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November 9, 1892 “The Great Game”

1909 Map of British Indian Empire“The Great Game” was the strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for a supremacy in Central Asia between 1813 and 1907 that threatened to destroy the “Jewel in the Crown” of the British Empire, India.


Sir,-The letter of your St. Petersburg Corre­spondent which you publish in your issue of October 20 on the above question, although valuable from the point of view of audi alteram partem, contains, nevertheless, sundry statements which might easily mislead public opinion and upon which I beg leave to make a few remarks. The tendency of the said letter is, of course, to find a plea for the feverish activity of the Rus­sian military authorities in Turkestan, who endeavour to prove the innocence and harmless­ness of Colonel Yonoff’s expedition to the Pamirs by stating that the restless spirit of British officers, steadily investigating and reconnoitering the Pamir, has compelled the Governor ­General of Turkestan to prevent unpleasant eventualities, and that the paternal care of the Tsar was, so to say, called for in protection of the poor Kirghiz subjects, whose flocks are grazing in the valleys of the “Roof of the World.” It is over and over again the old story of the poor Russian wolf on the upper course of the river who has to complain of the rapacious and greedy English lamb on the lower course of the water, and my readers will excuse me if I do not waste time and paper upon this often-exposed absurdity.

I beg to remain yours obediently,


Budapest University, Oct. 26 (1892).

Source: The Times of London, Wednesday November 9, 1892

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