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Barugi Administration

The replacement of the baskaki administration system with the barugi system did not change the fundamental relationship between the Mongol leaders and the Russian people. The Mongol army, which was used to enforce Mongol rule under the baskaki system, was still used to enforce the administration of the barugi . The primary difference between the two systems was that rather than local baskakis dealing with the Russian people, now a barugi would deliver the Golden Horde’s directives to the Russian princes through envoys, who were most likely Mongol aristocrats .

Barugi Administration

In order to govern Russia effectively, the Mongols divided it into districts, which were “superimposed over Russia’s existing political divisions without either replacing them or subverting them” . The boundaries of these divisions remain unclear, partially due to lack of historic accounts of the subject, but there is enough evidence to determine that Russia was divided into districts for the purposes of consensus, which determined the number of troops that would come from each district, as well as taxes .

Within the boundaries of these districts, the Mongols offered the Russians a certain degree of autonomy, including the retention of their political institutions and indigenous ruling classes . At the same time, the Mongols dominated the Russian leaders, using force to dominate their actions in many cases . Nevertheless, Russian politics continued to develop internally, and Mongol administrators acted accordingly, adapting administrative methods to maintain their power within each district . Making the politically structure of Russia more complex was the internal dynamics of the Golden Horde’s own socio-political structure as well as the relationships between specific Russian princes and Mongol Khans. Therefore, the political structure of Russia under the Mongols was adapting to complex changes within each district, although political rule and military power remained centralized.

While the khan and his agents did conduct most governmental operations, local ruling houses were allowed to retain their thrones and territories for two reasons. First, by providing these Russian rulers with an alternative to military action, the Mongol leadership could preserve its forces . Second, by issuing orders of submission that allowed a ruler to remain in power in exchange for acknowledging the sovereignty of the khan, the Mongols could retain the people and administrative resources of a particular area . Most local rulers accepted the Mongols offer of submission, while those that rejected the khan’s offers typically had their city’s destroyed and their people annihilated.

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