Vyshenka (Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine)

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Vyshenka, (Вишенька) (also spelled Vishenka) was a small Ukrainian village on the north bank of the Desna River located at 51.64°N 33.06°E. It is currently in the northeast part of the Chernihiv Oblast (Чернігівська область) also known as Chernihivshchyna. In 1770 Count Peter A. Rumyantsev–Zadunaisky (1725-1796), who was governor of New Russia (Ukraine), invited Hutterites who were living in the village of Prisiceni (also called Presetschain) a short distance west of Bucharest, Romania, to resettle on his estates at Vyshenka. This resettlement occurred during the First Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774 when the Hutterites were severely harassed by Turkish soldiers and lawless marauders. 

On 10 April 1770 the destitute Hutterites set out in five wagons, arriving at Vyshenka on 12 August. They established a well organized community with farming, milling, distilling and weaving. Their linen weaving industry became very well known so that in 1808 the historian Heinrich Storch (1766-1835) identified their work as one of the three best in Russia. They also sent guides to their old homes in Romania to retrieve documents and to find and encourage other Hutterite survivors to join them in Vyshenka.

Count Sergei Rumyantsev inherited his father’s Vyshenka estate in 1796 and began to treat the Hutterites as landed serfs which violated the original agreement they had made with the father Count Peter A. Rumyansev–Zadunaisky. In 1789 several hundred Mennonites arrived in New Russia. On 6 September 1800 they were granted in writing privileges granting land and military exemption by Czar Alexander I. The Hutterians sought and were granted a similar decree on 22 May 1801. The Fürsorge-Komitee (Guardians' Committee) administered this decree. In it these Hutterians were labeled “Mennonites.” As a result on March 1802 they left Vyshenka and freed themselves from consideration as landed serfs and settled in the village of Radychev (also spelled Radichev) which is located about 10 kilometres north of Vyshenka, also on the bank of the Desna River at 51.74°N 33.07°E.


The Chronicle of the Hutterian Brethren, 2 vols. Ste. Agatha, MB: Crystal Spring Colony, 1998: v. 2, 447-587.

Mavor, James. An Economic History of Russia. New York: Dutton Publishers, 1914: 530. [Mavor identifies those at Vyshenka as Mennonites though they are obviously Hutterian.]

Additional Information

1955 Mennonite Encyclopedia Article, Vol. 4, p. 1133

Vishenka (Wischenka) is a location in the northern Ukraine about 150 miles (240 km) northeast of Kiev, where the Hutterites who were fleeing persecution in Walachia first settled in 1770 on the estate of Count Rumjantsev. Here they lived until 1802 when they moved on to crown land at Radichev, 10 miles (16 km) north. -- Harold S. Bender


Map:Vyshenka (Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine)

Author(s) Victor G Wiebe
Date Published January 2013

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MLA style

Wiebe, Victor G. "Vyshenka (Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2013. Web. 21 Sep 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Vyshenka_(Chernihiv_Oblast,_Ukraine)&oldid=135057.

APA style

Wiebe, Victor G. (January 2013). Vyshenka (Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 September 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Vyshenka_(Chernihiv_Oblast,_Ukraine)&oldid=135057.

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