By: Mir M.Hosseini
The declining Safavi dynasty gave Russians the opportunity to invade Persian territory. A quest that challenged Persian hegemony in the region and later ended with Iranians losing sovereignty. Taking advantage of civil disorder in Iran, Peter the great, deployed 22,000 men and his newly built Caspian fleet together with same number of Kazak cavalries marching overland and could easily capture Darband in southern Daghestan. Having secured the Armenian and Georgian support who were fed up with constant invasion of Ottoman and Safavi Muslims, his army encamped at Ganjeh in September same year. In December Rasht was seized by Russians.
In July 1723, Russians were proceeding to Baku, after hearing the Turkish Ottomans entered the southern Caucasia. This forced Shah Tahmasp 2 to sign a peace treaty that left Darband, Baku, Shirvan, Guilan, Mazandaran, and Ganjeh to Russians in Sep, 12, 1723. Fortunately, in 1735, Russians entered a war with Ottomans and made an alliance with Iranians giving back most of the captured territories.