Russo-Kokandian War 1853

[ 1853 ]

Even though he was out of Central Asia for eight years, Perovsky did not let the problems of that frontier slip from his mind. With the knowledge gained from the hardship of the 1839 expedition, he developed a plan by which Khiva would be approached via the oases of Fergana and Kokand. Perovsky believed that only after the Russians gained control of these two regions and introduced Russian shipping onto the Aral Sea, the Syr Darya, and the Amu Darya could military operations be successfully undertaken against Khiva. Thus he proposed to seize Khiva by occupying Tashkent, Kokand, Bokhara, and Samarkand first.

Returning to his old post at Orenburg in 1847, Perovsky managed to push Russian frontier outposts and forts cast of the Aral Sea. By 1854, Russian garrisons extended from the Aral Sea along the Syr Darya to the Chu River and then to Fort Vierney (now called Alma-Ata). Further to the cast, Siberian columns had worked south from Semipalatinsk to the Ili River and eventually to Fort Vierney.

The peoples of Turkestan had not been idle while the Russians were on the move. When the Russians had started construction along the Syr Darya, the Khan of Kokand moved troops into Tashkent, Chimkent, the city of Turkestan, and Ak-Mechet (now called Kyzl-Orda). The two sides finally collided at Ak-Mechet, which Perovsky took by assault in 1853. Over the next ten years frontier skirmishes and raids from Bokhara and Kokand became the routine and eventually provided Tsarist commanders with an excuse to push farther south.

Related Conflicts

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