Russia – Friend of Nations?
Friendship with Estonia and the Bronze Soldier
1030 – Jaroslav's military expedition and the conquering of Tartu.
1051 – Ostromir, general to Izjaslav, the Grand Duke of Kiev and Duke of Novgorod, leads a military expedition and attacks Estonia but is defeated.
1054 – Izjaslav undertakes an expedition against „Sosols“ and levies a heavy tax burden on them. The name „Sosol“ is likely to refer to a Latvian-Lithuanian tribe who resided in the area of Sakala, Soontaga or Väinajõe. In the following year „Sosols“ drive the publicans out.
1061 – Estonians destroyed Jurjev and relieved themselves of Russian sovereignty. Counter-expedition until Pskov.
1077 – Duke Vladimir of Smolensk and Duke Gleb of Novgorod fight side by side against Estonians and Finnish around the Baltic Sea.
Beginning of 12th cent. – Mistislav's (Duke of Novgorod) expedition against "Otšela" (probably Adsel in river Koiva, on the borders of Estonia and Latvia).
1113 – Based on Russian chronicles, Mstislav undertakes a successful expedition against Estonians and Finnish around the Baltic Sea and defeats them „on Boru“ (presumably Irboska or Metsepole).
1116 – Under Mstislav, expedition is undertaken by troops of Novgorod and Pskov. On November the 1st they overtake the stronghold in Otepää. Russians loot numerous villages and return with a host of prisoners.
1130 – Mstislav sends his sons Vsevolod, Izjaslav and Rostislav together with Russians from Novgorod, Poletsk and Smolensk on a looting raid against Estonians with the purpose of collecting taxes. Men are killed, houses burned, women and children are taken prisoners.
1132 - Vsevolod of Novgorod undertakes single-handedly (without his brothers) an expedition against Estonians but is destructively defeated in January the 23rd in Vaiga (northern part of Tartu County). „Tremendous disorder and dirt prevailed and many best men of Novgorod were slaughtered,“ tells a Russian chronicle.
1134 – Expedition of Vsevolod of Novgorod against Estonians. On February the 9th Tartu is defeated and conquered.
1180 – a looting raid undertaken by Mstislav of Novgorod in Adsel, on the borders of Estonia and Latvia. Local people leave homes and retreat as far as the seaside.
1190 – Inhabitants of Pskov kill a bunch of coastmen who were going along River Narva to reach Lake Peipsi.
1192 – Jaroslav, Duke of Novgorod, together with troops from Novgorod and Pskov undertake a winter expedition against Estonians. He conquers Tartu.
1192 – In summer, Jaroslav dispatches a bunch of people from Pskov to set fire on and burn down Otepää.
1210 March – Mistislav's (Duke of Novgorod) and his brother Vladimir's (Duke of Pskov) military expedition to Torma and Ugandi. People of Ugandi are forced to, after eight days of besiege, surrender their stronghold in Otepää, pay tribute and accept orthodoxy.
1211 – Russians from Pskov undertake an expedition to Soontaga during the first days in January.
1212 – In January or February the 5th, Mstislav, the Duke of Novgorod, his brother David, the Duke of Toropets and Vsevolod, the Duke of Pskov together with 15, 000 men head through the northern parts of Tartu County and Järvamaa as far as the stronghold of Varbola in Harjumaa. The besiege ended after Varbola paid for its freedom with silver.
1216 – Vladimir, the Duke of Pskov conquers Otepää and levies a heavy tax burden on people in Ugandi. The troops are looting and plundering the neighbourhoods. To defeat the Russians, people in Ugandi enter into an alliance with Germans. This marks the beginning of alliance between Estonians and the Order to fight against Russians. People from Ugandi and the German Order undertake a counter-expedition to Pskov.
1217 – Russian invasion to Livonia fails.
1218 – The Order's first expedition against Pskov and Novgorod. The Order takes over the fighting of Estonians with the East.
1219 – Russias' looting expedition into Livonian territory. The Order's second expedition to Russian territory.
1221 – Upon their return from Livonia, the troops of the Duke of Novgorod plunder Ugandi. The Order's third expedition against Russia (Estonians participate).
1223 – Russians are defeated by the Mongolian-Tartar army in the battle of Kalka. Jaroslav, the Duke of Novgorod, his brother Georgi, the Grand Duke of Suzdali, Vladimir, the Duke of Pskov and other Russian dukes come with an army of 20,000 men to Estonia as allies but start looting and plundering the country.
1226/27 winter Russians, led by Jaroslav, the Duke of Novgorod, undertake a major looting expedition to Häme County in Finland.
1227 summer Russian looting expedition to Karelia.
1228 – People from Häme undertake an extensive counter expedition to the territory of Novgorod.
1234 March – Jaroslav, the Duke of Novgorod and his army undertake an expedition to and around Tartu.
1241 – Aleksander (Nevski), the Duke of Novgorod fights Germans, conquers and destroys the Koporje stronghold and has the imprisoned Votians and Estonians hanged.
1242 – Ice battle between Germans and Novgorodians on Lake Peipsi on April the 5th. Estonians fight alongside with Germans and many are killed by Russians.
1248-1250 – The head of Tallinn, Stigot Agison together with the Council of the City of Tallinn and its people write to Lübeck, asking to aid those who had suffered due to the Novgorodians’ acts of violence.
1253 – Troops from Novgorod and Karelia loot the territory west of River Narva.
1255 – Russians’ looting expedition across River Narva to the northern parts of Estonia.
1262 – Russians attack Tartu. The stronghold is not conquered, but the city falls and “many people in the city were killed; some were taken alive, others were burned with fire, women and children were taken away and a lot of looting and plundering happened”.
1267 – Russian looting expedition to the neighbourhood of Rakvere. Lands are extensively plundered.
1268 – In January several Russian dukes and their troops (around 30,000 men) cross River Narva and on their way to Rakvere, kill numerous Estonians who were hiding in caves. The Russians flooded the caves and everybody who came out was killed. On February the 18th a lot of blood was shed in the battle on River Kihola between Russians and allied German-Estonians. The Russians were defeated. On his way back, Dovmont, the Duke of Novgorod, plunders Virumaa.
1269 – Together with many Estonians, the Order counter-attacks Pskov and temporarily takes over Irboska
1278 – Dimitri, the Grand Duke of Novgorod, is looting Karelia.
1294 – Russians burn down the city of Narva.
1296 – Novgorod conquers Käkisalmi and names it Korela.
1322 – The Order’s expedition to Novgorod and Pskov, Irboska is fully destroyed.
1329 – The Order’s expedition to Novgorod and Pskov.
1341 – Russians burn down the city of Narva for the second time.
1342 – Duke Juri Vitovtovich undertakes an expedition to Vastseliina. The Germans resist the offenders but suffer extensive losses
1343 – In May, led by Duke Ivan of Pskov, Duke Ostap of Irboska and Volodša, deputy to the Duke, an army of 5000 men approach Otepää, looting villages on their way. In five days they return with abundant spoil.
1367 – Troops from Pskov invade as far as Vastseliina, Russians burn down the city of Narva for the third time.
1368 – The Order’s troops are positioned around Irboska.
1371 – Troops from Novgorod and Pskov invade Vastseliina. Troops from Pskov burn down Kirumpää and kill all locals.
1406 – Danilo and Juri, Dukes of Pskov undertake an expedition to Livonia, Vastseliina and Kirumpää.
1407 – On June the 29th, troops from Pskov, led by Duke Konstantin and Roman Sidorov, cross River Narva and enter Virumaa, plunder a number of villages and return with an abundant spoil.
1480 – The Grand Duchy of Moscow, having taken over Novgorod, enters into its first war with the Order of Livonia, which also includes Estonian men. Russians’ looting expeditions to South-Estonia. Troops of Pskov and Moscow jointly undertake an expedition to the territory of Tartu and stop at River Emajõgi, where the stronghold of Kastre is conquered.
1481 – Russians plunder South-Estonia. Estonia is attacked from different locations by troops composed of the allied forces of Moscow, Pskov and Novgorod. The enemy defeats the City of Viljandi, Tarvastu, Karksi and Ruhja. Extensive territories are looted and plundered; the diocese of Tartu suffers heavy losses. The occupied territories are severely terrorized to defeat the resistance.
Beginning of 16 cent. – In the chronicles of Livonia, Russia starts to appear as a cruel enemy (especially since the beginning of the 16th century). The chronicles claim that this enemy has no mercy and Russia is referred to as a sworn enemy.
1501 – Russians loot and plunder the territories of South- and North-West Estonia. After six weeks of looting, a number of households are destroyed and the population diminishes dramatically. A contemporary source mentions that approximately 40,000 were killed or imprisoned.
Another army, with many Tartars, attacks Viru- and Harjumaa; the army includes dogs to look up and find people hiding in woods
1502 – Russia undertakes an expedition to the diocese of Tartu.
1558-1582 – War between Russia and Livonia.
1558 – At the end of January, Russian troops attack the diocese of Tartu. Attacks also take place in Harju- and Virumaa. At the same time Russian reinforcements invade the territory of Vilaka and north of Lake Peipsi. While leaving, Russian troops cross Järva- and Virumaa and plunder the whole Eastern part of Estonia. Vastseliina, Rõngu, Rannu, Kongota, Kärkna, Laiuse, Põltsamaa, Jõhvi and many others suffer heavy losses. Villages, households and houses are either burned or looted and the country is swarming with inhumane killings. "And what crops and cattle the enemy could not take, it destroyed and drove many cattle into barns and put fire on the barns and burned it down together with the cattle.”
On May the 11th, the city of Narva is conquered.
In summer 1558, another attack takes place with troops consisting of 60,000 – 80,000 men. Vastseliina falls on June the 30th, Tartu on July the 18th, additionally, Kirumpää, diocese of Tartu and neighbouring territories also suffer. Systematic looting expeditions start in central parts of Estonia, later on they continue also to Alulinna and Gulbene.
1559 – Russian looting expeditions to the territories of Alulinna and Vilaka.
1560 – Põltsamaa, Ruhja, Helme, Tarvastu and country around Viljandi suffer from looting expeditions. In May of the same year troops of 40,000 and 12,000 men attack Viljandi. After Viljandi falls, Russians expand their expeditions to as far as Võnnu, Pärnu and the western part of Estonia. In addition to looting, imprisonment of peasants is widely practiced.
1570 – Duke Magnus, leading a large Russian army, starts to besiege Tallinn. Later on reinforcements come. “On October the 16th, another large part of Russian army, called “the oprintšniks”, arrived and rioted and revolted even worse, for they looted, burned and mercilessly killed many noblemen and peasants who were hiding in the empty castle of Kiviloo and who had been left untouched by the previous Russian soldiers. And they then went to the outskirts of Tallinn and chopped down the fine forest there and ruined it all.” Nevertheless, the besiege fails and Russians leave the outskirts of Tallinn on March the 16th, 1571.
1573 – A large army of Russians enter Estonia through Narva and conquer the stronghold of Paide. Having conquered Paide, the army of 16,000 men heads to conquer the western parts of Estonia, but is fully defeated by Swedes in the country around Koluvere.
1574 – Russians plunder the northern parts of Estonia. “In year 1574, on the Ascension Day, 10,000 Russians and Tartars invaded Harjumaa and the outskirts of Tallinn, where they burned down all villages and looted the cattle which the noblemen and citizens and peasants had bought off the hands of soldiers during the besiege of Rakvere. The Russians and Tartars also imprisoned many people. In the same summer, the Russians and Tartars were constantly rioting and revolting in Harjumaa and the country around Tallinn, killed people in their beds, gardens and barns and took away peasant’s cows and coachmen’s horses.”
1575 – Russians conquer Pärnu
1575 – Russian looting expedition to North-East Estonia. “And then the Russians and Tartars first went to Western Estonia and Haapsalu and on their way terribly looted the territories of Padise and Keila, killed people and imprisoned many. And although the enemy had been there before, these parts had never seen such violence. The Russians and Tartars also plundered the countries around Haapsalu, Koluvere, Lihula, Padise and Vigala, but also all the islands of Saaremaa, Vormsi, Hiiu, Muhu and Noarootsi, except the County of Kuressaare. They took horses and people, but were less interested in bulls and cows for they could not take them away in such haste.”
1576 – Russians loot the country around Tallinn: “For the whole month of July the Russians and Tartars from Paide and Padise were plundering the country around Tallinn, took away many farm girls and servants while these were making hay and imprisoned many peasants together with women and children. The citizens and peasants had then a lot of weeping and complaining to do."
1577 – Johann IV fails to besiege Tallinn.
1579 – Gangs of Russians and Tartars constantly undertake looting expeditions to Estonia. “Tartars made camp near Uuemõisa, 6 miles from Tallinn, looted the countryside terribly, killed and plundered in Harjumaa, slaughtering the old and imprisoning the young. Shortly after these gangs had left for Riga and the poor peasants who had been hiding in the woods and swamps returned home, another gang of Russians and Tartars arrived from Rakvere and took away many more peasants, their women and children. Harjumaa was facing torture and misery.”
1656-1658 – War between Sweden and Russia; Russians invade Estonia. Eastern parts, as well as the County of Tartu and Võru are looted. The plundering also involves the Counties of Valga and Pärnu as well as Virumaa. Tartu surrenders and remains in possession of Russia until 1661.
1700-1721 – The Great Northern War
1700 – The first Russian looting troops invade Alutaguse in September. Narva is besieged by Russians. The battle of Narva on November the 19th.
1701 – Russian troops invade South Estonia. In September battles take place in Räpina, Kasaritsa and Rõuge. Looting expeditions of Cossacks, Tartars and Kalmucks into the region of Alutaguse. Peasants start resistance movement.
1702 – A thorough looting expedition after the battle of Hummuli around Pärnu, Tartu and Mõniste: “All churches, more than 100 manor houses and 1,000 villages were burned down. People were violated in worst possible ways – they killed men, women and children alike or imprisoned them. Hundreds of children were taken away by Tartars and sold into slavery.”
1703 – Sheremetjev, general to Tsar Peter I, undertakes a looting expedition throughout Estonia; the less fertile lands - Harjumaa, Läänemaa, Pärnumaa, middle and northern parts of Estonia together with the islands – escape the looting. Many Estonian peasants are imprisoned along with a number of children who are taken to the Ukraine: “It is impossible to describe the misery and losses that the expedition brought along. Not only many beautiful churches, but also small towns, manor houses and around 1,500 villages were burned. Additionally 1,000 loadings of partly milled as well as unmilled crops were destroyed. In the form of household tools and church bells, the enemy also took away large amounts of copper and lead. 1,000 pieces of cattle were taken to Russia and what they could not take along – pigs, geese – they drove into barns and stables and set fire on them. The enemy killed many people and carted a lot of children to Russia.”
1703/04 – Continuous Russian looting expeditions to the country around Narva.
1704 – Russia plunders the County of Tartu: "In January the enemy, coming alongside Lake Peipsi, invaded Torma, set villages on fire and took along many people, who were naked and hungry. Those who died because of cold or famish were drowned under the ice on Lake Peipsi.”
1704 – On July the 13th Tartu surrenders. Russians violate the terms of capitulation and do not let the Tartu garrison leave for Tallinn, as agreed previously.
1704 – Narva is conquered by Russians. After the conquest, Russians plundered the city, as ordered by the tsar. “The dead, too, whether noblemen or peasants, were torn out of graves and thrown into the river. It was a sad sight to see the sick, lying inside houses, the earthwork and elsewhere, being thrown into heaps on carriages and pushed down the cascade of Narva, where they died, screaming in agony. It was similarly horrible that all children between 6 and 14 were taken away from their parents and sold into slavery in Russia.”
1707 – The largest expedition of Russian cavalry into the northern parts of Tartu County, into the direction of Põltsamaa, Puka, Sangaste and Karula. Valga is, once more, burned down.
1708 – Another grand looting expedition of the Russian army to Livonia. The country around Valga is badly plundered. Farm- and manor houses are set on fire. The crops are trampled on and cut. Inhabitants of Tartu and Narva are deported into Russia. Many die. Some of them return five years later. The city of Tartu is destroyed. Only a few buildings remain and are plundered.
1709 – Russians conquer Pärnu.
1710 – Tallinn surrenders to Russians.
1710 - 1918 – Estonia as part of Russia.
1917 – Russian armies take matters in their own hands and plunder the whole of Estonia.
1918 – The Red Army is about to invade Estonia in the month of November. Massacres follow in Rakvere, Tartu and elsewhere.
1924 – On December the 1st an attempted rebellion in Estonia is organised from across its borders.
1939 – Russia imposes a violent “treaty of mutual help” on Estonia. Russian troops settle down in Estonia. Russia violates the terms of the treaty.
1940 – Russian Communist Red Army („the bronze soldier”) marches into Estonia on June 17. On June 21, Russian army starts the revolution in Estonia.
1944 – Russian Communist Red Army crosses River Narva on February the 2nd and invades Estonia. Battles begin.