Orenburg Expedition

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Orenburg Expedition


an expedition mounted in 1734 for the purpose of building a system of forts on the border with Bashkiria. It was planned by I. K. Kirilov, chief secretary of the Senate and the expedition’s leader.

The expedition’s task also involved the organization of trade between Russia and the peoples of Middle Asia, leading ultimately to their unification with the Russian Empire. The expedition included scientists and scholars from various professions, who prospected for minerals, made geographic and ethnographic descriptions, and compiled maps. The expedition organized the construction of the forts of Orenburg and Orsk. Its activities, however, were limited to a considerable extent by internal administrative problems in Bashkiria and the suppression of the Bashkir uprisings of the 1730’s. After Kirilov’s death in 1737, the Orenburg expedition was led consecutively by V. N. Tatishchev, V. A. Urusov, and I. I. Nepliuev. The expedition was brought to an end in 1744 after the creation of Orenburg Province.


Apollova, N. G. Ekonomicheskie i politicheskie sviazi Kazakhstana s Rossiei v XVIII-nachale XIX vv. Moscow, 1960.
Novlianskaia, M. G. I. K. Kirilov, geograf XVIII v. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.