Legal Framework For Activities Of Kalmyk Governing Bodies In The 18th Century


One of the most important tasks of public administration in the Russian Federation was the development of Russian federalism, relations between the center and the subjects based on the country constitutional legislation. In this regard, the study of management history of Russian regions acquires a particular relevance. Modern problems of state-building in the Russian Federation are largely the result of processes that developed during the times of the Russian Empire. The studied period of the Russian state development and the accompanying political and legal phenomena, certainly, contain considerable experience for the state-building of modern Russia and require a special study. The process of the Kalmyk statehood formation and development is of considerable interest, which, on the one hand, developed on the basis of state structures of the Kalmyk Khanate, and, on the other hand, felt significant influence from the Russian state apparatus. This is where the peculiarity of the statehood development among the Kalmyk people manifested itself. The institutions of the Kalmyks public organization in the conditions of political dependence on the Russian state were gradually changed. The Russian government constantly tried to limit the authority and independence of the khan. For this purpose, the institute of vicarate was introduced. The government system in the Kalmyk nomads was based on the experience of similar institutions, which confirmed viability in other regions of the country, but in the view of the national outskirts specifics..

Keywords: Ownersmanagement systemnational regionsrescriptKalmyk nomadsadministrative control


As the famous Russian scientist N. M. Korkunov noted: “Russia was placed in the midst of two equally hostile cultures in its historical development — the Asian East and the European West” (Korkunov, 2003). This statement expresses a fairly common point of view about the place and role of Russian culture in general and legal, in particular, among cultures of other civilizations. This is a significant circumstance for our attention, since management systems in Russia were being formed, incorporating features of different civilizations.

State life was not limited to the higher power echelons, and new trends not only came to Russia from Europe, were not only introduced “from above”, but also originated in the “lower classes”. According to I.K. Ochir-Garyaeva, “therefore, the study of the Russian Empire governing order cannot be limited to an analysis of state institutions organization. It is equally important to investigate the specifics of public self-government at the lowest level, along with the consideration of the management specific features at individual areas of the multinational Russian state” (Ochir-Garyaeva, 2014). This will allow, among other things, to identify something common inherent in all Russian peoples in the organization of their daily lives, the solution of cultural and economic issues.

The traditional feature of the Russian Empire policy in relation to non-Russian peoples was the weak desire for their ethnic assimilation. Apparently, the predominance of political over economic reasons in the process of expanding the Empire partially affected (Ochir-Garyaeva & Komandzhaev, 2017).

After the decampment of the Kalmyk peoples most part beyond the borders of the Empire, which began on January 5, 1771, the owners who were wandering on the right bank of the Volga remained in Russia. One of the reasons why they could not follow Ubashi, the governor, was the weather conditions: “... that year, the ice went along the Volga for three months and there were constant rains and winds” (Novoletov, 1884). Kalmyks who had taken part in the Russian-Turkish war (20.000 troops were formed) were not able to join the outgoing Kalmyks, they were involved in military operations in the Crimea and the North Caucasus. Soon, the Russian authorities succeeded in returning some from Yaik (some of them were returned voluntarily and others were forced) (National Archive of the Republic of Kalmykia NARK).

The beginning leave news of most of the Kalmyk uluses (30.285 tilt carts, this is 73%) caught not only the central government bodies, but even the local administration. Reports of the Astrakhan governor N.A. Beketov to the College of Foreign Affairs about the possible migrating of the Kalmyks (for example, on April 15, 1770, he sent a report about the possible withdrawal of the Kalmyks) (NARK) were perceived with suspicion and were not taken into account. Nevertheless, the government was seriously alarmed by the departure of most of the Kalmyks. It became the subject of a special discussion at the Council at the highest court with the participation of Empress Catherine II. It was by the decision of the Council that measures were taken to return the Kalmyks to the Volga.

Since 1728 a new system of local government was established, according to which the competence of the governor was determined by specific and daily tasks. The governors were obliged to execute laws and orders emanating from the supreme power, to protect silence and tranquility in the territory entrusted to them. The governors also performed some military functions: manning the army, lodging troops, etc. They were charged with the collection of the head tax, other direct and indirect taxes, the collection of tax arrears, orders for various in-kind duties. Governors got extensive judicial functions with the court council liquidation.

The governors carried out this activity through the office. Since 1763 each of them was given a military command to assist in the execution of laws.

As for the Astrakhan governor, in whose jurisdiction the Kalmyks were roaming, he was accountable to the Foreign Affairs Collegium, which remained the central authority of these peoples.

Petersburg was also concerned with the task of mastering the difficult situation in the remaining nomads. The Russian authorities began to take immediate action hoping to suspend the Kalmyks migration and fearing at the same time the departure of the remaining subjects of the governor.

On January 26, 1771, as a matter of urgency, the Astrakhan governor was ordered to transfer the “Kalmyk affairs” from the Enotaev fortress to Astrakhan city, and to open the Kalmyk Affairs Expedition at the governor office. This simplification of the management system led to the abolition of the position of the so-called in residence at the Khanate and the Khanate vicars (AFPRE).

Having determined the approximate number of the remaining Kalmyks without their owners, the governor began to implement a temporary government, up to special government orders. He handed over the Kalmyks to the remaining owners to supervise, who were credible with the provincial administration.

Problem Statement

The formation of the public administration system in Kalmykia took place in the context of the use of general imperial principles based on the flexible application of general state approaches and political and legal institutions, combined with the Kalmyks national peculiarities, taking into consideration the established systems of traditional governance and the customary law of the Kalmyk people.

The main trends in the development of public administration in Kalmykia are localization of power in the region, combined with centralization, when in the system of relations “center - region”, the central power is the government, and its local level and representative on the territory of Kalmykia is the Astrakhan governor and a special unit for Kalmyk affairs (expedition, office, management).

The system of government bodies in Kalmykia was built on the basis of the experience already gained in the activities of similar institutions, which had proven their viability in other regions of the country, but in the view of these national borderlands features.

To achieve this goal, it was necessary to accomplish the following tasks: to determine the content and orientation of the Russian government legal policy in the national outskirts on the example of the Kalmyk steppe; consider the structure of public institutions, namely, local authorities of the Kalmyk people and legal support of their activities; study the influence of political forces in the nomadic society on the process of Kalmykia entry into the system of the Russian government.

Research Questions

The subject of the research is the historical and legal aspects of Kalmykia public administration genesis in the period of the general imperial administration formation of this region, relations of central and local bodies of the state, structure, competence and activity of the national administration.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the work is to study the political and legal processes in Kalmykia during this period and the Russian policy related to them.

In this paper, an attempt is made to summarize the accumulated theoretical material, to realize the advantages and disadvantages of the tsarist regional policy, to assess the significance of our national management experience for modern society, including the negative one. All-Russian management institutions are considered, the attention is paid to the specifics of the national regions management, the traditional forms of foreigners self-government.

Research Methods

The author was guided by the dialectic method of scientific knowledge in the process of the research, implying the study of all processes and phenomena in evolution. The systemic, comparative legal, historical, structural and functional and other methods of cognition, as well as the principles of the historical and logical, abstract and specific unity were used. These methods enabled to consider the problem of introducing nomads into the system of general government, with considering the peculiarities of the Kalmyks social organization, as well as with the development of Russian statehood and law.


On February 17, 1771 Astrakhan governor N.A. Beketov addressed a report to Catherine II, in which he proposed measures that contributed, in his opinion, to establishing order in the Kalmyk ulus. The governor considered it necessary to create an executive and administrative body, the composition and powers of which should be determined by the congress of the Kalmyk owners remaining in Russia. Beketov’s report also contained proposals on the division of land and livestock between the remaining owners of the Kalmyks. He proposed to separate all other foreigners of the province (Tatars and Turkmen) being under the control of the governor, from the Kalmyks, and assign them to the Astrakhan aul Tatars (AFPRE).

The Russian government did not immediately abandon the unity of command and the national authorities in managing the Kalmyk nomads in view of the difficult situation, and also in the hope of returning at least some of the nomads who had left. Beketov proposed to appoint Prince Dondukov as the “chief of the Kalmyk people” (NARK). Many of the Kalmyk nobility, considering themselves worthy candidates for such a high post, were displeased.

Thus, the departure of Ubashi governor with a part of the people under his authority took the Russian government by surprise. The provincial authorities were also not ready for the Kalmyks to migrate. The tsarist government being aware of the need for decisive action introduced direct provincial rule on the territory of the nomads. This can be considered the historical and legal roots of the present established institution of direct presidential rule in the regions of the Russian Federation. Governor Beketov became not just an intermediary in the relations of the Russian authorities with the Kalmyks, but directly the person being in charge of supervision – managing them. The appointment of Dondukov, “chief of Kalmyk owners”, a man who was not accepted by the Kalmyks, was erroneous on the part of the government. This not only failed the establishment of satisfactory relations between the provincial administration and the Kalmyk people, but also provoked a wave of indignation from the noble noyons.

The tsarist government delay in the matter of determining the remaining Kalmyks status as part of Russia can be explained by his hope of returning the governor with his subordinates. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the state borders (until October 1771) remained open to returning Kalmyks for a long time.

After it became obvious that it was impossible to return the Kalmyks who had departed from the governor, Catherine II, without issuing a special act on the liquidation of the Kalmyk khanate or governorship, sent only a rescript to the Astrakhan governor on 19 October 1771 (AFPRE).

The document testifies to the fact that the Russian Empress viewed the Kalmyk migrations as treason and rebellion. At the same time, the departure of nomads was assessed as an opportunity to conduct a more systematic course of the region colonization. Catherine II did not see an opportunity to keep the former order of controlling the Kalmyks, namely, that was out of the question of any own statehood for nomads.

The decampment of the Kalmyk governor presented the Russian government with the possibility of establishing a direct mechanism for controlling the remaining of his subordinates. In this regard, the special attention of the Russian authorities was drawn to the Astrakhan province - a large administrative-territorial unit for that time with a fairly strong bureaucratic apparatus, where the governor played a key role. Actions of N.A. Beketov, during the period of the Kalmyk decampment, convinced the city authorities that he was not only well-versed in Kalmyk affairs, but also had the correct views on the intentions, in terms of the government, of imperial power in relation to province foreigners entrusted to him. The Empress, by her rescript, granted the governor additional powers: “ that all of them (the owners) were under your supervision and control, and for what they will not agree with, they have to submit to you for consideration”.

The Expedition of Kalmyk affairs established at the governor chancellery, due to the opinion of Catherine II, removed the question of creating a certain executive and administrative body to manage the Kalmyks. Having received the rescript, Beketov abolished the rank of assistant governor that Dondukov had held. At the same time, he did his best to veil the actual liquidation of the national institution existed during the khan period and under the viceroy. The governor managed not only to fulfill the order of the Empress, but also put down the vigilance of the Kalmyk nobility, who counted upon strengthening their positions.

In response to Beketov’s proposal to improve the “Kalmyk Code” (Code of 1640) with a view to its further use, Catherine II drew governor’s attention to the fact that “...the consideration of this very old collection of Kalmyk laws with their present condition is completely inconvenient company". In confirmation of such a characteristic of the Kalmyk legislation, examples are given from the existing judicial practice: for committing “the evil deed laid at that price, you can buy off ...” (AFPRE).

The Imperial Rescript also contains a warning to Beketov that the preservation of the Code of 1640 and the conduct of legal proceedings based on it will not allow the authorities to perform their basic functions of protecting the legitimate rights of other subjects, in particular, residents of the province under his jurisdiction.

Taking into account the governor’s concern about the possible unrest of the Kalmyk nobility, Catherine II supported his proposal to secure the situation in the nomads by compensating for the losses to the remaining local owners. She allowed to compensate for their losses by dividing the remaining Kalmyks, left without owners, between thin nobility in the form of a reward for loyalty to the Russian authorities. The rescript explains the principle in detail by which it was necessary to guide the implementation of compensatory measures. Its essence is that: originally it was intended to satisfy those who proved to be the most trustworthy, and then other owners, based on their nobility and influence among the Kalmyks.

Thus, the October 19, 1771 rescript of Catherine II testified to a change in the legal policy of the Russian state in relation to the Kalmyks. The goal of such a policy was to bring these nomads “into an unquestionable and useful state for Russia” (AFPRE). The legal status of the Astrakhan governor changed. He became a confidant of the Empress and a reliable defender of state interests in the steppes of the Lower Volga. It is to him, bypassing many of the central authorities, Catherine II would address with the rescripts. When circumstances opened as a result of the Kalmyk viceroy’s displacement, the Empress recommended Beketov, both directly and covertly, to undertake everything for the final destruction of even the thought of the Kalmyks about the possibility of restoring the former statehood.

Aiming to prevent a possible decampment of the remaining Kalmyks, the Russian authorities began to strengthen administrative control over the Kalmyk people, which, in their opinion, had not been sufficient. They took a number of temporary measures in this direction, designed to calm the nomads, right up to the final determination of the status of these foreigners in the Russian Empire.

The first of these measures was the decision to transfer the remaining Kalmyks to the provincial administration, establishing the Expedition of Kalmyk affairs at its chancellery. The new department existed from 1771 to 1786. It exercised control over the Kalmyk nomads under the leadership of the governor, which included the mediation of the Russian authorities in the relations of the Kalmyks with other neighboring nations, as well as dealing with conflict situations between the Kalmyks themselves, collecting various information about the noble Kalmyks, and their subordinates.

Aiming to use the relationship of nomadic peoples who inhabited the territory of the Astrakhan region in the interests of the state and keep them under their control, the Russian authorities tried to achieve this through the governor. The governor, as a rule, acted as an intermediary in relations between the Kalmyks and Kazakhs, Circassians, Turkmen and other nations (NARK).

In addition to the director, the Expedition staff also included clerical staff: registrars, clerks, sub-clerks, copyists, translators and students of the Kalmyk language preparing to become translators. The governor and the Expedition under his supervision closely followed the activities of their employees, they were accountable to them. The translators attached to the Kalmyk owners had to write off the report to the Expedition weekly, if necessary, more often, on the state of nomads. They were issued comments and reprimands in cases of non-compliance with their obligations.

Simultaneously with establishing the order in the uluses of the Astrakhan administration, they had to deal with counting and dividing the owners of the remaining Kalmyks. At the request of the governor, the owners submitted letters to the Kalmyk expedition about the number of led people who were gone from them. A certificate compiled on the basis of these data in the Kalmyk expedition was then submitted to the College of Foreign Affairs (Maksimov, 2000).

The primary task of the new department at the provincial chancellery was to establish tight control over the nomads, in order to prevent the Kalmyks from leaving. This is confirmed by the numerous incoming and outgoing documents of the Expedition: resolutions and instructions of the governors, a report of translators, correspondence with other institutions, etc.

Strengthening the administrative supervision of the Kalmyk people meant, along with the restriction of the nomads territory, an increase in the latter by sedentary settlements. As a result of such measures, the Kalmyks' pasture lands were significantly reduced, which led to a deterioration of their living conditions. And this, in turn, resulted in constant quarrels between nomads and neighboring nations. They were accompanied by robberies, kidnappings, theft of livestock, etc.

In this regard, the Expedition was forced to deal with complaints of Kalmyks against each other within and between the ulus; resolve disputes with neighbors over places of migrations, the seizure of Kalmyk territories by sedentary settlements.

Determining the fate of the remaining Kalmyks, the Expedition had to deal with the issues of their belonging to one or another ulus and aimak. Numerous reports, petitions on this occasion came to the Expedition with the owners’ requests to allocate their legal, subservient, lost after January 1771 to them. It should be noted that these appeals were not always justified.

When investigating such cases, the Governor made decisions based on the reports of the Expedition or the necessary materials on the case identified by it, based on the principle of the legitimacy of the owners' requirements or, if this could not be identified, from the degree of loyalty of the Kalmyk nobility representatives to the Russian authorities.

The correspondence of the Kalmyk owners with the Astrakhan governor and other officials leads to the conclusion: the governor also had the right to give Kalmyks commoners to the slavery, and to sell them in the form of punishment for their crimes.

In the conditions of the ongoing Russian-Turkish war, the functional duties of the governor and the Expedition remained the ulus fees for the Kalmyk army, and at the end of the war, with the establishment of new border lines in the North Caucasus and sending the Kalmyks to cordon service (Komandzhayev, 2005).

In 1772, a judicial department Zargo (in a modified form) was established under the Expedition, in accordance with the rescript order of Catherine II. The judicial department in a modified form due to its subordination to the Expedition of Kalmyk Affairs did not have autonomy, although it was recreated as an appearance of the previous “Kalmyk government”. Zargo handled all disputable cases, which would necessarily “reach the governor”, preliminarily consider and make their own conclusions on each of them. In order to prevent “biased” decisions from the Kalmyk judges, the owners were prohibited to harass the zargacheis and their relatives in any way “up to the first generation” (AFPRE). The members of this Zargo, as before with the khans and governors, were to receive a state salary, equally as members of the Expedition.

Court decisions acquired the force of an official document only after the governor’s approval. Acting consistently, Beketov, and later his successor Zhukov, turned the “zaisangs - zargacheis” into their personal advisers from approved officials. Each zargachei had to unconditionally fulfill the instructions of the governor; otherwise he was expected to penalties. Disagreements that arose in Zargo must have been reported to the governor.

Serious criminal cases were ordered to be resolved on the basis of all-Russian legislation, since, in the opinion of the central authorities, they did not mainly arise between the Kalmyks, but between the Kalmyks and the neighboring Russian population.

When analyzing intra-Kalmyk affairs, it was proposed to base their own legislation, and “one must try, that over time, the Kalmyks and that concerns themselves... followed local laws... their own affairs will be dependent on him, the governor” (NARK).

The governorate reform held in the Russian Empire from 1775 to 1785 was designed to significantly strengthen the local government apparatus. The division of the provinces was carried out: their number more than doubled. Each province was subdivided into counties, the intermediate territorial unit — the province — was eliminated. The territorial division was carried out in the interests of the tax and punitive policy of the state.

The larger regions (most often in two provinces) were headed by the viscount (governor-general), the official who was given extraordinary powers and who was only responsible to the Empress. The viscount was the head of the local administration and the police, carried out general supervision of the entire administration and court.

In 1786, the Astrakhan Province became the part of the established Caucasian vicarate.

With the introduction of vicarate governorship in the Caucasus, the Russian government tried to create a strong administrative power, holding down any manifestation of discontent. In connection with these transformations, the Expedition of Kalmyk affairs as having coped with its tasks and Zargo were abolished. The full powers of the Kalmyk court were transferred to the county courts.

Indeed, the “Expedition” led by the governor, together with the ministries prevented the Kalmyks from attempting to follow the governor, measures were taken to carry out a census of the nomadic population and the ruined owners were made amends after the January events of 1771 due to the redistribution of the remaining subordinates of the governor and other departed noyons.

In 1786 the Military Chancellery was established. According to the plans of the Astrakhan governor, P.S. Potemkin, the Kalmyks needed to be allocated as an irregular army, which meant the full serving of compulsory military service. The Kalmyks were attributed to the counties of the Astrakhan province. These changes resumed rumors about migrating from Russia.

In 1788 the Military Chancellery was renamed into the Kalmyk with a small staff which included two people having been selected from all owners.

The Chancellery was designed to exercise administrative control over the Kalmyks. The greater autonomy of this department, than it had been during the Expedition, is evidenced by orders from higher authorities, for example, from the Caucasian governor, which are rather formulated in the form of “proposals” than orders and resolutions. The Chancellery Archive (Senate decrees, decisions of the Foreign Affairs Collegium and orders of the Caucasian governor, meeting journals, books of contract records concluded by Kalmyks for hiring, judicial-investigative cases) indicates that the new department experienced difficulties due to the lack of people trained for such activities, and particularly with interpreters and metaphrasts. There was even the practice of public announcements about the convening of those who wish to “go to the metaphrasts” (NARK).

The system of bailiff supervision in the regions, namely, the control system of the Kalmyk uluses by the Chancellery staff continued to act. Officially, these ranks and the bailiff system itself would be introduced later. For the time being, these functions were performed by translators, students of the Kalmyk language, and other Chancellery workers.

Chancellery employees, as well as their colleagues from the previous Kalmyk department, were collecting information about the owners, their subordinates. As part of its competence, the Chancellery also dealt with issues related to the place of migrations (especially in the meadow places of the Volga and Don rivers), the Kalmyk cordon service regime. July 20, 1788, the vicar L.S. Alekseev “offered” the Kalmyk office: “...let anyone willing to wander beyond the Volga River and give tickets for that" (written permissions) (NARK). The Kalmyk Chancellery supposed to provide with “tickets” those who wished to roam away from the places belonging to ulus and declared their responsibility for complying with the nomadic regime. From a legal point of view, this is an important issue, because the Kalmyks had not got the documents before to prove their identity or movement purpose.

The frequent Kalmyk migrations to the Don have prompted the Chancellery to oblige the bailiffs to “inspire” the Kalmyks that they “are trying in vain to search for the best places...”. In this situation, it was decided to invite ulus deputies to the “convention” - zaisangs who, having discussed the migration reasons and the possibility of returning their subordinates, should have gone to the Don to “reclaim” those Kalmyks and return them "to the ulus on their places" (NARK).

As for the order of Kalmyks to pass through the cordon service and their involvement in the military actions of the Russian army, the organization and execution of instructions from higher departments on this issue directly and completely fell on the military first, and then on the Kalmyk Chancellery. The Kalmyk cordon service was paid “on a par with irregular troops”. When the Kalmyks performed military service, the order of priority for attracting ulus was determined.

The Chancellery also considered claims of Russian citizens for the recovery of debt loans from Kalmyk borrowers. The Chancellery sometimes showed patience and understanding of people situation under its jurisdiction with a fairly demanding analysis of such cases.

Based on the changed goal of the Russian authorities in this region, namely, the gradual Kalmyks inclusion in the state administration, the Chancellery was sympathetic, and even, tried to facilitate the Kalmyk requests to accept the Orthodox faith. The transfer to the Orthodox faith was accompanied by the provision of certain privileges to the Kalmyks who wished. However, despite these favorable conditions, it seemed that there were few nomads who wanted to convert to Christianity. Thus, the baron F.A. Buhler described the process of Christianization in the nomad camps at the end of the 18th century: “ continuing of a century and a half ...”, (meaning from the moment the Kalmyks came to Russia) “various measures were taken to convert Kalmyks to Christianity. They turned out to be more or less successful, but did not achieve their goal...” (Buhler, 1846).

The Kalmyk Chancellery was transformed into a new institution at the beginning of 1797, named as the Astrakhan Kalmyk administration, which operated until 1801. The creation of the board was also a temporary measure. It was ordered to exercise administrative control over the Kalmyks until the Russian government selected the right moment to carry out more radical ways of incorporating the nomadic people into the general government.

The administration, like the previous departments, implemented the control over the nomads by bailiffs. Their reports and messages contained valuable information about the location of the uluses during the period of migrations, allowed them to organize the Kalmyk cordon service, prevent and resolve internecine feuds of the owners, control the transition of the Kalmyks from one aimak to another, etc.

The first decisions of the new department were related to the issue of staffing. In general, the staff of the administration mainly consisted of clerks who wished to remain in this service.

On the 8th of July, 1797, the administration adopted a resolution in accordance with the General Regulations, defining the mode of officials work. All the administration employees were instructed “so that at six o'clock at midnight they would come to their posts, otherwise, for non-performance, subject themselves ... to fines" (NARK). Requirements were also increased for the administration office work; the new administration next step after the staffing was to put in order the documents left from the Chancellery.

As before, the census of the Kalmyk people as a part of Russia, remained an urgent problem. In this regard, the administration also attempted to collect information on the population, at least by compiling “skeds” of individual ulus.

The administration was constantly forced to consider the complaints and petitions of the Kalmyks as well as on each other, and on the other Russians. The disputes of the Kalmyks among themselves were caused in most cases by the places of migrations, as well as by the transition from one aimak to another.

In March 1801, the administration received a Decree of the Governing Senate of February 7 of the same year from the provincial government “on the appointment of officials...” (NARK). The document explained the need for drawing up detailed track records for each provincial official. The track record should have contained not only general information about the official (name, age, position, origin, marital status), but also information such as: size of the wealth, movement in the service, awards, participation in military battles whether it was under investigation and trial, prospects for growth in the service, etc. In accordance with this decree, such detailed data began to wind up on the employees of the administration, which just indicated that the officials of the Kalmyk department were an integral part of the all-Russian bureaucratic apparatus.


The Kalmyk administration existed until June 18, 1801. The main reason for the reorganization, or rather, the elimination of the administration, was Zargo restoration as the highest court for the Kalmyks and governorship in the Kalmyk nomads. Thus, the establishment of the Caucasian governorship and the inclusion of the Astrakhan province in its structure led to changes in the management of the nomadic Kalmyks. First of all, in 1786 the Military Chancellery was established instead of the Expedition, which was called upon to exercise control, or rather, command over the Kalmyks as an irregular army. This practice did not take root and in 1788 the Chancellery was renamed into the Kalmyk, thereby changing the goals and functions of the department.

The Kalmyk Chancellery was a more independent institution than the Expedition. Exercising administrative control over the Kalmyks, the Chancellery did not simply carry out the governor orders, but considered the “proposals” of higher instances with the view of making decisions more acceptable to the people within its jurisdiction.

In general, the Kalmyk Chancellery was collided the same issues as the Expedition. First, the attempts were made to conduct a nomadic census. The new administration was unable to complete the census among the uluses due to the difficulties in conducting a nomadic census owing to the Kalmyks constant movements. Accordingly, the Chancellery had also undertaken a related control over the direction of migrations.

The Kalmyk administration, which replaced this department in 1797, was also a temporary institution. Nevertheless, this independent administration thoroughly and critically applied to the selection of personnel, to office work, to the order of its officials service. The administration had partially managed to compile Kalmyk uluses skeds. This was one of the most serious shifts in the solution of the common task, not only in mastering the situation in the nomads, but also in establishing a comprehensive control over them. .


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Ochir-Garyaeva, I., Komandzhaev, E., & Buluktaeva, K. (2019). Legal Framework For Activities Of Kalmyk Governing Bodies In The 18th Century. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 903-913). Future Academy.