Great standing on the Ugra river

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Miniature in russian chronicle, XVI century

The Great standing on the Ugra river (Великое cтояние на реке Угре in Russian, also Угорщина (Ugorschina in English, derived from Ugra)) was a bloodless standoff between Akhmat Khan, Khan of the Golden Horde, and Grand Duke Ivan III of Russia in 1480, which resulted in the retreat of the Tataro-Mongols and eventual disintegration of the Horde.

In 1476 Ivan III ceased paying annual tributes to the Horde, which had been collected by the Mongols since the times of Batu Khan. Akhmat Khan, busy with his struggle against the Crimean Khanate, began to take actions against disobedient Russians only in 1480. He managed to reach a military agreement with the Polish king Casimir IV, aimed at attacking Russia.

As a result, the western borders of Russia became subject to multiple attacks by Teutonic Order of Livonia in the beginning of 1480. In January of 1480, Ivan's brothers Boris Volotsky and Andrey Bolshoy, dissatisfied with his growing princely authority, turned against him. Akhmat Khan decided to take advantage of this situation and in June of 1480 sent a reconnaissance unit to investigate the right bank of the Oka river. In the fall, his army started to advance towards Moscow. Facing such a grave danger, Russian boyars divided into two groups: one, led by okolnichies I.Oschera and G.Mamon, wanted Ivan III to flee; the other group asserted the necessity to fight the Horde. It could be that Ivan's final decision to face the Horde was affected by the Muscovites who had demanded action on the part of the Grand Duke.

On October 8, 1480 Akhmat, planning to bypass the Oka river from the west (avoiding Ivan's regiments, located in Kolomna, Serpukhov and Tarusa) and unite his army with Casimir's, approached the Ugra river Oka's tributary. However, Akhmat was met by the Russian army under the joint command of Ivan Molodoy (Ivan Junior, Ivan's son) and Andrey Menshoy (Andrey Smaller, Ivan's brother). Akhmat's attempt to cross the Ugra river was rebutted in a 4-day battle. It seems that Akhmat retreated to the town of Vorotynsk, where he decided to wait for Casimir's army. Ivan III located his army in Kremenets and started to negotiate with the khan, trying to buy some time to restore his relations with his rebellious brothers (hence, the Great standing on the Ugra river). It took Ivan III four days (from September, 30 to October, 3) to sort things out between him and his brothers and another 17 days for his brothers' armies to arrive at Kremenets (on October, 20). Watching the increasing Russian army and receiving no word from the Polish king, Akhmat chose not to attack the Russians. In the meantime, Casimir IV was dealing with his own country's internal affairs and fighting with the Crimean Khanate. The Mongols waited for reinforcements until November, 11 and then, lacking supplies and suffering from epidemics and freezing weather, turned south.

On January 6, 1481 Akhmat Khan was killed in a clash with the army of Ibak Khan of Tyumen. As a result, the Golden Horde entered the times of gradual disintegration. The Great standing on the Ugra river put an end to the Tatar-Mongol dominance. Template:Commonsru:Стояние на реке Угре


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