Sotnik or Sotnyk (Russian: со́тник, Ukrainian language: сотник , Bulgarian language: стотник ) was a military rank among the Cossack starshyna (officers), Strelets Troops (17th century) in Muscovy and Imperial Cossack cavalry (since 1826), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the Ukrainian Galician Army, and the Ukrainian People's Army.
Literally it means commander of hundred men in most Slavonic languages. In the Russian rank structure sotnik was developed into Poruchik which eventually turned into Lieutenant. The Ukrainian rank structure contained sotnyk rank well into the 20th century and was equivalent with captain, The rank did not officially change, but rather fell out of use after the elimination of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army by the Soviet Army and intelligence services.
The word is often translated as Captain, however the Lieutenant transliteration is also in common usage, and for the sake of the historical and social clarity the original rank name is used.
Holders of the rank also served as leaders of territorial units. In the Cossacks' paramilitary society of the Zaporozhian Host, Cossack Hetmanate, and Sloboda Ukraine, territories were organized along the lines of military organization and commanded by officers. During the Khmelnytsky Uprising and in the Cossack Hetmanate (17th-18th centuries), sotnyks were leaders of territorial administrative subdivisions called sotnyas. Such sotnyks were subordinated to polkovnyks (colonel) who were in control of a polk (primary administrative division) and a regiment (military unit).
- Encyclopedia of Ukraine (English)
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- Bogdan Khmelnitsky (Russian)
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