Ivan Bohun

Ivan Bohun

Ivan Bohun (imaginary likeness)
Born Bracław, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Died February 17, 1664
Novhorod-Siverskyi, Cossack Hetmanate
Allegiance Cossack Hetmanate
Years of service 1648-1664
Rank Colonel
Battles/wars Khmelnytsky Uprising
Battle of Berestechko
Russo-Polish War (1654-1667)

Ivan Bohun (Ukrainian: Іван Богун, Polish: Iwan Bohun) (died 1664) was a Ukrainian Cossack colonel. Close associate and friend of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, he opposed both the pacts with Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Treaty of Hadziacz of 1658) and with Tsardom of Russia (Treaty of Pereyaslav of 1654).


Bohun was born in Ukrainian-Ruthenian nobility family. He took part in the Khmelnytsky Uprising against Polish rule in Ukraine. In June 1651 he was elected colonel of troops of Bracław and took part in the Battle of Berestechko against Polish troops led by King John II Casimir, which the Cossacks lost. Surviving the defeat he regathered his forces and in June 1652 took part in the battle of Batih. In this instance the Cossacks were successful; the Polish commander Marcin Kalinowski was killed and the future hetman Stefan Czarniecki barely escaped with his life. The Polish defeat was complete and allowed the Cossack forces to start a successful offensive and effectively gain control over large parts of Ukraine. Until 1657 Ivan Bohun also led his forces in minor skirmishes against Polish forces, notably at Bratslav and Uman. He also fought against the Crimean Tatars who had switched sides in the effect of the Treaty of Zboriv of 1649 (they were initially allied with the Cossacks but supported the Commonwealth in later year).

Ivan Bohun fighting Poles in Berestechko battle

Initially Bohun opposed the Treaty of Pereyaslav of 1654. After the Battle of Konotop, Ivan Bohun led an armed pro-Russian uprising against his former ally near Konotop Ivan Vyhovsky and defeated his army in the autumn of 1659.

After being captured by the Poles in 1663, Bohun was offered freedom in exchange for taking part in a new military campaign against the Tsardom of Russia. During the retreat after the disastrous Siege of Hlukhiv Bohun was executed by a firing squad for handing over important military information to the besieged Russian garrison.


Ivan Bohun

Ivan Bohun became a popular Ukrainian folk hero, immortalized by Henryk Sienkiewicz in a novel With Fire and Sword where character Jurko Bohun was loosely based on him. In the film based on the novel, directed by Jerzy Hoffman, Bohun was played by Aleksandr Domogarov.

Ivan Bohun is also well described in Bohun, a modern, historical novel about Polish-Cossack wars, written by Jacek Komuda.

His death is still commemorated annually in Lviv.[1]

See also


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