During the subjugation of Ferghana forty‑one years ago, the Kirgiz [i.e. Kyrgyz], who are now roused into action, crossed over the mountains to Ferghana with their renowned leader Lieutenant Colonel Shabdan Dzhantaev, and assisted [the Russian officer M.D.] Skobelev in the subjugation of the population that had settled there.
Letter of the Governor‑General of Turkestan A.N. Kuropatkin to the War Minister of the Russian Empire, dated 16 August 1916
In historical research of the Russian Empire, which has flourished since the collapse of the Soviet Union, it has been argued that Russian rule had a pluralist character. While Russian authorities did attempt to propagate Russian Orthodox Christianity and the Russian language, they did, on the whole, pursue co‑existence with local cultures and religions in a somewhat ambiguous manner.
It was not that there were positive reasons for the Russian Empire to wholeheartedly adopt a pluralist policy. More accurately, there were negative reasons for ...