By G. Mirfendereski
In a chain of brief tales that either tell and amuse, this booklet transports the reader around the windswept beaches of the Caspian Sea and gives a provocative view of the wars, peace, intrigues, and betrayals that experience formed the political geography of this crucial and risky zone. The death of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the eclipsing of the previous Iranian-Soviet regime of the ocean have given upward push to new demanding situations for the local actors and remarkable possibilities for foreign avid gamers to faucet into the area's huge, immense oil and gasoline assets, 3rd in measurement in simple terms in the back of Siberia and the Persian Gulf. This publication explores the historic issues that tell and animate the extra instant and ordinary discussions approximately petroleum, pipelines, and ethnic clash within the Caspian sector.
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Extra info for A Diplomatic History of the Caspian Sea: Treaties, Diaries, and Other Stories
Likharov and the other one, the Aras, was commanded by Captain Petrichinkov. The Kama took up position off Ashuradeh facing Miyankaleh, while the other was stationed off Bandar Gaz. ”7 Great Ashuradeh itself proved anything but hospitable. The harsh and malarial climate soon affected Russian health. In the first nine months, admiral Du Gamel himself spent two months in bed. His sick compatriots were sent to Ashuradeh, as the island was turned into a field hospital. According to W. R. Holmes, an English traveler, who visited the place within the year of Du Gamel’s arrival, the numerous sick had been housed in two tents; some were convalescing, some were near death, and some were dead already waiting to be transported to the graveyard located on the western end of the island.
The hostilities in the Caucasus did not discourage the Imperial Russian Geographical Society, headquartered in Moscow, to undertake surveys of the southern littoral of the Caspian, especially the Persian coast. In 1858, the society sent one of its academicians, Baron B. A. Duren, for a brief tour of northern Persia. He was accompanied on his trip by Grigorii Valerianovich Melgunov, a functionary in Count Bariatinski’s political department at Tbilisi. The visit was short, 13 days in all. In 1860, Cruzen Stern, the head of the Caucasus branch of the geographical society at Tbilisi, invited Duren to tour northern Persia for a second time.
1 His rule coincided with the beginnings of Russia’s indefatigable pursuit of empire in Central Asia, which in turn posed a threat to Great Britain’s dominion in India and the Persian Gulf. In Russia’s expansion into the Transcaspian region, the Caspian naturally played a strategic role in the transportation of troops and materials from Astrakhan and Baku to the eastern shores of the sea. The Caspian was also important in a larger geopolitical context. 2 The earliest Russian military penetration of the Transcaspian region appears to have taken place by land.