Ural Swedes

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

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


During the Great Northern War, at least 120,000 men surrendered and were held in Russian POW camps until the war ended.[1] After the defeats at Poltava and Perevolochna there were about 20,000[2]:710 to 25,000 Swedes that capitulated[3]:246 Individual surrenders were uncommon, usually a large unit surrendered all its men. Most of them were put to 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 joined the Russian Army to survive, so Peter I put them in Astrakhan Garrison and on Ural Cossack Line to protect Russian land against Kazakhs and Kirgizian riders, where they joined the military expeditions of Bekovich-Cherkassky to Khiva,[5][6] Swedes quickly turned into Eastern Orthodox Christians and got under linguistic assimilation with the local Russians.[7] Later part of Ural Cossacks were used to support Orenburg Cossacks Line, in Sakmara. Another group was moved to Vozdvizhenskaya fortress in 1745 and thanks to isolation they kept 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. 2, 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. "Шведские военнопленные в Сибири. Первая четверть XVIII века". Moscow, 2005 (in Russian)
  6. ^ Diplomatic letters of British ambassadors. Saint Petersburg. RIO, 1886. Т.50
  7. ^ Karpov, A. B. Ural Cossacks. Part I. Uralsk. 1911