Russo-Turkish War (1676–1681)

Russo-Turkish War (1676-1681)
LocationChyhyryn, Cossack Hetmanate
Result Indecisive[1]
Treaty of Bakhchisarai[2]

Ottoman Empire

Crimean Khanate
Cossack Hetmanate of Petro Doroshenko
Russian Tsardom
Cossack Hetmanate of Ivan Samoylovych
Commanders and leaders
Kara Mustafa Pasha
Selim I Giray
Petro Doroshenko
Yuri Khmelnitsky
Ivan Samoilovich
Grigory Romodanovsky
120-130,000 (maximum value, 1678 campaign) 70-80,000 + 11700 Chyhyryn garrison (maximum value, 1678 campaign)
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Russo–Turkish War of 1676–1681, a war between the Tsardom of Russia and Ottoman Empire, caused by Turkish expansionism in the second half of the 17th century.


After having captured and devastated the region of Podolia in the course of the Polish–Turkish War of 1672–1676, the Ottoman government strove to spread its rule over all of the Right-bank Ukraine with the support of its vassal (since 1669), Hetman Petro Doroshenko. The latter’s pro-Turkish policy caused discontent among many Ukrainian Cossacks, which would elect Ivan Samoilovich (Hetman of the Left-bank Ukraine) as a sole Hetman of all Ukraine in 1674.

Despite this, Doroshenko continued to keep Chyhyryn. He cleverly maneuvered between Moscow and Warsaw and used the support of the Turkish-Tatar army. Finally, the Russian and Ukrainian forces under the command of Samoilovich and Grigory Romodanovsky besieged Chyhyryn and forced Doroshenko to surrender in 1676. Leaving a garrison in Chyhyryn, the Russian and Ukrainian armies retreated to the left bank of the Dnieper.

1677 Campaign

The Turkish Sultan appointed Yuri Khmelnitsky Hetman of the Right-bank Ukraine, who had been the Sultan’s prisoner at that time. In July 1677, the Sultan ordered his army (45,000 men) under the command of Ibrahim Pasha to advance towards Chyhyryn.[3] July 30, 1677 at the fortress appeared advanced detachments, and on August 3 - the main forces of the Turks. Samoilovich and Grigory Romodanovsky's forces joined on August 10, and only on August 24 they crossed the Sula River on the way to Chyhyryn. On August 26–27, a skirmish between their and Ottoman troops removed Ottoman observation posts and allowed the rest of the Muscovite and Ukrainian forces to cross the river under the cover of artillery fire. Turkish attempts to drop back into the river the first crossing detachment under the command of Major-General Shepelev were repulsed. Muscovite and Ukrainian cavalry attacked and overwhelmed Turkish-Tatar army camp, on the August 28, inflicting heavy casualties. The following day, Ibrahim Pasha lifted the siege of Chyhyryn and hastily retreated to the Inhul River and beyond.[4] Samoilovich and Grigory Romodanovsky relieved Chyhyryn on September 5. The Ottoman Army had lost 20,000 men and Ibrahim was imprisoned upon his return to Constantinople and Crimean Khan Selim I Giray lost his throne.[5][6]

1678 Campaign

In July 1678, the Turkish army (approx. 70,000 men) of the Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa with Crimean Tatar army (up to 50,000 men) besieged Chyhyryn once again.[5] The Russian and Ukrainian armies (70-80,000) broke through the fortified position of the Turkish covering force and turned them into the flight. Then they entrenched on the left bank of the Tiasmyn River opposite the fortress with the siege Turkish-Crimean army on the other bank. The crossings were destroyed and it was difficult to attack the Turks. The troops could freely enter the Chyhyryn, but it was already surrounded by well-equipped siege positions and was heavily bombarded; his fortifications were badly damaged. When the Turks broke into the Lower Town of Chyhyryn on August 11, Romodanovsky ordered to leave the citadel and withdraw troops to the left bank. The Russian army retreated beyond the Dnieper, beating off the pursuing Turkish army, which would finally leave them in peace. Later the Turks seized Kanev and established the power of Yuri Khmelnitsky on the Right-bank Ukraine, but did not dare to go to Kiev, where the Russian troops were stationed.[7]

In 1679–1680, the Russians repelled the attacks of the Crimean Tatars and signed the Bakhchisaray Peace Treaty on January 3, 1681, which would establish the Russo-Turkish border by the Dnieper.[2]


  1. David R. Stone, A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya, (Greenwood Publishing, 2006), 41.
  2. 1 2 John Paxton and John Traynor, Leaders of Russia and the Soviet Union, (Taylor & Francis Books Inc., 2004), 195.
  3. Brian Davies, Empire and Military Revolution in Eastern Europe: Russia's Turkish Wars in the Eighteenth Century, (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), 9.
  4. Brian L. Davies, Warfare, State and Society on the Black Sea steppe, 1500-1700, (Routledge, 2007), 160.
  5. 1 2 Brian L. Davies, Warfare, State and Society on the Black Sea steppe, 1500-1700, 161.
  6. Яфарова 2017, pp. 163-174.
  7. Яфарова 2017, pp. 271-284.


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