1 (11) October 1653 in Moscow Kremlin was held a Zemsky Sobor which resolved to reunite Left-bank Ukraine and Russia.
Zemsky sobors were central estate representative establishment of Russia in the middle of 16-17 century. The Zemsky sobors were formed by the tsar, Boyar Duma, Consecrated council with its full complement, nobility representatives, representatives of trades people leaders (trades people, high merchant class), thus the candidates of all three estates. The regularity and duration of Zemsky sobors’ sessions were regulated beforehand and depended on the circumstances and the importance and content of the discussed issues.
Zemsky sobor of 1653 was assembled to make the decision regarding the inclusion of Ukraine in Moscow state.
In 17th century the greater part of Ukraine was a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The official language on the territory of Ukraine was polish and the state religion – Catholicism. The increase of feudal obligation, religious oppressions of orthodox Ukrainians had provoked the discontent of Polish rule that in the middle of 17th century grew into the war of liberation of Ukrainian people.
The rebel in Zaporizhian Sich in January of 1648 marked the beginning of the war. The rebel was headed by Bogdan Khmelnitsky. Having won several victories over the Polish troops, the rebels occupied Kiev. Having concluded the armistice with Poland, in the beginning of 1649 Khmelnitsky sent his representative to tsar Alexei Mikhailovitch asking to accept Ukraine under the rule of Russia. Having declined the request due to the complicated internal situation in the country and unpreparedness to lead the war with Poland, the government however provided diplomatic assistance and permitted the import of provisions and armament to Ukraine.
In the spring of 1649 Poland recommenced its military actions against rebels that lasted up to 1653. In February of 1651 the Russian government planning to put pressure on Poland declared for the first time at Zemsky sobor about its willingness to accept Ukraine under its rule.
After a long exchange of embassies and letters between Russian government and Khmelnitsky, tsar Alexei Mikhailovitch declared in June of 1653 about his consent to accept Ukraine under the rule of Russia. On October 1 (11) 1653 Zemsky sobor made a decision about the reunion between the Left-bank Ukraine and Russia.
On January 8 (18) 1654 in Pereyaslavl the Great, Rada unanimously supported the idea to include Ukraine into Russia and started the war with Poland for Ukraine. In the result of the Russian-Polish war of 1654-1667 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth acknowledged the reunion of Left-bank Ukraine with Russia (the truce of Andrusovo).
The Zemsky sobor of 1653 was the last one assembled in its full complement.
Lit.: Зерцалов А. Н. К истории земских соборов. М., 1887; Черепнин Л. В. Земские соборы русского государства. М., 1978; Шмидт С. О. Земские соборы. М., 1972. Т. 9.
From the Presidential library materials: