Devlet I Giray
Devlet I Giray (1512–1577) was a khan
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

 of the Crimean Khanate
Crimean Khanate
Crimean Khanate, or Khanate of Crimea , was a state ruled by Crimean Tatars from 1441 to 1783. Its native name was . Its khans were the patrilineal descendants of Toqa Temür, the thirteenth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan...

 during whose long reign (1551–1577) the khanate rose to the pinnacle of its power.

During the reign of his predecessor Sahib I Giray
Sahib I Giray
Sahib I Giray — a khan of the Crimean Khanate in 1532 –1551.Son of Meñli I Giray. In 1521 his brother, then Khan of Crimea, Mehmed I Giray, took Kazan, and gave it to Sahib. Together their army defeated Vasili III of Russia near Moscow....

, Devlet Giray lived in Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, where he won the favor of Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

. With the help of the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

, Devlet Giray was installed as the ruler of the Crimean Khanate in 1551. He is known to have been a skillful politician, who could always take advantage of auspicious conditions. Thus, Devlet Giray managed to secure his de-facto independence from the Porte.

He successfully interfered with the Ottoman government's plans to construct a canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

 between the Volga and the Don Rivers
Don River (Russia)
The Don River is one of the major rivers of Russia. It rises in the town of Novomoskovsk 60 kilometres southeast from Tula, southeast of Moscow, and flows for a distance of about 1,950 kilometres to the Sea of Azov....

, which would certainly strengthen the Turkish influence over Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

. With an army of considerable size at his disposal, Devlet Giray constantly fought with his neighbors, mostly with Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. His raids of 1555 and 1571 were especially devastating for Muscovy (he even managed to burn down Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 during the 1571 campaign
Fire of Moscow (1571)
The Fire of Moscow occurred in May of that year when the forces of the Crimean khan Devlet I Giray raided the city. The khan set the suburbs on May 24 and a sudden wind blew the flames into Moscow and the city went up in a conflagration...

) but he suffered a crushing defeat in the Battle of Molodi
Battle of Molodi
The Battle of Molodi was one of the key battles of Ivan the Terrible's reign. It was fought near the village of Molodi, 40 mi south of Moscow, in July-August 1572 between the 120,000-strong horde of Devlet I Giray of Crimea and about 60,000 Russians led by Prince Mikhail Vorotynsky...

 in 1572.

The main purpose of his military campaigns was to annex Kazan
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

 and Astrakhan
Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of below the sea level. Population:...

, lost by the Muslim world to the Russians in the previous years. Devlet Giray's attempts were unsuccessful, but still he managed to impose annual monetary and fur tributes on some of the Russians and Ukrainians living in the south.
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