Smirnov's monographs on the Volga peoples include Cheremisy: Istorikoetnograficheskii ocherk (Kazan: Tipografiia Imperatorskogo universiteta, 1889); Votiak:
(75) It was precisely Ivan Smirnov's use (or misuse) of the comparative method in the Multan case that predisposed him to accept as plausible the accusation of human sacrifice leveled against a group of Votiak (Udmurt) defendants.
Vera Kharuzina writes, "He wanted to become acquainted directly with the life of the people [narod], which he knew only from books and in which he was deeply interested and fervently loved." (18) In the following two summers, he traveled to the Votiaks (Udmurts) of Viatka province and the Don Cossacks.
Kazan was politically brittle, in that there were cultural and religious divisions between its Finno-Ugric rural population (Chuvash, Mordvin, Cheremis, Votiaks
) and its Muslim Tatar nobility, as well as factional polarizations within the latter.