“The great stand on the Ugra river” put an end to the Tartar yoke

11 November 1480

In the spring of 1480 a khan of the Great Horde Akhmat directed his troops toward Moscow that refused to pay tribute to the Tartars. Having arrived to the mouth of the Ugra river (the left tributary of the Oka river), the Mongolian troops were stopped by the Russian host. The Russian commanders had blocked the fords and passages over the river to the Tartars. The battle for the passage over the Ugra river had continued for several days. All the attacks of the Horde were repulsed. The Tartars withdrew 2 versts away from the Ugra river and stopped at the Luza river. The armies of Ivan III occupied the positions on the opposite bank. “The great stand on the Ugra river” began.

Akhmat awaited the assistance of the Polish-Lithuanian king Kazimir IV. Ivan III had concluded an agreement with his mutinous brothers Boris Volotsky and Andrey Bolshoy and, seeking to win the time while waiting for their armed forces, started the negotiations with the khan. However the Russian embassy had not succeeded. From time to time skirmishes took place, but neither of the sides dared for an active move.

In the end of October the prince Ivan III ordered to withdraw the Russian forces from the Ugra river to the town of  Borovsk  so that he could give a battle to the Horde soldiers in case they forced a crossing over the river.

On November 11, 1480 the khan Akhmat not having obtained the assistance of the Lithuanians and having learned that the forces of Ivan III had gained its rear, began the retreat. During the winter stay in the mouth of the Donets river, on January 6, 1481 the khan Akhmat was killed when his troops faced those of a Siberian khan Ibak. Soon after that the intestine strives began and the Horde broke up into several independent khanates which the Russian state had been struggling with during 16-18th centuries.

The great stand on the Ugra river marked the final downfall of the Tartar yoke. The Moscow state became sovereign not only practically but also formally.

During the celebration of the 500th anniversary of “The great stand on the Ugra river” in 1980, on the bank of a legendary river there was opened a monument in honor to this event.

Lit.: Повесть о стоянии на Угре // Памятники литературы Древней Руси. Вторая половина XV века. М., 1982; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://www.sedmitza.ru/text/443490.html; Стояние на реке Угре [Электронный ресурс] // В среднем течении реки Угра. 2015. URL: http://www.ugra.alexandrovi.ru/kraev/kraev2.htm.

Based on the Presidential Library’s materials:

Полевой Н. А. История русского народа. Т. 6. М., 1833;

Карамзин Н. М. История государства Российского. Кн. 2. Т. 7. СПб., 1842 .