Hadji Murad

Hadji Murad

The histories of these conflicts and of relevant predecessors will predominate in any thinking about them, but their counterparts in fiction can also convey the subjective and personal aspects of the experience of war in ways that history cannot. Remembered as an author of lengthy novels and as the long-bearded pacifist he became late in his life, Tolstoy was born into one of the highest aristocratic families in Russia.

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Hadji Murat is a short novel written by Leo Tolstoy from to and published posthumously in The protagonist is Hadji Murat, an Avar rebel. Hadji Murad was an important Avar leader during the resistance of the peoples of Dagestan and Chechnya in – against the incorporation of the region.

As a young man, he spent much of the s as an army officer in several military campaigns. He joined the Russian army in and went to the Caucasus in There, the real-life historical figure Hadji Murad, a Muslim tribal leader, held the entire campaign in the balance. Fatigue with the long war had set in, with Tsar Nicholas I and elite society in the distant capital paying little attention.

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Russian military commanders, despite years of facing Hadji Murad in battle, knew his defection could change the course of the war. They went to great lengths to earn his trust and passed his plan to the war minister and the Tsar, expecting it to be approved and for victory to follow soon.

The efforts of the officers in the field were for naught, however, as their distant civilian leaders ignored them and substituted their own ideas. The war minister, who harbored an old resentment of his front-line general, disliked the plan to use Hadji Murad and intentionally misrepresented it to the Tsar as being soft on the enemy. The troops in the field and the actual war they were fighting were of little concern as the personal concerns of political leaders in the capital dictated the course of the war.

The events set in motion by these orders changed the course of the far-away war and destroyed the lives of countless people on both sides, including Hadji Murad, killed while trying to escape and rescue his family. In Ramadi in late , at a crucial juncture in the war, Captain Patriquin and Colonel MacFarland reached out to Sheikh Sattar of the Abu Risha tribe and figured out how to make him an ally in the war against the Al Qaeda insurgency in Iraq.

The ensuing Awakening that turned the Sunni tribes of Iraq against Al Qaeda, along with a new counterinsurgency strategy and the surge of additional U. The success of the U.

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After an ineffectual raid on Russian headquarters at Temir-Khan-Shura , a rumour spread that he had slaughtered all the Russians in the hospital and cut them up into shashliks , which he left behind for the Russian troops to eat unawares. Though false, this rumour gained much credence among the Russians and vilified Hadji Murad's reputation. In , a feud broke out between him and Shamil, when Shamil proclaimed his son, Khazi Mohammed, as the successor. In a secret meeting, Shamil and his naibs decided that Hadji Murad should be killed.

An unknown naib warned him and he managed to escape in time, but his family were held captive. Hadji Murad surrendered to the Russians, who lionised but mistrusted him. He repeatedly asked to be given men and guns to attack Shamil and rescue his family, but received no firm reply. He was allowed to move from Tbilisi to the small Muslim town of Noukkha now Shaki, Azerbaijan accompanied by a Cossack escort. Hadji Murad planned an escape, which he carried out on April 24 Old style calendar , , during one of his morning rides.

Rereadings: Hadji Murad by Leo Tolstoy | Books | The Guardian

The Cossack guards were ambushed and killed but the town's garrison, led by Colonel Karganov, tracked Hadji Murad down. The Russians were joined by many tribesmen, including Akhmet Khan's son and Hadji Murad was killed in the ensuing fight. The young Akhmet Khan cut off the head and sent it to Tbilisi, where it was embalmed and then sent to the Emperor. Hadji Murad's severed head was finally sent to be kept at the Kunstkamera in St.

Hadji Murad

In , his descendants and activists in Dagestan petitioned to retrieve his skull from St. Petersburg and reunite it with the rest of his remains believed to be buried in modern Azerbaijan's Qakh District. The Russian government set up an interagency commission to consider the request.

Leo Tolstoy 's posthumously published novel Hadji Murad is a fictionalized account of Murad's struggle with the Russian Empire. Murad is played by Steve Reeves.

Timeless Lessons: Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad

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