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Story spirals? A peace agreement with Muscovy, which ended in a great war

June 14 is the anniversary of the historic peace agreement between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Kingdom of Moscow the Treaty of Polyanovka, signed in 1634. This agreement ended the terrible two-year Smolensk War, but actually gave Muscovy a respite and started an even bloodier war later.

The agreement was signed on the Polyanivka River, in the village of Syamleva, which was located between Vyazma and Daragobuzh. The main points of the agreement were as follows:

  • Smolensk, Chernihiv, Novgorod-Seversky and other smaller cities captured by Muscovy during the Smolensk War remained part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. An exception was the Syarpeysk district with the city of Syarpeysk itself, which was not liberated by military means the day before;

  • The Commonwealth recalled all its troops from the borders of the Moscow kingdom;

  • King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Vladislav IV Vasa renounced his claims to the Moscow throne and the title "Tsar of Moscow";

  • Moscow had to pay the Commonwealth a contribution of 200,000 rubles in silver;

  • Immediate exchange of all prisoners.

The peace agreement finally ended the War between Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Tsardom of Moscow of 1632-1634 (in which, in particular, Zaporizhia Cossacks participated), which was conducted for the Chernigov-Seversky and Smolensk lands.


Let's go back a little and consider what actually led to this treaty and how the events of the Smolensk War itself developed.

The Moscow army of the beginning of the 17th century was very diversely armed and consisted mainly of poorly trained noble cavalry, several rifle regiments, detachments of Cossacks and Tatars. All of them were tactically inferior to the armies of the Commonwealth of Nations and Sweden. This was also understood by the "boyar council", which, despite the deplorable state of the treasury, agreed to the recruitment of mercenaries abroad. This increased the size of the army, but only further varied the equipment and made it more difficult to manage a large number of units. In fact, the state of the army of that period fully corresponded to the state of the Muscovite Empire as a whole.

Colonel Alexander Leslie of the Moscow service was sent to Sweden to recruit thousands of musketeers. Muskets with charges, sabers and guns were also bought in Sweden, Denmark and England. As a result, Leslie recruited about four thousand mercenaries, from which several regiments were later formed. Tsar Mikhail Romanov took advantage of the statelessness that began in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland after the death of Sigismund Vasa on April 30, 1632, and sent a 24,000-strong army to Smolensk under the command of Voivode Mikhail Shein.

In October-December 1632, enemy Moscow troops occupied the cities of Sarpeysk, Daragobuzh, Bely, Roslav, Trubetsk, Starodub, Pochap, Novgorod-Seversky, Baturyn, Nevel, Sebezh, Krasny, and others. In December 1632, Shein's army reached the number of 32 thousand people with 151 guns. In January 1633, the Moscow army began the siege of Smolensk.

In the meantime, the newly elected king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Vladislav IV Vasa, having gathered a 15,000-strong army near Warsaw, led it to help Smolensk in May 1633. On August 22, the king met with Hetman Radzivil and Voivode Hansevsky on the Zhornavtsi River, as a result, on August 25, 1633, the combined 25,000-strong army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth approached Smolensk.

After several battles, the army led by Vladislav IV pushed the Muscovites away from the city in September and soon surrounded the Muscovite fortified camp near Smolensk. In addition, the division sent by Vladislav Vaza to Daragabuzh destroyed the food reserves intended for the reserve of the Moscow army, which was going to help Shein's army, historian Anatol Hrytskevich notes.

Meanwhile, the army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was reinforced by a 20,000-strong Zaporizhzhya army led by Hetman Arenderenko. After 4 months of fighting in the encirclement, on February 15, 1634, Voivode Mikhail Shein began surrender negotiations and on February 21 signed an act of honorable surrender in front of the Polish Hetman Krystap Radziwill.

According to the conditions of capitulation, the remnants of the Moscow army (8 thousand people) with personal weapons retreated to the state border, but left all 123 guns, 129 banners, provisions and equipment. The Moscow army left 2,000 sick and wounded in the camps, who had to return home after recovery. Shein's mercenaries transferred to the service of the Commonwealth. After arriving in Moscow, Mikhail Shein was accused of treason and executed.


After all these events, the signing of the peace treaty on the listed conditions looked like a serious success in the fight against the hostile eastern neighbor. But the military potential of the Muscovites was not destroyed, and part of the lands (Syrpeyskaya) remained under them. As a result, it resulted in a new, even more terrible and destructive war 2 decades later the bloody deluge of 1654-1667, when the Muscovite kingdom was able to regain what it had lost.

Now this treaty is a historical reminder to all of us of what the signed peace with Moscow is worth he will use all the peacetime to prepare for a new war


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