Razinschina. The beginning of the peasant war

Razinschina. The beginning of the peasant war

Article "The Persian Campaign of Stepan Razin" we talked about a high-profile combat campaign of 1667-1669: a trip of the chieftain of this chieftain down the Volga and to Yaik, which ended with the capture of the Yaitsky town, and a pirate expedition to the Caspian Sea, the culmination of which was the defeat of the Persian fleet near Pig Island.

After giving a big bribe to the greedy Astrakhan governor I.S. Prozorovsky, Razin got the opportunity to enter the city and sell the booty there for 6 weeks, after which he went to the Don and stopped about two days from Cherkassk. Through Colonel Wideros, Razin handed over to the Astrakhan governor I. S. Prozorovsky that he was not afraid of him or “the one who is higher”, and promised to “pay off and teach me how to talk to me”:



“How dare they bring me such dishonest demands? Should I betray friends and those who followed me out of love and devotion? Tell your boss Prozorovsky that I do not reckon with him or the tsar, and I will soon appear that this cowardly and cowardly man does not dare to speak like this and command me as his serf when I was born free. "

(Jan Jansen Streus, Three Travels.)

This chieftain did not throw words into the wind, and therefore already in the spring of the next, 1670, he appeared on the Volga - “to settle accounts and teach.”


Commemorative medal "300 years of the peasant war led by Stepan Razin"

The country at that time was ruled by Alexei Mikhailovich Romanov, who entered history under the amazing nickname Quiet.


"The pious great sovereign tsar and grand duke Alexei Mikhailovich, all Great and Small and White Russia autocrat"

During his reign, there were great riots: salt (1648), bread (1650) and copper (1662), as well as a great split, ending in a scandalous trial of the disgraced Patriarch Nikon and his dismissal in 1666. There were brutal persecutions of the Old Believers, wars with Poland, the betrayal of the hetman Vygovsky, the Bashkir uprising of 1662-1664. And now the real and full-fledged peasant war has begun at all.


Ernest Lissner. Salt Riot

These are the paradoxes of Russian history: the century was “rebellious,” and the tsar, whose short-sighted policy led to these upheavals, is the Quietest.

Hike Vasily Usa


The flight of peasants from the landlords in those days was massive. It is known that in Ryazan County alone for 1663-1667. the authorities were able to “find” and return to their former places of residence about 8 thousand people. The number of those who were not caught and managed to get to the Volga, Don, Ural, Slobozhanshchina, it is impossible to calculate, but it is obviously not hundreds, but thousands and tens of thousands of people. A special place in the dreams and thoughts of these fugitives was occupied by Don, from whom “there was no extradition”. However, milk rivers did not flow there and the banks were not at all sour: all the free lands had long been occupied by the "old dominated Cossacks," who also received royal salaries, as well as lead and gunpowder.


Johann Gottlieb Georgi. Don Cossack

By the way, when you read “the old Cossack Ilya Muromets” in Russian epic, keep in mind that this is not an indication of age, but of social status: the storyteller tells us that Ilya is a staid and respected person, not a messy person without a clan and tribe.

If the Icelandic skald took this epic, we would read something like this in his saga:
“At that time, the mighty bond Ilias traveled to Nidaros, where, gathering on Ting, feasting with the chosen people of his hird, Konung Olav, son of Tryggvi.”


"Don Cossack of the XVI and XVII centuries." Illustration from the Military Encyclopedia published in St. Petersburg by the partnership of I. D. Sytin

But back to the Don.

Joining the Tsar’s Cossack service was the ultimate dream of the poor Cossacks, and in May 1666, Ataman Vasily Rodionovich Us, gathering a “goofy” team, which numbered from 700 to 800 people, led her directly to Moscow, to the Tsar — ​​to personally ask him to enroll them to serve and give a salary. On the way to them, neighboring peasants (Voronezh, Tula, Serpukhov, Kashir, Venev, Skopinsk and others) began to adjoin them, who were also not averse to “cossacking” to the state account. Vasily Us promised everyone who joined his unit 10 rubles, weapon and the horse - not from himself, of course, but from the "royal bounty". The peasants beat and prevented the owners from going with Us to the tsar and robbed them, while the Cossacks eagerly supported them in the robberies of the landowners' estates - and it is necessary to eat something on the campaign, and “swag” is never superfluous. As a result, at the end of July, the chieftain had at his disposal an entire army of 8 thousand people - desperate and ready for anything. With such forces and with the king it was already possible to interpret in his own way. And the king entered into negotiations, but made a condition: the Cossacks who came from the Don receive a salary, and the peasants who joined them return to their villages. Vasily Us even visited Moscow at the head of the Cossack delegation, but he could not accept the conditions of the authorities, leaving to the mercy of fate those who believed him. And the rebellious peasants would hardly have obeyed him and would have returned to their landlords for reprisal. As a result, Usp left Serpukhov from the boyar son Yaryshkin, who was supposed to conduct him for negotiations with the commander of the tsarist troops, Yury Baryatninsky, and returned to his camp, built on the banks of the Upa River about 8 km from Tula. What happened then?

Sergei Yesenin wrote about this Cossack leader:

Under a steep mountain
Mother parted with a faithful son.
"You do not stand, do not cry for the road,
Light a candle, pray to God.
I’ll collect Don, spin the whirlwind
I’ll sow the king, I’ll take off famously "...
On a steep mountain, near Kaluga,
Us got married with a blue blizzard.
He lies in the snow under the spruce,
With fun revelry, with a hangover.
Before him know everything and the boyars,
In the hands of gold spells.
"Do not disdain you, Us, do not be angry,
Rise, at least sip, try!
We drank red wines
Of your high breasts.
How drunk your spouse is from them,
White-haired girl-blizzard! "

No, near Kaluga Vasily Us did not die, and even did not enter the battle with the regular units of the tsar’s army: having divided his army into three detachments, he took him to the Don. After that, he himself preferred to “disappear” for a while, to step aside, and some of his team members joined Stepan Razin’s detachment, which in 1667 went on his famous expedition to the Volga, Yaik and Persia. In 1668, Vasily Us, at the head of 300 Cossacks, was in the detachment of the Belgorod governor G. Romodanovsky, but in the spring of 1670 he left him to join Razin. Stepan carried out the general command and led the ground army, and Us became his commander of the “ship rati”, and the rebels, according to Jan Streus, were already 80 then, and each of them had two guns.


Strugs of the Don Cossacks

And the commander of the Razin cavalry was Fyodor Sheludyak, a baptized Kalmyk who became a Don Cossack who was destined to survive both Razin and Usa, and to lead the last center of resistance in Astrakhan.



We part for a short time with Vasily Us and Fedor Sheludyak to talk about the beginning of the great Peasant War.

First successes


The previous campaign was a reconnaissance battle for Razin: he was convinced that the situation on the Volga was extremely favorable for the start of a large-scale uprising. For the outburst of popular anger, only the leader was missing, but now, after the triumphant return of the removed chieftain from the fantastically successful campaign to the Caspian, which glorified him both on the Don and the Volga, such a universally recognized super passionary leader has appeared.


Portrait of Stepan Razin. XNUMXth Century Engraving

Razin, moreover, was also “spellbound” from any danger by a “magician,” he commanded the devils and was not afraid of the Lord God himself (this was described in the article "The Persian Campaign of Stepan Razin") Yes, with such an ataman you can drag the king over his beard! Peasant warfare became almost inevitable.


Campaigns of Stepan Razin, map

The beginning of the peasant war


In the spring of 1670, Stepan Razin again came to the Volga, where ordinary people met him as "his father" (to whom he declared himself to all the oppressed):

"Revenge the tyrants who still held you in captivity worse than the Turks or Gentiles. I have come to give everyone freedom and deliverance, you will be my brothers and children."
After these words, everyone was ready to go to his death and everyone shouted in one voice: "Many years to our Old Man (Batske). May he defeat all the boyars, princes and all bonded countries!"

(Jan Jansen Streus.)

The same author wrote about the rebellious ataman:

“He was a tall and sedate man, with an arrogant straight face. He kept modestly, with great severity. He looked forty years old, and it would have been completely impossible to distinguish him from the others if he had not stood out for the honor that he had been shown when during a conversation they knelt down and bowed their heads to the ground, referring to him as nothing more. ”

From all sides, Cossacks, peasants, “working people” fled to Razin. And people are "walking", of course - but where would such a dashing business go without them?

Ahead of the rebel troops flew "lovely letters", which sometimes turned out to be stronger than guns and sabers:

“Stepan Timofeevich writes to you all the mob. Hto wants to serve God and the Emperor, and the great army, and Stepan Timofeevich, and I sent the Cossacks, and at the same time you would expel the traitors and extort the secular krapivivtsi. "

But this very letter, written in 1669:


Razin's deed

Vasily Us agreed with the residents of Tsaritsyn to knock down the locks of the city gates and let the rebels in. Governor Timothy Turgenev locked himself in the tower, which was taken by storm. Captured, Turgenev spoke roughly to Razin and for this he was drowned in the Volga.

The combined squad of Moscow archers, commanded by Ivan Lopatin, who was going to help Tsaritsyn, was taken by surprise during a break on the island of Denezhny (now it is opposite the Traktorozavodsky district of modern Volgograd, but in the XVII it was located north of the city).


Money Island

Archers fired from two sides (from the banks) sailed to the walls of Tsaritsyn and, seeing the Razin Cossacks on them, surrendered.

Razintsy entered Kamyshin under the guise of merchants. At the appointed hour, they killed the sentries and opened the gate. About the same Cossacks took the city of Farahabad during the Persian campaign of Razin.

Astrakhan seemed impregnable: 400 cannons protected the stone walls of the fortress, but the "black people" shouted from them: "Climb up, brothers. We have been waiting for you. ”

Sagittarius, according to Jan Streus, said:

“Why should we serve without a salary and go to death? Money and supplies were spent. We don’t get paid for the year, we are sold and betrayed. "
"They shouted a lot more, and the authorities did not dare to restrain them from this otherwise than with a kind word and great promises."



Ordinary archers. Drawing from the book of Brickner A.G., 1882

The same author (J. Streus) writes about the state of affairs near Astrakhan:

“His strength (Razin) grew day by day, and in five days his army increased from 16 thousand to 27 thousand people who approached peasants and serfs, as well as Tatars and Cossacks, who flocked on all sides by large crowds and detachments to this gracious and generous commander, as well as for the sake of free robbery. "

But as Ludwig Fabricius already describes the surrender of the detachment in which he was:

“Sagittarius and soldiers consulted and decided that this was the luck they had been waiting for so long and ran across with all their banners and drums to the enemy. They began to kiss and hug, and swore life to be with them, to destroy the treacherous boyars, throw off the yoke of slavery and become free people. "

The commander of this detachment S.I. Lvov and the officers rushed to the boats, but some of the archers of the Black Yar who were in the fortress opened fire on it from its walls, others cut off the path to the boats.

And Astrakhan fell, its city chieftain (and, in fact, the governor of Razin in the territories controlled by him) became Vasily Us, his assistant - Fedor Sheludyak (he "was in charge" of the ambush).


Astrakhan. Engraving of 1693 from the book of Nicolaes Witsen. Noord en oost Tartarye, 1705

Vasily Us held power tightly, didn’t give anyone “pamper”, and when Ataman A. Katorzhny, who came from the Don, started fooling around, after the first complaints the townspeople who didn’t “understand the concepts” were immediately “taken under guard”. Vasily Us even began to register the marriages of citizens, affixing the acts with a city seal (Razin himself had no time to think of this: he “married” the lovers near a willow or birch).


XNUMXth Century Astrakhan Seal

In Astrakhan, the rebels were captured and the newly built ship of the Western European type "Eagle".


Taranov V. Capture of the ship "Eagle"

The crew of this vessel consisted of 22 Dutch sailors led by Captain David Butler (among these Dutchmen was the master Jan Streus quoted by us) and 35 archers, armed with 22 squeakers, 40 muskets, four dozen pistols and hand grenades. Usually this ship is called a frigate, but it was a three-masted Dutch sailing-rowing pinas. For the Cossacks of Razin, the “Eagle” turned out to be too difficult to manage, so he was brought into the Kutum duct, where he rotted a few years later.

After that, the army of Razin went up the Volga, and the number of plows in it had already reached 200. Cavalry marched along the coast — about 2 thousand people. Saratov and Samara surrendered without a fight.


Buzulukov S. “Stepan Razin in Saratov”

Shortly before, in May 1669, the first wife of Alexei Mikhailovich, Maria Miloslavskaya, died. And a few months later, two of her sons died: 16-year-old Alexei and 4-year-old Simeon. And there were rumors among the people that they were poisoned by traitor boyars.


Tsarevich Alexey Alekseevich Romanov


Tsarevich Simeon Alekseevich Romanov

However, many doubted the death of Tsarevich Alexei - they said that he managed to escape from the villains, and he was hiding somewhere - either in the Don, or in Lithuania or Poland.

In August 1670, near Samara, a man appeared in the Razin camp, calling himself the saved Tsarevich Alexei. At first, the chieftain did not believe him:

"Stenka beat that sovereign and tore his hair."

But then, having thought, he nevertheless announced that the “Great Sovereign Tsarevich” Alexey Alekseevich from “boyar untruths” fled to him, a Don ataman, and on behalf of his father instructed him to start a war with “traitors boyars” and give all ordinary people free rein . The Razinians called the false Aleksei Nechai - because the heir to the throne accidentally and unexpectedly showed up in their army. The name Nechay became their battle cry. In the cities that had sided with Razin or in the captured cities, people began to be sworn allegiance to Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich and Tsarevich Aleksei Alekseevich.

It was also announced that the disgraced Patriarch Nikon was going to Moscow with Razin’s army.

“The leader of the rebels arranged this idea: on one ship, which had a stern elevation, put in red, he put the one whom he passed off as the sovereign’s son, and on the other ship, whose silk decoration was black, there was a likeness of a patriarch.”

(Johann Justus Marcius.)

About the uprising that swept into Russia, at that time they wrote abroad.

So, in the "European Saturday newspaper" on August 27, 1670, one could read:

"In Muscovy, according to rumors, a great rebellion broke out, and although the Tsar sent a letter to the rebels urging them to obey, they tore it up and burned it, and those who delivered it were hanged."

In the Hamburg newspaper North Mercury on September 1, 1670 it was reported:

“Astrakhan continues to be taken away from Moscow by rebels - Cossacks and various Tatars. They say the same thing about Kazan. If it is also taken away, then all Siberia is lost. In this case, the Muscovite is in the same condition as he was in 1554, and will have to pay tribute to the Astrakhan. The number of rebels has reached 150, and they are led by an old secret enemy of Moscow named Stepan Timofeevich Razin. ”

But the situation soon changed.

Defeat at Simbirsk


September 4, 1670, the troops of Razin, whose strength reached 20 thousand people, besieged Simbirsk.


Taranov V. “Strugi of Stepan Razin at Simbirsk”

The battle with the troops of Prince Baryatinsky lasted a whole day, and ended in a “draw”, but thanks to the help of the local population, the Razins managed to occupy the posad, and the garrison of Simbirsk, commanded by Prince Ivan Miloslavsky, was forced to take refuge in a "small town". Hoping to get reinforcements, Baryatinsky retreated from Simbirsk to Kazan, while Razin sent several detachments to Penza, Saransk, Kozmodemyansk and some other cities. You can probably talk about the tactical success of Stepan Razin, but at the same time he made a mistake by spraying his forces too much.

However, the situation for the tsarist government was very serious. Johann Justus Marcius of Mühlhausen wrote about the mood in Moscow:

“The property, life, fate of wives and children, and most importantly the honor of the nobility and the dignity of the king — everything was in jeopardy. The hour of the last trials came, bearing evidence of the fragility of his fate to the king, and Razin the evidence of his take-off ... The premonition of disasters worsened when it became known that supporters of the rebels with torches were already in town and, enjoying revenge, in their unbridled anger had already made several arsons. I myself could see how close everyone was to death, especially the royal dignitaries, because it was Razin who accused them of all troubles and demanded that they be extradited to many of them, so that certain death awaited them. ”



The title page of the thesis by Johann Justus Marzius, 1674

Meanwhile, Alexei Mikhailovich gathered a huge army of horsemen from the capital and the provinces noblemen and children of the boyars - their number reached 60 thousand people. Archers and regiments of the new system also went on a campaign against the rebels. Their governor was headed by Yuri Dolgoruky, "comrades" to whom K. Shcherbatov and Yu. Baryatinsky were identified. Dolgoruky led his troops from Murom, Baryatinsky September 15 (25) again went to Simbirsk - from Kazan.


Kosheleva O. E. "Army of Prince Yu. Baryatinsky"

Having broken up the rebel detachments at the village of Kulanga, the Karla River, the villages of Krysadaki and Pokloush, Baryatinsky again approached Simbirsk.

A decisive battle took place on October 1, 1670: government troops won thanks to a cavalry strike from the flank led by Baryatinsky himself. Razin fought in the most dangerous places, received a saber strike in the head and a musket bullet in the leg, and in an unconscious state was transferred to prison. Having regained consciousness, on the night of October 4 he organized a new desperate attempt to storm Simbirsk, but failed to take the city. Everything was decided by a joint attack by the troops of Baryatinsky and Miloslavsky: cramped on both sides, the Razinians fled to the plows and sailed down the Volga from the city.


Kosheleva O. E. “Retreat of the Razintsy from Simbirsk”

Razin with the Cossacks went to Tsaritsyn, and from there - to the Don to gather a new army. To meet him, Vasily Us sent 50 two-cossack Cossacks, who were supposed to "protect the Old Man."

A popular legend says that, retreating, Razin hid his saber in the crevice of one of the Zhiguli shekhan (coastal hills). Allegedly, he said to the Cossacks accompanying him:

“I feel death on the Don, another chieftain will continue my work. I’ll put my saber on the mound for him. ”
And he found the chief Razin saber on the mountain ataman Emelyan Pugachev and went to bring out the boyar evil spirits in Russia. ”

False Aleksey was captured near Simbirsk, whose death will be described in the next article. In it we will also talk about some of the “field commanders” of this Peasant War, the final defeat of the rebels, the execution of Stepan and the death of his associates.
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