General-adjutant Count V. A. Perovsky. Painting by Karl Briulov (1837)

Count Vasily Alekseevich Perovsky (1794–1857) was an imperial Russian general and statesman.

The illegitimate son of Count Aleksey Kirillovich Razumovsky [ru], who became Russia's Minister of National Education, Perovsky studied at Moscow University, then joined the retinue of Emperor Alexander I in 1811. When retreating toward Moscow after the 1812 Battle of Borodino he was taken prisoner by the French; he remained in captivity until the fall of Paris in 1814.

He was seriously wounded in the 1828 war with Turkey.

In 1833 Perovsky was appointed the military governor of Orenburg on the Russian Empire's southeastern frontier. In 1839 he led an invasion of the Khanate of Khiva, in part to free Russian slaves captured from the Russian frontiers on the Caspian Sea and sold by Turkmen raiders, but also as an attempt to extend the Russian borders in the direction of Central Asia while the British Empire was entangled in the First Anglo-Afghan War of 1839-1842. Perovsky's expeditionary force consisted of 5,200 infantry and 10,000 camels. Due to poor planning and a bit of bad luck, they set off southwards, in November 1839, into one of the worst winters in memory, and had to turn back in February 1840. The expeditionary force arrived back in Orenburg in May, having suffered over 1,000 casualties, mostly from cold and disease. See Khivan campaign of 1839.

Perovsky's Aral Flotilla in the 1850s. One of the steamers was named after Perovsky himself.[1]

In 1842 Perovsky left the Orenburg governor's position, but he returned to that office in 1851-1857. This time, his campaigning in the central Asia (today's central Kazakhstan) against the Khanates of Khiva and Kokand proved much more successful. After his troops successfully took the Kokand fortress of Ak-Mechet in 1853, the fort was renamed Fort-Perovsky after him. His military successes forced the Khanate of Khiva to make concessions in the 1854 treaty with the Russia Empire.

For his achievements, Perovsy was made a count in 1855.

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Michell, John; Valikhanov, Chokan Chingisovich; Venyukov, Mikhail Ivanovich (1865), The Russians in Central Asia: their occupation of the Kirghiz steppe and the line of the Syr-Daria : their political relations with Khiva, Bokhara, and Kokan : also descriptions of Chinese Turkestan and Dzungaria; by Capt. Valikhanof, M. Veniukof and [others]. Translated by John Michell, Robert Michell, E. Stanford, p. 329

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