For the first thirteen years after the battle on the river Sit1 the Tatars left northern Russia in peace. They committed no acts of military aggression against any of the descendants of Vsevolod 111 or their subjects, or if they did, they were not recorded. It meant that the princes were able to squabble amongst themselves, to manage their own business, to defend themselves against enemies in the west, and even occasionally to interfere in the affairs of their old neighbours in the south. Of course for the first four years, 1238“ 1242, the Tatars were elsewhere engaged - in south and south-west Russia and in eastern Europe - and had neither the opportunity nor the time to control the affairs of the conquered Russians. But in the ten years after establishing their capital and headquarters in Saray on the Volga, although Khan Baty and his son Sartak kept a sharp watch on their new subject princes and nominally at least made them ratify their right to rule by presenting their credentials at the court of the khan, they showed no inclination to step in and control affairs in Vladimir, Suzdal', Rostov or Novgorod. They sent no punitive expeditions. There is no record even of Tatar officials or Tatar troops being stationed in the major towns of the north. This may have been due to the Russians’ submis“ siveness, their unwillingness to tread on the Tatars’ toes in the early years, a tentative policy of wait and see; or again it may be merely symptomatic of the Tatars’ unreadiness at this stage to exercise firm military and economic control over the Russians. But at any rate this was a period of inactivity as far as the Tatars’ policy in Russia was concerned, and it looks as though the Russians were free to run their own lives.