Home >> Cyclopedia Of India, Volume 2 >> Circassia to Hindustan >> General Constantine Kaufmann

General Constantine Kaufmann

russia, khokand, khiva, darya and government

KAUFMANN, GENERAL CONSTANTINE, a great commander of the Russian forces in Central Asia ; obiit 1882. In the successive campaigns which he conducted against Bokbara, against Khiva , and against Khokand, General Kaufmann greatly increased the Asiatic dominions and influence of Russia, while narrowing the zone of debateable ground which separated her from the countries under the government or control of Britain. As tho result of his success, he exercised for many years almost unlimited authority in Central Asia. Ile found no resistance to his advance in any quarter but the British empire ; and consequently his whole policy assumed an anti-English com plexion, and his court at Tashkent] was more than suspected of being the source whence sprang all the difficulties which had beset British policy in the east during the preceding 15 years. General Kaufmann was born at Maitlani in 1818, and was therefore only G4 when be died. He served first in the army of the Caucasus, where he rapidly distinguished himself. In 1855 he was selected to settle with General iVilliams the terms of the capitulation of Kars. In 1867 was transferred to Turkestan, the governor-generalship of which province he held till his death. Shortly after his arrival war was declared by Russia against Bokh ara ; Samarcand was occupied in June 1868, and the whole country was subjected to Russia. This was the first step in General ICaufmann's plan of bringing the whole of Central Asia under the influence, if not the actual government, of Russia. The expedition to Khiva was the next act of General Kaufmann's government. In the

spring of 1873, General Kaufmann, advanced into the country in two main divisions, one starting from Turkestan on the east, and the other from Orenburg on the west. The former was led by the governor himself, who, after several victorious engagements, reached Khiva at 8 o'clock in the morning of June 10, only to find that the town had been already occupied three hours previously by the Orenburg column, under Generals Verov Itine and Lomakine. The Khan fled as the Russians approached, but afterwards returned, and signed treaties by which he undertook to pay an indemnity of two million roubles, to cede frontier territories on the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers to Russia and to the Khan of Bokhara, who had assisted the Russian troops, and practically to commit to Russia the direction of his foreign relations. A campaign against Khokand was undertaken by General Kaufmann in 1875, at the close of which all Khokand north of the Syr Darya was formally annexed to Russia, while the inde pendence left to Khokand south of the Syr Darya was merely nominal. The absorption by Russia in succession of Bokhara, Khiva, and Khokand brought her into the close proximity of Afghan istan, and General Kaufmann seems to have next directed his ambitious designs to that quarter. His emissaries were despatched into Afghanistan. The Russian embassy, the reception of which by the Amir precipitated the Afghan war, may be attributed to his instigation.