A sich (Ukrainian: січ) or sech[1] is a administrative and military centre for Cossacks and especially for the Zaporozhian Cossacks. The word "sich" derives from the Ukrainian verb сікти (siktý), "to chop" - with the implication of clearing a forest for an encampment, or of building a fortification with the trees that have been chopped down.[2]

The Zaporizhian Sich was the fortified capital of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, located on the Dnieper River, in the 16th to 18th centuries in present-day Ukraine. The Sich Rada was the highest organ of government in the Zaporizhian Host or army of the Zaporozhian Cossacks. The Danubian Sich was the fortified settlement of those Zaporozhian Cossacks who later settled in the Danube Delta.


  1. Subtelny, Orest (1989). Ukraine. A History. CUP Archive. p. 72. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  2. Dmytro Yavornytsky (1892), L. L. Kiriyenko, ed., Історія Запорізьких Козаків, у трьох томах [History of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, in three volumes] (in Ukrainian), 1, translated by Ivan Svarnyk, Lviv: Видавництво "Світ" ["Svit" Publishing House], ISBN 978-5-11-000647-0 (in Ukrainian).
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