Imam Shamil: the fate of the main enemy of the Russians in the Caucasian war

History 14/02/20 Imam Shamil: the fate of the main enemy of the Russians in the Caucasian war

In 1859, turned over one of the bloody pages of history of Russia and the Caucasus. After months of fighting, Russian troops took the aul of Gunib in Dagestan and captured their famous leader of the highlanders – the Imam Shamil. More than a quarter century he was one of the most persistent and elusive enemy of the Russian Empire.

In the early 1830s, years, Shamil has created a multinational state, which had United the Chechens, Ingush, Avars (the Shamil was an Avar), Lezgins and representatives of a number of small Dagestan peoples. Shamil rallied them on the basis of Muridism – militant direction in Islam, the main idea is to have a Holy war with “infidels” (Jihad) as the duty of every Muslim. Shamil became the autocratic ruler sosredotochimsya in their hands the spiritual, the secular and military power, the Imam of a theocratic state.

Initially, Shamil was one of the first companions of Imam – Kazi-Mullah, raised in 1829 a revolt against Russian domination in the Caucasus. But during the capture of Russian troops in 1832 Gimry village Qazi Mullah was killed. His successor, Gamzat-Bek, too, did not last long, fell victim to tribal warfare. And then the Supreme authority among the murids (fighters for the faith) went to Shamil. He settled in the village Ahulgo and gave rise to a new round of struggle of the Caucasian peoples for independence.

Shamil skillfully used by diplomatic means. In the first years of reign he managed through negotiations to keep the Russian administration from military action. When in 1837 the Russian troops still took Ahulgo, Shamil agreed to swear allegiance to the Russian Emperor. However, the thus obtained peaceful respite Shamil used to strengthen their power and consolidate the power of the highlanders for the resumption of the confrontation.

In 1839 the Russian troops opive captured Ahulgo, but the Imam Shamil managed to escape. The Russian authorities considered him a lost cause and not have to chase him, and once again miscalculated. Settling this time in the Chechen village of Dargo, Shamil in 1842, repulsed the Russian offensive. And in 1845, when Dargo still fell under the onslaught of the compounds of the Imperial army, our troops during the withdrawal was ambushed and destroyed by the murids.

the Subsequent 12 years was the peak of political power Shamil. The power of the Imam will be extended to the whole of Mountainous Dagestan, Ingushetia, Chechnya and some North-Western areas of present-day Azerbaijan. In his country, Shamil has steadily established an order in accordance with the Sharia. He cleverly strengthened their own power. And to prevent separatism, divided on the ground military and the judiciary.

Shamil possessed wide political horizons. During the Eastern war (1853-1856) he was trying to find allies in Turkey and England and asked them to help with arms and money (but did not receive it because of the difficulty of the message). Tied Shamil relations with the fighters for independence in the Western Caucasus – Circassian tribes.

Only after the end of the Eastern war, the Russian Empire was able to return to the final conquest of the Caucasus. By the time the power of Shamil in crisis. Many of the highlanders did not like the orders, intravascular Shamil, the arbitrariness of his Kadi (judges) and Naib (military governors) imposed by the Imam of unusual taxes “to fight the infidels.” Some tribal authorities felt more and more desire to make peace with the Russian authorities for the preservation of its traditional position. Shamil became increasingly difficult to control his associates.

At the time of Shamil still managed to rally the highlanders in front of the face of a renewed offensive of the Russian army. But when in the spring of 1859 by the Imperial troops under the command of General of infantry A. A. Baryatinsky overlaid Gunib, Shamil had to either perish or to pronounce themselves honorable conditions delivery. However, Shamil delayed the negotiations. Then Baryatinsky on August 25, 1859 moved their troops to the storming of Gunib. And Shamil was captured.

the Russian Empire graciously treated his defeated enemies. In addition, an example of respectful treatment of Shamil was to induce the other leaders of the highland resistance to stop the fight. Shamil was abandoned by the state Treasury (transformed into the personal) and his harem. He also received the promise that in the future he will be given the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. Shamil lived in Kaluga, where the tsarist government took for him to rent a luxury house of the local landowner Sukhotina. The noble prisoner was defined pension from the Russian Treasury in the amount of 15 thousand rubles then in the year. Took him and talked with him the Emperor Alexander II.

Shamil was allowed to travel to Russia. He watched with interest for innovation and technological progress, which was the life – Railways, steamships, the Telegraph, admired the huge stone buildings and temples, etc. Saying that at the end of life he expressed regret that for so long fought with “white king”. In 1866, on the anniversary of his capture, he solemnly took the oath of allegiance to the Russian crown.

In 1870, Shamil made a pilgrimage to Mecca, where, as predicted, he died the following year. He was buried in Medina. Shamil is obviously not lost either when fighting, or when surrendered. He got everything from life – wealth, power, reverence, and sacred his memory of the people, which rules, and at the end of life, having lost only power, got respect from his victorious enemy.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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