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(also Sain-khan). Born 1208; died 1255. Mongol khan, son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. After the death of his father (1227), Batu became the head of Jochi’s ulus (Tatar realm).
Having conquered Desht-i-Kipchak (the Polovtsy steppe) in 1236, he led a campaign into Eastern Europe (1237—43), which was accompanied by a mass extermination of the population and by the destruction of cities. As a result of the heroic resistance of the Russian people, who courageously defended Riazan’, Moscow, Vladimir, Kozel’sk, Kiev, and other cities from the invaders, the armies of Batu suffered great losses. At the end of 1240 the Mongol Tatars, already exhausted by the struggle with Rus’, invaded the territories of the ancient states of Eastern Europe (Poland, Bohemia, Hungary, and Dalmatia). Having encountered resistance from the peoples of these countries and being unwilling to risk leaving the conquered Russian lands at his rear, Batu had to begin a hurried retreat to the East in the spring of 1242. The death of the Mongol great khan Ogadai (December 1241) compelled Batu to return to Jochi’s ulus and consolidate his position. In 1243 he founded a feudal state, the Golden Horde, in the lower Volga region. Its capital city was called Sarai-batu, and it extended from the Irtysh River to the Danube. Batu participated in an upheaval within the Mongol empire (1251), and with his support Mangu became the great khan of the empire.
REFERENCESGrekov, B. D., and A. Iu. Iakubovskii. Zolotaia Orda i ee padenie. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Safargaliev, M. G. Raspad Zolotoi Ordy. Saransk, 1960.
SH. F. MUKHAMED’IAROV