Military Review

Cossacks "Ignatov Testament." Freemen and Nekrasov war

In 1707, a famous uprising broke out on the Don led by Kondraty Bulavin, the centurion of the Bakhmut Cossack Hundred, who later became the troop ataman. The cause of the uprising was cruelty, perpetrated by the tsarist expedition under the leadership of Prince Yuri Dolgorukov, who arrived in Don on the instructions of Peter I to search for and return the fugitive serfs. Already in October, 1707 of the year, Kondraty Bulavin and his hundred, who were joined by the fugitives: the peasants and the poorest part of the Cossacks, spoke out against the imperial guardian. Thus began the famous Bulavin uprising.

One of Kondraty Bulavina’s closest associates was the 47-year-old Cossack of the village of Golubinskaya Ignat Nekrasov. However, in the spring of 1708, significant military forces were sent to suppress the Bulavinsky uprising, including not only army units, but also Zaporizhzhya Cossacks and Kalmyks. 7 July 1708 Kondraty Bulavin died under strange circumstances. Having suffered defeats from the tsarist troops, the remaining forces of the Bulavins under the command of Ignat Nekrasov undertook a retreat and retreated to the Crimean Khanate. Initially, Nekrasov and his followers, called Nekrasovists, settled in the Kuban - on the right bank of the river Laba, 7 km southeast of present-day Ust-Labinsk. Here arose a fortified settlement, called Nekrasovsky settlement, and later - the village of Nekrasovskaya.

At that time, the lands of the Kuban were still under the rule of the Crimean Khanate, therefore Ignat Nekrasov had to receive permission from the Crimean Khan to create his own settlement here. By the way, the Khan, interested in allies in the fight against Russia, naturally gave his "good" to Nekrasovtsy. An internally autonomous entity appeared on Kuban land - the Cossack free republic of Nekrasov. History Nekrasov republic, unfortunately, is studied quite superficially. Meanwhile, the phenomenon of the unique Cossack freemen under the patronage of the Crimean khans is amazing. Life in the Nekrasov Republic was built according to the Ignat's Testaments. Written samples of this document were lost in the XVIII century, and may not have existed at all, so the “Covenants” were transmitted orally, from older to younger, from generation to generation. The basis of the Ignat's Testaments was the peculiarly interpreted Orthodoxy of the old rite. Nikonianism and the Nikonian clergy were rejected by the “Testaments”, nekrasovtsy adhered exclusively to the Old Believers tradition. At the same time, unlike other Old Believer communities, in the Nekrasov Republic, the Cossack Circle was placed above the clergy.

If you believe the tradition of Nekrasov, "Ignat's Testaments" were compiled by ataman Nekrasov. Whatever it was, but they represent a very interesting monument of alternative lawmaking. Many historians still cannot come to the conclusion that what lay at the basis of the Ignat's Testaments - whether the Old Belief and the traditions of the Cossack way of life and self-government were the only ones, or the influence of the same Islam professed by the Turks and the Crimean Tatars took place "Covenants" was too regulated not only by the peculiarities of management in the Cossack community, but also by the private daily life of its members.

The foundations in the Nekrasov community were tough, but fair. Moral and behavioral attitudes were determined not only by religion, but also by Nekrasov’s peculiar ideas of social justice. It should be noted here that the backbone of Nekrasovtsy was formed not only from Cossacks, but also from runaway peasants who were fleeing to the Don from serfdom. The basis of the Nekrasov dormitory lay down both the principles of the Don Cossack self-government and the rebellious installations of the Bulavins, who did not want to obey any state oppression anymore.

The main administrative body that resolved all judicial and administrative issues in the settlement of Nekrasovtsy was the Circle. It was he who had the right to make all the most important decisions regarding both the community as a whole and each individual member. Morals in the Nekrasov community were very strict. First of all, alcoholic beverages were unequivocally prohibited - both production, and trade, and consumption. Secondly, a very rigid hierarchy of relationships was established between the older and the younger, parents and children, husbands and wives. Violation of the accepted rules of conduct was punished, depending on the severity of the offense, or flogging, or beating with batogs.

Very serious punishment relied for debauchery and adultery. A woman who cheated on her husband could have been buried in the ground by the neck, thrown into a bag in water. On the other hand, mercilessly punished and husbands who offended their wives. However, the Circle was free to free the criminal from punishment. By the way, after the punishment, the offender was considered reinstated and no one could remind him of a past crime or misdemeanor. This did not apply to murderers or traitors, who were also buried in the ground or drowned. The same fate awaited children who dared to raise a hand against their parents.

Cossacks "Ignatov Testament." Freemen and Nekrasov war

Very harsh punishments were provided for attempting to create a family with gentiles - the death penalty was imposed. With such tough sanctions, a small number of Nekrasov communities sought to preserve their ethnic and religious identity, to protect themselves from being dissolved in a Turkic-Caucasian environment that was alien to cultural, linguistic, ethnic and religious relations.

Social justice in the Nekrasov community was also maintained quite tough. For example, the Nekrasovsky Cossacks were forbidden to use the work of their brothers in order to enrich themselves. If served to the poor, then surely the food that they themselves used in food. Each family gave a third of the income for general needs - to the treasury troops, whence the money was spent on training children, helping orphans and widows, buying weapons, content of church institutions.

Full members of the community were male Cossacks aged eighteen years and older. Each Cossack was obliged not only to personally participate in the campaigns, but also to discuss community issues at the Circle. Yesaul troops could be elected a decent Cossack aged over 30 years. A respected person could count on being elected a colonel or a walking chieftain - but only if he was already forty years old. Cossack at the age of fifty years and older, who was elected for a term of one year, could become a military ataman. Thus, the age hierarchy was the basis of the democratic principle of the Cossack community.

It is noteworthy that Nekrasov managed to achieve recognition of the actual autonomy of the Cossack republic created by him from the side of the Crimean Khan and the Ottoman Sultan. He also managed to build relatively peaceful relations with his closest neighbors - Circassians and Nogais. The Crimean khans actually equated the Nekrasov Cossacks with the Muslim population of the Khanate, not only allowing the carrying of weapons, but also organizing the supply of weapons and ammunition to the Nekrasov community. In response, the Nekrasovtsy began to perform the functions customary for the Cossacks - the protection of the frontier frontiers, only of the Crimean Khanate, and not of Russia. In addition, Nekrasovtsy pledged to participate in campaigns as part of the Crimean troops as a separate military unit, distinguished by high prowess and excellent fighting qualities.

In 1711, Ignat Nekrasov, with an impressive Cossack detachment (according to some sources, up to 3,5 thousand sabers), launched a daring raid on Russian territory, invading Volga provinces. In response, Peter I was even equipped with a punitive expedition under the command of Peter Apraksin, but she failed and went back, having failed to defeat the Nekrasovs.

By the way, the Crimean Khan Mengli-Girey even ordered to create a Cossack hundred as part of his own army, completing it with Nekrasovists. The Cossacks continued to practice the orthodoxy of the old rite and were relieved of their duties to serve on Sundays. The decision to create a guard unit from the Cossacks was a very far-sighted deed of the Khan, since the Cossacks were not integrated into the Crimean Tatar decomposition and were not associated with the opposing clans. For service in the Khan's hundreds, the Khan government complained to the Cossacks large land plots on Temryuk, provided the necessary armament and uniforms.

In 1737, the 77-year-old ataman Ignat Nekrasov, as befits a Cossack, died in battle during a small clash with Russian troops. However, after his death, the Nekrasovs retained Ottoman citizenship. But in the middle of the 18th century, taking into account the advance of Russia in the Kuban, Nekrasov people began to move to a more distant region of the Ottoman Empire - in Dobrudja, where several Nekrasov villages were founded. Here, the Cossacks — the Nekrasovs — did their usual work — they carried out guard service, and from time to time participated in Ottoman campaigns. However, the Cossacks - Nekrasovtsy were waiting for the Lipovans to dissolve in a more numerous environment - also immigrants from Russia, the Old Believers, who began to move en masse to the Moldavian principality in the early 18th century. Since faith and foundations of Lipovans and Nekrasovs coincided in many ways, the latter were soon assimilated into Lipovans.

Another group of Nekrasovtsy in 1791 from the Danube moved to Asia Minor - to the area of ​​Mainos (Lake Kush), where a very large Nekrasov community also appeared. It was she who longer retained the commitment to the original foundations laid by Ignat Nekrasov. Units of the Nekrasov Cossacks took part in many Russian-Turkish wars - on the side of the Ottoman Empire. However, political changes in the Ottoman Empire itself played a role in the further fate of the Nekrasov community. The modernization of the state structure and the armed forces of the Ottoman Empire could not help but reflect on the position of the Nekrasovs.

In 1911, their privileges were abolished and the Nekrasovists, as well as representatives of other ethno-confessional groups, were given the obligation to send recruits not to their own detachments, but to the part of the regular Turkish army. This circumstance could not please the Nekrasov community, which very carefully kept its autonomy. By this time, the “transgressions” of the Nekrasovs before the Russian Empire were already forgotten and the Russian authorities gave permission for the return of the Nekrasovs to Russia. It is worth noting that the Russian authorities have long sought to return the Nekrasov Cossacks. The presence of an impressive Cossack community in the territory of one of the main opponents of Russia of that time - the Ottoman Empire - dealt a serious blow to the image of the Russian state. Moreover, they also took part in hostilities against the Russian troops. The first attempt to organize the return of Nekrasovtsy to the Russian Empire was undertaken by Empress Anna Ioannovna, almost immediately after the death of the community leader, ataman Ignat Nekrasov. However, this and subsequent invitations of Nekrasovs to Russia did not find support among the Cossacks who settled in the Ottoman possessions. Only to the beginning of the twentieth century. the situation began to change. And the Cossacks themselves - the Nekrasovs already understood that in Russia they are not in any danger, and in Turkey they will always be strangers, especially in the conditions of the growing desire of the Turkish elite to suppress national minorities.

They did not oppose the return of the Nekrasov Cossacks to Russia and the Turkish authorities, who by this time were already adopting a new paradigm of government. The first immigrants were drawn to Russia, who were allocated land in Georgia. However, in the 1918 year, when Georgia gained political independence, Nekrasov people began to move from Georgia to the Kuban - in the area of ​​Stanitsa Prochnookopskaya. Migrants were enrolled in the Kuban Cossacks.

The repatriation of Nekrasovs to Russia was interrupted by the Civil War, the subsequent formation of the Soviet statehood. Only at the beginning of 1960's. the return of Nekrasovtsy from Turkey to the Soviet Union resumed. In September 1962, 215 families of Nekrasovs with a total of 985 people returned to the USSR from the village of Koja-Gul. They settled mainly in the village Novokumsky Levokumsky district of the Stavropol region. In addition to Stavropol, Nekrasovtsy settled in the Rostov region, in the Krasnodar Territory - in the Novo-Nekrasovsky farm of Primorsko-Akhtarsk district; in the farms of Potemkinsky and Novopokrovsky of the same district and the village of Vorontsovka in the Yeisk District of the Krasnodar Territory. Another Nekrasov 224, who did not want to return to the Soviet Union, emigrated to the United States of America, and only one family expressed a desire to stay in Turkey. That is, by the beginning of 1960's. The "Turkish" era in the life of Nekrasov people, which lasted more than two and a half centuries, ended.

Of course, the return to the USSR did not contribute to the preservation of the Nekrasov foundations in pristine purity. Despite the fact that the settlers tried to adhere to their own way of life, integration into Soviet society led to rather sad results for the community. The younger generations of Nekrasov Cossacks gradually assimilated into the environment, switching to the usual way of life for Soviet people of that time. Nevertheless, still many Nekrasov Cossacks try to keep the memory of the unusual history of their community and, to the best of their ability, their loyalty to their traditions.

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  1. Volga Cossack
    Volga Cossack 23 June 2017 06: 16
    Thank ! Informative Article! Cossack bow for Labor to the Author!
  2. Klim podkova
    Klim podkova 23 June 2017 06: 58
    Thanks to the author.
    1. Alber
      Alber 27 February 2018 20: 32
      Quote: Klim Podkova
      Thanks to the author.

      this is real democracy
  3. moskowit
    moskowit 23 June 2017 07: 18
    Very interesting. A short article describes the whole history of the "Nekrasovites". That's just the identity of the chieftain represented by the author of some kind of sinless "guru", an outstanding administrator and legislator, which is really not enough. But "people need legends," as they used to say in the popular film .... They appeared ...
  4. captain
    captain 23 June 2017 08: 46
    The rebellion of Bulavin began during the war between Russia and Sweden (the Northern War). Bulavin maintained personal and friendly relations with Mazepa, who, as is well known, opposed Russia. Speaking in modern language, he was on the side of the enemy, raising an uprising in the rear of the Russian army. The majority of the Don Cossacks did not support the rebellious Bulavins; the Sloboda Cossacks, who took part in its suppression, did not support this uprising. By the way, this uprising began back in 1705, when Bulavin captured the state Bakhmut saltworks. If translated into a modern language, a kind of Vlasov.
    1. mishastich
      mishastich 23 June 2017 09: 09
      You kindly do not hang labels on people.
      How did the Bulavinsky uprising begin? With the ban of the tsarist government, the Cossacks independently obtain salt and an ultimatum — to give fugitive serfs from the Don. Salt is the main income of the Don army. Runaway serfs - the main replenishment. The government spat on all privileges of the Cossacks, although it is obliged to act as their guarantor.
      Saltworks were occupied, and the detachments of Prince Dolgoruky went to catch the fugitives.
      "And many brothers of Cossacks were tortured with a whip, they beat both our noses and lips in vain, and they took our wives and girls on the bed and forcibly cursed them, and they hung our children’s children in the trees by their legs" (c) N. Chaev . Bulavinsky rebuilding (1707-08), in the book: Tr. historical and archaeographic Institute of Academy of Sciences of the USSR, vol. 12, M., 1935.
  5. Olgovich
    Olgovich 23 June 2017 09: 02
    The Crimean khans effectively equalized the Nekrasov Cossacks with the Muslim population of the Khanate, not only allowing the carrying of weapons, but also arranging the supply of weapons and ammunition to the Nekrasov community. In reply Nekrasovites began to perform functions familiar to the Cossacks - protecting border lines, only the Crimean Khanate, and not Russia. In addition, the Nekrasovites pledged to participate in campaigns as part of the Crimean troops.

    Not in response but for the obligation "to participate in campaigns as part of the Crimean troops, first of all, against Russia. Who would need them without it?

    So they fled like gophers, together with their patrons, from everywhere, from the Kuban and from Romania. The unenviable fate of the actual traitors .....
    1. Cat
      Cat 23 June 2017 21: 42
      Children are not responsible for fathers! Ponder another road home took more than three centuries!
  6. Heimdall (48)
    Heimdall (48) 23 June 2017 09: 50
    Only by the beginning of the twentieth century. the situation began to change. And the Cossacks themselves - the Nekrasovites already understood that in Russia they were not in any danger

    Cossacks missed. In Russia, in the near future they were awaited by the "philanthropic" Soviet power. Sorry for the people.
  7. Army soldier2
    Army soldier2 23 June 2017 09: 55
    Thanks to the author, the article is certainly interesting.
    At the same time, Nekrasovites cannot be called good heroes. In fact, they placed their freemen and Old Believers above both the homeland and their people.
    Their "autonomy" was more likely not "in Nekrasovsky," but "in Turkish / Crimean." The Turks / Krymchaks received from this the main thing - the irregular units for the fight against Russia. Moreover, Nekrasov’s autonomy was more declarative. According to historians, any Turk / Crimean Tatar in the Nekrasov village could take anything, or kill anyone. And they all put up with it.
    1. Heimdall (48)
      Heimdall (48) 23 June 2017 10: 04
      Quote: Army 2
      In fact, they placed their freemen and Old Believers above their homeland,.

      The church is a true homeland. If the state begins to spread rot, then it does not fulfill its main function in the furnace of it.
      and his people

      I suspect that the ethnic origin of the Cossack does not strongly coincide with that of any Pskov peasant. Therefore, you can call them one people only with a stretch of the imagination.
      So it’s a sin to criticize the Cossacks-Nekrasovites.
      1. Army soldier2
        Army soldier2 23 June 2017 15: 12
        Quote: Heimdall (48)
        The church is a true homeland. If the state begins to spread rot, then it does not fulfill its main function in the furnace of it.

        And you read something about the history of the Old Believers in Russia. There is a huge amount of research. Maybe you will learn about the patriotism of the Old Believers in relation to Russia.
        I suspect that the ethnic origin of the Cossack does not strongly coincide with that of any Pskov peasant.

        I would think that you are from the Cossacks, if the flag did not indicate that you are from dummies.
        1. Heimdall (48)
          Heimdall (48) 23 June 2017 16: 23
          Quote: Army 2
          Maybe you will learn about the patriotism of the Old Believers in relation to Russia.

          Read s. Such was the patriotism that fled from the state. center in all directions. And whoever caught that double tax paid. Excellent was the patriotism of such a circumvention.
          I would have thought that you are from the Cossacks, if the flag did not indicate that you are from dummies

          You were mistaken dear comrade in both cases. A finger fell into the sky, as they say. )))
    2. Black Colonel
      Black Colonel 23 June 2017 14: 33
      According to historians, any Turk / Crimean Tatar in the Nekrasov village could take anything, or kill anyone. And they all put up with it.
      I doubt it very much
  8. Curious
    Curious 23 June 2017 10: 06
    Given the limited format of the article, the author very briefly outlined the events preceding the departure of the "Nekrasovites" to the Kuban. It seems to me that the moment for understanding the issue is important, so I’ll try to supplement it.
    The beginning of the XVIII century. Reforms of Peter I. The Northern War. Tsar Peter I is experiencing a severe lack of human resources.
    Therefore, Colonel Dolgorukov is sent to the Don with a detachment of soldiers. He was ordered to find serfs who fled from the landlords and return them to their masters. Thus, the old custom was violated: "There is no extradition from the Don."
    Dolgoruky was not going to persuade anyone, he acted brutally, which caused retaliation, which eventually spilled over into the Bulavinsky uprising. By the way, prosperous Cossacks were against Bulavin, they did not want to shed blood for stabbing, so one of the versions of Bulavin's death was his murder by these same Cossacks.
    Events have become serious. The number of troops sent to pacify the uprising reached 32 thousand.
    About 24 thousand people were executed, the fugitives were returned, the villages were burned.
    Next, we turn to the book of D. A. Urushev "Russian Old Believers."
    What is interesting for this author, he is not only a religious historian, member of the Union of Journalists of Russia, but also a parishioner of the Old Believer Nikolsky Church at the Tverskaya Zastava (Moscow).
    "It is the duty of every person to protect his land and his family from invaders, robbers and oppressors. The sacred duty of every Christian is to protect his faith and his Church from heretics and atheists.

    Love for Christ and His Church is greater than love for the motherland and relatives. After all, foreign land can become a new homeland, and foreign kin - a new family. But no one and nothing will replace the Orthodox faith and the Orthodox Church. Under Tsar Peter, this was proved by Cossacks-Nekrasovites who left the fatherland in order to maintain faith. "
  9. Okolotochny
    Okolotochny 23 June 2017 12: 06
    Yes, business, I live in the Ust-Labinsky district, in Nekrasovskaya I work stably once a month, I’m a normal village, Cossack society there is also “not the last”. But I did not know about such facts. Shame and shame. Thank you for the article. By the way, in the area of ​​Art. Nekrasovskaya, in the 19th century (in my opinion) there was a battle of a small detachment of the Russian army with the highlanders. Russian troops won.
    In general, especially on the right bank of the Kuban, the name of the majority of the villages came from the regiments of the Russian army stationed there. They guarded the Caucasus Line.