Semirechye Oblast

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Сoat of arms of Semirechye and the city of Verniy
Сoat of arms of Pishpek

The Semirechye Oblast (Russian: Семиреченская область, literally "Seven Rivers land") was an oblast (province) of the Russian Empire. It roughly corresponded to most of present-day southeastern Kazakhstan and northern Kyrgyzstan. It was created out of the territories of the northern part of Khanate of Kokand previously was included in Kazakh Khanate. Its center was Verniy, now Almaty. It was founded in 1854 and was ruled as part of Governor-Generalship of the Steppes (Before 1882 it was known as Governor-Generalship of the Western Siberia) between 1854 and 1867 and again between 1882 and 1899 and part of Russian Turkistan between 1867 and 1882 and again between 1899 and 1917. Much of it had been gained by Russia as a result of the Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1881) between Russia and China that saw Russia gaining the Zhetysu region.

Administrative division[edit]

As of 1897, the Semirechye Oblast was divided into 6 uyezds:

Uyezd Uyezd city (pop.) Area,
sq versta
Verniy Verniy (22,744) 58330 223,883
Dzharkent Dzharkent (16,094) 5160 122,636
Kopal Kopal (6,183) 69100 136,421
Lepsinsk Lepsinsk (3,230) 87080 180,829
Pishpek Pishpek (6,615) 80480 176,577
Przhevalsk Przhevalsk (8,108) 47760 147,517


As of 1897, 987,863 people populated the oblast. Kazakhs constituted the majority of the population. Significant minorities consisted of Russians and Taranchi. Total Turkic speaking were 878,209(88,9%).

Ethnic groups in 1897[2][edit]

TOTAL 987,863 100%
Kazakhs 794,815 80,5%
Russians 76,839 7,8%
Taranchi 55,999 6,2%
Sart 14,895 1,5%
Chinese 14.130 1,4%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1897 census results.
  2. ^ 1897 census results, languages