General Abd-al-Aziz Davletshin and Islam Policies in the Russian Empire
Historians have identified military elites as crucial pillars of empires. In the Russian Empire, too, the integration of non-Russian elites into the higher echelons of the army was central to building and sustaining the empire. This allowed Muslims, generally nobles, to pursue careers in the army throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Among them was Abd-al-Aziz Davletshin who used his position to lobby the government for a more balanced treatment of the tsar’s Muslim subjects. He is a fascinating example of an “imperial subject” who participated in the ruling of the empire and at the same time interpreted the imperial realm.