Episode 34- Giants of Alash Orda: Alikhan Bukeikhanov and Akhmet Baitursynov

Join us as we discuss two giants of Alash Orda and fathers of modern Kazakhstan: Alikhan Bukeikhanov and Akhmet Baitursynov.

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Episode 32-the Russian Civil War: the Alash Orda and the Bolsheviks

The Russian Civil War knocks on the door of Siberia and the Steppe. The newly created Alash Autonomy must decide who they will ally with: the Bolsheviks or the White Army. Attracted by Bolshevik rhetoric, the Alash Orda start negotiates with the Soviets, but quickly learn that they have two, conflicting definitions of “self-determination”

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The Russian Revolution and the Khivan Khanate

Introduction

What is a Khanate to do when his Russian supporters are overthrown by a revolution and he must now rely on a traitorous warlord to retain his throne? Read our article to learn about the Khivan Khanate during the Russian Revolution.

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Introduction

Last week we talked about the Russian Revolution and Central Asia, but we limited it to the urban areas of Turkestan and the Bukharan Emirate. Today, we’ll be discussing how Russia’s other protectorate, the Khiva Khanate, responded to the fall of the Tsars.

Khiva Under Russian Rule 1880-1916

As we discussed in our episode on Russian colonialism, Khiva was one of the two protectorates created by Tsarist Russia as it colonized Central Asia. It was smaller than Bukhara and not as wealthy or important to Russian officials, meaning the Khan could exercise great independence on how his territory was ruled, as long as he understood his protectorate was granted to him via Russian power. Khiva had been ruled by Muhammad Rahim until his death in 1910, when his son Isfendiyar took over. Isfendiyar passed minor reforms between 1910 and 1917 including support for a state budget, tax reform, and placing all government servants on a salary. He even supported the building of a reform madrasa and encourage the spread of the new-method schools championed by the Jadids. However, many of the reforms never became law and may have been lip service to keep the Russians at bay. Isfendiyar’s true focus was on his troublesome subjects the Turkmen.

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The Basmachi

Introduction

Famed but often misunderstood guerilla fighters, the Basmachi were an Islamic resistance force that targeted both the Bolsheviks and modernizing Islamic forces of Central Asia. This article provides a basic overview of their creation, organizational hierarchy, and talks about some of their most famous leaders.

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We’ve spent considerable time exploring how the Russian Revolution affected Central Asia from several different perspectives. So far, we’ve talked about the Russian Settlers, the Alash Orda, the Jadids, and the Bukharan and Khivan Emirs. You may be thinking, that’s plenty of peoples and we’re ready to move onto 1918, but we have one more perspective to add and that’s the Basmachi, a guerrilla movement that reinvented itself numerous times during the 1920s and clashed with the Soviets from 1918 to the 1930s.

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Episode 28-The Basmachi

Famine, civil wars, complete breakdown of authority-it only makes sense to join a guerilla movement that promises provisions and safety, right? Learn about the Basmachi, a group of warlords turned guerilla movement that became one of the Soviet’s most persistent headaches in Central Asia during the 1920s and 30s.

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Episode 26: The Russian Revolution and the Khiva Khanate

Today we are discussing how Russia’s second protectorate, the Khiva Khanate, reacted to the fall of the Romanov Dynasty. We’ll discuss Turkmen Revolts, a desperate Khan clinging to power, and a coup.

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Episode 24-Bird’s Eye View: What a Civil War Is and Isn’t

Tomorrow is our one year anniversary! To celebrate we posted our first ever Bird’s Eye View episode. This format allows us to take a step back and discuss the definitions, theories, and common features of an aspect of asymmetrical warfare. Today we’ll discuss what a civil war is and isn’t. Be warned, this episode contains mild dives into political theory.

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History in 5ish Minutes 5 Tactics the Russians Used during the Central Asian Revolt of 1916

Today we take a deep dive into the tactics the Russians used to suppress the Central Asian Revolt of 1916, discussing the Urkun Exodus, the mass reallocation of Steppe lands, and Kuropatkin’s decision to use an scorch earth strategy.

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History in 5ish Minutes: 5 Tactics the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz Peoples Used during the Central Asian Revolt of 1916

During this episode we revisit the Central Asian Revolt of 1916, this time focusing on the tactics used by the indigenous rebels, particularly the Kazakh and Kyrgyz peoples in the Steppe. We’ll discuss their use of hit and run tactics, the advantages the Steppe provided, and their targeted assaults on major infrastructure.

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Episode 23-Interview with Dr. Adeeb Khalid

This is a very special episode as we discuss the Jadids with renowned scholar, Dr. Adeeb Khalid. The Jadids were an Islamic modernizing movement within Central Asia that would later find common cause with Bolsheviks and create modern day Uzbekistan. We’ll be discussing who the Jadids were, their doctrinal development, and how they fit within our narrative of the Russian and Central Asian Civil Wars.

Dr. Khalid is Professor of Asian Studies and History as well as director of Middle Eastern Studies at Carleton College. He is an expert in his field and published numerous works on Central Asia including Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Revolution, and Empire in the Early USSR and the Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia. He has a new book coming out this May, Central Asia: a New History from the Imperial Conquests to the Present which you can preorder at your favorite bookstore.

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Episode 19-A BRIEF History of Central Asia

It’s season 2 of the Art of Asymmetrical Warfare! This season we’ll be discussing the Central Asian Civil Wars during the Russian Civil War.

Today, we’re starting with a BRIEF history of Central Asia. In this episode we’ll explain how this podcast defines Central Asia, give a very brief overview of Central Asia’s ancient and fascinating history, ending with Russia’s conquest of Central Asia (1839-1895), and detail what we hope to cover during season two.

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Book Review for Making Uzbekistan by Adeeb Khalid

Rating: 5/5

Pros:

  • A comprehensive exploration into the creation of Uzbekistan and its neighboring states
  • A long overdue overview of an often-neglected region of the world
  • Well-researched and detail heavy but still easy to read

Cons:

  • Need to know a little about the region before reading
  • Is VERY detail heavy and needs to be reread to catch everything
  • Would have liked more info on the military campaigns waged by the Soviets

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