Russia, which followed an imperialist policy from its foundation onwards, accelerated this policy in the 19th century. The weakening of the Ottoman Empire made Russia's actions easier. The Ottoman Empire got even weaker due to Russian attacks and Russia conquered an important part of Ottoman land. The Russians followed oppressive policies forcing the natives to convert to Christianity or abandon their settlements. Therefore, thousands living in Caucasia migrated to Anatolia in the 1860s. One of these migrating tribes was the Ahiska Turks.