Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 November 2020
The conquest of the Ferghana valley and the final destruction of the Khoqand khanate are often overlooked in histories of the conquest. Having survived in uneasy limbo as a protectorate from 1866 until 1875, Khoqand was rocked by a series of rebellions against its unpopular Khan, Khudoyar, prompting a Russian military intervention. Attempts to preserve Khoqand as a protectorate by putting Khudoyar’s son on the throne failed, and further rebellions broke out in Andijan and other cities of this rich and fertile region. General M. D. Skobelev led a series of vicious punitive expeditions against the Sart, Qipchaq and Kyrgyz inhabitants of Ferghana, which saw Russian forces deliberately making war on women, children and non-combatants. The last resistance to the Russians in Khoqand’s name came from the Kyrgyz of the mountainous Alai region, who did not made peace until 1876. Ferghana would become the richest province of Russian Turkestan, while Khoqand’s demise would be mourned by a whole generation of intellectuals and commemorated in an extraordinarily rich historiography.