ASANOVA S.A. Meanings of the Russian Presence in Central Asia (On the Example of Kuldja)


Svetlana A. Asanova

Candidate of Sciences (History), Acting Associate Professor,

Department of Social, Humanitarian Disciplines, National Research Technological University “MISiS” Almalyk Branch,

Amira Temura St, 56, 110100 Almalyk, Republic of Uzbekistan

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Abstract. Introduction. The issue of occupied Kuldja was one of the main points in the Russian-Chinese relations during the 70s – 80s of the 19th century. It originated in the mid-60s, when Kuldja came under the rule of the Taranchas. Being part of the Russian Empire from 1871 till 1881 Kuldja possessions had become a sore point in the relationship between Russia and China. The article discusses a range of problems that reveals Russia’s desire to control this region.

Methods and materials. The basis of the study was archive materials, publications of administrative persons, materials of authors who visited Kuldja and gave their conclusions, media reports. An attempt was made to reconstruct the view of Saint Petersburg, the Turkestan administration, officials at various levels, and society regarding the fate of Kuldja.

Analysis. The author examines the fate of Kuldja in socio-political discourse in terms of its possible use for the empire. The possible control of Western China by the Muslim population on the basis of the interests of the empire, as well as border issues and getting clear natural boundaries with political and economic feasibilities are considered. Results. It is indicated that the conquest of Kuldjа coincided with the mass migration of landless people from inner provinces of the Russian Empire into the region and the possibility of settling them down in the conquered territories which were economically deteriorating due to nonuse. This also leads to an attempt to solve the problem of unemployment by involving it in the cultivation of land, mining and development of trade. The study reflects what mechanisms were adopted to solve all the outlined tasks and what was obtained at the output.

Key words: Kuldja, Russian Empire, Ili region, Central Asia, natural borders, communication with China.

Citation. Asanova S.A. Meanings of the Russian Presence in Central Asia (On the Example of Kuldja). 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. 64-76. (in Russian). DOI:

Лицензия Creative Commons

Meanings of the Russian Presence in Central Asia (On the Example of Kuldja) by Asanova S.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Download this file (4_Asanova.pdf) 4_Asanova.pdf