- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
166

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
166
Two of his brave men fell in the fight, three were
tåken prisoners and executed. This was on the
24th of April, 1852. The Russians had lost one of
their most dreaded opponents, but his nåme will
live long in the mountain valleys he so heroically
defended.
It might have been expected that Shamyl, during
the Crimean War from 1853-6, would have used
the opportunity in alliance with the Turks and
the Western Powers to aim smashing blows
against the Russian dominion in the Caucasus.
But, exasperated by the extraordinarily foolish
policy of the Turks, Shamyl broke off all relations
with them; and as the Western Powers, too, had
not understood their great possibilities on this front,
Shamyl lay quiet throughout most of the war,
giving up his time to keeping his hold over the
people, who were beginning to grow weary, and
were worn out by the never-ending warfare.
In 1854 he invaded Georgia, and plundered the
fruitful Alazån valley ; his troops were then beaten,
but a party got as far as the castle of Tsinondal,
and took prisoners the two Georgian princesses,
the sisters Chavchavadze and Orbeliani. When they
were ransomed later, Shamyl, besides receiving a
sum of money, was at last able to get back his son
Jamalu’d-din, whom in 1839 he had had to give
up at Akhulgo. But after fifteen years’ education
in Russia—from the age of twelve—where he had
become an officer in the anny, he was utterly
estranged from his father, his people, and his land.
This was a bitter disappointment to the father;

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