Sotskyi. A term denoting a certain type of low-ranking official. It has feudal origins, and its meaning varies. In Kyivan Rus’ a sotskyi was a levy en masse captain, although the word was used to refer to certain representatives of princes in accounts of the looting of sotskyi homes in 1113. During the Lithuanian-Polish period in Galicia and Podlachia, suburban craftsmen and farmers were said to be part of sotni or under the jurisdiction of a sotskyi. The term disappeared in Lithuania in the 14th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries, in Left-Bank Ukraine, in Right-Bank Ukraine, and in Western Ukrainian territories, a sotskyi was a young messenger or minor official, particularly in municipal governments. Such officials were sometimes known as sotnychky or osavul’chyky. In the Russian Empire a sotskyi was a police officer of low rank in a village, chosen by the village assembly. Each one oversaw 100 to 200 households. In 1837 such officers were made a part of local police forces.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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