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The two sides are now looking to multiply bilateral trade five-fold to $ The situation is ripe for dreaming big, and making the defining. The introduction is aimed at 'Reconsidering Anglo-Russian relations in Asia' (pp. 1–2), various definitions and understandings of the phrase within the history of its pressing Russia's agenda in Central Asia and related war plans against British India, журнал [Echo of the Ages: A Scientific-Documentary Journal]. Indo-Russian relations (Russian: Российско-индийские отношения Hindi: भारत-रूस सम्बन्ध) refer to the bilateral relations between India and Russia.
Asian nationals played their role as well, employed within the ranks of each empire 'as surveyors, scouts, and secret informants' p. These included, among others, not only those posing as Muslim merchants, but even Siberian and Mongolian Buddhist monks on sacred pilgrimage to Tibet pp. Amidst the conquest, complex networks of relations are highlighted between the Central Asian states, British India, and the Ottoman Empire, facilitated in part by a pan-Islamic movement which sometimes worked to one or the other imperial power's favor, and at other times to the potential detriment of both p.
These networks extended into Eastern later called Chinese Turkestan with its center at Kashgar where Yakub Beg, taking advantage of the region's destabilization through fallout from the Taiping Rebellion —64took power in this period only to become a pawn in the Great Game pp. But while 'the political crisis in Chinese Turkestan contributed to the general deterioration of not only Russo-Chinese but also Russo-British relations' p. Most importantly, however, 'the first, fragile seeds of future collaboration had been planted' via 'the Gorchakov-Granville compromise' ofwhich would not only serve as a reference point for later negotiations cf.
With chapter four comes 'The climax of the Great Game, —' pp. This was reached between —5 in the 'strategic stalemate' which resulted in a 'fragile equilibrium' through negotiations over boundaries and spheres of influence in Afghanistan and Persia which were finalized in why then ?
But not before Russia annexed in —5 the last remaining independent Central Asian region lying in between —Turkmenia — thereby contributing to the urgency of negotiations.
Chapter five further elucidates how the 'Strategic stalemate, —' pp. Here both Russia and China in particular claimed rights to dominion based on past historic precedents, while Britain strategically supported China against Russia, gaining economic concessions for themselves along the way pp. They sought to accomplish this by employing these very monks in secret spy missions while on their sacred pilgrimages, hoping to gain political leverage in and even form an anti-British alliance with Tibet.
This resulted in three Tibetan embassies visiting Saint Petersburg pp. But all this came to nothing following the controversial conquest of Tibet by the British via Curzon's —4 expedition pp. As for Britain, her main aim turned out to be, not Buddhist inroads into Russia, but the linking of 'India to China via Tibet' p.
Off in the Far East, concerns developed for the territorial integrity of the Qing Empire in the aftermath of the Sino-Japanese War —5with Britain's primary focus being the northern frontiers along the Russo-Chinese borders for obvious reasons p. To the contrary, '[t]his study … reveals that it would not be fair to ignore the achievements under Russian rule' p. Even more, '[i]t is disputable whether Russian rule was less progressive than British', a progressiveness which, so we are told, 'even natives' appreciated pp.
Critique Breadth and Depth of Sources Sergeev demonstrates an acquaintance with the Russian sources which far surpasses that of any related work to date, making his contribution invaluable. And this should not distract attention from his impressive depth of knowledge in the English sources as well, not to mention occasional reference to French and German.
While his work cannot, therefore, be counted the final word, Sergeev has, particularly again in reference to the Russian sources, made a vital and lasting contribution to Great Game studies. World Historical Scope The work also embraces an impressive world historical scope. We thus encounter how, for example, Russian plans included 'recruitment of a gang of saboteurs from the Irish living in San Francisco to organize a terrorist attack on the harbor of Vancouver in British Canada' pp.
Without detracting from his genuinely impressive mastery of the broader world historical context, I would like to suggest some additional threads which could have enhanced the storyline. First, the author's discussion of the Russian conquest of Central Asia, drawing on essential posts Soviet scholarship, certainly contains reference to political, economic, and religious especially pan-Islamic ties between 19th-century India and the Central Asian states. It must also have impacted the economy and thus even politics of British India, adding to the sense of competition with Russia, not only in general, but particularly in the Central Asian realms.
India–Russia relations - Wikipedia
Al-Afghani, after completing his theological training in Iran, was journeying in India when the Sepoy Uprising took place. His witnessing of that event led him to launch into a career traveling all around the Middle East, with excursions into Central Asia, promoting the pan-Islamic cause. This is essential, but overlooked material in such a study.
Thus he published a pamphlet in in Istanbul entitled Liva ul-Hamd to encourage Russian Muslims to emigrate to Turkey, later himself emigrating there from Ufa, Bashkortistan inthough continuing to travel back and forth between Russian Central Asia and the Ottoman realms. This would later result in the relocation of some Tatar along with some Bashkir and other Central Asian Turkic Muslims to Japan during and after the Russo-Japanese War of —5, the establishment of a small Muslim community and literature press as well as an Islamic Studies initiative in Japan, and a continuing alliance between the Japanese Pan-Asianists and Middle Eastern as well as Central Asian Pan-Islamists, with the latter coming from both Russia and northern China.
Ibrahim himself had, among others, maintained close ties with Akashi Motojiro, chief Japanese Intelligence Officer for Europe, who is suspected by some of working among Russian Muslims to help instigate the Revolution. This is not for want of material, whether primary or secondary sources, since proceedings and studies have been published in English and Russian.
Yet Sergeev has no place in his discussion for this. The ignoring of such important diplomatic source material by a diplomatic historian, combined with his strictly negative caricature of those behind it, represents not only a major omission, but reflects a clear bias which manifests itself in other areas of his study as well see below.
Symptomatically, he offers no coverage of what the Kazakh sources explain, telling how: On November 19, a convocation was organized by "The Union for Autonomy" in which 83 representatives participated from Azerbaizhan, Armenia, Georgia, Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, the Kazakhs, the Tatars and others from among the ethnonationally oppressed nations.
Yet another essential strand of this same story, harkening back to Abdurreshid Ibrahim but appearing nowhere in the pages of Sergeev, is the developing relationship between Japan and the Ottoman Empire which emerged as early as Following from this, Genichiro Fukuchi, who had served as interpreter in the Iwakura Mission —3visited Istanbul inleading eventually to the official commencement of Japanese-Ottoman diplomatic relations in Numerous political, military, economic, and even religious exchanges took place, some no doubt involving discussions of their common enemy Russia.
The Great Game, Russo-British Relations in Central and East Asia | Reviews in History
While he notes its distant connection to Great Game developments pp. One wonders why Sergeev, so focused on Russian diplomatic sources, makes no substantive use or mention of these important archival records? There is, likewise, strategic vying for power and position between Britain and Russia in relation to the treaties of GulistanTehranand Turkmanchai p.
Behind much of this we have not only British expansion into northwestern India occurring in the s, but Russian expansion southward into Central Asia.
Following from this, he sent three reconnaissance missions —20 to spy out the region, establishing also three military outposts along the northern borders of the Kazakh steppe.
After the Qing slaughter of the Jungars produced a period of relative tranquility, an official pronouncement of the annexation of Kazakh lands came in followed by the subsequent advance of the military to Novo-Alexandrovsk in the western steppe inthe attempted but failed Russian assault on Khiva in cf.
Thus the Russian advance into Central Asia was already under way well before the Crimean War was even on the horizon.
It was not commenced following the war, simply resumed. The same can be said for Russia's war plans against British India cf. The Crimean War simply interrupted the Central Asian advance on the one hand, and stoked the fires of fury and determination to attack British India all the more brightly on the other. It resulted in a definite intensification, but not the commencement of Great Game activities. As explicitly stated by Sergeev regarding his book: All these ideas are poignantly summed up in his conclusion: At the beginning of the Great Game, Central and East Asia were characterized by more or less medieval political, social, economic, and cultural features.
Then the competition between British and Russian civilizing patterns led to modern changes in all spheres of daily routine. Instead of the social apathy, economic backwardness, and political anarchy in which they had been stuck for centuries, local nations gradually began to awake under the influence of innovations that were brought to them by the Great Game's "players" of different caliber pp.
What this means for the Russian advance into Central Asia is summed up most effectively in one particular passage: Numerous gangs of mounted bandits frequently broke through defensive lines of cordon posts, looted Russian colonists, captured many people, and sold them as white slaves on the markets of Khiva and Bokhara, while frontier guards were enlisted mostly to garrison service.
To the contrary, Kenessary was the grandson of the great Kazakh khan Ablai —81 and, therefore, rightful heir to the Kazakh khanship. He was clearly affirmed and embraced by a large portion of the Kazakh population as the last khan to rule the Kazakh khanate before a Russian provincial governing system was instituted on the Kazakh Steppe.
Before commencing any armed revolt he sent letters on numerous occasions to the rulers of the Russian empire setting forth the required demands. This is evidenced most vividly in the sentencing of the noted Kazakh historian Yermukhan Bekmakhanov in to 25 years in prison for attempting precisely such an interpretation in his work on Kazakhstan in the s and s.
But not just on these occasions; rather, in the words of General Kaufmann to the Russian foreign minister Miliutin: According to them, nomads … cannot even be placed on a level with human beings. They are even ascribed the position of being the offspring of demons and devils who suddenly came forth from hell on the day humanity came into being. His direct descent from this line of scholarship is only reinforced by the continuation of the same quote which clarifies that all Soviet scholars shared the opinion that Britain had always been an aggressive imperialistic power in the Orient and that British colonial rule should be considered far crueler and less acceptable to indigenous ethnicities than that inaugurated by Tsarist civil and military authorities p.
And so, Sergeev, following in the footsteps of Soviet scholarship, highlights that: Symptomatically, many Europeans were convinced that [the] Russian … pattern of colonial government proved to be not less progressive and sometimes more efficient than that of the British.
This is also confirmed by Anara Tabyshalieva, a Kyrgyz scholar offering critical comments on this review essay before its publication, saying: I fully agree with your critique of the Eurocentric approach of E.
His statements remind me of some pre-Soviet and Soviet publications. We certainly welcome the former. It is one thing to simply portray the 19th-century Russian views as they were expressed. But this does not keep the historian from critically analyzing those views in relation to and in light of the modern setting in which they are investigated, especially when framing introductions and drawing conclusions.
To this he makes an important contribution, one from which the reader will richly benefit, just as this reviewer has, provided that the book is read with a critical eye. Anara Tabyshalieva co-editor with M. Palat of History of the Civilizations of Central Asia: From the mid-nineteenth to the end of the twentieth century, UNESCO, for offering critical comments on this review before its publication. Responsibility for all content remains my own.
Notes The author does not provide an explicit description of the late s and s as one of re-emerging tensions. It is supplied from my own reading of the narrative. Back to 1 See e. All titles are, of course, originally in Kazakh-Turkic. Back to 3 Scott C. By the end ofsome one-third of enterprises in the services and trade fields had been privatized. The second wave of privatization occurred in — However, to the average Russian, the process seemed to benefit solely the friends of those in power, who received large chunks of Russian industry for little.
Many of these oligarchs bought factories for almost nothing, stripped them, sold what they could, and then closed them, creating huge job losses. By the time Yeltsin left office inmost of the Russian economy had been privatized. To many Russians, it seemed that bandit capitalism had emerged. The majority of the population had seen their living standards drop, their social services collapse, and a great rise in crime and corruption. Political and social changes Having played a key role in defeating the attempted coup against Gorbachev inYeltsin saw his popularity surge.
A skillful politician, he was first elected president of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic in before the collapse of the U. R, and he was reelected in Although he had come to represent for many the face of political and economic reform, his first priority was the preservation of his own power and authority.
In dealing with those around him in both the government and the bureaucracyYeltsin effectively utilized a divide-and-rule strategy that led to the emergence of various factions that battled each other.
Indeed, in some cases bureaucrats spent more time in conflict with each other than they did governing the country. Yeltsin also had the tendency to frequently remove ministers and prime ministers, which led to abrupt changes in policy. Throughout his presidency Yeltsin refused to establish his own political party or to align himself openly with any party or group of parties. Instead, he believed that the president should remain above party politics, though he was at the heart of the political process, playing the role of power broker—a position he coveted—until his resignation in When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Russian Federation continued to be governed according to its Soviet-era constitution.
The office of president had been added to the political structure of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic in However, the constitution did not specify which branch, legislative or executive, held supreme power. Political differences over various issues e. Personality clashes between Yeltsin and the parliamentary leadership led to a break between the legislative and executive branches.
High inflation and continued economic crisis placed great pressure on Yeltsin. The leader of the parliament, Ruslan Khasbulatov, and Yeltsin both sought support from regional elites in their political battles with each other by promising subsidies and greater local control. The political battle between Yeltsin and Khasbulatov climaxed in March when Yeltsin was stripped of the decree-making powers that he had been granted after the August attempted coup. Yeltsin was not prepared to accept total defeat.
He stated that during this period any acts of parliament that contradicted presidential decrees would be null and void. Nonetheless, it was agreed that a referendum would be held on April In addition, the Congress passed a provision that, for a question to be approved, it needed the backing of at least half of all eligible voters and not just half of the actual ballots cast ; however, the Constitutional Court ruled that only the latter two questions needed at least 50 percent and that the first two questions were nonbinding.
Nearly three-fifths of voters expressed confidence in him personally, and more than half supported his economic and social policies. Half of voters favoured early presidential elections, but two-thirds supported early parliamentary elections; however, with only 43 percent of eligible voters backing early parliamentary elections, Yeltsin was forced to continue his uneasy relationship with the Congress. In the summer of Yeltsin established a Constitutional Convention to draw up a new post-Soviet constitution.
The parliament also set up its own Constitutional Committee. Inevitably, presidential and parliamentary constitutional drafts were contradictory, and the increasing number of regional leaders who supported the parliamentary version worried Yeltsin.
Thus, the referendum results did not end the political conflict between Yeltsin and the parliament, and that conflict grew more intense on September 21,when Yeltsin issued a series of presidential decrees that dissolved the parliament and imposed presidential rule that would exist until after elections to a new parliament and a referendum on a new draft constitution were held in December. On October 2, there were armed clashes between troops and supporters of the Congress.
The most serious battle took place around the television station at Ostankino. By this time, crowds of parliamentary supporters had begun to fill the streets of Moscow, and it seemed a civil war was going to erupt in the middle of the capital, prompting Yeltsin to declare a state of emergency in Moscow on October 4.
Shortly thereafter, tanks begin firing on the parliamentary building and on the deputies inside, leading to the surrender and arrest of everyone inside the building, including the speaker of the parliament and Rutskoi. With the defeat of parliamentary forces, the way was clear for elections to a new parliament and a referendum on a new constitution in December The president appointed the prime ministerwho had to be approved by the Dumathe lower house of the legislature, and the president could issue decrees that had the force of law as long as they did not contradict federal or constitutional law.
The president also was given the power to dismiss the Duma and call for new parliamentary elections. Under the new constitution the prime minister was the vital link connecting the executive with the legislative branch.
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In the first two Dumas elected in andthe Communist Party of the Russian Federation was the single largest party, though it was never close to becoming a majority party. The Communist Party, which inherited the infrastructure of the dissolved Communist Party of the Soviet Unionhad the most effective nationwide organization.
Other parties found it difficult to project their message outside the major urban areas. Party loyalties were weak; deputies jumped from one party to another in the hope of improving their electoral chances.
Throughout the s, hundreds of parties were founded, but most were short-lived, as the appeal of many was based solely on the personality of the founder.
The relationship between the Duma and President Yeltsin was characterized by public shows of anger and opposition; behind the scenes, however, compromises were more often than not hammered out by political foes. Moreover, Yeltsin had no qualms about threatening the Duma with dissolution if and when it seemed to be proving recalcitrant to presidential bills. Deputies, fearful of losing their extensive perks of office, such as a flat in Moscow, and of an electorate angry with all politicians, regularly backed down when faced with the implicit threat of dissolution.
The legal system, suffering from a lack of resources and trained personnel and a legal code geared to the new market economy, was near collapse.
Low salaries led to a drain of experienced jurists to the private sector; there was also widespread corruption within law enforcement and the legal system, as judges and police officials resorted to taking bribes to supplement their meagre incomes.
Due to a lack of resources, law-enforcement agencies proved unable to combat the rising crime. The collapse of medical services also led to a decline in life expectancy and to concerns over the negative rate of population growth; doctors and nurses were underpaid, and many hospitals did not have enough resources to provide even basic care. One consequence of the political and economic changes of the s was the emergence of Russian organized crime.
For most of the Yeltsin administration, shoot-outs between rival groups and the assassinations of organized-crime or business figures filled the headlines of Russian newspapers and created greater disgust among Russians over the course of economic reform and democracy.
The explosive rise in crime came as a shock to most Russians, who under the Soviet period had very rarely come into contact with such incidents. By the end of the Yeltsin era, the open warfare between organized-crime groups had diminished not because of effective state action but because of the consolidation of the remaining criminal groups that had emerged victorious from the bloody struggles.
Many of the autonomous ethnic regions that were part of the empire—formed before —no longer wished to be under Russian hegemonyand ethnic Russians comprised less than four-fifths of the population of the Russian Federation.
Inevitably, the question of ethnic identity emerged. The term rossiyanin was used to designate a citizen of the Russian Federation and was not given any ethnic Russian connotation. Yeltsin established a committee to construct a Russian identity and national idea that could be used to rally people around the new Russian Federation. The committee failed after several years of attempts, finding that a national idea and identity needed to come from below and not from above, since history had shown that the creation of an identity from above leads to the establishment or strengthening of an authoritarian or totalitarian state.
The Russian Orthodox Church reestablished itself as a force in the moral guidance of reborn Russia, but there were many other religions among the minority groups, particularly Islam. Russia continued to face problems associated with governing a multiethnic state within a democratic framework. For example, Tatarstan negotiated additional rights and privileges, and the republic of Chechnya declared independence inbefore the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In late Yeltsin sent the army into Chechnya in the aftermath of a botched Russian-orchestrated coup against the secessionist president, Dzhokhar Dudayev.
There were fears that if Chechnya succeeded in breaking away from the Russian Federation, other republics might follow suit. In Russia gained control of the capital, Grozny. However, in Russian forces were pushed out of the capital city. Yeltsin, faced with an upcoming presidential election and great unpopularity because of both the war and economic problems, had Gen. Aleksandr Lebed sign a cease-fire agreement with the Chechens.
The Russians subsequently withdrew from the republic, postponing the question of Chechen independence. All the former republics eventually joined, except the Baltic republics.