Shamil was elected to lead the Caucasian Imamate in September 1834. His first reign would last five years, until the loss Akhoulgo, the settlement that acted as the Caucasians headquarters. In consequence, the imam was forced to flee to Chechnya. The Tsar considered the victory absolute, because he held the imam’s son hostage. 

Despite this, Shamil would again command a Chechen insurrection. One of the reasons for the rising was a rumour that the Chechens were to be disarmed and forced to become serfs. After significant victories, Shamil begins to lose Russian forces – in 1859 prince Baryatinskiy approached the Imamate’s capital and forced Shamil to escape to Dagestan. By August 10, 1859, encircled Shamil’s final stronghold in north-west of Dagestan. After a two weeks siege, the fortified aul fell and Shamil was made prisoner. Ten years later, Tsar Alexander II allowed the former imam to leave Russia for a pilgrimage to Mecca. Shamil died in Medina on February 4th 1871.

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