LYAPIN D.A. The Defense System of the South of Russia on the Eve of the Construction of the Belgorod Line


Denis A. Lyapin

Doctor of Sciences (History), Head of the Department of History and Historical and Cultural Heritage

Bunin Yelets State University,

Kommunarov St, 28, 399770 Yelets, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. In 1635, construction began on the Belgorod line, a large-scale military-defensive complex on the southern borders of Russia. This construction was completed in 1658. The Belgorod line played an important role in history, made possible to start the process of full-fledged economic development of a vast fertile region, and had a beneficial effect on population growth and the development of the local market. Erecting the line was a difficult task; it took much effort in this process. It is important for us to understand the events before construction.

Methods. The author of the article focuses on the history of the organization of the defense of the South of Russia according to the data of the “Brown List of Servicemen” (1625). This interesting archival source is almost unknown in the scientific world. The list reflects not only the organization of border defense, but also the social composition of the population. As a result, it is concluded that maintaining the combat capability of the southern borders was possible only under conditions of permanent deployment of large regiments in the area of the Oka River.

Results. The organization of this service required much money and effort, but at the same time the fertile southern region could not fully develop. Farming was impossible. Tatars often attacked. As soon as the weakening of the local garrisons began in 1630, the Crimean authorities sent huge troops to the Russian borderlands. The outbreak of the “Big War” forced Moscow to reconsider the organization of the defense and move to a systematic military-defensive construction. This was the background of the Belgorod line.

Key words: Belgorod line, South of Russia, voivode, Big regiment, service class people.

Citation. Lyapin D.A. The Defense System of the South of Russia on the Eve of the Construction of the Belgorod Line. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2023, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 6-14. (in Russian). DOI:

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The Defense System of the South of Russia on the Eve of the Construction of the Belgorod Line by Lyapin D.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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