(also Khadzhi-Girei, Hadji-Girei, or Devlet-Hadzhi-Girei). Year of birth unknown; died 1466. Crimean khan; founder of the Crimean khanate and the Girei dynasty.
Nothing is known about Haji-Girei before he appeared in the Crimea in 1433. In 1434 he routed the troops of the Genoese, but after an internecine struggle he was exiled from the Crimea and fled to Lithuania. In 1443, supported by the grand duke of Lithuania Casimir IV and the Tatar elite, Haji-Girei was proclaimed khan of the Crimea and ascended the throne. He remained pro-Lithuanian in his foreign policy. His alliance with the Turks against the Genoese (1454) laid the groundwork for the eventual subjugation of the Crimean khanate by the Ottoman Empire. In 1465, Haji-Girei’s attack on detachments of the Great Horde cut short their march against Moscow.
REFERENCESSmirnov, V. D. Krymskoe khanstvo pod verkhovenstvom Ottomanskoi porty do nachala XVIII v. St. Petersburg, 1887.
Grekov, B. D., and A. Iu. Iakubovskii. Zolotaia Orda i ee padenie. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Safargaliev, M. G. Raspad Zototoi Ordy. Saransk, 1960.