Anatolia Yuzefovich CHABAN, Olga Viktorivna KHARSUN


Introduction. Presently, scientific community undergoing an important process of comprehension of all aspects of medieval times historical processes. Such phenomenon as the emergence of Cossack state as a result of the national liberation revolution of the middle of the XVII century, as well as state’s establishment and activities continues to remain at the center of research by Ukrainian media researchers. An important area of research is the understanding of the subjectivity of the Cossack state in the system of contemporary international relations and the formation of its foreign policy system in the international arena. To date, there is insufficient number of scientific studies in which the diplomatic activity of the Ukrainian state at the time of B. Khmelnitsky is presented in the context of the European international political situation of the second half of the XVII century.

Purpose. On the basis of the researched sources, in particular the documents of the times of B. Khmelnitsky, and the studies of the National Revolution of 16481676 by the historians of the 19th 21st centuries, to show the peculiarity of the formation of the international relations of the Ukrainian Cossack state, its modern character, the complexity and degree of solving problems.

Results. The countries of the old Europe and even Asia (the Ottoman Empire) had mixed reaction to the emergence of a new state on the map of Europe, namely the Ukrainian Hetman state. There are several reasons for this: a) some countries were not interested in the establishment and strengthening of a new state in eastern Europe, since Orthodoxy was professed on these lands, and at that time there was a severe struggle between representatives of various Christian movements; b) in some countries in the middle of the XVII century there was difficult internal political situation and therefore more attention was drawn to the internal state of affairs; c) a number of countries had rather close diplomatic relationship with Rzeczpospolita, and they did not want to either openly interfere in the war between the Cossacks and Poles or openly support Poland as their ally.

However, despite the complicated international situation, B. Khmelnitsky, has been actively developing diplomatic contacts with various European countries and the Ottoman Empire. The main goal of all hetman’s diplomatic activities at the initial stage of the state's existence was an attempt to get military aid in confrontation with the Rzeczpospolita. That is why the hetman first established relations with the southern neighbors, the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire. At the same time, he received military aid, as the Tatar cavalry strengthened Khmelnitsky's army. The establishment of diplomatic relations with its southern and eastern neighbors (the Crimean Khanate, the Ottoman Empire, and Moscow) should have ensured the security of the borders and allowed hetman to focus on the war with the Rzeczpospolita.

In order to conduct a successful foreign policy, diplomatic services were created in the Ukrainian Hetman state, the functions of which were performed by the General Military Office. It defined the composition of the Ukrainian diplomatic embassies, hosted foreign embassies and prepared diplomatic documents. Also, at the time of Khmelnitsky, a number of Cossack leaders were distinguished for their remarkable diplomatic talents and many benefits that they brought to the Ukrainian state during diplomatic negotiations with the ambassadors of other countries.

The period from 1649 to 1657 was marked by the active efforts of the young state to establish its own place in the international arena. From the beginning, the Cossack leadership turned out to be in an extremely disadvantaged geopolitical situation, the country was «between the four fires» of powerful and active opponents of the new state: the Rzeczpospolita, the Crimean Khanate, the Ottoman Empire, and Moscow. Under such circumstances, the main foreign policy strategy was chosen as multi-vector. To achieve the goal – to successfully complete the war with the Rzeczpospolita and unite all Ukrainian lands, the diplomatic government of B. Khmelnytsky actively used contradictions between the Polish state, Moscow and the Ottoman Empire. But events were developing tragically for Ukraine: in 1653, during the Moldavian campaign, hetman’s son Tymish perished, Wallachia and Transylvania switch to the Polish side; and in the Battle of Zhvanec, the Tatars again betrayed and concluded a separate peace with the Poles. The complication of the geopolitical situation in the region, the military failures, the formal support of the Ottoman Porta pushed hetman to abandon the pro-Turkish orientation and allied relations with the Crimea and defined the pro-Russian vector of the foreign policy of the Zaporozhian Army.

Conclusion. The events of the national liberation revolution in Ukraine in the middle of the XVII century caused profound resonance in the European community. The revolutionary events in Ukraine became an important factor in the formation of the Wesfal system of international relations, which was formed after the end of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1630 years). Despite the significant opposition of the neighboring states to the creation of the Cossack state, thanks to active and well-considered international activity, the Hetman state managed to break through the external isolation and gain international recognition. A highly qualified diplomatic service was formed and a strategy of international relations was built. However, the high level of diplomacy was not able to compensate for the generally unfavorable geopolitical position of Ukrainian lands, which eventually were annexed by neighboring states.


Ukrainian Cossack state;foreign policy activity; European relations of the first half of XVII century; search of allies


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