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Yermak Timofeyevich (born Vasiliy Timofeyevich Alenin, 1532 to 1542 — 1585) is a Cossack and explorer notable for his exploration of Siberia and commanding the Russians during the Battle of Chuvash Cape, which is featured as a Historical Battle in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition.


Vasiliy Timofeyevich Alenin was born on the eastern frontier of Muscovy in the mid-16th century amidst uncertain circumstances. Abandoning the life of a salt merchant for a career of river piracy, his success as a marauder on the Volga and Don earned him the name Yermak. He also gained valuable battle experience as a commander in the Livonian War of 1558-1583. In 1582, Yermak was hired by the Stroganovs, fur merchants threatened by the Tatar Khanate of Sibir. Leading a force of 840 well-equipped men, Yermak plunged into Siberia. The bows and spears of the Tatars were no match for Yermak's muskets and cannon, and Yermak crushed the Tatars at the Battle of Chuvash Cape before seizing their capital of Qashliq. He dauntlessly continued the campaign, but overextended his forces and was slain in battle two years later in 1584. His bold, intrepid actions left a lasting legacy, prompting further Russian expansion into Siberia. Moreover, his victory at Chuvash Cape was a turning point in military history: gunpowder weaponry had ended the 2,000 year dominance of nomadic cavalry armies in the field.

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