Russian conquest of Central Asia

Russians take Samarkand
Russian troops taking Samarkand in 1868 ©Nikolay Karazin
1868 Jan 1

Russians take Samarkand

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

In July 1867 a new Province of Turkestan was created and placed under General von Kaufmann with its headquarters at Tashkent. The Bokharan Amir did not fully control his subjects, there were random raids and rebellions, so Kaufmann decided to hasten matters by attacking Samarkand. After he dispersed a Bokharan force Samarkand closed its gates to the Bokharan army and surrendered (May 1868). He left a garrison in Samarkand and left to deal with some outlying areas. The garrison was besieged and in great difficulty until Kaufmann returned. On June 2, 1868, in a decisive battle on the Zerabulak heights, the Russians defeated the main forces of the Bukhara Emir, losing less than 100 people, while the Bukhara army lost from 3.5 to 10,000. On 5 July 1868 a peace treaty was signed. The Khanate of Bokhara lost Samarkand and remained a semi-independent vassal until the revolution. The Khanate of Kokand had lost its western territory, was confined to the Ferghana valley and surrounding mountains and remained independent for about 10 years. According to the Bregel's Atlas, if nowhere else, in 1870 the now-vassal Khanate of Bokhara expanded east and annexed that part of Bactria enclosed by the Turkestan Range, the Pamir plateau and the Afghan border.

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Last Updated: Wed Dec 28 2022