According to “The History of the Russes” ( a chronicle of the early XVIII century) the Zaporizhzha Army colonel Ivan Bohun made this speech at the council in the hetman capital Chyhyryn in spring 1650. How topical do Bohun’s words remain now?
“In the people of Moscow the most shameful slavery and unfreedom in the utmost form reign, apart from God’s and Tsar’s property, they have nothing of their own – and cannot have anything, and they regard people as if they are created to have nothing there but only to be slaves.
And even the noblemen and boyars are usually titled as the tsar’s slaves and in their supplications they always write that they crouch in front of him; as for the common people, they are all considered slaves as if they do not descend from the same people but as if they were nought from prisoners and captives; and by the rights and laws unknown in the world, those slaves or as they call them, peasants, of both sexes, that is men and women with their children are sold at markets and in their houses by their owners and masters alongside with the cattle, or quite often exchanged for dogs, and those being sold must at that time be especially joyous and show off their voice, kindness and skill in some craft – to be due to that bought faster and for more money.
To say briefly, to join with such a shameful people is the same as to jump out of the frying pan into the fire”.