Military Review

How Russia saved Georgia from Persia

How Russia saved Georgia from Persia The appearance of Russian troops in the Transcaucasus (now called “occupiers” in Georgia) was preceded by a number of important events. At the beginning of the 1780s, Ali Murad Shah (shahinshah of Persia in the 1782 – 1785 years from the Zend dynasty) threatened the ruler of the Kartli-Kakhetian kingdom Irakli II (he ruled in 1762 — 1798) with an invasion. In 1782, Heraclius officially appealed to the Russian Empire with a request to take Kartli-Kakheti under its patronage.

It should be noted that this was the only opportunity to save the people under the conditions of constant pressure of Persia, the Ottoman Empire and predatory mountain tribes. After Byzantium finally perished in 1453, Georgia was cut off from the entire Christian world. In the 16th and 18th centuries, Georgian territory became the scene of the struggle of Muslim Persia and the Ottoman Empire for supremacy in the South Caucasus. By the end of the 18th century, eastern Georgia was under the influence of Persia. During the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774, the Kartli-Kakheti and Imereti kingdoms took the side of the Russian Empire against Turkey. For the war on the Caucasian front, a detachment of General Totleben was sent to the Georgian kingdoms. Russia's victory over Porto in 1774 year led to the fact that the situation of the Georgian lands subordinated to Istanbul was alleviated and the payment of tribute to the Ottoman sultan of the Imeretian kingdom was canceled.

24 July 1783, in the city of Georgievsk (the south of modern Stavropol), a document was signed, which entered into history under the name of St. George treatise. According to it, the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom (Eastern Georgia) voluntarily entered under the auspices of Russia. On behalf of the empire, Prince Pavel Potemkin signed the treaty, and on behalf of Georgia, princes Ivan Bagration Mukhransky and Garsevan Chavchavadze. In January 1784, the treaty was ratified and entered into force. Under this agreement, the Georgian ruler recognized the "supreme power and protection" of the Russian empire, pledged to pursue the foreign policy of Georgia, subject to prior coordination with St. Petersburg, to provide mutual military assistance.

Russia guaranteed the preservation of the territorial integrity of the possessions of Heraclius and his heirs, the internal autonomy of the kingdom was consolidated. In addition, the Russian side pledged to protect Georgia and, when concluding peace treaties with the Turks, to demand the return to the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom of the territories that had previously been torn from her. The Georgians were granted the right to “enter and leave" “without any compensation,” and also to settle in Russia. The agreement was of an indefinite nature.

Russia began to build a communication linking it with Georgia - the Georgian Military Road. Several fortifications were erected along it, including the fortress of Vladikavkaz, it was connected with the fortress of Mozdok. 15 November 1783, two Russian battalions with field gun batteries entered Tiflis. The detachment was commanded by P. Potemkin (a relative of the famous Grigory Potemkin). Pavel Sergeevich Potyomkin is honored to discover the “big way” through the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Under his command, the Russian soldiers modernized the ancient caravan trail, which passed through the Darial Gorge. In the future, the road will be expanded and landscaped.

The arrival of the Russian detachment played a role - Persia abandoned its aggressive intentions. In 1784, the detachment was withdrawn and the Russian troops retreated again beyond the Caucasian border line, the fortress of Vladikavkaz was dug up. There is an opinion that this was done at the request of Turkey (according to another version, because of the separate negotiations between the Georgians and the Turks). But even if this is the case, subsequent events have shown that the Port is not going to live in peace, while maintaining the status quo. Turkey launched a war (Russian-Turkish war 1787-1791), which ended in complete victory for Russia. The action of the St. George treatise was restored.

Soon the Persians again began to threaten Georgia. The power in Persia after years of internecine war was captured by Aga Mohammad Shah from the Turkic Qajar tribe. He became the founder of the new dynasty, the Qajars, and began to actively restore the greatness of the state. He decided to return Georgia to Persia and demanded that Irakli terminate the treaty with Russia, he refused. In August, 1795, the huge Persian army, which absorbed detachments from subordinates of Ganja, Erivan, Nakhchivan and other Muslim principalities, came out against Kartli-Kakheti. 8-11 September in the course of a three-day battle near the village of Krtsanisi on the approaches to Tbilisi 35 thousand. The Persian army defeated 7 thousand Georgian army. Practically all the Georgian army was exterminated. There was no one to protect the Georgian capital - the Persian ruler gave the city to his soldiers, who were brutalized from stubborn resistance and heavy losses, to plunder. It must be said that Aga Mohammad Shah was generally distinguished by enormous cruelty, and the massacres during his rule were commonplace. Most of the population of Tbilisi was slaughtered, about 22 thousand women and children were driven into slavery, the main buildings of the city were demolished.

It is clear that the news of the ruin of the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom went to St. Petersburg for a long time. Catherine II was angry, having received a message about the pogrom that the Persians committed. It was an insult and a direct challenge to Russia. It was decided to strike back.

Persian campaign 1796 of the year

Catherine demanded that Ivan Vasilyevich Gudovich, the head of the Caucasian line and the commander of the Kuban Corps, be summoned to the capital. And she thought about asking Alexander Suvorov to go to the Caucasus and punish the Persians for "atrocities against the Georgians."

Began to form the expeditionary force, develop plans for the operation. The first commander of the army was Suvorov, but in the course of court intrigue, which was carried out by Catherine’s last favorite, Platon Zubov (he was annoyed that Suvorov did not include the corps commanders of his brothers, Valerian and Nikolai Zubov), he was dismissed and Valerian became commander Teeth. A detachment under the command of Gudovich, who was more suitable for this position - before the Persian fought successfully in two Russian-Turkish wars, became the hero of the storming of Anapa, when he took a fortress with 7 th. Garrison with the 15 th. Squadron, sent to Tiflis.

It must be said that the Persian campaign was undertaken not only with the aim of punishing "non-peaceful" Persia, but also had to supplement the so-called. "Greek project". According to the thought of P. Zubov, 35 thousand army, having done away with Iranian affairs, was to be sent to Turkish Anatolia and advance towards Istanbul-Constantinople. At this time, another Russian army - under the command of the brilliant Alexander Suvorov, had to pass the Balkan Mountains and captured Adrianople to go to the immediate approaches to the capital of the Ottoman Empire. At the same time, the Russian Black Sea Fleet blocked the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and was preparing to conduct a landing operation. Thus, with the next attempt of Turkish aggression, Russia could once and for all solve the “Turkish issue”. St. Petersburg had global plans for the transformation of the Ottoman Empire - Greece and the Slavic peoples were to receive freedom, and there was a project to restore the Byzantine Empire, led by the Russian tsar.

In general, the trip was successful. The main forces left Kizlyar through Dagestan to the Azerbaijani provinces of Persia on April 8, 1796. Already on May 2, Russian forces besieged Derbent, and on May 10 the fortress was stormed. Troops supported by the Caspian flotilla, which completely controlled the sea and landed in a number of places landing from the Black Sea Cossacks. In mid-June, Russian troops simultaneously and without battle occupied Cuba and Baku. In mid-November, the Russian army under the command of General Zubov reached the confluence of the Kura and Araks rivers. Zubov was about to advance further, take the capital and defeat the Persians in the general battle.

Shah Persia wisely avoided a collision with the Russian army, besides he was disturbed by insurrections on the outskirts, the danger from Turkey and Afghanistan (neighbors could take advantage of the situation and strike) and the threat of a court conspiracy. The Derbent, Baku, Cuban, Karabag, Shamakhi and Ganja Khanates were transferred to Russian citizenship. Friendly relations developed with the local population, the rulers and the population of the Azerbaijani principalities swore allegiance to Russia almost without pressure. The entire western coast of the Caspian was under Russian control. Militarily, the campaign was won, шахahinshah surrendered one by one territory without a fight. In fact, Russia could only politically approve the results of the campaign.

But the unexpected death of Catherine II 6 (17) November mixed all the cards. Pavel started the foreign policy of the Russian Empire from a “clean slate”; the Zubov brothers fell into disfavor. Therefore, the Russian army was withdrawn, and the status quo was restored in the Transcaucasus.
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  1. Brummbar
    Brummbar 22 February 2012 09: 04
    The leader of Georgia writes his story himself and he doesn’t care if Russia had not, then instead of Georgia there would have been a deeply Muslim part of either Turkey or Iran.
    1. Nova
      Nova 22 February 2012 11: 20
      It has always been that way. Each new government first rewrites history. I am a historian, I have observed this process both in Russia and in the former republics of the USSR for the last 20 years directly.
      1. Alexei
        Alexei 22 February 2012 19: 26
        How regrettable recourse You are absolutely right. In connection with this sad fact, "freedom fighters" are now emerging against the "prison of peoples". They are also trying to force us to recognize new facts from the history they rewrote.
  2. Miha_Skif
    Miha_Skif 22 February 2012 09: 40
    Yes ... An instructive historical article good
    DEATH UWB 22 February 2012 10: 06
    we never saved any, there. we saved ourselves and went out to the seas and oceans, new lands for agriculture and even Afghanistan - deposits of molybdenum and semiprecious stones plus an advantageous strategic position, and there is also oil there on the same river on the border with Pakistan .....
    1. Nova
      Nova 22 February 2012 11: 18
      Sorry if I offend, but your command of the Russian language casts doubt on the belonging to the Russian people, although you are trying to pass off your opinion precisely as a motive for the actions of the whole nation. Not too waved?
  4. Ascetic
    Ascetic 22 February 2012 11: 06
    Georgia made the first attempt to accept Russian citizenship back in 1586, when the Kakhetian Tsar Alexander made such a request to Tsar Fedor Ioannovich. By that time, as a result of the endless massacre organized by the Turks and Persians, there were no more than 40 thousand Georgians left .. Temples and shrines were desecrated, the lands were ravaged, children were left orphans, and women were widows.
    In 1638, the king of Megrelia turned to Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich with a letter about the desire of the Georgian people to transfer to Russian citizenship. Three years later, the Russian tsar gave a letter of honor to the Kakheti Tsar, and in 1655 Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich gave a letter of honor to Tsar Imereti. In September 1723, at the behest of Peter the Great, an agreement was signed with the authorized Iranian Shah, according to which the Shah recognized for Russia the entire western and southern coast of the Caspian. Meanwhile, Georgian courtyards appeared in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Astrakhan and other Russian cities.
    On June 24 (July 4), 1783, the Georgievsky treatise was concluded. It was a "friendly treaty" on "patronage"
    Nevertheless, they did not intend to take Georgia into Russia for a long time. Later, on November 17, 1800, Tsar George XII turned to the Emperor of Russia with a "kneeling petition", in which he asked to accept his people into "eternal citizenship", but Emperor Paul I chose to give up such a burden. And finally, on September 12, 1801, Emperor Alexander I, known in his youth for romantic moods, annexed Eastern Georgia to Russia. In 1804 Imereti became part of Russia, in 1811-1812. Guria and Megrelia, in 1828-1829 - Samtskhe-Javakheti, and in 1878 - Batumi. All this became possible thanks to the success of Russia in the wars with Turkey and Iran.
    The main document determining the status of Georgia as part of the Russian Empire is The highest manifest on September 12, 1801.

    “By God's grace, We, Alexander the first, declare to all the inhabitants of the kingdom of Georgia who should be aware of that. The patronage and supreme power of the Russian Empire over the Georgian kingdom has always imposed a duty of protection on the Russian monarchs ... The predatory peoples surrounding you were ready to attack your kingdom and tear to pieces its remains with impunity
    Standing in this abyss, more than once, you have called for Russian patronage. The entry of our troops suspended your death, frightening all the predators that fill the Caucasus Mountains. The sedition in the midst of you has calmed down, and all of you unanimously and solemnly called on the Russian authorities to rule you directly ... Delving into your position and seeing that the mediation and presence of Russian troops in Georgia up to now alone holds the shedding of blood of our faithful and ultimate death ... Not for the growth of forces, neither for self-interest, nor for spreading the limits of an already vast empire in the light of the empire We accept the burden of managing the kingdom of Georgia ”

    "Don't leave us, Russians! The Persians have gathered an army for Araks!
  5. yorik_gagarin
    yorik_gagarin 22 February 2012 11: 27
    If it were not for the Russian peasant and the Armenians, there would have been no Ossetians, Kabardins, etc. The Caucasus must always remember this.
    1. dok
      dok 23 February 2012 13: 51
      Remember !!! And many thanks to Russia for that!
  6. zmey
    zmey 22 February 2012 11: 39
    People have a short memory!
    How many peoples RUSSIA saved from total annihilation?
    SAVA555.IVANOV 22 February 2012 13: 11
    What ... defended! ??? Now, instead of Saakashvili, there would be Ahmadinejad and there would be all the chiki-peaks !!!!
  8. Deniska999
    Deniska999 22 February 2012 16: 47
    It’s always like this: we protect someone, and they cheat us.
    1. tauras
      tauras 23 February 2012 00: 07
      A new type of protection "take away of territories.
      1. smile
        smile 24 February 2012 18: 14
        Dear Lithuanian TV (which the evil Russians forcibly taught to make good Lithuanians), if you wanted to eat the territory, then you just need to wait for the complete destruction of the small but proud and ungrateful people, and then, after moving the Persians, to capture anything. After all, we still had to fight with Iran. And repeatedly.
        1. tauras
          tauras 24 February 2012 23: 46
          Then, saving the Iranian people (for example, from the Afghans or the Turks) we added them to ourselves. And at the expense of TV ,,, Do not put the dispute on the level of "the fool in the hat himself." And at the expense of my nationality, you were wrong ))
          1. smile
            smile 28 February 2012 21: 38
            Not "would have", but had to all the same And you know, the remnants of the surviving people (which would later be called Georgian) did not care whether the Russians saved them or not. By the way, more than half of Azerbaijanis live in Iran ... do you really think that they are in a better position there than they were in the USSR? And before calling the actions of the Russian Empire a seizure of territory, please give an example when the people in the captured European and American empires were saved from genocide or at least increased their numbers. Just don't lie, please, people here are mostly literate. And about your nationality - your nationality is not important to me, I just reminded you who taught whom and what ... by the way, all electronic. automobile. the Baltic shipbuilding and other industries were destroyed due to the fact that it was a damned legacy of totalitarian times ... even agriculture and the fishing fleet were killed (the European Union did not give a quota).
  9. gercog_75
    gercog_75 22 February 2012 16: 58
    SAVA555.IVANOV but no one could swallow ties laughing
  10. sichevik
    sichevik 22 February 2012 18: 07
    No need to blame all Georgians. It's not the people who are to blame, but the politicians. With the support of the United States and personally Bush the Younger, two godfathers, two Bushmen — Saakashvili and a pimpled yushch — drove a huge wedge into relations between Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia. But ordinary people have nothing to do with it.
  11. wown
    wown 22 February 2012 18: 38
    entertaining article!
  12. ikrut
    ikrut 22 February 2012 19: 12
    In my youth, I had to visit the area of ​​the cave city of Vardzia - on the current border of Georgia with Turkey. This is the upper reaches of the Kura. Interesting places. Low-habitable. even wild ones. But it's not that. During the invasion of the Persians, Georgians fled there in the caves. The Persians cut down the entire surrounding forest, so that the Georgians had nothing to keep warm and cook food. They drove the Georgians into the caves and destroyed them little by little. As the local "guide" told us - out of 40 thousand Georgians who inhabited those places, by the time the Russians drove out the Persians - there were only 4 thousand Georgians left. If it were not for Russian weapons and Russian blood, it is likely that today Georgians would be remembered how. eg. about the Cumans or the Khazars.
  13. tauras
    tauras 22 February 2012 21: 39
    Yeah, an instructive story. The troops came, but at the first shecher they left the Caucasus ridge. They promised the succession to the throne. At the first opportunity they turned it into the Tiflis province.
  14. tauras
    tauras 22 February 2012 21: 55
    If Catherine II wouldn’t be profitable, she wouldn’t even remember about the Georgians. But at the same time, Georgia (eastern) was the only state which itself proposed unification. both Orthodox states
  15. field commander
    field commander 22 February 2012 23: 44
    While under the yoke of Turkey, the Georgians served before the Turks. For money they sold each other, brother-brother. (Grigol Abashidze historical novels).
    They were prostitutes from centuries.
    1. tauras
      tauras 23 February 2012 00: 02
      Cool! He hung a label on the whole Norodos. Heavenly Russians, during the time of the Tatar yoke, all went to the partisans.
  16. Vldmr
    Vldmr 23 February 2012 17: 58
    Gogisrach :))) Great :)))