7 July 1770

The Battle of Larga is fought between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

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Russo-Turkish wars, series of wars between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in the 17th–19th century. The wars reflected the decline of the Ottoman Empire and resulted in the gradual southward extension of Russia’s frontier and influence into Ottoman territory. As a result of these wars, Russia was able to extend its European frontiers southward to the Black Sea, southwestward to the Prut River, and south of the Caucasus Mountains in Asia.

The early Russo-Turkish Wars were mostly sparked by Russia’s attempts to establish a warm-water port on the Black Sea, which lay in Turkish hands. The first war was fought without success in Ukraine west of the Dnieper River by Russia, which renewed the war with failed invasions of Crimea in 1687 and 1689. In the war of 1695–96, the Russian tsar Peter I the Great’s forces succeeded in capturing the fortress of Azov. In 1710 Turkey entered the Northern War against Russia, and after Peter the Great’s attempt to liberate the Balkans from Ottoman rule ended in defeat at the Prut River, he was forced to return Azov to Turkey. War again broke out in 1735, with Russia and Austria in alliance against Turkey. The Russians successfully invaded Turkish-held Moldavia, but their Austrian allies were defeated in the field, and as a result the Russians obtained almost nothing in the Treaty of Belgrade.

The first major Russo-Turkish War began after Turkey demanded that Russia’s ruler, Catherine II the Great, abstain from interfering in Poland’s internal affairs. The Russians went on to win impressive victories over the Turks. They captured Azov, Crimea, and Bessarabia, and under Field Marshal P.A. Rumyantsev they overran Moldavia and also defeated the Turks in Bulgaria. The Turks were compelled to seek peace, which was concluded in the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca. This treaty made the Crimean khanate independent of the Turkish sultan; advanced the Russian frontier southward to the Southern Buh River; gave Russia the right to maintain a fleet on the Black Sea; and assigned Russia vague rights of protection over the Ottoman sultan’s Christian subjects throughout the Balkans.