The Russian Empire's expansion towards the east and south meant conquering lots of local tribes along the way (Buryats, Yakuts, etc.). These peoples unwillingly became ethnic minorities in Russia. Which group put up the best fight defending its territory from Russian incursion, in terms of the time or cost taken to subjugate it?

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    Since the Afghans forced them to give up trying, I'd say that's the answer. Apr 19 '17 at 20:57
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    Normally I'd consider a question like this subjective, but the OP stated parameters of "time and cost" that make this question answerable.
    – Tom Au
    Apr 20 '17 at 14:42
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    Are you referring to the actual Russian Empire, or are you including the USSR?
    – justCal
    Apr 20 '17 at 23:24
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    @TomAu This question is subjective since time and cost are not directly equatable. For example, if territory A is conquered at a cost of 100,000 men in 1 year and territory B is conquered at a cost of 10,000 men in 10 years, which territory put up the most resistance? Also, the question seems to assume that the only factor that determines the difficulty of conquering a land is the human element. One reason that some territories are difficult to conquer (e.g. Afghanistan) is a geographic one. The terrain makes large scale logistics difficult and makes it easy to defend. Apr 21 '17 at 6:33
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    Also its hard to judge as the Russians were not uniform in their effectiveness. For example: how much of difficulties invading Finland were due to effective Finnish resistance and how much was down to ineffective post - purge leadership in the red army. Repeat this question for each Asian ethnic group. Apr 23 '17 at 12:10

Apparently there is no consensus among scholars on this one, and several Pacific coast cultures substantially resisted Russian encroachment.

Beginning in 1640, the warlike Koriaks of Siberia's northeast allied with the neighboring Chukchi in the most successful attempt of any natives to oppose the Russians. [Lincoln, The Conquest of a Continent, pp. 54]

Stiffest of all was the resistance offered by the Amur River peoples. [Mote, Siberia: Worlds Apart, pp. 43]

... The Kolosh [Tlingits], like the Chukchi of Chukotka, were never fully subjugated by the Russians. [Gibson, Feeding the Russian Fur Trade, pp. 32]

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    Not a word for China and Japan? :-) Jul 29 '17 at 5:59
  • Yeah, somehow they didn't manage to take Shandong. The Qing were by far the most difficult opponent
    – axsvl77
    Aug 3 '17 at 6:25

Kazan was taken with severe warfare. Crimea also was taken with sever hardships. Then we also have North Caucasus.

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