Stenka Razin (stĕng´kä rä´zēn), 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.
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Publication information: Article title: Razin, Stenka. Encyclopedia title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. © 2012 The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia © 2012, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. Used with the permission of Columbia University Press. All Rights Reserved. Publisher: The Columbia University Press. Place of publication: Not available. Publication year: 2013.
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