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Officially, it is believed that Yakutsk was founded by Russian Cossacks of Pyotr Beketov’s detachment in 1632 (the same year is considered the date of Yakutia’s annexation to Russia), but in fact the then prison was built on the other side of the Lena River 50 km lower (there is now a museum of wooden architecture Sottintsy ) The place was unsuccessful, it was often flooded, therefore the settlement in 1642-43 was moved to the Tuymada area, where the city is now located. Initially, the population of the Yakutsk prison was exclusively Russian – in the 17th century. the Yakuts rebelled several times (and sometimes certain Cossacks and schismatics joined them), but gradually became mixed. The pacification of the Yakuts, not least, was facilitated by Semyon Dezhnev, who knew the Yakut language perfectly (he even managed to reconcile local tribes that were at war with each other) and the first who asked the king for official permission to marry a Yakut (see the monument to this couple in the city below). Usually, Russians took local wives informally and sometimes more than one. An important role was played by the missionary activity of the Orthodox Church. From that time until 2002, the wooden prison tower of the prison remained in the city, but it burned down due to a mistake, so now we see a remake. The Yakuts were not the indigenous people of the Lena Valley, they came to the north in the 13-14 centuries, pushing further partially assimilating Evens and Evenks who lived here (these are related, but different nationalities!), they themselves appeared here several centuries before, driven out from the south by more powerful neighbors (they did not go north by their own will!). The Yukagirs are considered the autochthonous population of Yakutia, now there are only a few hundred of them … Unlike the Yakuts and Evenks, the Russians were not going to oust anyone, we had a different goal in Siberia – collecting yasak (tax / tribute), mainly in the form of soft junk (fur) or fish tooth (walrus tusks). With the slogan “yasak for the king!” Russians have gone from the Urals to the Pacific Ocean in a little over half a century – an accomplishment that is perhaps superior to the Spanish colonization of South America, given the harsh climate. For the efficiency of collecting yasak, maintaining calm among foreigners and moderation in the requirements for them were required. This, of course, does not mean that there were no “excesses on the ground” – such figures as Khabarov or Pavlutsky left a bad memory for themselves (and about Russians in general!) For a long time – the name of the last Chukchi scared children just recently, though in Yakutia they didn’t acted. But it must be remembered that cruelty and robbery were not the state policy of Russia in Siberia, and the government, as far as possible, prevented such actions. According to estimates, Siberian yasak provided more than 10% of state revenues and allowed, including pursue an active foreign policy in the West (in other words, pay for wars) …

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