Kiptchak, Or Kaptchak, the name of one of the oldest Mongolian or Tartar races, and also that of the lands of S. E. Russia and W. Asia which they inhabited. Oriental authors, as Rashid ed-Din and Abulghazi Bahadur Khan, relate that while Oghuz Khan, a descendant of Turk, a son of Japhet, was fighting a bloody battle with the Kara Khatia, the wife of a general of the latter hid in a hollow tree (kiptchak) and gave birth to a child, who became the forefather of the horde, and the founder of the empire called Kiptchak. The Deshti Kiptchak, or desert of Kiptchak of the eastern writers, the home of many roaming tribes in the middle ages, comprised the vast steppes on the lower courses of the Dnieper, Don, Volga, and Yaik or Ural, and between the Black and Caspian seas. In the first half of the 13th century the Mongolians founded the khanate of Kiptchak, which was synonymous with the empire of the Golden Horde, and reached from the interior of European Russia to the sources of the Sir Darya or Jaxartes. Ahout the middle of the 15th century, after Tamerlane's invasion, Kazan, Astrakhan, and Krim or Crimea fell off from Kiptchak, and formed independent khanates.
Of these the first two were soon after absorbed by Russia, but the Crimea first became subject to the Ottomans, and was not annexed by Russia till the end of the 18th century. (See Mongolians.)