If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly


Vadim V. Trepavlov, Doctor of History, chief researcher at the Institute of Russian History under the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Center for the History of the Peoples of Russia of

Inter-ethnic Relations, became the guest of honour at the major event – Eurasian Historian Forum “Astana-2018”. The organization of a joint working group of the historians from Kazakhstan and Russia was one of the moments of importance. The Internet portal NDH had an interview with the famous historian, the author of “History of Nogay Horde”.

- Good afternoon, Mr. Trepavlov. Tell us please the role and significance of this working group.


- I am here as a member of the working group which perhaps will eventually be transformed into a Russian-Kazakhstani commission of historians. There are already a lot of such commissions on the interaction of historians from different countries in the world. And, of course, it is high time to organize such an interaction between the historians of our two countries. Moreover, we have objective conditions. The history of our ancestors comprises several centuries of the common history and common subjects. The first session was successful. The working group adopted fundamental documents. So we have all the possibilities to start working.

- One of these subject lines is the era of the Middle Ages, which united a single Eurasian space.

- Yes, it is so. But maybe because all this started for the first time, it’s just that the medieval subjects practically were not mentioned in the plans of the working group today. But I, as an expert in the Medieval history, will certainly try to promote and develop this direction. This is, of course, a general expression "Medieval history". First and foremost, the Golden Horde must be concerned because with this power the ancestors of our peoples were closely interlinked. It is reasonable to say that the Golden Horde was a kind of ethnic cradle for the Kazakh people. It was there many Turkic peoples were founded, among them the Kazakh people began developing.

- There is an opinion that the Kazakh khans, particularly Khak-Nazar Khan tried to take the Golden Horde cradle - Astrakhan, for the purpose to legitimize their claims on the Golden Horde heritage. What do you think about it?

- No, I did not get such kind of information. Khak-Nazar was brought up by the Nogay. In the first decade of his life he was completely conquered by his patrons. When he gained enough strength and became a truly powerful Kazakh ruler, he faced some problems, firstly, he aimed not to allow his return to the dependence on the Nogay, and secondly, his main interests were still focused on the south, towards the Uzbek khanates. In the meantime the Russian governors reigned in Astrakhan. Khak-Nazar was quite an experienced ruler not to conflict with them.

- The Golden Horde period is considerably studied in the Russian, Ukrainian scientific and historical environment. Does Kazakhstan's science move forward in this regard?

- Yes, it does. It moves very successfully. Although - I think this is a positive feature. There are sharp and fierce debates among the Kazakhstani scientists on the origin of certain Khan clans, on the status of various territories. You named Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. But it should be mentioned that in comparison with Ukraine in Kazakhstan this course of historiography is much more developed, first of all, because almost the whole territory of Kazakhstan was part of Ulus Juchi, of the Golden Horde. But after all the Golden Horde is an integral part of the history of Kazakhstan, whatever any generations of historians and politicians interpret and think of that period.

- The round anniversary is coming - the 750th anniversary of the formation of the states on the post-Mongolian imperial territory. In 1269 the famous Talas kurultai was held. What does the scientific community of Russia and Tatarstan prepare for this event?

- In Tatarstan, it is agreed that the next 6th Golden Horde forum will be held in the conjunction with this anniversary, which takes place in Kazan once in two years. To tell the truth, I do not support the view of this dating, which, by the way, was for the first time formed by the Kazakh colleagues. It is considered to be the anniversary of the state independence of the Golden Horde, its actual exit from the Mongolian empire. I believe it happened two or three years earlier before the Zhuchid Khan Mengu-Timur began to mint his own signature on his coins. Thus, he showed himself to be an absolutely independent sovereign. And the Talas kurultai had already established his new status. Therefore, I have another point of view in this respect.

- Your fundamental work "The History of the Nogay Horde" is an iconic piece for many readers. Do you continue researches on this topic? Do you have new researches, facts, ideas?

- Firstly, the second edition of the Nogay Horde was published in Kazan a few years ago, it comprised the chapter that, for financial reasons, was not included in the first edition. There it was talked about the Nogays that remained on the territory of Kazakhstan. Secondly, a respected and high-ranking man from the Crimean Tatars told me that this was a very serious, fundamental book. He tried to read "The History of the Nogay Horde" three times and each time he stopped reading on page 80. After that, I wrote, so to speak, the light version of the history of the Nogay horde - this is the book "The Horde of Unauthorized: The Nomadic Empire of the Nogays of the 15th-17th Centuries." It is already easy to read. It can be stated that this is the continuation of my Nogay studies.

After that, I switched to other subjects: the history of the descendants of Khan Kuchum, the ethnic policy of the Moscow state of the Russian Empire and so on. Actually, my position as Head of the Center for the History of the Peoples of Russia does not allow me to concentrate entirely on a single topic. Nogay period was one of the stages of my scientific work. I remember it with gratitude but it remained in the past.

- Do you consider it exhausted?

- For me, yes.

- Does this topic require additional research? At present, the theme of the Nogay statehood is actively raised in connection with the great interest in the history of the Nogay people.

- Yes, like any other topic in historiography. But here you need to clarify. I did not write the history of the Nogay, not the history of the Nogay people but the history of the Nogay Horde. It's still a local event in the world history. I believe I described in great detail. And the history of the people began before the Nogay Horde and continues to the present day.

- Thank you so much.