Crimean Campaigns of 1687 and 1689


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Crimean Campaigns of 1687 and 1689

 

Russian military campaigns against the Crimean Khanate. After concluding the Eternal Peace with Poland in 1686, Russia joined the Holy League (Austria, Venice, and the Rzecz Pospolita [the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania]), a coalition that was fighting against the aggression of Turkey and its vassal, the Crimean Khanate. In May 1687 a Russian army of about 100,000 men set out from the Ukraine under the leadership of Prince V. V. Golitsyn. Don and Zaporozh’e cossacks fought alongside Russian soldiers in this campaign. When the Russian army crossed the Konskie Vody River, the Crimean Tatars set fire to the steppe, thus depriving the Russians of forage for their horses. On June 17 the Russians decided to return to the Ukraine.

At the urging of the cossack elders and with Golitsyn’s approval the Russian government removed Hetman I. S. Samoilovich, who did not favor war against Turkey and the Crimea, and appointed I. S. Mazepa to fill his position. Preparations for a new campaign in the south were begun in 1688. The Rzecz Pospolita entered into negotiations with Turkey at this time, and the main burden of the war fell on Russia. Early in the spring of 1689 a Russian army of about 150,000 men advanced toward the south. On May 15 they fought a fierce battle with some of the khan’s detachments in the Zelenaia Valley. The attacking Tatars were driven back. The Russian army reached the fortress at Perekop on May 20. However, in view of the unfavorable balance of forces, they decided against laying siege to the fortress and began to withdraw on May 21.

The Crimean campaigns of 1687 and 1689 diverted Turkish and Crimean Tatar forces, thereby assisting Russia’s allies. However, the campaigns did not secure Russia’s southern frontier, and their unsuccessful outcome was one of the causes of the fall of the government of Sofia Alekseevna and Golitsyn.

REFERENCES

Solov’ev, S. M. Istoriia Rossii s drevneishikh vremen, book 7. Moscow, 1962.
Golitsyn, N. S. Russkaia voennaia istoriia, part 2. St. Petersburg, 1878.
Belov, M. I. “K istorii diplomaticheskikh otnoshenii Rossii vo vremia krymskikh pokhodov (1686–1689 gg.).” Uchenye zapiski LGU: Seriia istoricheskikh nauk, 1949, no. 112, issue 14.

A. M. SAKHAROV