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2023. no 1. Vladimir Bobrovnikov

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Rehabilitation of the Crimean Khanate by Historians
in a five-volumes book about the Crimean Tatars

Vladimir Bobrovnikov

Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences;
St. Petersburg University;
National Research University – Higher School of Economics

Abstract. Author of the article analyzes the 3rd volume of the History of the Crimean Tatars, dedicated to the Crimean Khanate of the15th–18th centuries, published in Kazan in 2021, and resulted from the 2-year international research project aiming to produce the first academic History of the Crimean Tatars in a five volumes. This is a pioneering and valuable research covering the whole period of the Khanate history, from its formation in the first half of the 15th century to its annexation to the Russian Empire under the reign of Catherine the Great, who abolished the Khanate in 1783. The book discusses different aspects of the Khanate’s everyday life: its conquests and frequent raids against non-Muslim neighbors, foreign and domestic politics, Crimean Tatars’ economy, slave trade, spiritual and material culture, religion, military affairs, demography, their relationship with ethnic and confessional minorities of the Khanate and their Diaspora abroad, images of the Crimean Tatars as the Other constructed and later Orientalized by foreign travelers and observers from Western Europe, Ukraine and Russia. In fact, this book rehabilitates the Crimean Khanate, showing that it was not just a robber’s nest, living off raids on neighbors and the international slave trade, as the late Soviet literature argued. The study fills in a significant gap in contemporary historiography on the subject in the field of Oriental, Russian, Polish, and Ukrainian studies. It also contributes to comparative history of the northern Black sea area at the turn of the early modern times. It is noteworthy that the new series on History of the Crimean Tatars does not dismiss the legacy of the anti-Crimean Soviet literature categorically, but attempts to rethink it all creatively, starting with the pre-revolutionary classic study written by V.D. Smirnov. It resumes revisionist historiography of the Crimean Khanate from Perestroika to the present day proposing possible alternative readings of its history.

Keywords: revisionist historians, Crimean Khanate, Russia, Crimean Tatars, Islam, Oriental studies

For citation: Bobrovnikov V.O. Rehabilitation of the Crimean Khanate by Historians in a five-volumes book about the Crimean Tatars. Krymskoe istoricheskoe obozrenie = Crimean Historical Review. 2023, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 220–232. DOI: 10.22378/kio.2023.1.220-232 (In Russian)


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About the author: Vladimir O. Bobrovnikov – Cand. Sci. (History), Leading Research Fellow, Chair of the Center for Studies of Central Asia, Caucasus and the Volga-Ural region, Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (107031, Rozhdestvenka Str., 12, Moscow, Russian Federation); Research Fellow of the Research Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes, Saint Petersburg State University (199034, University embankment, 11, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation); Professor of the Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies, National Research University – Higher School of Economics (105066, Staraya Basmannaya Str., 21/4, Moscow, Russian Federation);

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