Siege of Moscow (1382)

The siege of Moscow in 1382 was a battle between the Muscovite forces and Tokhtamysh, the khan of the Golden Horde supported by Timur.

Siege of Moscow
Part of the conflicts in Eastern Europe during Turco-Mongol rule
Facial Chronicle - b.10, p.049 - Tokhtamysh at Moscow.jpg
Tokhtamysh in front of Moscow, 1382
DateAugust 23–27, 1382
Result Tatar victory
Golden Horde
Nizhny Novgorod-Suzdal
Grand Duchy of Moscow
Commanders and leaders
Tokhtamysh Ostej (grandson of Algirdas)
Casualties and losses


After the death of Berdibeg, the Blue Horde fell into anarchy, with local khans in various places of the Horde's domains. Mamai Khan had emerged as a kingmaker in the political scenario of the Blue Horde. However, in 1380 Mamai was defeated by Dmitri Donskoi in the Battle of Kulikovo and was soon assassinated in Caffa.

However, in 1378, Tokhtamysh, a descendant of Orda Khan and an ally of Tamerlane, assumed the power in the White Horde and annexed Blue Horde by fording across the Volga and quickly annihilated an army sent by Muscovy. He then united the hordes and formed the Golden Horde.


After uniting the two hordes, Tokhtamysh promoted a military campaign to restore the Tatar power in Russia. After ravaging some small cities, he besieged Moscow on the 23rd of August, but his attack was beaten off by the Muscovites, who used firearms for the first time in Russian history[citation needed]. Three days later, the two sons of Dmitry of Suzdal, who was a supporter of Tokhtamysh, present at the siege, namely the dukes of Suzdal and Nizhny Novgorod Vasily and Semyon, persuaded Muscovites to open the city gates, promising that forces would not harm the city in this case. That allowed Tokhtamysh's troops to burst in and to ravage Moscow, killing around 24,000 people in the process[citation needed].


The defeat reasserted the Horde's rule over some of Russian lands, which overthrew Tatar rule 98 years later by the great stand on the Ugra River. Tokhtamysh also re-established the Golden Horde as a dominant regional power, reunified the Mongol lands from Crimea to Lake Balkash and defeated Lithuanians at Poltava in the next year. However, he made the disastrous decision to wage a war against his former master, Tamerlane, and the Golden Horde never recovered.