The Khivan Campaign of V.A. Perovsky 1839-1840 in the Context of Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Central Asia
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International relations 19th century Central Asia Great Game Russian Empire British Empire British India Afghanistan Khanate of Khiva V.A. Perovsky

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1. Rodin D. The Khivan Campaign of V.A. Perovsky 1839-1840 in the Context of Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Central Asia // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2022. № 1 (7). C. 34-57.


Traditionally, when studying the campaign of the Orenburg military governor V.A. Perovsky to Khiva in 1839-1840, among the motives that prompted the Russian authorities to sanction this approach, researchers primarily noted economic interests and the desire to end the raids of Khivans on Russian caravans. At the same time, the international context of this campaign which coincided with the first Anglo-Afghan war was pushed into the background. The purpose of this article written within the framework of a systematic approach to the study of international relations is to prove the correlation between the actions of the Russian and British authorities in Central Asia at the turn of the 1830s and 1840s. Studying the logic of the events preceding the Khiva campaign of V.A. Perovsky and referring to documents directly related to the preparation of this campaign allow us to conclude that the concern of a number of Russian political figures (among whom V.A. Perovsky was) with the activation of British agents in Central Asia and the actions of the British army in Afghanistan was one of the main motives for organizing the campaign, the purpose of which was to strengthen Russian positions in the named region. Despite the failure of V.A. Perovsky’s idea, the authorities of British India, frightened by the movement of Russian troops and suffering defeats in Afghanistan, contributed to the settlement of contradictions between Russia and Khiva in order to preserve the regional status quo. The actions of the British side, as well as the insufficient interest of the Russian authorities in the Central Asian direction in comparison with the European and Middle Eastern ones, contributed to a decrease in Russia’s activity in Central Asia after the unsuccessful campaign of V.A. Perovsky.
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