Muhammad Girei

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Muhammad Girei


Date of birth unknown; died in 1523. Khan of the Crimean Khanate from 1515 to 1523. Eldest son of Mengli Girei.

Even while his father was still alive, Muhammad Girei was extremely hostile to the Russian state. He led a raid against the southern regions of Russia with a large force in 1507 and took part in raids in 1512, 1513, and 1515. Ascending the throne in 1515, Muhammad Girei demanded that eight Russian cities, including Briansk and Novgorod-Severskii, be transferred to the Crimean Khanate and that Smolensk be given to his ally, the Polish king Sigismund I. He helped organize new raids on Russia in 1516–17. The growing influence in the Crimea of Murza Appaka, an ally of the Russian state, resulted in a brief Russo-Crimean alliance.

Muhammad Girei concluded an anti-Russian alliance with Sigismund in 1520. The next year he organized a plot in Kazan to depose Khan Shakh Ali, a protégé of the Muscovite prince Vasilii III Ivanovich, and helped his brother Sakhib Girei become the khan. He led the Kazan and Crimean Tatars on a campaign to capture Moscow. Muhammad Girei’s forces halted 60 miles south of Moscow and then turned back with many prisoners after learning of the approach of the Russian army. In December 1522, during a raid on Astrakhan with the Nogai Tatars, Muhammad Girei was killed by the Nogai murza Agish.


Zimin, A. A. Rossiia na poroge novogo vremeni. Moscow, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.