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The Batih (Batoh) massacre (Polish: Rzeź polskich jeńców pod Batohem) was a mass execution of Polish captives after the Battle of Batih on 3–4 June 1652 near Ladyzhyn (now in Ukraine). It was carried out by Ukrainian Cossacks under the command of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky.[3][4]

Massacre of Poles at Batih in 1652
Massacre of Polish captives after the battle of Batoh 1652.jpg
The massacre of Polish captives by the Cossacks after the battle of Batoh (Batih) in 1652
Date3–4 June 1652
LocationBatih Hill near Ladyzhyn (today Ukraine)
CauseTwo days of beheadings and disembowelments.[1]
8,000[1] to 8,500[2] dead.

Initially the captured Polish soldiers belonged to the Cossacks' allies, the Crimean Tatars. After the battle, the Cossacks paid the Tatars for possession of the prisoners, and promptly slaughtered the Polish captives to avenge Chmielnicki's defeat at Berestechko in June 1651.[1] According to Jasienica, it was the Cossack colonels Ivan Zolotaryenko and Ivan Vysochin who bought them from the Tatars.[5] According to Widacka, Cossack's commander Khmelnystsky himself contributed 50,000 thalers for that purpose.[1] According to Gruševskij, Pasicznyk, Duda and Sikora, the decision to execute the prisoners was made by Khmelnytsky himself.[6][7][8] Afterward, between 3,000 and 5,000[9][4][1][2] elite Polish soldiers and officers, including 3,500 members of szlachta,[2] were tied up and massacred in two days of methodical beheadings and disembowelments.[1] Zolotaryenko supervised the executions yelling "Revenge for Berestechko!", a reference to an earlier Cossack defeat at the hands of the Poles in the Battle of Berestechko.[5] The number of survivors of the pogrom is unknown.[2]

The methodical executions were so barbaric that even the Crimean leaders were horrified, not to mention international observers such as German historian Hiob Ludolf (president of the Collegium Imperiale Historicum), who illustrated the murder in his nominal Allgemeine Schau-Bühne der Welt published in 1713 in Frankfurt am Main.[1] Only a few Poles survived, hidden by Tatar supporters, including Krzysztof Grodzicki and probably Stefan Czarniecki (whether Czarniecki was one of the captured is unclear).[5]

The crime committed against so many disarmed prisoners had severe and long-lasting consequences for the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and for the Ukraine.[1] In the short term, it led the Polish-Lithuanian sejm of 1652 to approve taxes for the purposes of raising new armies.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Hanna Widacka (2013). "Rzeź polskich jeńców pod Batohem" [Slaughter of Polish prisoners of war at Batih]. Historie makabryczne (Historical macabres) (in Polish). Muzeum Pałacu Króla Jana III w Wilanowie (Palace Museum in Wilanów). Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bitwa pod Batohem" at Kurier 4 June 2012 (in Polish)
  3. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, p. 477
  4. ^ a b Polska, Grupa. "Rzeź polskich jeńców pod Batohem". Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Jasienica, Pawel (2007). Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodow - Calamitatis Regnum. Proszynski. pp. 98, 108–9. ISBN 9788374695824.
  6. ^ Duda, Sebastian (14 February 2014). "Sarmacki Katyń". (in Polish). Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  7. ^ Mihail Sergeevič Gruševskij; Uliana M. Pasicznyk (2008). History of Ukraine-Rus': The Cossack age 1650-1653. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-894865-10-4. At Batih he had treated the prisoners as cruelly as he pleased, 'and furthermore - an unheard-of thing - he redeemed them from the Tatars on their way [to the Crimea] and tyrannized them, ordering them to be put to death cruelly in his presence, especially men of the more prominent families who had served the Commonwealth well...
  8. ^ Sikora, Radosław. "Rzeź polskich jeńców pod Batohem" (in Polish). Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  9. ^ Wojciech Jacek Długołęcki (1995). Batoh 1652 (in Polish). Wydawn. Bellona. p. 207. ISBN 978-83-11-08402-5.


  • Wojciech Jacek Długołęcki: Batoh 1652. Warszawa: Bellona, 2008, seria: HB. ISBN 83-11-08402-5.
  • Tomasz Ciesielski: Od Batohu do Żwańca. Wojna na Ukrainie i w księstwach naddunajskich 1652-1653. Warszawa: „Inforteditions”, 2008. ISBN 978-83-89943-23-1.