A descendant of an old Armenian noble house he was born in Nukha (modern-day Shaki in the Azerbaijan Republic). He participated in the Crimean War. In 1865 in the Northern Caucasus, and in 1876 he was appointed as the commander of the Black Sea region. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877—1878 Shelkovnikov stopped Turkish forces in their attack on Sochi and took Abkhazia after defeating the forces of Ahmed Muhtar Pasha in a battle near Aladzhi. He was awarded the Order of Saint George of the third degree on October 27, 1877 for his victory in Aladzhi.
Shelkovnikov's division met up with General Ivan Davidovich Lazarev and together they marched on the Turkish line to take the province of Erzerum on October 2. Erzerum was taken the next day, and Shelkovnikov was made governor of the province.
After the occupation by Russian troops Erzurum region was its governor. Actively and vigorously set about it in its duties, but soon contracted typhus and died February 10, 1878.
- Шелковников. С.-Пб.: Энциклопедический словарь Ф.А. Брокгауза и И.А. Ефрона. 1890–1907.