Ural Swedes

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Ural Swedes
Swedish, Russian
Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Swedes, Russians

The Ural Swedes, (Swedish: uralssvenskar, Russian: Уральские шведы) are Yaik Cossacks (later Orenburg Cossacks) with Swedish ancestry, related to the large groups of Swedish prisoners of the Great Northern War (1700–1721).


During Great Northern War, at least 120,000 men surrendered and were held in Russian POW camps until the war ended.[1] In time of Poltava and Perevolochna where about 20,000[2]:710 to 25,000 Swedes capitulated[3]:246 surrendered during the battle individual surrenders were uncommon; usually a large unit surrendered all its men. Most of them were put in work in Ukraine, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Another large group was moved into Siberia and Ural, where they start to work in mining under command of Vasily Tatishchev.[4]

About 8,000 Swedes go in Russian Army to survive, so Peter I put them in Astrakhan Garrison and on Ural Cossack Line to protect Russian land against Kazakhs and Kirgizians riders, where they join military expedition of Bekovich-Cherkassky to the Khiva,[5][6] Swedes fast turn in Eastern Orthodox Christianity and get under linguistic assimilation by the local Russians.[7] Later part of Ural Cossacks was used to established and support Orenburg Cossacks Line, in Sakmara. Another group was moved in Vozdvizhenskaya fortress in 1745 and thanks to isolation keeps some language and cultural identification until the beginning of the 20th century.


  1. ^ http://trojza.blogspot.ru/2013/03/1700-1721.html Swedish prisoners of Northern War
  2. ^ Tucker, S.C., 2010, A Global Chronology of Conflict, Vol. Two, Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, LLC, ISBN 9781851096671
  3. ^ Englund, Peter, The Battle that Shook Europe: Poltava and the Birth of the Russian Empire, 2003, I. B. Tauris, ISBN=1-86064-847-9
  4. ^ http://www.prvregion.narod.ru/data/hstpm/v_plen_u.htm Swedish POW in Ural mines
  5. ^ Shebaldin, G.V. Swedish POW in Siberia. Beginning of the 18th century, Мoscow, 2005 г. (Russian)
  6. ^ Diplomatic letters of British ambassadors. Saint Petersburg. RIO, 1886. Т.50
  7. ^ Karpov, A.B. Ural Cossacks. Part I. Uralsk. 1911