- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
143

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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SHAMYL
143
the Russians succeeded in taking one-half of the
a-ul, the other being held by Shamyl. But the
Russians had now lost heavily and their position
was a dangerous one. When Shamyl proposed an
armistice, after some days’ negotiations an agree
ment was reached, and on the 7th of July the
Russians withdrew to Khunsakh. The Russians
insisted that Shamyl and his chiefs1 had submitted
and sworn allegiance ; but this is not borne out by
two Communications from Shamyl to General Feze,
which, on the contrary, presuppose a truce on
equal terms, even if Shamyl and his leaders gave
three hostages. Nor is it borne out by the way the
Russians withdrew along a route laid down by
Shamyl, leaving the battlefield to the enemy.
Shamyl published a proclamation announcing a
great victory over the Russians, who had been
driven out of Daghestan ; and many tribes that had
fallen away now joined him again. When he came
back to Ashilta he was kindled to a blazing wrath
at the sight of his once so rich and flourishing a-ul,
now a great blackened heap of ruins ; not one of
the five hundred houses was left standing; the
mosque where he had been consecrated imam was
levelled with the ground ; the glorious fruit-gardens
and vineyards had been laid waste, the vines torn
up, the fruit trees cut down, the maize trampled
1 A band of remarkable men. One of them was Kibit Mahoma,
who had risen to be the ruler, kadi, of Tilitl by treacherously
murdering the native begs and their families, thirty-three in all.
He was one of ShamyFs chief supporters till nearly the end of the
war in 1859, but then left him in the lurch and went over to the
Russians.

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