Persian Campaign of 1722-23

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Persian Campaign of 1722-23


a campaign of the Russian Army and Navy under the command of Peter I into Iran’s Caspian possessions.

The objective of the campaign was to help the peoples of Transcaucasia to liberate themselves from Iranian domination, establish Russia’s trade relations with the Orient, and prevent Turkish aggression in Transcaucasia. The Russian government acted with the approval of the Kartvelian king Vakhtang VI and the Armenian catholicos Esai, who wanted to free themselves from Iranian domination and to repel Turkish aggression.

In July 1722 the Russian Army, with 22,000 infantrymen, left Astrakhan on ships of the Caspian Flotilla and landed in the Bay of Agrakhan’. After being joined by about 22,000 cavalrymen that arrived overland from Tsaristsyn, the army moved into southern Dagestan, where it defeated sultan Mahmud of Ute-mysh and occupied Derbent on August 23. In the fall, heavy storms disrupted the supply of the Russian troops, and Peter I was forced to abandon the campaign on Baku and returned to Astrakhan, leaving behind garrisons in Derbent, in a fortified camp on the Agrakhan’ River, and in the Holy Cross Fortress. The troops and the flotilla were left under the command of Major General M. A. Matiushkin, who carried out several naval expeditions. The Russian troops occupied Rasht in December 1722 and Baku in July 1723.

The success of the Russian troops and the Turkish invasion of Transcaucasia in the spring of 1723 forced the Iranian government on September 12 to conclude the Treaty of St. Petersburg of 1723, which gave Russia possession of Derbent, Baku, and the provinces of Shirvan, Gilan, Mazanderan, and Asterabad (Gor-gan). In view of the deterioration of Russo-Turkish relations, the Russian government, which was interested in an alliance with Iran, returned the Caspian provinces to Iran by the Treaty of Rasht of 1732 and the Treaty of Gandzha of 1735.

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