The fate of the Crimea was decided during the Russian-Turkish war of 1768 — 1774. Under the command of Vasily Dolgorukov, the Russian army invaded the peninsula. The troops of Khan Selim III were defeated, Bakhchisarai destroyed, the peninsula devastated. Khan Selim III fled to Istanbul. Crimean know folded weapon and agreed with the accession of Sahib II Giray. Crimea was declared independent of the Ottoman Empire. In 1772, an alliance agreement was signed with the Russian Empire, Bakhchisarai received the promise of Russian military and financial assistance. On the Russian-Turkish Kuchuk-Kaynardzhsky world 1774, the Crimean Khanate and the Kuban Tatars gained independence from Turkey, retaining contacts only on religious matters.
However, the Kuchuk-Kaynardzhi world could not be eternal. Russia was only entrenched by the Black Sea, but the Crimean peninsula - this pearl of the Black Sea region, remained as if nobody else. The power of the Ottomans over him was almost eliminated, and the influence of St. Petersburg was not yet established. This unstable situation caused conflict situations. The Russian troops, for the most part, were withdrawn, the Crimean nobility was inclined to return the former status of the Crimea to the union with the Ottoman Empire.
Sultan still during the peace negotiations, sent to the Crimea Devlet-Girey with a landing force. The uprising began, there were attacks on Russian troops in Alushta, Yalta and other places. Sahib Girey overthrown. Khan elected Devlet Giray. He asked Istanbul to terminate the agreement on independence of the Crimean Khanate concluded with Russia, return the peninsula to its sovereignty and take the Crimea under its protection. However, Istanbul was not ready for a new war, and did not dare to take such a radical step.
Naturally, Petersburg did not like it. In the autumn of 1776, the Russian troops, with the support of the Nogais, overcoming Perekop, broke into the Crimea. They were also supported by the Crimean Beys, whom Devlet IV Giray wanted to punish for supporting Sahib II Giray. With the help of Russian bayonets, Shahin Girey was imprisoned on the Crimean throne. Devlet Girey with the Turks departed for Istanbul.
At the request of Shagin-Girey, Russian troops remained on the peninsula, stationed at Ak-Mosque. Shagin (Shahin) Giray was a talented and gifted person, he studied in Thessaloniki and Venice, he knew Turkish, Italian and Greek. He tried to carry out reforms in the state and reorganize the management in the Crimea on the European model. He did not reckon with national traditions, which caused irritation of the local nobility and Muslim clergy. He became known as a traitor and apostate. The nobility was dissatisfied with the fact that they began to remove her from government. The Tatar nobility of Shigin-Girey, which was almost independent of Khan, transformed the Bakhchsarai, Ak-Mechetskoye, Karasubazar, Gezlevskoye (Evpatoria), Kafinskoe (Feodosia) and Perekopskoe provinces into 6 (Kaimakams). Priesthood were divided into districts. Khan confiscated vakufs - the land of the Crimean clergy. It is clear that the clergy and the nobility did not forgive the khan of the assassination attempt on the basis of their well-being. Even his brothers Bahadir Giray and Arslan Girey spoke out against the policy of Shahin Gerai.
The reason for the uprising was the attempt of Khan to create a European-style armed forces. In the fall of 1777, a riot began. In December, a Turkish landing force headed by the Khan Selim Giray III appointed in Istanbul landed on the peninsula 1777. A rebellion swept the whole peninsula. The civil war began. With the support of Russian troops, the uprising was crushed.
At the same time, the Russian command strengthened its position in the south. At the end of November 1777, Field Marshal Peter Rumyantsev appointed Alexander Suvorov to command the Kuban Corps. In early January, 1778, he took the Kuban Corps and in a short time made a complete topographical description of the Kuban Territory and seriously strengthened the Kuban cordon line, which in fact was the border of Russia and the Ottoman Empire. In March, Suvorov was appointed instead of Alexander Prozorovsky commander of the troops of the Crimea and Kuban. In April, he arrived in Bakhchisarai. The commander divided the peninsula into four territorial districts, along the coast created a chain of posts at a distance of 3-4 km from each other. Russian garrisons were located in the fortresses and several dozen fortifications, reinforced with guns. The first territorial district had a center in Gezlev, the second - in the southwestern part of the peninsula, in Bakhchisarai, the third in the eastern part of Crimea - in the Salgir fortification-transrant, the fourth - occupied the Kerch Peninsula with the center in Yenikale. Behind Perekop, the brigade of Major General Ivan Bagration was located.
Alexander Suvorov issued a special order in which he called "to observe full friendship and to assert mutual agreement between the Russians and various ranks of ordinary people." The commander began to erect fortifications at the exit from Akhtiar bay, forcing the Turkish warships that remained there to leave. Turkish ships went to Sinop. To weaken the Crimean Khanate and save the Christians, who were the first victims during riots and the landing of Turkish troops, Suvorov, on the advice of Potemkin, began to promote the resettlement of the Christian population from the Crimea. They were resettled on the coast of the Azov Sea and the mouth of the Don. From spring to early autumn 1778, more than 30 thousand people were resettled from the Crimea to the Azov Sea region and Novorossia. This caused irritation of the Crimean nobility.
In July 1778, a Turkish fleet of 170 pennants appeared under the command of Gassan-Gaza-Pasha off the Crimean coast in the Feodosiya Bay. The Turks were thinking about landing. The Turkish command handed over a letter demanding a ban on sailing Russian vessels along the coast of the Crimean peninsula. In case of failure to comply with this requirement, Russian ships threatened to sink. Suvorov was firm and said that he would ensure the safety of the peninsula by all means available to him. The Turks did not dare to land troops. The Ottoman fleet ingloriously returned home. The Turkish fleet held another demonstration in September. But Suvorov’s measures, which strengthened the coast and ordered the Bagration brigade to enter the Crimea, were maneuvered by troops in view of the enemy’s fleet, corresponding to his movement, again forced the Ottomans to retreat.
10 March The Anayly-Kavak Convention was signed between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in March. She affirmed the Kuchuk-Kaynardzhi Treaty. Istanbul recognized Shagin Girey as a Crimean Khan, reaffirming the independence of the Crimean Khanate and the right of free passage through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles for Russian merchant ships. Russian troops, leaving 1779-thousand. the garrison in Kerch and Enikale, in the middle of June 6, left the Crimean Peninsula and the Kuban. Suvorov received an appointment in Astrakhan.
The Ottomans, not reconciled with the loss of the Crimea and the territories of the Northern Black Sea region, they in the autumn of 1781, the next uprising was provoked. At the head of the uprising were the brothers Shagin-Giray Bahadir-Giray and Arslan-Girey. The uprising began in the Kuban and quickly spread to the peninsula. By July, 1782, the uprising completely engulfed the entire Crimea, the khan was forced to flee, and the officials of his administration who had not managed to escape had been killed. Bahadir II Giray was elected a new khan. He appealed to Petersburg and Istanbul with a request for recognition.
However, the Russian Empire refused to recognize the new khan and sent troops to suppress the uprising. The Russian Empress Catherine the Great appointed Grigory Potemkin Commander-in-Chief. He was supposed to suppress the uprising and achieve the annexation of the Crimean peninsula to Russia. Troops in the Crimea were appointed to lead Anton Balmen, and on the Kuban - Alexander Suvorov. Balmen's corps, which was formed in Nikopol, occupied Karasubazar, defeating the army of the new Khan under the command of Prince Halim Giray. Bahadir was captured. His brother Arslan Girey was also arrested. Most of the Khan's supporters fled across the North Caucasus to Turkey. Potemkin again appointed Alexander Suvorov commander of the troops in the Crimea and the Kuban. Shagin Giray returned to Bakhchisarai and was restored to the throne.
Shagin Girey began to carry out reprisals against the rebels, which led to a new rebellion. So, was executed prince Mahmud Giray, who declared himself a khan in the Cafe. Shigin Giray wanted to execute both his brothers - Bahadir and Arslan. But the Russian government intervened and saved them, the execution was replaced by a conclusion in Kherson. The Russian empress “advised” Shagin Giray to voluntarily give up the throne and transfer her possessions to St. Petersburg. In February, 1783, Shagin Giray, abdicated the throne and moved to live in Russia. He lived in Taman, Voronezh, Kaluga. Then he made a mistake, went to the Ottoman Empire. Shagin was arrested, exiled to Rhodes and executed in 1787 year.
8 (19) April 1783, the empress Catherine II issued a manifesto on the inclusion of the Crimean Khanate, the Taman Peninsula and the Kuban into the Russian state. By order of G. Potemkin, the troops under the command of Suvorov and Mikhail Potemkin occupied the Taman peninsula and the Kuban, and the forces of Baliman entered the Crimean peninsula. From the sea, Russian troops supported the ships of the Azov flotilla under the command of Vice-Admiral Klokachev. Almost at the same time, the empress sent a frigate “Caution” to the peninsula under the command of Captain II rank Ivan Bersenev. He was given the task of choosing a harbor for the fleet off the southwestern coast of the Crimean peninsula. In April Bersenyev examined the bay near the village of Akhtiar, which was located near the ruins of Chersonese-Taurian. He proposed to turn it into the base of the future Black Sea Fleet. 2 May 1783, the bay included five frigates and eight small vessels of the Azov military flotilla under the command of Vice Admiral Klokachev. Already at the beginning of 1784, the port and fortress was laid. She was named Empress Catherine II of Sevastopol - "the majestic city."
In May, the Empress sent Mikhail Kutuzov, who had just returned from abroad after treatment, to the Crimea, who quickly settled issues of a politico-diplomatic nature with the remaining Crimean nobility. In June, 1783, in Karasubazar, on top of the Ak-Kaya (White Rock) cliff, Prince Potyomkin took the oath of allegiance to the Russian Empire from the Tatar nobility and representatives of all sections of the Crimean population. Crimean Khanate finally ceased to exist. It was established the Crimean territorial government. Russian troops located in the Crimea received the order of Potemkin to treat "residents friendly, not repairing any offense, which the leaders and regimental commanders have an example to."
In August, Balmen's 1783 was replaced by General Igelstrom. He proved to be a good organizer, established the "Tavrichesky regional government". Together with the Zemstvo government, almost all the local Tatar nobility entered it. 2 February 1784, by decree of the empress, established the Tauride region, headed by the president of the military college G. Potemkin. It includes the Crimea and Taman. In the same month, Empress Catherine II granted the highest Crimean class all the rights and privileges of the Russian nobility. Lists were made of 334 new Crimean nobles, who retained their old land ownership.
To attract the population, Sevastopol, Feodosiya and Kherson were declared open cities for all nationalities friendly to Russia. Foreigners were free to come to these settlements, live there and take Russian citizenship. In Crimea, serfdom was not introduced, the Tatars of not privileged classes were declared state-owned (state) peasants. Relations between the Crimean nobility and social groups dependent on them have not been changed. The lands and incomes that belonged to the Crimean “tsar” passed to the imperial treasury. All prisoners, subjects of Russia, received freedom. I must say that at the time of the annexation of the Crimea to Russia, on the peninsula there were about 60 thousand people, and 1474 villages. The main occupation of the villagers was the breeding of cows and sheep.
Changes for the better, after the annexation of the Crimea to Russia, appeared literally before our eyes. Domestic trade duties were eliminated, which immediately increased the trade turnover of the Crimea. The Crimean cities of Karasubazar, Bakhchisarai, Feodosiya, Gezlev (Evpatoria), Ak-Mosque (Simferopol - it became the administrative center of the region) began to grow. The Tauride region was divided into 7 counties: Simferopol, Levkopolsky (Feodosia), Perekopsky, Evpatoria, Dniprovsky, Melitopol and Fanagory. Russian state peasants, retired soldiers, immigrants from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Turkey were settled on the peninsula. Potemkin for the development of agriculture in the Crimea invited foreign experts in the field of horticulture, viticulture, sericulture and forestry. Salt extraction was increased. In August 1785, all the ports of the Crimea were exempted from paying customs duties for 5 years and the customs guard was transferred to Perekop. The turnover of Russian trade on the Black Sea by the end of the centuries increased several thousand times and amounted to 2 million rubles. On the peninsula, created a special office for the leadership and development of "agriculture and housekeeping". Already in 1785, Vice-Governor of the Crimea K. I. Gablitz conducted the first scientific description of the peninsula.
Potemkin possessed tremendous energy and ambition. On the shores of the Black Sea, he was able to implement many projects. The Empress fully supported him in this matter. Back in 1777, she wrote to Grimm: “I love unplowed countries. Believe me, they are the best. ” New Russia was really “unplowed” territory where it was possible to carry out the most amazing projects. Fortunately, Potemkin had the full support of the empress and the enormous human and material resources of Russia. In fact, he became a kind of vice-emperor of the South of Russia, who had the full will to implement his plans. Military and political victories were combined with rapid administrative, economic, naval and cultural development of the region.
G. A. Potemkin on the Monument "1000 Anniversary of Russia" in Veliky Novgorod.
In the bare steppe, entire cities and ports sprang up — Sevastopol, Kherson, Melitopol, Odessa. Thousands of peasants and workers were directed to the construction of canals, embankments, fortifications, shipyards, moorings, enterprises. Forests were planted. The flows of immigrants (Russians, Germans, Greeks, Armenians, etc.) rushed to Novorossia. By the end of the century, the population of the Crimean peninsula increased to 100 thousand people, mainly due to immigrants from Russia and Little Russia. The richest lands of the southern Russian steppes mastered. In record time, the Black Sea Fleet was built, which quickly became the master of the situation on the Black Sea and gained a series of brilliant victories over the Turkish fleet. Potyomkin planned to build a magnificent, not inferior to the northern capital, the southern capital of the empire - Ekaterinoslav on the Dnieper (now Dnipropetrovsk). It was going to build a huge cathedral, more Vatican St. Peter, a theater, a university, museums, a stock exchange, palaces, gardens and parks.
Versatile talents Potemkin touched and the Russian army. The almighty favorite of the Empress was a supporter of the new tactics and strategy of warfare, encouraged the initiative of the commanders. Replaced the tight uniforms of the German type on a light and comfortable uniforms of the new model, more suited to combat. Soldiers were forbidden to wear braids and use powder, which was a real torment for them.
The transformations went so fast that when in 1787, the Russian ruler Catherine II traveled to the Peninsula through Perekop, visiting Karasubazar, Bakhchisarai, Laspi and Sevastopol, Potemkin had something to boast about. Suffice it to recall the Black Sea Fleet, consisting of three battleships, twelve frigates, twenty small ships, three bombardier ships and two firefighters. It was after this journey that Potemkin received the title of "Taurian" from the empress.
It is clear that in Istanbul they did not accept the loss of the Crimean Khanate. The Ottomans, who were underlined by England, were actively preparing for a new war. In addition, the interests of Russia and Turkey clashed in the Caucasus and the Balkan Peninsula. It ended with the fact that Istanbul ultimately demanded the return of the Crimean Peninsula, but received a decisive refusal. 21 August 1787, the Turkish fleet attacked the Russian off the western shores of the Crimean peninsula, which was the signal for the start of a new war. In the Russian-Turkish war 1787 — 1791. success accompanied the Russian arms. In Moldova, Rumyantsev inflicted a number of heavy defeats on the Turkish troops, Golitsyn occupied Iasi and Khotin. Army Potemkin captured Ochakov. Suvorov defeated the Turkish army under Rymnik. The "impregnable" Ishmael and Anapa were captured. The Black Sea Fleet in a series of battles defeated the Turkish fleet. The Yassy peace treaty secured the entire Northern Black Sea region, including the Crimean Peninsula, for the Russian Empire.