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Russia Returns Skull Of Kazakh National Liberation Leader To Kazakhstan

  • RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

Batyr's relatives gathered at the Astana airport to meet the plane carrying their ancestor's remains.

Batyr's relatives gathered at the Astana airport to meet the plane carrying their ancestor's remains.

ASTANA -- Russia has returned the skull of a leader of the Kazakh national liberation movement to Kazakhstan for burial.

Officials at the Ministry of Culture and Sports told RFE/RL that Keiki Batyr's skull was brought by plane from St. Petersburg to Astana on October 6.

Batyr's relatives gathered at the Astana airport to meet the plane carrying their ancestor's remains.

Russia agreed in August to return the skull to Kazakh officials for burial.

Keiki Batyr, also known as Nurmaghanbet Kokembaiuly, was a key leader of a Kazakh uprising against tsarist Russia in 1916.

He also refused to recognize the Soviet Union after the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia in 1917.

The Soviets killed him in 1923, and his skull was kept in St. Petersburg's Kunstkamera Museum.

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