Журнал Viche 2007 №19

№19, 2007

Kalmiusk Cossacks protected Ukraine and Moscow empire from hordes, protected chymaks

Eight fortresses (which simultaneously were administrative and military districts) were part of Zaporozhian Sich. Kalmiusk fortress was the biggest in territory and was considered to be a fortress-mother for Donetsk Cossacks, and the city Starocherkask founded by Zaporozhian Cossacks became the capital. Territory of the fortress occupied part of modern Zaporozhian, Dnipropetrovsk, and also Rostov (the Russian Federation) regions, the whole Donetsk and Lugansk regions and almost the whole Sea of Azov belonged to it. On the territory of the fortress there were, except permanent array stations and small Cossack outposts, over 300 winterer-farms.
Kalmiusk fortress was the remotest from Sich (distance from Khortytsya to Starocherkask was 500 versts) and executed a very important mission – it connected Zaporizhia and Don. Kalmiusk Cossacks protected Ukraine and Moscow empire from hordes in the East. They also protected chumaks who arrived for salt to the Berdyansk Lake and for fish to the Sea of Azov. Sichovyky took care of the farmers and habitants of winterers, who also carried permanent watching service, especially on secret roads, fords and in ambushes.
In summer 2005 the president of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko signed the order about commemorating at the state level the 500 anniversary of the first Ukrainian Cossack settlements on territories of Donbas, which formed Kalmiusk fortress of Glorious Zaporozhian Army.

Pupils of a boarding-school in Horlivka together with their tutors created the whole row of unique cartographic plane-tables with ancient temples, Cossack cemeteries, farms, river fords plotted on it. The special attention is paid to roads. One of them is from Zaporozhia to Don through Kodak to Starocherkask. This road was “exploited” from 1559 to 1775, that is till the destruction of Sich by zaratite.


Another transporting line stretches from Slobozhanshchyna to Zaporizhia. Three horde sakms, that are roads used by busurmans for transferring captives to Crimea, are depicted very distinctively in plane-tables. The most frightful sakma was Muravska that began in the west Donetsk region and ended in Bakxchysaray. Kalmiusk sakma was as terrible as the previous one.