The mountaineers were captured by one major and demanded a ransom of ten thousand rubles from Yermolov himself, as the governor of the king. Not that slaughtered.
Having finished reading the letter, Yermolov, without interruption, ordered to bring into the yard of the house where he was holding the bet, all the old people who turned up, first of all from the richest courtyards, and who were more noble from them. Thirty people were brought.
"Tell me - there won't be a major tomorrow with me - I will hang these all up."
The elders turned green. Yermolov knew. A parliamentarian rode away. By evening, he returned: the ransom was reduced to one hundred rubles, apparently for self-esteem.
“And I can hang everyone,” - Yermolov turned his hand around the village.
More people did not kidnap him. He was cruel. Hanged.
Alexey Petrovich Yermolov put a lot of effort into restoring order in the Caucasian possessions of the Russian Empire, his victories over the rebellious highlanders brought him the deserved glory of one of the most successful military rulers of the region.
And more than once during the years of the Caucasian war 1829-1864. Russian soldiers recalled Yermolov, not doubting that with him this war would have been victoriously completed in a few years.
Lieutenant-General Yermolov was appointed commander of the Caucasus 29 June 1816. He was the ambassador extraordinary in Persia, the commander of the Separate Georgian Corps and the head of the civil part in Georgia, the Astrakhan and Caucasus provinces.
Although the Caucasus was called “warm Siberia” (as a place of exile), Yermolov was delighted with this appointment, as it allowed him to act independently in many respects. Sending a general to the Caucasus, Alexander I said: "After Kutuzov, Barclay and Bagration, I have no other commander." Thus, he paid tribute to the merits of Alexei Petrovich. The resolute general reached the zenith of his career, and in Russian society they informed each other: “Yermolov became proconsul of the Caucasus.”
The emperor demanded from Yermolov the earliest possible delimitation of land from Persia under the Gulustan peace treaty of 1813, while Alexander I allowed some concessions to the Persians, if only the matter ended peacefully. The general was also instructed to conquer as many Caucasian peoples as possible and, if possible, by peaceful means. As you know, Alexander I did not like violence and was known as a liberal.
10 October 1816 Yermolov arrived in Tiflis. At the time of his arrival, Russian forces in the Caucasus numbered about 45000 infantrymen, more 6000 cavalrymen and 132 guns. Of all these troops, only a third could be directly on the line guard - the military border with the mountaineers, while the rest was scattered around cities and other settlements of the Caucasus.
Upon assuming office, Yermolov left to inspect the borders of the territory entrusted to him. He sent out officers of his headquarters to different regions of the Caucasus, while he himself visited the Elisavetpol 'region, the Karabakh and several other khanates. Karabakh made a depressing impression on Yermolov: most of the families were either captured by the Persians, or fled to the neighboring lands, fleeing from the oppression of Mehdi Khan. In addition, Yermolov met with Shirvan khan and Sheki khan Ismail.
To all of them, the general made it clear that the time of their rule had passed, and for himself he concluded that most of the khans should be removed from power because of their unreliability.
As for borders, in a report to the tsar from 9 in January 1817, Mr. Yermolov reported that the borders with Persia are almost not protected.
However, measures to strengthen the borders had to be postponed, since 17 on April 1817 of the city of Yermolov left with the embassy in Persia. July 26 Yermolov arrived at the residence of the Shah. Began difficult negotiations. Shah demanded the return of the Persian lands, taken away in the last war. Yermolov was strongly opposed. Persia had to choose: either a conflict with Russia and a new war, or a rejection of all sorts of claims. After much thought, the shah decided to keep the peace. Yermolov, in turn, insisted on the establishment in Persia of Russian trade societies, offices and consulates, and demanded the return of Russian prisoners. In general, the general was pleased with the embassy. First, he managed to save all the lands that had been ceded to Russia in the Gulustan tractate 1813. Secondly, he established acceptable relations between Russia and Persia, postponing the war for nine years.
For this successful 8 embassy in February 1818 of Yermolov was promoted to general of infantry. Having secured the Caucasus from external danger, Yermolov began to strengthen the Caucasian line, since many fortresses and posts did not correspond to their purpose. Chechens and Dagestanis lived against the left flank of the Caucasian line.
The Chechens were especially cruel: they did not recognize any authority and no laws. The commander-in-chief demanded complete submission from Chechnya, but they attacked so often that by 1818 the Cossacks, who lived along the Terek, were afraid to leave the fortified stanitsa. Yermolov decided to press the Chechens deep into their forests and mountains. Namely, transfer the line of fortifications from the Terek River to the Sunzha River. When transferring the line to Sunzhu, Russia transferred troops to more favorable lands (first of all, in terms of climate), in addition, it contributed to strengthening the protection and improving communications with Georgia.
Even before Alexei Petrovich, a Nazranovsky redoubt was built on Sunzha, covering the road from Mozdok to Georgia. In the summer of 1817, the general ordered the construction of the Pregrand Stan fortification (built by October of the same year). This event was a direct pretext for the indignation of the highlanders. The Chechens began to show concern, their Russian troops successfully beat off their raids, but they could not prevent them. In the capital, Yermolov was accused of provoking raids in order to strengthen his own influence in the Caucasus. But in St. Petersburg they did not understand that the main type of "fishing" in the mountains was robbery, and the highlanders lived, guided by customs, which scientists would later call "raiding economy".
Russian also prevented rob, which caused discontent of the mountaineers. Russia had to either leave or eliminate the predatory nests in the Caucasus. The third option did not exist, the "peaceful re-education" of the Highlanders was impossible.
Constant raids of the Chechens forced Yermolov to begin military actions with Chechnya. Leaving the necessary garrisons in the fortifications and posts of the Caucasian line, he was in May 1818. concentrated in the village of Chervlenaya about 5000 people. May 24 troops crossed the Terek and entered the Chechen lands.
Passing Terek, the troops rose six miles from the Khankala gorge, which was considered impregnable. The mountaineers sent elders to Yermolov, to whom he said that he would not punish them for raids if they ceased, and also demanded hostages. 10 June 1818 was founded the fortress of Grozny. It was located very well, as it closed the Khankal Gorge, the most convenient road from the Big Chechnya. The Chechens realized that they would deal decisively with them, not allowing them to rob and kill, and then they began to attack Russian posts.
Yermolov announced that those who want to live peacefully on Russian territory will be provided with protection and peace, but if they contribute to the raids, he will send them back to the mountains. The general said bluntly: “It is better to leave the bare steppes from Terek to Sunzha, than to endure the robbers in the rear of our fortifications.” He also demanded the extradition of Russian prisoners, and threatened death for non-execution. In support of his words, the commander-in-chief demolished several villages that had been seen as aiding the robbers, and resettled their inhabitants for Sunzha. After that, it was announced that the village, through which the residents freely let the bandits through, would be exterminated.
Chechens were looking for an alliance with the neighboring peoples - Dagestanis. Only one Dagestan ruler - Mehdi-Shamkhal Tarkovsky supported Russia. Major General A. Pestel commanded the Russian troops in Dagestan. With the detachment in 2000, a man began fighting — he captured the city of Bashly, but a trap was waiting for them there: Avar Khan Ahmet gathered people who were ten times larger than the Russian detachment. For five days, Pestel’s detachment fought encircled, escaped, losing about 500 people killed and wounded.
Then it was impossible to wait, and Yermolov gathered a detachment from Grozny, and on October 25 marched to the city of Tarki.
Mehdi-Shamkhal was looking forward to the Russians, as rebellious neighbors threatened him with reprisals.
For his dedication to Russia, Yermolov rewarded Shamkhal: after the suppression of unrest, he was given control over a lot of land taken away from recalcitrant khans.
Ahmet Khan Avar sent a letter to the General with assurances of friendship, but soon the papers were intercepted, indicating that the Khan was ready to cooperate with the Persians. And Yermolov, of course, rejected such a false "friendship."
11 November 1818. Yermolov led the troops to the village of Cengutai. By evening, the detachment went to the mountain, where they were hiding up to 15000 gangsters; they started shelling Russians. The soldiers wanted to storm the mountain on the move, but Yermolov applied a roundabout maneuver, sending a detachment of troops to get around the enemy from the flank. By the evening of the next day, the mountain position was occupied, and there were no losses from the Russian side at all. The troops descended into the valley, where Ahmet Khan’s headquarters was located in the village of Paraul, but he did not take the fight and fled into the woods.
Then Yermolov 14 November approached the village of Big Cengutai, owned by Ahmet Khan's brother - Hasan Khan. The mountaineers strengthened on the ridge near the village. When the battle broke out on all fronts, the position was suddenly shrouded in mist surging from the neighboring gorge. Yermolov ordered to cease fire and storm enemy trenches. The blow was so unexpected that in 5 minutes half of the enemy's trenches was captured almost without loss. The mountaineers understood that the attempts of armed resistance would be broken, and the rebelliousness was severely punished. Therefore, many leaders of childbirth after that came to the commander in chief with expressions of submission.
Yermolov forgave everyone, but warned that inevitable punishments would follow the new speeches. So ended the first trip to Dagestan.
In Chechnya, unrest continued. It became clear that the Grozny fortress alone would not deter the Chechens. Measures were taken to strengthen our position on Sunzha. Almost all Khankal gorge was cleared from the forest. Beyond the gorge lay the valley where the main villages of the Chechens were located. As a result, most of them had to submit, now the path to their land was open. So, literally with one ax, a victory was won over the mountaineers.
1 July 1819 Yermolov arrived in the village of Andreevskoye, where he planned to build a fortress. Meanwhile, the mountaineers began to gather strength to attack Grozny and cut off the Russians from the Terek. Yermolov, in order to prevent an attack, ordered Major General Grekov to invade Chechnya. In early August, 1819, the general marched, and at this time the Avar Khan, gathering about 6000 people, approached the fortress of Sudden. 29 August Ermolov made a fortress to meet the enemy.
At the village of Bautugay, Russian troops clashed with the mountaineers and pushed them aside. The troops occupied the Bautugai and heights near the village. For four days, Yermolov fired at the highlanders, and on September 3 they faltered; Avar Khan and his brother fled to the mountains. Yermolov made an attempt to overtake them, burned several villages in the mountains and returned to the fortress of Sudden. In the autumn it became aware of the unrest among the akushintsy. Initially, Yermolov sent a paper to the Akushians, where he called for loyalty to Russia, but no response was received, and the general continued the fighting.
In early December, 1819, the troops went ahead. Without a single shot, the height of Kalantau was occupied, where a 1000 man with guns was left to cover. The main forces went to the village of Urum, where the rebellious akushintsy settled. General Madatov managed to drive the bandits out of the village, but they disappeared into the mountains. December 18 Yermolov withdrew troops from Urum and stopped in a cannon shot from the enemy advanced. Prince Madatov occupied the surrounding heights, preventing the Highlanders from retreating, and Russian artillery forced the enemy to leave the fortifications. The soldiers seized the cliffs above the road and fired from them running akushintsev. Cossacks pursued the highlanders. The victory was won in two hours, and the losses in this battle amounted to all 4 killed and 26 injured.
This victory pacified the Akushians, which made it possible to lift the blockade from the Chirakh post. Let's talk about the feat of defenders of Chirah. The December morning, the gangsters crept up to the post and cut out the sleeping 80 people, others managed to hide in a protected position. For several days the detachment steadfastly resisted the superior enemy in strength (there were 5 – 6 thousands against approximately 400 Russians). The highlanders captured officer Shcherbina and tortured him to death in front of the defenders of Chirch. All attempts to take reinforcements by storm were repulsed. During the three days of the siege, the garrison ran out of water to quench their thirst - they ate gunpowder. But help came and the blockade was lifted.
Of the defenders of Chirach, only 70 people survived, and only 8 is intact. Headquarters Captain Ovechkin survived with numerous injuries and received the rank of captain and the Order of St.. Vladimir IV degree.
December 29 The 1819 Commander-in-Chief went to Derbent to appoint the Russian administration in most of the territory of Dagestan instead of the recalcitrant Khans. Highlanders were completely broken and did not oppose this.
In general, the first three years of Alexei Petrovich’s activities in the Caucasus can be described as very successful.
Following the Roman rules: "divide and rule" and "let them hate, if only they were afraid," Yermolov pacified many recalcitrant tribes (and, first of all, Chechens and akushintsy).
Often he acted cruelly, but this was justified by the conditions of the Caucasian war. By the beginning of 1820, General Yermolov managed to gain a foothold on the shores of Sunzha, under his command the Russian troops put an end to the independence of the Mekhtuli khanate, conquered Tabasaran and Karakaytag. So the victory of Russian weapons ended the first stage of the conquest of the North Caucasus. All these victories were won by incomparably small forces against the significantly higher number of insurgent detachments and with minimal losses, which for many years strengthened the high reputation of Russian weapons in the Caucasus.