405 years ago, 4 - 5 in November 1612, the Minin and Pozharsky people's militia liberated Moscow from foreign invaders. In the bloody Troubles of the beginning of the XVII century, when the Russian state was already divided between the invaders "from the then" world community ", and the enemies were sitting in the Kremlin and Moscow, there was a radical change. Prince Pozharsky and Minin, in the midst of despondency and ruin, a bloody massacre in the dying country, led the people and found the strength to knock the enemy out of the Russian capital and begin the process of restoring Russian statehood.
The Russian state at that time was experiencing a deep spiritual and socio-political crisis. With the simultaneous activation of external hostile forces that tried to take advantage of the civil war and the destruction of statehood in Russia. The internal crisis in Russia was caused by the dynastic crisis and the struggle of the boyars' families for power, which put the country on the brink of disaster. The Boyars clans, trying to retain their former power, and not allow Ivan the Terrible to establish autocracy, entered into an alliance with foreign forces and harassed the great king and his heirs. The straight line of Rurikovich was stopped.
One of the conspirators, Boris Godunov, took the throne, was a strong ruler and carried out a soft westernization of Russia, but could not stop the intrigues of other boyar clans (including the Romanovs). At the same time, social justice was violated in Russia. The government and the boyars took the path of enslaving the peasantry (the overwhelming majority of the population). Climate distress and crop failure 1601 – 1602 and the terrible famine that followed, which claimed tens of thousands of lives, exacerbated the social situation to unprecedented heights. In 1603, the Cotton Rebellion began.
Exacerbated and external conditions. Poland and Lithuania united in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, with the support of the Roman throne, hurried to take advantage of Russia's weakness. Polish magnates wanted to plunder Russia, to seize its western regions. Later, when the collapse of the Russian state became apparent, plans appeared for the full occupation of Russia, with the gradual elimination of Orthodoxy. The appearance in Poland of a young nobleman, Gregory Otrepiev, who declared himself “miraculously saved” by prince Dmitry, was a gift to Polish magnates and then to King Sigismund III. The Poles — first the separate magnates and gentry, and then the royal power — supported the impostor. At the same time, apparently, the very idea of an impostor belonged to a part of the Russian boyars, oppositional to Godunov, including the Romanovs. That is, the Russian boyars themselves arranged the Troubles and most of the initiators of the civil war in Russia later not only were not punished, but occupied the highest posts in the state, including the place of the patriarch.
More about the Troubles in a series of articles in: Folk hero Kuzma Minin and Smoot; How the False Dmitry I was killed; How suppressed the uprising Bolotnikov; How the False Dmitry II tried to take Moscow; The ruin of the Russian land. Heroic defense of the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius; Skopin-Shuisky hike; How did the Polish invasion begin? Completion of the liberation of Moscow by the army of Skopin-Shuisky; The heroic defense of Smolensk; How the Polish army stormed Smolensk; Klushinskaya catastrophe of the Russian army; How Russia almost became a colony of Poland, Sweden and England; “The time has come for the feat!” How the First Militia was created; How the Poles burned Moscow; How the First Militia tried to free Moscow; How Minin and Pozharsky created the Second Militia; The capital of the Second Militia in Yaroslavl; Battle of the Russian capital; As the Polish army of hetman Khodkevich suffered a defeat near Moscow.
At the end of the year 1604, having accepted Catholicism, False Dmitry I entered Russia with a small army. Dissatisfied with the central government, southern cities, noblemen and Cossacks began to cross over to his side. In 1605, Boris Godunov was poisoned, and his son, the heir, was eliminated. The Moscow boyars went over to the side of an impostor who was recognized as the legitimate son of Ivan Vasilyevich. In June, an impostor 1605 became Tsar Dmitry I for almost a year. However, he did not become “parsley on the throne,” as the boyars would have liked, tried to pursue his policy, moreover the boyars were dissatisfied with the strengthening of the Poles in Moscow. The boyars organized a new conspiracy, and in May 1606, an uprising occurred. Impostor killed. The throne was occupied by the Shuisky clan - the boyar Vasily Shuisky “cried out” the king, who promised to rule with the Boyar Duma, not to impose disgrace and not to execute without trial.
However, Smoot only gained strength. By the summer of 1606, rumors about a new miraculous rescue of Tsar Dmitry spread throughout the country. In Putivl, an uprising broke out under the leadership of the escaped serf Ivan Bolotnikov, who declared himself the commander of the tsar Dmitry. This uprising had already taken on the character of a peasant war, and peasants, serfs, archers, Cossacks and nobles joined it en masse. The rebels even reached Moscow, laid siege to her, but were defeated. In the summer of 1607, the royal governors were able to suppress the uprising. Bolotnikov was captured and executed. In the meantime, all the discontented, including the broken Bolotnikovites, concentrated around False Dmitry II (its origin is not known for sure, there are several versions). He was supported by the Cossacks, led by Ataman Ivan Zarutsky and groups of Polish adventurers who wanted to "walk" nicely in Russia. In the summer of 1608, the troops of the new impostor settled in the village of Tushino near Moscow (hence the nickname “Tushinsky thief”), and besieged Moscow.
Since that time, the Russian state has actually broken up into two parts: there were two kings in the country, the government, the Boyar Duma, and two parallel control systems were built. In Tushino there was even a patriarch - Filaret (Romanov). Polish detachments scattered around the country, robbed and burned, and “thieves' Cossacks” and bandit groups acted in the same spirit. Russia sank in the fire, the wave of violence and blood. Tsar Shuisky was unable to crush the Tushino people on his own, and in February 1609 of the year entered into an agreement with Sweden hostile to Poland. Having given the Russian fortress Korela to the Swedes, having promised big money, he received military assistance, and the Russian-Swedish army, under the command of Mikhail Skopin-Shuisky and Delagardi, liberated a number of cities in the north of the country. Many cities, tired of the atrocities on the part of the Poles (the largest detachments were among the hetmans of Ruzhinsky and Sapieha, and of Lisovsky) and the Tushins, were separated from the impostor. However, the appearance of Swedish troops in Russia gave the Polish king the opportunity to launch an open intervention. In the fall of 1609, Polish troops laid siege to Smolensk. The heroic defense of the city continued until the summer of 1611. The Poles were able to break into Smolensk only when the Russian garrison fell almost completely.
At the same time, most of the Polish detachments that were in the service of the Tushino thief went over to their king, continuing to ravage the Russian lands. Tushino camp broke up. False Dmitry II fled to Kaluga. Some supporters of the “Tushinsky Tsar” went to the king, others behind the impostor to Kaluga. The Tushino patriarch Filaret and the boyars concluded an agreement with Sigismund III, according to which the son of King Vladislav was to become the Russian tsar. Acting on behalf of Vladislav, Sigismund III generously favored the Tushino land, which did not belong to him. Polish troops seized a number of cities in the west and south-west of Russia. And the impostor, freed from the influence of the Poles, began to pursue a "patriotic" policy, seize and execute the Poles. Kaluga "thief" swore that he would not give the Poles a single inch of the Russian land, but together with all the people he would die for the Orthodox faith. This appeal has found a response among many. False Dmitry II again attracted many supporters and led the war with two sovereigns: Tsar Basil and King Sigismund III. He again swore many cities. Kaluga for a time was the second capital of Russia.
In March 1610, the troops of Skopin-Shuisky solemnly entered liberated Moscow. However, the growing popularity of Skopin-Shuisky caused the king and the boyars to envy and fear. Many people wanted to see the successful commander Skopin-Shuisky on the royal throne, and not the hated Vasily Shuisky, especially the talentless brother of Tsar Dmitry Ivanovich Shuisky (he was heir, as Vasily had no sons). Skopin-Shuisky was preparing for the beginning of spring to come out of Moscow to help besieged Smolensk, but he was poisoned. The army that went to liberate Smolensk was led by Dmitry Shuisky, who had no military talents. 24 June 1610 The Russian-Swedish army was defeated at Klushin. Part of the troops went over to the side of the Poles.
A strong Polish detachment under the leadership of the crown hetman Zolkiewski moved to Moscow. From the south to Moscow the second time led the troops False Dmitry II. The impostor settled in the village of Kolomenskoye. In July, 1610 in Moscow, there was another palace coup. Basil Shuisky was overthrown and forcibly tonsured as a monk. The provisional boyar government - the Seven Boyars - went into direct national treason. 17 August 1610, the boyars government headed by Fyodor Mstislavsky, entered into an agreement with hetman Zolkiewski and, relying on the Treaty of Smolensk, chose Vladislav as the king. The Moscow boyars and nobles kissed the cross to the foreign king. However, in the capital and province, Vladislav was not popular.
In most of the lands of Russia continued unrest. Poles, “thieves Cossacks” and bandits committed atrocities. There were new impostors. In the west and north of the land, Polish and Swedish invaders were seized. Some cities kissed the cross to the boyar government and Vladislav, others to the False Dmitry, and some localities lived on their own. In the capital, many began to draw closer to the Kaluga "thief" and secretly refer to his people. The myth of the good son of Grozny again began to seize the imagination of the people. The self-styled king was sworn in by the population of many cities and villages, including those who had fought him stubbornly before. The real threat from the impostor prompted Seven Boyars to a closer alliance with the Poles. Under the pressure of Hetman Zolkiewski, the impostor detachments retreated to Kaluga. In December, an impostor was killed during an internal conflict.
The national liberation movement, which was already apparent during the False Dmitry II, was continued in the First and Second militias. At the head of the first militia was the Ryazan nobleman Procopius Lyapunov, who was joined by supporters of the impostor: Princes Dmitry Trubetskoy, Grigory Shakhovskaya, Masalsky, Cherkasy and others. Cossacks led by ataman Ivan Zarutsky also went over to the side of the militia. In March 1611, the militia approached Moscow. The townspeople rebelled. To help the residents of the city rushed forward militia. Prince Pozharsky was among the militia commanders; he was seriously wounded in battle. To keep the city the Poles set fire to Moscow. When the main forces of the First Militia approached the walls of Moscow, the White soldiers, the Earthen city and part of China-town, were liberated by the Russian soldiers. They chose a provisional government - the “Council of the whole earth,” headed by Lyapunov, Trubetskoy and Zarutsky. However, the militia leaders were in conflict, the nobles and the Cossacks could not find a common language. As a result, Lyapunov was killed and the noble detachments dispersed under the houses. The remnants of the militia led by Trubetskoy and Zarutsky remained in Moscow, mostly Cossacks.
The situation in the country remained extremely difficult, it seemed that the collapse and death of Russia were already inevitable. The Crimean horde, without meeting resistance, destroyed the Ryazan Territory. Smolensk after a long siege fell, the Swedes seized the northern Russian cities and occupied Novgorod. In December 1611, Pskov took the oath of the new impostor False Dmitry III. New impostor recognized the north-western cities. However, the Russian people could organize and repel the invaders. In the autumn of 1611, on the initiative of the elder Kuzma Minin and invited them as military leader Dmitry Pozharsky in Nizhny Novgorod, the Second Militia was formed. In February, the Second Militia marched to the capital. However, in March, the remnants of the First Militia swore allegiance to False Dmitry III. Under these conditions, the leaders of the Second Militia made Yaroslavl their capital, where the same provisional government was created as that of the first Militia, the Council of All the Earth. The militia stood here for four months, arranging the army and the "land". Zamoskovny, Volga and Pomeranian cities sent their military forces and the collected treasury to Yaroslavl. Kuzma Minin re-organized the system of territory management, which refused to recognize the power of the next impostor. The impostor himself did not last long in Pskov. The “Pskov Thief” turned out to be a mediocre military leader, also a rotten man — greedy and dissolute. A conspiracy arose against False Dmitry III, the impostor was captured and sent under escort to Moscow, on the way he was killed.
Minin and Pozharsky wanted to assemble in Yaroslavl a “general Zemstvo council” and elect a sovereign. Here, Prince Pozharsky was the first candidate, and apparently the best - a skilled, brave and honest warrior. In addition, from an ancient family - people from Starodubsky princes of Suzdal land carried their kind from the Grand Duke of Vladimir Vsevolod Yuryevich, son of Yuri Dolgoruky. However, a number of circumstances forced the militia to go to Moscow. In August 1612 it approached Moscow. In September, the Second Militia, with the support of the Cossacks from the First Militia, defeated the troops of Hetman Chodkiewicz, who was trying to unite with the Polish garrison, which controlled the Moscow Kremlin.
To be continued ...