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You probably never heard of Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, the men immortalized in statuary on Moscow’s principal square. The merchant and the prince played a crucial role in the nation’s history, saving the state from foreign conquest.

This monument survived even the reconstruction of Moscow in the 1930s, when many Tsarist-era monuments and buildings were demolished. The reason for its survival owes to the patriotic pregnant of the memorial, symbolizing the unity between the folk (Minin, a common leader), and state ability (Pozharsky, a prince and high-ranking armed forces official). This unity is what helped save Moscow from strange invaders.

In Russia’south darkest times, such as the Tatar yoke, Shine invasion, Napoleonic State of war and the Bully Patriotic War (World War 2), a similar pattern played out. Even though it seemed that the finish was near, and that nothing could salve Russia from occupation and destruction, the common people united under the leadership of land leaders and fought the enemy until victory was accomplished. This is the feat that Minin and Pozharsky accomplished, and here’s the truthful story.

The Polish invasion and occupation

The early 17th century is known equally “Time of Troubles” in Russian history because the country suffered a dynastic succession crisis, equally well every bit peasant uprisings. An impostor known every bit False Dmitry II, calling himself Ivan the Terrible’due south son, was nearly Moscow with his forces, and former Tsar Vasily Shuyskiy had been deposed from the throne.

In 1610, the government was controlled past the ‘Seven Boyars,’ and they decided to surrender the metropolis to the Polish army. That state’s military leaders wanted to make prince Vladislav king of Russian federation, simply in 1611 the Shine forces were blocked inside the Kremlin and began to starve. The time had come up to eject the invaders from the Russian capital letter, and that’due south when Minin and Pozharsky entered the historical limelight.

Kuzma Minin

While his origins are mysterious – we don’t even know his father’s name – some experts believe that Minin was of Tatar descent. We do know for certain that Kuzma was a citizen of Nizhny Novgorod, and that he worked as a butcher and enjoyed certain social prestige. A natural built-in leader, Minin frequently appeared at public gatherings, and he persuaded people to grade a national militia to kick the Poles out of the Kremlin and restore Russian power.

Using his connections, Minin assessed the property of Nizhny Novgorod’south citizens and made them pay one 3rd of their savings to back up the national militia. The property of those who refused to pay was confiscated. This compulsory crowd-funding helped form the core of the national militia, made of professional soldiers who were able to defeat the Smoothen troops holding out in the Kremlin – 1 of Europe’due south most formidable fortresses.

Dmitry Pozharsky

Russia, Suzdal, Monastery of St Ephimious. Bronze relief depicting Pozharsky and Minin on the door of the small chapel which houses the tomb of Pozharsky

Descendant from a princely line, Dmitry Pozharsky enjoyed the high rank of the Tsar’s
stolnik. Unlike most prominent officials, Pozharsky was renowned for his high moral principles. Devoid of vanity and greed, pocket-size in public and true to his Motherland, Pozharsky was at the same fourth dimension gentle and introspective.

Serving nether Vasiliy Shuyskiy, he fought the Polish invaders, and when the ‘Seven Boyars’ wanted to put Vladislav on the throne, he strongly opposed that treacherous move. In early 1611, Pozharsky fought with the national militia against the Poles, and helped congregate the invaders within the Kremlin; but he was wounded and taken to his estate in the Nizhny Novgorod region.

The 2d national militia

Dmitry Pozharsky's standard. Preserved in the Kremlin Armory.

After Pozharsky’s recovery, the members of the 2d national militia chose him as their leader. He agreed but on the condition that Minin supervise all finances and equipment of the folk army. Minin and Pozharsky sent letters to many major towns, summoning troops from all the Muscovite lands. In March, the national militia went to Yaroslavl, where it gathered more troops, and they even persuaded the Swedish and German language governments to send troops to help defeat the Poles.

In early on September 1612, the national militia reached Moscow. After three days of fighting, the Polish forces were battered. Later two months, the besieged Poles were on the brink of cannibalism. On November. v, 1612, the enemy forces were evicted from the Kremlin, which is why Nov. 4 is commemorated every bit National Unity Day – in memory of the national army that defeated the invaders and preserved Russian sovereignty.

Ernst Lissner, The Expulsion of Polish Invaders from the Moscow Kremlin.

Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky connected to serve Russian federation subsequently the Time of Troubles had ended. They both were given prominent positions in the Tsar’due south court, which they held until the end of their days.

The monument

The monument to Minin and Pozharsky on its former place in front of GUM

This month the monument to Minin and Pozharsky, which is located on Red Foursquare, marks its 200th anniversary. Plans for the monument were hatched in 1803, and in 1808 Emperor Alexander I endorsed the idea, and issued a prescript that started a national fundraising campaign for the monument. The Russian-Napoleonic War of 1812 only intensified the patriotic sentiment behind this idea.

The monument was cast in 1816, made of 1,100 tons of copper. This was the earth’south showtime monument of such a large size that was cast in a unmarried process, which lasted 10 hours. On February. xx, 1818, the monument was opened to the public, in the middle of Scarlet Square in front end of the main archway to the Upper Trading Rows, at present known as Glue.

Later in 1931, the monument was moved to its current place in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in order to free up infinite for Soviet war machine parades. Today, the monument is an inherent part of the iconic view of Cerise Square. “To Citizen Minin and Prince Pozharsky, The Grateful Russia, year 1818,” the inscription reads.

The monument to Minin and Pozharsky (contemporary view)

If you lot desire to know more nearly the early years of the Romanovs, read about the first Romanov, Tsar Mikhail, or visit The Trinity-Ipatiev Monastery where he was in hiding during the Fourth dimension of Troubles. And for something unlike, tin you guess what these words in Russian cursive mean?

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Source: https://www.rbth.com/history/327639-minin-pozharsky

Posted by: Fusiontr.com