Lemkos found themselves under Polish domination in 1340. In the days of the Kyivian Rus', Lemkivshchyna was the farthermost western outpost of this powerful eastern Slav nation. Until 1340 it made up part of the Halych-Volyn' Principality. That year the Polish king Cazimir the Great occupied all of Halychyna, along with the so called "Grody Chervienskyeh". This was the Lyakhs' first incursion on our Rusyn soil. In the course of time, the Poles conquered territories down to the Black Sea. The Polish magnates within a short time took all freedoms away from the Ukrainian people, and desecrated most of our ancestors religious temples.
In this once powerful nation, only the enslaved people remained, along with their spiritual shepherds, whom the Polish gentry treated like "scum". By exploiting the peasantry, the Polish magnates were able to constantly feast, hunt, and amuse themselves. Ukraine was also plundered by the Tatars, who burned towns and villages, and took the people off into captivity. And although in the course of time the "Zaporozhian Sich" was born, the peasants were not able to escape the Polish yoke.
Ukrainian Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytskyj showed them how to gain their freedom.
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Copyright © 1997 Jon W. Madzelan
This Home Page was created on Monday, May 19, 1997
Most recent revision Sunday, May 17, 1998