Bohdan Khmelnytsky lived peacefully in the village of Subotiv. But once when Bohdan was not at home, his possessions were burned by Polish noblemen. The “Riot of Khmelnitsky” began a national liberation war of Ukrainian Cossacks against the Polish king. Khmelnitsky was the main enemy of Yarema Vyshnevetsky – a Polish nobleman. Yarema led the Polish army.
The biggest battle – near Zhovti Vody (Yellow Waters) – was in 1648. Khmelnitsky practiced new tactics – creating the illusion that he had a big Tatar army as his ally. He started an information war in the 17th century.
Bohdan studied at the Jesuit College in Lviv when he was young. Khmelnitsky’s career started with the Battle of Cecora in 1620. There his father died, and the young 25-year-old
Khmelnitsky was placed in prison in Istanbul. After two years, he was released. Historians believe that Khmelnitsky liked alcohol and coffee, and cried after songs about tragic love between a cossack and girl.
Khmelnytsky had three wives. The first wife was killed by a Pole named Chaplynsky. The second wife committed adultery and Tymish, a son of Khmelnitsky from his first marriage, killed her.
Khmelnitsky originally said that his war was not against Poland, but the against Polish gentry. Khmelnitsky said that Vladislav IV, King of Poland, was his patron and friend. But later, the war turned against Poland. When the uprising was attended by 100,000 First Ukrainian Cossacks, Bohdan started talk about the Restoration of the old Rus principality. Khmelnytsky was actively supported by the Jerusalem patriarch, Pais.
During the time of Khmelnytsky, Ukraine was formed as a state, Ukrainians as nation. But after Khmelnytsky, nobody could be a Hetman (Cossack leader) such as he was. This period in history Historians call “ruin”.