The Nystad Congress and the Release of Russian Prisoners of War in 1721

After the Nystad Treaty had been signed on 30 August 1721 the work started to implement the articles of the treaty. Article 14 stipulated that the POWs from both sides should be released. The Swedish authorities soon put the wheels in motion to get rid of all the Russian POWs before the winter. The POWs were lodged in towns almost all over Sweden. It was first thought that the number of Russian POWs could still be as many as 1700. However, the real figure was closer to 1200, but throughout the Great Northern War, more than 4000 Russian POWs had been brought to Sweden.By early November almost all Russian POWs had reached the vicinity of Stockholm, and they were ordered to march to the seaport at Vaxholm. The POWs, whose number by that time had reached about 1140 men, were in late November 1721 transported on five hired ships from Vaxholm to Reval. The POWs who had not managed to reach Vaxholm in time for the transport in 1721 were gathered in Uppsala during the winter, and in late April 1722, 60 Russian POWs could leave Vaxholm on two Swedish galleys with Åbo in Finland as the destination.