1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kaufmann, Constantine Petrovich
|←Kauffmann, Angelica||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 15
Kaufmann, Constantine Petrovich
|See also Konstantin von Kaufman on Wikipedia, and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.|
KAUFMANN, CONSTANTINE PETROVICH (1818-1882), Russian general, was born at Maidani on the 3rd of March 1818. He entered the engineer branch in 1838, served in the campaigns in the Caucasus, rose to be colonel, and commanded the sappers and miners at the siege of Kars in 1855. On the capitulation of Kars he was deputed to settle the terms with General Sir W. Fenwick Williams. In 1861 he became director-general of engineers at the War Office, assisting General Milutin in the reorganization of the army. Promoted lieut.-general in 1864, he was nominated aide-de-camp-general and governor of the military conscription of Vilna. In 1867 he became governor of Turkestan, and held the post until his death, making himself a name in the expansion of the empire in central Asia. He accomplished a successful campaign in 1868 against Bokhara, capturing Samarkand and gradually subjugating the whole country. In 1873 he attacked Khiva, took the capital, and forced the khan to become a vassal of Russia. Then followed in 1875 the campaign against Khokand, in which Kaufmann defeated the khan, Nasr-ed-din. Khokand north of the Syrdaria was annexed to Russia, and the independence of the rest of the country became merely nominal. This rapid absorption of the khanates brought Russia into close proximity to Afghanistan, and the reception of Kaufmann's emissaries by the Amir was a main cause of the British war with Afghanistan in 1878. Although Kaufmann was unable to induce his government to support all his ambitious schemes of further conquest, he sent Skobeleff in 1880 and 1881 against the Akhal Tekkés, and was arranging to add Merv to his annexations when he died suddenly at Tashkend on the 15th of May 1882.