The Conquest ofKhiva and the Treaties of 1873 Relations with Khiva, 1867–1872
Khiva had traditionally been Russia’s most troublesome neighbor in Central Asia. No sooner had Bukhara and Kokand been forced into submission than a showdown with Khiva appeared imminent. Continued difficulties were inevitable, if only because of the total absence of any mutually recognized boundaries between Khiva and the Russian Empire. Further causes of trouble were Khiva’s strong natural defensive position as an island in a sea of deserts and Russia’s two previous failures to subdue her, which undoubtedly encouraged the khan, Muhammad Rahim II (1864-1910), in his obstinate rejection of Russia’s demands.