Ivan Samoylovych

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Ivan Samoylovych (, ) was the Hetman of Left-bank Ukraine from 1672 to 1687. His term in office was marked by further incorporation of the Cossack Hetmanate into the nascent Russian Empire and by attempts to win the Right-bank Ukraine from Poland-Lithuania.

Rise to power

Samoylovych's father was a priest in a village near Zhytomyr. Ivan first rose to prominence during Ivan Briukhovetsky's revolt against Tsardom of Russia. After Briukhovetsky's execution he supported Demian Mnohohrishny as a new hetman and swore allegiance to the Russian Tsar. Securing Mnohohrishny's deposition, he was elected the Hetman of the Left-Bank Ukraine in Konotop on June 17, 1672.

Samoylovych's principal ambition was to control the Right-bank Ukraine, where two rival hetmans, Petro Doroshenko and Mykhailo Khanenko, were active. In 1674 he joined his Cossacks with the Russian forces under Prince Grigory Romodanovsky against Doroshenko. After the latter's deposition, Samoylovych let him live in peace on the left bank of the Dnieper.


In 1677 the Turkish sultan proclaimed Yuri Khmelnytsky a successor to Doroshenko, and invaded the right bank, and laid siege to its capital Chyhyryn. Although Samoylovych and Romodanovsky were generally successful in their operations against the Turks, the Russian army unexpectedly withdrew to the left bank on behest of the Tsar Alexis. By that time, the Russian government decided to de-populate the right bank altogether and to resettle its Cossacks in the areas...
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