Henryk Litwin. Relations of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania elites with Kyiv region in 1569–1648

The incorporation of Volyn and Kyiv lands to the Polish Crown is known to have had long disputes on behalf the GDL elites and to be one of the main causes of „disputes about the union”. In this article the author makes an attempt to answer the question to what extent this phenomenon was related to the protection of material interests of the Lithuanian magnates. He examined the data on the domains the Lithuanian elites owned in Kiev land at that time and it turned out that the magnates who owned lands in Kyiv regionin1569 quickly or slowly tried to get rid of their outlying domains. Even after 1569 only a few Lithuanian habitants owned lands in Kyiv region.  Rare were also examples of political activity of the Litvins in Kyiv region. Contacts of Lithuanian elites with the Kiev Voivodship after 1569 were rare and declining. Limited activity of several Lithuanian families related only to the northern lands of the district Ovruch which was under dispute between the GDL and the Crown. The influence of the Radziwill family belonging Biržai line on Kyiv region was the result of their efforts to create a nationwide party of confessional profile rather than a manifestation of strong ties between Lithuania and Kyiv land. At the time of the drawing of the union the relations of Lithuanian elites with Kyiv lands were innumerous and weak, and after signing the union they easily succumbed to erosion. The claims of the GDL leaders to return Ukrainian lands, heard of in the 1570–80s, had apparently purely political reasons and were a manifestation of vitality of the political concept of territorial cohesion.

Translated by Anatol Minkovsky