by Sergei BAZANOV, Dr. Sc. (History), Institute of Russian History, RAS
Last summer (2007) the Exhibition Hall of the Federal Archives (Bolshaya Pirogovskaya str., Moscow) featured a historical-documentary exhibition on the 450th anniversary of Bashkiria's (Bashkortostan's) free association with Russia ("Forever with Russia"). This exposition was sponsored by the Russian State Archives of Ancient Acts with the participation of other federal and republican archives, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and the State Historical Museum (both in Moscow) as well as Bashkir national museums, and the Manuscript Department of the Institute of History, Language and Literature of the Ufa Scientific Center (Russian Academy of Sciences).
The first written records about the Bashkirs date back to the 9th and 10th centuries A. D. (in particular, by Ahmed ibn Fadlan, an Arab traveler and writer). This people took body and form within a territory that included the Southern and part of the Middle Urals, and the districts of the Kama, Volga, Tobol and Yaik (the old name of the river Ural). Involved in the Bashkirian ethnogenesis were both aboriginal peoples (Finno-Ugric and Iranian-Sarmatian tribes) and the immigrants who moved thither in the course of the first millennium A. D. - the Turkis, Pechenegs and the Volga-Kama Bulgars. These were followed by Polovtsians (11th and 12th cent.), and Tartar-Mongolians (13th and 14th cent.).
In 1236, in spite of the stubborn resistance offered by the local population, this land was conquered by Batu Khan and incorporated within the Golden Horde. Its breakup in the latter half of the 15th century gave rise to several khanates: one part of Bashkiria found itself within the Kazan khanate, another - in the Siberian khanate, and a third one - within the Nogai Horde. The indigenous people fought tooth and nail against their enslavers, and in their struggle they sought to enlist support from the Russian state ... Читать далее