- Terek Cossacks
Terek Cossack Host ( _ru. Терское казачье войско) was a
Cossack hostcreated in 1577 from free Cossacks who resettled from Volgato Terek River. In 1792 in was included into the Caucasus Line Cossack Hostand separated from it again in 1860, with the capital of Vladikavkaz. In 1916 the population of the Host was 255,000 within an area of 1.9 million desyatinas.
Many of the early members of the Terek Cossacks were Ossetians. [Wixman. "The Peoples of the USSR". p. 52]
The earliest known records of Slavic settlements on the lower
Terek Riverdate to 1520 when the Ryazan Principalitywas annexed by the Grand Duchy of Moscowand a lone group left and settled in the natural haven of the Terek River (modern northern Chechnya), the early settlement was located at the mouth of the Aktash River. This formed the oldest Cossack group, the Rowing Cossacks (Гребенские казаки "Grebenskiye Kazaki") who settled on both banks of the still largely uninhabited river.
In 1559-71 the
Tsardom of Russiain course of several campaigns build several fortifications, during which the first Terka was built, which after abandonment is taken over by the still independent Cossacks. In 1577 after the Volga Cossackswere defeated in by strelets Ivan Murashkin, many scattered, some of which settled in the Terek basin and VoevodaNovosiltsev builds the second Terka on the Terek, this date is seen as the start of the Terek Cossacks, yet in 1584 this was again abandoned and taken over by Cossacks, some of whom are recruited by the Georgian King Simon. [ [http://pohodd.ru/article_info.php?articles_id=374 Терское казачество. ПРИЛОЖЕНИЕ. Хронология важнейших событий, касающихся Терского казачьего Войска. - Казачья лавка. Казачий магазин (на Волжской) ] ]
In a separate story, an Ataman of the
Don CossackHost, led a band of three Cossack sotnias to the Kumyklands, founding the town of Andreev. One of Shadra's motives may have been his tense relations with Yermak Timofeyevich. [Mikhail Astapenko "Donskiye Kazach'i Atamany" (Don Cossack Atamans)] In 1580, by official decree, Shadra, along with several cossacks and soldiers, relocated to the Terek, settling in the frontier town of Tersky.
In the late 16th century several campaigns by the Terek Cossacks were carried out against the
Ottoman Empire( Temryuk) which led the Sultan to complain to Ivan the Terrible. In 1589 the first outpost on the Sunzha is built and a permanent Terka, later Tersky gorodok is built on the lower Terek.
Time of Troublesin 1606 four thousand Terek Cossacks left for the Volga to support their own candidate for the Tsar, Ileyka Muromets but already 1614 the Rowers support the new Romanov monarch and aid him in quelling the unrest in Astrakhan. In 1633 they destroy the remnants of the Nogay Hordeand a decade later aid the Don Cossacksagainst the Crimean Khanatein 1646. By the mid 17th century, once again the Cossacks expand into the Sunzha where they build a new outpost in 1651, but two years later this withstands a hailing attack by Kumyksand Dagestanis. Though the battle ensures the Tsar's respect, it is recommended that the Cossacks pull down the outpost. In the 1670s the Terek Cossacks help to defeat Stenka Razinin Astrakhan.
In 1680 after the
Raskolin the Russian Orthodox Churchreaches the Don Cossacks, a number of Old Believersleave the Don River and settle first on the Kuma and later on the Agrakhan. After the aid of the Terek and Rowing Cossacks to the Don Cossacks during the Azov Campaignsin 1695, the Ottoman Empireretaliate against the Terek Cossacks and in 1707 most of their outposts are destroyed on the right bank of the Terek.
Afterwards in 1711
GrafApraskin re-settles all of the Rowing Cossacks on the left bank of the Terek River, this move is met with much resent, and during the whole 18th century, the Terek Cossacks would still inhabit the left bank and use the rich vineyards and lands right up until 1799. Also in 1720 the Rowers and Tereks are fully incorporated into the Russian Empireand during the Russo-Persian War (1722-1723), the Cossacks aid Peter I of Russiain his conquest of the eastern Dagestan and the capture of Derbent. During the campaign the re-settled 1000 Don Cossacks on the Agrakhan and the Sulak form the Agrakhan Cossack Host ("Аграханское Казачье Войско"), which is united with the Terek Cossacks. Yet in 1735 by the new agreement with Persiathe Sulak line is abandoned, and Agrakhan Cossacks are re-settled on the lower Terek Delta, the fort of Kizlyaris founded.
Thus in 1735 three hosts are formed: Grebenskoye ("Гребенское" Rowing) from the descendants of the earliest Cossacks, Tersko-Semeynoye ("Терско-Семейное" Terek-Family) from the re-settled Agrakhan Cossacks up to Kizlyar and Tersko-Kizlyarskoye ("Терско-Кизлярское" Terek-Kizlyar) also from the Agrakhan Cossacks, but also from many settled Armenians and Georgians. Simultaneously with the arrival of the
Kalmyksto the northwestern Caspian allowed for a combined campaign against Temryukduring the Russo-Turkish War (1735–1739), where the Terek Cossacks were led by Atamans Auka and Petrov.
In 1736 and again in 1765 the right bank of the Terek still nominally Cossack property is offered to
Chechens, who wish to adopt Russian patronage and re-settle there. Yet by the latter half of the 18th century, relations between the Cossacks and Mountain peoples begin to turn sour, in 1765 the outpost of Mozdok is founded, which becomes an immediate target for Kabardinswho attack the Terek line and Kizlyar. In 1771 Yemelyan Pugachevarrives on the Terekbut showing loyalty Ataman Tatarintsev arrests him. Although Pugachev does flee, the Pugachev Rebellionin 1772-1774 gains no support on the Terek.
The Caucasus War (1770s-1860s)
Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774)and the resulting Treaty of Küçük Kaynarcagive Russia the pretext under which they could begin their expansion into the Caucasus, and so the almost century-long Caucasus Warbegins. In 1769-1770 the almost half of the Volga Cossacksare re-settled around Mozdok. In 1776 further settlers arrive including almost all of the Volga Cossacks(the remaining Cossacks on the lower Volga are separated into the Astrakhan Cossacks Host) and the Khopyor Cossacks from the eastern Don territory. These form the Azov-Mozdok defence line. Major foreposts for Russian expansion into the central Caucasus are founded by the re-settlers including: Giorgiyevskin 1777 by the Khopyor regiment, and Vladikavkazin 1784.
During this early phase several high-profile battles take place. In June 1774 Devlet-Girey sends a massive Kabardin Army on against the Terek Cossacks, on 10-11 of June the stanitsa of
Naurskayais heroically defended against the invaders and in 1785 Kizlyar is defended against Sheikh Mansur. In 1788-91 the Terek Cossacks take part in three campaigns which take them to Anapain western Caucasus. However the major gap in the western section of the line there is solved when in 1792 the Black Sea Cossacksare re-settled there.
The next three decades show severe difficulties for the Russian effort in the Caucasus, after the joining of Georgia to Russia in 1801, the Terek Cossacks spare some men and take part in combat under
Yerevanbut on the whole most of them are in constant defence of their home lines. All this changes when in 1816 General Yermolovtakes command of the Caucasus army, in 1818 he changes the Russian tactics from defensive to offensive and begins building the Sunzha- Vladikavkazline where the strongholds such as Groznaya and Vnezapnaya are founded. Furthermore Yermolov reforms the whole structure of Cossacks and in 1819 replaces elected Atamans with appointed commanders.
TranscaucasiaLine Cossacks take part in the Russo-Turkish War (1828–1829)where they participated in the siege of Karsand other key battles. After Yermolov was recalled from the Caucasus, a new reform took place and the interim regiments in the central Caucasus were united with the three Hosts on the Terek to form the Caucasus Line Cossack Host(Кавказское линейное казачье войско, "Kavkazskoye lineynoye kazachye voysko") in 1832, and the new Nakazny Ataman is named Peter Verzilin. Several reforms followed in 1836 the Kizlyar and Family regiments are united into one, responsible for the Terek Deltaand in 1837 a Malorossiyan regiment (formed in 1831 to combat the November Uprisingin Poland] ) is resettled on the upper Terek north of Vladikavkaz and in 1842 the regiment is incorporated into the Line host. This was followed by the formation of the Sunzha regiment with its Ataman Sleptsov.
By this point the Russian control in the Caucasus has drastically improved, with the initiative firmly in the Cossack hands. Most of the battles now took place in Chechen and Dagestani territories far away from the Cossack homes. During the 1840s several victorious expeditions were mounted deep into the mountains. The line Cossacks participated in the
Crimean War(1853-1856) and finally in the closing phase of the Russian advance against Shamilin 1859.
The Terek Cossack Host 1860-1920s
The end of the Caucasus War marked the end of the line Cossack Host. In 1860 it was divided with the two western regiments joining the
Black Sea Cossacksto form the Kuban Cossack Hostand the remaining into the Terek Cossack Host. The next decade shows a gradual reform from military control to a civil one. In 1865 a permanent police is formed, and in 1869 the Terek Oblastis formed which is split into eight mountainous districts (populated by indigenous people) and seven Cossack subdivisions. Several regimental reforms follow: Kizlyar and Rower as well as Mountain and Mozdok regiments are united into two (thus reducing the number of sub-divisions from to five), and in 1871 a charter for Terek Cossacks is published.
From the 1870s onwards the Eastern Caucasus remain largely peaceful, Terek Cossacks due however take part in several Imperial Wars, including the campaigns against
Khivain 1873. During the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878)the Terek Cossacks sent six cavalry regiments, one Guards squadron and one mounted artillery regiment to the Balkanswhilst further seven regiments and mounted battery were mobilised against the rebelling Chechens and Dagestanis.
In the 1880s the arrival of the railways the discovery of oil made the Terek Oblast one of the wealthiest in the Caucasus, which also saw a great growth in Cossack and indigenous mountain population. This created friction between land ownership however as the former held extensive areas, and the latter only in the mountainous zones. However the combat ability of the Terek Cossacks never extinguished as in 1879 they took part in campaigns against
Geok-Teleand in 1885 right up to the Afghan border in Central Asia.
Terek Cossacks during the Soviet times
The arrival of the February and later the
October Revolutions caught most Cossacks on the front lines in Kurdistan, and the unrequited mountainous peoples took full advantage of the crises, several Cossack stanitsas were wiped out by Chechens and Ingush on the Sunzha line. The Bolsheviks were able to establish themselves in Grozny and Vladikavkaz, though Denikin's Volunteer Armydrove them out across the Black lands to Astrakhan.
Although Cossacks did form a substantial part of Denikin's units, the Terek Cossacks were mostly involved in fighting the Caucasus insurgency against their traditional adversaries. In 1920 some Terek Cossacks were deported to
Ukraineand northern part of European Russiaand a new Mountanous ASSRwas formed. This left the former Sunzha-Terek Mesopotamia triangle split between the new Chechen land passing through the middle. The remaining parts were formed as the Sunzha Cossack Districtwhich also encompassed lands around Grozny.
In the 1930s however, to make the mountanous autonomies more sustainable in economical terms, they were united with remaining Cossack lands, such the Sunzha district was swallowed up by the
Chechen-Ingush ASSR, the former capital of the Terek Oblast, Vladikavkazbecame the administrative centre for North Ossetia, likewise Cossack territory of the Kabardin-Balkar Autonomous Oblastwas also awarded with Cossack territories. On the lower Terek the Dagestan ASSRbetween 1923 and 1937 administered the extensive territory there ( Kizlyar, Terek Delta). Thus by the start of the Second World Waronly the historical Terek Left-bank was not administered by autonomies.
Chechen collaborationin 1942 caused the whole Chechen and Ingushpopulations to be deported to Kazakhstan. The successors of the Terek Cossacks became once again the absolute majority in the newly established Grozny Oblastwithin the RSFSR. After the rehabilitation of the Chechens in 1957, it was split between the Dagestan and Checheno-Ingushetia republics. This time even the regions north of the Terek River, which had previously been part of Stavropol Krai, were handed over to the expanded ASSRs. Afterwards the systematic emigration of Russians from the Northern Caucasus into other parts of the USSR, notably the Baltic states, took place.
During the separatist regime of
Dzhokhar Dudayevin Chechnyain 1990s, many non-ethnic Chechens found themselves threatened by criminal elements and faced with an indifferent government that showed no intention to protect them. Many of the educated elites also lost their positions in government, industry and academia to locals connected with those in power. [ [http://www.chechnyaadvocacy.org/refugees.html] Chechnya Advocacy Network. Refugees and Diaspora] Nadteretchny, Naursky and Shelkovskoy "raions" of the Republic of Chechnya practically lost the traditional Cossack population. In both Chechen warsmany Terek Cossacks fought against the Chechen separatists.
Today, part of the traditional Cossack land was lost due to the exodus of Russians and the conflict in Chechnya. In Northern
Dagestan, North Ossetiaand the adjacent regions of Stavropolye a strong minority still remains.
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