He was the son in law of hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. Teteria was educated at the Kyivan Mohyla College. After becoming a well known soldier, he took part in the negotiations of the Pereiaslav Treaty in 1654. He was notably pro-Polish, and took part in negotiations in 1658 with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to try to get Ukraine to join. After assuming the rank of Hetman, he took part in the Polish King Jan II Casimir Vasa's campaigns against Left-Bank Ukraine. In 1665, Teteria's army was defeated by Right-Bank peasant/Kozak rebels and he was forced to step down as hetman. He fled to Poland, but eventually came into conflict with the Polish nobility and left for Turkey where he died plotting an invasion of Poland.