Military Wiki
Russo–Turkish War (1568–1570)
Part of the Russo-Turkish Wars
LocationAstrakhan and Azov
Result Russian military victory[1]

Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire

Commanders and leaders
Ivan the Terrible
Pyotr Serebrianyi
Ottoman Empire Selim II
Ottoman Empire Sokollu Mehmet Paşa
Ottoman Empire Kasim Paşa
Autonomous Republic of Crimea Devlet I Giray
30,000 troops[2] Ottoman Empire 20,000 troops[3]
Autonomous Republic of Crimea 30,000[3]–50,000 troops[2]
Casualties and losses
unknown Ottoman Empire Autonomous Republic of Crimea unknown

The Russo–Turkish War (1568–1570) or Don Volga-Astrakhan campaign of 1569[4] (referred to in Ottoman sources as the Astrakhan Expedition) was a war between the Tsardom of Russia and the Ottoman Empire over the Astrakhan Khanate. It was the first of twelve Russo-Turkish wars ending with World War I in 1914–18.

In 1556 the Astrakhan Khanate was conquered by Ivan the Terrible, who had a new fortress built on a steep hill overlooking the Volga.[5] In 1568 the Grand Vizier Sokollu Mehmet Paşa, who was the real power in the administration of the Ottoman Empire under Selim II, initiated the first encounter between the Ottoman Empire and her future northern rival. The results presaged the many disasters to come. A plan to unite the Volga and Don by a canal was detailed in Constantinople. In the summer of 1569 a large force under Kasim Paşa of 20,000 Turks and 50,000 Tatars were sent to lay siege to Astrakhan and begin the canal works, while an Ottoman fleet besieged Azov.

However, a sortie from the garrison under Knyaz (prince) Serebrianyi-Obolenskiy, the military governor of Astrakhan, drove back the besiegers. A Russian relief army of 30,000 attacked and scattered the workmen and the Tatar force sent for their protection. On their way home up to 70% of the remained soldiers and workers froze to death in the steppes or became victims of Circassian attacks. The Ottoman fleet was destroyed by a storm.

The Ottoman Empire, though militarily defeated, insisted on safe passage for Muslim pilgrims and traders from Central Asia as well as the destruction of the Russian fort on the Terek River.[6]


  1. Janet Martin, Medieval Russia:980-1584, (Cambridge University Press, 1996), 356.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Николай Шефов. Битвы России. Военно-историческая библиотека. М., 2002
  3. 3.0 3.1 মধ্যযুগের মুসলিম ইতিহাস (আশরাফউদ্দিন আহমেদ), অটোমান তুর্কি সাম্রাজ্য, পৃ. ২৭৫
  4. DeVries, Kelly Robert (2014-05-01). "The European tributary states of the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries" (in en). pp. 51-5179. Digital object identifier:10.5860/CHOICE.51-5179. ISSN 0009-4978. 
  5. Janet Martin, Medieval Russia:980-1584, 354.
  6. Janet Martin, Medieval Russia:980-1584, 356.
  • Attila Weiszhár and Balázs Weiszhár: Lexicon of Wars, Atheneaum publisher, Budapest 2004.
  • Finkel, Caroline, Osman's Dream, (Basic Books, 2005), 57; "Istanbul was only adopted as the city's official name in 1930..".

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