“Russian ulus” of the Golden Horde
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“Russian ulus” of the Golden Horde
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S086956870014169-6-1
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10.31857/S086956870014169-6
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Vadim Trepavlov 
Affiliation: Institute of Russian History, RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
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220-232
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19.03.2021
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19.03.2021
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1 After the Mongol invasion in 1237–1241, most of the Russian principalities were forced to submit to the invaders. Rus became part of the Yeke Mongol Ulus – the Mongol Empire. Visits of the princes to bow to the new overlords – to the Volga headquarters of the rulers of Ulus Jochi (the future Golden Horde) and the imperial capital Karakorum, the conduct of a general imperial census in the Russian lands, the introduction of taxation there clearly demonstrated this new status of Rus’. After the empire had broken up into independent ulus khanates in the second half of the 1260s, the supreme power over the Slavic subjects passed to the Jochids – the khans of the Golden Horde. So, if the belonging of the conquered Rus’ to the Mongol Empire does not seem to cause noticeable disputes and doubts in historiography, then its position in the "post-imperial" situation remains controversial.
2 The very fact of the conquest did not seem to Russian and Soviet researchers to be a sufficient basis for regarding the Russian lands as part of the Golden Horde. Krivosheev rightly noted: "Most of the Russian historians believed and still believe that Rus’ as a territory and society did not become the territory of the 'Jochiev ulus'"1. It is no coincidence that the author of the only monographic study of the historical geography of the Golden Horde, Egorov did not consider Russian lands among the Horde possessions2.
1. Krivosheev Yu.V. Rus' i mongoly. Issledovanie po istorii Severo-Vostochnoi Rusi XIII–XIV vv. [Rus’ and Mongols. Research on the History of North-Eastern Russia of the 13th-14th Centuries]. Sankt-Peterburg, 2003. P. 117. (In Russ.)

2. Egorov V.L. Istoricheskaia geografiia Zolotoi Ordy v XIII–XIV vv. [Historical Geography of the Golden Horde in the 13th-14th Centuries]. Moskva, 1985. (In Russ.)
3 If to take recent studies, then, as an example of a concentrated presentation of such an approach, one can refer to Gorskii: after the campaigns of Batu and the administrative measures of the government of the Yeke Mongol Ulus in the 1240s-1250s, "The Russian lands fell into dependence on the Mongol khans (hereinafter, the author’s italics are in quotes – the author’s note)". When the Golden Horde had become a separate state, "the Russian principalities remained in vassal dependence only on it"; this "vassal dependence" was expressed in the right of the Horde khans to establish princes on the thrones and receive tribute ("Horde vykhod") and other taxes from them3.
3. Gorskii A.A. Rus': ot slavianskogo rasseleniia do Moskovskogo tsarstva [Rus’: from Slavic Settlement to Muscovite Tsardom]. Moskva, 2004. P. 190–191. (In Russ.)
4 The concept of "dependence" concerning the Russian-Horde relations has recently been actively introduced into the Russian scientific discourse, displacing (but not completely replacing) the former established "Mongol-Tatar yoke", and was even legalised in the Federal State Educational Standard of Basic General Education4. Thus, there is no question of considering the enslaved Rus part of the Golden Horde state. "Russia was clearly not part of the Ulus, and the Tatars allowed the Russian princes to preserve their thrones," Halperin5 writes, implying by the Ulus, obviously, the territory of the Horde, directly controlled by the khan, his officials, and governors.
4. See: Programma osnovnogo obshchego obrazovaniia po istorii. 5–9 klassy (bazovyi uroven') [Basic General Education Program in History. 5-9 grades (basic level)]. (In Russ.) Available at: >>>> (access date 21.07.2020).

5. Halperin Ch.J. Russia and the Golden Horde. The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History. Bloomington, 1985. P. 63.
5 The definition of Rus’s dependence on the Horde is often accompanied by the epithet "vassal" (as in the above quote from Gorskii’s work). However, a careful analysis of the Russian-Horde relations of domination-subordination reveals significant differences from their Western European feudal and later prototypes – vassalage, protectorate, ministeriality, etc.6 Therefore, from time to time in the literature, it has been assumed about a closer interaction of these two historical subjects. Thus, Gumilev saw in the period of the 13th-15th centuries a mutually beneficial alliance and even a "symbiosis" of Rus’ and the Horde7 borrowed from biology, i.e. also perceived them as two mismatched – albeit supposedly mutually loyal – system elements. Vernadsky believed that "Rus’ was a part of the Mongol empire and a regional khanate", and "while Western and Eastern Rus’ were under the khan’s control, both were parts of the same political entity, the Golden Horde"8. However, for a long time, such points of view were not shared by almost any historian, remaining essentially marginal.
6. See: Seleznev Yu.V. Kartiny ordynskogo iga [Pictures of the Horde Yoke]. Voronezh, 2017. P. 33, 34. (In Russ.)

7. Gumilev L.N. Drevniaia Rus' i Velikaia Step' [Ancient Russia and the Great Steppe]. Moskva, 1989. P. 543. (In Russ.); Gumilev L.N. Ot Rusi k Rossii. Ocherki etnicheskoi istorii [From Rus’ to Russia. Essays on Ethnic History]. Moskva, 1992. P. 155. (In Russ.)

8. Vernadskii G.V. Mongoly i Rus' [Mongols and Russia]. Tver’; Moskva, 1997. P. 6, 240. (In Russ.)
6 In recent years, due to the growing interest and intensification of research on the history of the Golden Horde, an alternative view is increasingly penetrating the pages of scientific reports, articles, and monographs (but not textbooks – this is still a long way off). Seleznev’s works are devoted to the examination of the degree and signs of the subordination of Rus’ to the Horde through the analysis of the relationship between princes and khans. He concluded that the rulers of the Rurik’s house held "in fact, administrative positions" in the Horde state system, were included "in the system of interaction between the elite of the Jochi Ulus", which meant "their inclusion in the ruling layer of the Horde"9. The Russian-Horde relations are largely presented in a new way in the third volume of the "History of the Tatars" and the generalizing fundamental monograph "The Golden Horde in World History"10.
9. Seleznev Yu.V. Russkie kniaz'ia v sostave praviashchei elity Dzhuchieva Ulusa v XIII–XV vekakh [Russian Princes in the Ruling Elite of the Jochi Ulus in the 13th–15th Centuries]. Voronezh, 2013. P. 304. (In Russ.); Seleznev Yu.V. Kartiny ordynskogo iga [Pictures of the Horde Yoke]. P. 34. (In Russ.)

10. Istoriia tatar s drevneishikh vremen. T. III. Ulus Dzhuchi (Zolotaia Orda). XIII – seredina XV v. [History of the Tatars from Ancient Times. Vol. III. Ulus Jochi (Golden Horde). 13th–mid-15th Century]. Kazan, 2009. (In Russ.); Zolotaia Orda v mirovoi istorii [The Golden Horde in World History]. Kazan, 2016. (In Russ.)
7 Probably, so far one can only talk about the first steps, the emerging tendency to rethink this problem. However, these steps already allowed Galimov to claim that recent studies have shown "quite convincingly" that "the ancient Russian principalities were not just dependent on the Horde, but were part of the Golden Horde space". With that, "the totality of Russian principalities became a kind of separate 'Russian ulus'"11. In 2019, within the framework of the VI International Golden Horde Forum in Kazan’, a roundtable discussion was held on "Russian ulus: issues of subordination of the ancient Russian lands to the Golden Horde".
11. Galimov T.R. O vkhozhdenii drevnerusskoi znati v sostav elit Zolotoi Ordy (postanovka voprosa) [On the Entry of the Ancient Russian Nobility into the Elites of the Golden Horde (Formulation of the Question)]. Zolotoordynskaia tsivilizatsiia [Golden Horde Civilization]. 2017. No. 10. P. 261, 263. (In Russ.)
8 Thus, the concept of "Russian ulus" as an integral and independent object of study is gradually penetrating modern historiography12. At one time, the author decided to define the Russian principalities, imposed by the "Horde vykhod", as an integral part of the Golden Horde13. One of the reasons for this was the naming of the principalities in the Russian chronicles as "Tsarev ulus" (see below). This interpretation, many years later, drew criticism from the researcher of the Mongol conquest of Rus’ Krivosheev. In his opinion, Trepavlov’s approach does not take into account the ambiguity of the term "ulus", which initially meant "a socio-potestary community of a heterogeneous nature" (according to Skrynnikova), and later acquired a "state-territorial accent". Between the Horde and Rus’, there was a relationship of "tributary exploitation" based on "tributary" with accompanying raids and plunders. Consequently, "the Russian chronicles make it possible to interpret the "ulus" not as the lands subordinated to the Horde and ruled by the khan, but as a territory, the population of which pays tribute"; ulus, like tumen, are "tributary units that have nothing to do with the territorial-state structure of the Golden Horde, directly ruled by the khans"14.
12. The Turkish researcher Kemaloglu (Kamalov) wrote the book The Golden Horde and Russia. Turkic-Tatar Impact on Russia, which in Russian translation was issued under the name Golden Horde and Russian Ulus. However, it still uses traditional and largely abstract characteristics: "vassals", "vassalage", "submission to the Golden Horde", etc. (Kamalov İ. Altın Ordave Rusya: Rusya Üzerindeki Türk-Tatar Etkisi. İstanbul, 2009; İstanbul, 2015; Kamalov I. Zolotaia Orda i russkii ulus (tatarskoe vliianie na Rossiiu) [Golden Horde and Russian Ulus (Tatar Impact on Russia)]. Kazan’, 2016. (In Russ.)). The author does not give a clear answer to the question whether the Russian principalities were part of the Jochi Ulus.

13. Trepavlov V.V. Status "Belogo tsaria": Moskva i tatarskie khanstva v XV–XVI vv. [Status of the "White Tsar": Moscow and the Tatar Khanates in the 15th–16th Centuries]. Rossiia i Vostok: problemy vzaimodeistviia [Russia and the East: Problems of Interaction]. Moscow Moskva?, 1992. P. 59–62. (In Russ.)

14. Krivosheev Yu.V. Rus' i mongoly… [Russia and Mongols…]. P. 246–248 (In Russ.); Krivosheev Yu.V. Srednevekovaia Rus' i Dzhuchiev ulus: formirovanie i razvitie sistemy otnoshenii [Medieval Rus’ and Jochi Ulus: Formation and Development of the System of Relations] // Mongol'skaia imperiia i kochevoi mir [Mongol Empire and the Nomadic World]. Ulan-Ude, 2004. P. 194–196. (In Russ.)
9 There is something to object to here. First, somewhat scholastic arguments about changes in the meaning of the term "ulus" do not refute the author’s understanding of a part of Russia as part of the Horde, whether it is a "socio-potestary community" (in other words, a people) or a territorial possession. However, from the context of the rare mentions of the ulus in the chronicles concerning the Russian lands, nevertheless, first of all, the territorial meaning of this concept appears, although sometimes the primordially Mongolian understanding as a "subject people" or a "people transferred to government" is possible. In the 17th century, the ulus entered the Russian language so much that when translating Turkic letters in the Ambassadorial Prikaz, it replaced the concepts "people", "subjects", "servants" that appeared in the originals15. Be that as it may, this does not in any way refute the thesis that the conquered part of Rus’ belonged to the Golden Horde state.
15. Trepavlov V.V. Istoriia Nogaiskoi Ordy [History of the Nogai Horde]. Moskva, 2020. P. 739, 740. (In Russ.)
10 Second, the ambiguous Ancient Russian concept of "tribute" seems to be interpreted by the author’s respected opponent too one-dimensionally, according to the modern meaning – as the withdrawal of resources by the conquerors from the unfortunate victims of the conquest. Meanwhile, the Horde tribute – "vykhod" (chyqysh, kharaj) – was an ordinary tax imposed on the entire sedentary population of the Jochi Ulus, and not only the Russians. Moreover, in medieval Russian the word "tribute" meant not only payments to the victorious enemy, but also "duty", and even "gift, offering"16.
16. Sreznevskii I.I. Materialy dlia slovaria drevnerusskogo iazyka po pis'mennym pamiatnikam. T. 1. [Materials for the Dictionary of the Ancient Russian Language on Written Monuments, vol. 1]. Sankt-Peterburg, 1893. Columns 627–629. (In Russ.); Slovar' drevnerusskogo iazyka (XI–XIV vv.). T. II [Dictionary of the Ancient Russian Language (11th–14th Centuries), vol. II]. Moskva, 1989. P. 426, 427. (In Russ.)
11 Third, it is strange to assert that the principalities, which the Russians themselves called the "tsarev (i.e. khan’s) ulus", were not related to the "territorial-state structure" of the state, which was divided into uluses. It is another matter that the Slavic regions of Eastern Europe, of course, were not like the uluses in the nomadic steppe – this is indisputable. As Fedorov-Davydov noted, the term "ulus" was applied to the Russian principalities "with a tinge denoting their vassal position to the khan"17.
17. Fedorov-Davydov G.A. Obshchestvennyi stroi Zolotoi Ordy [The Social System of the Golden Horde]. Moskva, 1973. P. 117. (In Russ.)
12 Let us turn to the references to the ulus in Russian sources describing the events of the 13th-15th centuries. As expected, this concept appears, first of all, in the words of the Tatars transmitted by medieval chroniclers. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the likelihood of the authors’ conjecturing the quoted texts of these speeches – if not their general content, then individual details, including terminology. In particular, Russian historians are traditionally skeptical about the information of the late “Nikon Chronicle” (16th century) regarding that era.
13 One can read in it about how in September 1383 Tokhtamysh, "Tsar Volozhsky and the highest tsar of all the hordes", bestowed Prince Mikhail Alexandrovich with the great reign of Tver’ with the words: "I know my uluses myself, and every prince of Russia in my ulus, but in his own homeland lives in the old way, and serves me with the truth…but what is not true for me of my ulusnik (i.e. ulus servant) prince Dmitry of Moscow, I frightened him"18. The “Tver’ Collection” (end of the 15th century) conveys the words of the same Tokhtamysh to the Muscovites besieged by him in 1382: "I did not come to destroy my ulus, but to observe it"19.
18. Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei [Complete collection of Russian chronicles]. Vol. 11. Sankt-Peterburg, 1897. P. 84. (In Russ.)

19. Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei [Complete collection of Russian chronicles]. Vol. 15. Moskva, 2000. P. 442. (In Russ.)
14 It is worth noting that the Russian lands do not appear in the above fragments as a single "Russian ulus". It follows from the chronicle quotes that the Grand Duchy of Tver’ and Vladimir (then actually Moscow), and other regions ruled by princes subject to the Horde ("every prince in my ulus") were special uluses. On the whole, the idea of a [или: any] principality as a khan’s ulus is clearly seen here and has been repeatedly noted in historiography. The speeches of Russian visitors to the khan’s headquarters with the mention of the ulus were much more frequently cited in the literature. “The Simeon Chronicle” (end of the 15th century) and the “Voskresenskaia Chronicle” (16th century) under 1348/49: "And the Tsar (Janibek – the author’s note) has heard the complaint of the Great Prince (Semyon Ivanovich of Moscow – the author’s note) that Olgerd with his brothers devastated the tsarev ulus, but the Great Prince’s patrimony"; "The Tsar has heard from the Great Prince’s ambassadors that Olgerd with his brothers devastated his ulus, the Great Prince’s patrimony"20. “The Nikon Chronicle” under 1399: Ivan Mikhailovich of Tver’ sent a deputation to the khan with a request "to grand him with his patrimony and the estate inherited from his grandfather, but with the khan’s ulus, the Grand Duchy of Tver", and that "gave his ulus, the Grand Duchy of Tver, to Prince Ivan Mikhailovich according to his patrimony and the estate inherited from his grandfather"21. Much better known and more often cited is information about the dispute around the grand prince’s throne (and the corresponding yarlyq) between Vasily Vasilyevich of Moscow and Yuri Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod at the headquarters of Khan Ulug Muhammad in 1431–1432. In a monologue addressed to the khan, Vasily’s confidant convinced him of the strict observance by his patron of the orders established by the Horde, in contrast to Yuri, an adherent of the inheritance right to reign: "Our ruler, the Grand Duke Vasily, is looking for the table of his great reign, and your ulus, according to your tsar’s wish and according to your register and letter of the khans… And you are free in your ulus to grant whoever you want at your will"22.
20. Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei [Complete collection of Russian chronicles]. Vol. 7. Sankt-Peterburg, 1856. P. 215; Vol. 18. Moskva, 2007. P. 96. (In Russ.)

21. Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei [Complete Collection of Russian Chronicles]. Vol. 11. P. 183. (In Russ.)

22. Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei [Complete Collection of Russian Chronicles]. Vol. 27. Moskva, Leningrad, 1962. P. 103; Vol. 25. Moskva, Leningrad, 1949. P. 249; Vol. 26. Moskva, Leningrad, 1959. P. 188. (In Russ.). On this situation, see: Arapov D.Yu. Russkie kniaz'ia v Orde v 1432 g.: istoriia odnogo epizoda moskovskoi "zamiatni" XV v. [Russian Princes in the Horde in 1432: the Story of one Episode of the Moscow "zamyatnya" (period of trpoubles) of the 15th Century] // Russkoe srednevekov'e. Istochniki. 2000–2001 [Russian Middle Ages. Sources. 2000–2001]. Moskva, 2002. P. 98–100. (In Russ.); Zimin A.A. Vitiaz' na rasput'e. Feodal'naia voina v Rossii XV v. [A Knight at the Crossroads: Feudal War in Russia of the 15th Century]. Moskva, 1991. P. 45–47. (In Russ.)
15

It is noteworthy that the chroniclers have never commented on this dual status of the principalities as hereditary possessions and the Horde uluses. This omission could be accidental and required explanations from historians. In general, they concluded that this was a consequence of reconciliation with the fact of the conquest and the fate of the Tatar tributaries as a manifestation of the divine will. Indeed, as stated in the "Hagiography of Mikhail of Chernigov" (mid-16th century), after the invasion, Rus’ found itself in the position of "the land of the Kan and Baty" (that is, the Mongolian emperor – Kaan and Batu), therefore, "those who do not worship them… should not live on it"23. Consequently, it was ascertained that Rus’ entered not only into the Chinggisid Empire headed by the Kaan but also into the number of Batu’s possessions – "the land of Batu", i.e. Jochi Ulus. In any case, this was the case from the Mongols’ point of view (in the "Hagiography", their appeal to the princes who survived after the invasion is retold). The Khan of the Horde acted as an instrument of God’s wrath against Rus’, which is why he got the opportunity to completely control the fate of the Russian lands24.

23. Serebryanskii N.I. Drevnerusskie kniazheskie zhitiia. Obzor redaktsii i teksty [Ancient Russian Princely >>> ies. Review of Editions and Texts]. Moskva, 1915. P. 55. (In Russ.); Nasonov A.N. "Russkaia zemlia" i obrazovanie territorii Drevnerusskogo gosudarstva. Istoriko-geograficheskoe issledovanie. Mongoly i Rus'. Istoriia tatarskoi politiki na Rusi ["Russian Land" and the Formation of the Territory of the Ancient Russian State. Historical and Geographical Research. Mongols and Russia. History of Tatar Politics in Russia]. Sankt-Peterburg, 2002. P. 221. (In Russ.)

24. Seleznev Yu.V. Polemicheskie zametki ob obraze tatar v russkoi srednevekovoi knizhnosti [Polemic Notes about the Image of the Tatars in the Russian Medieval Book Culture] // Peterburgskie slavianskie i balkanskie issledovaniia [Petersburg Slavic and Balkan Studies]. 2011. No. 1(9). January–June. P. 220. (In Russ.)
16 Besides, the demonstration of loyalty during visits to the Horde and an outwardly neutral attitude towards the "yoke" could be dictated by the fear that the Horde rulers were able to at any time go over to direct control of the Russian tributaries, without the mediation of local princes – just like in the rest of the Golden Horde25.
25. Gorskii A.A. Utverzhdenie vlasti Mongol'skoi imperii nad Rus'iu: regional'nye osobennosti imperii [The Assertion of the Power of the Mongol Empire over Russia: Regional Features of the Empire] // Istoricheskii vestnik [Historical Bulletin]. 2014. Vol. 10(157). P. 59. (In Russ.)
17 In general, as Halperin puts it, Russian intellectuals of the 13th-14th centuries "bypassed the dangerous comprehension of Mongol rule by refusing to interpret Russian-Tatar relations in terms of sovereignty, that is, refusal from explicit recognition that Rus was conquered"26. It is this American researcher who has a very sound idea, from the author’s point of view, about a kind of "ideology of silence", "avoiding [articulating] the idea of Tatar suzerainty"27. In his opinion, the Russian authors of medieval texts organized in fact a "conspiracy of silence", just avoiding touching upon the problems associated with the conquest, and between hatred of the enemy and ignoring him, they chose the latter. Halperin even sees an "incredible feat" in the fact that the ideologists of Rus’ glorified the khans and at the same time did not recognize that they were its rulers28, that is, did not recognize this obvious, although unfortunate for the Orthodox Slavs fact.
26. Halperin Ch.J. Russia and the Golden Horde… Р. 63.

27. Halperin Ch.J. Tatarskoe igo. Obraz mongolov v srednevekovoi Rossii [The Tatar Yoke. The Image of the Mongols in Medieval Russia]. Voronezh, 2012. P. 14, 30, 202. (In Russ.); Halperin Ch.J. Russia and the Golden Horde… Р. 74; Halperin Ch.J. The Tatar Yoke. The Image of the Mongols in Medieval Russia. Columbus (Ohio), 1986. Р. 5, 20, 192.

28. Halperin Ch.J. The Tatar Yoke… P. 203, 205, 206, 209.
18 Nevertheless, Laushkin considered this interpretation of the mentality of Russian scribes "largely artificial". In fact, in his opinion, their constant comparison of the Horde dominion over Rus’ with the Old Testament "Babylonian captivity" of the Jews was permeated with "historical optimism" – confidence in the inevitable future deliverance from this heavenly punishment. The decrease in the negative characteristics of the Mongols in the texts, starting from the second half of the 13th century, "does not so much indicate a certain political prudence of the chroniclers, but generally corresponds to the manner that their earlier predecessors developed when telling about the Polovtsy, Bulgars, and Lithuania"29.
29. Laushkin A.V. Rus' i sosedi: istoriia etnokofessional'nykh predstavlenii v drevnerusskoi knizhnosti XI–XIII vv. [Russia and Neighbors: History of Ethno-confessional Representations in Ancient Russian Book Literature of the 11th–13th Centuries]. Moskva, 2019. P. 181–193, 228. (In Russ.)
19 Rudakov, considering the infrequent presence of the Tatar khans on the pages of ancient Russian writings, focuses on the conviction of their authors in the divine source of any state power, which resulted in unquestioning submission to the power of the Horde "tsar", which was to be "obeyed to the extent that it concerns earthly affairs"30. Rudakov approached the problem from a slightly different angle, but the certainty he noted for the Russian scribes of the prerogatives of the "power of Caesar" also explains their silence regarding the position of Rus’ in the system of the Horde statehood.
30. Rudakov V.N. Mongolo-tatary glazami drevnerusskikh knizhnikov serediny XIII–XV vv. [Mongol-Tatars through the Eyes of Ancient Russian Scribes of the Middle of the 13th–15th Centuries]. Moskva, 2009. P. 111, 121. (In Russ.)
20 Thus, Russian sources – with their dry statements of the ulus status of principalities and princes as khan ulusniks – do not help much in determining the position of the "Russian ulus" in the Golden Horde. Therefore, let us turn to the texts originating from the countries adjacent to Rus’.
21 Russian-Horde relations of the era of the "Mongol-Tatar yoke" were reflected in the Books of Records of the Lithuanian metric of the late 15th – early 16th centuries. In these documents, from time to time, there is a memory of the former tributary obligations of Rus’. When communicating with the Grand Duke Ivan III, the Tatars did not dare to even mention this. In the initial protocol of the khan’s letters from the Crimea, the formula "(so-and-so khan’s) word to Ivan" was used, i.e. simply with the designation of different ranks of rulers – khan ("tsar") and the grand duke, already without the former imperative construction of sӧzüm – "my word"31. However, in their correspondence with Vilna and Krakow, the Crimeans gave vent to nostalgia, accompanying the mention of the Moscow sovereign with the indispensable addition of "our kholop" (‘servant’, or even ‘slave’)32. Sheikh Ahmad, the last Khan of the Great Horde, also called Ivan III kholop33.
31. Gorskii A.A. Moskva i Orda [Moscow and the Horde]. Moskva, 2000. P. 179, 180. (In Russ.)

32. Lietuvos Metrika. Knyga Nr 5 (1427–1506). Vilnius, 1994. Р. 172, 173, 175, 179, 181, 235.

33. Lietuvos Metrika. Knyga Nr 6 (1494–1506). Vilnius, 2007. Р. 80.
22 The Polish-Lithuanian side willingly supported these moods, reinforcing the anti-Moscow sentiment in their Tatar interlocutors. The authorities of the Polish-Lithuanian state, which had once contributed to the accession of the Gireys, adhered to a similar interpretation when communicating with the Crimeans: "The ancestors of the Muscovite (Grand Duke – the author’s note) were serfs; your ancestors were always given tribute to the royal table, at which you, our brother, sit"34.
34. Lietuvos Metrika. Knyga Nr 7 (1506–1539). Vilnius, 2011. Р. 337 (order to the ambassador of the king and the Grand Duke Sigismund I to the Crimean Khan Mengli Girey, March 29, 1516).
23 With that, the Polish-Lithuanian rulers were outraged by the ambitions of the Moscow princes for hierarchical equality with the khans: "And whoever wrote himself as a serf before that ancestor of yours is now already called your brother. And he is the enemy of our lord, the Grand Duke of Moscow"35. They considered the difference in the ranks of the rulers to be significant also because Moscow once paid the Horde a tribute – "vykhod", while Lithuania was limited to voluntary (albeit rather ruinous) gifts – upominki): "Our ancestors and our father, with their great ambassadors, visited your ancestors and your father with upominki), and your Moscow serf gave tribute every year"36.
35. Lietuvos Metrika. Knyga Nr 5 (1427–1506). Р. 276 (order to the ambassador of the Grand Duke Alexander Jagiellon to Mengli Girey, November 7, 1500).

36. Lietuvos Metrika. Knyga Nr 7 (1506–1539). Р. 84.
24 The same attitude is seen in the story of the “Nikon Chronicle” about the appeal of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Jagiello to the "Tsar" Mamai on the eve of the Battle of Kulikovo: "I hear, sir, as if you want to frighten your ulus, your official, the Moscow Prince Dmitry… Prince Dmitry of Moscow is giving a great offence against your ulusnik Oleg Prince of Ryazan". Mamai allegedly answered: "As much as you want my ulus, the land of Rus, I grant you all, my oathbounds and ulusniks"37. One can also observe here the difference between the "ulusniks" of the Moscow and Ryazan principalities and the "oathbounds" of the principality of Lithuania (at the beginning of the letter, Jagiello is presented as "pro your grace oathbound"). Besides, "non-Lithuanian" Rus’ appears in the eyes of Mamai as "my ulus, the Russian land", i.e. subservient to the khan, the Russian ulus of the Golden Horde (it does not matter that the "royal" title was attributed to this bek by the chronicler, most likely, undeservedly).
37. Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei [Complete Collection of Russian Chronicles]. Vol. 12. Sankt-Peterburg, 1901. P. 47–48. (In Russ.)
25 So, in the documents related to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, one can see a clear impression of contemporaries about North-Eastern Rus’ as the same "tsarev ulus" that is mentioned in the Russian chronicles – a property subordinate to the khan, ruled by princes – khan "ulusniks".
26 Contemporaries and observers from the more distant West assessed the position of Rus’ to the Horde rather unequivocally: it is a tributary and, therefore, part of the "Tartars’" state. Allsen drew attention to the fact that the French ambassador Rubruk, when listing the regions of the Jochi Ulus, which paid tribute to the Mongols with furs in the mid-1250s, calls the Russian principalities38. They had a reputation as land subject to the Horde rulers. One hundred years after Rubruk, the anonymous “Chronicle of Steiermark” told about the invasion of Polish troops into Galicia in 1340, to which the reaction of Khan Uzbek followed: "The Tartar king, hearing about this, claimed that the kingdom (Galician – the author’s note) was his, paid the quitrent to him and his ancestors. He came with an infinite number of Tartars to the borders of Cracovia"39. Let us note that there is a reference to the opinion of the Horde side about the citizenship of Western Rus’. Although the Austrian author could conjecture it.
38. Allsen Th.T. Mongol Imperialism. The Policies of the Grand Qan Möngke in China, Russia, and the Islamic Lands, 1251–1259. Berkeley, 1987. Р. 183.

39. Hautala R. V zemliakh "Severnoi Tartarii". Svedeniia latinskikh istochnikov o Zolotoi Orde v pravlenie khana Uzbeka (1313–1341) [In the Lands of "Northern Tartary". Information from Latin Sources about the Golden Horde during the Reign of Uzbek Khan (1313–1341)]. Kazan’, 2019. P. 734. (In Russ.)
27 The younger contemporary of the Steier anonymous author, an unknown Castilian, who composed the “Book of Acquaintance with All Kingdoms”, did not visit those kingdoms himself and described his fictional journey through them. Among the cities that "are in the Sarai Empire," he, along with several unidentifiable toponyms, calls "Tyfer"40. It would be tempting to assume that this is the name of the city of Tver’, but only written down by someone by ear from a certain Turkic-speaking informant.
40. Idem. P. 556.
28 In 1394, the Turks captured the Bavarian soldier Johann Schiltberger. Over the next 33 years, he, along with his masters, visited many countries, including the Golden Horde, and in 1427 fled to his homeland, where he described his wanderings. He called one of the chapters "Countries subject to Tartary, in which I was", i.e. it seems that this is about countries subordinate to the Golden Horde, but not part of it. However, as such, he calls the undoubted Horde provinces of Khorezm, "Beshtamak" with the main city of Dzhulat (i.e. the North Caucasus), Kipchak (i.e. Dasht-i Qipchak), and among them "the kingdom of Russia, which pays tribute to the Tatar king41".
41. Schiltberger, J. Puteshestvie po Evrope, Azii i Afrike s 1394 goda po 1427 god [Travel in Europe, Asia and Africa from 1394 to 1427]. Baku, 1984. P. 44, 45. (In Russ.)
29 The concentrated attitude of Europeans to the position of Rus under the "yoke" was expressed by the Austrian (imperial) diplomat Herberstein. In his “Notes on Muscovite Affairs”, first published in 1549, he noted that after the invasion of Batu "[almost] all the sovereigns of Russia were supplied by the Tatars and obeyed them up to Vitold, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, who bravely defended against the Tatar troops [his] lands [and the ones] that he occupied in Russia… But the great dukes of Vladimir and Moscow, up to the current Prince Vasily, have always been in loyalty and obedience, once promised to the Tatars"42. As it can be seen, the author does not give a definite answer to the question of interest, whether Rus’ was a part of the Golden Horde? However, the "loyalty and obedience" of the princes, along with the payment of tribute, obviously, were supposed to give the readers an impression that Rus’ was integrated – except for its part liberated by the Lithuanian prince Vitovt – into the state space of the Horde. Moreover, not into the steppe nomadic "Tartary" of Schiltberger, but into the vast "empire of Sarai" of the Castilian anonymous author.
42. Herberstein, S. Zapiski o Moskovii [Notes on Muscovy]. Moskva, 1988. P. 165. (In Russ.)
30 Let us turn to sources originating from the Mongolian, Golden Horde, post-Horde, and, in general, Muslim medieval environment. The author notes right away that in the stories about the conquest of Eastern Europe, the authors of these texts ignored the division of Rus’ into actually independent states-principalities. For Eastern contemporaries, all of them were the area of ​​residence of the Russian people (Rus, Urus, Orusut). Genghis Khan aimed the famous commander Subedei at the conquest of the Russians as a whole, as a kind of a single community, and his successor, Kaan Ogedei, sent his sons and nephews headed by Batu, who "captured the Orusuts"43. Obviously, the primary and archaic idea of ​​the territory, the country, not as a geographical space, but as, first of all, the place of settlement of the people – according to the original meaning of the Mongolian concept of "ulus", has affected here.
43. Kozin S.A. Sokrovennoe skazanie mongolov. Mongol'skaia khronika 1240 goda [The Secret Legend of the Mongols. Mongolian Chronicle of 1240]. Moskva, Leningrad, 1941. P. 189, 192, 194. (In Russ.)
31 The authors, who reflected the official doctrines of the Yeke Mongol Ulus, also saw in the people subject to the princes of Rurik’s house, the Russians in general, the "country of the Rus"44. When describing the population of the Golden Horde, those were listed along with the Circassians and Yases, who "are not able to resist the sultan of these countries and therefore (treat) him as his subjects, although they have (their) kings"45. The mobilization of Russian warriors by the Horde Khan did not evoke any emotions and comments, when, for example, to fight Timur on Tokhtamysh’s order "from the Russians, the Circassians, the Bulgars, the Qipchaks, the Alans, (residents) of Crimea with Kafa and Azak, the Bashkirs and M.k.s. (the Moksha? – the author’s note) a fairly large army has gathered"46. The chronicler of Tamerlane regarded the invasion of Jochi Ulus as "a raid on the regions and places of that area – (lands) of Ukek, Madjar, the Russians, the Circassians, the Bashkirs, Mikes, Balchimkin, Crimea, Azak, Kuban and the Alans with everything belonging to them and related to them"47.
44. Rashid ad-Din. Sbornik letopisei [Collection of Chronicles]. Vol. 2. Moskva, Leningrad, 1960. P. 36, 38, 45, 121. (In Russ.); Sbornik materialov, otnosiashchikhsia k istorii Zolotoi Ordy. Izvlecheniia iz persidskikh sochinenii, sobrannye V.G. Tizengauzenom [Collection of Materials Related to the History of the Golden Horde. Extracts from Persian Works Collected by V.G. Tiesenhausen] (Istoriia Kazakhstana v persidskikh istochnikakh. T. IV [History of Kazakhstan in Persian Sources. Vol. IV]). Almaty, 2006. P. 56. (In Russ.) (Juvaini, mid-13th century).

45. Sbornik materialov, otnosiashchikhsia k istorii Zolotoi Ordy. Izvlecheniia iz arabskikh sochinenii, sobrannye V.G. Tizengauzenom [Collection of Materials Related to the History of the Golden Horde. Extracts from Arabic Works Collected by V.G. Tiesenhausen] (Istoriia Kazakhstana v arabskikh istochnikakh. T. I [History of Kazakhstan in Arabic Sources. Vol. I]). Almaty, 2005. P. 171. (In Russ.) (al-Omari, first half of the 14th century).

46. Idem. P. 303. (Yazdi, first half of the 15th century).

47. Idem. P. 344. (Yazdi).
32 A single and, in a sense, an abstract "region of Rus", the "country of Rus" over time, in the 14th century, was clearly divided into "Vladimir (Moscow)" and "Lithuanian" parts. If the latter was called "Libka" by the Tatars (again, without distinction between the Baltic and Slavic population), then for North-Eastern Rus’ in the Eastern texts of that time and later, the concept of "Moscow vilayet" (Moskov vilayeti)48 was established. Although sometimes the traditional "Russian vilayet" (Urus vilayeti)49 was also used. How was this "vilayet" perceived in several other Horde possessions?
48. Utemish Haji. Kara Tavarikh. Kazan’, 2017. P. 31, 63, 72, 73 (mid-16th century); Kyrymi Abdulgaffar. Umdet al-Akhbar. Book 1. Transcription, facsimile. Kazan’, 2014. P. 62, 104 (mid-18th century); Kyrymi Abdulgaffar. Umdet al-Akhbar. Book 2. Translation. Kazan’, 2018. P. 43, 78.

49. Utemish Haji. Kara Tavarikh. P. 30, 104; Kyrymi Abdulgaffar Umdet al-Akhbar. Book 1. P. 93; Book 2. P. 69.
33 Arab and Persian authors, far from the Jochi Ulus, saw in the conquered Rus’ one of the districts of this state ("the tenth district of the country of Rus" – Al-Kalkashandi, early 15th century). They did not know about the political division of the Russian lands and understood by the country/district of Rus’ the entire territory of the former Ancient Russian state50. However, when describing the limits of the Golden Horde, they unanimously included Rus’ in its composition. Batu "owned the following lands: Khifchak, Rus, Cherkas, the country of As, Bulgar, Ukaka, Jand, Barkchand, Jurjania, Khwarazm and other territories up to the ar-Rum strait"51; "From the Iron Gates, ar-Rus, al-Kifjak, Khwarezm and Sudak to the borders of al-Kustantiniyya, this is the possession of King Berke"52; "In 738 AH … the king (from) the "Iron Gates", the lands of ar-Rus and al-Kifjak (up to) al-Kustantiniyya was Yuzbak"53. The same limits of the Horde are outlined by the late Turkic chronicler: the power of Khan Timur-Kutlug and Beklerbek Edigü at the beginning of the 15th century "spread, on the one hand, to Khawarezm, on the other, to Kazan’ and Rus, and went to the borders of the vilayat Krym, Sarai, Saraichuk, Hadji Tarkhan… Their great state included the vilayet Khorezm, Sarachyk, Crimea Krym, Qazaq, Kazan’, Bashkurt, Alatyr’, Hadji Tarkhan, Russian and Bulgar vilayets"54.
50. Grigoriev A.P., Frolova O.B. Geograficheskoe opisanie Zolotoi Ordy v entsiklopedii al-Kalkashandi [Geographical Description of the Golden Horde in the Encyclopedia of Al-Kalkashandi] // Tiurkologicheskii sbornik [Turkological Collection]. 2001. Moskva, 2002. P. 267, 273. (In Russ.)

51. Jamal al-Karshi. Al-Mulhakat bi-s-Surah. Almaty, 2005 (Istoriia Kazakhstana v persidskikh istochnikakh. T. I [History of Kazakhstan in Persian Sources. Vol. I]). P. 120 (beginning of the 14th century).

52. Sbornik materialov, otnosiashchikhsia k istorii Zolotoi Ordy. Izvlecheniia iz arabskikh sochinenii, sobrannye V.G. Tizengauzenom [Collection of Materials Related to the History of the Golden Horde. Extracts from Arabic Works Collected by V.G. Tiesenhausen]. P. 161 (Al-Mufaddal, first half of the 14th century).

53. Sbornik materialov, otnosiashchikhsia k istorii Zolotoi Ordy. Izvlecheniia iz persidskikh sochinenii, sobrannye V.G. Tizengauzenom [Collection of Materials Related to the History of the Golden Horde. Extracts from Persian Works Collected by V.G. Tiesenhausen]. P. 200 (anonymous author of the 14th century).

54. Kyrymi Abdulgaffar. Umdet al-Akhbar. Book 2. P. 63, 69.
34 Thus, wherever Eastern authors talk about the territory of the Jochid state, Rus’ is mentioned along with other Horde provinces: Dasht-i Qipchak, Khorezm, Crimea (Sudak, Kafa), Lower (Sarai-Berke), and Middle (Bulgar, Ukek, Alatyr’, the Burtases/Furtases) Volga region, South Ural (Bashkurt), North Caucasus and North-Western Black Sea region (Cherkas, As country, Alan region), Syrdarya oases (Jand, Barkchend), Western Siberia (Ibir-Sibir).
35 Apparently, regular payment of taxes to the state treasury served as a criterion for joining the "Rus vilayet" to their number. The conquest of the Russian lands ended, according to Utemish Haji, with the organization of taxation immediately after the invasion (although in reality this process was drawn out in time): Batu and his brother Shiban "came to the Moskau vilayat. They stayed there for several months, arranged the affairs of the vilayat, exacted cattle (property) and kharaj, appointed hakims and returned to their vilayat with victory and prevailing"55.
55. Utemish Haji. Kara Tavarikh. P. 31.
36 Those who are called hakims by the Khorezm chronicler in the sources of the 13th-15th centuries are called darugas (darugachi). These were officials appointed to manage certain regions of the Mongol Empire, including Jochi Ulus. In the Horde of the 14th century, they were subordinate to the vizier and were responsible for regular payments of various taxes, the census of the taxable population, and the maintenance of the corresponding registers56 (devters, as the Russians called them). According to Maslova, the darugas were at the khan’s court, in contrast to the Basqaks, who were directly present in the principalities in the first decades after the conquest57.
56. Fedorov-Davydov G.A. Op. cit. P. 30; Pochekaev R.Yu. Pravo Zolotoi Ordy [Right of the Golden Horde]. Kazan’, 2009. P. 106, 118, 120. (In Russ.)

57. Maslova S.A. Instituty ordynskoi vlasti nad Rus'iu (baskaki, darugi, posly). Avtoref. dis. … kand. ist. nauk [Institutions of Horde Power over Rus’ (Baskaqs, Darugas, Ambassadors). Author’s abstract of Ph.D. Thesis]. Moskva, 2015. P. 17. (In Russ.)
37

Since the Mongol rulers at first perceived the "country of Rus", obviously, as a kind of unified province, then one daruga was appointed for the whole Rus’. The sources contain only sporadic information on this matter. According to the Chinese dynastic history Yuan shi (the 1360s), in 1257 Kaan Mӧngke appointed Kitai (Kitat of Russian chronicles), the son of his son-in-law, "darugachi for pacifying and maintaining order among the Russians, in connection with which he granted him 300 horses and 5,000 sheep"; "Kitai… was made darugachi to bring into obedience and rule [the lands] of the Russians and Alans"58. It is known from the chronicles that in that year the inhabitants of North-Eastern Rus’ underwent a census, which was led by this very Kitai/Kitat. Apparently, he supervised the general course of affairs of the Orthodox tributaries, was responsible for collecting taxes and delivering them to the court59. At that time, during the period of the unity of the Yeke Mongol Ulus, the office of this daruga, presumably, was based in the imperial capital of  Karakorum.

58. Zolotaia Orda v istochnikakh. T. III. Kitaiskie i mongol'skie istochniki [The Golden Horde in the Sources. Vol. III. Chinese and Mongolian Sources]. Moskva, 2009. P. 195, 208. (In Russ.)

59. Nasonov A.N. Op. cit. P. 224.
38 When the Golden Horde separated from the Central Asian metropolis, the "Russian" daruga began to be based in Sarai60. In the sources known to the author, there is the only mention of him before the 15th century – in the biographical dictionary of the Egyptian historian Taqi ad-Din al-Makrizi “Kitab al-muqaffa al-kabir” (Big Rhymed Book), written around the first half of the century. The story about the scientist Mawlana-zade as-Sarai says: "His father was a venerable, ascetic and generous scholar. He was the manager of the waqf property in Sarai, and was also responsible for collecting taxes from the waqfs and the poll taxes in the Russian lands61. From this property, he did not take a single dirham for himself or his family and did not feed his cattle at the expense of [the public treasury]"62. It must be understood that the predecessors of the "generous learned man" in this position did not disdain embezzlement, appropriating part of the "vykhod". The proximity of waqf fees and taxes from Rus’ in the competence of one department may indicate the specialization of this "department" of the government office (divan) in control over the receipt of income from the settled areas into the treasury.
60. B. Spuler admitted that darugas were mainly located in Russian cities, and came to the Horde capital as needed, for example, for a report (Spuler B. Zolotaia Orda. Mongoly v Rossii. 1223–1502 gg. [Golden Horde. Mongols in Russia. 1223–1502]. Kazan’, 2016. P. 330. (In Russ.)).

61. Translation by S.Z. Akhmadullin, kindly made by him at the author’s request: "He was instructed to bear (responsibility) for the property of waqfs and the poll taxes in the country of Russians".

62. Zaynuddinov D.R. Uchenyi iz Saraia – Mavliana Zada as-Sarai (754/1353–791/1389) – v biograficheskom slovare al Makrizi Taki ad-dina (766/1365–845/1441) "Kitab al-mukaffa al-kabir" (Bol'shaia rifmovannaia kniga) [Scientist from Sarai – Mawlana-zade as-Sarai (754/1353–791/1389) – in the Biographical Dictionary of al-Maqrizi, Taqi ad-Din (766/1365–845/1441) "Kitab al-muqaffa al-kabir" (Big Rhymed Book)] // Zolotoordynskoe obozrenie [Golden Horde Review]. 2017. Vol. 5, No. 1. P. 128. (In Russ.)
39 The political development of North-Eastern Rus’ – the emergence, in addition to the town of Vladimir one, of several more "great tables" made adjustments to the apparatus of the Horde administration of the "Russian ulus". For the 15th century, there are mentions of darugas of individual great principalities. In the above-mentioned dispute over the yarlyq between Vasily of Moscow and Yuri of Zvenigorod at the headquarters of Khan Ulug Muhammad in 1432, the "daruga of Moscow Min-bulat" (doroga Moskovskoi Minbulat) took the side of the Moscow prince. In the bureaucratic hierarchy, he held a high position, as he is titled in many chronicles as the "Grand Duke of the Tartary", "the Grand Duke of the Horde". Near the residence of Ulug Muhammad, he had his own headquarters, in which both princes who arrived at the khan’s court were accommodated63. Perhaps it was a "symmetrical" analog of the Horde courtyard, equipped in the Moscow Kremlin for visitors from Sarai.
63. Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei [Complete Collection of Russian Chronicles]. Vol. 8. Sankt-Peterburg, 1856. P. 96; Vol. 12. P. 15; Vol. 33. L., 1977. P. 97.
40 In the “Simeon Chronicle” (15th century), the "daruga of Ryazan" (doroga Ryazanskoi) appears who, along with other Horde nobles, persuaded Khan Akhmad to go on a military campaign against the Moscow principality of Ivan III64. He was clearly responsible for matters related to the Grand Duchy of Ryazan. It seems that one can agree with Vernadskii’s hypothesis that, most likely, darugas of other great principalities – Tver’ and Nizhny Novgorod, also existed in the Horde65.
64. Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei [Complete Collection of Russian Chronicles]. Vol. 18. P. 224.

65. Vernadskii G.V. Op. cit. P. 235.
41 Thus, originally a single "Russian ulus", "Russian vilayet" in the 14th century, began to be perceived in the Horde as a combination of several independent reigns-uluses (plus the Russian lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with an unclear status). The princes-rulers of these uluses, the khan’s "ulusniks", due to the recognition of the supreme power of the Horde padishah, receiving from him yarlyqs for reigning, paying taxes, and participating in military campaigns on the side (and in the composition) of the Horde troops were included "in the system of interactions of the elite of the Jochi Ulus on the rights of ulus rulers", as Seleznev rightly pointed out66. However, his assignment of princes to the category of temniks and thousanders seems doubtful. Rather, they should be likened to a similar rank of the Horde non-dynastic aristocracy – noyons (Mong.), they are also beks (Turkic), they are also emirs (Arab-Pers.). In particular, to such a category as ulus-beks, called in Russian translations of yarlyqs, "ulus princes" and, possibly, also "human princes"67 .Theoretically, it would be possible to admit the correlation of the Russian Grand Duke with the Tatar ulug bek (beklerbek). However, the highest position in the state of this nobleman – the supreme military leader and the actual head of the class of beks – hardly allows him to be put on a par with the leaders of the Christian tributaries.
66. Seleznev Yu.V. Russkie kniaz'ia v sostave praviashchei elity Dzhuchieva Ulusa v XIII–XV vekakh [Russian Princes in the Ruling Elite of the Jochi Ulus in the 13th–15th Centuries]. P. 304.

67. Berezin I.N. Vnutrennee ustroistvo Zolotoi Ordy (po khanskim iarlykam) [The Internal Structure of the Golden Horde (according to Khan’s Yarlyqs)]. Kazan’, 1850. P. 7. (In Russ.); Fedorov-Davydov G.A. Op. cit. P. 91, 92.
42

An important argument in favor of the presence of Russian princes in the Horde elite is the indication that they belonged to one of the wings of the Ulus Jochi – similar to the "wing" distribution of the Tatar beks. During hostilities, the princes with their detachments certainly had to occupy a certain place in the formation of the Horde army in campaigns and battles. Indeed, when describing the military-administrative division of the Golden Horde into right and left wings (although sometimes getting confused between them), Persian chroniclers attributed Rus’ to one of them: "The right wing, which includes Ibir-Sibir, Rus, Libka68, Ukek, Majar, Bulgar, Bashgurd and Sarai-Berke, was appointed to the descendants of Toktai"69; "The area of the left hand (from) Ulug-tag to the Furtases and Rus was in their (Horde khans – the author’s note) possession"70. With the silence of other texts, it is permissible to allow Rus’ to remain in the on-sol Horde’s wing structure – but so far with an unknown and incomprehensible status.

68. Here Lithuania is already separated from Rus’.

69. Sbornik materialov, otnosiashchikhsia k istorii Zolotoi Ordy. Izvlecheniia iz persidskikh sochinenii, sobrannye V.G. Tizengauzenom [Collection of Materials Related to the History of the Golden Horde. Extracts from Persian Works Collected by V.G. Tiesenhausen]. P. 252 (Natanzi, early 15th century).

70. Sbornik materialov, otnosiashchikhsia k istorii Zolotoi Ordy. Izvlecheniia iz persidskikh sochinenii, sobrannye V.G. Tizengauzenom [Collection of Materials Related to the History of the Golden Horde. Extracts from Persian Works Collected by V.G. Tiesenhausen]. P. 409 (Haydar Razi, early 17th century).
43 Like almost any empire, the Yeke Mongol Ulus had a complex structure. Along with the inheritance of Genghis Khan’s sons (including Jochi Ulus – the Golden Horde), the gigantic Mongol kingdom included vicegerencies and autonomous possessions of various status and rank. Rus’ as part of the empire was in the same position as Uyguria, Rum (Seljuk Asia Minor), Georgia, the country of the Yenisei Kyrgyz, etc. All these states retained (at least, in the first time after the conquest) their own rulers and the pre-Mongol internal structure. With the weakening of the empire, during the second half of the 13th century, the Golden Horde gradually separated from it. Rus’ turned out to be the only sedentary country inherited from the empire, subject to the Horde, with obedient sovereigns left in power. Therefore, the Russians were then part of the subjects of the Jochid khans. At the same time, they were not subject to many of the norms of state life that were practiced in the nomadic steppe and in those settled regions where the local pre-Mongol elites were deprived of power – Volga Bulgaria and Khorezm.

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