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Hienadź Sahanovič. The 1632–1633 war on the Polack-Vitebsk frontier and „revolt” in Polack

Although the historiography of the so-called Smolensk War in 1632–34 which Muscovy fought against the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth counts dozens of special works, little is known about the events taking place in the Belarusian Dvina region in those years.

This article is the author’s attempt to fill this gap and to reconstruct the course of the war on Polack-Vitebsk frontier from its beginning to the destruction of Polack by Muscovy army in June 1633. The archival documents show that having concentrated military forces around Smolensk to save the town, the Polish-Lithuanian governing authorities actually left the strategically important castles on the Dvina River without any military support. Polack and Vitebsk fought mainly on the force of local gentry and burghers. The author also discloses the machinations of Soviet historiography which turned the social conflict of part of burghers with Polack the authorities into „Polack revolt” against the „national-religious oppression” and gave it as an example of „attraction” of the Belarusians to Russia.

Translated by Anatol Minkovsky