The kazakhs

  • 09 марта 2011 г.
  • 601 Слова

In the early seventeenth century Russians first penetrated into the Kazakh steppes. It took nearly two hundred years to complete their conquest, since the Russians were opposed atevery step of their advance by their brave aqïn (oral poets). After the conquest, there were numerous uprisings. One major revolt against Russian rule took place in 1916, when the Kazakh were joined bythe Kirghiz, Uzbeks, and all other Turkic peoples of Russian-occupied Central Asia. Each uprising was met with mass killings and deportations. The Soviet regime, established in 1917, not only continuedthe colonial policies of the Russian Empire but employed even more brutal methods, depriving the Kazakh nomads of their culture and language.
Until 1929, most Kazakhs remained nomadic, although theirseasonal movements had been restricted due to land seizures benefitting Russian settlers. Then, in 1930, Stalin enforced his policy of collectivization throughout the Soviet Union. For the Kazakhsthis policy meant first sedentarization and then collectivization. The harsh measures taken to separate the Kazakhs from their horses and sheep and to move them into re-education camps resulted innear-genocide. Within two years the Kazakhs lost over half of their population, their numbers reduced from four million to less than two million. After the great famine of 1932, only small groups ofKazakhs managed to cross with their herds into Xinjiang, where they continued their way of life.

The persecution continued. Between 1937 and 1938 66,000 Kazakh intellectuals, poets and writers were putto death on Stalin's orders. Again, during World War II and the years thereafter, Kazakhs perished in large numbers, not only on the battlefields, but also in prison camps and at home from starvation.The suffering of the Kazakh people was matched by equally harsh attacks on the environment. The Soviet's systematic exploitation of the natural resources of Kazakhstan led to a depletion of land and...
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