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Stenka Razin

Stenka Razin (1630-1671) was a Cossack leader who led a major uprising against the Russian government.

A long war with Poland from 1654 to 1667 put heavy demands upon the people of Russia. Taxes increased as did conscription. Many peasants hoping to escape these burdens fled south and joined bands of marauding Cossacks. In 1667 Stenka Razin emerged as a leader of the Don Cossacks he created a large army and in 1670 he took Astrakhan. His army advanced up the Volga River. It was joined by many other disaffected with the Russian govenrmnt. This included many of the lower classes as well as representatives of non-Russian ehtnic groups that were being forcibly Russianized. In September of 1670 Razin's forces attacked Simbirsk, but were there defeat by a better equipped and trained Tsarist army. Razin was captured and then tortured and executed by the victors.