Kalka


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Kalka

 

(present-day Kal’chik), a tributary of the Kal’mius River which flows through the territory of the present-day Donets Oblast, Ukrainian SSR. Here on May 31, 1223, the first battle took place between Russian and Cuman troops on the one hand and the Mongol-Tatar troops of Jebe and Subutai on the other.

The Russian troops gathered in April, crossed the Dnieper near the cataracts, and smashed the Mongol-Tatar vanguard, which began a hasty retreat, intending to draw the Russians within range of the main Mongol-Tatar forces. Disagreements broke out among the Russian princes. The Galician prince Mstislav the Bold, the Volynian prince Daniil, and the Cumans proceeded to cross the Kalka while the other princes remained on the western bank. The main Mongol-Tatar forces defeated the Cuman and Galician-Volynian regiments, which fled across the Dnieper, and then besieged the camp of Mstislav of Kiev. Mstis-lav yielded after three days, believing the promises of the Mongols to allow him and his warriors to return home. The Mongol-Tatar forces treacherously violated their promise, and all the Russian captives were annihilated.

In 1380 a battle took place on the Kalka between the khan of the Golden Horde, Toktamish, and the military leader (tem-nik) Mamai, who were contesting for supreme power. The battle ended in the defeat of Mamai.

REFERENCES

Ocherki istorii SSSR: Period feodalizma, IX-XVvv, vol. 1. Moscow, 1953.
Pashuto, V. T. Geroicheskaia hor’ba russkogo naroda za nezavisimosV(XIII vek). Moscow, 1956.
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