(Pereiaslav until 1943; renamed in honor of B. Khmel’nitskii), a city and administrative center of Pereiaslav-Khmel’nitskii Raion, Kiev Oblast, Ukrainian SSR. Situated on the Trubezh River, a tributary of the Dnieper, 28 km from the Pereiaslavskaia railroad station on the Kiev-Poltava line. Population, 24,600 (1974).
Pereiaslav-Khmel’nitskii is first mentioned in the treaty of 911 between Rus’ and Byzantium as Pereiaslav-Russkii. In 992, Prince Vladimir Sviatoslavich built a fortress here. As a border city of the Kievan state, Pereiaslav played an important role in the struggle against the Polovtsians. In the second half of the 11th century, it became the capital of the Pereiaslav Principality and in 1239 it was destroyed by the Mongol Tatars. From the second half of the 16th century, the Pereiaslav regiment was stationed in the city. From 1648 to 1654, Pereiaslav was one of the centers of the Ukrainian people’s national-liberation struggle under the leadership of B. Khmel’nitskii; it was the site of the Pereiaslav Rada (Council) of 1654. In the 18th and 19th centuries the city was an important handicraft and trade center. Soviet power was established in the second half of December 1917. In March 1918, Pereiaslav was occupied by Austro-German troops, detachments of the Ukrainian Directory, and the army led by Denikin. On Dec. 15, 1919, it was liberated by the Red Army. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), it was occupied by fascist German troops from Sept. 17, 1941, until it was liberated by the Soviet army on Sept. 22, 1943.
Pereiaslav-Khmel’nitskii has a cheese plant, a fruit cannery, a brickyard, and an essential-oil sovkhoz-plant. It has light-industry enterprises, including a garment factory, a factory producing art objects, and a branch of the Kiev Footwear Production Association. It also has a pedagogical school.
Excavations begun in 1945 have uncovered the remains of 11th- and 12th-century buildings, including an episcopal palace, the Church of St. Michael (constructed in 1089, destroyed by an earthquake in 1230), small churches decorated with frescoes and mosaics, and semisubterranean dwellings with ovens. Archaeologists have studied a late tenth-century earthen wall inlaid with bricks of sun-dried clay that surrounded a citadel and an adjacent merchants’ and artisans’ quarter. They have found fragments of earthenware; various objects of stone, bone, iron, and bronze, including a candlestick and chandelier with prickets; fragments of ceramic water pipes; and other items from the 11th and 12th centuries and later. In a small, early 11th-century building that was both burial vault and church, crypts and slate sarcophagi have been discovered.
Several monasteries have been preserved, including the Mi-khailovskii Monastery (cathedral, 1646–66) and the Voznesen-skii Monastery (cathedral, 1695–1700; school, 18th century). In the 1950’s the city’s center was reconstructed according to plans drawn up in 1953–54 by O. M. Grishchenko, I. L. Dabagian, and other architects. In 1974 approval was given to a general plan for the reconstruction and further development of the historical city, and boundaries were defined for those areas designated as historical-architectural preserves (architects included V. G. Maevskaia and I. S. Sinitskii). There is a monument honoring the 300th anniversary of the Ukraine’s unification with Russia in the city (bronze and granite, 1954; sculptors included V. P. Vinaikin; architect V. G. Gnezdilov).
The city has a historical museum, the G. S. Skovoroda Memorial Museum, and the Museum of Folk Architecture and Culture.