- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
123

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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MURIDISM AND THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
123
of the tribes in Daghestan had, as was said above,
khans ruting over their own districts, and so they
could raise stronger forces.
But owing to the want of union among the tribes
the Russians were able to attack them one by one ;
sometimes, too, they could make friends with some
of the tribes and khans, and to some extent play
them off against the others. In this wise the Russians
in the first period succeeded in making a con
siderable advance, and in establishing themselves
at several important points. This was especially so
after General Yermolov took over the command in
Georgia and the Caucasusin 1816. He set methodi
cally to work, and attacked one khanate after the
other ; when the most important parts of Daghestan
had submitted, he thought he could report in 1820
to the Tsar : "The Conquest of Daghestan, begun
last year, has now been carried to its end ; and this
land, proud, warlike, and hitherto unvanquished,
has fallen before the sacred feet of your Imperial
Majesty."
Although it was only an inner western strip of
Daghestan that the Russians had not reached, Yer
molov^ announcement was to prove indeed over
hasty. It was still to cost thirty-nine years’ bitter
fighting with streams of blood before Daghestan
should be overcome. Yermolov’s hard and cruel
treatment of the inhabitants, the plunder and
destruction of their villages (a-ul) by him, and the
putting of the inhabitants to the sword, gave rise
to a burning hatred of the Russians, and to a
craving for freedom which yielded a fruitful soil for

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