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Convoy In Kyrgyzstan Commemorates 1916 Anti-Russia Revolt

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

ASYLBASH, Kyrgyzstan -- A convoy of vehicles has started traveling through towns and villages in Kyrgyzstan in remembrance of the victims of a Kyrgyz and Kazakh revolt against imperial Russia that was violently suppressed by tsarist Russian forces in 1916.

The state-sponsored convoy, with drivers from Kyrgyz nongovernmental organizations, began its journey from a village near Bishkek on August 4 and was expected to reach the town of Karakol within several days.

Drivers of the automobiles stop in each town and village on their way to read out names of local people who were killed in the clashes with the tsarist Russian troops one hundred years ago.

During World War I in 1916, Russia decided to draft indigenous peoples of Central Asia into the army as unarmed workers who built trenches, fortifications, and engineering works.

Many Kyrgyz and Kazakhs refused and openly rebelled against Russian authorities.

After the revolt was put down, many Kyrgyz and Kazakhs fled to China's neighboring province of Xinjiang.