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Krzysztof Kossarzeckі. The attіtudes of the nobіlіty of the Grand Duchy of Lіthuanіa to Swedіsh and Moscow authorіty

The article is dedicated to some matters concerning attitudes and situation of the nobility (szlachta) in the Grand Dutch of Lithuania between the autumn of 1655 to the beginning of 1656. The country was almost entirely conquered by Russian and Cossaks army. Wilno — the capital was destroyed on August 8th 1655. Meantime the Swedish army entered Poland and Lithuania. Polish army was very quickly defeated and the king Jan Kazimierz left the country, which in turn took away the hopes of getting help from Poland and forced the Lithuanian nobility to live in new realities. Many of them, especially from the Easetern and Northern parts of Lithuania pledged allegiance of faithfullness to thsar, and many of the army soldiers and officers transfered to the Russian army.

Capturing Poland by Swedish army brought about some hopes. Polish army and Polish nobility surrendered to Swedish king, who promised recapturing the Eastern territories. The war between Sweden and Russia was expected. It was to bring about the independence from both Russian and Cossaks army. Such situation was disturbing for Russian authorities. Therefore they started looking for opportunities to win the support of Lithuanian nobility. This on the other hand brought about all kinds of problems for the Lithuanian nobility — the choice between serving the thsar or the Swedish king, or to stay neutral and take a risk of being oppressed by Russians. The new solution arose in the beginning of 1656 along with the news that the king Jan Kazimierz was coming back to the country.