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Pyotr Rumyantsev

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Pyotr Rumyantsev

Count
Pyotr Rumyantsev
Zadunaisky
Collegium of Little Russia
In office
1764–1786
Preceded by Kyrylo Rozumovsky (as the Hetman of Zaporizhian Host)
Succeeded by office liquidated
Personal details
Born (1725-01-15)January 15, 1725
Moscow, Russian Empire
Died December 19, 1796(1796-12-19) (aged 71)
Pereyaslav county, Little Russian Governorate, Russian Empire
Military service
Allegiance  Russian Empire
Service/branch Imperial Russian Army
Rank Field Marshal
Battles/wars Pomeranian War
Russo-Turkish War (1768–74)
Russo-Turkish War (1787–92)

Count Pyotr Alexandrovich Rumyantsev-Zadunaisky (Russian: Пётр Александрович Румянцев-Задунайский) (15 January 1725 – 19 December 1796) was one of the foremost Russian generals of the 18th century. He governed Little Russia in the name of Empress Catherine the Great from the abolition of the Cossack Hetmanate in 1764 until Catherine's death 32 years later. Monuments to his victories include Kagul Obelisk in Tsarskoe Selo (1772), Rumyantsev Obelisk on Basil Island (1798–1801), and a galaxy of Derzhavin's odes.

Early life

Peter was the only son of Count Alexander Rumyantsev by Maria, the daughter and heiress of Count Andrey Matveyev. As his mother spent much time in the company of Peter the Great, rumours suggested that the young Rumyantsev was the monarch's illegitimate son. He was named after the ruling Emperor who was his godfather. He was the brother of Praskovya Bruce, confidant of Catherine the Great.

Pyotr Alexandrovich first saw military service under his nominal father in the war with Sweden (1741 - 1743). He personally carried to the Empress the peace treaty of Abo, concluded by his father in 1743. Thereupon he gained promotion to the rank of colonel.

His first military glory dates from the great battles of the Seven Years' War (1756 - 1763), those of Gross-Jägersdorf (1757) and Kunersdorf (1759). In 1761 he besieged and took the Pomeranian fortress of Kolberg, thus clearing for Russian armies the path to Berlin.

First Russo-Turkish War

Rumyantsev Obelisk (1799-1801) was moved from the Field of Mars to St. Andrew's Cathedral by Carlo Rossi in 1818.

Throughout the reign of Catherine the Great, Rumyantsev served as supreme governor of Ukraine. In this post, which his father had held with so much honesty, Rumyantsev made it his priority to eliminate any autonomy of the hetmans and to fully incorporate the newly conquered territories into the Russian Empire. Some accuse him of having promoted serfdom in New Russia, but the choice of such a policy remained out of his control.

With the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish war in 1768, Rumyantsev took command of the army sent to capture Azov. He thoroughly defeated the Turks in the Battles of Larga and Kagula, crossed the Danube and advanced to Romania. For these dazzling victories he became Field-Marshal and gained the victory title Zadunaisky (meaning "Trans-Danubian"). When his forces approached Shumla in 1774, the new Sultan Abdul Hamid I started to panic and sued for peace, which Rumyanstev signed upon a military tambourine at the village of Kuchuk-Kainarji.

Second Russo-Turkish War

By that point, Rumyantsev had undoubtedly become the most famous Russian commander. Other Catharinian generals, notably Potemkin, allegedly regarded his fame with such jealousy that they wouldn't permit him to take the command again. In times of peace, Rumyantsev expressed his innovative views on the martial art in the Instructions (1761), Customs of Military Service (1770), and the Thoughts (1777). These works provided a theoretical base for the re-organisation of the Russian army undertaken by Potemkin.

During the Second Russo-Turkish War, Rumyantsev suspected Potemkin

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