Empire Justice

Having plunged headlong into the study of the history of Russian foreign policy and the various geopolitical theories — from the teachings of Sir Mackinder's Heartland theory of long cycles to George Modelski, I had to come to conclusions very very patriotic about our country's role in world historical processes. Almost throughout the entire period of its existence as a sovereign geopolitical unit it seeks to play a constructive role in balancing the global imbalances, and in periods of increasing its own sovereign even counteract the influence of "evil forces" and to try to pacify the violent aggressors. Paradoxical as it may seem, the main vector of foreign policy of the Russian state can be called a struggle for "justice." Moreover, this trend can be seen to this day.
Empire Justice (Part I: XVI-XVII centuries) The lessons of history, the Battle of history, Russia
The Moscow Kremlin in the XVII century. Artist A. Vasnetsov

I do not think that would make sense to analyze in the context of global politics periods of tribal co-existence and polupervobytnyh the Middle Ages, the history of Russia. Then the foreign policy of the world was limited mainly to maximize the capture of resources, paired with the bloody internecine wars. And we can not say that Kievan Rus was fully fledged state, as under the authority of Kiev were united only about 40% of East (ie just ethnically Russian) tribal alliances and principalities. After the invasion of the Mongol-Tatars and this partial ethnic alliance was destroyed. It's about a centralized state "Rus" could be done (and even then with some reservations) but since getting rid of the Mongol yoke and establishing the rule of Moscow throughout the accommodation East Slavic ethnic group (except for the territories ceded Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania). Officially, the last of the principalities of the Russian state became Golden Horde — in 1521. A little later, took shape and the basic institutions of government of the new country: in 1547, the Grand Prince of Moscow (then Ivan IV) was first crowned king; and in 1549 convened the first m-estate-representative authority — the Zemsky Sobor.


Muslim civilization, founded in XIV century in Asia, a powerful military-political center (Golden Horde), and surviving in its aggressive expansion to Central Russian lands was pushed back. However, after getting rid of Russia, and at the same time and the whole of Europe from the Mongol-Tatar yoke, the issue of security on the southern border has not been resolved. Our southern neighbors yet we could not calm down and attempted to take revenge. Therefore, foreign policy is central to Moscow in the first period of formation in the XVI-XVII centuries, has largely concentrated on protecting its citizens from the aggressive expansion of Islamic nomadic tribes, who constantly robbed, killed and enslaved people were taken to the southern regions of the country. Sometimes nomads, burned whole towns on the way, reached Moscow and tried to fully capture what was then Russia, and the Russian nation simply to destroy, then to proceed to the destruction of other European nations (as, incidentally, wrote the Crimean Khan Devlet Giray Khan in a letter to Kazan ). Periodically made raids into neighboring western regions of Russia for taking full (slaves), attacks on the estate, etc. In August 1521 the forces of the Kazan Khan Sahib Giray made a military campaign against the Nizhny Novgorod, Murom, Klin, Meschersky and Vladimir land and joined the army of the Crimean Khan Mehmed Giray at Kolomna. After that besieged Moscow Vasily III and forced to sign a humiliating treaty. During this campaign, according to the Russian annals, was led away into captivity about 100 thousand people! This is about 3% of the population.

Total Kazan khans made about forty trips to the Russian land, mainly in the areas near Nizhny Novgorod, Vyatka, Vladimir, Kostroma, Galich and more often. After attempts to put at the head of Kazan Khan loyal to Moscow, Ivan IV undertook a series of military campaigns. The first two were unsuccessful, and in 1552 the king of Moscow for the third time laid siege to the capital of the Khanate. After the explosion, the walls laid in a tunnel secretly made gunpowder Kazan was taken by storm. Kazan Khanate ceased to exist, and the Middle Volga region was annexed to Russia. However, it is freed from Russia only a small part of the problem of destructive raids from the south. Astrakhan Khanate, is a branch of the Nogai Horde and the Crimean Khanate (khans were appointed there is Nogai, the Crimean khan) was next on the intensity of the attacks. Fast and relatively "bloodless" (compared to the Khanate of Kazan) liquidation of independence of Astrakhan in 1554 was a major foreign policy success of Russia and led to accelerated collapse of the Golden Horde empire remains: in 1557 its dependence on Russia recognized the Nogai Horde, and in autumn 1557 without battle of the Russian territory was incorporated as a modern Bashkortostan. Another problem is foreign policy in the Volga region was to ensure the security of the Russian Crimean Khanate that remained throughout the XVI century, its strongest opponent. The Crimean Tatars are owned perfectly tactics raids by choosing a path along the watersheds. Poring over populated area by 100-200 kilometers, Crimeans and turned back, deploying from the main squad wide wings, looting and kidnapping people. The captives were sold to Turkey and even to Europe. Crimean city of Kaffa (now Feodosia) was a major slave market. To counter the barbarians Moscow collected annually in the spring to 65 thousand warriors and sent to the southern border.

Further expansion of Russia took place under the influence of the concept of "protection of neighboring peoples" (in this case, of course, the empire expanded naturally). First, to protect the Siberian Khan of Bukhara took vassal of Moscow. In 1557 in Moscow seek protection from the Crimean Tatars arrived kabarda know. In 1561, Ivan IV the Terrible married a daughter of the famous Kabardian Prince Temrük Idarov — Idarhe Guasheney after baptism in Moscow, she became the queen Maria. Russian Tsar took a responsible decision in response to a request from the Kabardian princes and took Kabarda in the country. Although, when in 1571-m, and then in 1574-m (after the defection of Anjou) Polish Sejm decided to make him king of Poland, he refused, as it required to change their faith. Because this is, in turn, would lead to riots and bloodshed in Russia and in Poland itself.

Then Russian history was marked by great liberation mission in Siberia, designed, on the one hand, to stop the constant looting of its south-eastern regions of the Siberian Khanate, and the other — to release the neighbors from the brutal power Kuchum. I mean trekking to the East of the Cossacks led by Yermak. In 1581, the squad of Cossacks (more than 540) was invited to the Ural Stroganov merchants to protect against regular attacks from the Siberian Khan Kuchum and went up the Kama, and in June 1582 arrived at the river Chusovaya in Chusovoe towns brothers Stroganoff. Cossacks lived here two months and helped Stroganov protect their towns from predatory attacks by the Siberian Khan.

Strategically to solve the problem once and for all raids, September 1, 1581 Cossack brigade under the command of Ermak made in the campaign for Stone Belt (Urals). According Remezovskoy chronicles Kuchum establishing his authority in Western Siberia with extreme cruelty. This has led to insecurity units Voguls (Mansi), Ostyaks (Khanty) and other indigenous peoples, forcibly collected by him in 1582 to reflect the Cossack invasion.

After several victorious battles 26 October 1582 Ermak entered into the abandoned city of Siberia Tatars (Kashlyk). Four days later, the Khanty conquerors brought the gift of furs and food supplies. Ermak "affection and greetings" met them, and sent "with honor." For Khanty pulled with gifts local Tatars. Ermak took them as "gently", allowed to return to their villages and promised to defend against enemies.

The Livonian War

In the western sector of the Russian foreign policy in the XVI century, our rulers had to face hardened selfishness of Catholic Europe and pursue policies to restore the elementary laws of justice for the citizens of Russia. Livonian Confederation tried hard to establish total control over the transit of Russian trade and significantly limited the ability of Russian merchants. In particular, all the trade exchange with Europe could be carried out only through the Livonian ports of Riga, Lindanise (Revel), and transport goods could only be on the ships of the Hanseatic League. At the same time, fearing the economic strengthening of the Kingdom of Russian, the Livonian Confederation prevented carried in Russian strategic raw materials and experts (see the case Schlitt) to provide assistance in this Hanseatic League, Poland, Sweden, and the German imperial government. In the spring of 1557 on the bank of the Narva, Tsar Ivan IV sets port. However, Livonia and the Hanseatic not miss European merchants in the new Russian port. Ivan the Terrible, as a caring sovereign, decided to end this humiliation. But on the side of Livonia were several large countries, representing virtually all of Europe (note that such assiduous union of European nations against Russia we will meet more than once)! In addition to the Livonian Order Russia fought against the continent's major powers — Sweden, Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, England. And even the Holy German emperor did not stay away. Anything, just to prevent the strengthening of Russian and, generally, God forbid, to create conditions for the free development of the Moscow government. We will not go into the intricacies of military action. Suffice it to say that the above-mentioned problem of free trade in the Russian army has been very effectively resolved. Revel merchants who lost the most important articles of their profits — income from the Russian transit, complained to the Swedish king: "We are standing on the walls, and with tears look like merchant ships go past our city to the Russian in Narva."

XVII century 

In the XVII century, our western neighbors restless again repeatedly tried to grab the Russian land. Taking advantage of the turmoil in September 1609 the Polish King Sigismund III besieged Smolensk. Which appeared in the spring of 1610 on revenues of Smolensk army, commanded by Prince Dmitry Shumsky, was attacked on the road and beat a Klushin Polish troops Hetman Zolkiewski. Seven Boyars (Boyar Duma) has entered into negotiations with the king, and agrees to recognize their king Vladislav on the condition of independence of the throne of Moscow and decision Vladislav orthodoxy. After that Zolkiewski moved to Moscow and on the night of 20 to 21 September took it. Smolensk was also taken by the Poles after the siege of eighteen months (June 3, 1611).

In 1611, the collapse of the Russian state prevented the Don Cossacks led by Prince Trubetskoy, who had moved to Moscow, and drove the Poles in the Kremlin, and in August 1612 appeared in Moscow Nizhny Novgorod militia under the command of Pozharsky, 22 and 24 August were defeated by the Polish-Lithuanian reinforcements marching to Moscow. October 22 attack was taken China Town, but the Poles still held the Kremlin. After a two-month siege, the invaders finally surrendered. In 1618, the Poles unsuccessfully tried to seize Mozhaiskom then made to Moscow, where they were joined by Cossacks under the command of Hetman Sagaydachnogo bribed traitor. After an unsuccessful assault on Moscow and the Trinity-Sergius Lavra Vladislav began negotiations that led to the conclusion of the armistice Deulino of 14.5 years, the Poles had been ceded Smolensk, Chernigov and Severskaya land.

In the reign of Mikhail Fedorovich, the first king of the dynasty of the Romanovs, the Cossacks and settlers embracing Eastern Siberia base Enisejsk, Kuznetsk, Krasnoyarsk, Yakutsk, go out to the Pacific Ocean. By the middle of XVII century Russian settlements appear in the Amur region, on the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk in Chukotka. In 1645 Cossack Vasili Poyarkov opens the north coast of Sakhalin. In 1648 Cossack Dezhnev passes from the mouth of the Kolyma River at the mouth of the Anadyr River and opens the strait between Asia and America. It should be noted that no violence is not used — the usual geographical expedition. Were purely diplomatic achievements. In 1681 a peace treaty signed Bakhchisarai — the ceasefire agreement of 20 years with the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean Khanate. Thus, Russia has received a respite in the South. In 1689 — Nerchin agreement, the first treaty between Russia and China on border trade and settlement (Russia Qing Empire ceded nearly all of the land along the upper Amur, as Chinese diplomats persuaded the rulers in Moscow, which is historically their territory).

On the basis of the known facts of the science of history I am pleased to draw the conclusion that the period of state formation in the XVI-XVII centuries Russia without breaking anything in any of the areas of foreign policy. Major activities outside the country were quite sober, and did not include any unintentional acts of aggression against other nations. The armed forces have been used to protect people from mass killing, looting, slavery and other forms of brutal violence by Islamic nomadic tribes, as well as to reflect the economic and military aggression of the European empires. The foreign policy doctrine has been subordinated to the tasks of restorative justice within the concept of equal trade relations, the development of new unpopulated areas and was designed to allow the normal socio-economic development within the existing historical information.

Part II: XVIII century

During the first period of state formation in the XVI-XVII centuries, Russia was able to protect their populations from violent expansion of the nomads, to resist the aggression of the European empires, learn new unpopulated areas and ensure equitable trade and economic development. At the same time the country is naturally grown and acquired outlet to the sea and international trade routes. In the XVIII century, Russia will continue to tackle the same problem with the imperatives of historical justice, which will now be used not only as part of its traditional sphere of influence, but on a global scale.
Chesme battle.
Chesme battle.
Engraving 1770

The first European maniac

During the Thirty Years' War, Sweden conquered approximately half of the so-called Holy Roman states. King Gustavus Adolphus planned to become the new Holy Roman Emperor, to control the whole of Europe and then becoming autocratic "ruler over the world" (as he put it), but he died at the Battle of Lutzen in 1632. However, the memory of his cruelty remained in the history of most European countries, as well as the current state of Delaware USA on the site which has existed for a while Swedish colony. The idea of the ancestor of world domination through the extermination of people decided to continue the young Charles XII, which is already in the age of 13 was one of the most notorious killers of his era. A favorite hobby boy monarch was to hold a special torture in the dungeons of the prison of the palace, and later public dismemberment in the town square. In 16 years the new king stood at the head of the army and began his bloody conquest. He claimed that "people in the name of their well-being and freedom to submit to the authority of fair Swedish crown. Others simply foolish — it's not the people, and the sheep, worthy only of death. "

The struggle for the independence of the northern German states of Swedish rule in the late XVII century led to a brutal destruction of a large number of women and children for the edification of the whole population. By the beginning of XVIII century Swedish Empire conquered already half of all of continental Europe, including Russia Ingria and Karelia — the former site of ancient principality of Novgorod (now Leningrad region). At the beginning of XVIII century, Karl concluded a military alliance with the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) — a decent power to it in scale predatory violence. When the Turkish army marches are usually cut out (in the literal sense of the word), virtually the entire population of the occupied territory, including children and the elderly, and young women were taken away for sale into sexual slavery. What would be the whole of Europe, if Russia did not stop as a result of Charles the Great Northern War of 1700-1721, and Turkey as a result of several wars of liberation in the second half of the XVIII century?

Protection from the South

The event went down in history of the country under the name "Persian campaign" was to protect the Armenians and Georgians from the constant violence from Persia and the Ottoman Empire. In addition, the territory of Dagestan periodically undertaken forays into Russian population and Russian merchants were robbed. The reason for the beginning of the campaign was the rebel uprising in the coastal provinces of Persia. Peter I the Shah of Persia announced that the rebels make forays into the territory of the Russian Empire and robbing merchants and that Russian troops will be entered into the territory of northern Azerbaijan and Dagestan to help the shah in taming the rebellious inhabitants of the provinces. The campaign achieved its objectives — raids ceased, Armenians and Georgians were killed, and Russian merchants opened Caspian trade route.

At the end of the first Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774, won largely due to the strategic talent Suvorov, Potemkin and Ushakov, was signed Kucuk Kaynardzhiysky peace treaty. Here are the terms: The Crimean Khanate declared independent, and in fact came under the control of the Russian crown and halted attacks on southern Russian lands. Russia recognized the right for protection of Balkan and Caucasian Christians are in Turkish citizenship (which still had the nobility of the politicians). In addition, in 1783, signed by George's treatise, according to which the kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti (Eastern Georgia), exhausted by continuous raids by Turkish and Persian armies came under the protection of Russia. But the Turks was not enough. After 13 years, accumulating military resources, the Ottoman Empire once again moved troops into Russia. The reason for the war years of 1787-1792 served as Turkey's desire to regain the Crimea and destroy disadvantage Kucuk Kainarji. After Suvorov and his army to defend the fatherland against invasion, the Turks showed what's what, in 1791, peace was concluded in Iasi, in which Turkey has confirmed the conditions Kucuk Kainarji, lost Crimea, Taman, Ochakov and the left bank of the Dniester.

Partitions of Poland

The most efficient, low-cost and success of Russian foreign policy efforts can be called participation in the partition of Poland (Poland). In fact, by the time a sovereign political entity, the Commonwealth de facto ceased to exist. This Polish-Lithuanian empire was torn by conflicts vnutripoliticheskkie, accompanied by violent strife between the different political forces and quasi-legal principalities. And the Orthodox Russian-speaking population (Belarusians and Ukrainians) had no civil rights and subjected to humiliation. Even the taxes they paid more than others. In the end, were attached to Russia Belarusian and Ukrainian territories that were part of the ancient Russian state, and the population of which was persecuted and harassed by the Polish nobility. Thus was restored historical justice in the west of the country.

Although the excess of our then still took. In accordance with the convention on the first section, except historically owed us territories of modern Belarus (to the Dvina and Dnepr Druts, including areas of Vitebsk, Polotsk and Mstislavl), whose population was in need of protection from aggressive Catholics, Russia took over part of the Baltic States (Livonia, Duchy Zadvinskoe ). January 23, 1793 Prussia and Russia signed the Convention on the second partition of Poland, as a result of which the Russian won the Belarusian lands to the line Dinaburg-Pinsk-Zbruch eastern Polessye, Ukrainian Volyn region and skirts. In the third section moved to Russia, again, not only Belarusian and Ukrainian, but the Lithuanian lands east of the Bug and the line-Nemiroff Grodno. But in this case, the annexation of territories ethnically Slavic population forgivable when you consider that the accession was not accompanied by any violence, and in the Russian Empire the population of these areas has not been subjected to harassment. Prince Repnin, commander of the Russian troops, by the way, the first thing demanded freedom of worship for Protestants and Orthodox, and in 1768 non-Catholics were given equal rights with the Catholics.

The root of the Polish lands inhabited by ethnic Poles were divided between Prussia and Austria. Prussia generally used its participation in the very different than Russia. Seizing the north-western Poland, she took control of 80% of the turnover of foreign trade of the country.

Through the introduction of huge customs duties, suffocating the economy occupied country, it has stepped up its inevitable collapse.

Overall, despite some "distortions" to give "them" the Lithuanian lands and side military actions (for example, the suppression of the rebellion Kosciuszko), Russian participation in the partitions of Poland, in contrast to Prussia and Austria pursued a justifiable aim to protect their oppressed countrymen and to return a Russian native Russian land. I am glad that all three sections of the Russian side there were almost bloodless (with respect to the time). Therefore, for gross error will not be considered, but keep in mind for the future it's worth — the Lithuanians and the Poles have not forgotten a national humiliation.

Russia — co-founder of the U.S.

During the reign of Catherine II Russian diplomatic concept of justice has acquired a global scale and has been extended, particularly in North America. Catherine II in 1780, European governments sent the Declaration of Armed Neutrality. Thus, Russia was the first nation that decided to actually implement the international practice new equitable principles of maritime law.

The Declaration proclaimed the protection of the following basic principles: 1. Free trade with the ports of neutral powers hostile states and

neutral coasting trade; 2. Free passage to neutral ships of any goods, except contraband of war, that is, weapons and equipment, 3. Rescinding of the blockade, where it exists only on paper and are not secured by cash Navy 4. Neutral vessels shall not be detained and searched at sea by the British fleet without good reason, as in the case of unfair seizures of ships and cargo owners to be paid a bonus. It should be noted that these principles were the basis of the international law of the sea, existing to this day.

These guidelines Catherine offers a neutral powers to protect the seas through its fleets and proclaimed the establishment of the League of Armed Neutrality. This neutral joined the league in Sweden, Denmark and Holland. Thus, Russia has played a large role in the birth of the United States. Historian diplomacy Bemis writes that "while the United States was not able to join the League of Armed Neutrality to ensure the recognition of its independence, but the North American armed neutrality was itself a powerful tool in the implementation of the UK isolated from marine and commercial nations of the world." In view of the whole of Europe gremevshih brilliant military victories Suvorov and Ushakov, and bearing in mind the world's second largest military-industrial potential of Russia, many European monarchs were quick to listen to the opinion of the Russian empress, and the British did not dare to go to an open military conflict with St. Petersburg and did not carry out a total blockade of their American colonies. Largely because of this, and appeared on the map of the world the United States.


The Russian Empire in the XVIII century, has made great efforts to protect its sovereignty, population and ensure equal treatment on the part of the surrounding states. As a result of defensive wars of liberation and it continued to grow naturally and get access to new trade routes, thus restoring historical justice that in Europe, in Asia. At the cost of thousands of lives of Russian soldiers Europe was spared the cruel tyrant, and in the south Russian liberated the people of the Caucasus and Central Asia from the Turkish and Persian domination. In this case, the empire has shown strong political will and iron sequence in an effort to protect the oppressed Islamic shahs neighboring Christian peoples and ethnic Slavs, under the authority of whatever country they are located (eg, Belarusians and Ukrainians in Poland and Lithuania and the Serbs in the Ottoman Empire) . Country voluntarily gave up its colonies in America and protecting the American people from colonial aggression of England, creating the conditions for the emergence of the United States. Thus, the influence of his foreign policy concept it spread to other continents. However, it is fair to mention the fact of "overreaction" — despite the justifiable objectives partition of Poland, some of the actions of Russian troops in Poland were clearly excessive display of force. These facts include the suppression of the Polish national uprising of Tadeusz Kosciuszko.

Sergey Tikhonov


See also: Comparative History of the atrocities of the West and Russia

Live by the truth — it's in Russian!

Russia as a unique civilization and culture

The Latin West and the Orthodox East: Two ways of apostasy — a dramatic result on the threshold of the Third Millennium

Russia and the West — the two civilizations

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