Interesting facts about the war with the Chukchi

The first mention of the Chukchi in Russian written sources dates back to 1641 due to the fact that in the Kolyma region they attacked government collectors of yasak (natural tax).

Directly in Chukotka, Russian pioneers (Cossacks under the leadership of Ataman Semyon Dezhnev) appeared in 1648. In 1649, Dezhnev founded a winter hut in the upper reaches of the Anadyr, on the site of which the Anadyr prison was built in 1652 (in the area of ​​the present village of Markovo, Anadyr district, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug ).

In 1727, at the initiative of the Yakut Cossack head Afanasy Shestakov, the Senate of the Russian Empire approved the "opinion": Inozemtsev and which peoples were found and lay down on the Siberian side, and not under whose authority, those under Russian possession should be conquered and entered into a yasak payment.

To this end, an expedition of 400 soldiers and Cossacks was sent to Chukotka, the support base of which was the Anadyr prison. Shestakov was put in charge, and the captain of the Tobolsk dragoon regiment Dmitry Pavlutsky was appointed the head of the military command. Due to the unclear distribution of powers in decrees and instructions and because of their ambitions, disagreements arose between Captain Pavlutsky and the Cossack head Shestakov, which worsened to the point that, having arrived in Yakutsk on June 29, 1728, they finally broke off all relations and began to act independently of each other.

In 1729, having divided their forces into two detachments (each was replenished by Yakuts and Koryaks), Shestakov and Pavlutsky began to conquer Chukotka. It should be noted that the Senate decreed the aborigines "to persuade into citizenship voluntarily and with affection." Tobolsk Governor A.L. Pleshcheev on September 1, 1731, also instructed Pavlutsky to recruit non-peaceful foreigners into citizenship to repair according to this instruction, and not go to war on them.

However, Shestakov and Pavlutsky did not always confine themselves to negotiations. Pavlutsky wrote about the campaign of 1731: “And on May 9 he reached the first chyukoch yurts sitting near that sea, in which the former chyukoch were beaten ... prison ... and in that prison there were up to eight yurts, which were ravaged and burned. " The Anadyr Cossacks confirmed the extremely hostile actions of Pavlutsky: "The Chukoch, without calling for citizenship, beat him to death." Often the Chukchi committed suicide with their whole family, as they did not want to die at the hands of the conquerors. The conquerors of Siberia undermined the confidence of the indigenous people with their treachery: the centurion Vasily Shipitsyn called 12 Chukchi elders for negotiations and killed them all. After such actions, the trust of the Chukchi in the Russians was undermined for many years and they did not trust the Russians.

The extraordinary brutality of the Russian troops was also mentioned at exhibitions. So, at the exhibition "Chukotka Society", held in 1934, the massacre of indigenous peoples was described: "And the clerk Alexei Chudinov ordered to start those yurts, and on that attack in those yurts of male sex, about 10 people killed, and their wives and children in They took the full and many of the full were choked from them and stabbed each other to death ... ”. The organizers of the exhibition said that as a result of this war: "Whole nationalities were literally wiped off the face of the earth."

The Chukchi, despite the fact that they could oppose the muskets and sabers of the conquerors only with arrows and spears with bone tips, showed fierce resistance to the Russians. In March 1730, they defeated Shestakov's detachment, killing the head of the Cossack himself. The Pavlutsk Chukchi detachment was given three major battles, in which they suffered serious losses. These were really big battles, huge by Far Eastern standards.

After the defeats from Pavlutsk, the Chukchi abandoned open battles with the Russians, switching to partisan actions, continuing to fight the Koryaks and Yukagirs who had taken Russian citizenship.

Having learned about the war, the Senate issued a decree in 1742: “to step on these non-peaceful chyukchs with a military arms hand, to eradicate them altogether”. Those who surrendered were ordered "to be taken out of their dwellings and in the future, for safety, to be distributed in the Yakutsk department in different forts and places."

In 1744-1746. Pavlutsky, promoted to major, with a team of 400-650 soldiers, Cossacks and Yasak Yukaghirs and Koryaks, made three campaigns on the Chukotka Peninsula.

On March 14, 1747, in the battle of the Orlova River near Anadyr, the Chukchi defeated Pavlutsky's detachment. On the Russian side, the major himself, 40 Cossacks and 11 Koryaks were killed in the battle. In addition, the Chukchi managed to capture the deer of the Anadyr garrison, weapons, ammunition and equipment of Pavlutsky's detachment, including one cannon and a banner. This rout made a stunning impression on the Russian authorities. The Senate and the Siberian Order hastily decided to transfer additional troops to Anadyr.

The events that unfolded in the 1730-1750s. in Chukotka and Kamchatka, were full of numerous battles, the capture of Russian and aboriginal fortresses-forts, mutual bitterness and considerable casualties.

The war between the Chukchi and Russian troops lasted for almost 150 years. Moreover, at a certain stage, the Chukchi even won a victory in it. The defeat of the Russian troops instilled fear in the conquerors, one of the documents said: "Immediately inspire the entire Russian population of the Nizhne-Kolyma part so that they do not irritate the Chukchi in any way, under fear, otherwise, of responsibility under a military court."

At the beginning of 1763, a new commandant, Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Plenisner, arrived in Anadyr. Having familiarized himself with the state of affairs, he proposed to the Siberian governor F.I. Soymonov to liquidate the Anadyr party altogether. Firstly, 1, 381, 007 rubles were spent on its maintenance during its existence. 49 kopecks, while only 29, 152 rubles were received from the yasachny and other fees. 54 kopecks. Secondly, the Chukchi were not given citizenship, the Chukchi-Koryak-Yukagir clashes did not stop.

And the Senate agreed with the closure of the Anadyr party, recognizing that it is "useless and burdensome for the people." In 1765, the withdrawal of troops and civilians began from Anadyr, and in 1771 the fortifications were destroyed. The outpost of the Russian government in the north-east of Siberia ceased to exist. This not only indicated the cessation of hostilities against the Chukchi, but also meant the actual defeat of Russia. This allowed the Chukchi to penetrate Anadyr, pushing the Koryaks to Gizhiga, and the Yukagirs to the Kolyma.

But the appearance of English and French expeditions off the coast of Chukotka made the authorities of the Russian Empire think again about the conquest of this land. In 1776, Catherine II ordered to make every effort to accept the Chukchi into citizenship. Acting not by military force, but by bribery, the Russians have achieved much more. In March 1778, through the efforts of the commandant of the Gizhiginsky fortress, Captain Timofei Shmalev and the Siberian nobleman, baptized Chukchi Nikolai Daurkin, an agreement was signed with the "main" toyon Omulat Khergyntov on the adoption of Russian citizenship by the Chukchi.

By decree of Catherine the Chukchi were exempted from yasak for 10 years and retained independence in internal affairs. The Chukchi retained a comparatively privileged position even later. According to the "Charter on the management of foreigners" in 1822, the Chukchi lived according to their own laws and were sued by their own court, yasak - a fox skin from a bow (that is, from a man) - was paid at will. In 1885, Captain A. A. Resin, sent with an inspection, wrote: "In essence, the entire extreme northeast does not know any power over itself and is governed by itself."

Even in the middle of the 19th century, in the code of laws of the Russian Empire, the Chukchi referred to peoples "not completely subdued" who "pay yasak, in the quantity and quality they themselves wish." However, with the help of exchange trade, the authorities and entrepreneurs have learned to lure out of the Chukchi much more than with the help of taxes.

Together with the Russians, many infectious diseases came to the Chukchi, for example syphilis: syphilis is called in Chukchi “Chuvanese disease”, “Russian disease”.

In Chukchi mythology, the image of the Russian conquerors has developed the most monstrous: "All iron clothes, mustaches like walruses, round iron eyes, elbow-length spears and behave pugnaciously - they are challenged to battle." However, the greatest horror was caused by the cruelty of the Russians, which was perceived by the aborigines as absolutely unmotivated: Yakunin (Pavlutsky), an evil enemy with a flint bow (flintlock), brutally destroyed men and women, chopped them with an ax. He sent twenty carts of the slain's hats to the king. "There are no more of them, they have all destroyed" ", boasted to the king, " Many herds were plundered. Ours unexpectedly attacked, defeated, cut them all, but they took the chief alive to torture ... ". [9]

In folklore, the extermination of the Chukchi appears for the Russians as an end in itself. The Chukchi could not find any rational explanation for the cause of the conflict. The image of the Cossack is characterized by the complete absence of any positive features. Major Pavlutsky became the main villain of the Chukchi folklore.

However, thanks to military strength and cruelty, the Russians have earned a certain respect from the Chukchi. The Chukchi treated all their neighbors extremely arrogantly, and not a single people in their folklore, with the exception of the Russians and themselves, is called people proper. In the Chukchi myth about the creation of the world, the purpose of the Russians is considered to be the production of tea, tobacco, sugar, salt and iron, and all these trade with the Chukchi.