Volunteer regiments

Volunteer regiments (okhotnytski polky). Military formations in Left-Bank Ukraine from the 1670s to 1770s, formed of volunteers who were paid, armed, and provisioned by the Hetman state government. They were divided into infantry (see Serdiuk regiments) and cavalry (see Mercenary regiments). The volunteer regiments were not named after their territory, as the town regiments were, but after their commanders, as in Novytsky’s (see Illia Novytsky or Hryhorii Novytsky), Maksymiv’s, Yavorsky’s, and Kozhukhovsky’s regiments. They were not attached to a particular territory, and frequently changed the location of their headquarters. In general the number of Cossacks in volunteer regiments was lower than in town regiments. At the beginning of the 18th century the Hetman state had seven volunteer regiments.

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

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