The origins of the Ural Cossacks go into the depths of the Middle Ages. The Cossacks themselves called their military campaigns in the areas of the Volga and the Caspian against the Turks, the Persians, the Nogays themselves “fishing”. These campaigns were accompanied by the release of slaves of Russians and other Christians, which was considered a godly and worthy deed.
The bloody clashes of the Ural Cossacks with their neighbors are not explained by their ferocity or some kind of bloodthirsty. Clashes over their territory, places of permanent residence and housekeeping have always actually been the defense of their homeland. Yaik Cossacks were fishermen, hunters, sowed bread, melons and gourds, kept cattle, bred gardens, there were doctors among them, but the warriors were the basis of the community. The Yaik community was part of huge Russia, very small, sometimes restless, but very necessary.
In Soviet times, there was a stereotype that, they say, the Cossacks were colonizers for the Kazakhs. But for more than 150 years - until the beginning of the XVIII century. - Kazakhs did not meet Cossacks at all. Kazakhs appeared on the banks of the Yaik (the Ural River) later on the Cossacks. The Cossacks many times encountered Nogais, Bashkirs, Kalmyks, but never with the Kazakhs. Then, for more than 200 years, they lived side by side on their own territory. In the XIX century. these were not just neighbors, - the Cossacks came to the Kazakhs for trade and did not live among them. Since the end of the XIX century. Kazakhs began to be hired by shepherds to rich Cossacks. The Cossacks - due to their innate, aggravated sense of justice - always respected the customs and national traditions of the Kazakhs with respect.
Yaik Cossacks were almost independent in the initial period of their stories, and all relations with the Russian government were conducted through the Ambassadorial Order. The king asked for the campaigns to put at the service of the required number of Cossacks, guaranteeing them a reward. Peter I with 1721 began to do business with the Cossacks through the Military Collegium, and the lands of the Ural (Yaitsky) Cossacks then entered Astrakhan, and then - in 1744 - in the Orenburg province. Moscow by persuasion and orders all the time trying to subjugate the Cossacks. Cossacks defended their rights, but they were considered less and less. In the famous peasant uprising of the XVIII century. Cossacks took the side of Pugachev. After the suppression of the uprising, the Yaik army was completely subordinated to the Russian government, and the army itself was renamed the Urals. His ataman was no longer elected, but was appointed by officials from St. Petersburg. After 1830, the so-called. The “wardens” sometimes were not even local Cossacks.
1917 year put an end to the history of the Ural Cossacks. In 1918 - 1920 Red Army units repeatedly came to the territory of the Ural Cossack troops, and then entered Uralsk. Selected in March, 1919, the Army Ataman Vladimir Sergeyevich Tolstov for some time was able to turn the tide of military operations in favor of the Cossacks, but not for long. The arrival of the "red" was accompanied by mass executions - all the names of the dead were barely contained in the three volumes of the Book of Memory published in 2000. The poor and the rich, officers and privates, peasants, priests, Kazakhs and Russians, Bashkirs and Tatars, and others, were shot. Together with the Cossack army, the military population began to retreat. It ended with the deaths of thousands of people — the wounded, the sick with typhus, the starving ...
The exodus from Russia to Persia and China was described in detail in his memoirs by ataman V.S. Tolstov. The first edition of the book was published in Turkey, with old spelling; subsequently it was reprinted more than once. This book is the only detailed source of information about that terrible time, where the tragic events and human suffering are described by the person who witnessed and experienced it all. Subsequently, another, more detailed book “From Red Paws to an Unknown Distance” was published, in which memories of other witnesses of the tragic events were cited, as well as diaries and recordings of the same V.S. Tolstoy.
According to the data given in these books, the Ural residents from “red paws” went to an unknown distance. No one knew where fate would cast them. Some returned to Russia — the fate of most of them was tragic — others left for France. A large group led by ataman VS Tolstoy went to Australia.
As the materials of the books mentioned above testify, during the Civil War the Ural Cossacks opposed the Reds, but not for the monarchy, not for the landowners - there were no last ones here, because there was no private land ownership. Urals people defended their faith, the right to life in the Urals. Military operations, epidemics, famine in 1921 - all this destroyed the ка local Cossacks. Leaving the Reds, the Ural Cossacks and their families headed “along the Bukhara side” towards the Caspian Sea, to Persia.
Back in March 1919, having gathered a 16-strong army, the ataman Tolstov cleared a rather large territory from the Reds, for which Admiral A.V., commander of the White Army Kolchak, produced by V.S. Tolstov's lieutenant general. Ataman led his troops south to Guryev, then along the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea to Fort Aleksandrov. On the way, many people died due to cold, illness and injury. Of the 12 thousand people, only 3 thousand reached the Fort. Not wanting to surrender to the Reds, the remaining Cossacks intended to sail to Persia (Iran) by sea. But the sailors of the Caspian flotilla money "for the crossing" was taken from the Cossacks, but they did not fulfill their promises ...
It's been 1921 for a year already. Ataman V.S. Tolstoy with a detachment in 214 man went through the desert of Turkmenistan to Persia. Along the way there were clashes with the Turkmen, part of the squad died. After Iran, most of the Urals reached Iraq, which the British then owned. Uralis were marked out in Basra in the camp of Russian émigrés, who by that time had already accumulated quite a lot in a foreign country. From there Ataman V.S. Tolstov wrote a letter to W. Churchill asking him to help the Urals to go east. The answer was not very benevolent, but they still provided a steamer - the Ural Cossacks were going to go to Vladivostok. First they got to Istanbul, where Ataman V.S. Tolstov handed the Military banner of St. George into the hands of General Wrangel. Later, this banner was located in the Holy Trinity Church in Belgrade (the courtyard of the Russian Orthodox Church); there is also a museum of Russian glory, where the 126 banners and standards of the old Russian Army are kept.
In October, the Ural Cossacks arrived in Vladivostok, 1921, where they entered the Cossack Brigade of the Far Eastern White Army.
In November, the 1922 of the Reds occupied the entire Far East, and the Urals moved to China, mainly to Harbin. Some remained in China, part of them along with Ataman V.S. Tolstov through the Japanese port of Nagasaki in November 1923 sailed to Australia. The few who remained in Russia and returned home were shot. Among them was the father of VS. Tolstova, ataman TK Borodin. Although all of them red at first guaranteed life.
Most of the Cossacks who moved to China for a long time could not find work here. Many would like to move to the United States or to Europe, but it was cheaper to get to Australia. They mostly went there. The steamer brought them to Brisbane 4 on November 1923. Of course, they did not anticipate that many of them would stay here forever. The first "Ural settlers" experienced great difficulties with money and language. The second generation of the Urals has already mastered the language, and for the third English has become native.
At first, in Australia, the Urals worked almost exclusively on hard work - they were loaders in the port, worked on farms, chopped sugar cane. Vs Tolstov, even before the arrival of the main group of the Cossacks, was able to organize his farm, where he invited his fellow countrymen to work. A.V. gave him money for "his own business". Bolkhovitinov, a Cossack from the Don army, who knew the Urals and arrived in Australia a little earlier. He also recorded Cossack children in the local school. Later, in 1927, A.V. Bolkhovitinov opened a store in Quisland, and in 1934 he left for America.
Cossacks-Urals from the “Tolstoy farm” worked there for many years, mainly growing vegetables; some left for seasonal rural work. Locals watched with interest as the Cossacks of the Urals, lined up with a column with shovels, axes and pickles, went to work, singing Russian songs - many had wonderful voices. Soon the estate of Kordalba - this is 380 km north of Brisbane - became the center of the Russian settlement. Gradually, the Cossacks began to buy their farms, they acquired a farm, some bought houses in the city of Kordalba. A small town - one central street, several shops, three hotels - soon became almost entirely Russian. Plaques at the door of the houses said that the Karamyshevs, Piunovs, Potorochins, Tarshkovs and others live here. 45 families of Urals people settled in the city; altogether in Kordalb, there were about a hundred and fifty families of Russian émigrés.
A kind of social and cultural center of the Cossacks and other Russian, living and working in the town and its surroundings, was the farm of the Potorochins. Kazak Alexander Yulianovich and his wife Ekaterina Fyodorovna bought a small house, which became a kind of “club” of the Ural Cossacks in Australia. Hospitable owners write books, including records in Russian, bought a gramophone. On Sundays, Russians who worked nearby came to visit them. People read, listened to music, played lotto and cards. Both lonely Cossacks and family ones came, arranged for dinners in turn and enjoyed themselves as best they could, i.e. with drinks, snacks and singing. Especially often sounded a song with such ingenuous words:
They know all the Ural River,
And Ural sturgeon,
Only know very little
About the Ural Cossacks,
Our great-grandfathers and grandfathers
Since the time of Peter
There were victories on the fields,
How much was their "Hurray."
At the beginning of the 1930's. Tolstov established a “all-out village village” in Kordalb in order to maintain and preserve the commonality of the Cossacks from the Urals. Now the meetings were arranged both in the house and at picnics. There were many treats, songs sounded, dances were performed. Young Cossacks listened attentively to the stories of the elderly about past times and campaigns. 21 was especially solemnly celebrated every November in the Urals Military Festival of St. Archangel Michael. Not only Cossacks, but also all Russians who could come to Kordalb were invited to the feast. Orthodox holidays were celebrated by divine services (there was a Russian priest in Brisbane), for Christmas they arranged a Christmas tree in the Kordalb “public hall” shot for this purpose by the Cossacks.
By 1940. Many Russians left for the rather large city of Brisbane, where then it was possible to purchase land plots cheaply. There are few Russians in Kordalb, but Russians who live here in the Urals Cossacks still remember here, who to a certain extent have attached them to a kind of traditional culture both in terms of singing and playing folk music instruments, and in the field of cooking. Local residents say that numerous difficulties - lack of knowledge of the language, hard work, etc. - complicated the life of the Cossacks, but they did not give in to fate.
Since the times, the Urals have adequately manifested themselves in various industries. So, I.M. Shepherds who lost a leg in a campaign to Persia, while in China, learned handicraft business - making wicker baskets, trays, baby carriages, etc. Production was a success, and soon Shepherds opened their handicraft shop.
Uralets G.A. Mitryasov, in Australia, became a fairly well-known electrician specialist. He graduated from the Australian Institute of Engineering, went to work for an electrical engineering company, where he reached a high position and, as a consultant, several times went to New Guinea. At the same time, he was elected ataman of the Brisbane General Contractor Village, which existed before the 1980s.
Although the Ural Cossacks, who came to 1923 in Brisbane, did not live in their own separate stanitsa, dispersed in search of work throughout Australia, they still united Cossack traditions, a certain community, caring about each other, and constant mutual assistance.
During the Second World War, many Ural Cossacks from Australia participated in the Allied army in hostilities against Japan, were awarded medals and orders. There is information that their grandchildren and great-grandchildren retain in their hearts the love given to them by their ancestors and honor the traditions of the Ural Cossacks, an important part of the great Russian people, as much as they can.
In preparing the article, the following works were used:
1. A.G. Tregubov "From Gugni to Tolstova." Atamans Yaitsky Cossack troops. Optina publishing house Uralsk, 2006.
2. A.G. Tregubov. Urals in Australia. Ural Library. Publishing house "Optina". Uralsk, 2007.
3. N. Chesnokov. Punishment. Hunger "Series" Ural Library ". Publishing house "Optina", Uralsk, 2005.