Ivan Nikiforovich Zolotarenko
Zolotarenko, Ivan Nikiforovich
Died Oct. 7, 1655. The leader of the Nezhin regiment from 1653 to 1655, brother-in-law of Bogdan Khmel’nitskii.
In May 1654, Khmel’nitskii appointed Zolotarenko interim ataman of a host of 20,000 men that were subordinate to the Russian command. In 1654, Zolotarenko’s host captured Gomel’, Chechersk, Novyi Bykhov, and many other cities, and its ranks were increased by Byelorussian peasants and poor people from the cities. Zolotarenko’s detachments played a great role in the failure of the Polish offensive in the winter and spring of 1655. In July 1655, Zolotarenko’s cos-sacks, acting jointly with Russian troops, captured Minsk and Wilno (Vilnius) and liberated the territory between Wilno and the Neman River. Zolotarenko died during the siege of Staryi Bykhov.