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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2015 year, number 1


Yu.S. Khudyakov
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS, Akad. Lavrentieva, 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Keywords: Siberian Tatars, Russian authorities, insurrections, Western Siberia, Oirats, steppe and forest-steppe regions


The principal goal of this article is to analyze historic developments that are related to the period of insurrections of various Tatar ethnic groups against the Russian authorities. These ethnic groups inhabited the forest-steppe and steppe lands of Western Siberia at the end of the 1620s - the beginning of the 1630s. The paper focuses on the events that took place in the first third of the XVII century, including the insurrections of several Tatar ethnic groups against the Russian authorities in the territory of Western Siberia. In regard to these events the author considers participation of Kuchum Khan’s descendants, who aspired to restore the Tatar Khanate of Sibir, as well as participation of the Teleuts and several groups of the Oirats, whose rulers supported the insurgents but pursued their own ends, such as submission of the Siberian Tatars to their military-political influence. The author also considers the Russian warriors participation in the hostilities along with the service class Tatars who acted as a part of the Russian troops sent against the rebels and their allies among the Turkic and Mongolian nomads. According to the data from the Russian Siberian historical sources, the considerable proportion of Siberian Tatar inhabitants did not crave for escape following the insurgents to the Kazakh steppes and were loyal to the Russian authorities in Western Siberia despite the the insurgents’ agitation. The legatees of Kuchum Khan, who led the rebellious Siberian Tatars, aspired to resettle the separate groups of Siberian Tatars to the steppes, rather far away from the Russian lands, and rely on the assistance of the Oirat State. They transferred to the Oirat rulers the right to raise taxes from the rebellious Siberian Tatars, that provoked the great resentment among the Tatar population. Such policy alienated some ethnic groups of Siberian Tatars from the advocates of the Sibirian Khanate’s insurrection. The Russian authorities in Western Siberia sent the military groups of Russians and the service class Tatars to defend the Tatar population from the assaults of insurgents and Oirats. The Russian voivodes aspired to achieve peaceful relations with the Oirats by the diplomatic negotiations. Such policy was successful and resulted in the fact that a considerable proportion of insurgent Tatar inhabitants ceased to support the Siberian Tatar princes Ablaikerim and Devlet-Giray and returned to the Russians. At the beginning of the 1630s the number of insurgents appreciably decreased. Thanks to the efficient policy, the Russian authorities succeeded to enlist the considerable proportion of the Siberian Tatar population and retain Siberian lands as a part of the Russian state.