Belaia Tserkov Treaty of 1651

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Belaia Tserkov’ Treaty of 1651


concluded between the Ukrainian hetman Bodgan Khmel’nitskii and commissioners of the Polish government (hetman M. Potocki and others) at Belaia Tserkov’ on September 18 (28) during the war of the Ukrainian people against feudal Poland.

According to the treaty, only the Kiev voevodstvo (territory under a military governor) was recognized as cossack territory. The Ukrainian hetman had to obey the Polish royal hetman and did not have the right to maintain foreign relations. He was likewise obliged to break off the alliance with the Crimean khan. The right to return to their estates was given to the shliakhta (Polish gentry) of the Kiev, Bratslav, and Chernigov voevodstvos. All of the serfs who had become cossacks had to return and be brought under the rule of the gentry. The register of the cossacks was reduced by half—to 20,000 men. Poland was actually unable to take advantage of the provisions of the treaty, since the victorious continuation of the war of liberation caused it to abrogate the pact (1652). The text of the treaty was published in the book Literary Monuments, Published by the Kiev Commission for the Study of Ancient Acts, 2nd ed., vol. 2, Kiev, 1898, pp. 598–602.


Golobutskii, V. Diplomaticheskaia istoriia osvoboditel’noi voiny ukrainskogo naroda 1648–1654 gg. Kiev, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.