Ceremony of Remembrance of Ukrainian Cossacks Held in Monastery on Cossack Graves

7 June 2010, 15:18 | National religious question | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Berestechko_liturgiya.jpgRIVNE – On June 6, 2010, Ukrainian Cossacks and peasants who perished in the Berestechko Battle in 1651 were ceremonially remembered. The celebration of the 359th anniversary of Berestechko Battle was conducted in the village of Pliashiv of Radyvyliv District, on the territory of the national historic memorial reserve Berestechko Battlefield. According to thre website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP), the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate, Patriarch Filaret, participated in the celebration. It began with a liturgy and memorial service near St. George's Monastery on the Cossack Graves. After a religious procession and laying of flowers at the monument to Ukrainian Cossacks on the reserve's territory, a people's assembly was held.

berestechko.jpgDuring the day, honorary guards guarded the monument to the Ukrainian Cossacks. A military brass band played at the event, and the celebration ended with military fireworks.

Historical information: Berestechko, Battle of. A great battle of the Cossack-Polish War near the town of Berestechko in Volhynia on June 28-30, 1651. Both sides had gathered huge forces: the Polish army, led by King Jan II Casimir Vasa, numbered 150,000, while the Ukrainian troops numbered almost 100,000 and their allies the Crimean Tatars, under Khan Islam-Girei III, consisted of almost 50,000 cavalry (all figures are estimates). On the day of the decisive battle, June 30, the Crimean Tatars unexpectedly abandoned the battlefield and seized Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. He was released a few days later for a large ransom. The leaderless Ukrainian army was encircled by the Poles. Colonels Filon Dzhalalii, Matvii Hladky, and Ivan Bohun directed the defence of the Cossack encampment for 10 days. Finally, on July 8, Bohun successfully led the major part of the army through the swamps and out of the encirclement, but most of the artillery and supplies were lost. As a result of this defeat, Khmelnytsky was forced to sign the Treaty of Bila Tserkva. The Kozatski Mohyly (Cossack Graves) Preserve dedicated to those who died in the battle was built in 1910-14 on Zhuravlykha Island approx 5 km from Berestechko. In 1967 a museum was opened at the preserve. An account of the battle as well as the historical and archeological sources and research about it, by I. Svieshnikov, appeared in Lviv in 1993.

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