Accession of Kazakhstan to Russia: historical facts

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The accession of Kazakhstan to Russia began inthe first half of the 18th century. It took place in several stages and stretched for a whole century. Both countries were interested in developing relations and rapprochement, but there were geopolitical factors that hampered the accession process.


In the early 18th century, Russia became an empireand quickly increased its military power. Its influence on neighboring states has increased. Geographical location naturally made Russia an advantageous ally. Its territory was closely adjacent to the Kazakh lands. In the immediate vicinity of the border were large Russian cities, which contributed to the development of trade relations. All these circumstances forced the Kazakh khans to reflect on the transition to the power of an influential and powerful empire.

Russia's interest in gaining controlover neighboring territory was explained by the desire to secure its southern borders. In addition, the empire needed to protect important trade routes that go through the lands of Kazakh khans to Central Asia.

Negotiations on the protectorate

On the possibility of Kazakhstan joining Russiarepeatedly mentioned Peter I. He called this country "the key to Asia." One of the Kazakh khans in 1717 appealed to Peter I with a proposal to become a citizen of the empire in exchange for rendering military assistance to the tsar in the fight against Dzungaria (Mongolian steppe state). But at that time Russia was involved in a difficult and protracted confrontation with the Swedish King Charles XII, which took away all its forces and resources.

accession of Kazakhstan to Russia

Khany Abulkhair and Ablai

The Empress Anna Ioannovna for the first time in historyestablished a protectorate over part of the Kazakh people. Khan the Younger Zhuz (tribal alliance) named Abulkhair asked her for protection from the ruinous raids of the jungar and the threat from the Chinese state of Qing. The Empress agreed to provide military support if the Kazakh ruler swore allegiance to her. The treaty on the establishment of the Russian protectorate over the lands of the Younger Zhouz was signed in 1731. Abulkhair decided on this step in an effort to rise above the rest of the Kazakh khans. Soon, his example was followed by the ruler of another tribal alliance. Khan of the Middle Zhuz Ablai asked the empress to establish a protectorate over his territory. The Kazakhs, who received the tsarist patronage, pledged to promote the political and commercial interests of Russia. Under the rule of the empress, only the Senior Zhuz, who was in charge of the Kokand Khan, did not fall.

completion of Kazakhstan's accession to Russia

Intervention of the Russian Army

In 1741 the Dzungars took anotheran aggressive campaign in the Kazakh lands. The Russian army, stationed in the border areas, gave them energetic resistance and forced them to retreat. Since that time the Dzungars have had to reckon with the presence of a new strong rival in the region and exercise caution. The first consequences of Kazakhstan's accession to Russia acquired real outlines. The expansion to the East, about which Peter the Great was conceived, began to be embodied in practice.

consequences of Kazakhstan's accession to Russia

Weakening the influence of St. Petersburg

In 1748 Khan Abulkhair died, one of the mainsupporters of the Russian Empire. Jungaria was defeated and almost completely destroyed by the Chinese state of Qing. This changed the alignment of forces in the region. The Qing Dynasty began to pose a serious threat. After the Chinese army inflicted several defeats on the Kazakhs, the Khan of the Younger Zhuz recognized his vassal dependence on Beijing. The tsar's protectorate turned into a formality. The history of Kazakhstan's accession to Russia has entered an unfavorable phase. However, the Chinese expansion was not crowned with success. Khan Ablai led the struggle against the generals of Qing and managed to restrain their onslaught.

history of Kazakhstan's accession to Russia

Restoration of the protectorate

A significant part of the Younger and Middle Juzessupported the riot raised by Emelian Pugachev. This caused the tsarist government to strive to return the region under its control. In the era of Catherine II, the process of Kazakhstan's annexation to Russia resumed. The integration policy was implemented through administrative reforms. After Ablai's death, the khan's power began to be symbolic. Management zhuzami gradually passed into the hands of the Petersburg officials. From the Kazakh side, an armed struggle for independence unfolded, which lasted until the middle of the 19th century.

Final entry into the empire

In 1873, three zhuzes were divided into sixareas, each of which was managed by a military commander. This was the completion of the accession of Kazakhstan to Russia. Six new areas became part of the provinces of the empire. Many years of armed resistance could not prevent the onset of this event. The accession of Kazakhstan to Russia turned out to be historical inevitable.

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