In the 1st Russo - Turkish War (1768-74) the Russian Baltic fleet entered the Mediterranean to destroy the Ottoman fleet and foment rebellion among the Greeks in the Peloponnesus. The Russians were unable to coordinate their operations with the rebel Greeks on land, but won a decisive victory at Cesme where the Ottoman fleet was burned.

The Ottomans suffered further setbacks when the Russian fleet sailed into the Black Sea, and - with the aid of English officers - defeated the Turkish galley fleet. As a result Russia obtained Azov and became the protector of the Orthodox Christians in the Balkans.

The annexation of the Crimea; the establishment of new cities (Sevastopol); and the construction of the Black Sea fleet brought a new clash with Turkey.

In the 2nd Russo - Turkish War (1787-92) Russia, allied with Austria, advanced into Ottoman territory. The Russian commander, General Suvorov, used his tactics (surprise attacks with coordinated artillery and infantery) successfully. The Dniestre and Bug rivers became Russian, and Ottoman power declined.

3rd Russo - Turkish War (1806-12)
Turkey, inspite of Napoleon's support, is beaten by Russian armies.