During the Soviet Period an autonomous Kalmyk Republic was established along the north-western corner of the Caspian Sea. The Kalmyk history in the early 20th century was a traumatic one. Over 70,000 died due to famine in 1922 because the Soviet Union rejected any migration out of Kalmykia. The Kalmyks revolted against Russia several times until the 1940s; some even collaborated with the Germans against the Soviets. Because of this the Soviets deported over 100,000 Kalmyks to Siberia by 1943. In the post-war period many continued to be accused of “treachery”. Today, Kalmyks are still trying to deal with their collective “guilt” as “traitors”, while at the same time attempting to regain a sense of their own cultural identity.
Due to Russian territorial expansion huge number of Buryats migrated from the Shore of Lake Baikal to Mongolia in 17th Century. During Russian Revolution in early 20th century, another wave of Burytats moved to Mongolia. During the 1930s-40s a complex triangle of relations between the Buryats, Mongols and Russians led to a genocide against the Buryats as part of the Great Purge. The painful historical memory of this period still serves as a marker of ethnic identification – what it means to be a Buryat.
- Lari Ilishkin, Historian and Public Intellectuals, Republic of Kalmykia, Russian Federation.
- Battsengel Natsagdorj, Historian, Received his PhD from Waseda University, Tokyo; Research fellow at the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.
Venue: Room W 119, Baldessin Precinct Building 110, Ellery Crescent, ANU
SpeakerLari Ilishkin, Historian and Public Intellectuals, Republic of Kalmykia, Russian Federation, Battsengel Natsagdorj, Historian, Received his PhD from Waseda University, Tokyo; Research fellow at the Mongolian Academy of Sciences
Date & timeThursday 17 May 2018