The history of the Ukrainian state is the history of national movement for liberty and independence. Any movement has its heroes, Bohdan Khmelnitskiy is one of them. He was born in 1595 and he is known as a public figure, a general and the Ukrainian Hetman from 1649. Bohdan Khmelnitskiy was a well-educated brilliant man and he knew such languages as: the Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Latin, Turkish and the Tatar language. He had a good knowledge of history, geography and law. He was also good as a soldier.
In 1620 both he and his father took part in the campaign of the Polish army against Turks in Moldova. In the same year he was taken prisoner by the Turks. The captivity lasted for 2 long years. Later he was a member of the Reyester Cossacks Army and the participant of the rebellions of 1637-1638. In 1638-1646 Bohdan Khmelnitskiy was a chegirinskiy sotnik, and later because of persecution of the Polish authorities and he ran away to Zhaporizhkaya Sich where he was the head of the revolt. This revolt gave the beginning to the war for liberty and independence against Poland (1648-1654). He led the army in the great number of successful battles.
On 8 June Bohdan Khmelnitskiy sent the letter to the Russian tsar Alexey Mikhailovich with the request to take Ukraine in Russian authority and to render assistance in the war. As a result of the tremendous efforts the union of Russia and Ukraine became a reality. This agreement has been signed in 1654 on the Pereyaslavskaya Rada.
Bohdan Khmelnitskiy remained a chief of the Hetman administration till his death in 1657.
Folk dumas, historical songs and legends are devoted to him. This man as a hero of the war for liberty and independence is shown in the works of Shevchenko, Grebinka, Franko. The image of Bohdan Khmelnitskiy is widely reflected both in literature, music, movie and theatrical art.