Russia and Kabardino-Balkaria: 450 years of history
Geopolitical conditions that were shaped after the fall of the Golden Horde as well as reinforcement of political positions of Muscovy, Ottoman Empire, Persia, Crimean Khanate and Great Lithuanian Princedom were the basis for the rapprochement of Russia and Kabarda.
Turkey, Persia, and the Crimean Khanate began active attacks of the North Caucasus in the XVI century. To guard against them the first adyg embassadors in Moscow announced in 1552 about their wish to ally with Russia. Ivan the Terrible urgently needed this alliance to resist the Crimean and Turkish press and to conquest Astrakhan Khanate and consolidate on it.
In 1552-1561 Kabarda and Muscovy had been exchanging embassies, negotiating on mutual assistance and support, first of all military support. In 1557 princes Makhashoko Kanokov, Sibok Kansaukov and others came in Moscow with a 50 thousand adyg army to serve there.
Following them an embassy headed by the prince Kanklyich Kanukov came to Ivan the Terrible. On behalf of the sovereign prince of Kabarda Temr’yk Idarov they brought requests and suggestions on assistance and cooperation. This event raised the Russian-Adyg relationship on a higher level.
Mutually beneficial political-military alliance known as Symmachia (from Greece symmachia- “together” + machomai “fight”) was concluded between Russia and Kabarda in the summer of 1557. In case of need and as far as possible each side undertook to render each other military assistance in the fight against external and internal enemies and to serve on the territory of the allied country.
Marriage of Ivan the Terrible and the youngest daughter of Prince Temr’yk Idarov Guashaney (she adopted the name of Maria after taking Baptism) promoted strengthening relations of the Russian State and Kabarda. The wedding ceremony took place on August 21, 1561 in Moscow.
Conjugal union of the royal families of the Muscovy and Kabarda turned to the extantion of the political-military alliance, the symbol of firm connection of two countries. Descendants of Guashaney’s brothers who served the tsar, founded the family of Cherkasskiy that gave Russia a pleiad of commanders and statesmen, admiral Ushakov among them.
In September 1921, the Kabardian Autonomous Oblast was formed as a member of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and in 1922, the Balkar Okrug was attached to the Kabardian Autonomous Oblast.
On December 5,1936, it was changed into the Kabardino-Balkarian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (KBASSR).
In 1991 the Supreme Soviet of the KBASSR adopted the Declaration about the sovereignty of the republic. It was named the Kabardino-Balkaryan Republic (KBR).
Today Kabardino-Balkaria is a presidential republic and a part of the Russian Federation. The president of the republic is Arsen Bashirovich Kanokov.