Words of welcome of the executive editor of the issue
We present to your attention thematic issue of the journal Political Repression: History, Methodology, Historiography.
By decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbayev 1997 was declared the Year of National Accord and Remembrance for the Victims of Political Repression. Every year on May 31, Kazakhstanis pay tribute to the memory of victims of political repression.
Mass terror against the enemies of Soviet power, announced by the V All-Russian Congress of Soviets, led to the creation of the VCheka triplets, endowing them with the rights of execution without trial or investigation. The subsequent stages of the Reformation led to the creation of the GPU-OGPU-NKVD-NKGB-MGB, which became the "power tool" of the accelerated transformation of the socio-economic and socio-political processes of the Soviet state.
The historiography of the history of political repression has a wide geography and various methodological approaches.
The current issue contains the article by A.I. Savin, A.G. Teplyakov “LevonMirzoyan and StanislavRedens: touches to the biographies of the leaders of the Kazakh SSR (1937-1938)”. The personal history of political repression affected in most cases the victims of terror, this publication is devoted to the last period in the life of two Bolshevik activists who have long deserved their own biographers - party functionary LevonMirzoyan and security officer StanislavRedens. On the basis of a number of documents that were not previously introduced into scientific circulation, three of which are published as a documentary annex, demonstrate the clan system and the cult of honoring Soviet leaders.
The study made byAblazhey, N.A. Potapova is devoted to the "national" operations of the NKVD of the USSR.The materials of the departmental clerical work of the NKVD and extrajudicial instances allowed the authors to show that mass terror was initiated by the Politburo of the CPSU (b), which delegated broad punitive powers to the NKVD, sanctioned the extrajudicial nature of repression and the implementation of a series of “linear” punitive operations. The authors believe that in the period of the Great Terror in the USSR, in the framework of “national” operations, planned repressive actions were carried out aimed at “withdrawing” the “non-civil” and “foreign” element, which led to a decrease in the number of diasporas.
The problem of deportations is an integral part of political repressions directed against entire nations recognized by the state as unreliable.The article by A.I.Kudaybergenova is devoted to the issues of ethnogenesis and deportation of
Ahiska-Turks to Kazakhstan, the issues of social, cultural and domestic adaptation
of ethnic deportees and the host rural society are presented in the article by
T.K. Sheglova, oral history of deported women in the focus of their adaptation in Kazakhstan is shown by Z.G.Saktaganova. The undoubted advantage of the above publications is their innovative methodological approaches used by the authors in research practice.
In the articles of D.Amanzholova, T. Krasovitskaya, the issues of the formation of the ethnopolitical elite and the projects of the federal structure of the Turkic ethnic groups were considered, later many of the personalities represented by the authors were repressed during the Great Terror.
Article submissions made by M. Schmider and S. Asanova cover the events of the Great Patriotic War, the studies are regional in nature, taking into account the relevance of the material presented, we found it necessary to include them in the thematic number.
Sincerely yours, editor-in-chief N. Ablazey
Levon Mirzoyan and Stanislav Redens:
notes on the biography of the leaders of the Kazakh SSR (1937-1938)
Savin Andrey Ivanovich
PhD in Historical Sciences, Senior researcher in Institute of History SB RAS, Novosibirsk (Russia).
Teplyakov Alexey Georgievich
PhD in Historical Sciences, Senior researcher in Institute of History SB RAS, Novosibirsk (Russia).
Abstract. The scientific and political biographies of the Soviet leaders remain one of the weak points of both Russian and foreign historiography. Even the biographies of the Soviet “first rank” figures can still be counted on the fingers of one hand, not to mention the representatives of the party-state and military elites who resided in the “shadow of the leader” and his closest associates. This publication focuses on the last period of life of two Bolshevik activists who have long since deserved their own biographers – party functionary Levon Mirzoyan and chekist Stanislav Redens.Fate brought them into contact not for long in Kazakhstan in 1938 as the leaders of the republic. Both of them are typical representatives of the Stalinist nomenclature, which took direct part in the implementation of the Great Terror and then became its victim. This article aims to study the functioning of informal structures and practices of party-state elites during the Great Terror on the basis of a number of documents introduced into scientific circulation for the first time, three of which are published as a documentary annex. Great attention is paid to the clan system and the cult-like worshipping of the Soviet leaders as a specific feature of the Bolshevik political culture.The authors agree with the opinion of a number of researchers who believe that it was the desire of I.V. Stalin to destroy the patronage-clientele relations and to introduce the practice of personal worship of the local leaders, which flourished on all levels of the Soviet political Olympus, which constituted one of the main reasons for the purge of Soviet elites.
Keywords: Levon Mirzoyan, Stanislav Redens, party-Soviet elites, political practices, clans, personality cults, the Great Terror
"National" operations of Great terror: hierarchy of governing powers and punitive agencies in the center and the periphery
Ablazhey Natalia Nikolaevna
Doctor of Sciences (history), Senior Researcher, Institute of History, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences; associate professor, Institute of Humanities Novosibirsk State University. E-mail:
Potapova Natalia Anatolyevna
holder of a master's degree in history, PG student, Institute of Humanities Novosibirsk State University. E-mail:
Abstract. The article is devoted to the analysis of one of the key areas of repression in1937-1938 – "national" operations of the NKVD of the USSR, on which 347 thousand people were convicted. The place of “national” operations in the history of the Great Terror, the powers of the punitive bodies, the mechanisms of implementation and statistics of repression, as well as the specific interests of the central government, regions and the NKVD are analysed on the materials of the office work of departments and extra-judicial authorities. It is concluded that the mass terror was initiated by the Politburo of the Bolsheviks party, which delegated the NKVD broad punitive powers, sanctioning the extra-judicial nature of the repression and the implementation of a series of linear punitive operations. In the years 1937-1938, the NKVD of the USSR organised eleven national punitive actions, which, under the control of the party and due to the vertical mechanism of organization of power, allowed to implement both all-union and regional punitive directions. The massive character of repressions was provided by the extra-judicial authorities (the NKVD Commission and Prosecutor of the USSR ("dvoika"), and Special meeting of the NKVD and Special "troikas". The repressions did not take the format of ethnic purges, although in the spring of 1938, when the "national" operations took the most important place in the punitive policy, there was a trend to this direction, as 60% of the repressed were representatives of national minorities. The authors conclude that in the period of the Great terror in the USSR in the framework of the "national" operations the planned repressive actions aimed at "withdrawal" of "alien" and "non-indigenous" elements were carried out that led to the decline of expat communities.
Keywords: Great terror; repressions; "national" operations; extra-judicial instances
The living conditions of prisoners in «Alzhir» camp (by witnesses memories)
Kudaibergenova Aizhamal Ibragimovna
Head of the Historical demography and Assembly of People of Kazakhstandepartment, doctor of historical sciences, associate professor. Almaty, Kazakhstan. E-mail:
Murzakhodzhayev Kuanysh Madievich
Research fellow Institute of History and ethnology Ch.Ch. Valikhanov, PhD doctoralstudent. Almaty, Kazakhstan. E-mail:
Omarova Gulnar Alimbekovna
Research fellow Institute of History and ethnology Ch.Ch. Valikhanov, Master of Humanities. Almaty, Kazakhstan. E-mail:
Zhunussova Bota Nadirovna
Research fellow Institute of History and ethnology Ch.Ch. Valikhanov, Master of Social sciences. Almaty, Kazakhstan. E-mail:
Abstract: The Bolsheviks took all power to their hands after the October revolution. Those, who protested against the new government were persecuted and imprisoned. The liberty of people and freedom of speech were limited by locking up in prisons throughout the territory of the USSR. Such organization included prisons, labor camps, colonies for resettlement and etc.
The horrors of that period have been kept in the minds of people for evermore and will remain as objects of historical memory. Human memory is unique and special. It never loses own meaning.
In this article, authors try to cover the history of the first female camp in Kazakhstan «ALZHIR», according to ex-prisoners evidence.
ALZHIR prisoners were folk enemies and the 1937-1938 red terror victims. They were mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters of those, who were accused of betrayal of Homeland. In a fact it was the color of Nation. The internal life of labor camp has been discovered and researched by authors. They tried to present an inside view of camp inhabitants everyday life.
The contradictory archival documents and ex-prisoners memories have been analyzed and entered into scientific circulation for the first time. The difference in coverage of living conditions and other aspects of «ALZHIR» labor camp’s everyday life was shown. The myths about that place have been dispelled.
Key words: labor/work camp; GULAG; KARLAG; ALZHIR; memories; women/children destinies; living condition; totalitarian system; repression; legal norms;survive.
The problems of the ethnogenesis and relocation of akhis turks in Kazakhstan
Kudaibergenova Ayzhamal Ibragimovna
Chief Researcher at the Institute of History and Ethnology named after Ch.Ch. Valikhanov, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Republic of Kazakhstan, Almaty. E-mail:
Kupenova Zhuldyz Kaiyrbekkyzy
Master of Social science, lecturer at accounting and audit department in al-Farabi Kazakh National University Kazakhstan, Almaty. E-mail:
Abstract. The article considers the issue of ethnogenesis and the history of the emergence of Ahiska Turks in Kazakhstan based on documentary sources and memories. The authors emphasize that the Turks represented in the Russian and Georgian studies as «Meskhetians» or «Meskhetian Turks» are part of the descendants of the Ahiska Pashalyk Turks. In the article, the authors note that the Ahiska Turks are descendants of the Huns, even descended before the Huns from the ancient Proto-Türks, who migrated in the 2nd century to the north of the Caucasus from Central Asia. The article also discusses the history of their deportation to Kazakhstan in the 1940 s.
Before being expelled, the Turks were offered to register as Georgians or Azerbaijanis. Among them some people signed registered themselves as Georgian, Azerbaijani or Turkmen in order to save their family and offspring. But, as Georgian researchers note, the brave people showed resistance. Despite the repression, the Ahiska Turks were able to preserve their originality, loyalty and nobility.
After rehabilitation in 1956, many special settlers returned to the Caucasus. After the collapse of the USSR, most of the deportees returned to their historic homeland. Only Ahiska-Turks were not destined to return to their ancestral lands. Georgia did not accept them, and Turkey is not their historic homeland. Thus, Kazakhstan became the second small Homelandfor them. At the present time about 200 thousand Ahiska-Turkslive in Kazakhstan. In addition to them, it is believed that out of 115,000 Azerbaijanis, 80 percent can be Turks. Two siblings live in one family: one of them is recorded as Azerbaijani, and the second is Turk. Thus, historical justice is gradually restored in relation to those Turks who had to become representatives of other ethnic groups. The unity of the Turks in Kazakhstan is manifested in the preservation of their ethnic language, original culture and national tradition.
Keywords: Kazakhstan, Georgia, Turkey, Meskhetian Turks, Ahiska Pashalyk, Ahiska Turks, deportation, special settlers.
Anthropology of extremality: social and cultural everyday adaptation of the ethnic deportees (the years 1939-1949) and host rural community in the South of Western Siberia in the context of involuntary deportations
Shcheglova Tatiana Kirillovna
Doctor of Historical Sciences, Head of the Department of National history of the Faculty of History of Altai State Pedagogical University, Barnaul, Russia. E-mail:
Abstract. The subject of research is the historical memory about ethnic deportations of the years
1939-1949 to the territory of the South of Western Siberia. The main sources are expedition materials of oral history, ethnography and social anthropology for the years 1990-2010. Innovativeness of the approach is realized through the accentuation on the issues of interaction of two groups of participants – host community and settled ethnic deportees (Ukrainians, Belarusians, Lithuanians, Poles, Germans, Kalmyks, Armenians, Chechens etc.), social, economical, cultural and civil adaptations of both groups. The author makes the conclusion that disperse disposal of the deportee mostly in Russian speaking community and family character of deportations led to polyethnicity of rural settlements having created on everyday level the unique situation of interaction and mutual influence. The article compares the processes of disposal of ethnic deportees, the influence on their everyday practices of economical and cultural traditions and way of, historical events, state policy, mythologemas and stereotypes. The reasons of tension as well as the methods and ways of its overcoming are analyzed. The conclusion is made that after overcoming mutual offences and accusations on the everyday level, due to economical and cultural interchange in everyday interaction the unitary system of overcoming difficulties in the struggle with cold and hunger was formed with the infusion of nonethnic elements into traditional cultural standards of the participants. The value of ethnic deportees for development of host agricultural production and rural community is defined. The innovative conclusion made by the author consists in the fact that everyday adaptation practices were influenced by the multiple identity of the deportees that marked not only the borderline between agricultural and stock-raising, steppe and mountain ethnical groups, but also the borderline of the deportees' origin - a village or a city, peasantry or intelligentsia, the West or the East.
Keywords:ethnic deportees, historical memory, ethnic deportees, Russian Siberians , conditions of placements, social and cultural everyday adaptation, interaction and mutual influence
Memories' fragments of of deported women: adaptation and life in Kazakhstan
Saktaganova Zauresh Galimzhanovna
PhD in HistoricalSciences, director of the Center for Ethnocultural and Historical Anthropological Studies, professor of the Chair of archeology, ethnologies and Native history of Karaganda State University named after E. A. Buketov Кaraganda, Kazakhstan. E-mail:
Abstract. One of the most popular research topics from the 1990s, becomes the problem of deportation processes in the Soviet Union. Russian researchers claim that only internal deportations in the USSR covered more than 6 million people. The deportations of ethnic groups to Kazakhstan were carried out in several stages in the period of the 1930s - 1940s. Among the deported people, a significant proportion were women. In this article, the subject of the study will be memories of deported women. A brief historiographic review points out that, despite some knowledge about deportation’s problems, the gender aspect of deportation processes has not yet become the subject of a special study. The basis of the study were fragments of deported women’s memories, recorded in different years by journalists, published in newspapers, laid out on websites and collected during interviews during the implementation of the project of KARSU researchers about women from Kazakhstan during the Great Patriotic War. While composing research project various common scientific (methods of empirical research, methods of theoretical knowledge, general logical methods and research technique) and special historical methods (comparative historical method, analysis of memories of various deported peoples, macro- and microhistorical approaches, etc) were incorporated. Among many female memories were selected fragments of deported people’s memories: Poles, Germans, Chechens, Ingush. The article notes, that memories about the deported past differed depending on a number of factors: age of the narrator, his intellectual and emotional experience and other things. But in these fragments you can see common features: “a feeling of repression poured into words and plots that created the language of injury. "Total of these fragments summarized by the author in conclusion of the article.
Key words: Kazakhstan history of the twentieth century, deportations of people, women’s memories, deportation of Poles, deportation of Germans, deportation of Chechens, deportation of Ingush people.
Bolshevik elite of the Kazakh ASSR of 1920-1930s: the evolution of socio-political characteristics
Amanzholova Dina Akhmetzhanovna
PhD in Historical Sciences, Professor, Leading Researcher of Institute of Russian History of RAS. Russian Federation. 117292, Moscow, st. Dmitry Ulyanov, 19. E-mail: email@example.com
Abstract. The author analyzes some problems of the history of the activities of the international Bolshevik cadres of the Kazakh ASSR. They became the organizers of the Soviet statehood, and led large-scale socio-economic and political transformations of the 1920s and 1930s.The dynamics of some important socio-political qualities of the managerial class in the autonomous period of Soviet Kazakhstan is shown. Among the most important problems of the Bolshevik ethnopolitical elite was not only attracting the “old” intelligentsia to the side of Soviet power, which recognized the proposed program of nation-building.
In accordance with the requirements of the class approach, the representatives of the working people – the working class, in whose ranks there were very few Kazakhs – were impersonated, and the poorest peasantry, who were also difficult to classify in the general parameters of the RCP (b) Another difficulty was the low level of education and the lack of the necessary competencies to participate in management and state-building.
Objective circumstances led to a flexible and pragmatic approach by the authorities to the formation of the ethnopolitical elite of the KASSR, which included in the 1920s and 1930s. national cadres with pre-revolutionary experience and education were gradually replaced by nominees prepared and selected according to specially formulated criteria. In the 1920s, the main criteria for Bolshevism were devotion to the ideological and moral-political principles of the party, by the early 1930s. - efficiency, organization, discipline, perseverance and initiative in solving specific problems, especially economic ones. Strong supporters of the advantages of the ideology of communism and socialism as a society of social justice for all nations, they are overwhelmingly at the same time victims of the regime, in whose creation they took the most direct part.
Keywords: USSR, Kazakh ASSR, Bolshevism, national policy, ethnopolitical elite
Federalism of the Turkic elites in the modernist and Bolshevik schemes
Krasovitskaya Tamara Yusufovna
Chief Researcher, Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation. Moscow, 117036, Dmitry Ulyanov Street, 19, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor. E-mail:
Abstract. The author considers two versions of the Westernist progressive modernist paradigm of nationalism and internationalism. The evolution of federalism in the face of the ideological battles of the Bolshevik Party against opposition opponents. The content of the research is based on the documents first introduced into scientific circulation, which made it possible to analyze the projects of the federal structure of the Turkic ethnic groups in the RSFSR state mechanism.The article draws attention to the national elite, which determined the need to modernize the form of life, to intensify intercultural interactions, while preserving the local cultural identity of peoples. Taking into account the imperial policy and the attitude of the national suburbs to it, the author assessed the political activities of their political leaders, showed the motives of their actions in building autonomist projects, and attempts to preserve the independence of the ethnic group.
The author paid special attention to the Turkic and autonomist projects, showed their connection with the "Orientalist" dichotomy "East - West", with the political and ideological discourse of the intellectual and cultural position of the Bolsheviks. The article discusses the specifics of projects of individual elites of the Turkic language group, their use by I. Stalin in the process of building the structure of his commissariat. The position of I. Stalin, who perceived federalism in the schemes of Bolshevism and was guided not by the real democratization of power, but by “overcoming national oppression”, is demonstrated. I. Stalin's rejection of Turkic independence predetermined repression of the national elite.
Comparison and comparative analysis of the political platform of ethnic leaders showed their significant differences in the level of not only education, but also the presence of political experience, which meant the vagueness of their federalist projects. The author touched upon the autonomist project of the Kazakh national elite led by A. Bukeikhanov and M. Chokaev. The article shows that the Turkic version of federalism under the conditions of the Bolshevik leadership was transformed into an ethno-cultural version of autonomy.
Key words: projects of the federal structure, specificity, Turkic elites, “Orientalism”, Bolshevism, Turkism, autonomy, Stalin.
On the major behavioral motivation factors of the kazakh national military formations’ soldiers during the war (1941-1945)*
Asanova Saltanat Amirgalievna
Candidate of Historical sciences, Leading Researcher at the Ch.Ch.Valikhanov Institute of History and Ethnology.of CS MES RK, Department of the History of Kazakhstan of the Soviet period, Kazakhstan, Almaty, Shevchenko str., 28. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract. The article is devoted to finding an answer to the question about the main factors of the behavioral motivation of the Kazakh soldiers in the first, most tragic period of the war.
This motivation was the basis of high civic consciousness of Kazakh soldiers, officers and members of the labor front. An attempt was made to ethnological analysis of the main factors of the moral mobilization of the Kazakh people on the example of national military units.
According to the author, namely, the ethnological approach to the studied issues allows to identify the socio-psychological phenomenon that provided a high patriotic rise of the Kazakh military and their readiness for voluntary sacrifice in the name of Victory.
It is noted that the former explanatory practices that linked the sources of victory with the indisputable advantage of the Soviet system and the popular support of the Soviet government do not satisfy and do not correspond to the modern level of historical knowledge.The pre-war period associated with violent modernization did not give grounds for the formation of Soviet patriotism. Today, Kazakh historians are unanimous in the negative assessment of the power-based nature of Soviet modernization, which has turned into irreplaceable physical and more important for ethnocultural losses for Kazakhs.The Kazakhs paid a very high price for the tragic experience of modernization. However, despite all the insults caused by the Soviet authorities, the Kazakhs, from the very first tragic period of the Great Patriotic War, became one of the best soldiers of the Red Army and made an invaluable contribution to the Victory.
Essentially, the author’s efforts boil down to finding an answer to the question of the main and real factors of the behavioral motivation of the Kazakh soldiers, since from the point of view of rational logic, the participation of the Kazakhs in this war was a definite historical paradox. Particular attention is paid to defining the main vectors of changing the content of propaganda work during the first most tragic period of the war, as well as analyzing the peculiarities of the internal policy (national and religious) of the Soviet government, first of all, its aspects such as addressing national and religious values that stimulated a positive mobilization motivator people
Key words: national policy, mobilization, national military formations, patriotism, internationalism, chauvinism, nationalism
Front-line biographies of natives of the Removsky selsoviet of the Borodulikha District (East Kazakhstan) on the basis of materials from the documents of the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defence, Russian Frderation.
Schmider Marina Aleksandrovna
Doctor of Philosophy, employee of the City Museum of Vechta, member of the Center for the Study of Catholicism and the Resistance Movement at the University of Vechta / Germany. Federal Republic of Germany. 49377 Vechta, Zitadelle 15. E-mail: email@example.com.
Abstract. In the beginning of the 20th century a number of villages emerged in the eastern part of the current Borodulikha district in East-Kazakhstan. The study of these villages’ history rarely attracts the attention of researchers. However, while the villages of the German enclave (which had been in existence until the 1990s) sometimes arouse a few researchers’ interest, the history of the Removsky selsoviet remains unexplored. The selsoviet was centrally located within the German enclave, the majority of its inhabitants being Kazakhs and Ukrainians. To this day, two of the three initial villages (N. Kireevka and Ordzhonikidze) have already disappeared from the map of East-Kazakhstan and the village Remki is gradually disbanding. Most recruits of the eastern part of the Borodulikha district originated from the selsoviets Removsky and Peremenovsky. Over the past ten years, the Ministry of Defense (Russia) has published documents from its Central Archive (TsAMO RF) on the Internet. On the basis of these documents as well as of results from a survey among Remky residents, the author was able to collect information about the front-line soldiers of the Removsky selsoviet. This article devotes itself to the analysis of the current list of combatants and of the table containing their personal details. It deals with the Removsky soldiers’ contribution to victory, their battle- and work biographies and the turning points of their lives. It has come to light that the number of soldiers killed in action was three times higher than it had been estimated before (about 90 men). The article does not only present the heroic but also the tragic biographies of officers and Red Army men. The author names and explains facts surrounding their wounds, captivity in war and punishments through the decisions of the military court. Documents about the war decorations of Removsky soldiers shall serve as an example of the Red Army commanders’ motives for the award of such war decorations to their subordinates. The information gained from the Central Archive documents on the biographies of the Removsky combatants contribute to the exploration of the history of East-Kazakhstan’s villages and their inhabitants.
Keywords: East Kazakhstan region, Semipalatinsk, Borodulikha district, Great Patriotic War, local history, the Soviet period, research methods.