Ukrainian History in English Newspapers: Insights from Yaroslav Fedoruk

October 5, 2016
Yaroslav Fedoruk

Yaroslav FedorukOn Monday, October 17, 2016, HURI USF Fellow Dr. Yaroslav Fedoruk will offer a glimpse into his research during our weekly seminar series. The talk, entitled "Ukraine in English Newspapers (1654–57)" takes place at 4:15pm in room S-050 in CGIS South. All are welcome to attend.

Dr. Fedoruk chose to focus on the mid-seventeenth century—specifically 1654 to 1657—because of the significant events that occurred during this time span. The intervening years were decisive in the history of Central and Eastern Europe because of the Muscovian declaration of war to King John Casimir of Poland (1654), Sweden's invasion of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1655), and others. In fact, during the Second Northern War (1655–60), almost all European countries became involved in John Casimir's conflict with the Cossacks, Muscovy, and Sweden.

Although English newspapers of the mid-seventeenth century offer important information about Ukrainian history, Dr. Fedoruk observed that they remain almost unknown source to the historians. Nobody knows exactly what kind of information on Ukraine newspapers had in them, where this news came from, and how it entered England. In comparison to Ukrainian studies on French or German newspapers of the time (Ilko Borshchak, Yurii Mytsyk, and others), the usage of English periodicals as a source of study in the history of Ukraine and its neighbors has been almost neglected.

However, these sources must be treated with careful attention to the context in which they were written. English newspapers describe in detail all main developments in the mid-seventeenth century Ukraine. Within the specific period of his research, Dr. Fedoruk will look at key international and military events in regard to Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s policy, i.e., Ukraine's submission to Muscovy and reactions to this development (1654); campaigns involving the Cossacks and the Crown army, especially in Bratslav palatinate and at Okhmativ (1655); King John Casimir’s and Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich’s relations with the Cossacks (1655); Ukraine’s relations with Sweden and Transylvania (1655–56); György II Rákóczi of Transylvania’s treaty with Bohdan Khmelnytsky (1656); and so on.

Please join us on Monday, October 17, to learn more about Dr. Fedoruk's research and this underused source.

Yaroslav Fedoruk is a Doctor of Sciences (History) and Senior Scholar at Mykhailo Hrushevsky Institute of Ukrainian Archeography and Source Studies, National Academy of Sciences, Kyiv. He is currently a USF Fellow at HURI conducting research on this topic.

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