The original of Pylyp Orlyk's Constitution is already in Ukraine

11.08.2021, 09:54
The original of Pylyp Orlyk's Constitution is already in Ukraine - фото 1
An original of Pylyp Orlik's Constitution has arrived in Ukraine on Independence Day from Sweden. It can be seen in St Sofia of Kyiv.

The fact that the relic arrived in Ukraine on August 10 was announced by the people's deputy of Ukraine and representative of the Verkhovna Rada in the Constitutional Court Olga Sovgirya on her page on Facebook.


"For the first time in 311 years, the original Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk has been delivered to Ukraine! We are waiting for the exhibition by Independence Day," she wrote.

Three copies of the Constitution handed over by Sweden are already on display in Ukraine: in the parliament and in the Office of the President. The third copy will be submitted to the Constitutional Court after its reform.

As RISU has reported, at the end of June, Zelensky announced that by the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence, the original of the first Ukrainian Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk of 1710 will be brought to Kyiv for the first time in 311 years from Sweden.

The document will be displayed in St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv from August 16 to November 14, 2021.

In addition, "a mace that, according to legend, belonged to Pylyp Orlyk and Hetman Ivan Mazepa, from the Lynchoping City Library (Lynchoping, Sweden)" should be displayed.

The exhibition will be available for review with an entrance ticket to St Sofia of Kyiv – but due to public interest, the ticket price may change.

The "Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk" is an agreement between the newly elected Hetman Pylyp Orlyk and the Cossack Foreman and Cossacks, which defined the rights and obligations of all members of the Army.

It was concluded on April 5, 1710, in the city of Bendery during the election of Orlyk as Hetman. On behalf of all the elders and Cossacks, the Constitution of Orlik was signed by koshevyi Ataman Kost Hordienko. It was to be ratified by King Charles XII of Sweden if he won the Northern War. It is written in Latin and old Ukrainian languages. It consists of a preamble and 16 articles. The Ukrainian-language original of the Constitution is kept in Moscow in the Russian state archive of ancient acts.

A Latin-language copy of the XVIII century is kept in Stockholm in the National Archives of Sweden (folder "affairs of the Cossacks"). The document came to the archive after excavations on agricultural land. It was found in a clay pot rolled up in a scroll. According to Swedish scientists, the document was rewritten by Pylyp Orlyk for presentation to diplomats of European states.

According to the assessment of modern Ukrainian historians, this is the first European constitution in the modern sense. It expresses the Christian outlook, which served as the basis for further statehood in Ukraine. Even then, Orlyk proclaimed many democratic values in it, which later formed the basis of the European model of democracy.

The main merit of Orlyk's Constitution was that this constitutional act laid the foundations of Parliamentarism, even the peasants, and not just the then elite, had the right to choose. For the first time, he separated the concept of a state in Ukraine from a military dictatorship that was constantly supposed to serve someone. The foundations of electoral, contractual, rather than lifelong power were also laid. This was the first domestic legislative act of internal regulation when neither the Tsar nor the Polish or Swedish King were asked for a legal decision. In this case, the people themselves, the Ukrainians, and not the Cossacks, the elite, or anyone else decided important state issues. All these points put this document in one of the most important monuments of our statehood.