Since the creation of the Horde empire, Crimea has long become one of the Tatar uluses (regions). Ethnically, the population of the peninsula remained motley. Greeks, Alans (descendants of Sarmatians), Armenians, Goths, Polovtsy lived there. Appeared Italian colonies. The peninsula was part of the Horde, but some mountain areas retained autonomy, and the Italian (Genoese) trade colonies were independent. The Golden Horde khans were interested in the trading activities of the Italian colonies, which were a link in relations between the East and Western Europe. Therefore, despite a number of conflicts, the khans looked at their independence through their fingers. It should be noted that the descendants of the Khazars and the Genoese played at that time a leading role in the formation of the slave trade on the peninsula. For many centuries, the Crimean ports became the leading suppliers of "live goods" - Slavic, Circassian and others. Girls and children were sent to the slave markets of Europe and the Middle East.
As a result of the collapse of the Golden Horde, the Crimean Khanate was created. Its first ruler was the victorious internecine war of Haji I Giray (Gerai) (1441 — 1466). A great role in his victory was played by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Russian, which led the fight against the Golden Horde khan. The territory of the Khanate during the heyday included not only the Crimean peninsula, but also the Azov and North Black Sea steppes, right up to the Danube, Kuban.
However, the new public education was not independent for long. During this period, the formation of the mighty Ottoman Empire. Therefore, already in 1475, the son of Haji-Giray Mengli-Giray was forced to recognize the power of the Ottoman sultan, becoming his vassal. At the same time, other state entities were liquidated on the peninsula. The Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror organized a large military campaign against the possessions of the Genoese in the Crimea. The Turkish fleet landed troops, which, with the support of the Tatars, laid siege to Cafu. Kapha soon fell. Other Genoese fortresses were also captured. At the same time, the Turks took the capital of the Theodoro Christian Principality - Mangup. The entire population of Mangup - 15-20 thousand people - was slaughtered or led into slavery. In the future, the population of the principality - 150-200 thousand people - was Islamized and assimilated. So, the Goths completely disappeared.
The territories of the Genoese colonies, the principality of Theodoro, as well as a number of large cities and fortresses of the Black Sea, Priazovia and Kuban directly became part of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman garrisons were deployed at all strategic points. The main strongholds of the Ottomans were Perekop, Arabat, Enikale, Gezlev (Evpatoria), Kafa, Mangup, Inkerman, Balaklava and Sudak. In addition, the Ottomans, with the help of Italian specialists, built the fortress of Or-Capu on Perekop. Thus, the Turks became the actual owners of the Crimea. Khans were mainly appointed, displaced and approved by the will of the Ottoman Sultans. Many of the Crimean princes were constantly at the sultans, trying to please them and thus get the Crimean throne.
Leaving agricultural labor to the dependent population, the Crimean Tatars preferred “noble occupation” - robbery attacks on neighbors. Of course, in the steppe regions of the Crimea, animal husbandry was developed, primarily the breeding of sheep and horses, but poor shepherds were engaged in this. The basis of the local “economy” for several centuries has become human trafficking - hijacking residents of neighboring areas and selling them into slavery. From the end of the 15th century, the Crimean Khanate began to make regular raids and large-scale campaigns against the Russian state, the southern Russian (Ukrainian) lands, Poland and the Caucasus. In addition, people were hijacked during constant feudal strife and conflicts with other steppe dwellers.
The envoy of the Polish king, Martin Bronevsky, who had lived in Crimea for several months in 1578, wrote: “This people is predatory and hungry, does not value any oaths, nor unions, nor friendship, but means only its own benefits and lives in looting and constant war of treason” .
In the campaign, headed by the Khan, could participate almost all the adult male population of the Crimean horde. In such a campaign could take several tens of thousands of riders. The overwhelming majority of the riders took part in the campaign not for the conduct of hostilities. If the enemy managed to gather significant forces and bring them to the border, the Tatars usually did not accept the battle and left. They rode to rob and capture prisoners, mostly children, girls. Old men, men ruthlessly exterminated. They tried to organize raids at a time when the peasants participated in field work (in the summer) and could not quickly hide in fortresses or forests. The English envoy to Russia, Giles Fletcher, wrote: “The main booty that the Tatars seek in all their wars is a large number of prisoners, especially boys and girls, whom they sell to the Turks and other neighbors.” For transportation of children, the Tatars took large baskets, killed or fell ill on the way ruthlessly killed.
Sale of a child slave. V. Vereshchagin.
The Crimean raids became a serious factor in the exhaustion of both human (several million people were stolen, no less killed), and the financial resources of Russia and the Commonwealth. The Russian state had to create and maintain several fortified lines on the southern frontiers. The threat from the South prevented Russia from waging a more active struggle for the return of the Russian lands in the western and north-western directions. Significant military forces had to be held in the southern forts, and it was necessary to have large reserves in case of a major invasion. In addition, the predatory Crimean Khanate prevented the development of the so-called. The wild fields are the Black Sea and Azov steppes between the middle and lower Dniester in the west, the lower Don and the Seversky Donets in the east. These rich lands were for a long time almost deserted.
The tactics of raids were well developed. If the enemy managed to gather troops at the border, the Tatars were divided into several groups. Some tried to divert the attention of the enemy, others - to break through on an unguarded or poorly guarded section of the border. Moved quickly, with each rider usually went two more free horses. Having broken through to the area populated by the Slavs, the Tatars staged a driven hunt (round-up). The detachments disintegrated in the countryside, bypassing the fortress. If the villages could not be taken on the run, they were surrounded so that no one left, they set fire to them. They cut the resisting, robbed, took people and cattle. Adults were driven like cattle, arranged in rows by several people, tied their hands back with rawhide belts, passed through wooden belts through these belts, and threw ropes on their necks. Then, holding the ends of the ropes, they surrounded all those bound by a chain of horsemen and drove across the steppe, whipping up whips. Weak, weak, sick patients were “sifted out” on the way - they cut their throats. Reaching the relatively safe land, where they could not overtake the chase, sorted and divided the "goods". The remaining elderly people who fell ill were given to young people for “training”, they were filled with a hand, studying the craft of the murderer, or simply stoned and drowned.
Duke Antoine de Gramont, who was in the Polish-Tatar army during the campaign of King Jan Casimir to the Left-Bank Ukraine in 1663 — 1664 (then, according to his data, about 20 thousand people were captured), described this vile process. The Crimean Tatars cut the throat of all old people over 60 years old, who by age were incapable of hard work. Adult men were kept for Turkish galleys, "young boys - for their pleasures, girls and women - for the continuation of their kind and sale later." The section of the prisoners was by lot, the prisoners were divided equally.
In Crimea, yasyr (full) was brought for sale to slave markets. The largest center of the slave trade was Kafa, major markets were also in Karasubazar, Tuzleri, Bakhchisarai and Khozlev. Dealers directly engaged in selling people - Jews, Turks, Arabs, Greeks and others. Part of the slaves were left in the Crimea, they were used for heavy work: digging wells, salt mining, collecting manure in the steppe, etc. Women were taken as servants. Most of the slaves were transported from the Crimea to other areas and states - the Ottoman Empire, its numerous provinces from the Balkans and Anatolia to North Africa. Slavic slaves (children and young beautiful girls were especially valued) came to such remote countries as Persia, India, to African lands. During transportation by sea with most of the captives did not stand on ceremony, they only protected the most valuable "goods". A significant number of slaves paid off all the losses from disease and murder. Some ships took so many people that they could not move from the distress, go to bed. Standing took scant food, slept and defecated. From such conditions the masses ached and died, often still living people were just dumped overboard.
The men were sent to galleys, where hard work, poor food and beatings quickly killed them. Others were sent to Anatolia for agricultural work. Some were castrated and made eunuchs, servants. Girls and women bought rich houses in harem for carnal pleasures. Less beautiful women became servants. A small number of girls had a chance to become a lawful wife. There were so many Slavs that many prominent Turkish statesmen and military leaders were their children and grandchildren.
It is clear that all this completely satisfied the Ottoman Empire. Port solved two important tasks at once. First, the slave trade was an important part of its economy. Secondly, the aggression and predation of the Crimean Khanate made it possible to exert appropriate pressure on the Russian state and Poland. The Crimean Tatars were the foremost outpost of Ottoman expansion in Eastern Europe and the North Caucasus.
In the first half of the 16th century, 48 raids were committed against the Russian state. In the first half of the 17th century alone, the steppe inhabitants were driven into full territory by more than 200 thousand Russians. The death toll from their hands is even higher. But the most terrible damage was borne by the South Russian lands (future Ukraine), which were part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which did not have such a developed defense system as the lands of the Russian kingdom. The irony of fate: after all, the great Lithuanian and Russian princes helped create the Crimean Khanate. From 1605 to 1644, there were at least 75 raids on the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Only for 1654-1657. more than 50 thousand people were driven into slavery from Ukraine. As a result, Right-Bank Ukraine was practically deserted by the 1680 years.
Terrible fishing continued in the first half of the 18th century. According to the testimony of the Catholic missionary K. Dubay, every year thousands of people were brought in from the peninsula to 20. About 60 thousand slaves were in the Crimean Khanate itself, they were used mainly for agricultural work.
I must say that now, some Crimean officials are trying to rewrite these shameful page stories or even praise the “exploits” of their ancestors. According to them, the indigenous inhabitants of the Crimea - Christians - voluntarily converted to Islam, did not experience oppression from the Crimean Tatars and Ottomans.
It is clear that in Russia they did not intend to tolerate a predator near its borders. However, while solving the task of uniting most of the Russian lands into a single fist and behind the back of the Crimean khans there was a leading military power in Europe and Asia - Turkey, for a long time it was not possible to destroy the Crimean Tatar threat. They were unable to solve this problem under Ivan the Terrible, when the wasp nests were eliminated in Kazan and Astrakhan. Then for many decades Russia weakened Smoot.
During this period, the Russian state was mainly confined to defense, defending itself against raids by fortified lines created along the banks of rivers and other natural obstacles. The fortified lines were based on supporting large and small fortresses, many of which later became cities. They were permanent garrisons - from a few dozen warriors to several hundred and thousands. Dangerous directions, the roads were covered with strips of fallen trees - hut, earthen ramparts, palisade and ditches. All along the line were sentinel towers and towers, fortifications at crossings. In some places, the depth of the defensive line reached 20-30 km. Forward moved patrols. In addition, the Cossacks played a certain role. They fought off prisoners, conducted reconnaissance, and carried out punitive raids.
The earliest was the 500-kilometer “Big Passage Line”, created by the middle of the 16th century. However, the first defensive lines began to build in the XIII century. In the 14th century, the Grand Duke of Vladimir and Moscow, Ivan Danilovich, to protect the southern borders, erected a continuous line from the Oka River to the Don River and further to the Volga. A guard guard was created. In the border areas, the peasants displayed one man from several yards to protect the line. In addition, the peasants were constantly attracted to repair the defensive line and build new structures.
The “big borderline” ran from Pereyaslavl-Ryazan to Tula. It passed along the Oka River (this river was for a long time the main defense line of Rus), from Belyov to Peremyshl, then through Odoev, Krapivna, Tula, Venev to Pereyaslavl-Ryazan. Another section ran from Skopin through Ryazhsk, Sapozhok to Shatsk. In the most dangerous places of the fortress were built in several lines. In the 1560's, the “intersection line” that had been created for more than one decade closed up, creating a coherent and solid borderline. It contained almost the entire population, from which they took special susan money.
In 1630-e years, work began on the restoration of the zasechnaya line, it was abandoned for the period of the Troubles and in some places severely destroyed. In 1635-1654 Belgorod defensive line was built. The shaft with a paling began in Akhtyrka and went through Volny, Belgorod, Yablonov, Novy Oskol, Olshansk, Voronezh, Orlov, Usman, Sokolsk, Kozlov and Tambov, going to Simbirsk on the Volga. The construction of this line reduced the intensity of the steppe raids.
Crimean campaigns of the Russian army under the authority of Prince V. Golitsyn in 1687 and 1689. did not lead to success. The final fracture occurred in the XVIII century. Light Crimean cavalry could not withstand the modern Russian army, which went through a school of fighting with the Swedish army (it was considered one of the best in Europe). During the Russian-Turkish war 1735-1739. The Russian army entered Crimea three times, burnt the capital of the Khanate of Bakhchisarai. Only the indecisiveness of St. Petersburg, which feared political complications, did not allow to solve the Crimean question even then.
In 1768, the Port began another war against Russia. Fulfilling the order of the Turkish Sultan 27 January 1769 of the year 70-th. Tatar horde marched to Ukraine. However, the Crimean Tatars were able to reach only Elisavetgrad and Bakhmut, where they were stopped and rejected by the Russian troops. This campaign was the last in the history of this parasitic formation. In June, 1771, 40-thous. The 2 Army under the command of Prince V.M. Dolgorukov occupied the fortified line of Perekop, which was defended by 70 thousand Tatars and 7 thousand Turks. Having defeated the Tatar army under Kafa, Russian troops captured the Crimean peninsula and Taman. Khan Selim Giray III fled to Turkey. Those Tatar grandees who remained in the Crimea, hastened to express submissiveness to the Russians. Shirinsky Murza Ishmael handed Dolgorukov a sworn list signed by 110 by noble Tatars about establishing eternal friendship and indissoluble union with Russia. The new Khan Sahib-Giray 1 (12) in November 1772 of the year signed an agreement in Karasubazar under which Crimea passed under the auspices of Russia. Turkey was defeated in the war, and in 1774 recognized the independence of the Crimean Khanate.
However, Istanbul did not lose hope of returning the Crimea and other lost possessions. England and France also pushed him towards a renewed struggle. A series of Turkish-inspired uprisings followed, the instigators of which were representatives of the "Turkish Party" in the ranks of the Tatar nobility. It became obvious that this region can be completely pacified only through the full inclusion of the Crimea into the Russian Empire and the establishment of the Russian administration. In 1783, the last Khan Shagin-Giray abdicated the throne. By the manifesto of Catherine the Great from 8 (19) on April 1783, Crimea became part of the Russian state. So parasitic robber education came to an end.
Crimea before the revolution
Contrary to the myth of Russian colonialism and the “prison of nations”, the Russian empire, unlike the Western colonial empires, did not oppress small nations, did not exploit them. Crimean Tatars, Chechens, Yakuts did not sell into slavery, as the "enlightened" Europeans did to the Blacks. Moreover, often small nations received special rights, privileges, their knowledge (if the people reached the feudal stage of development) was infused into the elite of the Russian Empire. It turned out that the imperial burden was borne only by the Russian people and some Turkic (Kazan Tatars) and Finno-Ugric nationalities, which over the centuries became part of the superethnos of the Rus. And the benefits of the success of the empire — security, the development of industry, agriculture, culture, education, income growth, etc. — were received by everyone.
The Crimean Tatars were no exception. They were not punished for centuries of predatory life and millions of Slavs killed and enslaved. By the decree of Catherine II of February 22, 1784, the Tatar nobility received all the rights and privileges of the Russian nobility. The sanctity of religion was guaranteed. Mullahs and other members of the Muslim clergy were exempted from paying taxes. Crimean Tatars were exempt from military service.
However, "how many wolves do not feed, he still looks into the forest." Crimean Tatars did not become good Russian neighbors and a part of Russian civilization, like Kazan Tatars. The Crimean Tatars did not want to accept the fact that the era of looting and bloody campaigns is gone and the time has come to move on to productive activities. They felt organic hate for creative work. Although the surrounding nature and terrain had a fruitful agricultural and horticultural work, the development of handicraft production.
Not having accepted the end of their predatory being, by the end of the 18th century most of the Crimean Tatars had moved to the Ottoman Empire. As a result, during the next Russian-Turkish war, Ottoman troops supported tens of thousands of Tatar horsemen who dreamed of returning the past. And those who remained in Crimea harbored hatred, waiting for the right moment to take revenge on the “infidels”, who dared to destroy their usual predatory lifestyle.
Russian map of the Crimea peninsula in the middle of the 18th century
The Eastern War
The first opportunity to stick a Russian knife in the back introduced itself during the Eastern (Crimean) War 1853-1856. At first, the Crimean Tatars were cautious, waiting, whose will they take. Representatives of the Muslim clergy delivered beautiful speeches about devotion to the emperor and the Fatherland. They assured that no one has any thoughts in supporting the Ottoman Empire. Residents made donations in favor of the Russian troops, they were welcomed. The Crimean Tatars reassured local Russian authorities with similar actions. In a report to Novorossiysk Governor-General M. S. Vorontsov from November 17 1853, Taurian Governor V. Pestel reported that all rumors of unrest in the Tatar population are groundless. Allegedly, none of the Tatar population wants to return to the power of the Ottomans, and the situation is under control.
However, Pestel was wrong. Taking advantage of the credulity of the Tauride governor, the Crimean Tatars held meetings and secret gatherings in different places of the peninsula. They carefully concealed these meetings from local Christians. At meetings, attendees listened to emissaries sent by the Ottomans, who called for an uprising against the infidels and promised paradise after reunification with the "faithful." It is therefore not surprising that, as soon as the Anglo-French-Turkish troops landed in September 1854, near Yevpatoria, a sharp change in favor of the enemy occurred in the mood of the Tatars.
In their convoy, the invaders carried the new administration of the Crimea — the Pole Wilhelm Tokarsky, who was to become the commandant of Evpatoria, and the descendant of the Girey family, Seit Ibrahim Pasha. Seit-Ibrahim Pasha, who was to become the “Khan” and “living banner” of the insurgent Tatars, lived in Bulgaria as a private person before the war, did not hold any important posts. Tokarsky declared that now Crimea does not belong to Russia and “will be free and independent” under the auspices of France. Seit-Ibrahim and Tokarsky visited the mosque, where solemn worship was held. There was no limit to the delight of the Tatars; they carried the new “khan” on their hands.
Seeing this development of the situation, and understanding what it threatened, the Christians of Evpatoria turned to flight. They were not mistaken in their expectations. Riders overtook many on their way. Christians were beaten, robbed, some were handed over to the interventionists. Many citizens were mutilated, some brutally murdered. The invaders formed in Yevpatoria a local government (sofa) from local Tatars. Osman-Aga-Chardachi-Oglu became vice-governor of the city, Hussein became the captain.
To be continued ...
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