The Central Asian khanates were feudal and slaveholding nests of predators, from which nomad raids splashed out on Russian lands. The backward feudal khanates, mutually weakening each other in constant wars, causing harm to Russia, severely exploiting their own people, were doomed to history. The Russian Empire could not tolerate such parasitic, robber formations on its borders. In addition, the British nestled in Afghanistan, lured by their patronage, incited the Russians, supplied weapon. As a result, the problem of the Central Asian khanate reached the level of the Great Game. And the tsarist government launched an offensive against them, began to push aside lines of fortresses to the south, to strike with expeditionary troops.
The first attempts of Russia to gain a foothold in Central Asia date back to the time of Peter I. In 1700, the ambassador from Khiva’s Shakhniyaz-khan arrived in Peter 1713, asking to accept him as a Russian citizen. In 1714 — 1718 Two expeditions took place: in Malaya Bukharia - Buchholz and in Khiva - Bekovich-Cherkassky. In 1725, Peter I sent Florio Beneveini to Bukhara, who returned to XNUMX and delivered a lot of information about the region. However, Peter's attempts to establish themselves in this region were not crowned with success. This was largely due to time constraints. Peter passed away early, failing to implement strategic plans for Russia's penetration into Persia, Central Asia, and further to the South.
Under Anna Ioannovna, the Young Queen and Middle Juz were taken under the care of the “white queen”. The Kazakhs then lived in a tribal system and were divided into three tribal unions: Junior, Middle and Senior zhuz. At the same time from the east they were subjected to pressure of the Djungars. The births of the Elder Zhuz came under the authority of the Russian throne in the first half of the XIX century. To ensure the Russian presence and protect Russian citizens from the raids of neighbors in the Kazakh lands, a number of fortresses were built: Kokchetav, Akmolinsk, Novopetrovskoye, Uralskoye, Orenburgskoye, Raimskoye and Kapalskoye fortifications. In 1854, the fortification Vernoe (Alma-Ata) was founded.
After Peter until the beginning of the XIX century, the Russian government was limited to relations with subordinate Kazakhs. Paul I decided to support Napoleon’s plan for joint action against the British in India. But he was killed. Russia's active participation in European affairs and wars (in many respects it was Alexander’s strategic mistake) and the constant struggle with the Ottoman Empire and Persia, as well as the Caucasian War that had lasted for decades, did not give an opportunity to pursue an active policy towards the eastern khanates. In addition, part of the Russian leadership, especially the Ministry of Finance, did not want to bind themselves with new spending. Therefore, St. Petersburg sought to maintain friendly relations with the Central Asian khanates, despite the damage from raids and robberies.
However, the situation gradually changed. Firstly, the military was tired of enduring the raids of nomads. Fortifications and punitive raids alone were few. The military wanted to solve the problem in one fell swoop. Military strategic interests outweighed financial.
Secondly, Petersburg feared the British advancement in the region: the British Empire held strong positions in Afghanistan, and English instructors appeared in the Bukhara troops. The Big Game had its own logic. A holy place is never empty. If Russia refused to take control of this region, then Britain would take it under its wing, and China in the long run. And given the hostility of England, we could get a serious threat in the southern strategic direction. The British could strengthen the military formations of the Kokand and Khiva khanates, the Bukhara emirate.
Third, Russia could afford to start more active operations in Central Asia. The Eastern (Crimean) War was over. A long and tedious Caucasian war was coming to an end.
Fourth, we must not forget the economic factor. Central Asia was an important market for Russian industrial goods. The cotton-rich (in perspective and other resources) region mattered as a supplier of raw materials. Therefore, the idea of curbing banditry and providing new markets for the Russian industry through military expansion found increasing support in various sections of the Russian Empire. It was no longer possible to tolerate archaic and savagery on its borders, it was necessary to civilize Central Asia, solving a wide range of military-strategic and socio-economic problems.
Back in 1850, the Russian-Kokand war began. At first it was a small skirmish. In 1850, an expedition across the Ili River was undertaken to destroy the fortifications of Toychubek, which served as a stronghold for the Kokand Khan, but they managed to master it only in 1851. In 1854, the Faithful fortification was built on the Almaty River (today Almatinka), and the entire Zailiysky Krai became part of the Russian Empire. In 1852, Colonel Blaramberg destroyed two Kokand fortresses of Kumysh-Kurgan and Chim-Kurgan and stormed the Ak-Mosque, but did not succeed. In 1853, the Perovsky detachment took the Ak-Mosque. The Ak-Mosque was soon renamed Fort Perovsky. Attempts Kokandtsev repel the fortress were reflected. The Russians erected a series of fortifications along the lower reaches of the Syr Darya (Syrdarya line).
In 1860, the West Siberian authorities formed a detachment under the command of Colonel Zimmerman. Russian troops destroyed the Kokand fortifications Pishpek and Tokmak. The Kokand Khanate declared a holy war and sent an army of 20 thousand, but it was defeated in October 1860 near the fortification of Uzun-Agach by Colonel Kolpakovsky (3 companies, 4 hundreds and 4 guns). Russian troops took Pishpek restored by Kokands, small Tokmak and Kastek fortresses. Thus, the Orenburg line was created.
In 1864, it was decided to send two units: one from Orenburg, the other from western Siberia. They had to go towards each other: Orenburg - up the Syr Darya to the city of Turkestan, and the West Siberian - along the Alexander ridge. In June, the 1864 of the West Siberian detachment under the command of Colonel Chernyayev, who left Verny, stormed the fortress of Aulie-ata, and the Orenburg detachment under Colonel Verevkin, moved from Fort Perovsky and took the fortress of Turkestan. In July, the Russian troops took Chimkent. However, the first attempt to take Tashkent failed. In the 1865 year, the Turkestan region was formed from the newly occupied territory, with the annexation of the territory of the former Syrdarya line, the military governor of which was Mikhail Chernyaev.
The next major step was mastering Tashkent. The detachment under the command of Colonel Chernyaev undertook a campaign in the spring of 1865. At the very first news of the approach of the Russian troops, the Tashkent people turned for help to Kokand, since the city was ruled by the Kokand khans. The actual ruler of the Kokand Khanate, Alimkul, assembled an army and headed for the fortress. Tashkent garrison reached 30 thousand people with 50 guns. Russian was only about 2 thousand people with 12 guns. But in the fight against poorly trained, poorly disciplined and worse armed forces, this did not matter much.
9 May 1865 in the decisive battle outside the fortress Kokand forces were defeated. Alimkul himself was mortally wounded. The defeat of the army and the death of the leader undermined the combat capability of the garrison of the fortress. Under cover of night 15 June 1865, Chernyaev began the storming of the Kamelian gates of the city. Russian soldiers secretly approached the city wall and, using the element of surprise, broke into the fortress. After a series of skirmishes, the city capitulated. A small detachment of Chernyayev forced a huge city to lay down its arms (24 versts in a circle, not counting the suburbs) with 100 thousand population, with 30 thousand garrison having 50-60 guns. The Russians lost a killed 25 man and several dozen wounded.
In the summer of 1866, a royal decree was issued on the annexation of Tashkent to the possessions of the Russian Empire. In 1867, a special Turkestan Governor-General was created within the Syrdarya and Semirechenskaya regions, with its center in Tashkent. The first governor was appointed engineer-general KP Kaufman.
In May, 1866, 3, a thousand detachment of General DI Romanovsky, defeated an army of Bukharians in the Irjar Battle 40. Despite their large number, the Bukharians suffered a complete defeat, having lost about a thousand people killed, and among the Russians only 12 were wounded. The victory at Ijara opened the way for the Russians to cover Khojent, the fortress of Nau, Dzhizak, who were covering the access to the Fergana valley, who were taken after the Idjarian victory. As a result of the campaign in May-June 1868, the resistance of the Bukhara troops was finally broken. Russian troops occupied Samarkand. The territory of the Khanate joined Russia. In June, 1873, the same fate befell the Khiva Khanate. The troops under the general command of General Kaufman took Khiva.
The loss of independence of the third major khanate - Kokand - was postponed for some time only thanks to the flexible policy of Khan Khudoyar. Although part of the territory of the Khanate with Tashkent, Khojand and other cities was annexed to Russia, Kokand, in comparison with treaties imposed on other khanates, was in a better position. The main part of the territory was preserved - Ferghana with the main cities. Dependence on the Russian authorities was felt weaker, and in the affairs of internal management Hudoyar was more independent.
For several years, the ruler of the Kokand Khanate Khudoyar obediently executed the will of the Turkestan authorities. However, his power was shaken, Khan was considered a traitor who made a deal with the "infidels." In addition, his position worsened the most severe tax policy in relation to the population. Incomes of the khan and feudal lords fell, and they pressed taxes on the population. In 1874, a rebellion began, which covered a large part of the khanate. Khudoyar asked for help from Kaufman.
Khudoyar in July 1875 fled to Tashkent. The new ruler was proclaimed his son Nasreddin. Meanwhile, the rebels were moving towards the former Kokand lands annexed to the territory of the Russian Empire. Khujand was surrounded by rebels. Russian communications with Tashkent were interrupted, to which the Kokand troops were already approaching. In all mosques there were calls for war with the "infidels." True, Nasreddin sought reconciliation with the Russian authorities in order to entrench himself on the throne. He entered into negotiations with Kaufman, reassuring the governor of his loyalty. In August, an agreement was concluded with the khan, according to which his authority was recognized in the territory of the khanate. However, Nasreddin did not control the situation in his lands and could not stop the unrest that had begun. The detachments of the rebels continued to make raids on Russian possessions.
Russian command correctly evaluated the situation. The uprising could spread to Khiva and Bukhara, which could lead to serious problems. In August 1875 was defeated by the Kokand in the Battle of Mahram. Kokand opened the gates to Russian soldiers. A new agreement was concluded with Nasreddin, according to which he recognized himself as “the obedient servant of the Russian emperor”, refused diplomatic relations with other states and military actions without the permission of the governor-general. The lands on the right bank of the upper reaches of the Syr Darya and Namangan departed to the empire.
However, the uprising continued. Its center was Andijan. 70-th has been collected here. army. The rebels proclaimed a new khan - Pulat-bek. The troop of General Trotsky, which was moving to Andijan, was defeated. 9 October 1875. The rebels defeated the khan's troops and took Kokand. Nasreddin, like Khudoyar, fled under the protection of Russian weapons to Khujand. Soon the rebels captured Margelan, looming a real threat over Namangan.
The Turkestan Governor-General Kaufman sent a detachment under the command of General MD D. Skobelev to suppress the uprising. In January, 1876, Mr. Skobelev, took Andijan, and soon suppressed the insurgency in other areas. Pulat-beck was captured and executed. Nasreddin returned to his capital. But he began to establish contacts with the anti-Russian party and fanatical clergy. Therefore, in February, Skobelev occupied Kokand. 2 March 1876, the Kokand Khanate was abolished. Instead, the Fergana region was formed as part of the Turkestan Governor-General. The first military governor was Skobelev. The conquest of Russia by the Central Asian khanates ended with the liquidation of the Kokand Khanate.
Thus, Russia has established itself in Central Asia. Historically, the accession of the Kokand Khanate and other Central Asian territories to Russia was inevitable. The backward feudal khanates, mutually weakening each other in constant wars, with poorly trained and armed, undisciplined troops were doomed to defeat. Most of the population, except for small groups that parasitize ordinary people, benefited from joining Russia. The slave trade was abolished, bloody and ruinous civil wars, raids ended, people could live and work peacefully. Russia brought peace and civilization to Central Asia (in the form of the development of socio-economic infrastructure).
It is worth noting that the modern republics of Central Asia now also face a similar choice. The time that has passed since the collapse of the USSR shows that living together in a single, mighty empire-power is much better, more profitable and safer than in separate “khanates” and “independent” republics. 25 years, the region has steadily degraded, was returning to the past. The Great Game continues and the countries of the West, Turkey, the Arab monarchies, China and the network structures of the “army of chaos” (jihadists) are active in the region. The whole of Central Asia can become a huge “Afghanistan” or “Somalia, Libya,” that is, an inferno zone.
The economy in the Central Asian region cannot independently develop and maintain the life of the population at a decent level. Some exceptions were Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan - due to the oil and gas sector and more intelligent government policies. However, they are also doomed to a rapid deterioration of the economic, and then the socio-political situation, after the collapse in energy prices. In addition, the population of these countries is too small and cannot create an "island of stability" in the storming ocean of world turmoil. Militarily, technologically, these countries are dependent and doomed to defeat (for example, if Turkmenistan is attacked by jihadists from Afghanistan), if they are not supported by the great powers.
Thus, Central Asia is again facing a historic choice. The first way is further degradation, Islamization and archaization, disintegration, civil strife and transformation into a huge “inferno zone”, where most of the population simply will not “fit” into the new world.
The second way is a gradual absorption of the Celestial and cetatization. First, economic expansion, which is what happens, and then military-political. China needs the resources of the region and its transportation capabilities. In addition, Beijing cannot allow jihadists to base themselves near it and carry the flames of war to the west of China.
The third way is active participation in the re-creation of the new Russian Empire (Soyuz-2), where the Turks will be a full-fledged and prosperous part of the multinational Russian civilization. It is worth noting that Russia will have to fully return to Central Asia. Civilization, national, military-strategic and economic interests above all. If we do not do this, then the Central Asian region will collapse into distemper, become a zone of chaos, inferno. We will get a lot of problems: from the flight of millions of people to Russia to the attacks of jihadist detachments and the need to build fortified lines (the Central Asian Front). China's intervention is no better.