Albazino ( _ru. Албазино) is a village in Skovorodino raion of Amur Oblast, noted as the site of Albazin ( _ru. Албазин), the first Russian settlement on the Amur River.

Before the arrival of Russians, the town, known as Yagsi (Manchu: Yaksa; Chinese: 雅克薩, Russian: Якса), was the capital of the Solon Khanate (Sinicized : 索伦汗国), a petty kingdom of the autochthonous Tungusic peoples.

In the late 1640s, a team of Russian Cossacks under Yerofey Khabarov arrived to explore Dauria. They were keen to gain a foothold in the proximity of the Amur River and, after several clashes with the Daurs under Prince Albaza or Albaaši (Sinicized: 阿尔巴西), established a Russian fort of Albazin in 1651.

The Kangxi Emperor was alarmed by the rapid growth of the Russian settlement and sent a 5,000-strong contingent to sail down the Sungari River and raze the fort. The Manchu besieged the Russian town on 12 June 1685 and, after ten days of siege, 400 Cossacks had to surrender. According to the terms of surrender, they were allowed to evacuate their property and families to Nerchinsk and Yakutsk. Regardless, 45 Cossack hostages were taken to Peking, where their descendants, known as Albazinians, still adhere to Eastern Orthodoxy.

The border conflict resulted in the Treaty of Nerchinsk, whereby the Russians gave up their claims to the territory, whereas the Chinese promised not to settle there as well. A new Amur Cossack village appeared on the site in the early 19th century. A municipal museum is sited among the remains of the 17th-century Russian fort.

External links

* [ Article from Moscow Times]
*ru icon [ Website of the Albazino Museum]
*zh icon [ Information about the Solon Khanate]

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