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Entrance of Bohdan Khmelnytsky to KyivMykola Ivasyuk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I had to revise my post on the word Ruthenia. I am sure all of you realised that the exonym Ruthenia is derogatory. However, I forgot to include a quotation that clarifies that exonyms could be insensitive.

Bodhan Khmelnytsky

Bohdan Khmelnytsky is a name associated with the beginning of the Cossack Hetmenate (1648-1764) and the Khmelnytsky Uprising, an uprising in 1648-1657 during which atrocities were committed. However, the 1648 uprising gave Ukraine autonomy. Hetman Ivan Mazepa and Charles XII of Sweden lost the Battle of Poltava, which was fought against Peter the Great in 1709.

Execution of Polish captives after the battle of Batih 1652. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The insurgency was accompanied by mass atrocities committed by Cossacks against the civilian population, especially against the Roman Catholic clergy and the Jews.

(See Khmelnytsky Uprising, Wikipedia)

After the Battle of Batih (Batoh), on 3–4 June 1652, between 3,000 and 5,000 elite Polish soldiers and officers, including 3,500 members of the szlachta, were tied up and massacred in two days of methodical beheadings and disembowelments.

(See Batoh Massacre, Wikipedia)


The Szlachta (Polish, an exonym) were the noble estate of the realm in the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth who, as a class, had the dominating position in the state, exercising extensive political rights and power.

(See Szlachta, Wikipedia)

During the Cossack Hetmenate, Ukrainians exercised greater control over their country. Therefore, Bohdan Khmelnytsky is a hero to Ukrainians, but he could be ruthless. All of us are paying a price for the current war in Ukraine. Wars kill and they are costly. I read today that Russia opposed gifts of powerful weapons to Ukraine on the part of the United States. Does anyone expect Ukrainians not to defend their country?

Hondius Bohdan Khmelnytsky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

© Micheline Walker
16 April 2022