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To a question of "the nabegovy system of mountaineers"

 © 2003 Sh.A. Gapurov


One of painfully debatable in modern Caucasus studies - a question of mountain "predatoriness", or of attacks of mountaineers. M.M. Bliyev entered also the new term in this respect - "the nabegovy system of mountaineers" [1, page 60]. According to A. Tsalikov, about the Caucasian robberies and robberies, it was written biassedly, "... it was poisoned with misanthropy poison, it is decked by specific flowers of the Russian nationalism accepting on the outskirts especially ugly nature of ruthless persecution of the foreign population" [2].

Attacks of mountaineers on the neighboring territories for the sake of capture of production, prisoners - the phenomenon peculiar to all mountaineers of the Caucasus [3]. It accrues from 16th century, the greatest scope receives in the 18th century and continues the existence even in the 19th century. Attacks as the social phenomenon was not national peculiarity of mountaineers, did not follow from them "injurious nature" as authors believed, 19th century, it was peculiar to many people at a certain stage of development. Let's remember Vikings, medieval Western Europe, especially France and Germany.

In the 19th century it is much written about attacks of mountaineers. So, I.N. Berezin, N.F. Dubrovin, V.A. Potto, R.A. Fadeyev, A. Lilov, A. Zisserman and others considered that attacks of mountaineers are caused by their ethnopsychology, congenital passion for robberies, robberies, predatoriness [4-7].

However and in the 19th century there were researchers trying to understand seriously the nature of mountain attacks, for example, I.F. Blaramberg and F.A. Shcherbina. The first wrote that he the main reason pushing the mountaineer on attack - its poverty generated by backwardness of economy, small fertility of mountain lands [8], the second, criticized in the Soviet historiography for the views, was the only thing from pre-revolutionary historians of the Cossacks calling the mountain-Cossack attacks a terrible mutual tragedy. He emphasized that poverty pushed the mountaineer on attacks behind spoils of war [9].

Among the Soviet and Russian caucasiologists there was a strong opinion that attacks of mountaineers on the neighboring territories were generated by processes of a klassoobrazovaniye (feudalization) in mountain societies of the Caucasus, agrarian overpopulation, backwardness. mountain economy, low labor productivity when the arising feudal top (entraining also a part of community members) looked for enrichment sources in military campaigns (attacks) on the neighboring lands, in particular on the territory of East Georgia [10-12].

The special position in a question of mountain attacks is taken by M.M. Bliyev considering that all residents of Chechnya and a mountain part of Dagestan were engaged generally accidentally: "... in Chechnya tukhuma, as well as "free" societies of Dagestan, lived war..." [1, page 55]. Against

this statement of M.M. Bliyev many historians acted at the time. So, from the point of view of V.P. Nevskaya, "it not only is not confirmed by historical and ethnographic material, but also contradicts it" [13]. The similar opinion on M. Bliyev's position on the nature of "a nabegovy system" of mountaineers was expressed by A.L. Narochnitsky, B.H. Ortabayev, F.V. Toto-ev, H.M. Ibragimbeyli, A.I. Khasbulatov, H.H. Ramazanov and other caucasiologists [14]. It underwent sharp criticism also at the All-Union scientific conference in Makhachkala in 1989 [15].

M.M. Bliyev calls all military operations of inhabitants of mountainous areas of Dagestan and the Northwest Caucasus attacks. But he agrees that the movement of the flat population of the North Caucasus (performances as Kabarda and Ossetia at the beginning of the 19th century are given as an example) were caused by colonial measures of the Russian government and carried "socially - motivated character" [1, page 59, 60]. However this scheme "mountains - the plain" is at it absolutely not applicable to Chechnya in which in the second half of XVIII - the first quarter of the 19th century it treats events in the special plan. At Chechens, he believes, also the flat population was engaged in attacks, and rates and their scale became more in process of development of agricultural economy [16, page 126] and calls the main reason for expansion of Chechens occupation of "new lands" [16, page 133]. As as the main direction of the Chechen expansion from the second half of the 18th century, according to M.M. Bliyev, serves the Russian Ciscaucasia, it turns out that Chechens wanted to occupy lands on the Russian coast of Terek. Certainly, among them there were many adventurers, but even to them would hardly come to mind to try to occupy the earth at the Russian side as at the end of XVIII - the beginning of the 19th century and a right bank of Terek not all was mastered by Chechens and there were many free lands. Nobody provides the data confirming this statement of M. Bliyev. On the contrary, there are many certificates to the fact that the Chechens living across Terek and Sunzha tried not to fuel tension with the Russian side. A.I. Akhverdov wrote that nadterechny and prisunzhensky Chechens "wish and look for peaceful life" [17]. "It is very natural that the Russian power stronger was approved on the planes and plains which were not representing favorable conditions for defense and long, persistent resistance, - the author of the middle of the 19th century noted,-... the Chechen population, closest to the Russian limits, understanding all danger of open hostility with Russians and appreciating benefits of the situation, tried... to preserve the peace.... And therefore were afraid openly to break the peace relations..." [18]. Thus, contrary to M.M. Bliyev's statements, the Chechens living in the basin of Terek and Sunzha were not engaged in the attacks brought to extent of "expansion". Moreover, they

were actually hostages, were not able to prevent the mountaineers making attacks on the Russian ambit [19] however the first were exposed to punitive actions of Cossacks and royal army. The Russian authorities in every possible way oppressed peace mountaineers, suspecting them of complicity to the rebellious brothers in faith, and those in turn dealt shortly with them as with enemies, G.I. Kusov considers [20].

Defining people's movements in Kabarda and Ossetia at the beginning of the 19th century as socially motivated, M. Bliyev at the same time refers to manifestations of a nabegovy system the largest liberation movement of the end of the 18th century in Chechnya under the leadership of the sheikh Mansour in whom residents of flat Chechnya participated in the basic (the modern suburb of Grozny — the settlement of Aldy) [16, page 135 was its center]. And military operations against Russia of the beginnings not Mansour, on the contrary, in 1785 forwarding group of the colonel Pieri attacked on Alda and only after it the armed performances of Chechens which then Dagestanis, Kabardians and zakubanets joined begin.

In the Russian Caucasus studies of the 19th century of an event in Chechnya 1785 were treated as indignation, a revolt of a part of Chechens. I.N. Berezin stated in this respect the point of view coinciding with M.M. Bliyev's definition: "... With crowds of hunters before robbery and loose life Sheikh-Mansour... rushed about the Russian strengthenings, was also in front of Kizlyar..." [5, page 82].

In the Soviet historiography the revolt of 1785 in Chechnya was defined as people's movement [21], and M.M. Bliyev in 1984 wrote that in Chechnya "in 1785... the anti-Russian movement of the population began led by... sheikh Mansour" [22].

Thus, both in XIX, and in the XX centuries some authors under the general name "mountain attacks" unite the different social phenomena - the valid campaigns of mountaineers for the sake of production and performances against royal colonialists.

In the last third of the 18th century the line becomes the main direction of mountain attacks Russian pogranich-’ Nye. It is represented what changes from now on, in any case partially, the nature, the nature of this social phenomenon. The construction of the Caucasian military line which was followed by mass confiscation of lands at mountaineers was the major step on the way. establishments of the Russian power on Northern. Caucasus. Mountaineers began to understand over time that this line poses a serious threat for their independence, a traditional way of life. M.S. Totoyev considered that since this period the fight of mountaineers against royal troops as in the Caucasian line they began to see "deadly threat for themselves" [23] amplifies. V.A. Potto noted that in the beginning "military operations of mountaineers had character of small attacks on single people or on small teams..." [4, page 284]. Here it is important to pay attention to definition by the author of these actions

mountaineers - "military operations", but not "predatory attacks". It is obvious that V.A. Potto is the largest caucasiologist of the pre-revolutionary period - understood that with construction of the Caucasian line the nature of mountain attacks begins to change. Mountaineers excellently understood a difference between country occupation by the military force and true gain it, i.e. settling. "Strengthenings, - they said, - "it is the stone thrown into the field, the rain and wind will bear it; the village is a plant which sticks into the earth roots and gradually dims and grabs all field"" [4, page 284]. The Cossack villages were the main links of the Caucasian line really. Under them the most and best part of mountain lands was allocated. V. Degoyev emphasized that the Cossacks were the driving force of the Russian military-economic colonization of the North Caucasus [24]. "The empire, settling in Kuban Cossacks (the same treats Mulka, Terek, Sunzha, etc. - Sh.G.), doomed them to inevitable collision with the mountaineers seeing in them not only an opportunity to improve the economic situation, but also threat of the independence" [25]. Attacking settlements and villages on the Caucasian line, mountaineers tried to stop colonization of the North Caucasian lands. It in the majority were already not simply "attacks for the sake of robbery", and a form of anti-colonial fight.

Certainly, not all attacks of mountaineers on the Russian ambit in the last third of XVIII - the beginning of the 19th century represented manifestation of anti-colonial fight. Undoubtedly, there were among them also extortionate attacks [26]. But attacks as the social phenomenon become much more difficult from now on, than earlier. G.A. Tkachyov emphasized that "earlier Chechens went on the line for the sake of robbery and production, so now they began to attack for the sake of rescue of soul and for belief, in God's glory" [27]. Except attacks for the sake of production, were also such in which mountaineers at the Russian side considered any actions or as revenge for the killed relatives during retaliatory campaigns of Cossacks and royal soldiers on mountain lands or as fight for freedom [28-30].

From the last third of the 18th century it is possible to call military actions of Kabardians, Chechens and Dagestanis against the cordon line in the North Caucasus attacks only conditionally as in the majority it was anti-colonial fight in the form of guerrilla actions. Attacks were traditionally developed form of protection and attack of mountaineers in the conditions of lack of the developed states and regular army. M. Khodorkovsky calls mountain attacks "local traditions of warfare" [31]. Rapid attacks on the opponent and "punishment raids" with taking of prisoners, horses and the cattle were, according to M. Gammer, the main method of warfare at mountaineers [32].

During existence of the imamat of Shamil, having the uniform management, mountaineers will begin to be at war with royal troops by large forces, but the North Caucasians before divided politically could not show to Russia strong organized resistance. Nevertheless, as F. Ponomarev, since the moment writes

emergence of the Caucasian line they began "continuous and tiresome war by small parties which together with small injurious attacks, forced Cossacks to be continuous on the lookout, was for them very an otyagotitelna" [33]. "The injurious way of war" as royal military leaders and many authors of the 19th century [34] called guerrilla fight of mountaineers, was caused by specific historical and geographical conditions. Without having the states, military industry and regular army separated on a set of tribes and nationalities (and nationalities - on societies, the unions of societies), mountaineers used unique in those conditions (in terms of efficiency) war methods - guerrilla actions, using a gornolesisty landscape of the area.

In the North Caucasus "the Russian army faced the unique opponent, - V.V. Degoyev writes, - fearless, cunning, masterly. In mountains, working in native elements and dictating the rules of the game, it had obvious advantage. Strangely enough, strength of mountaineers consisted in their dissociation which helped to become imperceptible and invincible" [35].

In recent years, especially from the beginning of the Chechen crisis, there were many publications in which actions of mountaineers in the XVIII-XIX centuries are presented in the most black color and the main argument at the same time - attacks, "injurious" ways of war. In these works it is highlighted that mountain attacks were the main reason of the Caucasian war, and Russia is represented the defending, protected party [36]. At the same time is overlooked that mountaineers "battled on the homeland, protected the lands, villages, families, a way of life and customs" [37], and in fight against one of the leading military powers of that time, certainly, had the moral right for any actions for the sake of these purposes. Mountaineers acted as could: "acts of sabotage - murders of the Russian generals, horse attacks on settlements and military garrisons" [38].&

During Patriotic war of 1812 the French reproached the Russian guerrillas with the war methods, wrong, illegal from their point of view, more than once. In response to this M.I1 Kutuzov answered: "It is difficult to stop the people hardened by all what he saw... and that is not accepted in wars ordinary" [39].& the Adyghe educator Adyl-Girey Keshev explained the people ready to sacrifice itself for the homeland and which does not do differences between what is accepted why mountaineers are forced to wage the war of independence by guerrilla methods: "... not the self-interest and not bloodthirstiness, but thirst of feats and the love for independence which was not dying in people heart and freedom animated Adyghe in long fight for political existence" [40]. According to I. Popko, guerrilla linear war was not always limited to small attacks, and accepted sometimes the nature of serious military operations when the whole tribes which openly attacked the Caucasian line [41] connected. Construction

fortresses and the Cossack villages on the Kabardian lands, retaliatory expeditions of royal troops forced Kabardians to attack strengthenings of the Caucasian line, B.K. Malbakhov and K.F. Dzamikhov write. Historians of the 19th century absolutized these facts and represented fight of Kabardians and other people of the North Caucasus as "robbery and predatoriness" [42-44].

Making attacks on the Russian border zone, mountaineers were at war not with the Russian settlers with whom they had no need to be at enmity, not with Cossacks with whom they - the first half of the 18th century lived in XVI in general peacefully, and with "the throne which encroached on their laws, customs and liberty" [20, page 22]. F.A. Shcherbina, analyzing mountain attacks, emphasized that mountaineers stole the cattle, captured prisoners, attacked the Cossack villages, guard and groups and "in general with exasperation conceded each span of the possession, revenging colonialists of edge at any case" [20, page 214]. As we see, here it is about protection of the possession by mountaineers against colonialists of edge, but not about extortionate, injurious attacks of North Caucasians on the Cossack villages. Some authors of the 19th century understood both an essence of fight of mountaineers, and methods of their actions.

Most of authors in attacks always accused the mountain party of kavkazovedchesky literature of the XIX-XX centuries. For the Russian military leaders and in particular for A.P. Yermolov, attacks of mountaineers were the main official reason for military expeditions against the mountain auls which had "obviously expressed retaliatory character", - specify V.A. Georgi and

N.G. Georgieva [45]. At the same time absolutely is overlooked that attacks from 18th century had mutual character. M.N. Pokrovsky noted that attacks were in effect business mutual and it was very difficult to establish who on whom began "to run" the first — mountaineers on Cossacks or Cossacks - on mountaineers [46]. U. Lau-dayev writes that with resettlement of Chechens on the "Russians attacked them, plundered their property, burned down the farm, killed and captivated people so for a long time Chechens hesitated to be installed settled on it" plane, answered them with the same measures [47]. "If the Russian authorities exposed Kabardians as robbers, then in the same degree robberies, undoubtedly, also Cossacks were engaged", - V.N. Kudashev noted [48]. They did not leave without answer any attack of mountaineers on the Russian ambit [49].

Campaigns of Cossacks and royal troops on the mountain lands equipped under the pretext of punishment of mountaineers for attacks were not always adequate acts of retaliation. Chechens could tell about cases when for murder of one Cossack residents of the whole aul were exterminated to the last [46, page 25]. Often absolutely innocent auls were exposed to repressions [50]. "Sometimes circumstances of a pursuit developed so, - I. Popko demonstrates, - that Cossacks... without having already hope to return the loss, were enough the production, first under a hand, on the enemy earth and with it departed back to the line" [41, page 253].

It should be noted that not always attacks of Cossacks and active Russian armed forces on mountain hey -

ly were "acts of retaliation". Cases when they were made for no reason at all from mountaineers, for the sake of production and awards, and even just for the sake of interest were frequent [7, page 331]. V.A. Potto wrote that run on Chechens, "making poetry of the Cossack life, cultivating spirit them, undoubtedly, were related also to our grebenets, but were undertaken by them for one production, not on need "to get to itself homespun coats", and just from a dashing molodechestvo, from desire to fumigate with gunpowder the youth not familiar with fighting dangers, not to allow to become blunted to the checker or to rust in a cover to a treasured Istanbul rifle" [4, page 284]. Some authors of the 19th century considered that continuous Cossack attacks on Chechens and Ingushs were necessary as a preventive measure that those remembered always inevitability of punishment "for possible pranks".

Campaigns of royal troops on mountain lands practically were always followed by destruction of fields, crops, gardens, the reaped crop, stealing of the cattle. And it became one more reason for attacks on the Russian border zone - not to starve to death. As P.A. Gavrilov noted, "mountaineers were forced to find means of living in spoils of war", because of frequent resettlements from place to place as a result of attacks of the Russian troops [51]. E. Lachinov witnessing destruction by royal troops of settlements in Small Chechnya emphasized that now nothing remains to their inhabitants in view of the coming winter as "to look for livelihood theft and robbery" on the Caucasian line not to starve to death [52].

Campaigns of royal troops and Cossacks on the mountain lands which are carried out under the pretext of punishment of mountaineers for attacks did not promote "suppression and conquest" but only even more hardened them. "Results of all these attacks (the Russian. - G. Highways) nowadays are quite clear to us, - G.N. Kazbek wrote, - and history already made by him a due sentence - she called them not only useless, but also harmful" [53].

Mutual attacks of mountaineers and Cossacks, royal troops were followed, certainly, by zhestokost on both sides. F.A. Shcherbina emphasized that attacks happened to "amazing persistence, firmness and the mutual exasperation which inflicted a lot of evil, ruin and a grief on both parties" [30, page 131]. "Cossacks at the confluences with auls of mountaineers for avoidance of excessive costs for keeping of prisoners... cut on the place of wives, children and old men" — V. Savinov specified [54].

Of course, and mountaineers during attacks on the Cossack villages, the Russian settlements, on military strengthenings showed cruelty too. But on the scales the results of actions of mountaineers and royal troops were incomparable. The mountain groups making attacks were small. Royal troops and Cossacks made the raids on mountain auls by large forces with application of artillery. Therefore also the number of the victims among civilians on both sides was a miscellaneous. By data A.P. Gizetgi, losses the world -

a population leg from the Russian side since the end of the 18th century and to the middle of the 19th century in the Caucasus made about 2 thousand people the killed wounded and who were taken prisoner [55]. Mountaineers had losses of civilians many times more. For example, during attack of Cossacks на& the settlement Adygei was only killed on October 3, 1823 with the prince Erige-Mansurova 500 people [56]. Almost as much people it was destroyed in the Chechen settlement Dady-Yurt in September, 1819 [57]. And such auls in Zakubanye, Kabarda and Chechnya it was exterminated during attacks of royal troops and Cossacks dozens; also the number of the destroyed civilians was respectively big.

The Russian troops and Cossacks at raids on mountain auls destroyed everything — houses, gardens, hay, bread. Mountaineers, as a rule, did not do it. Yes, killed resisting, captured not only men, but also women with children, stole the cattle, "but seldom lit Sena and bread in the field" [41, page 249].

Mutual attacks of Cossacks, royal troops, on the one hand, and mountaineers — with another, by the end of the 18th century accepted such huge scope, the nature of the real guerrilla war that they began to prevent seriously development and carrying out the Caucasian and international policy of the St. Petersburg office. In 1796 before the Persian campaign the count Zubov received the following instructions from Catherine II: "Not to be engaged in conquest of the people, weapon unrestrained and from creation of the world not recognizing a draw of the power; them to despise unimportant robberies against which it is more useful to multiply own precautions and it to punish daring, than to otmshchat to the whole people for robberies of several predators and to excite against itself mutually vengeance of the whole people, and difficult campaigns in gorges it is vain to lose people, to spend time and to gain victories useless" [41, page 274]. After Catherine II's death V. Zubov's campaign was stopped and instructions of the empress of rather mountain attacks did not affect further actions of the Caucasian administration in any way.

In the same 1796 of 300 Cossacks made attack for Kuban and captured 5 thousand sheep. Attack was absolutely unmotivated (not "act of retaliation" at all), and was made in the territory which is considered as a sphere of influence of the Turkish sultan. Business reached to Ports which expressed a protest against actions of Cossacks. There was a threat of the international scandal, and Paul I who was not wishing to aggravate the relations with the Ottoman Empire and with mountaineers, the special rescript to the count Gudovich ordering then in the Caucasus in 1797 forbade attacks of the Russian troops not only for Kuban, but also on other mountain lands on purpose "to avert any reasons for quarrels with the sosedstvenny people and to attacks, mutual from their party" [58]. However the Caucasian policy of the Russian government was extremely inconsistent. One hand forbidding attacks against mountaineers, Paul I wrote on November 9, 1799 the general Knorringu in the rescript: "To the ataman of Grebensky army major Zachetov to announce Monarchical goodwill for a barant, made

to Chechens" [5, page 371]. Moreover, in 1800 Paul 1 in general lifted all limits for production of attacks against - mountaineers and resolved "retaliation" [58, page 407]. Actually Caucasian military leaders in the 18th century, later practically did not listen to recommendations and orders of St. Petersburg concerning repressions against mountaineers and arrived always as they found necessary.

The scientific dispute on character and the nature of mountain attacks on the Russian border zone in the North Caucasus in the second half of XVIII - the first third of the 19th century has not only purely academic character. The answer about the nature of the most Caucasian war, fight of mountaineers against a tsarism also depends during this period on various approach to assessment of this phenomenon. Those authors who reduce this fight only to attacks for the sake of production, enrichment, consider that "attacks on villages and garrisons... were absolutely deprived of those high ideological installations which are assumed by "anti-colonial fight" [59] and that "the thesis about war in the Caucasus as about the highest stage of development of a nabegovy system denies the liberating nature of this war" [60].

It is thought that the social phenomenon, known as "mountain attacks", in the second half of XVIII — the first third of the 19th century was ambiguous and mainly represented manifestation of liberating fight of mountaineers in the form of guerrilla actions.

The generated by colonial policy of a tsarism, mutual attacks of Cossacks and mountaineers in the second half of XVIII - the beginning of the 19th century did insufferably difficult a life of the boundary population on both sides of the Caucasian military line.


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