This battle finally broke the resistance of Vladimir-Suzdal Russia and predetermined the fall of North-Eastern Russia into dependence on the Horde Empire.
Pogrom of Vladimir-Suzdal Russia
After the capture of Vladimir 7 in February 1238, Batu and his military leaders were able to divide the forces of the Horde army and separate corps to smash Russian cities as centers of resistance of the Russian land. Russian squads and pockets should be suppressed separately, until they were united in the army of the Grand Duke. In addition, the Horde command was going to cut off the army of Grand Duke Yuri Vsevolodovich, who left Vladimir before his fall, from Novgorod. Mr. Novgorod the Great with its vast suburbs (the so-called cities dependent on Novgorod) could expose a large army, which, together with the troops of the Grand Duke and his henchmen princes, already represented a serious threat to the Batu army. The troops of Batu were already weakened by fierce and bloody battles during the storming of Ryazan, battles with Kolovrat's squad, battles at Kolomna and the capture of Vladimir. Ordyntsy planned to crush the army of Yuri Vsevolodovich, who collected forces in the Volga forests, in the camp on the River Sit, before the Novgorod reinforcements arrived.
Solving these problems, the army of Batu moved from Vladimir in three main directions: to the north - to Rostov and further beyond the Volga, where the Grand Duke Yuri gathered troops; eastward to the Middle Volga; to the north-west - to Tver and Torzhok. Apparently, the Horde did not know the exact location of the Grand Duke’s headquarters and the collection of the Grand Duke’s troops, but they could have an idea from the prisoners about the general direction of the movement of Prince Yuri.
Ordyntsy passed on the ice of the Nerl to the lake Nero and approached Rostov. It was an ancient big city, where the old boyars enjoyed great influence. The city surrendered without a fight and suffered less from the Horde. From Rostov the Horde troops led by the commander Burundai went further to the north, to Uglich. Through Uglich lay the shortest road to the tributaries of the Mologa, to the River City, where the Grand Duke Yuri stood with his retinue. Uglich, apparently, also surrendered without a fight. Obviously, this was due to the fact that the squads from the cities went to Sit to the Grand Duke, and the local boyars preferred to agree and they knew how to do it. The rich trading cities could allocate the big tribute. The Horde princes were not interested in an all-out war of annihilation, they needed rich lands to enter the Horde and pay tribute. The points of resistance were extinguished as hard as possible in order to frighten the others. With the rest preferred to negotiate.
A detachment was sent from Rostov, which went east to Yaroslavl. The city gave battle to the invaders and was severely destroyed. Meanwhile, the eastern unit Horde, passed through Starodub and Gorodets. This campaign allowed the pogroms of the rich Volga cities and cut off the Grand Duke from the Volga, and the local troops could not unite with Yuri. Horde went from Vladimir on the ice of the Klyazma River to Starodub. Prince Ivan Vsevolodovich Starodubsky in advance sent the family, his property and the property of Svyatoslav from Yuryev “beyond Gorodets beyond the Volga into the woods”. Apparently, others followed his example. Horodynts straight from Starodub, through the forests came out to Gorodets, which stood on the left bank of the Volga. The city of Gorokhovets, located on Klyaz'ma below Starodub, was not injured during this campaign (it was defeated in the 1239 year, during the campaign on Murom). From Gorodets the Horde troops went up the Volga, smashing the Volga cities. “On the Volga, all the grades are poplenish,” the Russian chronicler noted. Separate detachments went far to the north, up to Galich-Mery and Vologda.
For that part of the army of Batu, which went from Vladimir to the north-west, Pereyaslavl-Zalessky became the first serious obstacle. It was a fortress on the shortest waterway from the Klyazma river basin to Veliky Novgorod. This waterway went along the whole system of rivers and lakes: along Klyazma, Nerl, Plescheev Lake, Nerl, Volga, Tvertsa, Msta and Ilmensky Lake. Pereyaslavl at that time was a strong fortress and the base of the great princes. In the 1195 year, half a century before the Batu invasion, the fortress was re-cut down. The defensive walls of the city reached 10 - 16 meters and, in their power, were inferior to the shafts of only the capital Vladimir. Wooden double walls with 12 towers complemented the fortification system. In addition, from the north the city was covered by the river Trubezh, from other sides - a deep ditch. Pereyaslavl was taken, according to Rashid ad-Din, by the tsarevich together for 5 days. In place of a flourishing city, a huge conflagration remains.
From Pereyaslavl, some Horde troops went north on the ice of Lake Pleshcheyevo to cut the great Volga route. In the area of Ksnyatin, they reached the Volga and went up the great river. Other detachments turned to Yuriev, defeated him, went further west, through Dmitrov, Volok-Lamsky to Tver. In the district of Tver, the Horde, who marched from Yuriev, united with the troops, climbing up the Volga from Ksnyatin. Tver also fiercely resisted and beat off attacks for five days.
Thus, the army of Batu ruined and burned almost all the major cities of the Upper Volga and the Klyazma and Volga interfluves. Only in February, 1238, in Vladimir-Suzdal Russia, fell 14 cities, not counting settlements and graveyards.
The defeat of the North-Eastern Russia. Map source: V. V. Kargalov. Mongol-Tatar invasion of Russia
Battle of the City River
By the beginning of March, the troops of Batu on a broad front reached the line of the Upper Volga. Grand Duke Yuri Vsevolodovich at that time was gathering troops in the camp on the River City (north-west of the modern Yaroslavl region) and was in close proximity to the Horde forward detachments. From Uglich and Kashin the body of the temnik of Burundi, one of the best commanders of Batu, moved.
The camp on the City River was chosen because of its remoteness from busy places and at the same time because of the ease of gathering troops and their supplies. Deaf forests, snow and deserted territory covered the grand duke's army from enemy cavalry. It was difficult to find a path and guides. The Grand Duke hoped to sit out for the woods, waiting for reinforcements. Yuri Vsevolodovich came to Syt only with his nephews Vasilko Rostov, Vsevolod Yaroslavsky and Vladimir Uglichsky (sons of the Grand Duke of Vladimir Konstantin Vsevolodovich) and with the "small army".
Reinforcements were expected from the rich and crowded Novgorod, where the rules of the brother of the Grand Duke - Yaroslav Vsevolodovich. It was there that the land road from the City, which was closed to the Horde by forests, led from. In addition, over the ice, Mologi approached the City by sledding: from the south - from the Volga and from the north - from Beloozer. This route was important for the supply of the grand duke's troops, ensured the arrival of reinforcements and supplies from the rich Volga and northern cities, and, if necessary, made it possible to retreat to even more remote and sparsely populated areas.
Perhaps the Grand Duke would have been able to assemble a large army to give a decisive battle to the enemy (he had more than a month), but the same reason that allowed the Horde people to smash the Russian lands and cities separately — the feudal fragmentation, the selfish interests of the princes and their boyars The princes did not rush to the aid of their "elder brother". Obviously, everyone thought that they would be able to sit out behind the high walls, save the squads, come to an agreement with the Horde and even benefit from the situation. Strong Novgorod regiments, on which the Grand Duke had high hopes, did not go to the City at all. “And I was waiting for my brother Yaroslav, and there wasn’t him,” noted the chronicler. The squads of many cities and princedoms, forced due to the rapid invasion of the enemy to make their way to the grand-ducal camp by detour, through the woods, did not have time to start the battle. So it was, for example, with the squad of Starodubsky Prince Ivan, who advanced to the aid of the Grand Duke, went secretly in the forests, but was late. Yuryevskaya squad of Grand Prince Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich's brother came to Sit. As a result, a large army to collect the Grand Duke failed.
The army of Burundi reached the Volga in the Uglich area by the beginning of March 1238. The fact that the well-fortified cities of Rostov and Uglich surrendered without a fight, although they could have detained the enemy, and the Horde were close to the Sith forests, was unexpected for the Grand Duke. Apparently, the fact that the organization of long-range intelligence was badly played a major role in the defeat of Russian rati. When rumors of the enemy approaching reached Yury Vsevolodovich, he sent 3-thousand to reconnaissance. detachment Voivode Dorozha (Dorofei). The remaining troops were headed by Vladimir voivode Zhiroslav Mikhailovich, who began to hastily prepare the regiments for battle.
As subsequent events showed, these measures were not enough. The guard service was organized poorly, and the appearance of the enemy troops near the Russian camp was a surprise for the Grand Duke and his commander. The South Russian chronicler noted that Yuri Vsevolodovich was standing on the City, "having no guard". The detachment of the voivode of the Road, hastily advanced forward, not only did not have time to warn a sudden attack, but he himself was ambushed and exterminated. Voivode Road rode to the Grand Duke with the news that the enemy was already surrounding the Russian camp. The fact that the attack of the regiments of Burundi was unexpected for the Russian squads is reported by Russian chronicles: "... suddenly hedging tatarave."
The unexpected attack, which immediately put the Russian troops in a very difficult position, preventing them from meeting the enemy fully armed or retreating in time when superior forces appeared, was aggravated by the placement of the grand duke’s ratius. In the City there were no large settlements, and the troops in winter conditions (it was impossible to stand in the field) were deployed in individual villages. In order to collect them in one place it took time, but it was not there. In addition, the first onslaught of the enemy could be contained based on the previously prepared strong fortifications - ditches, ramparts, paling. But on the City there were neither cities with their strong fortifications, nor feudal manor castles. Yuri Vsevolodovich made an attempt to strengthen the camp with shafts, but they were not finished by the beginning of the battle. The chroniclers will not report that the Horde had to storm some fortifications on the City.
Thus, the enemy cavalry, destroying the forward detachment of Voivode Dorozha and unexpectedly attacking the camp of the Grand Duke, did not meet with any strong organized resistance. Russian regiments did not have time to pack up and line up for battle. “The prince began to put the regiments around himself, and suddenly the Tatars had grown, the prince did not have time,” the chronicle reported. However, the Russians took the fight. Started "slashing evil." Vladimir squads did not withstand the onslaught of superior forces and ran. Horde pursued them to the mouth of the river. Russian army was destroyed. The Grand Prince Yury Vsevolodovich, his voivode Zhiroslav Mikhailovich, the Yaroslavl Prince Vsevolod Konstantinovich died in the battle. The captured Rostov prince Vasilko Konstantinovich was also captured. Svetoslav Vsevolodovich and Vladimir Konstantinovich Uglich were saved. Apparently, this was due to the fact that the Russian squads did not join the battle all at once, and those coming to the place of the massacre had the opportunity to slip away from other places.
The defeat of the Russian troops finally broke the resistance of the princes of North-Eastern Russia and predetermined the fall of Vladimir-Suzdal Russia into dependence on the Horde. After the death of the Grand Duke Yuri, his brother, the prince of Pereyaslavl, Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, took the grand throne.
The army of Burundi was weakened after the battle - “they suffered a great ulcer, they fell and a considerable number of them”. In general, the baty troops suffered heavy losses after the devastation of the Ryazan and Vladimir-Suzdal principalities.
Battle of the City Miniature XVII.
Heroic Defense Torzhok
When moving to the north, Batu's troops rested against Torzhok. The ancient Russian city, a fortress on the southern borders of the Novgorod land, which locked the shortest path from the “Nizovsky land” (the Novgorod Vladimir-Suzdal Russia was so called) to Novgorod along the Tvertsa river. Torzhok for his history more than once became an arena of battle and had a strong defense. The earthen embankment surrounding the city reached 12 - 13 meters. On three sides, the fortress was covered by the river Tvertsa, and on the fourth - a deep ditch, which turned the city into a real island.
Horde "stumbled Torzhok" 22 February 1238, and unexpectedly met with fierce resistance. Get a small town on the move failed. At this time there was no prince and professional squad in Torzhok. The defense was held by the city militia, headed by posadnik Ivanko, Yakim Vlunkovich, Gleb Borisovich and Mikhailo Moiseevich. Faced with a strong resistance, the Horde moved to the correct siege. They "cast asunder" the whole city, brought siege vehicles - "vices." Separate detachments smashing to the city along the Upper Volga were attached to the city.
The townspeople fought back, waiting for help from Novgorod, their "older" city. But help never came. Novgorod boyars preferred to sit behind forests and marshes, hoping for a near spring thaw. After a two-week siege, "people were exhausted in the city." In several places, the walls collapsed and the Horde broke into hail. March 5 Torzhok fell and “hashed everything from men to sex and to Zhensk ...”. A small detachment was able to break through from the lost city and flee to the north along the "Seliger Road". They were pursued by the Horde, according to the chronicles, to the “Ignach-Krest”, from which 100 versts remained until Novgorod.
Batu did not go to Novgorod. Researchers attribute the rejection of the campaign to the rich Novgorod with the lack of time in the conditions of approaching the spring thaw and great losses in previous battles. For the battle of Novgorod, if the Russians would go out into the field, and for the siege of a crowded and well-fortified city, Batu did not have enough strength near Torzhok. The army of Burundi suffered serious losses and stood in the Volga forests to get to Torzhok it took at least two weeks. Even more time was required for detachments that stood in the area of Yaroslavl and Kostroma. The big forces for striking the Novgorod Batyi could gather near Torzhok only in the end of March - the beginning of April. And before Novgorod there were still about 300 km, which had to be overcome by a large army with carts and siege weapons. In April, the Novgorodian forests and marshes became impassable for the troops. Therefore, the Horde Council decided to withdraw the troops to the south in the steppe.
Russians fought with the "Chinese"?
Continuing the theme “Mongols and Mongolia”, which allegedly conquered Russia, it is necessary to make a brief analysis of the movie “Legend of the Kolovrat” of 2017. Like fantasy - the film is not bad. We drew beautiful Russian cities (it is a pity that without the mighty ramparts and moats), the Terema-Mansion, the dressers did their best. The episodes show revived paintings of medieval Russia. They showed the Russian spirit, the military and even the old man-righteous, whom the bear listens. True, they overdid it with its size, not a ber-bear, but a whole elephant. Showing the values of family, love for the motherland and its people, readiness for self-sacrifice. Showed the egoism of princes from other principalities that did not bring the regiments to the aid of Ryazan.
The problem is that the majority of young people, and adults as well, perceive the film as historical. And then there are serious questions. First, the authors of the film strongly circumcised and distorted what we know from sources like The Tale of the Ruin of Ryazan Batu. So, in Ryazan knew about the arrival of the enemy, there was no panic. Even when the Horde crushed the Polovtsian camps, in Russia they knew about the arrival of a formidable enemy. Horde sent their envoys to Ryazan, demanded tithing. Ryazan sent a response embassy with the son of the great Ryazan prince Fyodor. The embassy died. Ryazan gathered and exposed a host who met the enemy on the borders of the principality and died in a fierce battle. Ambassadors for help to other principalities were sent in advance. Among such ambassadors was voivode Evpaty Kolovrat. And he fought not with 2-3 by dozens of warriors and men, but by a strong retinue from hundreds of fighters, whom he brought from Chernigov and whom he gathered around Ryazan. Therefore, trashing the backs of the Batu army and was able to turn on the best Baty regiments.
Secondly, many immediately noticed the desire of the creators of the picture to repeat the success of the film "300 Spartans." Batu Khan and his army are very similar to the Persian "horde". Well, that though the Mongols did not draw animals. Here and flying Horde special forces, saboteurs on ropes jumping with bows from the rocks, although it is more convenient to shoot at the enemy from the spot.
Thirdly, the Horde and Batu in the film are not even “Mongols from Mongolia”, but real Chinese, with their own clothes and symbolism (dragon). It turns out that the Russians fought not even with the "Mongols", but the Chinese.
As noted more than once no Mongol- "Chinese" in Russia XIII-XV centuries. did not have (not counting individual representatives in the form of scholars, slaves, concubines, etc.). The Mongols and the Chinese are a Mongoloid race. Russians-Russ are Caucasians, like Volgari Bulgars (future Kazan Tatars), Polovtsy, Pechenegs, and Sarmatians and Scythians before them. Horde - also Caucasians, representatives of the white race. Neither in Ryazan, nor in Vladimir-Suzdal, nor in the Kiev lands was there any skulls of Mongoloids. No signs of Mongoloid and the local population. Although if the Mongol horde of tens of thousands of warriors had passed through the Russian lands, cutting out the Russian population and raping women, and then had dominated Russia for more than one hundred years, such signs would have been. Because Mongoloid is dominant, overwhelming: it was enough for thousands of Mongols to rape thousands of Russian women, and Russian burial grounds would be filled for many generations with representatives of the Mongoloid race. But in the Russian burial grounds and mounds of the Horde since the Europeans lie. As a result, despite attempts by Western and Ukrainian propagandists to write down Russian-Muscovites to Asians - descendants of the Mongols and Finno-Finns, Russians are typical representatives of the white race. Moreover, the Russians retained their anthropological (racial) signs better than, for example, the French, Italians, or the “true Aryans” - the Germans.
Mongols in Russia since the “Mongol invasion and the Tatar-Mongol yoke” did not exist. If the innumerable “Mongolian” tumens of darkness had walked through Russia, as we are told in numerous books and shown in films, the anthropological Mongoloid material in Russian soil would certainly have remained. After all, the battles and storming of cities were, there was an invasion. Thousands of people died. However, Mongoloid in Russia appears only in the XVI-XVII centuries. together with the Tatars, who serve the Russian tsars and, being originally Caucasians, receive Mongoloid signs on the eastern frontiers, where they start mixing with the Turks, who have a strong Mongoloid admixture and the Mongoloids themselves.
And the real Mongols themselves simply could not reach from the borders of China to Russia. During the "Mongol" invasion and the creation of the "Mongol" empire, they were at a very low level of development. Approximately at the level of most of the Indian tribes of North or South America - hunters, primitive herders. Primitive shepherds and hunters could not create a Eurasian empire. It's fantastic.
The Russian chronicles did not report anything about the "Mongols", but they wrote about "Tatars", "unclean", that is, pagans. As the historian Yu.D. Petukhov notes in his work “The Antiquities of the Rus”: “The huge forest-steppe spaces of the Northern Black Sea region through the Southern Urals to Altai, the Sayans and Mongolia itself, the spaces that idle writers settled with the fictional“ Mongols ”, actually belonged to the well-known science “To the proto-Scythian-Siberian world”, and then to the Scythian-Siberian one ”.
Long before the departure of the last wave of Aryan-Indo-Europeans, who in the second millennium BC. er left the Northern Black Sea region and the Southern Urals to Iran and India, having created great civilizations there, the European Indo-Europeans mastered the forest-steppe zone from the Carpathians and the Danube to the Sayans and Northern China. They reigned supreme on the vast expanses of Eastern Europe, where they were known as Cimmerians, Scythians, Tauroskifs and Sarmatians, to the borders of Japan and China - in the east, and in the south - adjacent to the civilizations of Iran and India.
“These proto-Scythians and Eastern Scythians-Scytes, moving slowly, in generations, periodically settling behind land, reached Mongolia. And dominated it, bringing there and ironwork, and the art of riding, and agriculture, and civilization as a whole. The local Mongoloids, who were in the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age), simply could not compete with these "Scyphos-Siberians." It is the memory of them, tall and light-eyed Caucasians, later gave rise to the legends of the Russian species and the blue-eyed Genghis Khan. ... The military elite, the nobility, the warriors of Transbaikalia, Khakassia, Mongolia of those times were the Indo-Europeans-Europeans. Huge generations of “Scythos-Siberians” were the only real force that could conquer China, Central Asia ... And they did this, later dissolving into the Mongoloid masses of the East, but retaining their memory as fair-haired and gray-eyed giants ... ”.
Thus, in Russia, two fragments of the great northern civilization, the legendary Hyperborea, the late Great Scythia, descended in the battle of the Titans. Ruses of Ryazan, Vladimir and Kiev fought with the late Scythian clans of the Asian part of the northern tradition. Anthropologically and genetically late Scythians-Horde were the same Rus-Russians as the Russians, who lived in Suzdal or Chernihiv. Outwardly, they differed in the dialect of the Russian language (like today's Russians and "Ukrainians"), in faith they were pagan- "trashy", in the style of clothing and life ("Scythian-Siberian animal style"). Therefore, the Horde (from the Russian words “kin”, “glad”) did not bring much to Russia and relatively quickly (historically) became part of the united Russian Empire, which was finally formed in the era of Ivan the Terrible.
That is why the Scythians of the Horde-Rada quite easily found a common language with the princes and boyars of Russia, became related, framed, married daughters to princes and princes-khans. The Horde were Caucasians, Eastern relatives of Russians. Therefore, the population of the Golden Horde flowed into the Russian super-ethnos quite naturally, without “Mongoloid signs.” Russia and the Horde became a united Russian empire, which again extended from the Pacific Ocean, the borders of Japan, Korea and Japan to Eastern Europe.