people obligated to pay the iasak, a tax in kind that was collected in Russia from peoples of the Volga Region beginning in the 15th and 16th centuries and from peoples of Siberia beginning in the 17th century (see).
Men between the ages of 18 and 50 were considered to be iasachnye liudi; the category was later expanded to include all men from 16 to 60, with the exception of the sick and disabled. The names of the iasachnye liudi were entered in iasachnye knigi, and the number of the taxpayers was checked periodically by censuses, the data of which were verified by iasak commissions. A shert’ (oath) was used to compel iasachnye liudi to pay the iasak. Iasachnye liudi had to perform various duties and obligations in addition to paying the tax; for example, they had to maintain roads, serve in the lower ranks of municipal police forces, and provide transport and communications services (see).
The iasachnye liudi constituted a distinct category of the population of the Volga Region until the 1720’s, when the iasak was replaced by a poll tax. In Siberia, in accordance with the Statute on Governing Native Peoples (1822), the non-Russian peoples were treated like Russian peasants. Until 1917 the iasak continued to be collected from certain peoples that were classified as nomadic non-Russians, including the Yakuts, Tungus, and Chukchi.