Chukchi-Russian war: what they ended actually

History 23/02/20 Chukchi-Russian war: what they concluded in fact,

Russia’s War with the Chukchi lasted from 1642 to 1775-the year actually ended in a draw. Russian citizenship of the Chukchi was nominal. Until 1920-ies the Chukchi governed by the laws of elder birth. To issue a decree, declaring on the accession of the Chukotka of the Russian Empire (1779), Catherine II gave the liberation of the Chukchi from paying tribute for ten years. However, after this period, to levy a tribute from the Chukchi proved impossible. This was confirmed in the “Charter on the management of foreigners” (1822), according to which the Chukchi to pay tribute voluntarily and could not be compelled to this. Thus, in the course of nearly half a century of wars with the Russian Chukchi managed to defend its independence.

the Militancy and love of freedom Chukchi

the Main reason for this was the fighting spirit of the Chukchi, their contempt for death and a centuries-old habit of war. Chukchi believed themselves masters among the neighboring peoples – the Eskimos, Yukagir, Koryak. With them they waged frequent war. Military clashes alternated barter trade, but any trade because of disagreement in price could turn into another war. Chukchi traded, we can say, with a spear in his hand. Interestingly, the Chukchi did not consider the natives people, and only Russians due to the superiority of their firearms and victories over the Chukchi received by the latter recognition of the “human status”.
Military training began in the Chukchi since early childhood. Chukchi constantly trained in military skills, setting up training matches and skirmishes, rarely done without murder and mayhem. The main weapons were bow, sling and spear. The body of the Chukchi warrior was covered with armor made of leather or bone plates. Before the arrival of Russian Chukchi did not know the iron, but quickly appreciated the advantages of iron knives and axes. Nauchiliss Chukchi to use captured guns. Until the late nineteenth century, the tsarist government officially prohibited to sell the Chukchi firearms.
In wars in the Chukchi were not only all the adult males, but a significant portion of women. With a total population of Chukchi of both sexes and all ages, about 10 thousand people, they fought against the Russian militia with up to 3 000. They all preferred death to captivity. So, when in 1702 a detachment of Cossacks of Anadyr fortress under the leadership of Alexey Chudinov ravaged 13 yurts and killed the 10 men and women and children captured, many prisoners are mothers killed their children and themselves.
the Mystery remains, how is this warlike and fearless people who a hundred years ago, Russian mother in Kamchatka and in Yakutia frightened their children (however, the Russian in the eyes of the Chukchi was as awesome character) became in the late twentieth century, a favourite subject for jokes.

the Chukchi did not enter into alliances

the Contemptuous attitude of the Chukchi to other Nations and the fear of the last before the Chukchi every time prevented the creation of a tribal Alliance against the Russians. It was this disunity natives. The main reasons for the campaigns against the Chukchi served for the Russian attack on the Chukchi Yukaghirs, Koryaks, evens, took Russian citizenship and to pay tribute. Even when under the influence of victories of the Chukchi these people rebelled against the Russian government, the Chukchi did not make any attempt to attract them to their side and to unite efforts in the struggle against Russian colonization, and behaved with them still, that is attacked, stole herds of reindeer, captured in slavery of women and children. Surprisingly, this tribalism did not prevent the Chukchi, in the end, to defend its independence.
the Separation of the Chukchi several independent clans do not allow them to effectively combine even its military forces. At the same time, this fragmentation has hampered the Russian conquest of Chukotka, so as to lead to citizenship could only be specifics birth, but not all, of the Chukchi immediately.

the Extreme cruelty of the conquest

In 1727, Russia has embarked on a systematic conquest of Chukotka. Despite orders, ordered to spare the natives by local chiefs Afanasy Shestakov Dmitry Pavlutsky tried cruelty to break the will of the Chukchi resistance. In 1731 Pavlutsky made one of these exemplary punitive expeditions. Do not enter into negotiations, he just attacked the Chukchi settlement, massacred the men and captured women and children. In the Chukchi folklore Pavlutsky, nicknamed somehow Yakunin, has acquired the traits of a mythological villain. Did not shy away from Russian chiefs and treachery. Thus, in 1740, a Cossack officer, V. Shipitsyn invited to talks 12 Chukchi elders and expressed his willingness to pay tribute. They arrived without weapons, and Shipitsyn ordered his Cossacks to kill them all.
These measures could not bring back the brutality by the Chukchi. And now from the high authorities began to assume orders for the extermination of the natives. In the summer of 1740 the Senate issued a decree instructing “Chuck themselves in the end to destroy and citizenship… to bring”. Irkutsk General-Governor lang insisted on the most extreme measures. Based on its report, the Senate in February 1742 ordered to “eradicate completely” the Chukchi, who continued to resist Russian power. Those who agree to surrender, was supposed to be deported to Yakutia, close to the authorities.
During the execution of this cruel decree Pavlutsky in 1744-1747, he undertook several punitive expeditions. During the last of these, his detachment was surrounded by superior forces of the Chukchi and himself destroyed. Died and Pavlutsky.
Along with the Chukchi at the same time rebelled and Koryak. Their conquest in the 1750s it took considerable effort on the part of Russia. The Koryaks used the same punitive measures of deterrence. The estimation of modern historians, these wars had destroyed more than half of the Koryak. After the conquest of the Koryak of forces and means to continue the conquest of the Chukchith was not. Chukchi is largely saved by the remoteness of their land.
in addition, it changed the look of the St. Petersburg government on the value of Chukotka. Resource in the form of “fish teeth” (walrus tusks) and deer skins, which are in the form of tribute could pay Chukchi, was negligible. In addition, at this time, opportunities arose for the exploitation of the fur resources of Alaska. Chukchi decided to leave alone.
In 1764 the Empress Catherine II summarized in his decree that in the Chukchi, due to the “brutal their condition” and the extreme remoteness of their region, “no Russia need the benefits, and in allegiance to their cause there was no need”. In 1771 it was liquidated in Anadyr settlement. The last major military clash of the Russians with the Chukchi relates to 1775, when the commandant of the fortress Gizhiginskaya Peresypkin ordered to kill appeared underneath the Chukchi (as it turned out, they came to Express the intention to take Russian citizenship).

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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