Tsar Nicholas I

The ultimate rival for the British was not to be found in Kabul, but thousands of miles away in St. Petersburg. Tsar Nicholas was an autocrat who was expanding the Russian Empire at an alarming rate for the British. The British were convinced that the Russians were the only power who could challenge their position in India. Britain's invasion of Afghanistan was ostensibly to prevent the Russians gaining a diplomatic toehold on their border.

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by Stephen Luscombe