It has been exactly one hundred years since the beginning of the 1916 uprising of the year in Turkestan. The 1917 revolutions of the year have overshadowed this tragic page of the past, but the wounds caused by the uprising have not healed until now. Historians of different countries break spears on the subject of what it was - the national liberation movement against the oppression of the Russian Empire, a spontaneous upsurge of nationalism and savagery, or an attempt by the local clan aristocracy to retain power. And some politicians in the Central Asian region are trying to speculate on the blood of 1916 of the year, invoicing modern Russia.
Forgotten reserve of the empire
By the summer of 1916, Russia had already participated in the hardest World War I for two years, which had become a test of strength for the entire Romanov empire. In an atmosphere of complete tension of the country's forces and resources, an uprising broke out in Turkestan.
The indigenous population of the region enjoyed a number of privileges: it was released from conscription, did not die on the fronts and did not rot in the trenches, but was engaged in economic activities. After the accession of Central Asia, Russia brought railways, irrigation canals and medical services to this backward region, which sharply reduced mortality, mail, telegraph, and industry. Innovations led to the gradual loss of power and prestige of the local clan aristocracy, which did not want this.
The resources of the warring empire were not unlimited, and in the second year of the war, the authorities turned their attention to the multimillion non-national population not involved in the country's defense. 25 June 1916 The Emperor Nicholas II signed the Highest order on attracting the male alien population of the empire from 19 to 43 years for defensive work at the front. It was about labor mobilization for digging trenches with a salary payment (ruble per day) and state maintenance. It was supposed to call the 8% of the male indigenous population. But the answer was a dangerous one in wartime, as well as a senseless mutiny in Turkestan (Central Asia) and Steppe Territory (Kazakhstan), which diverted significant forces to their suppression.
In Semirechye, on the border with China, in July 1916 ridiculous rumors spread that "the Russians want to select the most healthy element of the Muslims, send to the theater of operations for work ahead of the Russian soldiers, where Russian and German troops will kill them, and way will be achieved intended by the Russian goal of the destruction of Islam. " The steppe became agitated, and young people of military age began to gather in gangs of deserters.
The military governor of the Semirechensk region, MA Folbaum Photo: Motherland
Mutiny of the deserters
On July 10, several thousand Kyrgyz decided not to obey the order. Gradually, the native population turned to active protest, which was expressed in the mob attacks of local residents on the Russians. In Semirechye, which was actively mastered by Russian immigrants, the most pronounced was hatred towards them in connection with the land issue. Shortly before the events, in 1915, Russian settlers were disarmed and 7500 berdanok was sent to the army. The migrants were defenseless, and there were few troops in the region.
July 17 The Turkestan military district was transferred to martial law, a major military leader and administrator, a brilliant expert on the Territory, Adjutant General A.N., was appointed the Turkestan Governor-General on July 22. Kuropatkin - a veteran of the annexation of Turkestan to Russia. Government troops were sent to the region with a sanction on any measures, including the destruction of the resisting villages.
From day to day the reports became more disturbing. The rebels cut the telegraphic message of Semirechye with Tashkent, began to block military commands and attack them. There have been frequent attacks on Russian civilians: several displaced topographers were killed, the Kyrgyz destroyed the post stations, some Russian villages were surrounded and subjected to defeat, and there were killed, wounded and captured. The rebels were stealing livestock. 9 August Kyrgyz attacked the village of Grigorievka, which was burned and looted, and residents are forced to flee.
Kyrgyz were armed with a variety of weapons, including obsolete (flint and wick guns, rifles), self-made (peaks, axes, mounted on long sticks) and captured from single Russian soldiers. On August 6-7, the rebels seized a poorly guarded transport carrying 170 berdanok and 40 000 cartridges. Killed 3 soldier. The fact of seizing a large batch of weapons was a powerful incentive to intensify the struggle against the Russians. Part of the weapons supplied by the Chinese. The Manapas (patrimonial nobility) received a portion of the money from the sale of weapons — the uprising brought them profit.
Map with the designation of the uprising areas. Annex to the report A.N. Kuropatkina Nikolay II from February 22 1917 RGVIA.
Wrestlers with women, children and intellectuals
By August 10-11, the rebels cut the telegraph link with Pishpek, Przhevalsky, Verny and Tashkent, began to terrorize the Russian population: robbed and smashed yards, killed and captured residents, raped women. In response, the Russian population has formed security guards.
11 August Dungans slaughtered most of the peasants of the village Ivanitsky. The population of the village Koltsovka was killed, the survivors fled to Przhevalsk. On August 12, two officers and a group of Cossacks died at the hands of the Kyrgyz. The body of the officer and seven Cossacks were disfigured. "Their death [-] is a very dark matter, because according to rumors reaching me, they with several lower ranks were thrown by their units to the mercy of fate," the head of the search office in Verny and Semirechenskaya oblast noted in his report.
The uprising has grown so much that the real fighting began. There was an orderliness and coordination between the rebel assemblies. Around 10 in August, the commander of Pishpek district, lieutenant colonel Rymshevich with a military team, was besieged in the village of Samsonovskaya and spent several days in siege, by 12 August they were freed by a detachment of equestrian sent out. Government forces restored telegraphic communication Pishpek - Tokmak. In the area of the latter there was a real battle of the rebels with the 42 horse team of people. The rebels lost up to 200 people, government forces lost one Cossack.
Orenburg Cossacks in equestrian ranks. Photo: provided by VG Semenov (Orenburg).
The killing and torture of single Russians continued. Postal stations on the right bank of the Naryn River were looted, the bailiff and his convoy were killed, and the settlements of Belotsarsky and Stolypin were destroyed. The situation of Russian residents was aggravated by the lack of a Russian male population mobilized to the front in the region. Initially, the Kirghiz destroyed only those who resisted, but soon they began to destroy the Russians in general. They perceived their performance as a holy war against the "infidels" (infidels). According to Muslim tradition, the dead went to heaven. There were no moral restrictions.
The Issyk-Kul Monastery was ravaged. Among those killed are seven monks and novices. Priest I. Roik was taken to the mountains and killed for refusing to accept Islam, his wife and daughter were raped. The savage reprisal of 13 took place in August from 9 to 11 in the hours of the morning with the helpless students of the Przhevalsk Agricultural School, attacked by nomads. "In addition to school employees, residents of the village of Vysokoy gathered there; most of them were slaughtered in the most cruel way, and some of the young women and girls were taken captive." School managers, teachers, an economist and four students were killed. As reported by witness I.A. Kisses, "I was told several cases of eyewitnesses that the Dungans of teenage girls were torn into two parts, stepping on one leg, and pulling the other one up until the victim split into two halves."
The report on the status of the Turkestan diocese for 1916 provided evidence of the parish priest E. Malakhovsky, who noted that on August 14, on the way to Przhevalsk, many mutilated dead Russian bodies, both adults and children, came to be on the way.
You can write a whole book about Kyrgyz atrocities. The times of Batu, perhaps, will give way ... Enough that on the road came across the corpses 10-year-old raped girls with elongated and carved insides. Children were smashed on stones, torn, placed on peaks and skewers. Older people were put in rows and trampled by horses. If death is terrible at all, then such a death is even worse. It became terrible at the sight of all this. "
A contemporary remembered: “On the lawn in Samsonovka, inside a small fence are the graves of Russians killed during the uprising, among them one grave of a young and beautiful girl and student, with the same name as mine. They were on a botanical expedition in the mountains when a Kyrgyz detachment appeared.The companions of these young people urged them to ride and ride as quickly as possible, but the girl was too slow, collecting her belongings and collections. The young student, like a gallant gentleman, refused to leave her and they were both killed the rebels. "
Telegram of the assistant of the Turkestan Governor-General, General of Infantry, M.R. Erofeev to the military minister DS Shuvaev and the Minister of the Interior about the beginning of unrest among the Kyrgyz. 8 August 1916 g. Photo: RGVIA
In rural areas, the Kirghiz exterminated the Russian-speaking intelligentsia. Simple people suffered most of all, especially those from whom the natives saw only good - doctors, teachers. In the village of Ivanitsky, Przhevalsky district doctor Levin was killed, the party of engineer Vasilyev, the teacher and their family members were cut out. The head of the Turkestan Department of Agriculture and State Property telegraphed 18, August 1916, to the Minister: "We received information [about] the death of the technical party of the railway or our ministry numbering forty people. [According to] all data, the number of victims is quite significant." Before killing their victims, the Kyrgyz practiced various tortures - cutting off genitals to Russian men and breasts for women; cutting off the ears, poking out the eyes.
The Russian population was afraid to leave the cities. Villagers threw field work and fled to the cities. Kirghiz also poisoned their crops and haylands with cattle. The detachment of the military foreman Bychkov between Verny and Przhevalsky "saw many victims of the insurrection ... A doctor at the Vernensky city hospital who was treated in Issyk-Kul was killed with his elder daughter, and the dentist's wife was blasted with his son. The stations are all ravaged." In total, according to the resettlement organization, in the area of Issyk-Kul Lake, 1803 people were killed by Stolypin settlers, 1212 people were missing. Most of the other affected villages along the southern shore of the lake. On August 10, the insurgents destroyed a hydrometeorological station on the Jumgal River, part of which was killed, partly captured.
The city of Przhevalsk, which was awaiting from the day of the attack, 11 of August was barricaded by the inhabitants. Telegraph communication with the outside world was interrupted. Only in mid-August a detachment of government troops arrived in the city and the threat was withdrawn. However, even in early September, the murders of single Russians still occurred around the city.
Armed Kyrgyz. Photo: Motherland
The Empire Strikes Back
General A.N. Kuropatkin wrote to the Minister of War, D.S. Shuvaeva 18 August 1916 on the local population: "Over the period in 40 years we didn’t draw close to ourselves the hearts of these simple, but still primitive people."
Kuropatkin negatively treated the call for rear work, but it was impossible to cancel the decision of the emperor, it remained only to suppress the uprising. 3 September 1916 g. Kuropatkin wrote in his diary: "In Semir [Yechenskoy] region, the Kyrgyz population of three southern counties rebelled. We have to send considerable forces there and asked for sending two Cossack regiments, which is done.
Many Russian villages are crushed, many victims, their ruin is complete. Special armed resistance has not yet been provided. Decisive action will begin the other day. He moved troops from both Tashkent and Fergana. There was no fixed number of troops in the province.
I had to send part of the militia squads, part of the mouth of the reserve battalions. The troops are a little united, not disciplined enough ... The bitterness between the Russian and Kyrgyz population is growing. Kirgiz allowed huge cruelty. The Russians did not remain in debt ... In general, the workers' exhibition was an impetus, and the Kirghiz’s dissatisfaction with the Russian regime grew long ago. ”Gradually, the authorities began to take control of the situation.
Turkestan Governor-General A.N. Kuropatkin. 1916 g. Photo: Homeland
Frightened and indignant, the Russian population responded with violence to violence. In addition to organizing self-defense squads, desperate residents staged a pogrom in Przhevalsk in which women were mostly involved. 12 August in Przhevalsk prison while trying to escape, Kyrgyz prisoners were shot. About 80 people died. According to reports from the field, in the Belovodsky sector, the Russian population is extremely embittered, has come out of the bailiff's obedience, destroys the Kirgiz. In the area of Belovodsk on August 12, a local town squad captured Kyrgyz who killed six refugee farmers, raped women and gouged out the eyes of children. A total of 338 people were detained, 138 of whom were sent to the Pishpek Prison, but during their transfer to the prison while trying to escape, they were killed by warriors. In the village of Belovodskoye, where many residents were killed by the Kyrgyz, women were taken captive and children were tortured, on the night of 13 in August local Russian peasants killed 517 of the arrested Kyrgyz members of the uprising (according to other sources, they were Chinese spears). "In the absence of weapons, they beat them with sticks and stones, they pricked them with pitchforks, gutted them with sickles and braids," one of the documents said. Looting manifested on both sides. According to A.N. Kuropatkina, "it is necessary to severely punish the Kirghiz, but it is also harsh for the Russians to lynch themselves, otherwise the correct life will not be restored."
Despite the numerical superiority of dozens, and sometimes hundreds of times, the Kyrgyz could not withstand a collision with regular troops. Under the blows of government troops, part of the Kyrgyz went to the mountains and surrendered, others fled to China, taking with them the loot and Russian captives. In total, in Semirechye, at least 2325 Russians died, 1384 went missing. The losses of the Kirghiz are not exactly known. According to some reports, the order of 4000 representatives of the indigenous population died and about 12 000 were killed during the flight to China, including Chinese border guards who were drowned and died from fire. Before 164, 000 people fled to China, some returned, by May 1917 there were about 70 000 refugees there.
Abroad, the Kyrgyz were in an extremely difficult position in the face of hunger and epidemics. They sold property and even sold children. The bulk of the Russian captives were killed by the Kirghiz, no exceptions were made for either women or children. The Russian consulate in Kashgar managed to save only 65 women.
From the diary of the Turkestan Governor-General A.N. Kuropatkin. Photo: RGVIA
The outcome of the uprising
October 16 Kuropatkin held a meeting at which a decision was made to evict 80 000 Kyrgyz from Pishpek and Przhevalsky counties, in which the Russian population suffered most and the formation of Naryn district. The decision was due to the plan to evict the natives from the territories where Russian blood was shed. Przhevalsky county was planned to settle exclusively Russian population. However, this measure was not implemented in connection with the revolution. In the spring of 1917, Kyrgyz began to return to their former places of residence, which caused discontent and fear of the Russian population.
17 October Kuropatkin telegraphed to the police department that Semirechensk area "resistance to the rebel Kirghiz can recognize broken ... The adopted Semirechensk military governor vigorous measures succeeded in maintaining a relatively small population of victims Pishpek and Verny counties and keep from revolt population counties Kopal and Lepsinsk. Protect the Russian population of Przhevalsky district was not in time, and the population of this district was severely injured. Up to two thousand Russians were brutally killed [in] this district, in the overwhelming majority of men, about one thousand, mostly women, were captured and missing, about 1300 estates were burned, about 1000 estates were ransacked. The city of Przhevalsk was defended, and he survived. "
The economic well-being of the Russian population was undermined, 15 000 tithes of arable land were destroyed. In Tokmak district alone, 600 houses were burned, 356 borrowings were destroyed, 12 000 desiatinas of crops were destroyed, the total loss amounted to about 500 000 rubles. The total amount of pecuniary damage claimed by the Russian population was 30 995 424 rubles.
The authorities took measures for material and food aid to the distressed Kirghiz in China. The Provisional Government, continuing in this matter the line of the imperial government (which provided a loan for these needs in 50 000 rubles), provided material assistance to the victims. 5 million rubles were allocated to support the returning Kyrgyz from Kyrgyzstan, 6 150 000 rubles to help the affected Russian population of Semirechye.
The blood shed in Semirechie in the summer of 1916 was not forgotten. In the spring of 1917, in Przhevalsky district, tensions were felt due to the return of the Kirghiz and the authorities' proposals to reconcile with them. In a memorandum of deputies of the county, the head of the Provisional Government noted: "The population cannot forgive the Kirghiz, piercing eyes, cutting out tongues, killing innocent people, raping women, girls and even girls. It cannot forgive the Kirghiz - the perpetrators of their complete ruin ... Reconciliation is necessary, since life even now in Przhevalsky district is intolerable and terrible. None of the Kyrgyz dare to appear without protection in places inhabited by Russians, but also woe to the Russian peasant who drove far into the woods. Recently, 11 of this March ode, the Kyrgyz killed 3 soldiers who had gone to the mountains for reconnaissance. The Russians beat single Kyrgyz almost daily. This circumstance is obviously unknown to the government, but this is a terrible fact. "
By February, 1917 was headed by about 123 000 people to the rear. 32 approved death sentences against leaders of the uprising. In March, the Provisional Government suspended the shipment to the rear, and in May all those sent were decided to return to their homes.
In 1917-1920 a bloody civil war unfolded in the region. The decisive factor was the ethno-confessional and class opposition. Former migrants mostly supported the Reds; Cossacks and Kyrgyz were on the side of whites. The lessons of 1916 should not be forgotten today, especially since the tragic events of that time continue to retain their alarming relevance.
S. Chuikov. Rebel flight to China. 1936 g. Photo: Reproduction / Homeland