He was a registered kozak, belonging to the Chyhyryn Company. He served as Bohdan Khmelnytsky's courier and diplomatic emissary. He was elected otaman (1661–3) of the Zaporozhian Sich, and in 1633 he succeeded Ivan Vyhovsky as hetman.
He was pro Russian, and in an act of treason he signed a treaty, the Moscow Articles of 1665, which placed Ukraine under direct control of the tsar. In return, Briukhovetsky acquired the title of Boyar, properties, marriage to Prince Dolgoruky's daughter, and the hatred of his people. Because of his failures as hetman, in 1668 in the city of Budyshchi, a Kozak mob killed him by chaining him to a cannon and beating him to death "as if he were a mad dog."