Release:2017, Vol. 3. №4
About the author:Alexey V. Bauer, Postgraduate Student, Department of Homeland History, University of Tyumen; email@example.com
This article aims at studying the command structure of insurgent troops during the riot led by Stepan Razin. The variety of historical material makes it possible to reveal certain regularities in the behavior of certain atamans (depending on the conditions for their troops’ existence); to show some heterogeneity among the leaders of the movement; and to establish certain elements of their hierarchy. The statistical analysis of the information is used to draw conclusions about their social origin, the circumstances of taking office and the further lives. The main result of the work is a collective portrait of a riot leader in 1670-1671.
Such a leader was most often a man with experience of conducting military operations, like as cossack or a soldier of the local garrison. He could either be elected at the general meeting or be appointed by a leader of another rebel detachment. In the cases, when the ataman could not cope alone with the management of his detachment, the esaul stood out to help him. This person might not have military experience, though he often came from a local population and almost always was elected. In other cases, where circumstances required the unification of several units, a general meeting of the insurgents elected a sergeant who took over the leadership of the joint forces. After the troop’s defeat, the ataman was almost certainly waiting for death, although his esauls often avoided execution. In such circumstances, the riot leaders preferred to flee from the authorities, which makes the further fate of these people unknown.