How Did Russia Conquer Siberia || Russia History

How Did Russia Conquer Siberia || Russia History

It’s 1582. In the farthest corner of Europe, at the foot of the Ural Mountains, a band of Cossacks led by Yermak is preparing to conquer Siberia. Less than a century later the tsars rule most of Northern Asia. This is how the Russian Empire was made. How Russia came about was far less direct. Russia takes its name from the Rus, the descendants of Vikings who ruled over a population of Eastern Slavs and Finno-Ugric people.

By the 13th century a patchwork of Rus principalities emerges between the White Sea and the Carpathians. When the great Mongol Horde descends on the principalities, Moscow the centerpiece of the future Russian Empire is still just avillage. The Mongols vanquish every army that is thrown against them, and destroy everything up to Novgorod, including Moscow; forcing the Russiansto become their vasals.

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But as it turned out, the tiny dukedom of Moscow prospered under the Tatar Yoke. It’s Rurikid dukes were eager servants of the Mongols, however all along they were using every opportunity to enlarge their domain. By the 1320s Moscow subsumes its parent principality of Vladimir-Suzdal. In 1380 they defeat the Mongols for the first time. During the reign of Ivan III Moscow becomes the dominant power in the region.

Moscow’s main rival, the Novgorod Republics conquered in 1478. In 1480 after the Great Stand at the Upriver, Moscow gains its independence from the Tatars. Ivan the Great’s work is continued by his grandson, Ivan the Terrible. Ivan declares himself Tsar – or Emperor of All Russians.

He centralizes the state, and sets up a corps of professional soldiers. The Stretchy are light infantry armed with a musket and a broad headed axe, called the bardic he. They are a perfect complement to the traditional cavalry of the Russians. Additionally an artillery corps is also setup, enabling the Russians to reduce any fortification known to man. To test his new power, Ivan IV decides to spread out beyond the boundaries of the traditional Rus principalities. In the 15th century while Moscow was expanding,

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the once mighty Golden Horde was coming apart. Since its inception, the Khan ate of Kazan,a successor state to the Golden Horde has been at war with Russia. The Russians tried to take the city of Kazan several times, but difficulties with logistics prevented them from achieving this. In 1552 Ivan decides to take matters to a different level. The Russians construct a castle made out of prefabricated elements upstream of Kazan.

Using it as a springboard, Ivan’s superior forces manage to capture the city. The Tatars revolt against the Russians, but eventually they are crushed. For good measure Ivan also leads a campaign against the Khan ate of Astrakhan, capturing it in 1556. Now the road is open for further expansion to the east. Although road is a misnomer, as there are no such things in this part of the world. Almost all transportation is done by river.

But with Kazan conquered, one can travel from Moscow straight to Siberia without ever stepping on land along the waterways of the River Volga and its many tributaries. Getting there is very important. “Soft gold” as the Russians call it can only be found in abundance in Siberia. Fur has always been a sought after commodity,and after the end of the Medieval Warm Period, the demand for it only increases. Fur is not just a luxury, but a necessity in this climate. In the 15th century the main provider of fur was Novgorod.

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Thousands of pelts were harvested each year from its considerable hinterlands, either as a form of tax gathered from natives or harvested by Russian trappers themselves. The pelts are gathered in Novgorod and either distributed throughout Russia, or sold to the Pancreatic League, to be distributed all across Northern Europe. Just when Ivan conquers Kazan and opens the way into Siberia, an unforeseen event accelerates things beyond all expectations. In 1554 a great oceangoing ship such as was never seen before,

arrives in the northern harbor of Arkhangelsk. The English vessel is part of an expedition set out to discover a northern route to China. When Ivan hears of the strangers, he invites the captain of the ship to Moscow and grants the English the right to trade fur. Richard Chancellor grabs at the opportunity and loads up his ship with Russian furs, trading English wool products in exchange. Having grasped the golden goose,

he hurries back to England and as soon as he arrives there, he sets up the Muscovy Company, the first chartered trading company in England. The company will serve as a template for numerous similar enterprises, and will be in operation all the way until 1917.

As a result demand for fur skyrockets. But the resources of Novgorod that are tailored to a medieval world cannot satiate this new demand. Now the expansion eastwards is no longer adoption, but a necessity. But first the tsar needs an investor. In his later years Ivan is embroiled in the ruinous war in Livonia, and is therefore short on cash. Enter the Stroganovs, a family of self-madmen.

The Strongman gained a huge fortune in Avery short time after they cornered the market in salt. Once they became rich, the Strongman used their fortune to cozy up to the tsar. They are elevated to the nobility and Theresa gives them vast tracts of land along the Kama and Chusovaya rivers. This is the gateway to Siberia, a wild and lawless land, so the Stroganovs hire Cossacks to guard their domain.

Cossacks, are a qasi-nation of runaway peasants who sacrificed safety for liberty, leading a precarious existence on Russia’s borders with the Tatar lands. The Cossacks are excellent light infantry;armed with musket, saber and axe. They are well used to Mongolian style horse archers, the kind of opponents they will meet across the Ural Mountains. Their leader is a man called Yermak Timofeyevich.

Yermak is wanted for river piracy both in Russia and in Crimea. As he has nowhere to run, he is the perfect man for the job. Facing him is the Khanate of Sibir, another successor state to the Golden Horde. The khanate comprises a vast, mostly forested area in Central Asia, that is inhabited by less than 100.000 people. A minority of Tatars rules over groups of mostly nomadic Ostiaks,

  1. حضرت امیر معاویہ رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ کے واقعات
  2. حضرت علی کے بیعت خلافت اور ان کے عہد خلافت میں پیش آنے والے واقعات
  3. حضرت ابوہریرہ رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ کا واقعہ
  4. حضرت علی رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ کی سیرت و کردار

Voguls and Samoyeds. Unlike the Russians who are armed to the teeth,the soldiers of the khan ate barely have any firearms. If Yermak can get there, Sibir’s forces willbe easy work. In 1582 the Stroganovs decide to take the initiative. Without informing the tsar, they dispatcher and his 840 men on a reconnaissance in force, only to turn back if they can’t advance any more. As there are no roads, the Cossacks take tothe rivers.

They cross the Ural Mountains without encountering much resistance. Several times they have to drag their boatsor disassemble them to get from one river to the other. After sailing down the Tura, they reach the River Tobol. Resistance thickens as they advance, but all actions to thwart them fail. The Cossacks finally reach the Irtysh river,taking them to the khanat’s capital. They construct a fortified camp and proceed to besiege Sibir.

Yermak and his men are armed to the teeth with muskets, and even possess a few light cannon. They are also united – something that couldnt be said for their adversary. The allies of the Tatars break at the first volley, and after a brief fight, Kuchum Khan also has to flee his capital. Yermak occupies Sibir and begins to expand from there. He launches expeditions left and right, forcing the local clans to swear allegiance to the tsar, The Battle of Bourgtheroulde 1124 AD

and pay a tax of several furs per year. The pelts that are extracted are packed upand sent to the tsar to obtain his benevolence. Ivan was initially displeased that the Stranglehold acted outside of his control, but once he sees how successful Yermak’s expedition was, he changes his mind and gets on board. Meanwhile the Cossacks are under increasing pressure. The natives revert to guerrilla warfare,

ambushing Cossacks who venture too far from their base. The situation is saved when reinforcements sent by the tsar arrive. But even after they are replenished, the Cossacks suffer from famine and get decimated by ambushes. In 1585 Yermak himself is killed, disheartening his men, who then decide to return to Russia. On their way back, they run into more reinforcements sent by the tsar, and so decide to return. Sibir is contested again, but eventually the Russians prevail. Now the colonization of Siberia can begin in earnest.

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