Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; key historical events
Page last modified 29/6/2020
See also Russia
2005, Nazarbayev was ‘re-elected’ President with over 90% of the vote; Opposition leader Zamanbek Nurkadilov was murdered.
2003, The private sale of formerly-collectivised farmland was legalised.
2000, President Nazarbayev was granted extensive and lifelong political powers.
1999, President Nazarbayev was ‘re-elected’ for a further 7-year term, in elections widely believed to be flawed.
1997, The Kazakh capital was moved from Almaty northwards toAkmola (renamed Astana in 1998), partly to facilitate greater control over the ethnic Russian population in the north of the country.
1995, Legislation permitted the expension of President Nazarbayev’s term to 2000, even without elections.
1993, Kazakhstan adopted a new currency, the Tenge.
1992, Kazakhstan was admitted to the United Nations.
16/12/1991, Kazakhstan became independent from the former USSR. It was the last SSR to declare independence.
1990, Nazarbayev was appointed First President of Kazakhstan.
1989, Gennadi Kolbin (ethnic Russian) was replaced by Nursultan Nazarbayev (ethnic Kazakh) as Head of the Kazakh Communist Party (CPK).
1986, Riots in Almaty, the Kazakh capital, after the ethnic Russian, Gennadi Kolbin, was appointed as Head of the CPK,replaceing the ethnic Kazakh, Dinmukhamed Konayev.
1954, The Soviet policy of ploughing the ‘virgin lands’ of Kazakhstan began; there were dire environmental consequences.
29/8/1949, The Soviet Union successfully tested its first nuclear device, at Semipalatinsk, in what is now Kazakhstan. Soviet testing here ended in 1991.
1941, Russia began deporting, to Kazakhstan, large numbers of ethnic Germans, Jews, Crimean Tatars, Chechens, Ingush, and others who were precieved as being potentially disloyal to Moscow during World War Two.
1936, The Kazakhsta Soviet Socialist Republic was formally constituted, Meanwhile, Stalin’s enforced collectivisation of Kazakh farms and resettlement of Russians in the region led to the deaths of some one million Kazakhs.
1920, Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Bolshevik forces secured control of the Kazakh region.
1917, As the Russian Revolution got underway, civil war in Kazakhstan began between the Bolsheviks, anti-Bolsheviks, and Kazakh Nationalists. Kazakhstan briefly became an autonomous Republic, and industrialised rapidly.
1916, An anti-Russian rebellion was harshly crushed.
1865, Russian domination over Kazakhstan was complete.
1846, The Senior Zhuz tribe (See https://fehrplay.com/novosti-i-obschestvo/75610-prisoedinenie-kazahstana-k-rossii-istoricheskie-fakty.html ) joined the Russian Empire.
1500s, Various Turkic, Mongol, and Iranian tribes, including the Kipchak, broke away from the Mongol Golden Horde and migrated to present-day Kazakhstan. Three tribal groupings emerged; the Senior Zhuz (=Horde) in the southeast of Kazakhstan, the Middle Zhuz in ther north and central areas, and the Junior Zhuz in the north-west.
7/751, Battle of Talas, on the Talas River in modern-day Kazakhstan. Chinese expansion westwards had met Islamic Arab expansion estwards. Local Uighurs asked the Arabs for protection. The Arab army under Ziadh Ibn Salih was bosletered by Uighurs and Tibetans, giving it numerical superiority over the Chinese forcres led by Korean-born General Gao Xianzhi. The Chinese were attacked in the rear by Turkic nomadic horsemen, the Karluks, and defeated. Many Chinese were taken prisoner, including two experts in papermaking. From the Arab world, papermaking technology then reached the West. Maenwhile China plunged ointo civil war and abandoned iyts expansion intio central Asia, leaving the region to be Islamicised.
9/6/2010, Ethnic conflict in Kyrgyzstan between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks.
1/4/2010, Major rioting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, caused President Bakiyev to flee.
2005, The ‘Tulip Revolution’; Akayev was ousted from power after accusations that he attempted to rig the Presidential elections. Kurmanbek Bakiyev was elected President.
1991, Kyrgyzstan became independent from the former USSR. The President was Askar Akayev, who was already in powerunder Soviet rule pre-1991.
3/6/1990. Kyrgizstan suffered violence between ethnic Kyrgiz (50% of the population) and ethnic Uzbeks (30%). The trouble began when 10,000 Uzbeks protested at plans by 1,500 Kyrgiz to seize farmland near the city of Osh to build houses.
1924, The Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic was set up, as part of the USSR.
1/8/1934, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, President of Kyrgyzstan, was born.
1876, Russia took control of the Kyrgyzstan area.
1855, Borombei Bekmuratov, chief of the nomadic Bugu tribe, who lived east of Issyk Kul, accepted Russian protection. Other tribes in the region were ruled by the Khanate of Khokand.
700s, Kyrgyz people began to settle and trade in the Chu Valley, where the present day Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek (known as Frunze under Soviet rule) islocated. By the 1700s there was a distinct ethnic Kyrgyz culture.
2016, The Mongolian People’s Party was elected to government,
2006, Mongolia passed the 2006 Minerals Law, reintroducing a role for the State in minerals extraction.
1997, Mongolia passed the 1997 Minerals Law, further opening up its mining industry to foreign investment and restricting the role of the State in this sector.
1994, Mongolia passed the 1994 Minerals Law, liberalising the mining sector.
30/12/1992. All Soviet troops have left Mongolia.
12/2/1992, Mongolia adopted a new Constitution, cementing new human rights and freedoms. The new Constitution also created a single legislative chamber, the Great State Khural (GSKh).
10/12/1989, In Mongolia, Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj announced the establishment of a democratic movement within the country.
1937, Soviet Russian troops were deployed in Mongolia, in response to Japanese military advances. The Mongolian leader, Khorloogiin Choibalsan, a staunch Stalinist, ordered sa major purge of the Buddhist faith across the Army and the Party. Lamaism was obliterated and 30,000 people, about 5% of the population, were killed.
1928, The Mongolian People’s Republic began confiscating property from the nobility, and from organised religion, and prohibited private enterprise. The Mongolian economy suffered, and there was unrest in the south and west of the country.
10/7/1921. Mongolia declared its independence as a People’s Republic, becoming the world’s second Communist state after Russia. Sukhe Bator was instrumental in leading the Communist Revolution in Mongolia; he sent a secret plea to Lenin for aid in 1920. He died in 1932, allegedly poisoned by a doctor sent to care for him by the Supreme Lama.
5/11/1913 A joint declaration by Russia and China recognising the autonomy of Outer Mongolia (Mongolia) under Chinese suzerainty.
1911, As the Manchu Dynasty fell in China, Outer Mongolia declared its independence. Chiona reoccupied the Republic in 1919.
8/2/1902, Demchugdongrub, Mongolian politician was born (died 1966)
1697, Death of Galdan, Chief of the Western Mongols. He resisted the encroachment of the Manchu Qing Dynasty and after the Qing subjugated the Eastern Mongols in 1675, Galdan took the offensive against them. He took from the Chinese significant oasis towns such as Kashgar and Turfan. The Qing Emperor Kangxi undertook three major campaigns before defeating Galdan at the Battle of Jao Modo in Outer Mongolia; Galdan was forced to commit suicide.
1636, The Manchus conquered Inner Momngolia. Outer Mongolia was offered Manchu protection in 1691.
17/2/1405, Deatb of the Mongol leader Tamerlane (Timur-i-Leng) at Otrar, east pf the Syr Darya River, whilst en-route to conquer China. He became leader in 1369, and went on to conquer Persia, the Caucasus, and the Tartars (in 1390). In 1398 he subdued northern India.
1400, The Mongols under Tamerlane destroyed Damascus and in 1401 went on to sack Baghdad. However Christian Europeans were disappointed when Tamerlane decided he had been insulted by the Chinese Emperor and took his forces back eastwards.
8/9/1380. The Russians under Prince Dmitri Donskoi won a major victory over the Mongols at the Battle of Kulikovo. This prevented the Mongols from reaching Moscow, although they made several further attempts in future years.
12/2/1294. Kublai Khan died, aged 80.
1260, A Mongol Army was defeated by Egyptian forces on the shores of Lake Galilee.
10/2/1258. The Siege of Baghdad ended with a battle in which Hulagu Khan's Mongol forces overran Baghdad, then the leading centre of Islamic culture and learning and capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. They burned the imperial city to the ground, killing as many as 1,000,000 citizens.
26/6/1243. The Mongols routed the Seljuk Turkish army.
11/12/1241, Ogodei died, and the Mongols abandoned their raids into Europe.
9/4/1241. The Mongols defeated an army of Teutonic Knights.
6/12/1240. The Mongols took Kiev, in the Ukraine.
4/3/1238, Mongol invasion of Rus – Battle of the Sit River: The Mongol Hordes of Batu Khan defeated the Rus' under Yuri Vsevolodovich
21/12/1237, Mongols invading Russia under Batu Khan sacked Ryazan.
1234, The Song Emperor proposed an alliance with the Mongols against the Jurchen. As before, this resulted in the Mongols taking over the Jurchen Empire and bringing China to its knees. However China was saved from total annihilation because Genghiz Khan had died in 1227, replaced by his son Ogodei. Other family members feared that allowing ogodei to take over China would make him too powerful, so the Mongol chiefs launched major raids into Europe, to distract from the China adventure.
1233, Mongol forces defeated the Rus State at the Battle of Kalka River.
18/8/1227. Genghis Khan, Mongol emperor who conquered more than a million square miles, died after falling from his horse. Ogodei Khan was his chosen successor.
1207, Jochi, eldest son of Genghis Khan, conquered the Buryat people to his north.
1162, Temujin, Genghiz Khan (=Great Leader) was born.
957, End of the Chandra Hindu Dynasty in Mongolia; a period of chaos began.
2006, Rakhmonov was re-elected; however the election was widely condemned as corrupt.
1998, Islamist rebels signed a peace agreement with the Tajik Government, and joined the administration.
13/7/1993. Tajik rebels, helped by Afghani guerrillas from across the border in Afghanistan, attacked Russian troops in Tajikistan who were there to prop up the local government clinging to power against Muslim fundamentalists.
1992, Demonstrations forced Nabilev from power. Civil war began as the Islamic Revival Party attempted to set up an Islamic Republic. However a former Communist, Imomali Rakhmonov, won power.
1991, Tajikistan became independent from the former USSR. However the prevuous Communist leader, Rakhmon Nabiev, won power as the Opposition was excluded from government.
1989, Tajik was made the official language.
1940, Cyrillic script was introduced.
1929, The Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic was set up as part of the USSR (see Uzbekistan, 1924)
1924, Soviet forces gained full control in Tajikistan.
1873, Russia forced Bukhara and Tajikistan to submit to being protectorates.
2007, Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, the former Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, was ‘elected’ President in an ‘election’ with a claimed 89% of the vote, where turnout was claimed to be 99%. He was the only candidate.
2006, Turkmen human rights activist Ogulsapar Muradova died in prison.
21/12/2006, Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan, died of a heart attack, having ruled since 1990. He had styled himself ‘Turkmenbashi’, or ‘Father of all Turkmen’. He had created a strong personality cult in Turkmenistan, with his portrait adorning many streets and his guide to living, entitled Ruhnama, being adopted as a national guidebook to be studied by all students. He also had erected a giant gold statue of himself in the capital, Ashgabat, which revolved once every 24 hours so that it always faced the Sun.
2003, Restrictions placed on all public and private meetings. The Turkmen Government removed the right of Russians, who formed 10% of the population, to hold dual citizenship. They were given two months to decide which nationality to opt for.
2002, Turkmen opposition groups in exile formed the Turkmen Democratic Front in Vienna. Later in 2002, an armed coup attempt in Turkmenistan was blamed on the Front, and led to mass repression and imprisonment of government opponents across the country,
2002, Niyazov revised the Turkmen calendar, naming the months after himself, his mother, and his book Ruhnama.
2000, Turkmen became the only official language within the country.
1999, The Turkmen Parliament indefinitely extended Niyazov’s term as President.
1994, The Turkmen Parliament voted to extend Niyazov’s term as President to 2002. A referendum found that 99.99% of voters were in favour of this.
1992, Niyazov was re-elected, unopposed, as President,
1991, Turkmenistan became an independent Republic from the former USSR.
1990, Niyazov was elected President of the Tuirlmen Soviet Socialist Republic.
1985, Saparmurat Niyazov became President of the Turkmen Communist Party.
1948, Earthquake in Ashgabat; 100,000 died.
1924, The Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic was constituted.
1921, The Governor-Generalship of Turkestan was abolished, and replaced with an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within Russia.
1920, The Bolsheviks secured Turkestan.
1918, After the 1917 Russian Revolution, an independent Turkmen government was set up, supported by the British.
31/1/1884, The Russians seized the town of Merv in Turkmenistan, near a disputed area of Afghan border territory, alarming the British.
24/1/1881, Russia, advancing from the north, took the Turkmen fortress of Geok Tepe. During resistance to the Russians, some 14,000 Takkesh tribesmen died. The Russians founded the town of Ashgabat as a military and trading centre.
1229, Genghiz Khan conquered the Turkestan region.
2005, At a demonstration in Andijan, Fergana Valley, unarmed protestors against the arrest of 23 local people charged with ‘extremism’ (in reality, with being members of a banned Islamic organisation) were shot at by Government troops.750 protestors were killed.
2001, The US set up a base in Khanabad to help the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. However the USA halted aid to Uzbekistan after human rights abuses, and Uzbekistan closed down the Khanabad base in 2005.
2000, Karimov was elected President; the elections were widely believed to be flawed. On 2002 the Presidential term was extended from 5 to 7 years.
1999, The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), formed in 1996, mounted bomb attacks, leading to the arrest of hundreeds of dissidents.
1995, Karimov, leading the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (PDP), won the elections.
1993, Harrassment of opposition Parties, including the nationalist Erk (Freedom) Party and the religious Birlik (Unity) Party, escalated.
1992, Deregulation of prices led to student riots in Tashkent.
1991, Uzbeikstan became independent from the former USSR. Karimov was conformed as President.
1989, A campaign by the Birlik (Unity) Party led to Uzbek being declared the official language.
1959, Sharaf Rashidov became First Secretary of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan. He held this position until 1983.
1941, Uzbekistan enjoyed an industrial boom, which lasted until 1945.
1936, The Karakalpak SSR, formerly part of the Russian SSR, was incorporated into the Uzbek SSR.
1925, An anti-Islamic campaign saw religious schools and mosques closed.
1924, Resistance to Soviet rule in Uzbekistan by Basmachi rebels was quashed. The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was set up; it also included what is now the Tajik SSR until 1929.
1923, A change from the old Turkic language to a new Uzbek language was instituted. The new language was initially written in Arabic script but this was changed to the Roman alphabet and then to Cyrillic.
1917, During the Russian Revolution, attempts were made to set up an independent Soviet Government at Tashkent.
1916, An armed uprising against Russian rule was crushed in Samarkand.
1868, Russia occupied Samarkand (Uzbekistan).
1865, Russia occupied Tashkent.
1500s, The region was loosely ruled by the Shaybani Uzbeks.
327 BCE, Alexander the Great conquered the region.