Russian cavalry officer/sotnik 1363-1386
(Battle of Kulikovo 1380)
History: A painting by Igor Dzys has inspired the creation of this figurine representing a Novgorodian cavalry officer, more precisely one of the Russian officers who fought in the Battle of Kulikovo. They wore a cuirass type quilted armour made of dyed linen with scalloped leather mantle and skirt. Further protection was provided by a coloured leather neckline and a breast band. The helmet is the type used by Western European armies, similar to early barbutes, with an attachable camail covering the neck and shoulders. Weapons used were a sword, shield, mace and lance. About eighty thousand Russian warriors coming from different principalities fought in the Battle of Kulikovo, under the command of the Grand Duke Dmitrij Ivanovic of Moscow, against preponderant Tartar and Mongol armies, backed up by Lithuanian and Polish princes. The battle took place on 8th September 1380 in the Kulikovo countryside along the River Don. The Russians were driven on by the intent to bring Christianity to the entire territory, drive out the foreigner and lay the foundations for a united Russian nation. The Mongols were defeated after three hours of hard fighting.
The battle began with a duel between two knights; the Russian Aleksandr Peresvet, who was a monk, and the Mongol Temir-murza. They both died in the initial attack. The duel was followed by a series of attacks by the Mongol hordes. The Russians bravely held out even though they suffered heavy losses, but the situation turned in favour of the Russian army when a surprise manoeuvre of their cavalry launched a counter-attack on the enemy flank, causing the rout of the Mongol hordes. This was the beginning of the end of the Mongol dominion over Russia, which came to a definite end a hundred years later.
Sculptor: Sergey Lupanov
Painter: Andrea Terzolo