Who is Salavat Yulaev?

Surely you have repeatedly heard the name of this hero, but do you know who Salavat Yulaev is? In fact, this great Bashkir hero, named after districts, streets, a city in Bashkiria and even a hockey club, lived long before our time - approximately from 1752 to 1800. Salavat Yulaev was one of the leaders of the Peasant War of 1773-1775, acting under the leadership of Yemelyan Pugachev. But it was not just a warlord, but a “warrior singer,” a man who combined the gift of a commander with the talent of a poet, and thanks to this talent he embodied the ideal of the Bashkir people of those times. Although the verses and songs in the original are not preserved, but there are still many stories and legends, the authenticity of which is impossible to establish. So who was Salavat Yulaev, whose biography causes so many rumors?


Salavat Yulaev was born in 1752 in the hereditary Tarkhan family (privileged class) in the village of Tekeevo in the Orenburg province. The village itself has not survived, it was burned by the punitive detachments of Empress Catherine during the suppression of the uprising.But now this area of ​​Bashkortostan is called Salavatsky. In every generation of Salavat, almost every generation had notable warriors who led Bashkir uprisings, even his father participated in battles with Polish confederates as part of the Russian army, but actively protested against plundering Bashkir lands and quite possibly joined the Pugachev uprising in which Salavat distinguished himself.

Salavat Yulaev first appeared before Pugachev at the age of 19 in the Berd Fortress, and then led the key battles of the Peasant War. Historical data show at least 28 battles of Salavat, of which 11 he led himself. The Bashkir hero-warrior took Simsk and Katavsk factories, participated in the siege of the Chelyabinsk fortress and Orenburg.

Salavat Yulaev led the uprising in Bashkortostan until November 1774 and each time he managed not only to preserve the main forces of the troops, but also to quickly restore the battle formations and return to the battles. Salavat was arrested on November 25, 1774, and his wives and children were captured earlier and held in Ufa as hostages. Salavat Yulaev did not extradite anyone during interrogation and did not seek to alleviate his fate.Together with his father, he was punished with whip, marking and sent to penal servitude in the Baltic fortress of Rogervik, on the place of which the Estonian city Paldiski is now located. After 25 years of hard labor, Salavat Yulaev died, the last mention of him was dated October 8, 1800.


The image of Salavat Yulaev would not have been so famous if this young man had not written poetry. Of course, this was not a perfect syllable like Pushkin’s, but his improvisations about the Ural expanses, the Bashkir people and their customs formed the basis of many legends. A poet-singer and an experienced charismatic commander represented the ideal image of the son of the Bashkir people. In the originals, his songs and poems are not found, and it is almost impossible to separate them from oral Bashkir poetry. His authorship is attributed to poems calling for the fight against oppression — “Battle,” “Arrow,” “Youth Warrior,” and many others. And yet the memory of Salavat is still preserved. The name of Salavat Yulaev is carried by streets in various cities from Chelyabinsk to Donetsk. Salavat is devoted to opera, ballet, a film made in the USSR in 1941, as well as many monuments in Ufa, Paldiski and Krasnoufimsk.

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