Ural Cossacks

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The Ural Cossack Host was a cossack host formed from the Ural Cossacks -- those cossacks settled by the Ural River. Their alternative name, Yaik Cossacks, comes from the old name of the river.


The Ural Cossacks although speaking Russian and identifying themselves as being of primarily Russian ancestry also incorporated many Tatars into their ranks.Wixman. The Peoples of the USSR, p. 51

Twenty years after the conquest of the Volga from Kazan to Astrakhan, in 1577 Moscow sent troops to disperse pirates and raiders along the Volga (one of their number was Ermak). Some of these fled southeast to the Ural River. In 1580 they captured Saraichik. By 1591 they were fighting for Moscow and sometime in the next century they were officially recognized. In 1717 they lost 1,500 men on the Alexander Bekovich-Cherkassky expedition to Khiva. A census in 1723 showed 3,196 men fit for military service.

Yaik Cossacks were the driving force in the rebellion led by Yemelyan Pugachev in 1773-1774.Their main livelihood was fishery and the taxation on it was a major source of friction between the Cossacks and the state. A revolt broke out in 1772, marked by the murder of General von Traubenberg. Traubenberg headed a commission which was to investigate and settle Cossack complaints and grievances, but his behaviour only antagonised them further.In reprisal, many...
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