Devlet Giray led the Crimean Khanate in 1551. In the first years of his reign, he made many attempts to raid neighboring lands, which successfully repelled Russian troops. After the capture of Kazan, Ivan the Terrible decided to subjugate the Astrakhan Khanate - in this case he would get access to the Caspian Sea. In 1556, Astrakhan became part of Russia.
Devlet Giray, meanwhile, was waiting for the right moment to organize a large-scale march to the Russian lands. In 1558, the Livonian War began, and a significant part of the troops was thrown to the west. The Crimean Khan, meanwhile, is gathering a huge army. Devlet Giray demanded that Ivan the Terrible restore the independence of Astrakhan and Kazan, as well as resume payment of tribute to Crimea. To ensure the success of the campaign, Khan enlisted the support of the Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. The annals indicate that the number of his troops amounted to 120 thousand people. According to researchers, this figure is greatly exaggerated.
In 1571, Devlet Giray moved to Moscow. According to historians, in the southern frontiers only 6 thousand people resisted the enemy. The road to Moscow was open. Learning about the approach of the enemy, Ivan the Terrible fled from the city. May 24th began arson. “On a clear day, with a strong wind, at three o'clock the fire destroyed the dry bulk of wooden buildings, only the Kremlin survived; according to foreign news, troops and people died up to 800 thousand; admitting an exaggeration when it is impossible to count correctly, we recall, however, that many people from the neighborhood fled to news of the Tatars to Moscow that there was nowhere to run during the fire: the Tatars were in the field, they were not allowed into the Kremlin; most of all, they say, those who wanted to go to the gates farthest from the enemy perished: here, gathering in a huge crowd and interrupting each other’s road, they were so embarrassed at the gate and the streets adjoining them that the friend and the upper ones crushed the lower ones, ”noted the historian Sergei Soloviev.
Devlet Giray. Miniature of the Facial Chronicle
A few hours later, the fire penetrated the Kremlin. Panic reigned in the city. People tried to hide in basements, but died from fire and smoke. Fleeing from the heat, Muscovites jumped into the Moscow River. In one day, the city turned into ashes. Devlet Giray moved back, ravaging dozens of cities along the way. From 60 to 150 thousand people were hijacked.
Inspired by success, in 1572 the Crimean Khan undertook another campaign, but he did not bring him the desired result. At 50 kilometers from Moscow, the Russian army defeated the enemy, despite the considerable numerical superiority of the Tatars. The campaigns of the Crimean people to Russia ceased for almost 20 years.