Russian history 50. Foreign policy of Ivan III. Mongols
In the times of Ivan III there were three Mongolian hordes on the territory of modern Russia. The Golden Horde was torn by the feuds and was slowly dying. Near the Black sea the Crimean Horde was born in the XV century. It was ruled by the dynasty of Girai (the descendants of Haci Girai). In Kazan the natives of the Golden Horde founded yet another horde in the XV century. It united Finno-Ugrian tribes under the rule of Mongols. Using the internal problems and feuds among the Mongols, Ivan III managed to spread his influence onto Kazan and the khan of Kazan (the tsar of Kazan, as the Muscovites called him) became his ally and assistant. The relationships with the Crimean khan were also friendly, because both countries had one enemy, the Golden Horde, and opposed this enemy together. As for the Golden Horde itself, Ivan III stopped showing all signs of dependency. He did not pay tribute and did not visit the horde. A legend tells that once Ivan III threw the basma to the floor and tread it down (basma was a golden plate given by the khan to his ambassadors as a sign of their power).
Akhmat, the khan of the Golden Horde, understood his weakness and attempted to form an alliance with Lithuania, but since Lithuania refused to guarantee their assistance, he had to suffice with raids along the borders of Muscovy. In 1472 he came to the river Oka, but didn't attack Moscow and soon left. In 1480 he repeated this raid. He came to the river Ugra, near the border of Muscovy and Lithuania. Once again Lithuanians refused to provide assistance, and Ivan III sent a strong army against Akhmat. Both armies were standing against each other on Ugra, but neither dared to attack. Ivan III ordered to prepare Moscow for the siege and sent his wife Sophia from Moscow to the north. He was afraid of both the Mongols and his own brothers who, as he thought, might be plotting against him. For the Muscovites, his actions looked like cowardice. The archbishop of Rostov Vassian asked Ivan not to flee, but to withstand the enemy. But Ivan did not attack the Mongols. Having spent on Ugra some months, from the summer till November, Akhmat had to leave. Soon he was killed in a feud and his sons died during the war with the Crimean horde, and the Golden Horde finally broke up in 1502. This was the end of the "Tatar yoke" for the Muscovy. However, the problems were not over yet. The successors of the Golden Horde: the Crimean horde, the Kazan khanate and other small tribes living near the Russian borders and ukraines (lands near the border), continued to raid these ukraines, robbing and killing people. These raids continued for three hundred years more.