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Russo-Turkish War, 1768-74
The Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774 was a decisive conflict that brought Southern Ukraine, Northern Caucasus, and Crimea within the orbit of the Russian Empire.
The war followed the internal tensions within Poland where there was the strife between the nobility and the king Stanilaus Augustus Poniatowski, former favorite of the Russian Empress Catharine II. The king was dependent on the support from the Russian troops.
A detachment of Cossacks in Russian service entered Balta (on Ottoman territory) during the pursuit of a Polish oppositionary force. The Ottoman Empire accused the troops to have conducted the slaughter of its subjects in the town of Balta, a charge denied by the Russian authorities. Following this border incident at Balta the Turkish Sultan declared war on Russia on September 25 1768. The Turks formed the alliance with the Polish oppositionary forces of Bar Confederation, while Russia was supported by England, who offered naval advisers to the Russian navy.
The Polish opposition was defeated by Aleksandr Vasilievich Suvorov who was then transferred to the Turkish theatre of operations where in 1773 and 1774 he won several minor and major battles following the previous grand successes of the Russian Field-Marshal Count Peter Rumiantsev at Larga and Kagula .
The naval operations of the Russian Baltic Fleet in the Mediterranean yielded even more spectacular victories under the command of Aleksey Grigoryevich Orlov. Greece (Orlov Revolt) and then, in 1771, Egypt and Syria rebelled against the Ottoman rule while the Russian fleet totally destroyed the Turkish Navy.
On July 21, 1774, the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Kušuk Kainarji according to which the Crimean Khanate formally gained its independence, but in reality became dependent on Russia. Russia received the contribution of 4.5 million rubles and two key seaports allowing the direct access to the Black Sea.
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