Russo-Persian War (1722–23)

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Russo-Persian War (1722–1723)
Part of Russo-Persian Wars

Eugene Lanceray. Fleet of Peter the Great (1909).
Date 1722–1723
Location North Caucasus, South Caucasus and North Iran
Result Russian Victory
Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1723)[1]
Russia gained Derbent, Baku, and the provinces of Shirvan, Gilan, Mazandaran, and Astrabad. All returned to Persia a few years later.
 Russian Empire
Flag of the Cossack Hetmanat.svg Ukrainian Cossacks
Flag of Shah Tahmasp I.svg Safavid Persian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Russia Peter the Great
Russia Fyodor Apraksin
Russia Mikhail Matyushkin
Flag of the Cossack Hetmanat.svgDanylo Apostol
Vakhtang VI
Flag of Shah Tahmasp I.svg Shah Tahmasp II
Russian Army: 22,000
Cossacks: 22,000
Georgian-Armenian Army: 40,000
Total: 84,000
Gholam Regiments: 10,000
Safavid Tofangchian: 30,000
Topchi Brigade, Qizilbash Regiments:30,000
Casualties and losses
unknown unknown

Russo-Persian War, 1722–1723, known in Russian historiography as the Persian campaign of Peter the Great,[2] was a war between Russia and Persia (Safavid Iran), triggered by the tsar's attempt to expand Russian influence in the Caspian and Caucasus regions and to prevent its rival, Ottoman Empire, from territorial gains in the region at the expense of the declining Safavid Persia.


Prior to the campaign, Peter I of Russia secured an alliance with a Georgian king Vakhtang VI of Kartli and with Catholicos of Armenia Asdvadzadur. These Christian rulers were seeking Russian aid in their conflicts with Persia and the expansionist Ottoman Empire.

In July 1722, the Russian army and Cossacks, numbering about 22,000 men, embarked on ships of the newly built Caspian Flotilla led by admiral Fyodor Apraksin from Astrakhan. They were joined later by about 22,000 cavalry and the Cossacks marching overland from Tsaritsyn. On August 23, 1722 the Russian army captured Derbent in southern Dagestan. However, in the autumn of this year storms on the Caspian Sea forced Peter the Great to return to Astrakhan leaving Russian garrisons at Derbent and Svyatoy Krest. In September 1722, Vakhtang VI encamped at Ganja with a combined Georgian-Armenian army of 40,000 to join the advancing Russian expedition, but after receiving news about Peter I's departure returned to Tbilisi in November.

In December 1722 the Russian army and navy, under major general Mikhail Matyushkin, seized Rasht and in July 1723 proceeded to capture Baku. Russian military success and the Turkish invasion of Persian possessions in the Southern Caucasus in the spring of 1723, forced the government of Tahmasp II to sign a peace treaty at Saint Petersburg, which surrendered Derbent, Baku, and the Persian provinces of Shirvan, Gilan, Mazandaran, and Astrabad to the Russians on September 12, 1723.[1] A local repulse of Russian cavalry at Endirey, however, left the Russian control of western Daghestan a dead letter.[3]

Aftermath and consequences[edit]

In 1732, on the eve of the Russo-Turkish War, the government of Empress Anna Ioannovna returned all the annexed territories to Persia as a part of the Treaty of Resht, to construct an alliance with the Safavids against the Ottoman Empire.[4]

The sequel was disastrous for the Georgian rulers who had supported Peter's venture. In eastern Georgia, Vakhtang VI of Kartli lost his throne and sought protection of the Russian court in 1724. In western Georgia, Alexander V of Imereti had to accept an Ottoman suzerainty on more stringent terms. The Ottomans, further, alarmed by the Russian intervention, strengthened their hold along the Caucasian coastline.[5]


  1. ^ a b Treaty of St Petersburg (1723), Alexander Mikaberidze, Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia, Vol. I, ed. Alexander Mikaberidze, (ABC-CLIO, 2011), 850.
  2. ^ Elena Andreeva, Russia and Iran in the Great Game: Travelogues and Orientalism, (Routledge, 2007), 38.
  3. ^ Dunlop (1998).
  4. ^ A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East, Vol. II, ed. Spencer C. Tucker, (ABC-CLIO, 2010), 729.
  5. ^ Allen, W.E.D. (1950). "Two Georgian Maps of the First Half of the Eighteenth Century". Imago Mundi, Vol. 10: 99.

See also[edit]