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The Alexander Nevski Society (now renamed "Druzhina") is an active reenactment group based mainly in St. Petersburg. They make every effort to create authentic reproductions of early Varangian Rus and medieval arms and armor. Some photographs taken at their events are shown in this section. Click here return to the main page Russian armor. Click here to return to Part II on terminology.
One of the most interesting general reference sources with illustrations of medieval Russian arms and armor is the first volume of the massive history of Russian uniforms prepared by Viskovatov in the middle 19th century. Some of the illustrations of individual items of equipment are shown with the definitions. In this section are illustrations of warriors wearing complete suites of armor. Click here to return to Xenophon main page for other subjects about Russian history and general military history.

Alexander Nevski society 1
A warrior wearing bakhterets, shishak, barmitsa, naruchi, and yelovets . The group has been renamed "Druzhina" and continues to conduct reenactments .

Warrior (ratnik) from the 14th to 17th centuries, defending drawbridge holding a tarch, which is a special kind of shelom (shield), in left hand and axe in right. He wears a zertsalo over his kol'chuga. His forearms are protected bynaruchi. Note the nasel guard raised on the front of the shelom. The background is the Moscow Kremlin in the 17th century. Return to Top.

A Voyevode, commander, wearing two pantsiri (kol'chuga) and a yerihonka to protect his head. His forearms are protected by naruchi and his calves by buturliki. On his belt he carries both nosh and sabel. The bulava in his right hand is a symbol of his authority.

Two ratniki , warriors, wearing two styles of yushman, and shishakh. One has a mech and one a sabel. 14-17 centuries.

Ratnik 1 A warrior wearing ayushman and misyurka from 14 - 17th centuries. Return to Top.

Archer A warrior wearing a kol'chuga under a kalantar. He has a barmitsa covering his neck and shoulders. His shapka bumazhnaya is decorated. He carries a sabel and tesak in addition to thenaluch and kolchan at his waist.

Voyevoda 1 A mounted voyevoda, commander, wearing a privolok, under his zertsalo. He wears a yerihonka on his head. He has ponozhi also called buturliki - three piece form on his legs and naruchi on his arms. He carries a sabel. Note too the expensive saddle and blanket. Return to Top.

Boyar A Boyar from 1647. He is wearing the rich kaftan and heavy coat and hat typical of the wealthy class.

Mounted Ratniki This picture shows two mounted warriors each wearing a tegliya, and shapka zheleznaya. They are armed with a rogatina. The man on the right in the picture has a naluch for his luch and a kolchan full of arrows.

Ratniki This lightly armed warrior is wearing a kuyak over a kol'chuga. His arms are protected by naruchi. On his head is a shapka medyana. He carries a sabel. Since he has a kolchan full of arrows, we can presume his bow is nearby. Return to Top.

Mounted Ratnik This heavily armed warrior from the 14-17 century is wearing a bakhterets over a kol'chuga, and a shelom or yerikhonka on his head. (The illustration is not quite detailed enough to be sure.) He has buturliki on his legs and naruchi on his forearms. He is throwing a sulitsa and carrying a djid and naluch on the left side and a kolchan on the right.

Cavalryman This mounted warrior is wearing a bakterets over a kol'chuga. He has a shishak with yelovetz on his head. His face is protected by a misyurka prilbitsa. He has ponozhi ( single- piece buturliki) covering his calves. He carries a sabel and kop'ya. Return to Top.

Alexander Nevski Society
Warrior with kite shield, holding myech, wearing barmitsa, shishak, nagovits.

Alexander Nevski Society 3
Group of warriors in variety of armor including kalantar, bakterets, etc. Return to Top.

sailing their long boat.

Alexander Nevski
society members gather at a bridge.

Varangian warriors fighting in street battle. Return to Top.

Alexander Nevski Society 4
Warrior wearing shelom, nosh, misyurka, carrying bulava.

Alexander Nevski Society 5
Group wearing variety of armor including kol'chuga, kuyak, kalantar, shelom, lichina.

Alexander Nevski Society
A few warriors taking a break. Return to Top.

Alexander Nevski Society
assembled at the ancient cathedral in Periaslavl-Zaleski, birthplace of their namesake and patron.

Alexander Nevski Society
warrior with kite shield and mech. Return to Top.

Alexander Nevski Society
Two warriors, one with prilibits covering face and the other with a full litchina.

Alexander Nevski Society
Another photo of a heavily armed warrior. Return to Top.

Alexander Nevski Society
Warrior wearing bakhterets.

Alexander Nevski Society
Warrior wearing simplekol'chuga.

Alexander Nevski Society
Warrior wearing early style scale armor. Return to Top.

Druzhina warrior - side view.

Alexander Nevski Society
Group assembled to show variety of armor.

Zhiltsi A Zhiltsi, serviceman assigned to court duty, wearing Polish style coat and shield. 1678.

Shuba Polish style dress, shuba (outer kaftan, shapka (cap) - 14 to 18th centuries.

Streltzi Streltzi from 1613. Here is another streltzi group. More pictures of streltzi will be added as soon as possible.
Here is a fine illustration of medieval Russian combat. It is the Battle of Bortenevo between Yuri of Moscow and Mikhail of Tver in December 1317.
During our recent visit to Russia we obtained many more documents and illustrations, that will appear here as soon as possible.
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