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Crimean–Nogai raids into East Slavic lands

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Crimean Tatar warrior fighting Polish soldiers

The Crimean-Nogai raids were slave raids carried out by the Khanate of Crimea and by the Nogai Horde into the region of Rus' then controlled by the Grand Duchy of Moscow (until 1547), by the Tsardom of Russia (1547-1721), by the Russian Empire (1721 onwards) and by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569). These raids began after Crimea became independent about 1441[1] and lasted until the peninsula came under Russian control in 1774.[2]

Their main purpose was the capture of slaves,[3] most of whom were exported to the Ottoman slave markets in Constantinople or elsewhere in the Middle East. The raids were an important drain of the human and economic resources of eastern Europe. They largely inhabited the settlement of the "Wild Fields" – the steppe and forest-steppe land which extends from a hundred or so miles south of Moscow to the Black Sea and which now contains most of the Russian and Ukrainian population. The raids also played an important role in the development of the Cossacks.[4][5][6][7]

Estimates of the number of people involved vary: according to Alan W. Fisher the number of people deported from the Slavic lands on both sides of the border during the 14th to 17th centuries was about 3 million.[8] Michael Khodarkhovsky estimates that 150,000 to 200,000 people were abducted from Russia in the first 50 years of the 17th century.[9]

The first major Tatar raid for slaves occurred in 1468 and was directed into Galicia.[10] Crimean Khan Devlet I Giray even managed to burn down Moscow during the 1571 campaign.[11] The last raid into Hungary by the Crimean Tatars took place in 1717.[12] In 1769 a last major Tatar raid, which took place during the Russo-Turkish War, saw the capture of 20,000 slaves.[13]

What made the "wild field" so forbidding were the Tatars. Year after year, their swift raiding parties swept down on the towns and villages to pillage, kill the old and frail, and drive away thousands of captives to be sold as slaves in the Crimean port of Kaffa, a city often referred to by Ukrainians as "the vampire that drinks the blood of Rus'...For example, from 1450 to 1586, eighty-six raids were recorded, and from 1600 to 1647, seventy. Although estimates of the number of captives taken in a single raid reached as high as 30,000, the average figure was closer to 3000...In Podilia alone, about one-third of all the villages were devastated or abandoned between 1578 and 1583.[4]



Economic factorsEdit

Most of the raids fell on territory of today's Russia and Ukraine – lands previously divided between Muscovy and Lithuania, although some fell on Moldavia and Circassia (North Caucasus). A considerable part of the male population of Crimea took part in these campaigns.[14]

The main economic goal of the raids was booty, some of it material, but most of it human. These human trade goods were mostly sold on to the Ottoman Empire, although some remained in Crimea. Slaves and freedmen formed approximately 75% of the Crimean population.[14] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "It is known that for every slave the Crimeans sold in the market, they killed outright several other people during their raids, and a couple more died on the way to the slave market."[14] The main slave market was Caffa which after 1475 was part of the coastal strip of Crimea that belonged to the Ottomans. In the 1570s close to 20,000 slaves a year went on sale in Caffa.[15]

Political factorsEdit

The Crimean Khanate in about 1600. Note that the areas marked Poland and especially Muscovy were claimed rather than administered and were thinly populated.

The Crimean Khanate broke off from the Golden Horde in 1441. When the Horde came to an end in 1502 the buffer between Crimea and its northern neighbors disappeared. The Khans took advantage of the conflicts between Lithuania and Moscow, allying now with one, then with the other, and using the alliance with one as a justification to attack the other. During the Russo-Lithuanian War of 1500–1506 the Crimeans were allied with Russia and penetrated deep into Lithuania. Relations soon deteriorated. Near continuous raids on Muscovy began in 1507.[5][11]


The theater of warEdit

At the beginning of this period, between the Crimean Khanate and the Duchy of Moscow lay almost 700 miles of thinly populated grassland, the so-called Wild Fields. The Oka River, 40 miles south of Moscow, was both the principal and last line of defense. It was guarded by the Beregovaya Sluzhba ("river-bank service"). This continued to exist even after the construction of the Belgorod Line far to the south. Its troops rarely crossed the Oka, even when there were massive Tatar attacks on the fortresses to the south.[5]

Between Muscovy and Crimea there were three main routes also known as trails. To avoid fords they generally followed the high ground between one river basin and another.[16]

  • The Muravsky Trail was the western route. It began at the headwaters of the Samara River (Dnieper) and tended north-northwest across tributaries Seversky Donets River. It then crossed to the watershed of the Vorskla River to the east of the Belgorod area. In the steppe north of Belgorod, at the sources of the Donets, Pel and Donetz-Seymitsa there is a place called Dumchy Kurgan. Here the trail split. The main branch went northeast and at the headwaters of the Seym River joined the Izyumsky Trail. To the west the Bekaev Trail went between the Seym River and the Psyol River and the Pakhnutsky Trail went northwest to the upper reaches of the Oka River.
  • The Izyumsky Trail, like the Muravsky Trail, started at the upper reaches to the Samara but went directly north to Izyum-kurgan where the Tatars crossed the Donets. It then passed west of Oskol River and at the headwaters of the Wolf River and the Nezhegol River there was a branch to the east which led to the Oskol Basin and the Kalmius Trail. Continuing further between the Korocha River and the upper right tributaries of the Oskol the Izyumsky Trail connected to the Muravsky Trail at the sources of the Seym River. The villages of the Belgorod District were to the west and those of the Oscol District were to the east. North of the junction the trail led north and crossed to the basin of the Bystraya Sosna River. Having crossed this river the Tatars could turn to the Zusha River – a tributary of the Oka – and the Novosil, Mtsensk and Chernsky districts, or cross to the upper reaches of the Mecha River and the villages around Tula.
  • The Kalmius Trail began east of the other two at the upper Kalmius River north of the Sea of Azov. The Tatars crossed the Donets River west of Aidar and headed the north between the Oskol River and the Aidar River passing east of Valuyki. They usually crossed the Tikhaya Sosna River at Stone Ford, but there were other crossings. Further north Trail forded the Bystraya Sosna River.

In addition to these three steppe trails there were others, usually connected to the main three. The Savinsky Trail crossed the Donets above Izyum-Kurgan and connected with the Izyumsky Trail. East of the three main trails was the Nogai Trail which was used by the independent Nogais who lived in the Caspian and Kuban region. It crossed the upper Bityug River between Voronezh and the Tsna River. All to the Tatar invasion routes tended to follow the high and dry lands between river basins to avoid river crossings, swamps and forests. The raiding parties were always accompanied by guides who knew the steppe country, the easiest fords and best camping places.


Tatar Archer, Wacław Pawliszak

According to the 16th century English diplomat Giles Fletcher, the Elder, the Tatars[which?] would split into several groups, attack one or two places on the border and then direct their main attack to another place that had been left undefended.[citation needed] They fought in small groups. They would sometimes mount straw dummies on their spare horses to make themselves appear more numerous. According to the 16th century French mercenary Jacques Margeret, 20,000–30,000 Tatar horsemen would attack the main Russian force while other troops would devastate the Russian lands and return without suffering much damage. They deliberately spread false rumors about their strength and plans.

The French engineer Beauplan, who had participated in the war against them, gave a good description of Tatar tactics in the 1630s and 1640s in what is now Ukraine. He said that the Tatars looked oriental and could be easily distinguished from the Russians and Poles. A Tatar horseman was armed with a saber, bow and quiver with 18–20 arrows. On his belt was a knife, an awl and a flint for making fires. He also carried 10 or 12 yards of rope to tie up prisoners. They were skilled horsemen and each man usually had two spare horses.

When crossing a river they loaded their clothing and equipment on a light raft, tied it to a horse and crossed the river swimming, holding on to the horse's mane. Both large and small groups raided in summer. Winter raids were rare, but always involved large numbers of warriors. When they reached a populated area, groups of several hundred split off from the main body. These spread out through the countryside and surrounded villages. So that no one would escape at night they lit large fires. They then robbed, burned and slaughtered and carried away not only men, women and children, but bulls, cows, goats and sheep.

The fate of the captivesEdit

On the steppeEdit

The condition of the captives as they were being carried to the Crimea was very difficult. Held in bondage, divided into small groups, hands tied behind their backs with rawhide straps, tied to wooden poles with ropes around their necks. held at the end of a rope, surrounded by and tied to horsemen, they were driven by whips across the steppe without stopping. The weak and infirm often had their throats cut so they would not delay the march. They were often fed the meat of worn-out horses.

Reaching the lower Dnieper where they were relatively safe from Cossacks, the Tatars let their horses graze freely while they set about dividing the captives each of whom had been marked with a hot iron. Having received their slaves as inalienable property each Tatar could do with them as he wished. According to Sigismund von Herberstein, "the old and infirm, who were not worth much money, were given to the Tatar youths like rabbits to hunting dogs for their first military practice and were either stoned to death, or thrown into the sea or killed in some other way."

Here are the words of Duke Antoine de Gramont who was with the Polish-Tatar army during the campaign of King John Casimir on the Left Bank Ukraine in 1663–1664 when, according to him, about 20,000 were captured. "The Tatars slit the throats of all men over 60 years old who were thought to be incapable of work, forty-year-olds were saved for the galleys, young boys for their pleasure and girls and women to continue their kind and then later to be sold. The prisoners were divided equally and lots were cast according to age so that no one could complain that he had gotten more old ones than young. To their credit I must say that they were not stingy with their booty and with extreme politeness offered it to all who came their way."

In Crimea and TurkeyEdit

In Crimea they were driven to the slave market and placed in single file, bound together by the neck. The buyers carefully inspected the slaves, starting with their exterior appearance and ending with intimate parts of their bodies, to be sure that there were no missing or blackened teeth, warts, bumps or other imperfections. Beautiful girls were especially valued.

The main slave market was at Caffa which after 1475 belonged to the Ottoman Empire. The town had artillery and a strong garrison of Janissaries. Besides Caffa, slaves were sold in Karasubazar, Tuzleri, Bakhchysarai and Khazleve. Slave dealers came from various backgrounds: Turks, Arabs, Greeks, Armenians and others. For the right to trade they paid tax to the Crimean Khan and Turkish Pasha. In Caffa there were sometimes as many as 30,000 slaves, mostly from Muscovy and the southeastern lands of the Commonwealth. Ruthenian slaves were slightly more valuable than those from Muscovy since the latter were considered treacherous and likely to run away.[17]

Michalon Litvin described Caffa as "an insatiable and lawless abyss, drinking our blood." Besides the bad food, water, clothing and shelter, they were subjected to exhausting labor and abuse. According to Litvin "the stronger slaves were castrated, others had their noses and ears slit and were branded on the forehead or cheek. By day they were tormented with forced labor and at night kept in dungeons." Muslim, Armenians, Jews, and Greek traders all purchased Slavic slaves at Kaffa from the Crimean Tatars.[18]

Once sold they were transported to distant provinces – Greece, Syria, and Anatolia. On the way they had to endure torment: often a ship was so overcrowded that they could neither move nor lie down on the deck. They ate and slept standing up. Under such conditions large numbers grew sick and died, the latter being thrown into the sea.

Men were often sent to the Turkish galleys where they were worked to exhaustion chained to the benches. One galley slave who managed to escape was Ivan Bolotnikov who later led an uprising. According to the Greeks, during the Ottoman epoch three or four ships arrived at Constantinople every day loaded with Russian slaves. A significant number were sent to Anatolia for agricultural work. Female captives were sent to rich homes for carnal pleasure and harems, while the less beautiful were assigned domestic work.

The Venetian monk Giovanni Carraro wrote that in Constantinople there was little demand for hired servants since the place was full of Ruthenian and Russian slaves. Perhaps the most famous of these was the sultan's wife Roxelana. Michalon Litvin wrote "All of them, that is the eastern peoples, eagerly seek wives among the Slavonic captives. The current sultan's favorite wife and the mother of his son and heir was abducted from our land. The Perekop Khan, Sahib-Giray, was born a Christian and is married to a Christian. The ministers of these tyrants, their eunuchs, secretaries and other officials and their special troops, who are called Janissaries – all have come from our blood."

Despite the large number of slaves sent to Asia Minor, there was no shortage of them in Crimea. Many slaves were used for domestic work, the digging of wells, the production of salt and the gathering of dung on the steppe. The women were concubines and also performed household chores, yarn-making and the care of children and domestic animals.

Resistance to the raidsEdit


M. Presnyakov, Great Abatis Border, 2010.

In addition to simple self-defense, the Russians slowly pushed a line of forts and walls southward, behind which grew an increasing peasant population, until, after 250 years, the Crimea was overwhelmed. See Zasechnaya cherta, Don Cossacks, Expansion of Russia 1500–1800.


In the early 1550s Dmytro Vyshnevetsky, a Ruthenian noble and Cossack hetman began building forts at the mouth of the Dnieper, to close the trail from Crimea to Ukraine and Poland. 'On the island of Khortytsya near Konskaya Boda and the Crimean nomads' a fortress was built, which gave rise to the Zaporizhian Sich composed of Cossacks living on the lower Dnieper beyond the rapids. Polish King Sigismund II Augustus assigned Vishnevetsky the duty of protecting the Polish and Ukrainian lands from Crimean Tatar raids. Polish resistance might have become significant, but it was vitiated by the Khmelnitsky Uprising and The Ruin (Ukrainian history).

In folk cultureEdit

The numerous raids and abduction of captives left a deep imprint on popular culture. In Ukrainian ballads and tales, one of the main themes is Turkish slavery ("Slaves", "Slave's Lament", "Marusya Bohuslavka", "Ivan Boguslavets ","Falcon", "Flight of the Three Brothers from Azov") or the release from bondage and safe return to the homeland ("Samoylo the Cat", "Alexey Popovich", "Ataman Matyas the Old", "The Dnieper Talks to the Danube").

Historians on the Tatar raidsEdit

Vasily Klyuchevsky : "During the 16th century, year after year, thousands of people on the borderland vanished from their fatherland, and tens of thousands of the best people in the country set off for the southern border to protect the inhabitants of the central provinces from captivity and ruin. If you consider how much time and spiritual and material strength was wasted in the monotonous, brutal, toilsome and painful pursuit of these wily steppe predators, one need not ask what people in Eastern Europe were doing while those of Western Europe advanced in industry and commerce, in civil life and in the arts and sciences."

More by Klyuchevsky

On the Asian side there was continuous and exhausting struggle. Here there was no peace, no truce, no laws of war, only perpetual and mutual conflict. Giles Fletcher, as we already know, writes that for Moscow war with the Crimean Tatars, Nogais and other eastern foreigners was a yearly occurrence. The Golden Horde was already decayed in the 15th century and finally collapsed in the early 16th. From its ruins were formed new Tatar polities: the Khanates of Crimea, Kazan and Astrakhan, and the Nogai Horde along the Volga and on the shores of the Black and Azov Seas between the Kuban and the Dnieper.

Following the conquest of Kazan and Astrakhan the main threat to Moscow was Crimea with its ties to the Turks, who had defeated it in 1475 and put an end to the rule is the Genoese, who had held Caffa, Feodosia, Sudak and other colonies along the Crimean coast. Protected by a broad and empty steppe and separated from the mainland by Perekop – a broad and deep 60-kilometer moat cut through only by a narrow isthmus with high fortified walls – Crimea was a bandit lair impregnable from the land side. Michalon Litvin, who wrote about the Tatars, Lithuanians and Muscovites in the first half of the 16th century said that Crimea had more than 30 thousand mounted warriors and in addition, always ready to join them, were countless Tatar bands that roamed the Pontic and Caspian steppes from the Urals to the lower Danube.

In 1571 and 1572 the Crimean Khan twice attacked Moscow with 120 thousand warriors. The Crimean Khanate was a huge gang of robbers, well suited for raids on Poland, Lithuania and Muscovy. These raids were her major and life-sustaining industry. Giles Fletcher wrote that the Crimean Tatars usually fell on the outlying areas of the Muscovite state once or twice a year, sometimes around Pentecost, but more often at harvest time when people were spread out in the fields and easier to catch. But there were also winter raids, when the frost made it easier to cross rivers and marshes.

At the beginning of the 16th century the open steppe began a little south of Stary Ryazan and a little south of Yelets on the Bistraya Sosna River. The Tatars, armed in one way or another with bows, curved sabers and knives and rarely with pikes, mounted on their undersized but strong and hardy steppe ponies, with little baggage, feeding themselves with a small supply of dried millet or cheese, easily crossed this boundless steppe, covering almost 1,000 kilometers through a country that was barely inhabited. By frequent raiding they learned the steppe well, adapted to its characteristics, found out the best roads and trails and developed the best tactics for steppe warfare.

Avoiding river crossings, they followed the watersheds, the most important of these paths to Moscow being the Muravsky Trail leading from Perekop to Tula between the headwaters of two rivers – the Dnieper and Donets. Hiding their movements from Muscovite scouts, they slipped through hollows and ravines, lit no campfires at night and sent out scouts in all directions. Thus they managed to sneak unnoticed to the Russian border and wreak terrible devastation. Penetrating the populated country in thick masses, they spread out wings from the main body and swept all before them, looting, burning and capturing people, animals and all valuable movable property.

These were the habitual yearly raids when the Tatars suddenly threw themselves on Russia, dividing into packs of a few hundred or a few thousand men, circling the borders like wild geese and rushing to wherever they smelled booty. The main prey they were seeking was boys and girls. For this purpose they carried ropes to tie up captives and even large baskets to carry away children. The captives were sold in Turkey and other countries. The main slave market was Caffa where one could always find tens of thousands of captives from Poland, Lithuania and Muscovy. Here they were loaded onto ships and transported to Constantinople, Anatolia and to other regions of Europe, Asia and Africa.

On the shores of the Black Sea and Mediterranean one could often find female slaves who sung their master's children to sleep with Russian or Polish lullabies. All over the Crimea the only servants were captives. Polish and Lithuanian captives sold for more in the market than Russians because of the latter's tendency to run away. Displaying their living wares by the dozen, in lines tied together at the neck by ropes, the vendors cried out that these are the freshest and most simple-minded captives and certainly from Royal Poland and not from Muscovy. According to Michalon Litvin, the captives arrived in Crimea in such numbers that once a Jewish money-changer, sitting at the only gate at Perekop that led to the Crimea and seeing the endless columns of captives being led there from Poland, Lithuania and Muscovy, asked Michalon if there were still people in those countries, or were they now completely empty.

List of raidsEdit

In the first period, before 1648, we are dealing mostly with raids and defensive measures. Before 1507 raids were into the Polish Ukraine extending as far as Belarus. After 1507 raiding into the Ukraine continued but most raids were in the region south of Moscow. There was a tendency for population, fortifications and raiding to shift south from Moscow and east from the Polish/Ukrainian area. After 1648 we are dealing with large armies – Tatars, Turks, Poles, Russians and large numbers of Ukrainian Cossacks. Most fighting was in the western Ukraine (the 'Right Bank').

This drove the Slavic population to the Left Bank and probably allowed Russian population to expand southward north of Ukraine. Fighting weakened the Polish Commonwealth, but Russia continued to grow southward until it annexed Crimea in 1783. Note that this list does not include raids before 1480, raids further east, most Cossack raids on Crimea and petty raiding between different groups of Nogais, which was considerable. The main underlying theme of the period is the southward expansion of Russian population and the eastward expansion of Ukrainian population. If we had population figures for this the history of the period would be much clearer.


Western Ukraine as far as Kiev was held by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which was in dynastic union with Poland. Its settled areas can be guessed from the raid maps. Eastern Ukraine was held by the Great Horde, the steppe remnant of the Golden Horde. The Principality of Moldavia became an Ottoman vassal in 1498. Russia was often at war with Lithuania (Muscovite-Lithuanian Wars). Russia was allied with Crimea (c1480-1506) so Crimean raids were directed to Lithuania. In 1480 Russia became independent of the Horde. In 1485 the Ottomans gained control to the Black Sea and made Crimea a vassal. From 1500 Crimean raids penetrated deep into modern Belarus. In 1502 the Great Horde ended, removing the buffer between Crimea and Russia and bringing the nomads under increasing Crimean control as the Nogai Horde. In 1507 the Crimeans and Nogais began raiding Russia.

Historical Regions (approximate).
Ruthenia is approximately Galicia.
Crimean raids 1480–1500.
X=siege (usually to bottle up army while raiding countryside)
Yellow=Tatar victory against army
Blue dot=Tatar defeat (usually when Tatars were returning burdened with prisoners and the militia had time to assemble)
  • 1480: Mengli Giray raids Podolia. The raid made it difficult for Poland to support the Horde, contributing to the Great stand on the Ugra River and Russian independence from the Horde.
  • 1482: Mengli’s troops destroy Kiev – burn the castle, loot churches and take many captives including the voyevod and his family.
  • 1485–87: Each year Tatars invade the southern lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and devastate Podolia. In September 1487 the Polish crown prince defeats a 5000-man Tatar 'zagon' near the village of Koperstin (Kopystryn)(?) in Podolia, killing 1500 and taking many prisoners.
  • 1488: After a winter roaming in Podolia, in summer they join the Turks to invade Ukraine. The king sent the crown prince and the Polish militia against the Tatars. They hold the border and keep the Tatars from entering Galicia.
  • 1489: Raid on Podolia. 100,000 man Tatar horde attacks southern Lithuanian lands and devastates Kiev Voivodstvo. Kiev again taken by storm and ravaged and burned.
  • 1490: Trans-Volga (sic) and Crimean Tatars attack the Polish-Lithuanian domains. The Volhynian Voivodeship and Ruthenian Voivodeship are strongly devastated. Some bands reach the outskirts of Lublin. Tatars ravage Volhynia, loot and burn Volodymyr-Volynskyi and many other towns and villages and take a huge number of captives. On 25 January 1491 the returning Tatars are suddenly overtaken near Iziaslav, Ukraine on the Horyn River by the united Polish-Lithuanian forces under Lvov Castellan Nicholas of Horcz and the Lutsk Starost Semyon Olshanski. They defeat a 9,000 man Tatar 'zagon' and recapture all the prisoners. Tatars suffer heavy casualties.
  • 1493: Mengli launches a spring attack on the southern Lithuanian lands. They move on Kiev but are stopped by heavy flooding on the Dnieper. Separate bands raid the southern Lithuanian borders ruining the Kiev, Bratslav and Chernogov lands. In the same year Mengli Giray twice "sat on his horse" and personally led attacks on Lithuania.
  • 1494: In autumn the Crimean Horde devastated Podolia and Volhynia and took a huge number of captives and much booty. The pursuing Polish-Lithuanian army was defeated at Vishnevets and the Tatars returned to the steppe with their captives.
  • 1495: Tatars under the son of Mengli Geray attack Volhynia. Prince-Magnate Semyon Olshanski, the Starost of Lutsk and Marshall of Volynia, gathers the local Gentry Militia and defeated the Tatars besiegeing Koretz. Later Mengli organized a second raid on the Lithuanian border. A large horde under his sons devastate Volynia. The Polish-Lithuanians took refuge in Rovno (Semyon Olshanski, the namestnik of Vladimir Vasily Hreptovich, Princes Constantine and Michael Ostrozhsky, the Volynian boyars and their followers). The Crimeans besieged the Rovno castle, a sortie failed, the town was looted and burned, but the Tatars were unable to take the castle.
  • 1496: In winter a huge horde led by the Crimean crown prince devastated Volhynia. They completely destroyed some Volhynian districts as well as some on the Polish border and safely returned to the steppes. In spring of the next year (sic) they continued to raid the Lithuanian lands, looting, killing and taking captive the defenseless population. In March they burst into Volhynia and devastated the area around Kremenets. The Lithuanian Magnate Michael Ostrozhsky gathered his followers and set out after the withdrawing Tatars. At a battle near Polonne he routed the Tatars and freed all the prisoners. Other Tatar bands were defeated in the Kievan Polesia and the Bratslav region.
  • 1497: In summer they invaded Lithuania, devastated the area around Mozyr and Oliva (? ru: Олива (Киевская область)) and took many prisoners. Princes Michael and Constantine Ostrozhsky and their men went after them. They defeated the Tatars on the Soroka River near Bratslav and all the prisoners were released. Among the 340 Tatars killed was Crown Prince Akhmal.
  • 1498: In spring 100,000 Turkish-Moldavian troops(sic, see Polish–Ottoman War (1485–1503) ) invade southern Poland-Lithuania. Meeting no resistance they devastated Galicia. Przemyśl, Jarosław and Perevorsk were taken by storm and destroyed. The Poles defended Lvov but the surrounding area is burned and ravaged. A terrible panic swept the whole of Poland. John I Albert called up the Gentry Militia which arrived at Lvov after the Turks withdrew. When the militia disbanded the Crimeans ravaged Podolia and Galicia without meeting resistance.
  • 1499: The Crimeans campaigned along the Lithuanian border. In the summer they ravaged the land around Belz and made some raids on Podolia and the Bratslav region.
Crimean raids 1500–1506 on a map of Belarus.
All caps=not raided
Samdomierz,Chmielnik and Krasnyslaw are southwest of Brest in modern Poland.
  • 1500: The Kievan, Volhynian, Chełm and Belz lands are ravaged. Grand Prince Ivan III asked his ally the Crimean Khan to raid Slutsk, Pinsk, Turov and Minsk (i.e. Belarus), but not to raid Severia (i.e. Chernigov), "for, by the grace of God, these cities and lands are now ours". In the spring of 1500 Mengli Geray's sons raid the Kiev and Volhynian regions. Some bands reach the Belz and Chełm regions and up to the river Vistula. The Polish king and militia moved against them, but the Tatars got home safely with many captives. In autumn the Russians and Crimeans decided to attack Kiev and gathered a 15,000 man army. Without waiting for Moscow Mengli sent a horde under his sons to the southern lands of Poland-Lithuania. They devastated the lands around Bratslav, Volhynia, “Beresteyshchinu” (?Brest, Belarus?), Belz, Lvov, Chelm, Lublin and Sandomierz. They stormed and burned Chmielnik, Kremenets, Lvov, Belz, Chelm, Krasnystaw, Lublin and other towns and took captive 50,000 people. The Polish militia was called up, but the Tatars were able to return to the steppe.
  • 1502: 1. In summer Mengli Geray organized a new campaign into Poland-Lithuania. Ivan III suggested that he attack along the Pripyat River but the Khan wrote back that he had already told his sons to go to Kiev and Volhynia, even to Vilna and Trakai. A 30,000-man horde under his sons devastated the regions of Galicia, Lublin and Sandomierz. They took many captives and returned with impunity. 2. In autumn the Tatars began to ravage Polesia. The Grand Duke called on Prince Semyon Slutsky and sent him the Podolian voivod Yan Buchatsky, Russian-Lithuanian gentry and a group of Austrian mercenaries. They defeated the Tatars (1500 men) on the Usha River near Bobruisk. 3. That fall Lithuanian princes Fedor Yaroslavich-Kletsky, Yuri Dubrovitsky and Gregory Glinsky tried to block the withdrawing Tatars on the Usha river beyond Ovruch. The Tatars won and killed Glinsky. 4. In August (sequence?) 6,000 Tatars under Prince Biti-Geray invade Belorussian Polesia. They besiege Slutsk and raid the surrounding area, killing and taking captives. They devastate the region of Slutsk and Kapyl. Semyon Slutsky and a small garrison take refuge in the citadel and send word to Grand Duke Alexander at Vilna. Tatars split into detachments and ravage the surrounding area including Nyasvizh. Kletsk is stormed, ravaged and burned. Tatars reach the outskirts of Novogrudok and turn back. They burn many villages and then, with much booty and many captives, concentrate near Slutsk and return to the steppe. Alexander sends his nobles to aid Slutsky but they return to Vilna on learning that the Tatars had left.
  • 1503: A 3000-man Tatar force devastated the area of Slutsk and Novogrudok, and then moved to the Davyd-Haradok. The Lithuanian nobles Stanisław Kiszka (the highest Lithuanian hetman), Albrecht Gashtold and Yuri Nemirovich joined Prince Semyon Slutsky, chased the Tatars, caught up with them beyond Haradok, defeated them, freed the prisoners and returned with much honor and booty. At the same time other Tatar bands raided around Kiev. They also made a major incursion deep into Lithuania. The Tatars first invaded the Chernigov region, but the Muscovite voivod sent them back across the Dnieper "into the Lithuanian lands." They were active in Belorussian Polesia near Slutsk and Novogrudok. They also ravaged Podolia.
  • 1505: 1. Attack on Slutsk, Nesvizh, and Kletsk. A huge Crimean Tatar horde under the sons of Mengli Geray (the future Mehmed I Giray, Biti (Fetih?) Giray and Burnash Giray) entered Belarus, devastated the neighborhood of Minsk, Novogrudok, Polotsk and Vitebsk. 2. (Second campaign?) In 1505 a horde under the same three princes invaded Lithuania. They crossed the Dnieper near Loyew and moved deep into the Grand Duchy. Mehmed with the main force went to Minsk and sent his younger brothers to Slutsk. 2a. Mehmed besieged Minsk, burnt the town but could not take the citadel. They ravaged the area of Vilna, Vitebsk, Polotsk and Drutsk taking a huge amount of prisoners and booty. He then withdrew unhindered with his prisoners and booty to the Kiev region and then to the steppes. 2b. The younger princes Biti-Girai and Burnash Girai approached Slutsk which was held by the widow of Semyon Slutsky. After ravaging the countryside, losing many men and failing to take the town the two Tatar princes moved on to Novogrudok. Here there was a large meeting of Lithuanian magnates (Vilna Bishop Vojtech Tabor, Vilna voivod Nicholas Radziwill, Zhmudsky Starost Stanislav Kezgaylo, Polotsk voivod Stanislav Glebovich, Trakai voivod Jan Zabrzeziński, Grand Hetman of Lithuania and namestnik of Smolensk Stanisław Kiszka, all enemies of the future rebel Michael Glinski). Since they had come without soldiers, they fled on learning of the Tatar approach. The Tatars chased them beyond the Neman River(?), did great damage in central Lithuania and returned to Novogrudok with much booty and captives. Meanwhile the Crimeans had besieged Novogrudok which was held by Albrecht Gashtold. After suffering heavy losses, the Crimeans raised the siege and retreated. Passing Slutsk and Petrikov they returned to the steppes with many captives and much booty.
  • 1506: In summer an army under the Princes Biti Giray and Burnash Giray attacked deep into the Grand Duchy. They crossed the Pripyat River and ravaged the nearby districts. In August the Lithuanian army (7000 men under Prince-Magnate Michael Glinsky) shattered a Tatar horde (20000 men under Fetih(sic) Giray and Burnash Giray). At this time the ailing Polish king and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Alexander Jagiellon reached Lithuania and called a Sejm at Lida The Tatars devastate the area around Slutsk and Novogrudok and sent raiding parties to Lida, Ashmyany, Kreva, Vaukavysk and Grodno, burning and taking prisoners. When the Tatars approached the ailing king was taken from Lida to Vilna but the great magnates stayed at Lida. The Crimean Tatars were raiding from Lida to Novogrudok, burning churches, villages and estates, killing and taking prisoners. The Lithuanian magnates gathered a 10,000-man army at Lida and moved on Novogrudok which they reached on the first of August. Pans Yuri and Andrei Nimerovich captured six Tatars who under interrogation reported that the Tatars were a Kletsk. Under the command of Grand Hetman Stanislav Klishka, on 4 August they left Novogorodok for Kletsk, destroying Tatar raiding parties along the way. Klishka became ill and was replaced by Michael Glinski. On 6 August, at the Battle of Kletsk the superior forces of the Horde were shattered. 27,000 were killed or drowned, 3,000 were taken captive and 40,000 prisoners were freed. The retreating Tatars were pursued, killed and captured. Forces of Slutsky's widow (?Slutskoi Knyagini Anastacii) smashed the remains of the Tatar army at Kapyl and Petrovich(location?). Glinski made a ceremonial entry into Kletsk, leading many Tatar prisoners. Also in this year other Tatar bands devastated Podolia and Galicia.
  • 1507: The first Crimean raid on Muscovy.


By this time Moscow had control of lands along the Lithuanian border from Kaluga southwest to around Chernogov across current Ukrainian border. Many Tatar raids were in this area, but most were just south of the Oka River bank fortification line from Kaluga to Ryazan. The raided area probably corresponds to the edge of settlement. In 1521 the Crimeans crossed the Oka and pillaged the area around Moscow. In 1533-66 the Abatis defense line was built south of the Oka. The Livonian War (1558-63) diverted troops from the Oka and contributed to the great raid on Moscow in 1571. Russia took Smolensk (1514), Kazan (1552) and Astrakhan (1556). Rulers were: Vasili III (1502-33), regency, Ivan the Terrible (1547-1584). Raids on Lithuania continued, but we no longer hear of many deep penetrations beyond the current Ukrainian border. In 1514-21, during the fourth Muscovite-Lithuanian War, Lithuanian troops supported the Tatar raids, including the great raid on Moscow. In 1569 the Ukrainian area was formally transferred from the Lithuanian to the Polish half of the commonwealth. In the far south, in 1557 the Crimeans besieged the Zaporozhian Cossacks and two years later Cossacks and Russians made a small raid on Crimea.

Nizhny Novgorod
Places 1507-1570
Blue: Oka River, fortified line from Kaluga to Ryazan.
Yellow: Upper Oka region
Places 1507-1570
The line of marks down the center approximates the Dnieper River.
Lithuanian power extended somewhat east of this.
  • 1507: First Crimean raid on Russia – near Belyov and Kozelsk. Troops under I. Kholmsky-Kashi, Vasily Odoyevsky, Ivan Vortoynsky and other princes defeated the Tatars on the Oka and recaptured the prisoners and booty.
  • 1508: In October Crimean Tatars entered Lithuania and began to ravage Belorussian Polesia. Grand Hetman Konstanty Ostrogski led his troops from Smolensk and defeated the main enemy force near Slutsk.
  • 1509: A large Crimean horde devastates Galicia. Grand Lithuanian Hetman Ostrogski and Grand Crown Hetman Mikołaj Kamieniecki were successful against several raiding parties.
  • 1510: 1. In autumn the sons of Mengli Giray led a 50,000 man horde into the Grand Duchy. The Polish-Lithuanians expected them in Podolia, but they changed direction, crossed the Dnieper near Kiev, devastated Lithuania without opposition and reached the outskirts of Vilna. 2. When the Khan made a second raid, Hetman Ostrogski concentrated near Petrikov in Polesia. Learning of this, the Crimeans did not go beyond Kiev, but ravaged the surrounding country. Prince Yuri Slutsky and Kiev voyvod Andrzej Niemirowicz went after them and near Rutno (location?) killed about 8,000.
  • 1511: 1. Prince Akhmed Giray (son of Mengli) attacked Ryazan. The town was not taken, but the surrounding country was devastated. The Tatars almost broke through to the Oka River. 2. In early 1511 (sic, perhaps 1512) Mengli Giray and 40,000 men devastated Podolia and Volhynia, with some bands almost reaching Cracow. Lithuanian Grand Hetman Ostrogski boldly attacked with a small force. He was joined by Michael Vishnevetsky, Andrey Zbaraski, Alexander Czartorysky and, from Lithuania, Grodno Starost Jerzy Radziwill and Slonim Starost Yan Radziwill – altogether about 3,000 troops under Ostrogski. They were soon joined by 3,000 more from Podolia under Crown Grand Hetman Mikołaj Kamieniecki. Mengli was camped near Vishnavets and sent raiding parties to the surrounding area, looting, killing and taking captives. On 28 April 1512 (sic) the combined forces defeated the Crimeans at Vishnavets. Some sources say the Tatars lost 24,000 men.
  • 1512: 1. Mingli Giray's sons plundered Belyov. There was a new raid on Ryazan with many captives. 2. In May Princes Akhmat Giray and Burnash Giray with large forces attacked the southern Russian border and devastated the areas around Belyov, Odoyev, Vorotynsk (17km SW of Kaluga) and Aleksin. Grand Prince Vasili III of Russia sent troops to the Oka and Ugra River and strengthened the garrisons of Serpukhov, Kashira, Kolomna, Tarusa and Ryazan, but he kept them on the Oka, allowing the Tatars to ravage the area south of the river and carry away a huge number of captives. The voyvods did not dare pursue the retreating Tatars. 3. In June Akhmat Giray made a new attack on the Muscovite border. He invaded Severia and devastated the land around Putyvl, Starodub, and Bryansk. 4. In July the 'Kalga-Sultan' (possibly the future Mehmed I Giray) moved toward the Ryazan region. Russian troops were placed on the Upa River (Tula) and the Osyotr River (Zaraysk). The raid was blocked by the timely arrival of troops and he only managed to raid the outskirts of the Ryazan region. The voyvods pursued him as far as the Don River and Tikhaya Sosna River (about 320 km south of Ryazan near Voronezh) but were unable to catch him. 5. On 6 October Burnash Giray suddenly attacked Ryazan. He captured the fort and looted the suburbs but was unable to defeat the garrison. Three days later the Tatars left for the steppe with many captives. 6. Also in this year Ostrogski raided Severia and defeated a 6000-man Russian force.
  • 1513: In June they again devastated the surroundings of Bryansk, Putyvl and Starodub and retreated to the steppe.
  • 1514: 1. Raid to the southern Lithuanian borders. 2. In autumn Kalga Muhammad Giray led a large foray into Severia. Along with the Tatars were the Polish King's voyvods with men, cannon and arquebuses. (see Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars#Fourth war (1512–1522)). Local princes Vasili Ivanovich Shemyachich and Vasily of Starodub, both Moscow vassals, repelled the attack.
  • 1515: 1. Raid by Ayga-Mirza and Andysh-Mirza on Meshcheria (Kasimov). 2. In March Kalga-Sultan Mehmed I Giray raided the Severian borderlands along with the Kiev Voyvod Andrzej Niemirowicz and the Starost of Kanev (Ostap Dashkevych). The Tatar-Lithuanean army unsuccessfully besieged Chernigov, Novhorod-Siverskyi and Starodub and then retreated taking many captives. According to Polish sources the prisoners numbered 60 or even 100 thousand.
  • 1516: 1. Two campaigns in June and September on Ryazan and Meshchersk lands, the capture of a large number of prisoners. In June 1516, Prince Bogatyr-Girey (the eldest son of the new Khan Mehmed I Giray and who in 1523 was briefly khan of Astrakhan), raided Ryazan and Meshcheria (Kasimov). The Russian voivod did not expect the attack. 2. In the summer of 1516 the Crimean horde undertook a new attack on the southern Polish-Lithuanian lands. Tatar raiding parties devastated Galicia, Podolia and Volhynia. Having learned that Grand Lithuanian Hetman Konstanty Ostrogski was gathering forces to repel the enemy attack, the Crimean Tatars hastily retreated to the steppes.
  • 1516: (year label repeated). Up to 60,000 men under Ali Aslan fell on southern Lithuania, thereby foiling a campaign of Sigismund I the Old to retake Smolensk.
  • 1517: 1. 20,000 men under Tokuzak-Mirza reach Tula, where they are completely defeated by the Russians under Vasily Odoyevsky and Ivan Vorotynsky. Only 5,000 get back to Crimea "on foot, naked and barefoot". 2. In November they raid Severia but are defeated on the Sula River (about 200km east of Kiev) by Prince Vasili Ivanovich Shemyachich of Russia.
  • 1519: In June, Kalga-Sultan Bogatyr Giray raids southern Poland-Lithuania. They ravage the area around Belz and Lublin, and then move to Volhynia. Grand Hetman Konstanty Ostrogski gathered about 2,000 soldiers and was joined by about 4,000 Poles under 'Mikołaj Kamieniecki' (sic in ru:, probably error) and Mikołaj Firlej. Bogatyr Giray placed his camp near the fortress of Sokal. On 2 August 1519 at the Battle of Sokal the Polish-Lithuanian army was utterly destroyed by the Crimean Horde.
  • 1521: In the summer of 1521 the Crimean Khan Mehmed I Giray led a huge Tatar horde on a major attack on Russia. With him were Nogais and Lithuanian troops under the Kaniv starost Ostap Dashkevych. Some sources say that there were up to 100,000 men. Using the Muravsky Trail between the headwaters of the Vorskla and Donets, they reached the Bystraya Sosna River, bypassed Tula and turned east toward Ryazan. The khan then turned west and on 28 July 1521 approached the Oka River near Kolomna, where no one was expecting him and there crossed it. Russian troops sent from Serpukhov and Kashira were individually broken by superior Tatar forces. Killed were voyvods Ivan A. Sheremetev, Prince Vladimir Kurbsky, and Jacob and Yuri Zamyatiny. Prince Fedor Lopata-Obolensky was captured. After the battles the remaining voyvods withdrew their troops into fortified cities. The Crimeans and Nogais then began to ravage the Kolomna region with impunity. Mehmed Giray was awaiting the arrival of his younger brother, the Khan of Kazan Sahib I Giray. Sahib Giray broke through the eastern border, destroyed the cities of Nizhny Novgorod and Vladimir, joined his elder brother at Kolomna and the combined forces headed for Moscow. Grand Prince of Moscow Vasily III Ivanovich hastily left the capital for Volokolamsk to gather troops. On the first of August the Crimean-Kazan army appeared near Moscow, but they were in no hurry to besiege the well-fortified city. Mehmed Giray camped on the river Severka, about 60 kilometers from the capital and placed military operations near Moscow under his eldest son, the Kalga Bogatyr Giray, who was later briefly Khan of Astrakhan. The Crimean and Kazan Tatars spread out widely through the central areas of the Russian state and spent two weeks looting, killing and taking captives. Meanwhile, the Grand Prince had gathered a large army at Volokolamsk and ordered his voyvods to advance from Serpukhov. Given this, Muhammad Giray decided to withdraw (12 August). They ravaged Kolomna and moved toward Ryazan. On the advice of Dashkevych the Khan besieged the city, but the Russian garrison under I. V. Khabar-Simsky bravely repulsed all enemy attacks. Unable to take the city, the Khan headed south with a huge number of prisoners. The invasion brought heavy damage to the Russian state, ruining the areas of Nizhny Novgorod, Vladimir, Kolomna, Kashira, Borovsk (between Moscow and Kaluga), Ryazan and even the outskirts of Moscow. According to the Ostrozhsky chronicler Muhammed Giray "took more than 300,000 captives from Moscow." Sigismund von Herberstein wrote that the Crimean Khan "took with him from Muscovy so many prisoners, it seems unbelievable. For they say that their number exceeded 800,000. He sold part of them to the Turks at Kaffa, others he slaughtered, such as the elderly and the infirm, who could not be sold for a good price and were unfit for labor. These they gave to the young men like rabbits to hunting dogs for their first military practice. Those who were sold had to serve as slaves for six years, after which they became free, but could not leave the country.” The Kazan Tatars also took many captives. “The Kazan khan sold all the Muscovite captives at the market at Astrakhan which is located not far from the mouth of the Volga".
  • 1524: 1. The new Crimean Khan Saadat I Giray organized a new attack on Poland-Lithuania. Supported by the Turks they twice devastated Podolia and Volhynia. 2. Also in 1524 Grand Hetman Konstanty Ostrogski and Chercassy Starost Ostap Dashkevych led a 40,000-man Lithuanian army to Ochakov on the Black Sea. They besieged it for two days and then took it by storm
  • 1527: 1. In the winter of 1526/27 the Crimean Khan led a 30,000-man horde to devastate Galicia and Volhynia. Grand hetman Ostrogski along with Jerzy Radziwiłł and Albertas Goštautas set out from Vilna. Near Pinsk Ostrogski defeated a large raiding party and moved on toward Kiev. On the way he was joined by Prince Yuri Slutski, Fyodor Sangushko, Ivan and Alexander Vishnevetski, Alexander Chartoryski, Kiev voivod Andrei Nemirovich and Cherkassy Starost Dashkevych. At this time the horde was slowly moving from the Kiev region to Crimea burdened with much loot and captives. On 27 January 1527 the Lithuanians caught up with them on the Olshanitsa River near Kiev. In the ensuing Battle of Olshanitsa, the Tatars were defeated and suffered many casualties. Among those killed were Turks led by Ibrahim, the Pasha of Perekop (sic). 2. In autumn Prince Islam Girai led 40000 men to the south Russian borders. Moscow, Kolomna and other cities were in a state of siege for five days (sic). On 9 September Islam Giray tried to cross the Oka but was blocked by voyvods F. V. Lopata-Obolinsky and I. F. Ovchina-Telepnev-Obolinsky. After a long battle Islam Giray returned to the steppe. This time the Russians not only held the Oka bank but sent troops beyond the Oka. The ‘big voivods’ stood on the Oka and cavalry of the ‘light voivods’ pursued the enemy. The voivods caught up with and defeated the Crimeans at Zaraysk on the Osyotr River. The campaign of Islam Giray ended in complete failure and the voivods chased him as far as the Don (sic, the headwaters of the Don are about 60km southeast of Tula).
  • 1531: Khan Saadat Giray leads a large raid on Cherkassy. The defense was led by Kaniv and Cherkassy Starost Dashkevych. After this the Ukrainian Cossacks proposed to the Sejm that they become guards of the southern border.
  • 1532: More raids on the Muscovite border. In February Tatars under Prince Buchak Giray devastated the area around Odoyev and Tula. Voyvods Ivan Vorotynsky, Ivan Ovchina-Telepnyov-Obolinsky and Ivan Lyatsky could not stop the raids.
Border guards light signal fire to warn of raid
  • 1533: In August Princes Islam Giray and Safa Giray (the exiled Safa Giray of Kazan) and 40,000 men invade the southern border. Vasilly III was warned in time and sent advanced troops to Kolomna and himself took the main force to the village of Kolomenskoye. Meanwhile the Princes were besieging Ryazan and tried to storm it. Other detachments raided the surrounding countryside, burning villages and taking prisoners. The Grand Prince sent his main voyvods against the Tatars and sent his "light cavalry voyvods", Princes Ivan Ovchina-Obolinsky, Dmitri Paletsky and Ivan Drutsky, against the Tatar horsemen. On the approach of the Russians the Tatars began a hasty retreat. The light cavalry voyvods had much success against Tatar bands that had become separated from the main force. Despite this the Ryazan lands were devastated and the Crimeans carried away a huge number of captives.
  • 1534: In May the Azov and Crimean Tatars raided the outskirts of Ryazan. They were defeated on the Pronya river and 50 prisoners were sent to Moscow.
  • 1535: 1. In fall Tatar troops attack Severia. Crimeans fought near Putivl, Rylsk, Novgorod-Seversky, Starodub, Chernigov, Pochep and Gomel. 2. Raids of Crimean Tatars under the Chamash-Mirza near Ryazan ended with the destruction of a 15000-man horde.
  • 1535: [year label repeated in Russian wiki] New raids on the Muscovite lands.
  • 1536: In spring and summer Crimean and Azov Tatars made small raids around Belyov and Ryazan.
  • 1537: Raids around Tula and Odoyev. Prince Vasili Veriga-Volkonsky killed.
  • 1539: In October Prince Imin Giray raided the southern areas and ravaged the Kashira area. Despite the success of Prince S. I. Mikulinsky, who defeated several raiding parties and took captives, the Crimeans were able to capture many prisoners.
  • 1541: In July Sahib I Giray invaded the southern Russian lands and burned the outskirts of Zaraysk. After a defeat on the Oka the Tatars withdrew to Pronsk. Moscow voyvods chased them from Pronsk to the Don. Prince Imin Giray separated from the main force and began raiding around Odoyev. Voyvod Prince V. I. Vorotyinsky and his brothers left the town and defeated them. 45 prisoners were taken to Moscow for questioning (?’yazykov’).
  • 1542: 1. In March, Prince Imin Giray invaded Severia and ravaged the area around Putivel, Starodub and Novgorod-Seversky.2. In August the Tatars fought around Ryazan.
  • 1544: In December Prince Imin Giray burned the neighborhood of Belyov and Odoyev, taking many prisoners.
  • 1547: 5000 Crimeans and Nogais under Kasay Mirza pillaged the Ryazan land to the Vozha River.
  • 1548: Voyvod Mikhail Voronov repulsed the attack of the Crimean Tatars near Meshchera (Kasimov).
  • 1550: In August 30,000 Tatars attacked Ryazan and Meshchera. Prince S. I. Mikulinsky took the field. They chose not to fight and returned to the steppe. In December the Crimean Tatars and Nogais again attacked the Ryazan region, Meshchera and Old Ryazan.
  • 1551: Nogais raid Ryazan.
  • 1552: The new Khan Devlet I Giray made his first foray into Russia. He was trying to disrupt a Russian attack on Kazan (Siege of Kazan). In July he tried to take Tula by storm, but failed. Ivan the Terrible sent a large force from Kolomna. The retreating Tatars were thoroughly defeated.
  • 1555: 60,000 men under Devlet Giray raid southern Russia and are defeated at the Battle of Sudbishchensky. Devlet Giray lost two sons: Kalga Akhmed Giray and Hadji Giray.
  • 1557: In May, the Crimeans besieged Khortitsa for three weeks. Devlet Giray was unable to take it by storm and suffered heavy casualties. The defense of the fortress was led by Prince Dmytro Vyshnevetsky. Seeking help and support, Vyshnevetsky was quick to announce the victory to the Russian government but Ivan the Terrible showed no interest because he was preparing for the Livonian War. Vishnevetsky evacuated Khoritsa, handed over Cherkassy and Kanev to the Lithuanian authorities, and entered the Russian service.
  • 1558: 20,000 Tatars attacked the Bratslav Voivodeship (eastern Podolia), Volhynia and Podolia. They took 40,000 captives and returned to Perekop without difficulty. 2. In January 1558 Devlet Giray sent 100,000 men north under Kalga Muhammad Giray to the Mecha River (roughly between Zaraysk and Ryazan), intending to attack Tula, Kashira and Ryazan. Learning of the timely advance of the Russian army, the Tatars turned back. The few Russian troops that went after them could not catch them.
  • 1559: The Russian government allocated five regiments to protect the southern border, but a 3,000-man raiding party broke into the Tula region. Other Crimean troops fought near Pronsk where they were defeated. 2. An 8,000-man Russian army under Daniel Adashev was sent to "work the Crimean tribes" («промышляти крымские улусы»). Prince Dmitry Vishnevetsky and 5,000 men were joined on the lower Don by other Russian troops under royal "postelnik (?)" Ignaty Veshnyakov. On the Aidar River (about halfway between Stalingrad and the Dnieper) Vishnevetsky and Michael Cherkashenin's Cossacks defeated a Tatar detachment which was going to Kazan (sic). Adashev sailed down the Dnieper River to the Black Sea and captured two Turkish ships. The appearance of a Russian flotilla caught the Crimean Khan unawares. Adashev landed on the west coast of Crimea, defeated cavalry sent against him, freed a number of Russian and Lithuanian prisoners and returned safely to Monastery Island.
  • 1560:The Crimean mirza Divey invaded Severia and besieged Rylsk. The Crimeans ravaged the surrounding area, but could not take the city by storm. The Russian garrison held off all enemy assaults. In August Divey-Mirza with 3000 men broke through the Potezhny forest which ran between Tula and Zaraysk on the left bank of the Osetra River. The Russian voyvods overtook Tatars on the Don, but Divey-Mirza ordered the slaughter of his captives and was able to break away from pursuit. At the same time a 20,000-man Tatar horde roamed near the Russian borderland.
  • 1561: A group of Budzhak Tatars raided Severia.
  • 1562: At the request of Sigismund II Augustus (see Livonian War), in July, 15,000 men under Devlet Giray ravaged the areas around Mtsensk, Odoyev, Novosil, Bolkhov, Chern' (30km NE of Mtsensk on the road to Tula) and Belyov taking many captives. A. and M. Vorotynsky went after them, reached Kolomak (west of Kharkov), but could not catch them.
  • 1563: Princes Muhammad Giray and Adil Giray with 10,000 men fall on Mikhaylov. Tatar troops were also in the Dedilovo (30km SE of Tula), Pronsk and Ryazan areas.
  • 1564: Knowing that the main Russian forces were at Kaluga awaiting a Polish attack, in fall Khan Devlet I Giray, his two sons and 60,000 men attacked the Ryazan borderland. For three or four days the horde tried to storm Ryazan. Voyvod Alexei Danilovich Basmanov and his son Fyodor fought off attacks on Ryazan, but the Tatars seriously ravaged the areas between Pronsk and Ryazan, capturing a great many inhabitants. After spending six days in the Ryazan country the Crimean Khan retreated to the steppes. Later, one of the Tatar detachments (about 4000 men under Shirin prince Mamay) returned to the Ryazan country but was destroyed by the troops of Basmanov and Prince Fyodor Tatev. The majority of the Tatars were killed but 500 of them along with their commander were captured.
  • 1565: In fall Devlet Giray made his usual raid into the southern Russian lands and surrounded and besieged Bolkhov. Princes Andrew Telyatevsky and Dmitry Khvorostinin were sent to aid the beleaguered garrison. Upon learning of the approach of fresh Russian forces Devlet Giray left Bolkhov for the steppe (9 October).
  • 1566: The Russian government completed the construction of a large defense line – the Zasechnaya cherta – a grand fortified line, which ran from Ryazan to Tula and then to Belyov on the upper Oka. Ivan the Terrible spent a month inspecting the new forts at Kozelsk, Belyov, Bolkhov, Aleksin other border towns.
  • 1567: In spring a 3000-man party under Osman-Mirza of the Shirin clan pillaged the Muscovite borderlands.
  • 1568: In autumn 3000 men under princes Adil Giray and Gazi Giray (the future khan Ğazı II Giray) pillaged the Muscovite borderlands.
  • 1569: Khan Devlet Giray joins Turks in their unsuccessful attempt to take Astrakhan (see Russo-Turkish War (1568–1570)).
  • 1570: In spring 50,000 men under the future khan Mehmed II Girai devastate the neighborhood of Ryazan and Kashira. On May 21 at Zaraysk voyvods Dmitri Khvorostinin and prince Fyodor Lvov attack the Tatars at night and take many captives. In autumn 6000-7000 Tatars under crown prince Alp Giray fought around Novosil. With them were Nogais and Azov people.


Nizhny Novgorod
Stary Oskol
Raids 1571–1599 on map of Russian Central Federal District.
Red square=not raided
Yellow Dot=main fort;Blue Triangle=new southern fort.
Excluded for clarity: Some places on previous map;Mozhaysk is near Molodi; Krapivna is southwest of Tula; Meshchensk, Moshalsk, Venyov and Vorotynsk are between Moscow and Tula;Tetyushi is off the map to the right

In 1571 the Crimean Khan burned Moscow. He tried again the next year and was defeated. Another large raid failed in 1591. The raiding area may have moved slightly south and east. Attacks east of Ryazan are mentioned more frequently. After 1585 forts were built far to the south to block the Muravsky Trail, but these had no visible effect in this period. Raids on Poland are mentioned under 1577, 1584 and 1595.

  • 1571: Moscow burned; more than 30 cities looted, about 60,000 captives. See also Fire of Moscow (1571). In spring occurred one of the worst Tatar invasions of Muscovy. Crimean Khan Devlet I Giray, knowing from prisoners and deserters of the problems of the Moscow state – "море" (sic) and drought, the unending Livonian War, the concentration of only a few Russian regiments on the Oka River fords at Kolomna and Serpukhov – launched his most successful campaign against Russia. The Khan originally planned to raid near Kozelsk and led his horde to the upper Oka (the north-flowing part southwest of the defense line). Forcing this river at the Bystry ford, the horde moved toward Bolkhov and Kozelsk. But on Zlynsky Field he accepted the suggestion of a defector form Belyov, Boyar-son Kudeyar Tishenkov, to go straight to Moscow. The traitor promised to lead the horde through unprotected "perelazhy" on the upper Zhizdra River, a place where the Crimeans had never been. This flanking maneuver was completely unexpected. In mid-May 40,000 Tatars crossed the Zhizdra near Peremyshl(?), bypassed the Russian troops from the rear [apparently west of the Oka-bank-line west of Kaluga] and advanced on Moscow. With a sudden attack they destroyed the troops of royal ataman Yakov Volynsky. Ivan the Terrible, hearing of this dangerous breakthrough and the approaching enemy troops, fled from Serpukhov past Moscow to Rostov, and planned to go further in Yaroslavl. Voyevods Prince I. D. Belsky, Prince I. F. Mstyslavsky, and Prince M. N. Vortynsky rapidly marched from Kolomna to Moscow, trying to get ahead of the Tatar horde and got there one day ahead of the Crimean Khan (23 May). They placed themselves on the other side of the river from the Kremlin and beyond the Moscow River and prepared for battle. After losing the first skirmishes the Khan camped at the village of Kolomenskoye and sent 20,000 Tatars to burn the outlying parts of the city. The outskirts were burned along with the earthen fortress and many Muscovites were killed. Tatars began to plunder and ravage the Moscow district. On 25 May Devlet Giray left Moscow for Kashira and Ryazan, sending out raiding parties to take captives. Soon, loaded with loot and a huge number of captives, the Crimeans returned to the steppes. On their way they passed through the Ryazan land and captured and burned Kashira. Prince Mikhail Vorotyinskiy with forward regiment followed the retreating enemy, but because of the small number of troops could not prevent them from ravaging and destroying the Russian land. During this invasion 36 Russian cities were destroyed and many people taken prisoner. The Crimean ambassador to Lithuania later boasted that the Tatars had killed 60,000 people and taken the same number captive. At the same time the Great Nogai Horde, as allies of the Crimeans raided the Kazan area at Tetyushi and Alatyr.
  • 1572: A second campaign with 120,000 men ends with a crushing defeat at the Battle of Molodi. In July Devlet Giray launched an even larger campaign with 120,000 men including Nogais and 7,000 Turkish Janissaries. The Khan had no doubt of victory and confidently divided Russian cities among his Mirzas. Relying on his large army, he went straight for the main crossing of the Oka. On the night of 27 July the Tatar horse pushed aside a few Russian outposts and swam across the Senkiny Ford. On the following night they set off for Moscow on the Serpukhov road. The chief Russian commander, boyar Prince Mikhail Vorotyinsky, who was with a large troop at Serpukhov, left his position in the river-bank line and moved toward Moscow after the Tatars, hoping to block their line of retreat. On the Kaluga (western) flank, trying to intercept the Tatars was the vanguard regiment under A. P. Khovansky and D. I. Khvorostinin and from Kashira – the guard regiment of I. P. Shumsky and V. I. Kolychev. On 30 July on the Pakhna River near the village of Molodi the vanguard regiment under Khovansky and Khvorostinin caught up with the Tatar rearguard, attacked and defeated them. The Khan was alarmed by this blow from the Russian cavalry and halted his attack on Moscow. He sent a 12,000-man cavalry corps against Russian noble regiments. The vanguard regiment fell back, leading the enemy into the arms of a larger army which was just arriving and was strengthened by "gulyay-gorods" (pieces of wall on wheels). Under the cover of musket and cannon fire from Russian musketeers and German mercenaries behind the gulyay-gorods, Russian cavalry made sorties against the Tatars, throwing them into disorder. In one of these fights the prominent Tatar warlord Divey Mirza was captured. Also killed was the Nogai Mirza Tereberdey who commanded the vanguard of the Crimean Horde. On 2 August Devlet Giray led his full force to storm the gulyay-gorods. During a fierce battle under the walls of these wooden forts a regiment under Mikhail Vorotynsky was able to slip around the enemy army and struck a powerful blow. At the same time the enemy was attacked from the gulyay-gorods by the vanguard regiment under Dmitry Khvorostinin. Unable to withstand the double blow of Russian regiments, the Tatars retreated, having suffered colossal losses. Among the dead were the sons of the Devlet Giray. On the night of 3 August the horde hastily retreated southward, pursued by Russian cavalry. Trying to break away from pursuit, Devlet Giray put out several covering detachments, which were destroyed by Russians. Of the huge army that crossed the Russian border in July only 20,000 got back to Crimea.
  • 1573: In September there was a raid by the Crimean princes on Ryazan. First they were resisted by the borderland voyevods, and then by the large regiment from Serpukhov under voyevod Prince S.D. Pronsky and his comrades, "and they went to the Verda River, but the Tatars did not reach it."
  • 1574: In fall the Crimeans and Nogais raided the Ryazan borderland. Voyevod Prince Boris Serebryany-Obolinsky and his comrades defeated the enemy at Pechernikovsky Groves.
  • 1577: A 10,000-man Tatar detachment ravaged the southern Polish border.
  • 1577(sic): A Crimean Tatar army under the new Khan Mekhmed Giray Semin ravaged and burned out Volhynia and received a large ransom from the Polish king for the termination of the campaign. On this raid they took 35,000 prisoners. Crimean Tatars and Nogais continued to raid the southern Russian lands. At the head of the Tatar army was Yeseney Mirza Diveev. The Nogais raided around Alatyr and Temnikov.
  • 1578 : Mirza Yeseney Diveev made another raid. With him were 6,000 казыевцев (men under Kazy Mirza?) 2,000 Azov men, 2,000 from the Great Nogai Horde and 2,000 Diveev (дивеевых) Nogais. In summer many Nogais were around Venyov and other places.
  • 1580 : In summer Nogais, Crimeans and Diveev Nogais went to the Moscow borderland and there were many losses. Nogai prince Urus Beg, calling on the Cheremises to rebel, prepared to attack Meshchera and the Ryazan region.
  • 1581 : 25,000 Nogais under Urus Beg ravaged the Belyov, Alatyr and Kolomna areas. Together with the Great Horde was the Little Horde, Azov men and Crimeans. At their head were the Crimean princes and the famous Azov leader Dosmagmet.
  • 1582 : The Great Nogais assisted Cheremis rebels in the Kazan region and raided southern Russia. Their raid around Novosil is well known.
  • 1583: [Livonian War ends.]
  • 1584: In spring 52,000 Tatars led by Araslan-Mirza broke through the Oka. For two weeks the Tatars and Nogais devastated the areas around Belyev, Kozelsk, Vorotynsk, Meshchovsk, Mosalsk, Mozhaysk, Dorogobuzh [?,far to the west] and Vyazma and carried into captivity countless many Russian people. On 7 May an army under duma nobleman M. A. Beznin overtook the enemy at the mouth of the river Vys near Kaluga. In a bitter battle the Russians defeated the nomads and recaptured about 70,000 prisoners. Mirza Yeseney Diveev with a separate detachment besieged city of Belyov which was defended by Prince Timothy Troubetzkoy. Mikhail Beznin sent a force to help him and the Mirza raised the siege and fled to the steppe. Also in that year the Azov men under Dosmagmet-Aga and Konkar-Aga raided near Ryazhsk [?if correct, this is unusually far south]
  • 1585: Two raids on the southern Russian lands. Tatar troops came to the Ryazan Borderland.
  • 1586: 30,000 Tatars attacked the southern Russian territory.
  • 1587: In spring 3,000 Azov men and Small Nogais under Dosmagmet-Aga made another raid on the southern Russian lands. In June a 40,000-man horde under Princes Alp Giray and Solomat Giray invaded Moscow lands by the Kalmius Trail. Russian voyevods awaited enemy near Tula, but the Crimeans stayed on the borderland and fell on the town of Krapivna, took the fort and burned the town. The Russian government sent a large army to the border under three commanders. On the approach of the Russians the Tatars hastily returned to the steppe. During pursuit the Russians overtook and destroyed many Tatar raiding parties but did not make contact with the main force. About 30,000 Crimeans and Nogais died and 2,000 were taken prisoner.
  • 1591: unsuccessful attack on Moscow by Gazi Giray and 150,000 men. In the summer of 1591 a great Crimean Tatar horde led by Khan Ğazı II Giray marched on the Russian realm. The first Tatar hordes were detected by Cossack stanitsa heads near Livni. The Tula and Dedliov voyevods reported to Moscow the appearance of hordes near the border. The Russian government took all measures to repel the enemy invasion. All the border voyevods were ordered to quickly gather their troops near Serpukhov, and then come to Moscow, leaving on the bank-line a small detachment under S. Koltovsky for reconnaissance. On 3 July Koltovsky and his men arrived in Moscow, where he said that the Crimean Khan with a huge horde was moving directly on Moscow and not sending out raiding parties to capture prisoners. On 2 July Crimean cavalry crossed the Oka between Kashira and Serpukhov and moved by road toward the capital. The Khan, learning of the rapid withdrawal of the Russian troops toward Moscow and fearing a surprise attack held his forces together for a decisive battle. The Russian command decided to give a decisive battle under the walls of Moscow. At the head of the large Russian force gathered at the capital were voyevod boyar Prince Fedor Mstislavsky and cavalry boyar Boris Godunov. The chief voyevods tried to stop the offensive and sent to the Pakhra River picked troops under Prince Bakhtiyarov-Rostovsky. A small Russian detachment routed superior forces of the Crimean Khan and Prince Bakhtiyarov was wounded in battle. During this time the Russian command was able to collect under Moscow's walls a great "oboz" – field fortifications similar to the gulyay-gorods. On the morning on July 4 the Khan reached the capital. The Khan stationed his main body at the village of Kotla and sent troops out from there. Crimeans attacked Russian troops stationed at the "oboz' but could not achieve anything. At night the Russians sent a 3,000-man cavalry detachment under Vasily Yanov from the Oboz to attack the Khan's camp at Kolomenskoye. In addition, Moscow spies were sent to the Khan to inform him of a large army arriving from Novgorod. Alarmed by the Russian attack and cannon fire, the Crimean Khan on 6 July began a hasty retreat from the capital. The horde left Moscow for Serpukhov, where they crossed the Oka and continued to retreat. Individual raiding parties that had separated from the main forces were defeated near Tula, Mikhailov and Pronsk. Russian cavalry troops were sent in pursuit of the retreating and demoralized Crimean horde. In following battles on the steppe the Khan himself was wounded. The Khan managed to preserve and bring back some of his broken troops.
  • 1592: In spring 80,000 Crimeans under Feti Giray and Bakht Giray went to Tula, Mikhailov, Dedilov, Venyov, Kashira and Ryazan and "took such a multitude of prisoners that the old people do not remember such wars." Using speed and surprise, the Tatars ravaged the regions close to the border and took many prisoners. Boyar Prince Boris Kambulatovich Cherkassky set out from Tula against the Tatar princes. At the approach of the Russian troops the Tatar princes, who were camped near Mikhailov, led their men back to the steppes laden with booty and captives (19 May). Russian voyevods followed the Tatars as far as Epifan and then returned to their positions on the bank-line.
  • 1593: The Azov people Nogais operated near Voronezh and Livni.
  • 1594: In spring up to 8,000 Tatars raid the southern Russian lands. On 17 May near Shatsk, Russia appeared "Nogais and Azov Turks" under Mirazs Baran-Ghazi-Mirza Sheydyakov, Islam Mirza and Azov Aga Dos-Mohammed (Dosmagmet). The town was besieged but an attempted storm was driven off by city voyevod Prince V. I. Koltsovy-Masalski. The Shatsk governor asked Moscow for help. Also Prince Vladimir Koltsov reported in the capital that Azov Aga Dos Mohammed would depart for the steppe and be joined by 12,000 men under Crimean prince "Araslan" and would start a new attack around Shatsk and Ryazan. The Russian government increased the garrisons at Zaraysk, Shatsk, Arzamas and Alatyr, and sent from Tula, Dedilov and Krapivna forces under Prince Vasily Golitsyn. Russian troops were placed at Epiphan and waited Tatar raids. Frightened by the Russian preparations, the Nogais and Azov people did not risk a second raid, but left the borderland and returned to their steppe pastures.
  • 1595:In August 1594 (sic) the Polish army under Grand Crown Hetman Jan Zamoyski entered Moldavia and on 3 September captured Iași and placed on the thrown his protege Ieremia Movilă. In October, Moldova invaded by 25,000 Crimeans under Khan Ğazı II Giray. Jan Zamoyski with the Polish army (7,300 people). went out from Yassi and on 6 October made a fortified encampment near Țuțora. On 19–20 October there was battle. The Khan encircled and attacked the Polish camp but the Poles repulsed all attacks and inflicted great losses. On 21 October Gazy Giray made a truce with the Grand Hetman and left Moldavia. See also Moldavian Magnate Wars.
  • 1596: The Ryazan land was raided by the Crimean Tatars. Azov Aga Dos-Muhammad again ravaged the Ryazan area.


At the beginning of the period the Time of Troubles disorganized the frontier defenses and led to much destruction. The Oka region was raided almost every year, but with decreasing frequency. 1633 may have been the last crossing of the Oka. We hear more frequently of raids at such places as Kursk and Voronezh, implying stronger defense in the north and a southern movement of the Russian population. The Belgorod Line of forts was begun about 1633 and seems to have had noticeable effects after about 1640. We hear of raids on Poland in 1614–21, 1624–28, 1633, 1640 and 1642.

  • 1606–1608: During the "Time of Troubles" (1605–1618) the Crimean Khanate and the Nogai Horde resumed their depredations on the defenseless Russian lands. In 1607–1608 Nogais ravaged and burned many cities in the Ukraine (or borderland?) and Severia. The number of the enemy was up to 100 thousand people. The few and weak Russian outposts on the border could not offer effective resistance to the great mass of the steppe cavalry. Nomads burned towns, villages and suburbs, killing and taking prisoner the local inhabitants. In January 1606 the Ukrainian Registered Cossacks from Korsun repulsed Nogai raiding parties with heavy losses to the enemy.
  • 1609: Crimean Khan Selyamet Giray (1608–1610) organized a large military campaign against Russian kingdom. Simultaneously, the Polish King Sigismund III Vasa with the Polish-Lithuanian army besieged Smolensk. Crimean Tatar horde (40 to 80,000 men) led by Crown Prince Dzhanibek Giray used the Izyumsky Trail and slowly began to move to Moscow. During his movement Crimean horde was divided into separate detachments and scattered in different directions, devastating and burning towns and villages, looting, killing and taking captive defenseless people. The Crimean Tatars devastated the southern districts, crossed over the river Oka, ravaged suburbs Tarusa, Serpukhov, Kolomna, and Borovsk. These were not the short-term raids usual for the nomads, but continuous war, which lasted all summer and even threatened Moscow itself. The Crimeans did not meet resistance because the southern defense system created by Ivan the Terrible was disorganized and ineffective.
  • 1610: In summer a Crimean Tatar horde (10,000–15,000) commanded Bogatyr Giray (Batyr Beg) and Kantemir-Mirza invaded the southern Russian lands and started to move on Moscow. Formally, the Tatars were sent to help the Tsar Basil Shuisky against the Polish-Lithuanian invaders. In reality the Crimeans had come again to plunder and ravage the Muscovite lands. Kalga-Sultan Dzhanibek Giray, with the main forces of the Horde was camped on the river Oka near Serpukhov. Shuisky from Moscow sent an embassy under Prince Boris Lykov with rich gifts to the Tartar camp. The tsarist government unsuccessfully tried to turn the Crimean horde against the Poles and the supporters of False Dmitry. The embassy was defended by a small force of streltsy (400 men). But the treacherous Tatars plundered Russian embassy, seized the royal gifts and forced the men to flee. With a huge number of prisoners Kalga-Sultan Dzhanibek Giray with impunity returned to Crimea. Also in this year, at the request of the Crimean Khan Selyamet Giray the Great Nogai Horde attacked the Ryazan land. At their head was Ak Mirza Baiterekov.
  • 1611: Ryazan land devastated. The Crimean-Nogai attack coincided with the first attempt to liberate Moscow from the Polish-Lithuanian invaders. Crimeans and Nogais devastated the area around Ryazan, Likhvin, Aleksin, Tarusa and other southern Russian districts. In the border areas the steppe nomads fought all summer. Ryazan complained to the capital that the Tartars had completely depopulated their land, the fields remained uncultivated and that all the people were "sitting under siege."
  • 1612: In autumn the Ukrainian Cossacks defeated a great Tatar detachment at Bila Tserkva and freed 5,000 captives.
  • 1613: Raids at Pronsk, Mikhailov and Ryazan. The Ryazan people reported to Moscow that some Tatars were attacking and burning down their houses while other Tartars remaining for the winter, exposing the Ryazan land to constant looting. Also in that year the Great Nogai Horde attacked the Russian lands. They even crossed the Oka and raided the areas of Kolomna, Serpukhov and Borovsk and reached the outskirts of Moscow. Other Tatar bands ravaged suburbs and surroundings Pronsk, Mikhailov, Dedilova, Dankov, Ryazan and Kursk.
  • 1614: Tatar hordes raid Podolia, Bukhovina, Bratslav and Volhynia under the command of Bogatyr Giray Diveev (Polish sources call him Bater Beg). In the same year 20,000 Nogais raided around Moscow. Other Nogai forces devastated the land around Temnikov and Alatyr. In winter Tatars waged war on many cities: Kursk, Rylsk, Komarichi, Karachev and Bryansk. As a result of the continuous raids a huge number of Russian prisoners were taken to Crimea.
  • 1615: In spring the Tatar returned in full force. Individual Tatar groups raided around Krom(?) and Oryol. But these were only groups under independent leaders. The bulk of the attackers were Great and Small Nogais and Azov Tatars. In spring and summer the main enemy force (up to 25,000) took the Kalmius Trail and burst into the south Russian lands. Tatars and Nogais penetrated deep into the territory of the Russian state, settled at Serpukhov and from there spread out to various places. The areas of Kolominsk, Serpukhov, Kaluga, and Borovsk were raided. In July 1615 the Azov people and Nogais (up to 3,000) made a new attack on the southern Russian frontier. In the winter and spring of 1615 the Crimean Tatar horde under Bogatyr Giray Diveev and Nuredin Akhmet Giray twice ravaged Right-bank Ukraine. In August and September the Crimean Khan Dzhanibek Giray with a great army which also included Turks brutally devastated the Ukraine. Lands as far as Bar, Ternopil and Lvov were raided. The Crimeans told Russian envoys of a huge number of captives. Crown Hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski did not have enough forces to repulse the enemy.
  • 1616: Nogai Tatars came against Kursk. Against them from Kursk went Cossack chief Ivan Antipovich Annenkov, a 'chosen nobleman of the first rank', with a force of Kursk troops made up of Boyar-sons and Cossacks. There was a bloody battle 15 kilometers from town in which the Tatars were routed, many were taken prisoner and the captives were released. The raiders in 1616 were Azov people, казыевцы (Kazy Mirza's men?) and the Great Nogai Horde. Initially Azov men fell on the settlements of the Don Cossacks and burned some of them. The Tatars reached the Kozelsk country, where the Polish-Lithuanian invaders were also fighting. There were scattered skirmishes with Russian forces. In one of these was killed voyevod Paul M. Dmitriev. Crimean and Budjak Tatars invaded southern Polish territory and devastated Pokutia. Crown Field Hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski with a small force placed himself on the Polish–Moldavian border and prevented the expected Turkish invasion.
  • 1617: In summer the Small Nogai Horde and Azov Tatars three times invaded South Russia. The Nogai mirzas camped at Serpukhov and sent out detachments to plunder the villages and take prisoners. In the same year the Crimean Tatars under Crown Prince Devlet Giray made a new destructive raid into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Crimeans fought near Kanev, Belaya Tserkov and the Nogais went to Lvov. Registered Cossacks tried to block the path of the numerically superior hordes, but were defeated. In summer a large Turko-Tatar army under Iskender Pasha went to the Polish border. Zholkievski and the Polish noble army went to Podolia and placed themselves on the border. There were negotiations and on 23 September a Polish–Turkish peace treaty was made at Busha (Yaruga) (Peace of Busza). During the peace negotiations Crimean Tatars broke through the Polish border and ravaged Galicia.
  • 1618: At the request of the Turkish Sultan the Crimean Khan Janibek Giray organized a new raid on Poland. The first raid was in May under Cantemir Mirza of the Budjak Horde. Then in summer Crown Prince Devlet Giray with the Crimean horde invaded the Ukraine. An attack on the Polish camp near Kamianets-Podilskyi failed, but Tartar raiding parties for six weeks ravaged neighborhood Vinnitsa, Bar, Tarnopol, Sinyavtsa, Dubna and Lvov.
  • 1619: In spring Zolkiewski gathered a Polish army and camped on the Polish–Moldavian border. In turn Iskender Pasha at the head of the Turkish army went to the Polish border. With the mediation of Moldovan Ruler Gaspar Graziani talks were started and a truce was arranged.
  • 1620: A new campaign of Crown Prince Devlet Giray in the southern Polish lands (Podolia and Bratslav). The campaign led to the complete defeat of the Polish forces by the Turko-Tatar army at the Battle of Cecora (1620). The Polish commander Zholkiewski was killed. The flower of the Polish nobility was captured. The Tatars took great booty, important captives and received great ransoms.
  • 1621: At the request of the Sultan the Crimean Khan Janibek Giray made a new attack on Poland with 100,000 Crimeans, Great and Small Nogais and "Mountain Cherkesians". At the Battle of Khotyn (1621) a huge Turko-Tatar army (150,000 Turks and 60,000 Tatars), led by the Ottoman Sultan Osman II suffered a complete defeat by the Polish-Lithuanian-Cossack troops under the command of Grand Lithuanian Hetman Jan Karol Chodkiewicz, Stanislaw Lubomirski and Ukrainian Hetman Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny. [See also Polish–Ottoman War (1620–1621), Moldavian Magnate Wars.]
  • 1622: Campaign to Tula, ravaging of Odoyev, Belyov, Dedilov. Kursk voyevod Stepan Mikhailovich Ushakov ordered I. A. Annenkov to pursue the Tatars, a large group of whom were roaming about the Kursk region. Annenkov with Boyar-sons and Cossacks caught up with the Tatars on the Izium Trail on the edge of the Oskol region, defeated them and rescued the captives. These people had been taken from the Mtsensk, Odoyev, Belyov and Chern (Chernsky District) regions. The other Tatars, laden with an enormous amount of stolen loot, avoided the Kursk area once they heard what Annenkov had done to their friends. They made their way through the little-used trails on the high ground between the basins of the Dnieper and Don, between the sources and Rat and Kshena, Seyma and the Oskol, Donetsk Semitsa, Olshana, Korocha and Khalana. But art and good management of Annenkov and the bravery of his troops defeated the nomads.
  • 1623: The Tatars again attacked Belgorod. Belgorod troops defeated the attack and won a battle on the Khalan River. In the same year, Voyevod S. M. Ushakov, having learned that the Tartar hordes near Orlov were heading for Kursk, sent 300 Boyar-sons from Kurchan(?), Cossacks from the Putivl service and 100 infantry with firearms. The Tatars came to Russia and fought around Orlov, Karachev, Mtsensk, and Bolkhov and then left for Bakhmut (?"шли «свалясь все вместе» Бахмутскою сакмою"). After them were sent Cossack stanitsa chiefs and Kursk boyar-sons. Annenkov was sent with the remaining boyar-sons. At the request of Ushakov Belgorod voyevod Prince Tyufyakin also sent a detachment of boyar-sons and Cossacks under Vasily Torbin and Plakid Temirov who joined with Annenkov on the Kotlubansky Semitsa River where the Tatars were stopping by the Seym River. There was a terrible battle, and the Tartars were defeated completely.
  • 1624: Crimean Tatars again tried to cross southern Russian border near Belgorod, but failed. On 5 June Budjak horde led by Cantemir-Mirza broke through from Moldova to the southern lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth near Sniatyn in Pokutia. On 9 June Cantemir-Mirza crossed the Dniester near Martynov and on 10 June camped near Przemyśl, from which he sent troops to plunder and capture prisoners. Nogai raiding parties moved on Krosno, Jaroslav and Zhesub. One Nogai party was able to the reach Sandomierz area. Crown Field Hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski gathered a 5,000-man army and decided to attack the Budjak horde while it was returning from a raid. On the night of 19/20 June Koniecpolski crossed the Dniester and moved to Halych. Cantemir Mirza sent part of his cavalry in pursuit of the Polish corps, while his camp moved to Martynov. On 20 June at the Battle of Martynów the 5,000-man Polish army inflicted a heavy defeat on the Budjak Tatars. The Poles pursued the retreating Nogai for ninety kilometers.
  • 1625: Belgorod troops defeated Tatar troops on the Krasnaya River. In autumn Crimean Khan Magmet Giray and Nureddin Azamat Giray led another campaign against Poland. There were up to 60 thousand Crimean, Nogai and Turkish troops. Crimean and Turkish troops fought near Bar, Galich and Lvov, penetrating even into Little Poland. Individual Tatar raiding parties penetrated into the Russian (sic, possibly Ruthenian) and Belz voyevodstvos. However, the Polish campaign ended unsuccessfully. Field Crown Hetman Koniecpolski and Grand Crown Strazhnik Stefan Chmielecki with the Polish army and Cossack troops destroyed small Tatar parties and liberated prisoners. Tatars suffered heavy losses in killed and wounded (up to 10 thousand men). Crimeans returned from the Polish campaign in the spring of following year, and many died while crossing the Dniester. They reached Crimea in mid-April 1626. The total reaching Crimea, according to Russian ambassadors, was up to 50 thousand people.
  • 1626: By request of the Sultan Khan Megmet Giray in spring organized a new campaign against Poland. Instead of going himself he sent Cantemir-Murza. Both the Khan and Crown Prince Shahin Giray promised to go, but they were afraid to leave the Crimea, because, according to Russian sources, they were quarreling and did not trust each other. In August Nureddin-Sultan Azamat Giray made a campaign to the southern Polish lands. Tatar horde devastated the Kiev region, did much damage and returned to the Crimea in October. The Tatar horde invaded the Kiev voyevodsvo and located its camp near Belaya Tserkva. From here nureddin Azamat Giray sent raiding parties to raid the surrounding towns and villages. Grand Crown Strazhnik Chmielecki with 2,000 Polish-noble troops and Mykhailo Doroshenko with Cossack regiments marched on the main body of the Tatar hordes. In September Chmielecki with 3,000 Polish troops and Doroshenko with 6,000 Cossacks fell on the main Tatar camp at Belaya Tserkva and routed the forces of Azamat Giray.
  • 1627: The Kursk voyevod called on Annenkov and assigned him the military forces of Kursk nobles, boyar-sons and other military men for a campaign against the Tatars. Annenkov moved south towards Belgorod and 100 kilometers from Kursk caught up with the Tatars who had taken many prisoners. He outflanked their camp, took it and freed the Russian prisoners. But the predators did not let up and approached Kursk. Here at night 10 kilometers from Kursk on the Vinogrobla River Annenkov defeated the horde and captured their chiefs.
  • 1628: In spring 4,000 Tatars attacked the Ukrainian lands, and began to ravage Umanschina (Uman?) Grand Crown Strazhnik Chmieletski with Polish troops inflicted heavy losses on the Tatars and forced them to withdraw to the steppe. In August Crimean Khan Janibek Giray organized a large raid on Poland. A large 2,000-man horde under Crown Prince Devlet Giray and Kantemir Mirza attacked the Ukraine. At first they moved to Moldavia and then suddenly attacked Podolia. Devlet Giray dispersed his troops from the Dnister River and chose an assembly point near Złoczew (?). Crimeans and Nogais began to ravage the surrounding towns and villages, killing and taking captive the local population. Grand Crown Strazhenik Chmieletski with Polish troops and Hetman Hryhoriy Chorny with Cossack regiments destroyed isolated Tatar raiding parties. Near Burshtyn the Poles and Ukrainian Cossacks defeated a 7,000-man Tatar horde under Kantimir's son. The victors killed the majority of the Tatars and freed 10,000 captives. On this unsuccessful campaign the Tatars and Nogais lost in killed and captured 15,000 men. Among the dead was Kantimir's son and Prince Islam Giray (the brother of Azamat Giray, later Khan İslâm III Giray) was captured. In January 1630 the Tatars returned to Crimea without a single captive.
  • 1632: Plunder of Mtsensk, Novosil, Oryol, Kaprivna, Livny and Elets. In April–May the vanguard of Tatar troops entered the Russian land from three directions – the Kalmius, Izium and Muravsky Trails. The main force (20,000 men) under Salmash Mirza and Devlet Giray in June crossed the Donets and began raiding around Livny, Karachev, Elets, Belgorod, Kursk, Oskol, Oryol, Mtsensk, Donkov (?), Sapozhkov (?), Venev, Voronezh, Lebedev?, Pronsk, Mikhailov, Ryazhsk and Kashira. There were battles with the Crimeans near Novosil, Mtsensk, Lebedyan and other south Russian towns. In that year Belgorod withstood two attacks: Lithuanian and Tatar, the last taking many captives and raiding the Kursk and Rylsk regions. The Rylsk voyevod, having defeated them with the aid of the Rylsk boyar-sons, received a letter (милостивую грамоту) from Czar Mikhail praising him and the Rylsk boyar-sons. In the same year voyevod I. Velyaminov freed 2,700 captives near Novosil.
  • 1633: 1. Ravaging the areas around Serpukhov, Tarusa, Kaluga, Aleksin, Kashira, Kolomna and Ryazan. In summer 30,000 Crimean Tatars under Prince Mubarak Giray (son of Khan Janibek Giray ), using the Izium Trail, invaded the southern Russian lands. The horde came to Livny, ravaged the bordering areas and divided into separate raiding parties. Crimean Tatars even dared to attack the areas near the fortress that they passed. On 24 July Prince Mubarak Giray and the main force approached by Serpukhov on the Oka. In the vicinity of Serpukhov near the village Berezna there were fierce battles between the Tatars and forces sent out from the city against them. On 22 July the Crimeans came to Tula and ravaged the suburbs of the town. Soldiers sent from the city engaged in battle with the Tatars at "the meadow near scarlet mountain." The Tula people drove the enemy from the city. During the campaign troops of Mubarak Giray even crossed the Oka River and reached the outskirts of Moscow. Individual Tatar and Nogai raiding parties ravaged around Ryazan, Kashira, Kolomna, Pronsk, Zaraysk, Serpukhov, Tarusa, Obolensk(?), Kaluga, Aleksin, Vorotyinsk, Bolkhov, Belyov and Livny. By the estimate of A. A. Novoselsky only in those counties were taken into captivity about 6,000 people. Enemy troops raided other south Russian areas, but the information on how many were captured has not survived.

2. The relative quiet of the Tatar attacks on Russia in the late 30s and early 40s of the 17th century is undoubtedly due to the occupation of Azov by the Don Cossacks. The Russian government did not want to start a war with Turkey, did not send troops and after a long occupation the Cossacks left the town in 1642. The builders of the Belgorod Line and residents of the southern Russian districts, by the increase of Tatar attacks, immediately felt the change in the situation on the lower reaches of the Don.

3. In summer of 1633, 2000 Budjak Tatars invaded the southern Polish land and began to ravage Podolia. Crown Field Hetman Stanislaw Koniecpolski camping with the Polish army at Bar, led the 2000 cavalry against the Tatars and forced them to retreat. He then crossed the Dniester and on 4 July at the Battle of Sasov Rog on the River Prut defeated enemy. Poles captured several Budjak mirzas, among whom was the son-in-law of Cantemir Mirza, freed all the captives and captured a large part of the loot. In August Silistrian Pasha, Abaza Pasha, led the Turkish troops came to the Polish border and encamped near Khotin [perhaps a different Khotin from the better-known one]. Koniecpolski with a Polish army (9250 men) went out to meet the enemy and established fortified camp near the fortress Kamenetz-Podolsky. Initially Abaza Pasha entered into peace negotiations with Koniecpolski. On 19 September the Budjak Horde (5,000–10,000 men) under Kantemir Mirza arrived to help Abaza-Pasha. On 20 September Abaza-Pasha crossed the Dniester and Kantemir Mirza attacked the Polish position. On 23 September Abaza Pasha, confident of his numerical superiority, attacked the Polish camp near Kamenets, but was defeated and forced to retreat to Moldavia.

  • 1634: Oryol voyevod D. Koltovsky freed 650 captives not far from the town.
  • 1637: In September 40,000h Crimeans under Nureddin Safa Giray broke through the southern defense line constructed near Yablonov(?) on the Iziyum Trail. Tatars and Nogais ravaged Livny, Orel, Karachev, Bolkhov, Kromsk (?), Novosil and the Komaritsky(?) areas. 2281 people were captured.
  • 1640: In January a large Tatar horde under Crown Prince Islam Giray (younger brother of Khan Bakhadyr Giray) used the Cherny Trail to invaded the Right-bank Ukraine. Islam Giray camped near Stary Konstantinov, from which he sent raiding parties to the little towns and villages. The Crimean Tatars and Nogais terribly ravaged Volhynia, Podolia and Galicia, taking a large number of captives. Grand Crown Hetman Stanislaw Koniecpolski, collecting the Polish army and Cossack regiments, forced the Crimeans to retreat to the Dnieper. In autumn of 1641 (sic) the Tatar horde made a robber campaign on Right Bank. Koniecpolski gathered a Polish-Cossack army, stationed them at Kodak, moved against the Tatars beyond the Vorskla River and them to retreat in the steppe.
  • 1642: Attacks occur with small forces, the enemy making little attempt to penetrate deep into Russia. But learning the location of the new Russian fortifications and not worring about its rear areas, in the next years Tatars dealt serious blows to the most vulnerable places. From January the Crimeans and Nogais undertook small raids to the towns and villages along the Ukrainian border. In summer 4,000 Tatars attacked the Left-bank Ukraine, but were defeated by the Cossacks. In January 1644 (sic) 20,000 Tatars under Perekop Mirza Tugay Bey invaded the Ukraine. Koniecpolski, mobilized the Ukrainian nobility, gathered crown forces and registered Cossacks and spread them along the whole border. On 30 January 1644 (sic) the Polish-Cossack regiments defeated the main forces of Tugay Bey at Akhmatovy, as well as in other places.
  • 1643: Renewed heavy Tatar attacks on Russia; drought and famine in the Crimea, which reached its greatest extent in 1644–1645 and continued for several years, thereby making it easier for Tatar mirzas to gather under their banners thousands of ordinary Tatars and to send them to rob Russian villages. For their blows the Tatars selected unfortified places along the Nogai, Kalmius and Muravsky Trails. Advancing up the Nogai Trail they stopped before reaching the Kozlov Wall and turned west [The Nogai Trail led from the Great Nogai Horde east of Crimea north to Ryazan. About 1635 this was blocked by a wall at Kozlov]. Villages located on the banks of the Voronezh River southwest of Kozlov in the eastern Lebedyan** district and northern Voronezh district were subjected to massacre. The Tatars were joined by Zaporozhian Cossacks. Tatars crossed to the west bank of the Voronezh River and penetrated the Elets district. The Kalmius Trail remained open. In the spring of 1643 small forts were built on the left bank of the Oskol River, but the service men only watched the Tatar movements from their towers. The small forts of Ocinovy and Razdorsky could not hold back the Tatars between the upper Tikhaya Sosna River and the Oskol River. On 17 May the Razdorsky fort fired on the Tatars with cannon, but that did not stop the enemy squad of 2,500. The Muravsky Trail remained open. New forts at Volny and Khotmyzhsk stood on the sidelines. In 1643 the Tatars began their invasion along the Kalmius Trail and in several cases returned with their booty along the Muravsky Trail. The Belgorod service men fought the Tartars but could not stop them. In 1643, reporting on one of these battles, the Belgorod voyevod N. M. Boborykin again raised the issue of the construction of fortifications Karpov watch-area (starozha). He rightly believed that if there were Russian towns and forts there the Tatars would not have gone unpunished. In early 1644 the Military Department (Razryadny Prikaz) again decided to build a fortress in the Karpov watch-area, on the right bank of the Vorskla River. The plan was to build a permanent fort. The foundation was laid on 13 April. It was built by Belgorod people under Cossack stanitsa chief Ivan Ryshkov. On 15 May it was ready. By summer it had 60 Rylsk and Sevsk(?) streltsy. In autumn 1644 the Military Department undertook to turn the Karpov permanent fort into an inhabited town, but could not collect enough "free voluntary people." Karpov became an inhabited town in 1646, when an earth wall was built. Prior to this one permanent fort did not represent a large obstacle for the Tatars.
  • 1641 (sic in the Russian wiki): 1,000 Tatars crossed the Donets at the mouth of the Derkul River and went to raid around Kursk and Voronezh, sending out significant parties into the steppe to operate on a wider radius.
  • 1644: The Tatars delivered a very heavy blow to the south Russian districts. The main (30,000–40,000 men) concentrated on the northern border of the Khanate at the Orel and Samara Rivers in early August. Using the part of the Muravsky Trail that remained unblocked, they passed Karpov fort, skirted the Vorskla River on the east side, and by the Bekaev Trial raided the Putivl district. In late August and early September they seized many captives in the Putivl, Rilsk, Sevsk districts, the Komaritsky Volost, and also the nearby Polish districts. Prisoners were estimated at "a third of the Tatar army", therefore more than 10,000 people. The noble cavalry regiments were spread out along the Oka River and gave absolutely no help to the inhabitants of the southwestern districts. The people protected themselves in cities and forts, in forests and ravines. Service men from Belgorod, Yablonov and Korocha to fight on the open steppe but could not repulse the far larger enemy forces.
  • 1645: The fact that the Muravsky Trail was essentially open allowed a large mass of Tatars to invade Russia. The Khan ordered a winter raid. Again the southwest districts including Kursk suffered terrible destruction. December was unusually cold so frostbite was common among the captives; death was caused by exposure or starvation. Novoselsky estimated more than 6,000 captives for that year. Heavy losses were suffered during the winter campaign and the Tatars, devastating the Rylsk, Putivl and Komaritsky districts, carried away 5,749 prisoners. A larger number of victims was avoided because of the actions of the Kursk voyevod Prince Semyon Pozharsky: a third of the Crimean army under Nureddin-Sultan Gazi-Giray did not return. Contributing to the Tatar success was the lack of a unified command on the newly created defense line. In December the service men of Yablonov, Karochi, Userd, Volny and Khotmizhsk were put under the temporary command of voyevode Prince Khilkov, but the order arrived after the Tatars had left. Comparing the raids of the '30s and '40s it is easy to see that the new fortifications significantly reduced the area of Russia open to Tatar raids. The Kozlov Wall closed the road to Ryazan and the Yablonov wall blocked the direct road to Livny and Tula. In the 1643–1645 the Tatars did not reach the Oka, demonstrating the absurdity of the traditional practice of holding troops on that river.
  • 1648.a: The Tatars are defeated on an unsuccessful campaign to the Oka River lands (?приокские земли). In January small raiding parties appeared on both banks of the Dnieper, but after some skirmishes with Polish-Cossack troops they retreated to the steppes.


After 1648 we are dealing not merely with raids, but large armies – Polish, Turkish and Russian. The period begins with the Khmelnitsky Uprising against the Commonwealth. Khmelnitsky's abortive attempt to ally with Russia led to the 13-year Russo-Polish War (1654–1667), The Deluge (Polish history) and the first part of The Ruin (Ukrainian history). There was fighting all over the Ukraine. Raids on Muscovy were confined to the emerging Belgorod Line. Fighting in the western Ukraine pushed population east across the Dnieper and may have allowed population growth along the Belgorod Line, although numbers are hard to come by.

  • 1648: Early Cossack victories: In spring in the Ukraine began a mighty people's liberation war under Zaporozhian Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky against the domination of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In December 1647 Chyhyryn Sotnik Bogdan Khmelnitsky, pursued by the Polish authorities, with a small band of faithful Cossacks fled to the Zaporozhian Sich. Here the Zaporozhian Cossacks chose him as their hetman. Khmelnytsky began collecting Cossack-peasant troops for an attack into the Ukraine to expel the Polish magnates and gentry. He decided to seek help from the Crimean Khanate. In January 1648 a Cossack embassy was sent to Bakhchisaray and the Khan İslâm III Giray, who was unhappy with the Poles, sent to Zaporozhye 4,000 men under Perekop Mirza Tugay Bey. In late February – early March Khmelnitsky led a Cossack delegation from the Sich to Crimea. The Khan was very unhappy with the fact that the Polish gentry government for the past several years had not paid the annual cash "pominki", which the Poles called a gift and the Tatars considered tribute. After long and difficult negotiations was signed a military-political alliance between Khmelnitsky and the Crimean Khan against Poland. Islam Giray agreed to support the Cossack rebels in the liberation struggle against Polish gentry domination. Khmelnytsky was forced to leave his eldest son Timothy at the Khan's court as hostage. At the last meeting the Khan presented Khmelnytsky with Circassian armor, a quiver, bow and arrows, a caftan, kuntush and gilded sword, and his Cossacks were given meat, bread and wine for the road.
Places during the Khmelnitsky Uprising – Number is last digit of year
Blue Triangle=Cossack victory;Yellow Dot=Cossack defeat;Circle=siege

On 22 April 1648 Khmelnitsky and 5,000 Cossacks left the Sich and marched into the Ukraine. With them was a Tatar auxiliary force under Tugay Bey. To suppress the uprising the Polish government 30,000 men under Crown Grand Hetman Mikołaj Potocki and Crown Field Hetman Marcin Kalinowski. Potocki sent a 6,000-man vanguard under his son Stefan Potocki to Zaporozhia and placed the main body between Korsun and Cherkassy. A detachment of registered Cossacks, who were with the avant-garde and were moving separately by boats down the Dnieper, defected to Khmelnytsky. On April 29 – May 16 at the Battle of Zhovti Vody ("Yellow Waters") the Cossacks and Tatars surrounded and defeated the Polish vanguard under Stefan Potocki. On 26 May the 20,000-man main army under Nicholas Potocki and Martin Kalinowski, which had divided into two groups, was surrounded and defeated by the rebellious Cossacks and Tatars at the Battle of Korsuń. The Poles lost up to 7,000 killed and 9,000 captured. Both Potocki and Kalinowski were captured. After the first victories throughout the whole Ukraine there broke out a national liberation war against the Polish gentry domination. In May the Khan with 11,000 Tatars joined his new ally at Bila Tserkva ('White Church'), and from there sent raiding parties to plunder and ravage the surrounding Ukrainian lands, devastating the Kiev region and Volhynia and taking many captives. In September the Khan sent another army under his brother and 'Kalga' or designated heir Kerim Giray. At the Battle of Pyliavtsi Khmelnytsky's Cossack-Tatar army defeated Polish-gentry militia under Władysław Dominik Zasławski, Mikołaj Ostroróg and Alexander Koniecpolski. Kalga-Sultan Karim Giray took no part in the battle of Pilyavtsi, but joined the Cossacks later and took part in the Khmelnytsky's campaign on the Polish cities of Lvov and Zamość. The uprising of the Ukrainian Cossacks became a liberation war for the independence of Ukraine and the creation of a Ukrainian state. In all of these battles the Crimean Tatar troops proved to be unreliable allies, fighting only for their own goal, which was to rob people and carry away captives for sale in Crimea. Islam Giray feared a serious weakening of Poland, and constantly betrayed his ally Khmelnytsky.

  • 1649: At the beginning of summer a Polish-Lithuanian army marched to the Ukraine against Khmelnitsky, who had 70,000 Cossacks and the same number of Crimean Tatars. The Crimean Khan Islam Giray led 30,000 Tatars to the aid of his ally Khmelnytsky. The allies marched against the Polish-gentry army in Volhynia. The Polish troops under Prince Jeremi Wiśniowiecki was surrounded by Cossacks and Tatars for one and a half months near Zbarazh. The Siege of Zbarazh lasted from 30 June to 12 August. The new Polish king, John II Casimir Vasa led an army to raise the siege. On learning of the approach of the royal army, Khmelnytsky, leaving Cossack infantry to continue the blockade Zbarazh, moved with Cossack cavalry and the Crimean horde toward the Poles and met them Zborov. On 5–6 August, at the Battle of Zboriv (1649) the 40,000-man Cossack army shattered the 30,000-man royal army. Unable to deal with the Ukrainian Cossacks with weapons, the Polish government bribed the Crimean Khan. The Khan issued an ultimatum to Ukrainian Hetman: either peace with the King, or the Tatars would join the Poles. Khmelnytsky had no choice but to agree. On 18 August 18 the Treaty of Zboriv was signed, but neither side implemented it. Jan Casimir promised the Tatars a large ransom and allowed them to take captives and rob the Ukrainian lands on the way to the Crimea. From Zborov the Tatars slowly moved to the Crimea, with impunity devastating and plundering all the nearby Ukrainian lands. Along with the Tartars several groups of rebels helped to devastate their own land. A Cossack and peasant horde under Nebaba, Donets and Golovatsky surrounded the town of Ostrog where up to 20,000 people had taken refuge. The Cossacks were able to convince the inhabitants to let them into the city and with Tatar assistance treacherously seized the fort. The Cossacks and Tatars looted and burned the city, killing many people. The remaining population was taken captive. 200 people bravely defended themselves and were allowed to leave after paying a ransom. The inhabitants of Zaslavl voluntarily surrendered to the Cossacks. The citizens and Cossacks together slaughtered in all the Catholics and Jews. Soon the Tatars arrived, who robbed and tortured people and carried others into captivity. Moving through the Ukrainian lands, Islam Giray sent out raiding parties to rob, rape and capture the Ukrainian population. By the Treaty of Zborow the Polish King officially allowed the Crimean Khan to ruin and loot the Ukrainian lands along the road to Perekop. After leaving Zbarazh the Crimeans sent out detachments to take captive the peaceful inhabitants and also Cossacks returning from the fighting. Nogai and Tatar raiding parties spread through Volhynia and Red Ruthenia, plundering, pillaging and taking captive the defenseless Ukrainian population. Yampol, Zaslavl, Ostroh, Mezhibozh, Olyka, Tuchin, Polonne, Derazhne, Kolki and many other Ukrainian places were destroyed and burned, and the local people killed or robbed or taken by the Tatars to Crimea and sold into slavery. Crimean Tatars attacked and devastated the outskirts of Lutsk, the center of the Volhynian Voyevodstvo. Immediately after the battle of Zborov the Crimeans fell on Zlochev and Bely Kamen, looting and taking the inhabitants into slavery. At Toporkov Polish troops recaptured some prisoners. The cities of Belz, Sokal and Hrubieszów greatly suffered from the Tatars. Everywhere the Crimeans and their Cossacks allies robbed and killed people, took captives into slavery, stole cattle and carried them to the steppe. The Ukrainian hetman sent Bratslav Colonel Daniel Nechay and Chernogov Colonel Martin Nebaba to accompany the Crimean Tatars to Bar, Ukraine and on to the steppes. Moscow envoys reported that on the way back to Crimea the Tatars invaded and destroyed fifteen Ukrainian towns and their neighborhoods. The Putivl voyevod said in his report to Moscow that according to eyewitnesses, "They led to Crimea countless captives – most were of the female sex, and the men were all flogged."
  • 1651: In summer the Khan led 30,000 men to join the Cossacks to continue their war on the Commonwealth. Some reports say the Tatar forces reached 100,000. There were also 5,000 Janissaries under the Silistrian Pasha sent by the Sultan to help the rebels. On 30 May the two armies joined at Ladyshin. On 28 June – 30 July there was the famous Battle of Berestechko. The battle killed Kalga-Karim Sultan Giray (younger brother of Khan) and Perekop Mirza Tugay Bay. On the third day of fighting (30 June), the Crimean Khan Islam Giray betrayed his ally and the Tatar cavalry left their positions. Khmelnitsky went after the Khan and overtook him at Yampol. The Khan held Khmelnytsky. The reason for the Tatar betrayal remains unknown. Possible reasons cited are the natural perfidy of the Tatars, a secret treaty with the Polish king and simple fear of battle. The Cossacks, now without a hetman, used their usual tactics – moving the camp at night to the edge of a marsh, ringing it with carts, building earth walls and counterattacking. On 2 July Polish troops began shelling the Cossack fortified camp. The Cossack starshinas and colonels were compelled to start peace talks with the Polish command. On 10 July 2,000 Cossacks under Ivan Borgun tried to break out at night. This started a panic. The Poles took advantage of this and attacked camp. According to Polish reports about 30,000 Ukrainian Cossacks were killed, and only a few thousand, led by Ivan Borgun, managed to break out. At the end of June the Khan freed Khmelnytsky for a large monetary ransom. He parted from the Khan at Starokostiantyniv and returned to the Ukraine accompanied by five Tatar Mirzas with troops and a Cossack squadron. The Khan and his horde moved slowly along the trails of Volhynia, devastating and burning the surrounding towns and villages, killing and taking prisoner the defenseless population. The Khan sent a letter to Khmelnitsky in which he refused military assistance and even threatened war. Khmelnytsky told his Colonels to smash and destroy the Tatar raiding parties that were scattered in the Volhynian and Bratslav voyevodstvos. Crimeans, Budjak Tatars and Nogais scattered around the nearby Ukrainian lands, looting, killing and taking captive the defenseless locals. At Starokonstantinov the Tatars attacked a Cossack detachment which was going to the aid of Berestchko and captured 15 cannon and all the supplies. Cossack-peasant troops called up by Khmelnitsky began to smash and destroy the Tatar raiding parties that had separated from the main force. Tatars suffered losses from the Cossacks in the battles Pavoloch, Chudnov and on the Umansky Trail. Large detachments were defeated by the Cossacks under Uman Colonel Joseph Glukh at Blue Waters and Tsar's Ford. The Cossacks recaptured all the captives and loot. In September after the unsuccessful Battle of Bila Tserkva (1651), in which Crimeans and Nogais fought on the Cossack side, Khmelnytsky had to sign the Treaty of Bila Tserkva with the Polish king.
  • 1652: In summer Khmelnitsky made a peace treaty with the Khan for a renewed attack on Poland. The Khan sent 15,000 men under his younger brother Nureddin Adil Giray. On 1–2 June at the Battle of Batog 45,000 Cossacks and Tatars under Khmelnitsky defeated a 20,000 Polish-noble army under Marcin Kalinowski. More than 8,000 Polish soldiers were captured and executed, including high-ranking officers. Among the dead was Kalinowski.
  • 1653: In autumn Khmelnytsky and the Khan agreed to make a new attack on the Commonwealth. On 11 September the Khan led a huge horde from Perekop to the Ukraine to join his ally in the struggle against Poland. With the Khan were Budjak Tatars, Nogais and Circassians, Nureddin-Sultan Adil Giray, several princes and many Tatar and Nogai Mirzas. His army numbered up to 40,000 men. Crown Prince Gazi Giray stayed behind to guard Crimea. Numerous Tatar-Nogai raiding parties scattered out into Volhynia, Podolia and Galicia, robbing, murdering and taking captive the defenseless Ukrainian population. In early October six Cossack regiments and 20,000 Crimean Tatars under Kapach Mirza gathered at Bila Tserkva. Khmelnytsky himself moved to the town. With him were 30,000 Cossacks and 40,000 Tatars under Crimean Khan Islam Giray. The Khan sent Tatar and Nogai raiding parties to the surrounding countryside. The Crimeans reached Bar, Kamenetz, Terebovlya, Lutsk and Lvov, always robbing, killing and taking captives. Cossacks and Tatars fell on Volhynia, where they captured Zaslav, Koretz and Ostrog killing and capturing Poles and Jews. The Polish King Jan Casimir was able to collect 30,000 gentry militia at a fortified camp near Zhvanets. From September to December the Cossack-Tatar army besieged the camp. The Polish command entered into secret negotiations with the Crimean Khan, who did not wish the complete destruction of the Commonwealth. The Khan for the third time betrayed his ally Bogdan Khmelnitsky and ordered him to cease hostilities and sign a truce with the Polish king. The Polish king agreed to pay the Khan 100,000 zlotys, and, in a secret agreement, allowed the Tatars forty days to take captives in Volhynia. Numerous Tatar and Nogai raiding parties scattered around the nearby Ukrainian lands, looting and pillaging, killing and capturing defenseless locals. Volhynia, Podolia and Bratslav province were devastated. In addition to Ukrainians, the Tatars and Nogais captured and sent into slavery more than 5,000 Polish gentry. Returning from Zhvanets to the southern steppes the Tatars ravaged the Cossack lands through which they passed. They burned to the ground several small settlements and took captive all the inhabitants.
Russo-Polish War;Blue triangle=Russians vs Vykhovsky, 1657/59; Yellow dot=Polish campaign 1660
  • 1654: Russo-Polish War (1654–1667) begins. In February the new Crimean Khan Mehmed IV Giray allied with Poland against Russia and the Ukraine. In autumn Polish-Tatar troops began raids on Podolia and the Bratslav region, but they were defeated by Russian-Cossack troops near Okhmatov, near Lvov and at the mouths of the Dnieper and Bug [??sic].
  • 1655: In January 1655 at the Battle of Okhmativ (1655) Russian-Cossack army (25,000 Cossacks and 6,000–12,000 Russians) under Bohdan Khmelnytsky and boyar Vasily Borisovich Sheremetev fought a Polish-Tatar army (23,000–30,000 Poles and 30,000 Tatars) under Grand Crown Hetman Stanisław "Rewera" Potocki, Field Crown Hetman Stanisław Lanckoroński (hetman) and Crimean Khan Mohammed Kamil Giray. The Poles won but the Cossack-Russian force was able to escape from a very dangerous position. At the end of the year Khmelnitsky and a Muscovite army under voyevod Vasili Buturlin and Gregory Romodanovsky, defeated a Polish army under Potocki at Slonigrodek, captured Lublin and besieged Lvov, but a Crimean attack on the Ukraine changed the situation. A large Tatar horde came to the aid of the Poles. They were joined by Polish troops under Bratslav voyevod Peter Potocki. After learning of the Polish-Tatar movements Khmelnytsky and Buturlin lifted the siege of Lvov, took a tribute from the city and set out after the Tatars. On 9–12 November at the Battle of Ozhyornoy the Cossack-Russian army under Khmelnytsky and Basil Buturlin broke the Crimean Tatar horde. [?This account of the lifting of the Lvov siege is contradicted in Khmelnitsky Uprising, Lvov, Magocsi, History of Ukraine, page 203 but supported by ru:Битва под Озёрной?] The Khan asked Khmelnytsky for a personal meeting, after which both the leaders parted mortal enemies. Tatars returned to Perekop.
  • 1656: Crimean and Azov Tatars came to Shatsk [?either the Ukrainian or Russian one?], took a few prisoners, horses and cattle but were driven off.
Stary Oskol
Raids 1648–1664 on map of Russian Central Federal District.
Red square=not raided
Yellow Dot=fort;
  • 1657:Khmelnitsky died on 27 July and was followed by Ivan Vyhovsky who wanted to back away from Russia and make some arrangement with Poland. See The Ruin (Ukrainian history)). Vyhovsky began secret negotiations with the Crimeans and a 40,000-man Tatar army entered Ukrainian territory. Together with the Tartars Ivan Vygovsky, fighting for power, besieged, captured and burned Poltava which was held by Cossacks under Martyn Pushkar, who was killed in the assault. In 1658 (sic), Ivan Vyhovsky and his Tatar allies defeated at Zenkov Cossacks under ataman Silka. The town was given to the Tatars who cut down all the people in the area. Vyhovsky tried to storm Kiev, but was defeated by troops of Kiev voyevod Vasily Sheremetev. In the summer of 1659 (sic) the Russian government sent to the Ukraine a 50,000-man army under Aleksey Trubetskoy (Battle of Konotop). Crimean Khan Mohammed Kamil Giray with 30,000 men came to Vyhovsky's aid.
  • 1658: On 1 September several hundred Tatars tried to break through into the Voronezh district on the bridge over the Usman River at the village of Usman-Sobakina. The Usman atamans and Orlov-Gorodok dragoons drove them off. Then at the village of Gololobova they were driven off by peasants. The same Tatar band tried to cross over the Voronezh River south of the town but was blocked here also. On 7 September they managed to break through east of Voronezh and pass through the Belgorod Line. They burst into the villages of Repnoe and Pridacha near Voronezh, but meeting stubborn resistance from the population, they quickly went back to the steppe. They took only 21 captives.
  • 1659.a: On June 29 at the Battle of Konotop combined Cossack-Tatar army under the command of the Ukrainian hetman Ivan Vyhovsky and Crimean Khan Kamil Muhammad Giray shattered the Muscovite army under Alexei Trubetskoy. The advanced Russian corps under Prince Semyon Pozharsky and Semyon Lvov fell into a Cossack-Tatar ambush and was nearly wiped out. Pozharsky was captured and executed by order of the Crimean Khan. The main forces under Trubetskoy began retreating from Konotop toward Putivl. Cossacks and Tatars repeatedly attacked the Russian positions but were repulsed.
  • 1659.b: Elets, Livny, Novosil, Mtsensk, Kursk, Bolkhov, Voronezh and other areas raided, 4,674 estates burned, 25,448 people captured. March on Tula [much further north]. The constant Tatar approaches to the Belgorod Line were reported by the voyevods of Usman and Orlov. In the summer of 1659, after the Russian defeat at Konotop, the Khan organized another attack on the Muscovite borderlands. On 15–16 August the Khan broke through (вышел за ввал) between Verkhsosensk and Userd {Brian Davies' map places Userd about 30 miles east of Novy Oskol on the Belgorod Line, but there seems to be no other information.} and stood for 2 days beyond the wall, waiting for fighting men. He then went from the Tikhaya Sosna River to the Valuyi River and the upper reaches of the Polatovka River. He stopped there two days and then crossed the Kalitva River. The traitor Vyhovsky sent the Khan 4,000 Cossacks under Colonel Ivan Kravchenko. The Khan sent raiding parties to the surrounding Russian districts. The afflicted areas were Efremov, Elets, Liven, Chernavsk, Teletsky, Stary Oskol, Novosil, Mtsensk, Chern, Kursk, Oboyan, Karpov, Bolkhov, Khotmyshsk, Volny, Voronezh, Usman and Sokolska.
  • 1660.a: [With the end of the Second Northern War the Poles were able to turn their attention to Russia.] The Khan sent 15,000 men under Nureddin Murad Giray to help the Poles. At the Battle of Lyubar in September the Russians barely got away after being encircled. (Russians and Cossacks under Kiev voyevod Vasily Borisovich Sheremetev and nakaznie Hetman Timothy Tsetsyura versus Poles and Tatars under Crown Grand Hetman Stanisław "Rewera" Potocki and Crown Field Hetman Jerzy Sebastian Lubomirski).

On 7–8 October at the Battle of Slobodyshche 14,000–15,000 Poles and 5,000–6,000 Tatars defeated the Cossacks under Yurii Khmelnytsky, who was trying to link up with Sheremetev. After the unsuccessful battle Yurii began talks with the Poles. As a result, he broke the alliance with Moscow and 17 October signed Slobodischensky Tacktat, under which the Hetmanate rejoined the Commonwealth. After learning of this switch, Tsetsyura and his Cossacks, who were with Sheremetev, also changed sides (this happened on 21 October during the battle below). This left Sheremetev, who was defending Chudnov in a dangerous position. At the Battle of Chudnov the Poles defeated the Russians (27 September – 4 November, 30,000 Russians and Cossacks under Sheremetev and Tsetsyura versus Poles and Tatars under Potocki and Lubomirski). The fortified Russo-Cossack camp was completely encircled. During the battle Tsetsyura went over to the royal army with 2,000 Cossacks. However, most of the Left-Bank Cossack regiments remained the loyal to Moscow. (Next year the pro-Russian Left-Bank split off from the Right-Bank, see The Ruin (Ukrainian history).) The 15,000-man [sic] Russian army was completely surrounded. Prince Yuri Baryatinsky left Kiev to help Sheremetev, but was stopped at Brusilov by Polish cavalry under Jan Sobieski. The Russians made unsuccessful forays from the besieged camp, but could not change anything. On 4 November Sheremetev was forced to capitulate. The disarmed Russian soldiers were released. The price was high: the Russians had to pay 300,000 rubles and evacuate Kiev, Pereyaslav, Chernigov. Sheremetev remained in captivity. On the night of 4–5 November, as soon as the 10,000 Russians gave up their weapons, the Tatars broke into the camp and started grabbing people with lassos. The disarmed Russians defended themselves as well as they could, but the Tatars killed many with arrows and took about 8,000 prisoners. Yielding to a demand, the Poles gave Sheremetev to the Tatars. The Russians and Left-Bank Cossacks lost 4,200 killed, 4,000 wounded and 20,500 captives.

  • 1660.b: Small groups of Tatars raided around the Valki and Belsky outposts and at Demshinsk, Tsarev-Borisov and Pereyaslavl and Kolontaev.

In autumn the Crimean Khan and Ukrainian rebels attacked the Muscovite borders. Initially the allies planned the destruction of those Left-Bank towns and forts that remained loyal to Moscow. In October, the Tatars and Cossacks ravaged neighborhood of Pereyaslavl. Under the Khan were up to 80,000 Tatars and 2000 Janissaries. Yuri Khmelnitsky led 2000 Cossacks and 1000 Poles. The Khan camped on the right bank of the Sem River between Konotop and Putivl. From there the Khan and Hetman sent mounted troops to the neighboring Russian districts. In November, the Tatars and Cossacks fought in the Kromy and Elets districts and went to Nedrigaylov, Karpov and Efremov

  • 1660.c: On 8 August there was a fierce battle on the earthen wall north of Usman between 300 Tatars and Usman service-men. Both sides suffered casualties and the Tatars were driven off.
  • 1661: The Crimeans made many raids on the Russian borderlands, mainly in the Left-Bank Ukraine. In January, the Tatars and Cicassians attacked Okhtyrka, destroying its outskirts and burning villages. In February Crimeans raided around Putivl and Konotop. In March they went to Volny.
  • 1662: In January, Crimean Khan Mehmed IV Giray with up to 80,000 Tatars arrived on the Left-Bank Ukraine. With him the Traitor – Hetman Yuri Khmelnitsky with 20,000 Cossacks and 2,000 Poles. The Khan camped at the small town of Krasny near Konotop. From there he sent raiding parties to the nearby Russian districts. The Tatars destroyed the Sevsk, Rylsk, Putivl and Kursk districts. They appeared at Karachev, Orlov, Novosil and other places. In the Ukraine they raided by Lubny, Lokhvitsa, Gadyach, Glinsk and Pereyaslav.
  • 1663: Crimean Tatar troops continued military operations in the Left-Bank Ukraine. In March, they and the Cossacks fought near Goltva and Kremenchug. They attacked Goltva twice. The allies destroyed the neighborhoods of Gadyach, Luben, Ichna, Lokhvitsa and Glinsk. In the spring they returned and raided around Putivl, Rylsk and Karachev.
  • 1664: Crimean and Nogai mirzas joined King Jan Casimir in the Left-Bank Ukraine. Poles and Lithuanians took some small Ukrainian towns and forts while their Crimean and Nogai allies spread out in the countryside to take captives. Polish-Lithuanian forces reached Novgorod-Seversky, Karachev and Rylsk. The Tatars as usual devastated a wider area – Livny and Bryansk, Valuyki and Voronezh. Sevsk, Rylsk, Putivl, Karachev, Orlov, Kursk and Kromy districts were raided. They captured about 6360 people.


This is the major period of Turkish involvement in Ukraine. Doroshenko became Right-Bank Hetman, declared himself a Turkish vassal, attacked Poland and tried to take over the Left-Bank. (Polish–Cossack–Tatar War (1666–71)). Polish victory success provoked the Polish–Ottoman War (1672–76) in which the Turks took Podolia. The Russians made a moderately successful intervention on the Right Bank (Russo-Turkish War (1676–1681)). If this account is correct, raids on Russian territory were few and confined to the Belgorod Line region.

  • 1665: Stephan Opara on the Right-Bank; Doroshenko becomes Hetman: [After Yurii Khmelnytsky allied with the Poles, in 1661 the pro-Russian Left Bank Ukraine split off. See The Ruin (Ukrainian history). Yurii was followed on the Right Bank by Pavlo Teteriain 1663]. After the abdication of Teteria in 1665 there were several candidates for the Right Bank hetman. The first was Medvedov Colonel Stepan Opara, who commanded a large rebel detachment. Opara joined with the Tartars and persuaded the inhabitants of Uman to let him into the city, where he declared himself Ukrainian hetman. He immediately sent messengers to the Crimea, asking the Khan to recognize him and promising to allow the Crimeans and Nogais to take captive any Ukrainians who did not support him. He spread the rumor that he and his Tatar friends would soon take Kiev. Soon there arrived in the Ukraine a Tatar horde commanded Kamambet-Mirza and Batyr-Mirza. Opara went to Bohuslav to meet with the Mirzas. Here the treacherous Tatars captured him and his elders, whom they robbed. They then attacked the Cossack camp, but the Cossacks began to resist. The battle lasted until nightfall. Tatars drew off, but in the morning again began to besiege the camp. Suddenly the Mirzas ordered the attack to stop and asked the Cossacks to elect Petro Doroshenko as Hetman. Cossacks gathered in a Rada and agreed to recognize Doroshenko as Hetman of the Right-Bank Ukraine. All the right bank Cossack regiments pledged allegiance to the Polish king and an alliance was made with the Crimean Khan. Newly elected Hetman Doroshenko with Cossacks and Tatars went against Opara and his supporters.[sic. The Russian Wiki does not explain how he got away]. He promised the Mirzas gifts and asked them to give him Opara so he could be sent to the Polish king. The Mirzas handed him over and Doroshenko sent him to Bila Tserkva.
  • 1666: Doroshenko on the Right Bank supports the Turks, invades the left bank and Poland: On 20 February, at a military Rada Doroshenko proposed to the starshinas and colonels to expel all of the Poles to Poland and with all cities to become subjects of the Crimean Khan, and in the spring, along with the Tatar hordes, make war on the left bank of the Dnieper. Doroshenko told Bakhchisaray and Istanbul that the Ukraine was now subject to the Khan and Sultan. After that, the Turkish government ordered the new Crimean Khan Adil Giray to go war with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In June and July the right-bank Cossacks, Poles [sic] and Tatars made predatory attacks on the left bank of the Dnieper, looting and burning villages, killing and taking captives. Doroshenko continued to send messengers ('универсалы') to the Left Bank, urging local people to abandon Moscow. In autumn Doroshenko, not having at enough force of his own, sent an embassy to the new Crimean Khan, proposing a joint attack on the left-bank Ukraine to force the left bank Cossacks abandon the Russian tsar and become subjects of the superior power of Turkey. Adil Giray sent Doroshenko 30,000 Tatars under his brothers Devlet Giray, Mamet Giray and Salomat Giray. On 1 October they reached Chyhyryn. With them were Turkish Agas and Janissaries. Doroshenko split the Tatars into two groups: one under Salomat Giray and Mirzas was sent to the left bank immediately, and the other under Devlet Giray and Mamet Giray was held at Chyhyryn until they and Doroshenko could also go east. 10 to 15,000 Crimean Tatars crossed the Dnieper and began to ravage the left-bank Ukrainian villages and countryside, killing and capturing the local population. Doroshenko sent two regiments of Cossacks cavalry with them. There was no large army on the Left-Bank to repulse them. The Crimean Tatars divided into small raiding parties and started to ravage the Ukrainian villages and countryside. Some Tatar troops went to Goltva, some to near Pereyaslav, and others to Priluki. Priluki Colonel Lazar Gorlenko and his troops were absent. Cyril Zagryazhsky, the Czar's voyevod at Priluki, and his small Russian garrison could not repel the enemy attack. The Crimeans did not lay siege to the town, but devastated all the villages belonging to the Priluki Cossack regiment, even reaching Nizhyn and Borzna. They took about 5,000 prisoners and crossed to the right bank of the Dnieper. Then Nureddin-Sultan Devlet Giray moved to Uman, rested for six weeks and joined Doroshenko's Cossacks for an attack on Poland. In December Doroshenko with 20,000 Cossacks and Devlet Giray with 15,000–20,000 Tatars marched on Ukrainian lands of the Commonwealth. They set out against a Polish army Sebastian Machowski, which quickly began to withdraw to Bratslav. On 19 December, at the Battle of Brailov (Brăila?) the outnumbered (6,000) Poles were routed. Seventeen Polish standards were taken. Most Poles were killed or captured. Machowski was captured by Cossacks, given to the Crimean Nureddin and sent to Crimea in chains. The broken army was chased as far as Letichev. Returning to Chigirin, Doroshenko began a siege of the Polish garrison in the town castle, and in February 1667 began the siege of the Bila Tserkva. After the victory at Brailov Cossack and Tartar raided Zhytomyr region, Podolia, Volhynia and Ruthenia. In Podolia the Cossacks and Crimeans were supported by the local Ukrainian rebels – Oprisheks and Deyneks (?опришков и дейнеков). Cossack-Tatar troops looted and plundered Polish lands, reaching Ovruch and Dubno, Lvov, Lublin and Kamenetz-Podolsky. Ploskirov, Zborov, Hlyniany and other cities were taken, looted and burned. They took captive up to 100,000 Polish gentry, their wives and children, their subjects and Jews, or, according to Polish prisoners, up to 40,000. Thus the Right-Bank Hetman Petro Doroshenko defeated the Polish army, refused allegiance to the Polish king and entered a military and political alliance with the Crimean Khanate. At the city of Targovitsa (if this is Târgoviște it is deep in Romania) Doroshenko ordered the minting of coins with Khan's name and paid them as salary to the Cossacks.
  • 1667: Doroshenko against Poland; Don Cossacks raid Crimea; Tatars desert Doroshenko at Podhajce: In May Doroshenko made preparations for a second campaign to the Ukrainian lands of the Commonwealth. All the right bank Cossack regiments were sent Hetman's messengers (универсалы) announcing mobilization. The regiments were to gather at Korsun. The Khan sent auxiliary troops. At the end of May a few thousand Tatars arrived under Batyrsha Mirza. Doroshenko sent out his men to devastate the Polish borderlands. Advanced Cossack-Tatar troops under Uman Colonel Gregory Belogrud reached the Letichev Powiat (летичевский повет) of Podolia and also Volhynia where they took many prisoners. In June a large Tatar Horde and a Cossack regiment under Podolian Colonel Ostap Gogol joined the campaign. Tatars and Cossacks raided across Podolia to Ternopil. During July and August Crimeans and Nogais carried out devastating raids to Starokonstantinov, Medzebozh, Ostrog, Zaslavl, Zbarazh, Vishnevts and Dubna.

In early September 1667 Doroshenko with 15,000 Cossacks and 16,000–20,000 Tatars under Crown Prince Karim Giray started the next campaign against the Commonwealth. The Sultan sent 3,000 Janissaries and 12 cannon. The army moved through Starokonstantinov to Ternopil. At this time Ostap Gogol was along the Dniester (?в Приднестровье), where he captured Sharovka and besieged Yarmolints. Grand Crown Hetman Jan Sobieski managed to gather a 15,000-man army which was reinforced by armed Ukrainian peasants. Sobieski divided the army into five groups which were told to protect the Polish forts in Podolia, Volhynia and Galicia (Kamenetz, Terebovl, Berezhany, Dubno, Brody, and others). Sobieski himself with 3,000 troops stood at Kamenetz, blocking the road to Lvov. Doroshenko and Karim Giray marched out Starokonstantinov west past Zbarazh and Vishnevets and 3 October reached Pomoryan. Learning that the enemy were in Ruthena, Sobieski moved to Pidhaitsi and built a fortified camp (4 October). Kerim Giray sent troops to loot and take captives. Polish troops inflicted heavy losses and most of the parties were defeated. The Tatars suffered especially heavy losses at Pomoryan, Buchach and Naraev. Zboriv surrendered without a fight and was sacked by the Tatars. Then the Cossack-Tatar army reunited and headed for Lvov. On the road the Cossack-Crimean army stumbled on the 9,000-man Polish army at Pidhaitsi (Battle of Podhajce (1667), 3,000 mercenaries and 6,000 armed peasants with 18 guns), which barred their way. On 4 October about 20,000 Cossacks and Tatars surrounded the fortified camp and fighting lasted from 6 to 16 October. Meanwhile, during the fighting at Podgaits, the Zaporozhian Cossacks made a successful raid on Crimea. 4000 Cossacks under Kosh ataman Ivan Rog and Colonel Ivan Sirko besieged and stormed Perekop, and then intruded deep into the Crimean Khanate. Ivan Rog and his men took the Arbaytuk, killed all the inhabitants and destroyed its suburbs. Ivan Sirko and his men marched on the fortress of Caffa, where they ravaged the estates of the famous Shirinsky Mirzas. The Zaporozhians killed about two thousand inhabitants, captured about 1,500 women and children, freed 2,000 slaves and returned triumphantly to the Sich. The Zaporozhian raid on the Crimean heartland angered Karim Giray and the Mirzas who never completely trusted Doroshenko. Karim Giray entered into separate negotiations with Sobieski. On 16 October the Poles and Tatars made an armistice. In the name of the Khan Karim Giray pledged not to raid Polish territory. In return the Poles promised an annual cash 'gift'. On 18 October Sobieski allowed Karim Giray return to Crimea with all his captives. Returning home, the Tartars burned and looted 300 villages in Pokuttya alone. Without allies, Doroshenko found himself in an almost hopeless position. The Cossacks began to dig trenches to defend their travelling camp. Then Crown Prince Kerim Giray offered to mediate between Doroshenko and Sobieski. On 19 October they signed a peace agreement. Doroshenko himself and all the Zaporozhian Host promised to be subjects of the Commonwealth.

  • 1668: Doroshenko against the Left Bank; weak Russian intervention: Doroshenko marched against the pro-Moscow Left-Bank Hetman Ivan Briukhovetsky. The Cossack-Tartar army crossed the Dnieper and Brukhovetsky collected loyal regiments and asked the Crimean Tatars for help. To help Bryukhovetsky Moscow sent an army under Grigory Romodanovsky. At a Rada at Budishchy Doroshenko gained the upper hand over his rival, who was killed on 1 June. The Left Bank regiments went over to Doroshenko, who was elected Hetman of the whole Ukraine. He now had about 50,000 men, including 26,000 Tatars. Romodanovsky, seeing that he was outnumbered, raised the siege of Kotelva and withdrew to Okhtyrka. Doroshenko and 18,000–22,000 Cossacks and Tatars followed him. At battles at the village of Khukhra and on the Moshenka River Russian soldiers repulsed all enemy attacks. Romodanovsky moved to Okhtyrka and dug in. Doroshenko had to withdraw to Kotelva. Tatars took many captives around Cherkassy and returned to the Crimea. From Romen Doroshenko sent 12,000 Tatars and 5,000 Cossacks into Russian territory. The Cossack-Tatar horde broke in near Sevsk and the Komaritsky volost. The Sevsk voyevods won a series of victories and forced the enemy across the Dnieper. Nevertheless, some raiding parties destroyed Bohodukhiv, Krasny Kut, Gorodnyov, Kollontaev, Murakhva, Kharkov, and Tsarev Borisov.

Sukhovey's failed revolt against Doroshenko: In the summer the Zaporozhian Cossacks put up another candidate on the Hetman's mace. Zaporozhian military scribe Peter Sukhovey (Suhoveenko) was supported by part of the Sich Cossacks and was elected Hetman of the Zaporozhian Host. Sukhovey left the Sich for Bakhchisaray to get support. The Khan Adil Giray received him with honor at the capital, recognized him as Hetman, gave him two princes and a horde to accompany him back to the Ukraine, and wrote to Doroshenko, now nominally a Polish subject, saying that he and his troops should go to the Left Bank and unite with Sukhovey. Doroshenko was not going to voluntarily relinquish his mace and submit to the Khan. Soon Sukhovey marched to the Ukraine with a Tatar Crown Prince and horde. He made camp in Lipovaya Valley on the left bank of the Dnieper. The Poltava, Mirgorod, Lubny and Pereyaslav regiments recognized him as Hetman. Sukhovey pursued full independence for the Ukraine based on an alliance with the Crimea. All the autumn Sukhovey unsuccessfully tried to win over the Left Bank and other Cossack regiments that recognized Demian Mnohohrishny as Hetman. At the end of December Sukhovey the Tatars horde crossed the Dnieper and marched against Doroshenko. Doroshenko was expecting him and placed his regiments at Chyhyryn. Doroshenko surrounded the Crimean Tatars, the majority of whom were forced to withdraw. Sukhovey's first attempt to take the capital failed. Sukhovey and the Crown Prince retreated across the river Tyasmin. Here Sukhovey's Cossacks and his Tatar allies were defeated by the combined forces of Ivan Sirko's Zaporozhians and Doroshenko's Cossacks, who arrived from Kozelts. Sukhovey's Cossacks went over to Ivan Sirko. Sukhovey fled. The Tatars, who were unhappy with the result of the campaign, captured him and took him to Crimea. After Sukhovey's defeat at Chyhyryn all the Right Bank colonels, sotniks and starshinas came to Chyhyryn and recognized Doroshenko as their Hetman.

  • 1669: Small groups continued to raid the south Russian cities. In April they were near Kharkov and Valyuki. Later 1,200 of them were at Ostrogozhsk. In August up to 1,000 were near Valyuki.

Sukhovey tries again; Khanenko versus Doroshenko: In July Sukhovey with Zaporozhians and Crimeans made a second try against Doroshenko. Doroshenko gathered his loyalists, moved against the Tatars, could not resist them and fell back to the Rusava River. Sukhovey and the Zaporozhians moved toward him. The Zaporozhian Sich recognized Sukhovey at their hetman. On the Left Bank the Poltava, Mirgorod and Lubny regiments, which had recently sworn allegiance to the Tsar, again went over to Sukhovey. Doroshenko's pro-Turkish policy caused open resentment among many colonels and a large part of the Right Bank Cossacks. The Chigirin, Cherkassy, Belo-Tserkva and Kanev regiments stayed with Doroshenko, while the Uman, Kalnitsky, Pavolotsky and Korsun regiments went over to Sukhovey. These last four demanded a new Hetman in place of Doroshenko. The Cossacks went to Uman and quickly organized an elective Rada. At the Uman Rada Sukhovey had to renounce the Hetmanship and the majority elected as Right Bank Hetman the Uman Colonel Mykhailo Khanenko. Khanenko wrote to Left Bank Hetman Demian Mnohohrishny and Pereyaslav Colonel Dmitrashko Raycha, asking for support against Doroshenko. Doroshenko, supported by many of the Right Bank regiments, flatly refused to obey the decision of Uman Rada. He left his camp on the Rusava River and moved toward Kanev, but while crossing the Ros' River near the village of Konontya he was surrounded by the Tatar horde and besieged for five weeks. By order of the Turkish ambassador the Crimean princes had to lift the siege and withdraw their troops. Doroshenko, now freed, marched on Uman and called for obedience from the rebel regiments. The Turkish envoy Kanadzhi Pasha arrived at his camp near Uman and presented him with symbols of authority from the Sultan: mace, banner, bunchuk (бунчук) and saber. By order of the Turkish envoy the Tartars fighting against Doroshenko returned to Crimea. The Uman people flatly refused to admit Doroshenko into their city and proposed the following agreement: Khanenko would go to a Rada at Chigirin which would resolve the dispute and elect a new Hetman. Doroshenko raised the siege and withdrew from Uman. But Khanenko refused to go to the Rada, went to the Sich, and then to Crimea to ask the Khan for military help against Doroshenko. The Khan, Princes and Mirzas supported Khanenko, who soon returned to the Right Bank with a significant horde. With him was Yuri Khmelnitsky. Doroshenko gathered his loyalists and was joined by the Budjak Horde which had been sent by the Pasha of Silistria. At the Battle of Steblev Khanenko defeated Doroshenko, who took refuge in Steblev. Khanenko besieged town. Ivan Sirko came to help Doroshenko with a new Budjak horde, drove off the Crimeans and raised the siege. After that Doroshenko, Sirko and the Budjak Tatars pursued the enemy to Uman. Khanenko and Sukovey managed to flee to Sich, but Yuri Khmelnitsky was seized by the Budjak Tatars and sent to Istanbul, where the sultan shut him up in the Semibashenny Fortress.

  • 1670: Kharkov Colonel Gregory Donets defeated a raiding party at Merefa on the Samara River (Dnieper), re-took the prisoners and herds and captured four prisoners for interrogation. In May 130 Tatars came to Ostrogozhsk but were defeated by the local Cossack Colonel Ivan Dzinkovsky. In June and July the Tatars came to Valuiki and captured 20 people, but were overtaken and defeated on the Black Kalitva River.
  • 1671: Doroshenko asked Khan Adil Giray to join him in a war against Poland. Doroshenko besieged Bila Tserkva, where there was a Polish garrison, and his brother Gregory Doroshenko and the Bratslav regiment placed themselves at the Sten castle on the border of Polish territory. Adil Giray, on his way to help Doroshenko, was blocked by Zaporozhian Cossacks. 6,000 Cossacks under Sirko and Khanenko engaged the Tatars. Adil Giray, not well-disposed to Doroshenko and helping him only on the orders of the Sultan, entered into negotiations with Khanenko and made peace with the Zaporozhians. Doroshenko, learning of Adil Giray's separate peace immediately sent to Istanbul complaining about the Crimean Khan. In June 1671 the Turkish government removed Adil Giray from power and replaced him with Selim I Giray.

At the end of March Nakaznoy Hetman Ostap Gogol with the Podolian Regiment and some Budjak Tatars invaded the Letichevsky Powiat of the Podolian Voyevodstvo. Cossack-Tatar troops looted and burned the neighborhood of Bar, Medzebozh, Derazhnya, Old and New Senyavy, Zinkov and Gusyatin. On 20 July Doroshenko resumed the siege of the Polish garrison at Bila Tserkva and sent his younger brother Gregory and 2,000 Cossacks to Podolia. He sent the Kalnitsky regiment to Crimea to help Adil Giray against Zaporozhians. Doroshenko, with no more than 5,000–8,000 Cossacks (the rest were in garrison) and 5,000–6,000 Tatar allies did not dare to go to war, but awaited Adil Giray before starting an offensive against Commonwealth. Most of the Budjak Mirzas who were with Gregory Doroshenko, on learning of the approach of the Polish militia, hastily left their ally and returned to their camps. Grand Crown Hetman Jan Sobieski advanced against Doroshenko and the Crimean horde. On 26 August at Bratslav the Polish army routed the Cossack and Tartar troops. The Poles defeated the Budjak Tatars and burst into Bratslav. The Cossacks took refuge in the city castle and the broken Tatars began to retreat in panic. Sobieski led cavalry in pursuit of the Tatars while some Poles stayed in Bratslav to besiege the castle. The Poles followed the Tatars to Batorg and completely defeated them. The Cossacks in the castle learned of the defeat of the Tatars and surrendered. Emir Ali, who commanded the Budjak troops said he lost 500 men. Despite the victory, Sobieski withdrew to Bar, where he arrived on 30 August.

  • 1671–1672: Tatar raids continued. In April 1671 400 Tatars approached Zimeb and Merefa but Kharkov Colonel Gregory Donetz defeated them, released the captives and captured two prisoners for interrogation. In April 1671 300 Tatars arrived at Torsk Swamp but was defeated. In July 1671 Tatars and Bashkirs fought near Verkhny Lomov, where they took captives and drove off cattle. In August the Tatars fought near Valuiki. In April 1672 a Tatar detachment came to Mayatsky. In autumn 1672 Tatar raiding parties operated near Userd, Korotoyak, Novy Oskol, Ostrogozhsk, Voronezh and other southern places.
  • 1672: Turks take Podolia: Polish–Ottoman War (1672–76) begins. In April a huge Turkish army under Sultan Mehmed IV set out from Adrianople for the Commonwealth. Crimean Khan Selim Giray was ordered by the Sultan to take his horde and join the advancing Turkish army. Doroshenko gathered his loyal Cossacks for war against Poland. In early June the first Turkish and Tatar troops began arriving at Chyhyrin. On 25 May the Turkish army crossed the Danube at Isakcha, and in July reached Dnesta where they crossed the Polish border. Doroshenko and the Khan marched on Podolia to link up with Sultan. On 4 August the Turks, Tatars and Cossacks joined. On 5 August the Sultan met Doroshenko, who acknowledged himself a vassal and tributary and received a rich robe, mace and a horse. On 6 August the sultan sent the letter to the Polish fortress of Kamenetz-Podolsky, demanding voluntary surrender. The Kamenets garrison, hoping for help from the Polish government, rejected the ultimatum. The town was besieged on 7 August. On 17 August the Polish commandant and Grand Vizier began negotiations on the terms of surrender. The Turkish command allowed the garrison and citizens to freely leave Kamenetz with their arms and property. On 19 August the Polish commander handed over the keys to the city to the grand vizier. Sultan Mehmed IV made a ceremonial entry into the city and placed his Pasha in the fortress with 15,000–20,000 troops. The Sultan left for Zhvanets where he made camp. On 17 September Turkish troops left and continued the conquest Podolia. Buchach and Yagelnitsa surrendered to the Turks. The Turkish pashas and their troops captured about thirty Podolian towns.

The Sultan sent the Khan and Doroshenko to Lvov. Sobieski sent an embassy to the Khan and asked him to become a mediator in talks between the King and Sultan. The Khan received the Polish ambassadors and agreed to mediate on the condition that the Poles evacuate Podolia and pay a yearly tribute to the Sultan. The Khan, Doroshenko and Turkish units under Kaplan Pasha moved toward Lvov. On the way Tatar and Nogai raiding parties spread out, burning villages and taking captives. On 20 September Tatars, Cossacks and Turks arrived at and Lvov which was held by Ilya Lonski, four banners of infantry and two divisions of cavalry. The town was soon surrounded. 25 September to Lvov citizens sent Kaplan Pasha a gift of honor, but he would not accept it and demanded the keys to the city. The garrison refused surrender without the permission of the Polish king. Kaplan Pasha ordered an artillery bombardment and began digging tunnels under the walls. On 28 September he took by storm a fort that dominated the town. On the night of 28–29 September the Poles asked the Khan's mediation to stop the shelling of the city. On 30 September talks began between Kaplan Pasha and Polish envoys. On 7 October the Poles signed the humiliating Treaty of Buchach. The Poles were to give up the province of Podolia and pay an annual tribute of 22,000 zlotys. The Right Bank would belong to Doroshenko, who acknowledged the supremacy of the Sultan. After the peace treaty Turkish forces withdrew from Buchach to Zhvanets. Turkish garrisons were placed in Kamenets, Mezhibozh, Bar, Yazlovets and all the remaining Podolian cities. The Sultan ordered his Pashas to cease hostilities against the Commonwealth but the Tatars for a month continued to ravage Polish territory. Polish voyevods sent troops to harass the Tatars but could do little with them. Only Sobieski was able to destroy a few raiding parties. Tatar and Nogai forces began to loot the area between the Bepsh, San and Bug Rivers. In October Sobieski got together 2,500–3,000 cavalry and dragoons and went after the raiding parties. The Tatars were defeated at Krasnobrod, Narol, Nemirov, Komarno and Petranka. The pro-Polish Khanenko also successfully fought the Tatar raiding parties. After a defeat at Chetvertynovaya Khanenko with loyal troops stood at Dubna, where he repulsed a Turkish attack, and on 5 October defeated the Tatars at Krasnostav and freed 2,000 prisoners. He next defeated the Tatars at Tomashev. People in the Ruthenian voyevodstvo formed militias, drove off the raiding parties and freed captives. On the orders of the Sultan the Khan and Doroshenko withdrew from Lvov to the Turkish camp at Zhvanets. Here Doroshenko was again received by the Sultan and was given a gown embroidered with gold. Turkish army slowly withdrew across the Dniester, and Doroshenko and the Khan went to the Ukraine.

  • 1673: Poles push back, win at Khotyn: Tatars tried to break into the Russian lands but were stopped by the Belgorod Line. In May significant forces were near the Line on the Tikhaya Sosna River, Oskol River and surrounding districts. Tatar troops fought near Verkhsosensk, Userd and Novy Oskol. In autumn Polish–Ottoman hostilities resumed. Despite the Buchach treaty, the Polish gentry government refused to pay an annual tribute to the Sultan and did not to withdraw their garrisons from Podolian towns and cities. Sobieski gathered an army and went against the Khan, who had invaded Ukraine under orders of the Sultan, and routed the main body of the Tatar hordes. Polish troops began to expel the Turkish and Tatar troops stationed in Podolia. In November at the Battle of Khotyn (1673) 30,000 Poles under Sobieski defeated 35,000 Turks under Hussein Pasha. In the battle the Turks lost 30,000 killed and captured. Only 5,000 Turks were able to escape and take refuge in Kamenetz-Podolsky.
  • 1674: Poles in Ukraine; Turks fail against Sich: Raids on the southern Russian towns and forts were repeated, but the number of attackers was minimal. Kalmyks joined the Tatars. Enemy troops operated near Mayatsky, Torsk lakes, Romanov and Zmiev.

In November the Polish warrior-king Sobieski launched a major campaign on the right bank. Bar, Bratslav and Nemiroff surrendered to the Poles but Rashkov was taken by storm and the garrison slaughtered. Kalnik gave up and took the oath of allegiance to the Polish crown. Polish banners (хоругви) under Dmitry Vishnevetsky and Stanislav Yablonovsky crushed Cossack and Tartar troops at Zhornishch and Nemiroff, and Polish-Lithuanian troops under Nicholas Senyavskaya and Prince Michael Casimir Radziwill defeated the enemy in the battles at Chyhyryn and Pavoloch. At the Battle of Pavoloch 4,000 Tatars under the Nureddin-Sultan was broken. The Nureddin-Sultan was killed. In autumn 1674 the Sultan organized a campaign against the Zaporozhian Sich, and sent 15,000 select Janissaries came by sea to Crimea. The Turkish government had decided to seize the Sich and destroy all the Zaporozhian Cossacks. By order of the Sultan, Selim Giray and 40,000 Tatars joined the Turkish campaign against Sich. In January 1675 15,000 Janissaries and 40,000 Tatars under Khan Selim Giray approached the Sich without being detected. Tartars surrounded the Sich and Janissaries tried to enter it, but the Zaporozhians repulsed the attack and decisively defeated the Turkish troops. 13,500 Janissaries were killed and the rest fled. The Khan retreated from the Sich back to the steppe.

  • 1675: Turks and Poles on the Right Bank: Tatars and Kalmyks raid around Valuiki, Olshansk, Userd, Usman and Kozlov. At the end of June a large Ottoman army (20,000–30,000) under Serasker Ibrahim Pasha Shaitan entered the Right Bank. Turkish troops crossed the Dniester at Tyagina and took the fortress of Bar. In July, at Manachin, the Turks were joined by 30,000 Tatars under Nureddin-Sultan Safa Giray. Turks and Tatars moved to Lvov, devastating and burning everything in their path. During the trek, Safa Giray's horde separated from the Turkish army and acted independently. Polish King Jan Sobieski, learning about the new Turkish invasion, ordered the strengthening of garrisons in Podolia to delay the progress of Turkish troops. Sobieski concentrated his main force around Lvov. On 27 July the Turks stormed Zbarazh and sent Tatar troops to Podolia and Volhynia. Buchach and Zavyalov were captured. Stanislav Jan Yablonovsky defeated a large Turkish force at Zlochev. On 22 August Ibrahim Pasha sent 10,000 Tatars under Safa Giray against Lvov. Jan Sobieski at Lvov had 6,000 men. Upon learning of the approaching Tatars Sobieski placed part of his forces (dragoons and light cavalry) in each of the four directions from which the enemy might approach. 1,200–1,500 Hussars were held in reserve while the infantry was held with the supplies in camp near Lvov. On 24 August the Crimean Tatars approached the city and engaged in battle with the Poles. At the decisive moment Sobieski personally led 2,000 cavalry against the Tatars, who were defeated. On 20 September 10,000 men under Ibrahim Pasha besieged Terembovlya. The fortress was defended by 300 Poles who for two weeks successfully repulsed all enemy attacks. Ibrahim Pasha Shaitan lost 2,000 men, was unable to storm the fortress, raised the siege and retreated beyond the Dniester. Polish troops pursued the Turks into Moldavia, where they took and burned Suchava.
  • 1676: Russo-Turkish War (1676–1681) begins. Small Tatar and Kalmyk bands operate around Usman, Voronezh and Olshansk. In 1676 a huge Turkish army under Ibrahim Pasha invaded the Right Bank. Polish King Jan Sobieski gathered 38,000 men near Lvov and went to meet them. Sobieski placed his troops in a fortified camp near Zhuravno. The Turks and Crimeans took Yazlovets, Chertkov and Galich. On 24 September 24, at the Battle of Voynilov Sobieski defeated a large Tatar force, but under the pressure of superior numbers had to withdraw. At Dovga the Tatars attacked Sobieski's main force, trying to cut off their escape route, but were repulsed. The Polish army retreated to Zhuravno and built a fortified camp. Turko-Tatar troops completely surrounded the Polish fortified camp. On 24–26 September Tatar cavalry were under Crimean Khan Selim Giray, but on 28–29 September Ibrahim Pasha arrived with the Turkish army. On 17 October Sobieski was forced to the conclude the Treaty of Żurawno with the Ottoman Empire. It revoked the clause in the Buchach Treaty about payment of yearly tribute, but confirmed the cession of Podolia. Right Bank Ukraine, except the Bila Tserkva and Pavoloch okrugs were under the power of the Doroshenko as a Turkish vassal. DATE?
  • 1677: Turkish defeat at 1st Chigirin: In June the Turko-Tatar forces led Serasker Ibrahim Pasha and the Crimean Khan Selim Giray crossed Dniester and came to Chigirin seeking to return the Right Bank to the Ottoman Empire. The siege began in early August. Chigirin was under the command of the garrison commander, Major-General A. Trauernikht. Turks and Tartars besieged the town for a month but could not take it. On 26 August Russo-Cossack troops under boyar Prince Grigory Romodanovsky and Hetman Ivan Samoilovich brought under fire a Turko-Tatar army crossing the Dnieper to the right bank at the Buzhinsky pier. Turks and Tatars made a frontal attack, but were repulsed with rifle and cannon fire. The fight at the river crossing lasted three days. Turkish-Tatar army retreated, losing 20,000 men killed. Romodanovsky and Samoilovich took Chigirin, restored the ruined fortifications, left a 15,000-man garrison and returned to the Left Bank. Sultan locked up Ibrahim Pasha in Yedikule – the Semibashenny (seven towers) castle, and Crimean Khan Selim Giray was deposed and exiled to the island of Rhodes. Murad Giray became the new Crimean Khan in 1678 and in March of that year led a destructive raid on Pereyaslavl.
  • 1678: 2nd Chigirin; Yurii Khmelnitsky against the Left Bank: The second campaign of the Turkish-Tatar army in Chigirin. In the summer a 100,000-man Turkish army under Kara Mustafa Pasha and 50,000 Crimean Tatars under Khan Murad Giray again besieged Chigirin. The garrison consisted of 5,000 stretltsy and 7,000 Cossacks and was first commanded by Voyevod Ivan Rzhevsky, who was killed during the siege, and then by Colonel Patrick Gordon. To the rescue came Russo-Cossack regiments under Prince Grigory Romodanovsky and Left Bank Hetman Ivan Samoilovich who on 12 July made a fighting crossing of the Dnieper at the Buzhinskaya fords. The next battle was at the Strelnikov Hill, about a mile from Chihirin which dominated the whole area. The battle was inconclusive for both sides. The attempt to lift the siege failed and on 11 August the city was taken and the Russian garrison was forced to leave. However the Turko-Tatar army was not able to cross the Dnieper and in October the troops of Kara Mustafa and Murad Giray returned to the southern Bug River and the Crimea. They did not attack Kiev, which had only 106 men in garrison under voyevod Prince Mikhail Golitsyn. Thus, the Ottoman Turks and Crimean Tatars were not able to secure the Right Bank Ukraine.

{The Turks released Yuri Khmelnitsky and tried to set him up as a vassal hetman.} In December Yuri Khmelnytsky sent messengers to the Left Bank Ukrainians, urging them to recognize him as Hetman and submit to his authority, to avoid ruin and captivity. Following this, Ivan Yanenchenko with two Tatar Mirzas sent to him by the Crimean Khan, crossed the Dnieper at Staek and bypassing the towns of the Pereyaslav Regiment went to Oster and Kozelets. The Crimean Tatars, taking loot and prisoners, began to return, but on the way back were overtaken at the village of Gluboky and defeated by Pereyaslav Colonel Ivan Lisenko, who rescued all the captives. In December Yuri Khmelnitsky and Crimean Tatars made a ruinous raid on the Left-Bank Ukraine. The small town of Veremeevka, whose inhabitants could not defend themselves was the first place that fell to him. After Veremeevka followed small towns of Chigrin-Dubrava, Goroshin, Gorodishche and Zhovnin. Yuri Khmelnitsky's messengers called on the Right Bank residents and peasants, who had recently fled to the Left Bank, to return home. Those who gave up, about 3,000, Yuri ordered to move to Zhabotin. On 27 January 1679 (sic) Yurii sent messengers from Zhovnin to the towns of the Mirgorod Regiment, demanding submission. At this time, Ivan Yanenchenko and Tatars came to Lubny and surrounded it. Inside were Lubny Colonel Ilyashenko and Okhotny Colonel Novitsky. Many residents began to lean to Khmelnitsky. Against Khmelnitsky came the Poltava and Myrgorod colonels, and from Sumy came Major General Gregory Kasogov with the Sumy and Okhtyrka regiments. Hetman Ivan Samoilovich and a Cossack troop marched from Baturin and arrived in Konotop. Poltava Colonel Levenets defeated Khmelnitsky at Zhovninoye and forced him to retreat to Lukoml. Yurii stayed there three days and was not able to persuade local people to join him, and then returned to the Dnieper with a Tatar horde. He was joined by Yanenchenko. Yuri went to Nemirov and Yanenchenko to Korsun. The Crimean princes sent by the Khan to help him split up: the Crown Prince returned to Crimea, and Nureddin-Sultan with 7,000 men again crossed to the Left Bank. Small Tatar troops ravaged the territory of the Mirgorod Regiment and took many prisoners. On the way back they were attacked by Gregory Kasogov with Russian-Cossack troops. Ivan Samoilovich gave him selected Cossacks from the Gadyach, Mirgorod and Companeysky Regiments. Russians and Cossacks defeated the Tatars, recaptured the prisoners, captured a Tatar banner and nearly captured the Nureddin-Sultan. The wounded Nureddin with the rest of his horde fled to the Right Bank. Russian troops and Cossacks also crossed the Dnieper and chased the Tatars to the Little Ingulets River, and returned to Kereberda.


Novy Oskol
Samara River
Places 1677–1699

After the Turkish disaster at Vienna in September 1683, Austria and Poland formed an alliance to push the Turks south (Polish–Ottoman War (1683–1699)). In 1686 Russia joined in (Russo-Turkish War (1686–1700)). After the Turks were pushed out of Hungary in 1687 fighting was inconclusive. In the Crimean campaigns of 1687 and 1689 the Russians failed in an attempt to invade Crimea. In 1695 Russia tried to take some forts on the lower Dnieper. By the treaties of 1699/1700 Turkey lost Hungary to Austria, Podolia to Poland and Azov, temporarily, to Russia.

  • 1677–1678(sic): Raids of Crimean Tatars and Kalmyks near Verkhsosensk, Novy Oskol, Userd and Usman.
  • 1679: In July and August Azov, Crimean and Nogai Tatars with 8000 men came to Chuhuiv, Pechenegi, Saltov, Kharkov, Balikleya, Serkov, Sokolov and other places. Kharkov Colonel Gregory Donets won another victory, driving the Tatars into the forests and drowning them in rivers and freeing all the Russian captives.
  • 1680: In January, Crimean Khan Murad Giray made a ruinous attack on the southern Russian lands. The Khan with up to 100,000 men crossed the river Merl on the Muravsky Trail and approached Belgorod. Not crossing the wall, he sent Nureddin Saydat Giray, 3 Mirzas and 4,000 men to capture prisoners for interrogation. The Nureddin crossed the wall, went to Volny with 2,000 men, the rest going to other towns. At the same the Khan sent raiding parties to the surrounding area. The Crimeans were around Belgorod, Karpov, Volny, Zolochev, Olshansk, Kharkov, Balky, Bogodukhov, Krasnokut, Akhtyrka, Kolontaevo, Murakhva, Rublev and Kolymak. During this campaign the Tatars captured 3014 people.
  • 1681–1682: Crimean Tatars fought near Tsarev-Borisov and Torsk Lakes {this may be Slaviansk}. Kalmyk troops were around Voronezh, Usman, Penza, Lower and Upper Lomov.
  • 1683: Cossacks raid the Budjak Tatars: At the end of the year right-bank hetman Stefan Kunitsky gathered a 5,000-man Cossack army and made a campaign against the Budjak Tatars. In the end of November Cossack regiments took Nagai, slaughtered the Turkish garrison and went to Kishenev where they joined the army of Moldovan Hospodar Ştefan Petriceicu. The combined army had about 15,000–18,000 men and was led by Kunitsky. On 5 December, at the Battle of Tyagin, they defeated a 25,000-man Turko-Tatar army led under Tyagin Bey Ali Pasha (?в битве под Тягиней. Tyagin might be an old name for Bender, Moldova?). According to contemporaries, the Tyagin Trail was strewn with enemy dead for four miles (sic,миль). Among those killed were Tyagin Bey Ali Pasha, Aliger Pasha, the leader of the Budjak Horde, and several important Tatar Mirzas. Ukrainian Cossacks looted and destroyed the Budjak tribal camps (ulus) around Bilhorod and Ackermann {another name for Bilhorod?}, captured the Turkish forts at Izmail and Kiliya {near Izmail on the Danube}, and reached the shores of the Black Sea. Cossacks tried to take Tyagin and Belgorod, but had to raise the siege because of the lack of artillery. The lands of the Budjak Horde were devastated and burned.

Crimean Khan Haji Giray, learning of the defeat of the Budjak Tatars gathered 10,000–12,000 men and went against Kunitsky. At the end of December Kunitsky with 10,000–12,000 Cossacks and Moldavians left Budjak and began to cross the Prut River near the village of Tobak, not far from the town of Reni, Ukraine. Here on 30 December they were suddenly attacked by Tatar cavalry under Khan Haji Giray. Kunitsky built a fortified camp and successfully repelled the Tatar attacks. On the night of 3 to 4 January 1684 the Moldavian allies betrayed the Cossacks and left the Cossack camp. In this situation Kunitsky with the Cossack cavalry (about 2,000) broke through the enemy ring and crossed the Prut. The Cossack infantry (about 4,000) under Andrey Mogila also broke out and crossed the Prut near Boyanova, but suffered heavy losses. By 10 January only five thousand Cossacks reached Jassy.

  • 1684: In May, in a battle near Studenits Tatars destroyed a Cossack detachment under the command of the new right-bank hetman Andrey Mogila, capturing two hundred Cossacks. In July at the Battle of Skala a 3,000-man Polish-Cossack army under regimentarz Michal Zhevusky defeated 2,000 Tatars. The Crimeans lost about 500 men and 30 Mirzas were captured.
  • 1688: The Khan invaded the southern Polish territories and devastated Volhynia, and, according to the chronicles, carried away 60,000 people. In the same year there was a campaign near Poltava. In June 1688, a 1,500-man Turko-Tatar force defeated a small Polish unit in the Battle of Novoselka.
  • 1691: In September, in a battle near Pererita in Moldavia Polish troops under nadborny Crown Marshal Jerome Lubomirski defeated a large Tatar horde.
  • 1692: Petrik and the Sich against the Left Bank: In January a man called Petrik (also called Petr Ivanovich or Petr Ivanenko), a military clerk (voyskovy kantselyarist, войсковой канцелярист), left the Ukraine for the Sich and began to call for a military alliance with the Crimean Khan against the pro-Moscow Left Bank Hetman Ivan Mazepa. Mazeppa demanded the return of this "thief and cheat", but the Sich refused. Petrik gained the favor of the Zaporozhians and was even elected military clerk (koshevy pisar, избран кошевым писарем) of the Zaporozhian host. In spring Petrik and a small detachment of Cossacks went to the Crimea and in May he concluded a military alliance with Khan Saadet Giray, who agreed to give him military aid in the conquest of the Left-Bank Ukraine. Some of the Zaporozhians joined Petrik. In July a Rada was called at Kemmeny Zaton (Stone Creek) and Petrik was proclaimed Ukrainian hetman. The Khan sent a horde under the Crown Prince. They planned to first subdue the Cossack frontier townships on the Samara River and then go after the Poltava regiment. Mazepa began to gather troops to repulse the Tatars and appealed to the Russia for help. In late July Mazepa sent five regiments to the border, and stayed at Hadiach with five regiments to await the arrival of the Moscow voyevod and selected units of three other Cossack regiments. On 28 July he sent messages to the entire Ukrainian population, urging them to remain faithful to the Russian Tsar and Mazepa's power as hetman. Some towns on the Orel River recognized Petrik. Ivan Mazepa and a Cossack army moved out of Gadyach to Poltava. On 5 August the advanced troops, who had been sent to the Vorskla River, moved to the Orel river and approached Mayachka where they encountered the Crimean Crown Prince, who was looting the nearby villages and taking captives. On the approach of the Left Bank Cossacks the Crimeans hastily retreated to the steppes and returned to Perekop. The Cossacks chased the Tatars and Petrik, but could not catch up with them. Petrik and a small group of supporters spend three months around Perekop. At the end of September he left Perekop for Bakhchisarai. The Turkish Sultan replaced Khan Saadet Giray with Selim Giray, who arrived from Istanbul in December. The new Khan promised Petrik military support against Mazepa, the Left Bank and the Russian government. After the retreat of the Crimean Horde Mazepa immediately disbanded Cossack regiments and sent them home. Meanwhile Petrik and influential Mirzas pushed for another attack on the Left-Bank Ukraine.
  • 1693: Russians push back Tatars and Petrik: In January Selim Giray sent a horde against the Ukraine under his son-in-law, the Nureddin-Sultan {The nureddin was the third in rank after the Khan and the Kalga or Crown Prince(strictly designated successor, and not necessarily the Khan's son)}. Petrik and a small group of supporters went with the horde. Selim Giray ordered Nureddin and Petrik first go to the Sich and call for a joint campaign against the Left Bank towns. If they did not give up, then the Khan ordered that should would be taken by storm and destroyed. The Khan himself and the main force would set out in spring. The Nureddin and Petrik sent to Host a proclamation calling upon the Cossacks to join the Tartar hordes. However Zaporozhye Cossacks remained loyal to Moscow and refused to participate in the attack on the Ukrainian lands. Crimean Tatars moved to the towns of Perevolochna and Kyshenki, but the local residents flatly refused to give up and accept the hetman Petrik. Then Petrik and the Tatar horde went to Poltava, the center of the Cossack regiment of that name. They ravished the surrounding area, killing and taking prisoners. Petrik unsuccessfully called on the Poltava population to give up and accept hin as Hetman. Back in December Mazepa informed Moscow of the impending Tatar invasion of Left Bank. The Russian government ordered the boyar Boris Sheremetev with a 40,000-man army come to the aid of Mazepa. Russian troops occupied all the Cossack frontier towns on the Samara River {note how far south this is}. The Poltava colonel refused to help Petrik and gathered the loyal Cossacks in his regiment to repel the Crimean Tatars. News of the approach of the Sheremtev's Russian army and Mazepa's Cossacks forced the Nureddin into an immediate retreat. Crimean horde with numerous captives left the steppe. During the second Tatar attack Mazepa and Cossack army moved from Baturyn to Lubny, and spread along the Dnieper several city and volunteer regiments (?городовых и охотных полков). Petrik and his supporters retreated with the Tatar Horde to Crimea. Here Petrik constantly called Crimean Khan Selim Giray to continue the fight against the Russian state. Mazepa kept the Russian government informed about all the designs Petrik and sent messengers to all the left bank Cossack regiments, urging them to be ready to fend off a new Tatar invasion. In June the Right-Bank Colonels Semen Paliy and Andrii Abazyn utterly defeated the Tatar horde in the battle for the little town of Smelaya. In October, they and two left-bank colonels defeated the Crimean Tatars on the Kodyma River.
  • 1694: Early in the year Petrik again sent to the Sich, promising to soon come with the Crimean horde to win back the Left-Bank Ukraine from Moscow. In summer the Zaporozhians began military operations against the Khanate and made two military campaigns against the Tartars. The Cossack raid forced retreat of the Nureddin, who was raiding in the Sloboda Ukraine. In September Mazepa organized a campaign against the Crimean Tatars. Cossack troops under Chernogov Colonel Yacob Lizogub marched to the open steppe along the Dnieper. Joining forces with khvastovsky (?с хвастовским полковником) Colonel Semen Paliy, Yacob Lizogub with a Cossack corps marched to the mouth of the Dnieper and stormed the fortress of Palanka, capturing booty and captives.
  • 1696: In January Selim Giray made a devastating raid on the Left Bank. Tatars and Nogais took captives along the Orel River, stormed and burned the small towns of Kitay-Gorodok and Kyshenka, besieged Keleberda, and then went to Goltva, where the Cossack troops were gathered to resist the raiders. The colonels had to withdraw due to the unauthorized flight of many of the Cossacks. The Crimeans burned villages near the towns of Ostap, Bila Tserkva and Bogachka and then moved to Gadyach. On the way they sent out raiding parties and took captives. Mazepa collected troops and marched from Baturin to Priluki. 30,000 Budjak Tatars crossed the Bug and moved on Kremenchug to join the Crimean horde. With the Budjak Nogais was Petrik. The Nogais besieged the Ukrainian border towns of Potok and Omelnik. Petrik sent messengers to the besieged towns, urging them to give up and recognize him as hetman. In response, Mazepa sent messengers to the Left Bank, offering a large amount of money as a reward for killing Petrik. Mazepa and his army moved from Priluki in Lokhvytsia, just east of Okhtyrka. Voyevod Sheremetev with Russian troops was at Akhtyrka and urged Mazepa to join him. But, because of the danger of Tartar attacks on Baturin, Mazepa remained at Lokhvitsa. Soon after the united Crimean and Budjak hordes split into two groups: the Crimeans went to devastate the Poltava regiment and the Budjak Tatars raided along the Dnieper. Mazepa sent the Priluki regiment from Lokhvitsa to Poltava, ordered the Gadyach, Mirgorod and Poltava regiments to join them and the Lubensky and Okhotny (охотный) Cossack regiments to advance against the Nogais. Mazepa and the remaining Cossacks moved inward Akhtyrka to join Sheremetev's Russians, but only reached Rashevka on the Psyol River when, on 1 February, he learned that the Nogais and Tatars, along with their captives, had retreated to their steppes. Ukrainian Cossacks captured many Tatars in the woods along the Vorskla River. After the withdrawal of the Crimean Kalga (Crown Prince) Mazepa sent the town (?городовые) Cossacks to their homes and the Okhotny (охотные) regiments to their stanitsas. Near Kishenko the self-styled Hetman Petrik was killed by a Cossack.

In February 8,000–12,000 Tatars under Kalga Shebas Giray, Prince Saadat Giray and Gaza Giray broke through the Polisht blockade of Kamenetz-Podolsky and delivered food supplies to the Turkish fort and moved on to raid the southern Polish territory. Crown grand hetman Stanisław Jan Jabłonowski gathered near Lvov a 4,000-man Polish militia. On February 11–12, in a battle near Lvov the Poles defeated the superior forces of the Crimean-Tatar horde.

  • 1698: In September 14000 Tatars under Kalga-Sultan Kaplan Giray made a ruinous raid on Podolia. On 8–9 September, at the Battle of Podhajce (1698), the last Polish–Tatar battle, 6,000 Poles under Crown Field Hetman Feliks Kazimierz Potocki defeated the Tatar horde.


Samara River
Places 1700–1769

During the Russo-Swedish War (1700–21), Left Bank Hetman Ivan Mazepa revolted against Russia. The Swedish king joined him and both were defeated at Poltava in 1709. Both fled to Turkey, the Turks declared war, Peter the Great tried to invade Turkey and was defeated in the Russo-Turkish War (1710–11). In 1736, during the Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735–39), Russians invaded Crimea, but withdrew because of plague. After the Russo-Turkish War (1768–74) Crimea became a Russian dependency and was annexed in 1783. The Right Bank was annexed in 1793. During this period raiding was confined to Ukraine except for one raid by Kuban Tatars along the Volga.

  • 1700–1710: These years are omitted from the Russian Wikipedia article.
  • 1711: Russians defeat Tatars on the Right Bank: The Right Bank was attacked by Prince Mehmed Giray (son Devlet II Giray), supporters of Pylyp Orlyk (who was chosen hetman-in-exile by Mazepa's supporters after Mazepa's death), and a number of Zaporozhians under Kosh otaman Kostya Gordienko. In the campaign were 40,000 Tatars, 7,000–8,000 Cossacks, 3,000–5,000 Poles, 700 Swedes and 400 Turkish Janissaries. They laid siege to the Bila Tserkva. When the Tatars turned to looting civilians and taking captives, Orlik's Cossacks began deserting en masse to defend their villages. In February the Crimean Tatars captured Bratslav, Bohuslav and Nemyriv, the small garrisons of which offered virtually no resistance. Ivan Skoropadsky, Mazepa's de facto successor on the Left Bank sent to the Right Bank the Companeysky regiment under General Esaul Stepan Butovich. In the Battle of Lysianka Butovich was severely defeated and barely escaped. In March Orlik and Mehmed Giray besieged Bila Tserkva, which was defended by a small Russo-Cossack garrison. The Cossacks and Crimeans were unable to storm the town and lost about 1,000 men. From Bila Tserkva Orlik and Mehmed Giray retreated Fastiv. Cossacks and Tatars tried to attack Cherkassy, Kanev and Chigirin, but were repulsed. Peter the Great sent to the Right Bank Russian troops under Prince Dmitry Golitsyn. At their approach Mehmed Giray and Orlik began to retreat to the steppe. On 15 April at Bohuslav Golitsyn caught the Tartars and rescued more than 7,000 prisoners. At the end of April Orlik and Mehmed Giray returned to Bender. At this time Khan Devlet Giray with 30,000–40,000 men invaded the Left Bank and besieged and captured the Novosergievsky fortress on the upper Samara River. The Cossacks gave up without a fight. Devlet Giray then moved to Kharkov and Izium, but was defeated in early March and retreated to Crimea.
  • 1713: Crimean Tatars, Nogais and Azov people ravaged the southern Kazan and Voronezh Goverorates, the lands of Don Cossacks and Kharkov Regiment. (at the time the Kazan Gubernia ran from Kazan south to the Caspian Sea. To the west of it the Azov Gubernia ran from Kozlov to Azov. Its name was changed to Voronezh Gubernia in 1715.) The Tatars captured 14,000 people and killed more than 2,000.
  • 1714: Crimean Tatars and Azov people made a raid Tsaritsyn (i.e. Stalingrad). The lands of Don Cossacks, the Kharkov and Izium regiments were also raided.
  • 1715: Crimean Mirza Mambet Bey made ruinous attack on the Don Cossack area. The Crimean Tatars also raided the Kharkov and Izyum regiments. That same year, Kuban serasker Bakhti Geray (Deli-Sultan) made a large raid to Tsaritsyn and Astrakhan. Near Astrakhan Bakhti Giray captured 1220 Nogai tents (кибиток) and resettled them beyond the Kuban River. Then Bakhti Garay made numerous forays on the Kalmyk Khan tribes of Ayuka Khan, a Russian vassal. Kuban Tatars ravaged many Kalmyk and Nogai tribes ('ulusi'). 10,300 Nogai families were forced to move to the Kuban.
  • 1716: Crimean Tatars, Turks and Azov people ravaged the Dmitrievsky uzed of the Voronezh Gubernia and raided Tambov (sic, this is very far north), the Don Cossack country, Kharkov and Izium Regiments.
  • 1717: Crimean Tatars raided the land of Kharkov and Izium regiments in Sloboda Ukraine. Kuban serasker Bakhti Giray (Deli-Sultan) with the Kuban Horde, Turkish and Azov troops launched a major campaign in the southern Russian lands. The Kuban people ravaged the outskirts of Tsaritsyn, Penza, Simbirsk, Saratov, Insar, Petrovsk and Lomov {these places are along the Volga. If this raid-list is complete this would be the last raid to get that far north.} Around 30,000 were captured.
  • 1718: Bakhti Giray led an expedition to the land of Don Cossacks, where besieged but were not able to storm the town of Cherkassk. Many Cossacks and Yurt Kalmyks (юртовские калмыки) were killed or captured. That same year, Crimean and Kuban Tatars raided lands of the Kazan Gubernia and the Kharkov and Izium Regiments.
  • 1719–1722: Crimean Tatars and Azov people made devastating raids on the Kharkov, Izium, Poltava and Myrgorod Regiments Sloboda Ukraine and the land of Don Cossacks.
  • 1723: Crimean Tatars, Nogais and Azov people raided the Bakhmut, Poltava and Mirgorod Regiments and the land of Don Cossacks.
  • 1724: Crimean Tatars and Azov people raided the Bakhmut, Poltava and Myrhorod Regiments, the land of Don Cossacks and the Yurt Kalmyks.
  • 1725: Crimean Tatars raided Bakhmut.
  • 1726: Crimeans continued to raid around Bakhmut and the Don Cossack country.
  • 1727: Crimeans and Azov people raided the land of Don Cossacks and Bakhmut.
  • 1728: Crimean Tatars and Azov people raided the land of Don Cossacks and Bakhmut. The Khan was joined by Batyr-Taisha with Yurt Kalmyks.
  • 1729: Crimeans and Azov people raided Bakhmut and the Don Cossack lands.
  • 1730: Crimean Tatars and Azov Turks attacked the Don Cossack lands, and the Myrhorod and Bakhmut Regiments.
  • 1731–1732: Crimean Tatars and Azov people raided the Don Cossacks, the Bakhmut and Mirgorod regiments and Kabarda in the north Caucasus.
  • 1733: Crimean horde made an unsuccessful campaign in the North Caucasus. A second Crimean Tatar horde ravaged the land of Don Cossacks and the Bakhmut and Izium Regiments.
  • 1734: Crimean Tatars, and Azov Turks and Kuban Tatars made devastating raids on the land of Don Cossacks, on the Bakhmut and Poltava regiments.
  • 1737: In February the Crimean Tatars made a new attack on the Left Bank Ukraine, where they captured many prisoners. Major-General Yuri F. Leslie was killed in a skirmish with the Crimeans while crossing the Dnieper at Perevolochna.
  • 1739: On 15 (26 new style) February the horde crossed the Dnieper near the territory of the Mirgorod Regiment. Thanks to activity of Major General Ivan Bakhmetev the horde was defeated. Bahmetev, warning the Mirgorod Cossacks of the Tatar approach, hastily moved from Kremenchug to Vlasovka with a group of several Grenadier troops (гренадерских рот), about 600 Rizhky Dragoons and 1500 Mirgorod Cossacks. Bakhmetev's troops caught the Tatars 2 hours after their river crossing. After a 6-hour battle the Tatars were forced to retreat beyond the Dnieper. Around 4,000 warriors, 30 Mirzas and 2 'Sultans' were drowned in the specially constructed ice-holes on the Dnieper or were killed. On 19 February what was left of the horde went to the Crimea.
  • 1756–1763: During the Seven Years' War between Russia and Prussia the Nogai Tatars made devastating raids on the south Russian lands.
  • 1769: Khan Qırım Giray led a large (and the last in history) campaign on the Russian lands. Crimean Tatars and Nogais ravaged New Serbia {near Elizavetgrad} and took a significant number of prisoners. On 15 January 70,000 Crimean Tatars crossed the Russian border and moved to New Serbia (Elizavetgrad Province). Crimean Khan was planning to go to Poland, to connect with the Confederation of Bar. {This was also the time of the Koliyivshchyna uprising.} They were guided by Polish priests. The Khan approached Elizavetgrad, but was greeted by artillery fire. The Khan decided not to storm the well-protected town and spread his men out in small detachments to plunder and take prisoners in the nearby Russian and Polish territories. Having devastated much of New Serbia and seized a large number of prisoners, the Crimean Khan returned to Perekop.
  • 1772, 1793, 1795: The Partitions of Poland. The Polish Commonwealth disappeared, and much of its eastern lands went to Russia, much simplifying the political scene.
    1774: Crimea became a Russian vassal; in the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji Russia gains Azov.
    1777?: Crimeans raid Greater Kabardia in the north Caucasus[19]
    1783: Russia annexed Crimea.

See alsoEdit


  • This is a translation of the corresponding article in the Russian Wikipedia as of 16 April 2013, with a few changes.
  • The best book in English is probably: Brian L. Davies, "Warfare, State and Society on the Black Sea Steppe 1500–1700", 2007.
  • Michael Khodarkovsky, "Russia's Steppe Frontier", 2002 – it is somewhat better on the steppe peoples caught between Russia and Crimea.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Subtelny, Orest (1988). "Ukraine: A History". pp. 105-106.
  5. ^ a b c Brian L. Davies, Warfare, State and Society on the Black Sea Steppe, 2007
  6. ^ James Minahan (2000). "One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups". p. 216.
  7. ^ Nicholas Breyfogle, Abby Schrader, Willard Sunderland (2007). "Peopling the Russian Periphery: Borderland Colonization in Eurasian History". p. 43.
  8. ^ Alan W. Fisher "Muscovy and the Black Sea Slave Trade", Canadian American Slavic Studies, 1972, Vol. 6, pp. 575–594.
  9. ^ Michael Khodarkovsky, "Russia's Steppe Frontier: The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800", Indiana University Press, 2002, p. 22, ISBN 978-0-253-21770-7
  10. ^ Mikhail Kizilov. "Slave Trade in the Early Modern Crimea From the Perspective of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources". Oxford University. 
  11. ^ a b Brian Glyn Williams (2013). "The Sultan's Raiders: The Military Role of the Crimean Tatars in the Ottoman Empire" (PDF). The Jamestown Foundation. p. 27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-21. 
  12. ^ Géza Dávid; Pál Fodor (2007). Ransom Slavery Along the Ottoman Borders: (Early Fifteenth – Early Eighteenth Centuries). BRILL. p. 203. ISBN 90-04-15704-2. 
  13. ^ Mikhail Kizilov. "Slave Trade in the Early Modern Crimea From the Perspective of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources". Oxford University. pp. 2–7. 
  14. ^ a b c Slavery. Encyclopædia Britannica.
  15. ^ Halil Inalcik. "Servile Labor in the Ottoman Empire" in A. Ascher, B. K. Kiraly, and T. Halasi-Kun (eds), The Mutual Effects of the Islamic and Judeo-Christian Worlds: The East European Pattern, Brooklyn College, 1979, pp. 25–43.
  16. ^ A slightly different account of the three trails is given in the Muravsky Trail article
  17. ^ MATSUKI, Eizo. "The Crimean Tatars and their Russian-Captive Slaves An Aspect of Muscovite-Crimean Relations in the 16th and 17th Centuries" (PDF): 178. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-05. 
  18. ^ MATSUKI, Eizo. "The Crimean Tatars and their Russian-Captive Slaves An Aspect of Muscovite-Crimean Relations in the 16th and 17th Centuries" (PDF): 178. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-05. 
  19. ^ Walter Richmond, Northwest Caucasus, kindle @1342. This may have been the last Crimean raid, but Richmond does not elaborate and cites no source.

External linksEdit