The head of the folk uprising, Stepan Razin

Written on . Posted in History, Mind

On the 24th of April 1671 Stepan Razin, the head of the folk uprising, was captured.

“…I had come to fight only with the boyars and the lords, but with the poor and the plebs I`m ready to share everything, as a brother”.

Stepan Timofeyevich Razin is known in the propaganda of that’s times Russian state as an offender, but the fact that in the folk songs as well as in the Russian folklore generally he often acts as the hero confirms the mendacity of the statist position. The person of Razin has come into notice of the coevals and descendants, his image is immortalized in folk sagas. He was one of the first Russian insurgents and exactly the first Russian, whom was devoted the dissertation in the Occident (it was asserted just a few years after his execution).


At the pages of history Razin appeared firstly at the year 1652. At this time he was already the ataman and operated as one of the two representatives of the Don Cossacks; apparently his military experience and authority among the Don people was high. In 1662-1663 Stepan led Cossack squads in the campaigns against Crimean Khanate and Ottoman Empire.

Near this time tsar governor Dolgorukov during one of the conflicts with the Don Cossacks, who had sabotaged the decrees of tsar administration, sentenced to death Ivan Razin, the elder brother of Stepan. This occasion had influence for all further activity of Razin and for his rising as the folk hero – Cossack insurgent: the aspiration to revenge for the brother`s death connected with the will of free life and welfare for the Cossacks that were under his command. Soon Stepan Razin decided that Cossack military-democratic order must be spread for all territory of Russian state. With Razin in the head successful Cossack campaign in the downstream of the Volga and Persia (1667) was hold; this campaign has the character of disobedience to government and blockaded the Volga trade route.

In spring 1670 Razin organized new campaign, which had a character of real uprising. He was sending the letters-proclamations that called on every freedom finder to go with him. He proclaimed himself the enemy of all official government – of governors, dyaks, clerics. In the cities that had been occupied by Razin`s squads, over all the territories of Rus` that had been liberated from Russian statist power traditional Slavic form of the folk-veche society managing was regenerating. The representatives of the central power were killed, chancellery papers were burnt. The merchants that were following down the Volga had been detained and plundered.

The Razin`s campaign was accompanied by mass uprising of the serves in the recently enslaved Volga region. Here essentially not Razin and his Cossacks were the leaders, but native chieftains. The grand groups of Volga folks – the Mari, the Chuvash and the Mordvins – had broken away from the tsar and began the uprising too.

In all liberation movements the Middle and the Down Volga region as well as the Ural region were operation zones of the “outlaw people” (as the tsar satraps had called insurgents). Here the Rus` people, the Mari, the Bashkirs, the Udmurts, the Chuvash, the Mordvins argued together against the feudal-clerical self-will. The love of freedom united them all under the banners of Stepan Razin.

After Astrakhan, Tsaritsyn, Saratov and Samara occupation Razin couldn`t successful finish Simbirsk siege in autumn 1670, he was injured stepped back to the Don, where fortified in Kagalnik with his adherents.

In the April 1671 Razin was took prisoner by the Cossack doyens that captured Kagalnik with the storm. Together with his younger brother Frol he was extradited to the Moscow government, was brought to Moscow and tortured, while had been kept remarkable courage. On the 6 of June after the sentence proclaiming he was quartered at the scaffold at Bolotnaya plaza.

The Cossack war at the Volga and the villain war in the Volga region, leading by atamans Vasiliy Us and Feodor Sheludyak, continued after Razin`s retreat to the Don as well as after his execution. Only on the 27 of November 1671 government army captured the capital of Razin`s squads – Astrakhan.

The image of disobedient insurgent – Stepan Razin that was fighting for free Rus` without boyars and serves is more than actually for enslaved people. The example of his struggle for folk freedom is necessary for cultivating in his continuators environ – Russian rebellion is inevitable! And the banners of free Rus` will wave over our land.

“You think that you killed Razin, but there are still many Razins, which will revenge for my death!” (the words, proclaimed by Stepan Razin before the execution on the 6 of June 1671).


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