The Truce of Andrusovo is signed

A blueprint and justification for future Russian expansion was signed on January 30th, 1667.

He came to prominence negotiating the Peace of Stolbovo of 1658, which determined the Russo-Swedish border following a war between the two countries, during which he had established a reputation as a military commander. It heralded a Russian shift towards the Baltic, which anticipated Peter the Great’s focus on the West. But his greatest triumph came in 1667 with the Truce of Andrusovo between Tsarist Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, signed on January 30th. 

It brought an end to over 13 years of war, which began in 1654 when the two regional superpowers clashed over the vast territories between them, in modern Ukraine and Belarus. 

The conflict had its roots in the ‘Time of Troubles’, made famous by Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov, when Russia lost Smolensk, among other cities, to the Commonwealth. Muscovy had regained its territories by 1667, gains made official in the Treaty. The West of Ukraine was handed to Poland, while Russia was given Kyiv, too, which it agreed to rule for just two years, but in 1686 the deal became permanent when Muscovy paid the Poles 146,000 roubles.

The truce continues to resonate in modern geopolitics. Ukrainians see it as the devouring of their Cossack Hetmanate state by their two larger neighbours, the first of that country’s many divisions. Poles view it as the moment when their then large and powerful state was usurped by the emerging Russian Empire as the region’s dominant player. Russian nationalists regard it as a blueprint and justification for future expansion, as evidenced by the recent annexation of Crimea.