Us, Vasilii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Us, Vasilii Rodionovich


Date of birth unknown; died summer 1671 in Astrakhan. Don Cossack, a leader in the Peasant War of 1670–71.

In May 1666, Us led a march of the poor to Moscow to request assignment to the tsar’s military service. Near Tula he established a camp, which became a refuge for peasants and kholopy (bondmen). The movement encompassed many districts of southern Russia and took on an antifeudal character. Fearing an engagement with the detachment of Yu. N. Bariatinskii, which had been sent against him, Us led his detachment to the Don. There, in accordance with the demand of the tsarist government, he was punished by the Cossack Host Council.

In the spring of 1670, Us, together with his detachment, joined the insurgent force of S. T. Razin on the Don; he became Razin’s trusted lieutenant. He commanded a flotilla of strugi (flat-bottomed river boats) during the attack on Tsaritsyn and Chernyi Iar and led a detachment during the taking of Astrakhan in 1670. After the insurgent army departed up the Volga, Us remained in Astrakhan as ataman.


Chistiakova, E. V. Vasilii Usspodvizhnik Stepana Razina. Moscow, 1963.


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