The work examines the civilizational mission of the Russian Empire in Central Asia in the XIX century on the basis of archival sources. The attention is paid to the main types of crimes, such as kidnapping, murder, robbery of merchant caravans, sea robbery, barymta, as well as the system of punishment for these crimes. The inventory No. 10 (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th parts) of the State Archive of the Orenburg Region (Orenburg, Russian Federation) of the Fund No. 6 was used as materials, which presents the cases of the border department of the office of the Orenburg Governor-General. In conclusion, the authors state that in the first half of the XIX century, the Russian Empire in Central Asia faced a whole range of serious criminal acts, namely kidnapping and slave trade, murders, robbery of trade caravans and fishing vessels, nomad raids and barymta (abduction of horses and cattle). Only in the state archive of the Orenburg region about 2 thousand archival files were devoted to these issues. The illegal acts involved, especially at the initial stage, not only the nomads of the Kyrgyz steppe, but also the Kyrgyz who are part of Russia (the Inner Horde). Since 1820, Russia has been working tirelessly to spread literacy in the steppe, provide medical and humanitarian assistance, attract local people to service (first as postmen, then as guards for sultans and caravans, and then until entering the civil service after graduating from Russian educational institutions). Thanks to this, the steppe began to change, this process was long and complicated, but in general, by the 1870s, the number of criminal offenses in the region was minimized, and Central Asia was able to adopt many initiatives proposed by the Russian administration. Copyright © 2021 by Cherkas Global University.