Cossack leaders thenceforth who attempted to break Ukraine away from Muscovy were to be executed, and the Ukrainian Orthodox church was subordinated to the Moscow patriarch.

The text of the articles was printed by the Kyivan Cave Monastery Press by order of Trubetskoi and sent to all of the regiments in the Hetman state. The articles provoked popular indignation in Ukraine and influenced Khmelnytsky's decision to turn to Poland in 1660. The text was published in Istochniki malorossiiskoi istorii (Sources for Little Russian History, pt 1, 1858).

Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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