Russian Military Intelligence on Asia Online: Archive series, 1651-1917

• Dates (inclusive): 1651-1917
• Dates (bulk): 1850-1917
• Languages used: Russian and French, also German and English, Chinese, Latin, Dutch, Japanese, Arabic, Turkish, Italian, Greek, Persian, Korean, Mongolian and Norwegian
• EAD finding aids are available
Location of Originals: Rossiĭ skiĭ gosudarstvennyĭ voennoistoricheskiĭ arkhiv (RGVIA), Moscow. Fonds 444-451

The 19th century was a time of rapid Russian expansion in Asia. While its western borders were largely fixed in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars, the Romanov autocracy still found many outlets for its imperial energies in the East. Imperial Russia’s Asian march coincided with a revolution in intelligence. Gathering and analyzing such intelligence also became much more comprehensive, almost encyclopedic. It entailed not only the armed forces and the terrain of all potential adversaries, but also political, economic, ethnographic, and much other data.
The collection Archive series, 1651-1917 contains the following parts:
1. A threat from the Far East (China, Japan, Korea)
2. The Eastern question (Turkey, Palestine, Arabia & Syria)
3. The Great Game in Central Asia (Persia (Iran), Afghanistan)

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