Military Review

Azov seat and the transfer of the Don troops in the Moscow service

In the previous article "Seniority (education) and the formation of the Don Cossack troops in the Moscow service"And in other articles of the series on stories Cossacks were shown how the measures of the Moscow princes and their governments, the southeastern Cossacks (primarily the Don and Volga) were gradually placed in the service of the new empire, revived on the shards of the Horde. Moscow was slowly, with zigzags and riteras, but was steadily becoming the “third Rome”.

By the end of the reign of Ivan the Terrible, almost the entire coast of the Baltic Sea and the previously conquered territories in Livonia and Belarus were abandoned by Russian troops. The forces of the country were exhausted by the continuous wars and the tsar's heavy internal struggle with the boyars. This struggle was accompanied by executions and flight of the king's entourage abroad. Opponents of Ivan also did not spare him and his kind. The first, beloved wife of King Anastasia was poisoned. Tsar's first son, Dmitry, during a trip with the tsar to the pilgrimage, drowned in the river due to an oversight of the courtiers. The second son, Ivan, full of strength and health, endowed with all the qualities to rule the country, died from a mortal wound inflicted on him by his father, under very strange circumstances. The heir to the throne remained weak and unfit for the government of the third son of the king - Fedor. The dynasty died away with this king. With the death of the childless Tsar Fedor, the country faced the threat of ending the dynasty and the dynastic turmoil that always accompanied it. With a weak king, his brother-in-law Boris Godunov became increasingly important. His policy towards the Cossacks was completely hostile and no merit of the Cossacks could change that. So in 1591, the Crimean Khan Kasim-Giray, by order of the Sultan, with a large army broke through to Moscow. People in fear rushed to seek salvation in the woods. Boris Godunov was made to repel the enemy. But the huge Crimean-Turkish army stretched for hundreds of miles, along the "ant of Grace." While Kasim Khan was already standing near Moscow, the Don Cossacks attacked the second echelon, defeated the rear and the train of his army, captured many prisoners and horses and moved to the Crimea. Khan Kasim, having learned about what happened in his rear, withdrew from the troops near Moscow and rushed to the defense of the Crimea. Despite this victory, the policy of Godunov to the Cossacks was far from friendly. Again, the correctness of the old Cossack proverb "how the war is - so the brothers, how the world is - so sons of bitches are children." After all, after the failures of the Livonian war, Moscow strongly moderated its geopolitical ambitions and avoided wars in every way. Peace treaties were concluded with Poland and Sweden, under which Moscow without war, using the Polish-Swedish regional rivalry, regained some of the previously abandoned territories and managed to keep part of the Baltic coast. In the internal life of the country, Godunov introduced a strict order of government, and the population of the outskirts tried to bring them into complete obedience. But Don did not obey. At that time, a complete blockade was established against Don, and any message was interrupted with the Army. The reason for the repressions was not only the peaceful foreign policy successes of Godunov, but also his organic dislike for the Cossacks. He perceived the Cossacks as an unnecessary atavism of the Horde and demanded servile submission from free Cossacks. By the end of the reign of Fyodor Ioannovich, the relations of the Don Cossacks with Moscow were completely hostile. By orders of the Moscow government, Cossacks, who came to the Moscow possessions to visit their families and on business, were seized, hung up and put in prison and in the water. But the cruel measures of Godunov, following the example of Grozny, were beyond his power. What was forgiven to the "legitimate" Russian tsar was not allowed to the illiterate impostor, although he ascended the throne of Moscow by decision of the Zemsky Sobor.

Moscow at that time, and it was very wise, refrained from open participation in the European coalition against Turkey, thus avoiding a big war in the south. Princes Cherkassky, Kabardian and Khans of Tarkovsky (Dagestan) were subject to Moscow. But Shevkal Tarkovsky showed disobedience and in 1591, Yaik, Volga and Grebensky Cossack troops were sent against him, which led him into submission. In the same year, one of the most tragic events in Russian history took place in Uglich. Tsarevich Dimitri, son of Tsar Ivan the Terrible from the sixth wife of Mary from the princely family of the Naked was slaughtered. This genus comes from the Nogai tribe of the Khans Temryukov, who, during the transition to the Russian service, received the title of Princes Nogai, but as a result of incomprehensible transcription in Russian, they became princes Nagiye. The story of the death of Dimitri is still shrouded in a dense veil of secrets and conjectures. According to the official conclusion of the investigative commission, it was established that the prince died as a result of suicide in a fit of "epilepsy". Popular rumors did not believe the “suicide” of the prince and considered Godunov to be the main culprit. The legality of the right of succession to Tsarevich Dimitri, born of the sixth wife of the king, according to the Church Charter, was doubtful. But in the current conditions of the termination of the direct male line of the dynasty, he was a real claimant to the throne and stood in the way of the ambitious plans of Godunov. At the end of 1597, King Fedor fell into a serious illness and died in January 1598. After the murder of Demetrius and the death of Fyodor, the direct ruling line of the Rurik dynasty was terminated. This circumstance was the deepest cause of the subsequent monstrous Russian Troubles, the events of which and the participation of the Cossacks in it were described in the article “Cossacks in the Time of Troubles”.

In the same year 1598, another important event was noted in the Don history. Ataman Voeikov with 400 Cossacks set off on a deep raid on the Irtysh steppes, tracked down and attacked Kuchum's camp, defeated the Horde, captured his wives, children and property. Kuchum managed to escape to the Kyrgyz steppes, but there he was soon killed. This brought a final turning point in the struggle for the Siberian Khanate in favor of Muscovy.

In the course of the Troubles, the Cossacks put their candidate for the kingdom "on their own will". With the election of Tsar Michael, normal relations were established with them, and the disgrace established by Godunov was removed. They were restored to their rights that existed during Grozny. They were allowed to conduct duty-free trade in all cities of the Moscow possessions and freely visit their relatives in the Moscow lands. But with the end of the Troubles, the Cossacks began to see profound changes in their lives. At first it seemed that the Cossacks had the role of winners. But this role of them put them in a position of greater rapprochement and dependence on Moscow. The Cossacks took a salary, and this was the first step in turning them into a service class. The unit princes, the boyars and their warriors after the Troubles turned into a service class. The same way was planned for the Cossacks. But the traditions, local situation and the restless nature of the neighbors forced the Cossacks to firmly hold on to their independence and often to be disobedient to Moscow and the royal decrees. After the Troubles, the Cossacks were forced to take part in the campaigns of the Moscow troops, but with respect to Persia, the Crimea and Turkey showed complete independence. They constantly attacked the Black Sea and Caspian coasts, most often together with the Dnieper Cossacks. Thus, the interests of the Cossacks sharply diverged in the Persian and Turkish issues with the interests of Moscow, which wanted a lasting reconciliation in the south.

Azov seat and the transfer of the Don troops in the Moscow service
Fig.1 Cossack raid on Cafu (now Theodosius)

Poland also did not leave their claims to the Moscow throne. In 1617, the Polish prince Vladislav turned 22 of the year, and he and the troops went again to "fight the throne of Moscow", occupied Tushino and besieged Moscow. Zaporozhye hetman Sahaidachny joined Vladislav and stood at the Donskoy Monastery. Among the defenders of Moscow were 8 thousands of Cossacks. October 1 Poles went on the attack, but were repulsed. The cold weather set in and the Polish troops began to scatter. Vladislav, seeing this, lost all hope of the throne, entered into negotiations and soon peace was concluded with Poland for 14,5 years. Vladislav returned to Poland, and Sagaydachny with the Ukrainian Cossacks went to Kiev, where he declared himself the hetman of all Ukrainian Cossacks, thereby deepening the enmity between the upper and lower Dnieper Cossacks.

After the peace with Poland, there was a letter of thanks to the Don Cossacks, in which the royal salary was established. It was decided to annually release 7000 quarters of flour, 500 buckets of wine, 280 pounds of gunpowder, 150 pounds of lead, 17142 rubles of money. For the adoption of this salary, every winter it was established that atamans with hundreds of the best and most respected Cossacks were sent from Razdor. This annual business trip to Moscow was called the “winter village”. There were also easier business trips or “light villages”, when 4-5 Cossacks with ataman were sent with reports, formal replies, on service or on official need. The reception of the Cossacks took place in the Foreign Order, the stanitsa on the way and in Moscow were kept by the royal dependents, the seconded Cossacks received a salary, run-through and fodder. The adoption of a permanent salary was a real step towards the transformation of free Don Cossacks into a service army of the Moscow Tsar. Over the next decades under the rule of Tsar Mikhail, the Cossacks' relations with Moscow were very complicated. Muscovy sought to establish peace with Turkey in the Black Sea, and the Cossacks with respect to their southern neighbors were completely unrelated to Moscow’s policy and acted independently. An important enterprise was conceived by the Don Cossacks - the seizure of Azov and a thorough but secret preparation began for this campaign. Azov (in ancient times Tanais) was founded at the time of the Scythians and has always been a major trading center, but also the ancient capital of the Don wanderers and Kaisaks. In the XI century, it was conquered by the Polovtsy and received its current name Azov. In 1471, Azov was taken by the Turks and turned into a powerful fortress in the mouth of the Don. The city had a closed stone wall with towers 600 length fathoms, 10 height fathoms, ditch width 4 fathoms. The garrison of the fortress consisted of 4 thousands of Janissaries and up to 1.5 thousands of different people. In service there was up to 200 guns. The Don Cossacks 3000, the Zaporozhian 1000 Cossacks with the 90 guns spoke at Azov. Mikhail Tatarinov was elected marching chieftain. It also exhibited powerful outposts from Temryuk, the Crimea and the sea, and on April X, the Cossacks besieged the fortress from all sides. The first attack was repulsed. By this time, the ataman of the “winter village” of Kvorzhny led reinforcements from the 1500 Cossacks and the annual Moscow salary, including ammunition. Seeing that the fortress was not taken by assault, the Cossacks decided to seize it with a mine war. On June 18, work on the undermining was completed, at 4 in the morning hours there was a terrible explosion and the Cossacks rushed to the assault into the breach of the wall and from the opposite side. On the streets of the great seething boil. The surviving Turks took refuge in the castle of the Janashar Tash-Kale, but on the second day also surrendered. The entire garrison was destroyed. The loss of the Cossacks amounted to 1100 people. Zaporozhtsy, getting their share, went to his. After the capture of Azov, the Cossacks began to transfer the "Main Army" there. The goal to which the cossacks all the time sought - the occupation of their ancient center - was achieved. The Cossacks restored the old cathedral and built a new church, and realizing that the sultan would not forgive them for taking Azov, they strengthened it in every way. Since the Sultan was firmly occupied by the war with Persia, they had a fair amount of time. Under these conditions, Moscow behaved very wisely, sometimes even too much. On the one hand, she complained to the Cossacks with money and supplies, on the other hand she reproached them for the unauthorized "without royal commandment" the taking of Azov and the murder of the Turkish ambassador Cantacuzene, who was convicted by the Cossacks of espionage. At the same time, he reproached the Sultan that Moscow was violating the peace, the Tsar responded with complaints about the excesses of the Crimean troops during raids on Moscow lands and completely renounced the Cossacks, allowing the Sultan to pacify them himself. Sultan believed that the Cossacks took Azov by “tyrant”, without a royal decree and ordered the troops of the Crimea, Temryuk, Taman and Nogai to return it, but the offensive of field hordes was easily repulsed, and the Cossacks were taken big full. However, in 1641, a huge Crimean-Turkish army, consisting of 20 thousands of janissaries, 20 thousands of Sipag, 50 thousands of Crimeans and 10 thousands of Circassians, went to Azov from Constantinople by sea and from Crimea by land. On the part of the Cossacks, the city was defended by 7000 Cossacks with Ataman Osip Petrov. 24 June the Turks besieged the city, and the next day 30 of thousands of the best troops went to the attack, but were beaten off. Having been repulsed, the Turks began a regular siege. Meanwhile, in the rear of the Turks Cossack detachments turned around and the besiegers found themselves in the position of the besieged. From the very first days of the siege, the Turkish army began to feel a lack of supplies and a wagon train. Communication with the Crimea, Taman and the Turkish squadron in the Sea of ​​Azov was possible only with the help of large convoys. The Turks were constantly bombarding the city with numerous artillery, but the Cossacks, over and over again, restored the ramparts. Having a shortage of shells, the Turks began to conduct attacks, but they were all beaten off and the Pasha began the blockade. The Cossacks received a respite, simultaneously with help from the Don, help with supplies and large reinforcements penetrated. At the onset of autumn, the pestilence began in the Turkish army, and the Crimeans, due to lack of food, left the Turks and went to the steppe, where they were scattered by the Cossacks. Pasha decided to lift the siege, but the sultan strictly ordered: "Pasha, take Azov or give me my head." The assault began again, replaced by violent shelling. When the pressure of the besieged Cossacks reached the limit and even the most courageous did not see the possibility of further resistance, it was decided to make a breakthrough. weapon, having prayed and having said goodbye to each other, they marched from the fortress. But there was complete silence on the front line, the enemy camp was empty, the Turks retreated from Azov. Cossacks immediately rushed to the chase, overtook the Turks on the beach and beat many. From the Turkish army survived no more than a third.

Fig.2 Defense of Azov

October 28 1641, Ataman Osip Petrov sent an embassy to Moscow with Ataman Naum Vasilyev and 24 the best Cossacks with detailed battle painting for the defense of Azov. The Cossacks asked the king to take Azov under his protection and send the governor to take the fortress, because they, the Cossacks, have nothing more to protect. The Cossacks were received in Moscow with honor, awarded them with a great salary, honored and treated. But the decision on the fate of Azov was not easy. The commission sent to Azov informed the tsar: “The city of Azov was defeated and ravaged to the ground and soon the city could not be done in any way, and after the arrival of the military people, there was nothing to sit on.” But the Cossacks urged the king and the boyars to take the Azov for themselves, quickly send troops there and claimed: "... if Azov is behind us, then the foul Tatars will never come to fight and rob Moscow possessions." The king commanded to gather the Great Cathedral and he gathered in Moscow on January 3 1642. With the exception of Novgorod, Smolensk, Ryazan and other suburbs, the opinion of the cathedral was evasive and it came down to entrusting the Cossacks to the holding of Azov, and the decision of the question was left to the discretion of the king. The situation meanwhile complicated. Sultan severely punished Pasha, who unsuccessfully besieged Azov, and a new army was prepared for the resumption of the siege under the command of the Grand Vizier. Given that the devastated Azov was impossible to hold and, not wanting a new big war in the south, the king ordered the Cossacks to leave it. In pursuance of this order, the Cossacks took reserves, artillery from Azov, undermined and blew up the walls and towers that had survived. The Turkish army instead of the fortress found a perfect wasteland on the site of Azov. But Turkey was also not ready for a big war in Black Sea. The Grand Vizier, leaving in place a large garrison and workers, the army disbanded and returned to Istanbul. Workers began to restore Azov, and the garrison began military operations against villages and towns. After leaving Azov, the center of the Don Cossacks was moved to Cherkassk in 1644 year.

The heroic struggle with Turkey for the possession of Azov bled Don. The army gained a lot of fame, but lost half its composition. There was a threat of conquest of the Don by Turkey. The Don Republic played the role of a buffer between Moscow and Istanbul and, despite the restless nature of the Cossack freemen, it was necessary for the nascent empire. Moscow took measures: the foot forces of the mobilized serfs and enslaving people were sent to help the Cossacks. These troops and their governors were supposed to be “... at one with the Cossacks under the ataman principle, and the sovereign voivods on the Don cannot be, because the Cossacks are unauthorized people”. In fact, it was a covert government submission to the Cossacks on the Don. But the coming skirmishes and battles showed insufficient resistance of these troops. So, in the battle at Kagalnik, when they departed, they not only fled, but, having captured the planes, sailed to them in the upper reaches of the Don, the planes there chopped up and fled to their native places. Nevertheless, the sending of such newly recruited "troops" continued. Only in 1645 year, Prince Semyon Pozharsky with an army was sent from Astrakhan to Don, a nobleman Kondyrov with 3000 a man and a nobleman Krasnikov with a thousand recruited Cossacks from Voronezh. Of course, not all of them fled in battle and many really became Cossacks. In addition, those who fought honestly and stubbornly with the tsar's decree were granted, the same free people who ran up the Don and the strugues chopped up, found, bits of a whip and returned to Don with barge haulers. So the threat of the conquest of the Don by the Turks prompted the Cossack leadership for the first time to agree to the entry of Moscow troops, under the guise of the Cossacks, into the borders of the Don. The Don army was still a military camp, because farming on the Don was not. Cossacks were forbidden to own land out of justice fears that the ownership of land would create inequality in the Cossack environment other than military inequality. In addition, agriculture distracted the Cossacks from military affairs. Lack of funds and food also encouraged the Cossacks all the time to seek help from Moscow, for the arriving salary was always inadequate. And the Sultan all the time demanded that Moscow, following the example of Poland, expel the Cossacks from the Don. Moscow led evasive diplomacy on the Cossack issue, because the Don was becoming more and more a base for a future offensive war against Turkey and the Crimea. But the question of farming on the Don was raised by life itself and the old order began to break down. This caused a strict order on the part of the Cossack authorities, which confirmed the prohibition of agriculture under the penalty of the death penalty. The emerging need for a change in life faced the prevailing customs of the Cossacks. But the fate of the Don became more and more dependent on the will of the royal power, and the Cossacks had to reckon more and more with the status quo and follow the path of voluntary submission to Moscow. Under the new Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, the number of Moscow troops sent to the aid of Don was constantly increasing, Moscow surreptitiously saturated the buffer pseudo-state with military force. Massive layout in the Don Cossacks of people from the Russian provinces after the Azov seat finally turned the demographic situation in the Cossacks in favor of the Russians. Although the Russian factor among the wanderers, Cherkas and Kaisaks was always present, and the Cossacks' Russification began a long time ago, but it did not happen quickly and certainly not at once.
The 1 stage is associated with the formation of Prince Svyatoslav, the subsequent existence and defeat of the Tmutarakan principality by the Polovtsy. During this period, on the Don and in the Azov region, annals note the strengthening of the Russian diaspora.
The 2 stage is associated with a massive influx of the Russian population into the Cossacks due to the “tamga” in the Horde period.
The 3 stage is associated with the return to the Don and the Volga from the Russian lands of the Cossack emigrants after the collapse of the Golden Horde. Many returned with Russian fighters who joined them. The history of Ermak Timofeevich and his warriors is a vivid and clear confirmation of this.
The 4 stage of Russification is a massive influx of Russian soldiers into the Cossacks during the oprichnina and the repressions of Ivan the Terrible. According to many data, this stream significantly increased the Cossack population. These stages of Cossack history were described in sufficient detail in previous articles in the series.
The 5 stage is connected with the mass launching of the Cossacks after the Azov seat.
This process of the Russification of the Cossacks was not completed, it continued both spontaneously and government measures, which provided for the imposition of a predominantly Slavic population in the Cossacks. But only in the 19 century did the Cossacks of most of the troops finally become Russified and turned into a Cossack subethnos of the great Russian people.

Fig.3 Cossacks of the XVII century

Gradually, the Cossacks recovered from the loss of the Azov seat and, despite the closed mouth of the Don, began to penetrate the Black Sea by the Don canals into the Black Sea and reached Trapezund and Sinop. Moscow’s beliefs that Cossacks are free people and they don’t listen to Moscow, less and less reach the goal. The Don Cossack, captured by the Turks, showed under torture that Cossacks 300 strugues in Cherkassk, and in the spring from Voronezh another 500 would suit, and "... the royal clerks and governors look at the preparations without reproach and obstacles they do not repair". The vizier warned the Moscow embassy, ​​which was in Istanbul, that if the Cossacks appear at sea, then “I will burn you all to ashes.” Turkey at that time with the help of Poland freed from the threat of attacks of the Dnieper Cossacks and decided to achieve the same from Muscovy. The tension was increasing. In Black Sea there was a smell of a new big war. But the story was pleased that its epicenter broke out in Polish Ukraine. By that time, a huge and entangled tangle of military, national, religious, interstate and geopolitical contradictions, heavily mixed with nobility, arrogance, ambition, hypocrisy, betrayal and treachery of the Polish and Ukrainian gentry rolled into this territory. In the 1647 year, having entered into an alliance with Perekop Murza Tugai-Bey, the offended Ukrainian nobleman of Cossack origin Zinovy ​​Bogdan Khmelnitsky appeared in Zaporizhzhya Sich and was elected hetman. An educated and successful careerist, a faithful servant of the Polish king, because of the rudeness and arbitrariness of the Polish gentry Chaplinsky, he became a stubborn and merciless enemy of Poland. From that moment on, a long and bloody national liberation and civil war began in Ukraine, which lasted for many decades. These events, distinguished by incredible cruelty, entanglement, betrayal, deceit and treachery, are the subject of a separate narration from the Cossack story. The rash decision of the Crimean Khan and his nobles to actively intervene in the Ukrainian unrest, speaking first on the side of the Cossacks, and later on the side of Poland, severely undermined the Crimea’s position in the Black Sea coast and distracted the Crimeans and Turks from the Don affairs. The Moscow units, under the guise of the Cossacks, were constantly on the territory of the Don, but the governors were given strict orders not to interfere in Cossack affairs, but only to defend the Don in the event of an attack by the Turks or the Crimeans. The entire population of the Don was considered inviolable, those who ran to extradition were not subject, why there was a great desire to flee to the Don. By this time, the great strengthening of the Don comes from Russia. So in 1646, a royal decree was issued, according to which free people were allowed to go to the Don. The departure to the Don was not only by official registration with the permission of the government, but also by a simple transition to the Cossack embassies, who arrived on business in the Moscow possessions. So when traveling ataman "winter village" Katorzhny from Moscow to the Don to him a lot of fugitives stuck. Voronezh voivode demanded their return. The convict replied that they were not ordered to extradite them, and the gentleman Myasny, who had arrived with a letter of diplomacy, was firmly beaten, almost killed. Leaving the convict, he said: "... although the voivode himself will come to take out the fugitive people and we will cut off his ears and send them to Moscow." Even easier, it happened on the Don. A nobleman sent with Moscow troops identified among the Cossacks and farm laborers of his seven serfs, complained to the ataman and asked them to extradite him. The Cossacks called the nobleman to the Circle and decided that they would love to execute him. The riflemen who arrived in time barely defended the poor fellow and immediately sent back to Russia. Attracting people to the Don from the outside was caused by acute economic and political necessity. However, admission to the Cossacks was under the strict control of the Army, only proven and persistent fighters were taken. Others went to the farm laborers and barge haulers. But they were also urgently needed, with their work they put the Don on self-sufficiency and freed the Cossacks from agricultural work. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, there was a significant increase in the population of Cossack towns, and their number increased from 48 to 125. The population, not belonging to the Army, was considered to be living temporarily, the Cossacks did not enjoy the rights, but was under the authority and control of atamans. Moreover, the atamans could take decisive measures not only to individuals, but also to the whole villages, which, because of disobedience, were taken "on a shield." However, this way of organizing the power and management of the Army by the middle of the XVII century was already outdated. Atamans were elected for one year by the general assembly, and their frequent change, by the will of the masses, did not give the government the necessary stability. Changes were needed to the Cossack life, the transition from the life of military teams to a more complex social and economic structure. One of the reasons, besides material aid, of the Don Tsar to the Moscow tsar was the sound state instinct, which was looking for real moral and material support in the growing authority of the Moscow tsars. The latter had no right to interfere in the internal affairs of the Army for a long time, but in their hands were powerful means of indirect influence on the life of the Cossacks. The extent of this impact increased with the strengthening of the Moscow state.

And, meanwhile, the events in Ukraine have developed in their own way. During the vicissitudes of the war of liberation, circumstances led the Ukrainian gentry and the Dnieper Cossacks to recognize the citizenship of the Moscow tsar. Formally, this took place in 1654 on the Pereyaslav Rada. But the transition of the Dnieper Cossacks under the authority of the Moscow tsar took place, on the one hand, and on the other hand, under the influence of a combination of circumstances and external causes. The Cossacks, fleeing from their final defeat by Poland, sought protection under the authority of the Moscow tsar or the Turkish sultan. And Moscow took them to keep from going under the rule of Turkey. Having become involved in the Ukrainian unrest, Moscow inevitably was drawn into the war with Poland. New Ukrainian subjects were not very faithful and constantly demonstrated not only disobedience, but also unheard of betrayal, deceit and treachery. In the course of the Russian-Polish war, two major defeats of the Moscow troops by the Poles and Tatars under Konotop and Chudovo occurred, under the mean-spirited betrayal of the Ukrainian nobility and the hetmans of Vyhovsky and Yury Khmelnitsky. These defeats inspired the Crimea and Turkey and they decided to expel the Cossacks from the Don. In 1660, 33 of the Turkish ship with 10000 troops approached Azov, and Khan brought 40000 from the Crimea. In Azov, the Don was blocked by a chain, the canals were filled up, blocking the exit of the Cossacks to the sea, and the Crimeans approached Cherkassk. The bulk of the Cossacks was on the Polish front, and there were few Cossacks and Moscow troops on the Don, however, the Crimeans were beaten off. But the return campaign of the Cossacks to Azov ended in nothing. At that time, the Great Schism began in Moscow, for Patriarch Nikon ordered to correct church books. A terrible ferment began among the people, the government applied cruel repressions to the adherents of the old rites and they “flowed” to different parts of the country, including the Don. But the dissenters unaccepted by the Cossacks in their midst began to settle on the outskirts of the Cossack territory in large settlements. From these settlements, they began to make raids on the Volga for plunder, and the government demanded that the Cossacks seize these thieves and execute them. The army fulfilled the order, the thieves' stronghold of the town of Riga was destroyed, but the fugitives formed new huddles and continued their raids. The criminal element accumulated in the northeastern outskirts of the Don Army had all the qualities of freemen walking. It lacked only the present leader. And he was soon found. In 1661, the Cossacks returned from the Livonian campaign, among them was Stepan Razin, who by the will of fate led this rebellion.

Figure.4 Stepan Razin

But razin revolt is another story. Although he proceeded from the territory of the Don, and Razin himself was a natural Don Cossack, but in essence this revolt was not so much a Cossack as a peasant and religious uprising. This revolt took place against the background of church schism and treason and revolt of the Ukrainian Cossack hetman Bryukhovetsky, who actively supported the Razints. His treason cost Moscow dearly, so during the Razin revolt, Moscow was very suspicious of all Cossack troops. Although the Don Army practically did not take part in the rebellion, it remained neutral for too long and only at the end of the insurgency openly opposed and liquidated the rebels. In Moscow, however, all the Cossacks, including the Don, were called "thieves and traitors." Therefore, Moscow decided to consolidate its position on the Don and forced the ataman Kornil Yakovlev to swear allegiance to the tsar, and the steward of Kosogov was sent to the Don with the archers and demanding the oath of the Army. Four days on the Circle were controversial, but the sentence was made, take an oath, "... and if any of the Cossacks does not go to that, in addition to the military right to execute with death and their stomachs to rob." So 28 August 1671, the Don Cossacks became subjects of the Moscow Tsar and the Don Army became part of the Russian state, but with great autonomy. During the campaigns, the Cossacks were subordinate to the Moscow governors, but the entire military administrative, judicial, disciplinary, economic and quartermaster unit remained under the authority of the marching ataman and elected military commanders. And the local authority, in the region of the Don Army, was ataman altogether. However, the content of the Cossacks and payment for their service has always been a difficult issue for the Moscow state. Moscow demanded maximum self-sufficiency from the Army. A constant threat from the Crimeans and other nomadic hordes, trips as part of the Moscow troops distracted the Cossacks from engaging in peaceful work. The main livelihoods of the Cossacks were cattle breeding, fishing, hunting, royal salary and war booty. Farming was strictly forbidden, but this order was consistently violated from time to time. To suppress agriculture, the army authorities continued to issue strict repressive decrees. However, it was already impossible to stop the natural course of history and the laws of economic necessity.

In January 1694, after the death of his mother, the Dowager Tsarina Natalya Naryshkina, the young Tsar Peter Alekseevich really began to rule the country. The reign of Peter I in Russian history set the line between Muscovite Russia (Muscovy) and its new history (Russian Empire). For three decades, Tsar Peter made cruel and ruthless breaking of the basic concepts, customs and habits of the Russian people, including the Cossacks. These events were so important and crucial that their significance to date in historical science, literature, tales and traditions evokes the most opposite assessments. Some, like Lomonosov, deified him: "We do not believe that Peter was one of the mortals, we revered him as a god in life ...". Others, like Aksakov, considered him "an antichrist, cannibal, worldly swoon, a scabbard, an evil genius in the history of his people, his rapist who has done innumerable centuries of harm." It is curious that both of these estimates are essentially true and very justified at the same time, such is the scale of combining genius and villainy in the acts of this historical person. Based on these estimates, back in the 19th century, two of our main ideological and political parties took shape in the country - Westernizers and Slavophiles (our domestic Tories and Whigs). These parties, in different variations and in bizarre combinations and combinations with new-fangled ideas and tendencies of their time, have been waging a ruthless and irreconcilable struggle between themselves for almost three centuries and periodically arrange monstrous troubles, upheavals, troubles and experiments in Russia. And then, still young king Peter, carried away by the sea, sought to open access to the sea coast and at the beginning of his reign on the southern borders favorable conditions developed for this. Since the 80s of the XVII century, the policy of the European powers favored Moscow Russia and sought to direct its actions and efforts towards the Black Sea. Poland, Austria, Venice and Brandenburg created another coalition to expel Turks from Europe. Moscow also entered this coalition, but 2 campaigns in the Crimea during the reign of Princess Sophia ended unsuccessfully. In 1695, Peter announced a new campaign on the Black Sea coast, with the goal of occupying Azov. The first time this was not possible and the huge army retreated to the north in the fall, including to the Don. The supply of the army in winter was a big problem, and here the young sovereign was surprised to learn that they did not sow bread on the fertile Don. The sovereign was cool; in 1695, by imperial decree, farming in Cossack life was allowed and became normal household work. The next year, the campaign was better prepared, combat-ready was created. flotilla, pulled up additional forces. On July 19, Azov surrendered and was occupied by the Russians. After the capture of Azov, Tsar Peter outlined broad state programs. To strengthen Moscow’s communication with the Azov coast, the tsar decided to connect the Volga with the Don and in 1697 35 thousand workers began digging a canal from the Kamyshinka river to the upper reaches of Ilovli, and another 37 thousand worked to strengthen the Azov and Azov coasts. The conquest of Azov and nomadic hordes by Moscow and the construction of fortresses in the Azov and lower reaches of the Don were the most important events in the history of the Don Cossacks. In foreign policy, Peter set the task of intensifying the activities of the anti-Turkish coalition. To this end, in 1697 he went with the embassy abroad. In order not to provoke the Turks, in his absence, to active and retaliatory actions, he strictly forbade the Cossacks to go to sea by his decree, and blocked the exit by the Azov fortress and fleet, and made the base of the fleet Taganrog. In addition, the mouth and lower reaches of the Don were not transferred to the management of the Don Army, but remained in the management of the Moscow governor. This decree banning access to the sea had great consequences for the Cossacks. Surrounded on all sides by the borders of Muscovy, they were forced to begin to change the tactics of use and the kind and structure of their troops. From this moment, the Cossacks became mostly horseback, before that the main were river and sea trips.

No less crucial was the decree on the resolution of the Cossack farming on the Don. Since that time, the Cossacks from a purely military community began to turn into a community of soldiers-farmers. The land use order of the Cossacks was established on the basis of their main feature - social equality. All the Cossacks who reached the 16 age, were endowed with the same land allotment. The lands belonged to the Army and, every 19 years, they were divided into districts, villages and farms. These plots were divided equally into the available Cossack population for a period of 3, and were not their property. The 3's summer field system and the 19 summer for the Army were then required to provide land for the young. When land divisions in places were left on 3, the reserve for the younger Cossacks. Such a system of land use was aimed at ensuring that every Cossack who reached the 16 summer age was provided with land, the income from which allowed him to fulfill his military duty: to provide the family economically for the duration of his campaigns, and most importantly to acquire his own means, uniform, weapons and equipment . In addition, the system covered the idea of ​​Cossack equality, which was the subject of admiration of various public figures. They saw this as the future of humanity. However, this system had drawbacks. Frequent redistribution of land deprived the Cossacks of the need to make capital investments in the cultivation of the land, organize irrigation, and produce fertilizer, as a result of which the land was depleted, and the yield dropped. Population growth and land depletion led to the depletion of the Cossacks and the need for their resettlement. These circumstances, along with others, objectively led to the need for Cossack territorial expansion, which was constantly supported by the government and in the future led to the formation of eleven Cossack troops in the empire, eleven pearls in the brilliant crown of the Russian empire. But that's another story.

Materials used:
Gordeev A.A. History of the Cossacks
Shamba Balinov What was the Cossacks?
Venkov A.V. Azov seat. The heroic defense of Azov in 1637-1642. - 2009
Rigelman, AI - History or narration of the Don Cossacks. - 1846
Articles from this series:
Siberian Cossack Epic
Old Cossack ancestors
Cossacks and the annexation of Turkestan
Education Volga and Yaitsky Cossack Troops
Cossacks in Time of Troubles
Seniority (education) and the formation of the Don Cossack troops in the Moscow service
Azov seat and the transition of the Don troops in the Moscow service
Formation of the Dnieper and Zaporizhia troops and their service to the Polish-Lithuanian state
The transfer of the Cossack army hetman to the Moscow service
Treason of Mazepa and the pogrom of Cossack liberties by Tsar Peter
The uprising of Pugachev and the elimination of the Dnieper Cossacks by Empress Catherine
Cossacks in World War 1812 of the year. Part I, pre-war
Cossacks in World War 1812 of the year. Part II, the invasion and expulsion of Napoleon
Cossacks in World War 1812 of the year. Part III, foreign campaign

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. ShturmKGB
    ShturmKGB 26 July 2013 09: 53
    Thank you, I read it with interest.
    1. 225chay
      225chay 27 July 2013 10: 57
      Thank you, I read it with interest.

      The article is interesting.
      Article plus
      Cossacks played a big role in the history of Russia
  2. Cat
    Cat 26 July 2013 10: 12
    Very interesting article. Without juggling and pink snot.
    And this pearl has amused:
    demographic pollination of Cossacks
  3. Black
    Black 26 July 2013 10: 23
    The article is a pleasure.
    Especially for the saying “Like a war - like brothers, like a world - so bitches of a bitch”
    , I heard a harsher option.
    1. Cat
      Cat 26 July 2013 11: 50
      Quote: Chen
      like war - like brothers, like world - so bitches of children

      This saying generally reflects the attitude of the authorities towards soldiers (not to generals and ministers)
  4. strange and pretty meaningless
    strange and pretty meaningless 26 July 2013 12: 53
    Thanks to the author. Reading is expensive. After all, now there are Cossacks. Only they are not visible, ht mummers a little less than ... a lot.
  5. lexe
    lexe 26 July 2013 12: 58
    ANYTHING! It was the monarchy that revealed the secret of what a Russian person really can be. FREE as the wind with FAITH like granite. We can not find the best for Russians ...
    1. Chicot 1
      Chicot 1 26 July 2013 20: 41
      Quote: Lexi
      ANYTHING! It was the monarchy that revealed the secret of what a Russian person really can be. FREE as the wind with FAITH like granite. We can not find the best for Russians ...

      Not a damn thing! Learn history thoughtfully, not from comics on glazed paper! ..
      It was the monarchy that put an end to all Cossack traditions of self-government and election. This was the reason for the uprising of the Cossacks (and not some kind of "peasant war") under the leadership of Kondraty Bulavin ...
      1. lexe
        lexe 26 July 2013 22: 43
        Not a damn thing! Learn history thoughtfully, not from comics on glazed paper! ..
        It was the monarchy that put an end to all Cossack traditions of self-government and election. This was the reason for the uprising of the Cossacks (and not some kind of "peasant war") under the leadership of Kondraty Bulavin ...

        So, in your opinion, is it better to build with massacres and deportations?

        And what then did the Cossacks remember in 1612 which cross on their chest? I notice the Orthodox cross.
        And there are mistakes and always will be, the secretaries general of the presidents of the monarchs.
        Only here the monarchs never refused the Cossacks. And today self-government is necessary not only for the Cossacks, but for all Russian people - within the framework of a single Russian state with a single Orthodox faith.
        1. Chicot 1
          Chicot 1 27 July 2013 01: 00
          Quote: Lexi
          So, in your opinion, is it better to build with massacres and deportations?

          And this is actually what? ..
          Quote: Lexi
          And what then did the Cossacks remember in 1612 which cross on their chest? I notice the Orthodox cross.

          Noticed correctly. But do not distort ...
          Quote: Lexi
          And there are mistakes and always will be, the Secretary Generals of the presidents of the monarchs

          Everyone is mistaken, for it is human nature to err. But others too persist in this ...
          Quote: Lexi
          Only now the monarchs never refused the Cossacks

          Of course they didn’t refuse. Who will refuse well-trained warriors? ..
          Quote: Lexi
          And today self-government is necessary not only for Cossacks, but for all Russian people

          And who will give it to you (self-government) today? ..
          1. lexe
            lexe 27 July 2013 02: 19
            And who will give it to you (self-government) today? ..

            And there is no other choice. After all, there are not so many Russians in proportions to partner opponents along the entire border of the Russian Federation.
            Almost the same as with the Azov seat laughing quantitatively or even worse ... What if the nuclear weapons depreciate ... and then what? And the role of an elected leader in the field is strong not in contrast to the central government.
            1. Chicot 1
              Chicot 1 27 July 2013 04: 26
              Quote: Lexi
              And who will give it to you (self-government) today? ..

              And there is no other choice. After all, there are not so many Russians in proportions to partner opponents along the entire border of the Russian Federation.
              Almost the same as with the Azov seat ... quantitatively or even worse ... What if the nuclear weapons depreciate ... and then what? And the role of an elected leader in the field is strong, not in contrast to the central government.

              M-ya ... Eka you how briskly and recklessly suffered that ...
  6. omsbon
    omsbon 26 July 2013 19: 15
    Actually, this is very cool! Seven thousand Cossacks against the 100 thousandth army, resisted and also defeated to the smithereens! I am proud that I am a paternal Cossack!
  7. Chicot 1
    Chicot 1 26 July 2013 20: 34
    And that’s it, the Cossack freemen ended. Since that time, the authorities just knew that they were tightening their nuts. Institutions such as the election of military chieftains ceased to exist (they became punished) and over time the Cossacks began to consider nothing more than some kind of estate ...
    And what they did at least in the same Azov is an unprecedented act. That's what you need to talk about in schools and what to make films about, and not a stupid criminal belch like "Boomers" and "Brigades" ... Weak, gentlemen filmmakers? ..
  8. rexby63
    rexby63 26 July 2013 20: 54
    There are so many historical blunders in the article that, despite the general positivity, I put a minus. The naked have nothing to do with the nogai, just like Andrei Matveyevich Voeikov has nothing to do with atamanism. And what other 8 thousand Cossacks were among the defenders of Moscow in 1618? Here is what the Cossack Sagaidachny thief and su.a, everyone knows. Even "Svidomo" Yavornitsky admitted it
  9. sokrat-71
    sokrat-71 28 July 2013 19: 13
    Thanks to the author for an interesting article.
  10. Marek Rozny
    Marek Rozny 30 July 2013 14: 42
    The author can poke his finger into the map and say: "This is the Kyrgyz steppes, in which Kuchum was hiding!"? :)))
    There is still something to get to the bottom, but on the whole, the article was liked by its balance and attempt to look at processes globally, rather than burrowing into details, placing accents that distort the perception of that time.
    Write more, comrade author, I will readily read.