18 JANUARY 1873, Page 1

The Russian Government is, we suspect, slightly puzzled as well

as annoyed by the opposition of the British Government to the annexation of Shiva. The Emperor has despatched Count gehouvaloff to England, and has ordered the journalists to let Central Asia alone, which looks like a disposition to conciliate ; but on the other hand, he has held a great Council, which has resolved that Khiva must be subdued, which looks altogether the other way. At present the position would seem to be this—that Great Britain assents to the punishment of Khiva, but not to its annexation, as with Russia on the North-West and North-East both, Persia would be a mere enclave ; and Russia organises the punishing expedition with a hope that Great Britain will change her mind. That may prove rather too astute a policy, as Lord Northbrook has not got a House of Commons in Calcutta. Note a rapid and determined increase of the steam-transport fleet upon the Caspian, ostensibly for the carrying trade between Persia and Southern Russia.