Salavat Iulaev

Salavat Iulaev


Born June 5 (16), 1752, in the village of Tekeevo, in what is now Salavat Raion, Bashkir ASSR; died Sept. 26 (Oct. 8), 1800, in the Baltic port of Rogerwick, now the city of Paldiski, Estonian SSR. Bashkir national hero, comrade-in-arms of E. I. Pugachev during the Peasant War of 1773–75; poet-improvisationist.

Salavat’s father, Iulai Aznalin, participated in the Bashkir rebellion of 1735–40. In October 1773, Salavat was mobilized to fight against Pugachev, but, together with the Sterlitamak detachment, he went over to the rebels, who were besieging Orenburg. Pugachev raised Salavat to the rank of colonel. At the end of November 1773, Salavat was sent to northeast Bashkiria, where he gathered a detachment of 10,000 men. Together with the rebels, he successfully fought in the vicinity of Krasnou-fimsk and Kungur. In late May and June 1774, Salavat fought together with Pugachev—who advanced him to the rank of brigadier—and proved to be a talented military leader. He continued the fight after the rebellion was defeated and Pugachev was arrested. On Nov. 24, 1774, Salavat was taken captive in the village of Mediash and was sent to Ufa and later to Moscow. After a long investigation in September 1775, he and his father, who had also participated in the rebellion, were scourged, branded, and on Oct. 3, 1775, sentenced to life imprisonment in the Baltic fortress of Rogerwick.

Salavat’s poetry ranks among the finest examples of prerevo-lutionary Bashkir literature. His poems stirred the people to struggle against their oppressors (“The Battle,” “The Arrow,” and “To a Young Warrior”), sang of the beauty of his homeland (“Native Land,” “My Urals,” and “The Nightingale”), and praised love (“Ziuleikha”). Salavat’s works were handed down in the oral tradition of säsäni (narrators).

The city of Salavat in Bashkiria is named in honor of Salavat Iulaev. The Salavat Iulaev State Prize of the Bashkir ASSR had been established to honor the best works of literature and art. Salavat Iulaev appears as a character in the works of A. S. Pushkin, P. P. Bazhov, S. P. Zlobin, and other Russian, Bashkir, Tatar, Kazakh, Chuvash, and Mari authors, as well as in opera, film, painting, and sculpture.


“Stikhi.” Druzhba narodov, 1972. no. 11. [Foreword by M. Karim.]


Amirov, M. V., and A. A. Cherdantsev. Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ materialov o Salavate Iulaeve. Ufa, 1952.
Salavat Iulaev: K 200-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia. Ufa, 1952.
Nash Salavat. Ufa, 1973.
Kharisov, Ä. Bashkort khalkïnïn äzäbi mirasï. Ufa, 1965.