As Russia wanted to

History 08/03/20 As Russia wanted to “open a window” to the Indian ocean

if anyone Remembers the sensational now in the 90-ies of the last century the call of one so far known policy “to wash boots in Indian ocean” and his sensational pamphlet “Throw to the South”? And in fact was raised as to whether the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union, the task to gain access to the Indian ocean?
Directly, this task has never been. But one of the aspects of Russian and Soviet expansion was always South. The goal has always been largely irrational, but no less alluring.

Peter: Khiva and the Caspian Hiking

In 1716, Peter I sent to Khiva and Bukhara from the military detachment of Lieutenant Prince A. Bekovich-Cherkasskiy. Among the items the user was listed, and the establishment of trade relations with India. The venture failed (1717) because of the treacherous attack is subject to the Khan of Khiva Turkmen tribe comodow, in which a significant portion of the detachment was killed.
Peter the Great did not leave plans to push the borders of the Russian Empire far to the South. In 1722 he began Caspian expeditions of. Peter formally acted as the ally of the Persian Shah, who intends to punish his rebellious subjects. In fact, it was about the rejection of the lands of the Persian Empire.
With the help of local warlords, Russian forces captured Derbent and Baku. Not only the Russian fleet and the army were horrified by the Shah. Ally of Russia called Turkey. Persia in 1723, made peace, according to which Russia ceded all the southern coast of the Caspian sea (present-day Iranian province of Gilan and Mazandaran). They had placed Russian garrisons.
at the same time Russia recognized the right of Turkey to Georgia and Armenia and Turkey – the Russian law on Dagestan, Azerbaijan and gīlān. So done the first section of the Transcaucasia and the Caspian. But the contradictions between Russia and Turkey in other regions were stronger. After Peter’s death, the favorite of Queen Anne Johnrams and de facto ruler Biron decided to donate the conquests of Peter in favor of an Alliance with Persia against the Ottoman Empire and in 1735 returned to the Shah’s Caspian provinces. Thus ignominiously ended the first, “throw the South.”

Paul I: the conquest of India together with the French

In 1800 the Emperor Paul I, dissatisfied with their allies in the anti-French coalition – Austria and England – fell out with them, abruptly changed the direction and made not only peace, but an Alliance with Napoleon Bonaparte, who by that time dictator of France with the title of first Consul. Among the plans for joint anti-British action was the expedition to India. It was assumed that the French corps of General masséna will pass through the Union and Turkey through the South of Russia, where it will connect with the don Cossack army. Then the combined Russian and French forces crossed the Caspian sea and then through Khorasan and Afghanistan reached India.
apparently, it was just a suggestion of Paul I. Unknown, the enthusiasm with which the first Consul took the idea, being busy building up their own power and the war in Europe. But Paul, with his characteristic impulsiveness and determination, resolutely set to work. In January 1801 the acting don ataman General Vasily Orlov was ordered to lead the Cossacks to India. The road there was the unknown. Orlov was ordered to reconnoiter it. Wild goose chase, which could result in the loss of all the troops of the don, was interrupted by the assassination of the Emperor in St. Petersburg. In March 1801 the don, reached Saratov, he received orders to return home.

Diplomatic penetration

the Issue of strengthening of Russia on the Caucasian and Central Asian direction was bothered by the UK, which manic saw this as Russia’s desire to Rob the British Empire of its Asiatic possessions, and particularly their Foundation in India. So London began systematically to support here the enemies of Russia. Already during the Russian-Persian war 1804-1813 gg. in the army of the Shah was sent by the British andnstructor.
In turn, Russia has replaced the ill-considered military adventures came subtle methods, like those of the British. Already in 1837, a Russian emissary Lieutenant Witkiewicz signed a Treaty with the Emir of Afghanistan, Dost Mohammed. However, under pressure from London St. Petersburg was forced to disavow.

the Conquest of Central Asia

At a more practical level, the penetration of the South have risen in connection with the accession of Russia to Central Asia, which basically ended in the early 1890-ies. In 1891, Russian and British troops simultaneously invaded the Pamirs. It almost came to armed clashes between them. It was the culmination, followed by the world and stabilized the border. To the South of it, in Afghanistan and Persia, established the British influence. But both great powers watched each other through the slit of sight until then, until in 1907 had not signed an amicable agreement.

the Revolution in the East,

the Bolshevik revolution gave a new impulse to the movement of Russian – now Soviet – South. The new rulers of the country actively used the anti-colonial slogans and openly had as its objective to arouse the anti-imperialist revolution in the East.
In August 1919, when the white guard armies were advancing to Moscow and Petrograd, Trotsky proposed to leave the Central part of Russia, to move all the forces of the red Army in Turkestan and to move the base of the world revolution on the Middle East and India. Before is not reached, the Soviet government was strengthened, and in the spring of 1920 the red army troops was landed on the Northern coast of the Caspian sea. Was proclaimed Persian Soviet Republic, and the Persian Red army has made an unsuccessful attempt to capture Tehran. In 1921 this company, due to complete apathy or hostility of the local population was left.
However, in the red army in 1920-30-ies from time to time conducted secret preparations for the liberation March in India.

Stalin: the movement to the Gulf oil

After the Second world war Stalin rather quickly fell out with former allies. He felt strong enough to begin to implement wider geopolitical plans. However, talking about India, which Britain promised independence was not walking. The Soviet leader wanted to get to a much more strategically valuable oil fields in the Persian Gulf. He was in no hurry to withdraw Soviet troops from Northern Iran, occupied by agreement with great Britain from August 1941. There was proclaimed the independent Azerbaijan democratic Republic. However, in may 1946, under pressure from Western powers, Soviet troops left Iran.


the Military operation of Soviet troops in Afghanistan (1979-1989) with the aim of maintaining control over this country can be seen as a last attempt to “throw to the South”.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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