Russia and the Caucasus 150 years ago

Decades of war ensued between the Russian Empire and the people of the Caucasus. During Alexander’s military service on the Chechen front, which started in 1850, the young heir led an advance near Fort Achkoi, engaging in hand to hand combat with members of a Chechen company. Nicholas I granted Alexander the Cross of St. George for Valour. Similar scenes would unfold when the Circassians were expelled from the Russian Empire a decade later. When Alexander II came to the throne in 1855, following Nicholas I’s sudden death from influenza, he inherited an Empire that was rapidly losing a war for control of the Black Sea.