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When Ivan the Terrible, the Grand Prince of Moscow and the first Tsar of Russia, ascended the throne in the middle of the 16th century, he decided to put an end to the Khanate of Kazan, a medieval Bulgarian-Tatar Turkic state occupying the territory of former Volga Bulgaria, and ruled by the descendants of Genghis Khan. The Khanates and the Muscovites had been at conflict for the last hundred years. The bone of contention between the two was Kazan’s strategic location on the Volga River near its confluence with the Kama, the major river in the western Ural Mountains. As long as Kazan existed as a threat, Russian movement into and beyond the Urals, as well as south toward the Caspian Sea, was blocked.

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Photo credit: vershinatur.com

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.


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