KUNDAKBAEVA Zh.B., SUSEEVA D.A. On the View of Kalmyk Khan to the Activites of Russia in the Volga-Caspian Frontier: From the Letters of Donduk-Dashi to V. Tatishchеv, 1741–1745

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.5.3 

Zhanat B. Kundakbayeva

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor,

Al-Farabi Kazakh National University,

Prosp. Al-Farabi, 71, 050040 Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3074-6332 

Danara A. Suseeva

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor,

B.B. Gorodovikov Kalmyk State University,

Pushkina St, 11, 358000 Elista, Republic of Kalmykia, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8814-8007 


Abstract. Introduction. The article based on Michael Adas’s analytical category “avoidance protest” presented by Paul W. Werth examines the view of the Kalmyk khan on the activities of the Russians to strengthen positions on the Volga-Caspian frontier, when V. Tatishchev was the head of the Kalmyk Commission and Astrakhan Governor, between 1741 and 1745.

Methods and materials. Whereas previous studies considered only the Russian view on the politics toward the region and determined the attitudes of nomadic elites in terms of absolute compliance or violent opposition. However, in practice the relations between Russian authorities and indigenous people’s elite were much more complex.Using as primary sources the letters of Donduk-Dashi to V. Tatishchеv of the period between 1741 and 1745 from the National Archive of the Kalmyk Republic published by prof. D. Suseeva gives us an opportunity to examine the situation from below.

Analysis and Results. We argue that although Donduk-Dashi was quite embedded within the Russian system, we cannot claim about his unconditional subordination. First, speculating on general Tarakanov’s misstep, Donduk-Dashi evaded investigations regarding the plans to relocate to the protectionof Persian shah. The second argument was built around his alleged unawareness about theposition of Russian authorities regarding the Kazakh-Kalmyk relations and entreaties to provide with guns as an attempt to divert attention away from current problems on the relations with the Kazakhs. The formal notification of the forthcoming marriage of the Kalmyk nobleman with Kazakh princess and about non-sanctioned contacts with Kazakh Middle zhuz khan demonstrates that nomad’s relations went beyond the line prescribed by the government.

Key words: letters of Donduk-Dashi to V. Tatishchеv, Volga-Caspian frontier, general Tarakanov’s misstep, guns, marriage of the Kalmyk nobleman with Kazakh princess, Kazakh Middle zhuz khan.

Citation. Kundakbayeva Zh.B., Suseeva D.A. On the View of Kalmyk Khan to the Activites of Russia in the Volga-Caspian Frontier: From the Letters of Donduk-Dashi to V. Tatishchеv, 1741–1745. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 32-41. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.5.3.

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On the View of Kalmyk Khan to the Activites of Russia in the Volga-Caspian Frontier: From the Letters of Donduk-Dashi to V. Tatishchеv, 1741–1745 by Kundakbayeva Zh.B., Suseeva D.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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