Table of contents:
- The popularity of the Alai queen and the rebellious opposition to the invaders
- Rebel sons and captivity by the Russians
- Confidential conversation with General Skobelev and Russian guarantees
- A wise decision and life in Russia in the bosom
In the summer of 1876, the tsarist army of the Russian Empire conquered Kyrgyzstan. The Alai campaign, led by General Skobelev, successfully ended with the annexation of the southern territories of the Karagirgiz, as they were then called. The highlanders were voluntarily and forcibly brought into submission to the Russian general, Russian rule was established over vast territories. The strength and wisdom of the Russian commanders made it possible to enroll in the subjects of the Kyrgyz Alays, who until that moment did not recognize any power over themselves.
The popularity of the Alai queen and the rebellious opposition to the invaders
After the Russians managed to take Tashkent in 1865, the Fergana Valley remained under the influence of the Kokand khans. The independence of the Karakirgiz formally remained in the mountainous southern region - the Alai Valley. But the warlike nomads who inhabited these lands never actually obeyed Kokand. There are even known cases of Alay raids on the Kyrgyz plain. And whenever the Kokand troops came to the valley, they invariably suffered setbacks. The resistance of the mountaineers was indomitable, so the khans have long come to terms with the sovereign ambitions of the mountainous region. The peculiarity of the Alai people was that they were ruled by a woman - the Alai queen Kurmanjan. At the time, it was an egregious case, especially in the context of Islamic arbitrariness.
Rebel sons and captivity by the Russians
In June-July 1876, General Mikhail Skobelev, at that time the commander of Russian troops in the Central Asian region, pressed the last of the Alai rebels. The nomads did not want to cooperate with Russia, uncompromisingly acting under the flag of a holy war with the "infidels." The leader of the Alays Alimbek died, leaving the Alai queen Kurmanjan-Datka a widow. According to historical evidence, the Alay people humbly honored their mistress. Even the Kokand khans behaved with respect for its influence on the mountaineers. With the arrival of the Russians, the resistance was led by the sons of Kurmanjan - the elder Abdyldabek with the support of four younger ones. At the time of the aggravation of the situation, Skobelev had already tried several times to build bridges with Abdyldabek, calling for peace negotiations. But the proud and rebellious mountaineer did not see a "white king" in his friends. He was brought up on opposite orientations, fanatically rejecting even the likelihood of allegiance to the Christian people. The prospect of entering under Russian influence, followed by the post of foreman-collector of taxes for the tsar, was not considered by the freedom-loving mountaineer.
Abdyldabek, relying on a 10-thousand-strong army of associates, firmly entrenched himself in the Yangiarik tract. The Kyrgyz built defensive structures, prepared stone heaps and vowed to stand for the eagle's nest until their last breath. In addition to the inaccessibility of the high-mountain position, Abdyldabek counted on the rise of water in the local river, which did not allow the Russians to approach the Kirghiz. After several failed attempts to ambush the mountaineers, Skobelev decided to bypass the only available route through the Talbyk Pass. The advancing detachment of General Ionov covered a long way, erected a suspension bridge on the move across the stormy river and went into the rear of Abdyldabek. All possible escape routes were cut off by the Cossack hundreds of Colonel Wittgenstein. Realizing his disastrous position, Abdyldabek fled through the Pamirs to Afghanistan.
Nearby in the mountains, Kurmanjan herself was hiding, accompanied by a dozen of those close to her. The queen was overtaken and surrounded by a local detachment, which was in the service of the Russians. Without showing the slightest resistance, she agreed to a meeting with the commander of the army Skobelev. Wittgenstein was well aware of the authority of women among the rebellious highlanders. He personally and with appropriate honors escorted the ancestor to the Russian headquarters in a nearby village, guaranteeing her immunity and safety.
Confidential conversation with General Skobelev and Russian guarantees
It is worth noting that such a step was an unprecedented danger for Kurmanjan. For the first time in her life, the queen approached the “infidels”, towards whom she had always experienced extreme distrust. But the Russians kept their promises, and Skobelev met Kurmanjan at the headquarters not as a prisoner, but as a sovereign. The Russian general kept up all the Eastern traditions, treating the guest with sweets and addressing her exclusively as a "princess". He thanked her for her faithful and loyal sons, which undoubtedly endeared the frightened woman to him. Datka decided to cooperate with the courteous Russians, seeing no other peaceful ways and wishing to preserve the Alai clan. Kurmanjan sent a message to her fled sons demanding an end to the resistance. In return, she took from Skobelev a promise to pardon all supporters, sons in the first place, with their subsequent appointment to ruling positions in the new volosts of the formed Turkestan governorate. The interlocutors came to an agreement, and then the rebellious queen officially announced to her people the annexation of the Alai lands to the Russian Empire. The answer to wisdom was the rank of colonel, bestowed on Datka by the Russian government.
Satisfied with the peaceful resolution of the issue, Skobelev reported to the leadership on the successful completion of the campaign to Alai. Fulfilled all the conditions of the agreement and Kurmanjan. After her sons arrived home as Russian subjects, Governor-General Kaufman immediately declared them volost rulers of the newly formed territories.
A wise decision and life in Russia in the bosom
The queen of the highlanders soon became friends with high-ranking representatives of the Russian Empire. A trusting relationship was established with Kurmanjan and with General Ionov, who participated in the Alai operation. Extensive correspondence between the ancestor and the tsar's military leader has been preserved. The population of Alai quickly got used to the new realities under Russian rule. For many years, the brave highlanders have been steadily engaged in livestock and hunting. And the wise datka rejoiced, looking at the peacefully flowing life of the family entrusted to her.