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Stenka Razin

Razin, Stenka (stĕngˈkä räˈzēn) [key], d. 1671, Don Cossack leader, head of the peasant revolt of 1670. As commander of a band of propertyless Don Cossacks, he raided and pillaged (1667–69) through the lower Volga valley and across the Caspian Sea. On his return (1670) to the Don, Razin rebelled against the authority of the czar. His force of some 7,000 men took Tsaritsyn (now Volgograd), Astrakhan, Saratov, and Samara, and was joined by serfs, peasants, and non-Russian tribes of the middle and lower Volga region. However, he was defeated by government troops at Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk) and fled to the Don, where the propertied Cossacks delivered him to the government. Razin was executed at Moscow. His exploits have long been celebrated in song and legend.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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