Irkutsk is the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast and one of the largest cities in Siberia. Many distinguished Russians were sent into exile in Irkutsk for their part in the Decembrist revolt of 1825, the city became an exile-post for the rest of the century; some of the fine wooden houses still survive. When the railway reached Irkutsk, it had earned the nickname of "The Paris of Siberia." The city saw bitter fighting in the Russian Civil War of 1918-20, became a major centre of aircraft manufacture. Trans-Siberian Highway and Trans-Siberian Railway connect Irkutsk to other regions in Russia and Mongolia. Irkutsk was named after the Irkut River, whose name was derived from the Buryat word for "spinning" and was used as an ethnonym among local tribes as Yrkhu, Irkit and Irgyt; the city was known as "Yandashsky" after the local Tuvan chief Yandasha Gorogi. The old spelling of the name of the city was «Иркуцкъ». Before the revolution, the city was called "East Paris", "Siberian Petersburg", "Siberian Athens".
Locals like to think of their city as "middle of earth". In 1652, Ivan Pokhabov built a zimovye near the site of Irkutsk for gold trading and for the collection of fur taxes from the Buryats. In 1661, Yakov Pokhabov built an ostrog nearby; the ostrog gained official town rights from the government in 1686. The first road connection between Moscow and Irkutsk, the Siberian Route, was built in 1760, benefited the town economy. Many new products imported from China via Kyakhta, became available in Irkutsk for the first time, including gold, fur, wood and tea. In 1821, as part of the Mikhail Speransky's reforms, Siberia was administratively divided at the Yenisei River and Irkutsk became the seat of the Governor-General of East Siberia. In the early 19th century, many Russian artists and nobles were sent into exile in Siberia for their part in the Decembrist revolt against Tsar Nicholas I. Irkutsk became the major center of intellectual and social life for these exiles, much of the city's cultural heritage comes from them.
By the end of the 19th century, there was one exiled man for every two locals. People of varying backgrounds, from members of the Decembrist uprising to Bolsheviks, had been in Irkutsk for many years and had influenced the culture and development of the city; as a result, Irkutsk became a prosperous cultural and educational center in Eastern Siberia. In 1879, on July 4 and 6, the palace of the Governor General, the principal administrative and municipal offices and many of the other public buildings were destroyed by fire, the government archives, the library and the museum of the Siberian section of the Russian Geographical Society were ruined. Three-quarters of the city was destroyed, including 4,000 houses. However, the city rebounded, with electricity arriving in 1896, the first theater being built in 1897 and a major train station opened in 1898; the first train arrived in Irkutsk on August 16 of that year. By 1900, the city had earned the nickname of "The Paris of Siberia." During the Russian Civil War, which broke out after the October Revolution, Irkutsk became the site of many furious, bloody clashes between the "Whites" and the "Reds".
In 1920, Aleksandr Kolchak, the once-feared commander of the largest contingent of anti-Bolshevik forces, was executed in Irkutsk, which destroyed the anti-Bolshevik resistance. Irkutsk was the administrative center of the short-lived East Siberian Oblast, which existed from 1936 to 1937; the city subsequently became the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast after East Siberian Oblast was divided into Chita Oblast and Irkutsk Oblast. During the communist years, the industrialization of Irkutsk and Siberia in general was encouraged; the large Irkutsk Reservoir was built on the Angara River between 1950 and 1959 in order to facilitate industrial development. The Epiphany Cathedral, the governor's palace, a school of medicine, a museum, a military hospital and the crown factories are among the public institutions and buildings; the Aleksandr Kolchak monument, designed by Vyacheslav Klykov, was unveiled in 2004. On July 27, 2004, the Irkutsk Synagogue was gutted by a conflagration. In December 2016, 74 people in Irkutsk died in a mass methanol poisoning.
In 2018, it was reported men in Irkutsk only survive on average to 63. Irkutsk is located about 850 kilometres to the south-east of Krasnoyarsk, about 520 kilometres north of Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia; the city proper lies on the Angara River, a tributary of the Yenisei, 72 kilometers below its outflow from Lake Baikal and on the bank opposite the suburb of Glaskovsk. The river, 580-meter wide, is crossed by the Irkutsk Hydroelectric Dam and three other bridges downstream; the Irkut River, from which the town takes its name, is a smaller river that joins the Angara directly opposite the city. The main portion of the city is separated from several landmarks—the monastery, the fort and the port, as well as its suburbs—by another tributary, the Ida River; the two main parts of Irkutsk are customarily referred to as the "left bank" and the "right bank", with respect to the flow of the Angara River. Irkutsk is situated in a landscape of rolling hills within the thick taiga, typical in Eastern Siberia.
The population has been shrinking: 587,891 .
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
The Yenisei Romanised Yenisey, Jenisej, is the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. It is the central of the three great Siberian rivers. Rising in Mongolia, it follows a northerly course to the Yenisei Gulf in the Kara Sea, draining a large part of central Siberia, the longest stream following the Yenisei-Angara-Selenga-Ider river system; the maximum depth of the Yenisei is 24 metres and the average depth is 14 metres. The depth of river outflow is 32 metres and inflow is 31 metres; the river flows through Tuva and the city of Krasnoyarsk. Its tributaries include Nizhnyaya Tunguska, Podkamennaya Tunguska and Tuba rivers; the 320-kilometre navigable Upper Angara River feeds into the northern end of Lake Baikal from the Buryat Republic but the largest inflow is from the Selenga which forms a delta on the southeastern side. The Yenisei River basin is home to 55 native fish species, including two endemics: Gobio sibiricus and Thymallus nigrescens; the grayling is restricted to its tributaries.
Most fish found in the Yenisei River basin are widespread Euro-Siberian or Siberian species, such as northern pike, common roach, common dace, Siberian sculpin, European perch and Prussian carp. The basin is home to many salmonids and the Siberian sturgeon; the Yenisei River valley is habitat for numerous flora and fauna, with Siberian pine and Siberian larch being notable tree species. In prehistoric times Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris, was abundant in the Yenisei River valley circa 6000 BC. There are numerous bird species present in the watershed, for example, the hooded crow, Corvus cornix; the Taimyr reindeer herd, a migrating tundra reindeer, the largest reindeer herd in the world, migrated to winter grazing ranges along the Yenisei River. River steamers first came to the Yenesei River in 1864 and were brought in from Holland and England across the icy Kara Sea. One was the SS Nikolai; the SS Thames attempted to explore the river, overwintered in 1876, but was damaged in the ice and wrecked in the river.
Success came with the steamers Frazer, Express in 1878, the next year, Moscow hauling supplies in and wheat out. The Dalman reached Yeneisisk in 1881. Imperial Russia placed river steamers on the massive river in an attempt to free up communication with land-locked Siberia. One boat was the SS St. Nicholas which took the future Tsar Nicholas II on his voyage to Siberia, conveyed Vladimir Lenin to prison. Engineers attempted to place river steamers on regular service on the river during the building of the Trans-Siberian Railway; the boats were needed to bring in the rails and supplies. Captain Joseph Wiggins sailed the Orestes with rail and parted out river steamers in 1893. However, the sea and river route proved difficult with several ships lost at sea and on the river. Both the Ob and Yenisei mouths feed into long inlets, several hundred miles in length, which are shallow, ice bound and prone to high winds and thus treacherous for navigation. After the completion of the railway, river traffic reduced only to local service as the Arctic route and long river proved much too indirect a route.
The first recreation team to navigate the Yenisei's entire length, including its violent upper tributary in Mongolia, was an Australian-Canadian effort completed in September 2001. Ben Kozel, Tim Cope, Colin Angus and Remy Quinter were on this team. Both Kozel and Angus wrote books detailing this expedition, a documentary was produced for National Geographic Television. A canal inclined plane was built on the river in 1985 at the Krasnoyarsk Dam. Nomadic tribes such as the Ket people and the Yugh people have lived along the banks of the Yenisei river since ancient times, this region is the location of the Yeniseian language family; the Ket, numbering about 1000, are the only survivors today of those who lived throughout central southern Siberia near the river banks. Their extinct relatives included the Kotts, Arins and Pumpokols who lived further upriver to the south; the modern Ket lived in the eastern middle areas of the river before being assimilated politically into Russia during the 17th through 19th centuries.
Some of the earliest known evidence of Turkic origins was found in the Yenisei Valley in the form of stelae, stone monoliths and memorial tablets dating from between the 7th and 9th centuries AD, along with some documents that were found in China's Xinjiang region. The written evidence gathered from these sources tells of battles fought between the Turks and the Chinese and other legends. There are examples of Uyghur poetry, though most have survived only in Chinese translation. Wheat from the Yenisei was sold by Muslims and Uighurs during inadequate harvests to Bukhara and Soghd during the Tahirid era. Russians first reached the upper Yenisei in 1605, travelling from the Ob River, up the Ket River and down the Yenisei as far as the Sym River. During World War II, Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire agreed to divide Asia along a line that followed the Yenisei River to the border of China, along the border of China and the Soviet Union. Studies have shown that the Yenisei suffers from contamination caused by
Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians have studied that topic using particular sources and theoretical approaches. Scholars discuss historiography by topic—such as the historiography of the United Kingdom, that of Canada, the British Empire, early Islam, China—and different approaches and genres, such as political history and social history. Beginning in the nineteenth century, with the development of academic history, there developed a body of historiographic literature; the extent to which historians are influenced by their own groups and loyalties—such as to their nation state—remains a debated question. The research interests of historians change over time, there has been a shift away from traditional diplomatic and political history toward newer approaches social and cultural studies. From 1975 to 1995 the proportion of professors of history in American universities identifying with social history increased from 31 to 41 percent, while the proportion of political historians decreased from 40 to 30 percent.
In 2007, of 5,723 faculty in the departments of history at British universities, 1,644 identified themselves with social history and 1,425 identified themselves with political history. In the early modern period, the term historiography meant "the writing of history", historiographer meant "historian". In that sense certain official historians were given the title "Historiographer Royal" in Sweden and Scotland; the Scottish post is still in existence. Historiography was more defined as "the study of the way history has been and is written – the history of historical writing", which means that, "When you study'historiography' you do not study the events of the past directly, but the changing interpretations of those events in the works of individual historians." Understanding the past appears to be a universal human need, the "telling of history" has emerged independently in civilizations around the world. What constitutes history is a philosophical question; the earliest chronologies date back to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, though no historical writers in these early civilizations were known by name.
By contrast, the term "historiography" is taken to refer to written history recorded in a narrative format for the purpose of informing future generations about events. In this limited sense, "ancient history" begins with the early historiography of Classical Antiquity, in about the 5th century BCE. One of the Confucian Five Classics, the Shang Shu 尚書, has conventionally been given the English title Classic of History; this terminology is misleading as the book is a collection of speeches and anecdotes about ancient worthies, which while arranged in rough chronological order lacks any attempt to integrate them into a coherent narrative or indicate how much time has passed between two incidents. The purpose of the book is more about imparting moral lessons; the first true history of China is therefore the Spring and Autumn Annals, the official chronicle of the State of Lu covering the period from 722 to 481 BCE. It is among the earliest surviving historical texts to be arranged on annalistic principles in the world, was traditionally attributed to Confucius.
A "commentary" on the Spring and Autumn, the Zuo Zhuan attributed to Zuo Qiuming in the 5th century BCE, is considered the earliest work of narrative history in the world, covering the period from 722 to 468 BCE. It is many times longer and much more detailed and vivid than the laconic text it is purportedly commenting on, so that it is regarded as a work of history in its own right. Just as the Spring and Autumn annals has lent their name to the Spring and Autumn period they cover, the following Warring States period is named after the book Intrigues of the Warring States, compiled between the 3rd and 1st centuries BCE. Unlike the Annals, the Intrigues lack any chronological apparatus and is more of a return to the editorial style of the Classic of History; the purpose of the work is to teach the reader useful diplomatic and strategic skills rather than provide a coherent narrative of the period. The Han dynasty eunuch Sima Qian was the first in China to lay the groundwork for professional historical writing.
His written work was a monumental lifelong achievement in literature. Its scope extends as far back as the 16th century BCE, it includes many treatises on specific subjects and individual biographies of prominent people, explores the lives and deeds of commoners, both contemporary and those of previous eras, his work pioneered the "Annals-biography" format, which would become the standard for prestige history writing in China. In this genre a history opens with a chronological outline of court affairs, continues with detailed biographies of prominent people who lived during the period in question. Whereas Sima's had been a universal history from the beginning of time down to the time of writing, his successor Ban Gu wrote an annals-biography history limiting its coverage to only the Western Han dynasty, the Book of Han; this established the notion of using dynastic boundaries as start- and end-points, most Chinese histories would focus on a single dynasty or group of dynasties. The Records of the Grand Historian and Book of Han were joined by the Book of the Later Han and the Records of the Three Kingdom
Tobolsk is a town in Tyumen Oblast, located at the confluence of the Tobol and Irtysh Rivers. Founded in 1590, Tobolsk is the second oldest Russian settlement east of the Ural Mountains in Asian Russia, is a historic capital of the Siberia region. Population: 99,694 . In 1580, a group of Yermak Timofeyevich's Cossacks initiated the Russian conquest of Siberia, pushing eastwards on behalf of the Tsardom of Russia, they attacked the Vogul and Ostyak peoples in Yugra, had captured a tax collector of Kuchum Khan, the king of the large Tatar Khanate of Sibir, the most powerful force in the western Siberia region on the eastern side of the Ural Mountains. At the time the Voguls and Ostyaks were subjects of Kuchum, in response retaliation attacks were carried out against the Cossacks by the Tatars. After a year of Tatar attacks, Yermak prepared for the conquest of the Khanate of Sibir and a campaign to take the Khanate's capital city, Qashliq; the Cossacks conquered the city on 26 October 1582. Despite the conquest, Kuchum had regrouped his remaining forces and formed a new army, launching a surprise attack on 6 August 1584, killing Yermak.
This resulted in a series of battles over Qashliq, passing between Tatar and Cossack control, with the city being abandoned in 1588. Kuchum was defeated by the Cossacks in 1598 at the Battle of Urmin near the River Ob, ending the Khanate of Sibir, establishing Russian control over the western Siberia region. Tobolsk was founded in 1590 by a group of Yermak's Cossacks under the command of Daniil Grigor'yevich Chulkov near the ruins of Qashliq, totally destroyed by years of fighting. Tobolsk would become the nerve center of the conquest. To the north Beryozovo and Mangazeya were built to bring the Nenets under tribute, while to the east Surgut and Tara were established to protect Tobolsk and subdue the ruler of the Narym Ostiaks. Of these, Mangazeya was the most prominent; the new city was the second Russian town founded in Siberia after Tyumen, was named after the Tobol River, situated at its confluence with the Irtysh River, where the Irtysh turns from flowing westward to flowing northward. Tobolsk grew based on the importance of the Siberian river routes, prospered on trade with China to the east and with Bukhara to the south.
In 1708, Tobolsk became the capital of the newly established Siberia Governorate, saw the establishment of the first school and newspaper in Siberia. During the Great Northern War, soldiers of the defeated Swedish army at Battle of Poltava in 1709 were sent in large numbers as prisoners of war to Tobolsk; the Swedes numbered about 25% of the total population and were popular among locals for their contributions to the city, to the point a building of the Tobolsk Kremlin was named The Swedish Chamber in their honor. Many of them were not repatriated until the 1720s, while some of them settled permanently in Tobolsk. In 1719, Russian authorities began administrative reforms that saw Tobolsk's political importance decline as the Siberia Governorate's massive territory was decentralized into new provinces or transferred to other governorates. By 1782, Siberia Governorate was abolished and its remaining area split into two viceroyalties, with Tobolsk becoming the capital of the Tobolsk Viceroyalty.
In 1796, Tobolsk became the capital of Tobolsk Governorate, remained the seat of the Governor-General of Western Siberia until the seat was moved to Omsk in the 1820s or 1830s. Acknowledging the authority of Tobolsk, many Western Siberian towns including Omsk and Tomsk, had their original coat of arms display the Tobolsk insignia, which Omsk continues to honor as of 2015. After the Decembrist Revolt in 1825, some of the Decembrists deported to Siberia settled in Tobolsk; the 1890s saw the importance of Tobolsk decline further when the Trans-Siberian Railway line between Tyumen and Omsk bypassed the city to the south. In the early 1900s the town was famous as the administrative center of Grigori Rasputin's home province, is located close to his birthplace Pokrovskoye. In March 1917, the February Revolution saw the end of the Russian Empire with the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, in August the new Provisional Government evacuated the imperial family and their retinue to Tobolsk to live in relative luxury in the former house of the Governor-General.
The October Revolution three months saw the beginning of the Russian Civil War, the Bolsheviks came to power in Tobolsk. After troops of the opposing White Army approached the city in the spring of 1918, the Bolsheviks moved the imperial family west to Yekaterinburg where they were executed in July 1918. Following the end of the war in Bolshevik victory and the formation of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, administrative reforms in 1920 saw the abolition of Tobolsk Governorate and ending 218 years of Tobolsk serving as a provincial capital. Instead, the city became the administrative center of its own uyezd, Tobolsky District, in the new Tyumen Province seated in Tyumen. From 1921 to 1922, Tobolsk was a site of massive anti-Bolshevik peasant uprisings across Western Siberia by peasants associated with the Green Army. On November 3, 1923, the city became part of Ural Oblast until January 7, 1932, when it was transferred again to Omsk Oblast. From January 17, 1934, the city was part of Obsko-Irtysh Oblast until it was abolished on December 7 that year and transferred to Omsk Oblast.
On August 14, 1944, Tobolsk was transferred to Tyumen Oblast. On July 10, 1987, by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR
Sergey Solovyov (historian)
Sergey Mikhaylovich Solovyov was one of the greatest Russian historians whose influence on the next generation of Russian historians was paramount. His son Vladimir Solovyov was one of the most influential Russian philosophers, his older son Vsevolod Solovyov was a historical novelist. Solovyov studied in the Moscow University under Timofey Granovsky and travelled in Europe as a tutor of Count Stroganov's children until 1844; the following year he joined the staff of the Moscow University, where he rose to the dean's position. He administrated the Kremlin Armoury and acted as tutor to the future Alexander III of Russia. Solovyov's magnum opus was the History of Russia from the Earliest Times unprecedented in its scope and depth. From 1851 until his death, he published 29 volumes of this work. Among his other books, the History of Poland's Downfall and the Public Readings on Peter the Great were the most popular. Solovyov appreciated Russia's position as the outpost of Christianity in the East. In his opinion, the Russian statehood resulted from a "natural and necessary development" of numerous political and social forces, which he attempted to trace.
He took particular interest in the Time of Troubles and Peter the Great's reforms, which he described as temporary diseases of the organism of Russian state. In the words of the 2004 Encyclopædia Britannica, his History "wove a vast body of data into a unified and orderly whole that provided an exceptionally powerful and vivid picture of Russia's political development over the centuries; the work inaugurated a new era in Russian scholarship with its depiction of Russia as evolving through organic and rational processes from a primitive, family-based society into a centralized, autocratic state". List of Russian historians Solovyov, Sergey Mikhailovich, in online Russian Biographical Dictionary Sergey Solovyov. History of Russia from the Earliest Times, ISBN 5-17-002142-9
Yermak Timofeyevich was a Cossack ataman and is today a hero in Russian folklore and myths. In the reign of Tsar Ivan the Terrible Yermak started the Russian conquest of Siberia. Russians' fur-trade interests fueled their desire to expand east into Siberia; the Tatar khanate of Kazan was established as the best entryway into Siberia. In 1552, Ivan the Terrible's modernized army toppled the khanate. After the takeover of Kazan, the tsar looked to the powerful and affluent Stroganov merchant family to spearhead the eastward expansion. In the late 1570s, the Stroganovs recruited Cossack fighters to invade Asia on behalf of the tsar; these Cossacks elected Yermak as the leader of their armed forces, in 1582 Yermak set out with an army of 840 to attack the Khanate of Sibir. One of Yermak Timofeyevich's best leaders was named Alex. On October 26, 1582, Yermak and his soldiers overthrew Kuchum Khan's Tatar empire at Qashliq in a battle that marked the "conquest of Siberia". Yermak remained in Siberia and continued his struggle against the Tatars until 1584, when a raid organized by Kuchum Khan ambushed and killed him and his party.
The specifics of Yermak's life, such as his appearance and dates of events, remain points of controversy for historians because the texts that document his life are not reliable. However, his life and conquests had a profound influence on Siberian relations, sparking Russian interest in the region and establishing the Tsardom of Russia as an aggressive imperial power east of the Urals. There is less information about Yermak than most other notable explorers and historical figures. Much of what we know about Yermak is derived from legend. There are no contemporary descriptions of Yermak and all portraits are estimations. One of the Siberian chronicles, the Remezov Chronicle, written more than one hundred years after Yermak's death describes him as “flat-faced, black of beard with curly hair, of medium stature and thick-set and broad-shouldered,” but this detailed account is not reliable because the narrator had never seen Yermak. In addition to his physical features' being unknown, the details of Yermak's life and the circumstances leading up to his excursion into Siberia are obscure.
Russian writer Valentin Rasputin laments the lack of information that we have about Yermak considering the vast scope of his contributions to Russian society. Our knowledge of Yermak's upbringing and voyages pales in comparison to that of other renowned explorers such as Christopher Columbus. Historians encounter serious difficulties when attempting to piece together the specifics of Yermak's life and exploits because the two key, primary sources about Yermak may be biased or inaccurate; these sources are the Stroganov Chronicle, another one of the Siberian chronicles, the Sinodik. The Stroganov Chronicle was commissioned by the Stroganov family itself, therefore it exaggerates the family's involvement in the conquest of Siberia; the Sinodik is an account of Yermak's campaign written forty years after his death by the archbishop of Tobolsk, Cyprian. The text was formed based on oral tradition and memories of his expedition but certainly was affected by the archbishop's desire to canonize Yermak.
The combination of forgotten details over time and the embellishment or omission of facts in order for Yermak to be accepted as a saint suggests that the Sinodik could be erroneous. Though Cyprian failed to canonize Yermak, he made an effort to immortalize the warrior, who he considered being the "Grand Inquisitor" of Siberia; these documents, along with the various others that chronicle Yermak's expeditions, are filled with contradictions that make the truth about Yermak's life difficult to discern. While the sources that exist on Yermak are fallible, those accounts, along with folklore and legend, are all that historians have to base their knowledge on. Yermak is described as brutal and daring, he liked describing himself as "we" instead of "I". However, these descriptions may be attributable to the stereotypical characteristics of a Cossack. According to Rasputin, "Cossack is a Tatar word that translates as daredevil, bold spirit, someone who has severed ties with his social class." In official documents, Cossacks were referred to as "vagabonds, robbers and runaway peasants."
The Cossack group emerged before the existence of Russia and is first mentioned by a Byzantine Emperor in the 3rd century. Though Cossack settlements had leaders and laws, the settlers did not report to the tsar or any other khanate. Only after the 16th century were Cossacks subjected to close relation with the Russian tsar. Yermak, the embodiment of Cossack freewill and brutality, grew famous for his exploits on the Volga; the Don Cossack warrior Yermak Timofeyevich was born by the Chusovaya River on the eastern fringes of the Muscovite lands. The only information about Yermak's upbringing comes from a source called the Cherepanov Chronicle; this chronicle, compiled by a Tobolsk coachman in 1760 - long after Yermak's death - was never published in full, but in 1894 the historian Aleksandr Alekseyevich Dmitrieyev concluded that it represents a copy or paraphrase of an authentic 17th-century document. According to the section of the chronicle entitled "On Yermak, where he was born", Yermak's grandfather, Afonasiy Grigor'yevich Alenin, came from Suzdal, north-east of Moscow.
To escape poverty, he moved south to Vladimir. In the Murom forests, the voyevoda arrested him for driving unscrupulous passengers - robbers who had hired him. Afonasi