VASILYEV D.V. Kuldja Under Russian Rule: View of the Imperial Administration


Dmitry V. Vasilyev

Doctor Habilitatus in History, Associate Professor, Professor of the Department of the Russian History,

Moscow City University,

2-y Selskohoziajstvenny proezd, 4, 129226 Moscow, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The article is devoted to the review of the situation in Kuldja in the first half of the Russian domination there (1871–1876). Modern Russian historiography does not know the works that would describe the real measures of the Russian administration in this part of Russian possessions in Central Asia.

Methods and materials. The article analyzes the main source – a note by N.N. Pantusov with information about Kuldja District. Regulatory acts on Russian governance in the area are used as additional sources. The comparative and critical analysis of sources is of interest.

Analysis and Results. The Russian administration immediately outlined its main tasks: ensuring safety of the population, maintaining a civilian traditional way of life and governance, and equal rights for all local peoples. Destroying everything unprofitable for both states (Russia and China), the Russian administration refrained from fundamental innovations. The analysis of the sources carried out in the article allows to conclude that the Russian presence in the Ili region was temporary and even nominal indeed. The dispensing of the most fundamental articles of the Statute on the Governing of the Semirechenskaya and Syrdarya Provinces of 1867 to this district indicates the intention to facilitate the management of the new territory. And all the innovations indicate the presence of two trends. One of them was to form an attractive image of the Russian government. Another trend was aimed at spreading of all-Russian institutions to the district. Both of these trends demonstrate the intention of the representatives of the local Russian administration to keep Kuldja within the Russian Empire. The main source was published during the period of discussing the need to return the Ili region to China. However, there is no reason to argue that it was created for public announcement.

Key words: Russian Empire, Kuldja, G.A. Kolpakovsky, N.N. Pantusov, Office for Kuldja Affairs, K.P. Kaufman. Citation. Vasilyev D.V. Kuldja Under Russian Rule: View of the Imperial Administration. 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. 52-63. (in Russian). DOI:

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Kuldja Under Russian Rule: View of the Imperial Administration by Vasilyev D.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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