Last Updated: Friday, 25 July 2014, 08:19 GMT

Chronology for Tuvinians in Russia

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Tuvinians in Russia, 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469f38d447.html [accessed 25 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
501 - 600 The region of modern Tuva is conquered by the Turkish Khanate.
601 - 700 China conquers the region of modern Tuva.
701 - 800 Uigurs conquer the region of modern Tuva.
801 - 900 Kyrgyz conquer the region of modern Tuva.
1201 - 1300 The Mongols conquer the region of modern Tuva.
1701 - 1750 Tuvinians emerge as a distinct ethnic group.
1701 - 1800 The Manchus of China conquer the region of modern Tuva.
1861 - 1870 The first Russian traders settle in the region of modern Tuva.
1911 The Chinese Revolution weakens Chinese influence in the region of Tuva.
1912 Tuva declares independence from China.
1914 The Russian Empire establishes a protectorate over Tuva.
1915 An agreement between China, Russia, and Tuva leaves the latter autonomous but under China's influence.
1917 - 1921 During the Bolshevik takeover and Civil War, Tuva is alternately occupied by Red and White armies.
1921 - 1930 Mongolia attempts to reestablish control over Tuva.
1924 An agreement between Russia, Mongolia, and Tuva establishes the Tannu-Tuva People's Republic.
1944 Stalin abolishes the Tuva People's Republic (an officially independent entity), allegedly at the request of the region's population, and reforms the region as the Tuvinian Autonomous Oblast within the USSR.
1961 Tuva is renamed the Tuvinian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
1971 - 1980 Large-scale asbestos plants are established in Tuva.
1971 - 1990 Anti-Buddhist policies of the Soviet regime are relaxed as Moscow attempts to exploit the religion as part of its international "peace" campaigns.
1980 The President of Mongolia visits Tuva.
1985 A high-ranking Mongolian delegation visits Tuva.
Jul 1990 The parliament of Tuva meets in an emergency session to discuss rising ethnic tensions in the republic caused by attacks by gangs on ethnic rivals, destruction of property, and verbal threats. Russian media reports claim that Russians have begun to leave certain towns in the republic.
Aug 1990 A high-level delegation from the Russian Federation government conducts talks with local leaders on diffusing ethnic tensions in Tuva. Moscow-based media continue to report on the departure of Russians from Tuva (an estimated 3,000 persons since the beginning of the year), as well as rising anti-Russian attitudes and activities among Tuvinians.
Sep 1991 Tuva amends its official name from the "Tuva Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic" to the "Republic of Tuva."
Oct 1991 Tuva and Mongolia dispute the demarcation of their border.
Jul 1992 The "Free Tuva" party, the major secessionist movement in the republic, suspends its campaign for a referendum on Tuva's status within Russia in exchange for a pledge that a self-determination clause will be included in a new constitution being drafted.
Aug 1992 The "Free Tuva" party, enjoying significant support among ethnic Tuvinians and supported by other emerging socio-political organizations, again calls for a referendum on secession from Russia and also champions the creation of a national guard independent of Moscow's control. In official celebrations, Tuva observes its 1921 independence day when a congress declared a free and independent "People's Republic of Tannu-Tuva."
Sep 1992 The Dalai Lama announces that he will visit Tuva. With observers from the Russian Constitutional Commission in attendance, the parliament of Tuva debates the republic's draft constitution.
Mar 1993 Reflecting continuing frontier tensions, including reports of increased cross-border theft of livestock, Tuva implements stricter security measures in territories adjacent to Mongolia.
May 1993 Tuva's parliament amends the republic's constitution to include a provision for secession from Russia. Agitation in favor of such a legal right apparently could not await the promulgation of new constitution under consideration.
Jun 1993 The official Tuva information agency denies reports circulated by the official Russian information agency that the leadership of the Tuva republic supports secession.
Jul 1993 Chairman Bicheldey, head of the Tuva Supreme Soviet, tells the Russian press that if Moscow continues to mistreat Russia's autonomous units, Tuva may exercise its right to secede.
Oct 1993 The parliament of Tuva ratifies a new constitution for the republic which states that the republic is a sovereign entity within Russia but that also guarantees the right to secession.
Nov 1993 Tuva officially changes the spelling and pronunciation of the republic's name to "Tyva," an alteration that is reflected in its constitution.
Dec 1993 The parliament of Tuva debates the question of how to resolve differences between its own constitution (which guarantees the right to secession) and the draft constitution of the Russian Federation (which makes no provision for secession). In a referendum, 54 percent of Tuva's voters support the republic's new constitution, while only 31 percent approve of the Russian constitution. In elections are also held for the Tuva legislature, the "Supreme Khural," which under the new constitution enjoys widespread powers.
Feb 1994 Amidst border negotiations carried out by a joint Russo-Mongolian commission, Russian frontier guards increase patrols along the Tuva-Mongolian border.
May 1994 Russian President Boris Yeltsin orders certain territories in Tuva to be placed under Russian administration because of their dire economic condition.
Jun 1994 The chairman of the Tuva parliament states that China's Tibetan population enjoys the right of self-determination, a statement tantamount to supporting the volatile issue of Tibetan independence.
Jan 1995 In a move undertaken by many of Russia's autonomous regions, the parliament of Tuva protests against the deployment of Tuvinian units in the breakaway region of Chechnya.
Feb 1995 The sole ethnic Russian in charge of an administrative district in Tuva is murdered by unknown assailants. Authorities quickly deny that ethnicity played a role in the killing.
May 1995 Tuva announces that it has applied for membership in the "Organization of Non-Aligned Nations." This move reflects the republic's desire to increase international contacts commensurate with building its sovereignty.
Dec 1995 In elections to the Russian parliament (Duma) in Tuva, the "Our Home is Russia" party wins the largest number of votes (27 percent).
Aug 1996 The Republic of Tuva marks its major annual holiday - the republic day. The holiday was established to symbolize the continuity of the polity of the sovereign republic of Tuva within the Russian Federation and its historical forerunner - the independent state of Tannu-Tuva which existed up to 1944 ( TASS, August 14, 1996 .
Aug 1996 Over 2,000 doctors in Tuva have been on strike since 26th August in protest at the failure to pay their wages for the last few months and over the suspension of federal budget health allocations ( Copyright 1996 British Broadcasting Corporation BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, August 30, 1996, Friday)
Sep 27, 1996 The Congress of Tuva people amended 20 articles in the Tuva constitution in order to remove differences between the local fundamental law and the federal constitution. The Tuva constitution was adopted in October 1993 and contains 13 substantial difference with federal legislation. Amendments fully exclude the powers of the parliament and the republican president in the military sphere. The presence in the Tuva constitution of another article which recorded the right of Tuva to self-determination and secession from Russia, created a very difficult state and legal situation. This problem has been resolved, however giving up direct powers in the military sphere, the congress retained for the republican president and the local parliament the right "to express their attitudes towards the decisions of the federal bodies of power and the bodies of state power of the constituent parts of the Russian Federation on the question of war and peace in conflict situations, threatening the life and security of citizens." The congress fully amended articles of the local constitution which concern judicial power. This removes all obstacles in the future to guaranteeing independence to courts and judges. Provisions on local self-government were brought into line with Russian legislation. Decisions by the congress will be drawn up as legislation by the Tuva parliament. (The British Broadcasting Corporation, October 1, 1996)
Nov 20, 1996 On Oct. 17 the Udmurt press carried an appeal from the heads of 15 Republics to the President of Russia asking him to withdraw his request that the Constitutional Court rule on Udmurtia. The appeal was signed by the heads of Adygeya, Bashkiria, Buryatia, Ingushetia,Kabardino-Balkaria, Kalmykia, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, Komi, Mari El, Mordvinia, Tataria, Tuva, Udmurtia and Khakassia. The basic thrust of the appeal is that the members of the Russian Federation have the right to decide for themselves the form in which local self-government is to exist on their territory. (The Current Digest of The Post-Soviet Press, November 20, 1996)
Apr 16, 1997 In presidential elections, Shering-ool Oorzhak was re-elected as President of the Republic of Tuva, having won 70% of the vote. He had Moscow's unconditional support and left the other candidates far behind. His closest rival, Supreme Hural Chairman Kaadyr-ool Bicheldei, also tried to win Moscow's sympathies. However, Moscow did not forget the Hural chairman's freedom-loving initiatives of 1992, when Tuva's Constitution was adopted. Judging from Mr. Bicheldei's showing in the election (he received 10% of the vote), one can assume that Tuvinians do not share his radical views. (Copyright 1997 The Current Digest of the Soviet Press Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press)
Jul 9, 1997 Agreements on the implementation of structures dealing with ethnic problems have been signed between Russia and the executive authorities of Tuva, Udmurtia, the Kemerovo, Astrakhan and other regions. ( TASS, July 9, 1997)
Nov 23, 1997 While nationwide, the infant mortality rate in 1995 was 17 deaths per 1,000 births, in the region of Tuva, the rate reached 35 deaths per 1,000. (The Times-Picayune, November 23, 1997)
Jan 6, 1998 The republic of Tuva has put off for a third time elections for the Supreme Khural (parliament), local khurals, and district and municipal administrators. The Supreme Court announced that the elections would be held on April 5th after considering the protest from a group of candidates. The term of office of 32 deputies of the republic's parliament expired on December 12, 1997, and the new elections were originally set for December 14, but differences between President Sherig-ool Oorzhak and the parliament resulted in the postponement of the election day to the middle of January. (TASS, January 6, 1998)
Jan 31, 1998 In Russia, mini security councils are springing up across the country. The aim is to create an alternative system of government in preparation for presidential elections. Such institutions are already operating in Chechnya, Daghestan, Tomsk and Ulianovsk regions, the Republic of Tuva and many other regions. Both security departments and security councils are in operation in some of those areas. Some territories, including Tuva, have passed their own security laws about defense matters. Significantly, the President's administration, in particular its divisions responsible for cooperation with the provinces, has made no attempt to obstruct this sort of activity. (Soviet Press Digest, January 31, 1998)
Jan 31, 1998 Tuva's President Shewrig-ool-Oorzhal has decreed the dissolution of the Supreme Khural, or parliament. The term of the 32-member parliament expired on December 12. The new election was postponed thrice because of a stand-off between the parliament and the president, and court proceedings it entailed. The latest date for the parliamentary elections was set to be April 5. Parliament published an address to Tuva's electorate in protest at the president's decision.( TASS, January 12, 1998)
Apr 1998 The Tuva Republic held parliamentary and local elections. They elected the Supreme Khural (parliament), local government bodies and the chiefs of local administrations. The voter register lists 166,900 people eligible to vote. The election will be reckoned valid with a voter turnout of not less than 50 per cent plus one vote. (TASS, April 5, 1998).
Apr 17, 1998 The government of Tuva said the situation with illicit vodka in the republic was "catastrophic." Criminals are making enormous profits from the sale of illicit and fake vodka and their bosses are "seriously aspiring to take power" in certain provinces of Tuva, it said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. (AAP NEWSFEED April 17, 1998, Friday ) At least 54 people have died of poisoning so far this year after drinking "moonshine" vodka in the region of Tuva. (Copyright 1998 Newcastle Chronicle & Journal Ltd)
Jun 8, 1998 In a message to the leaders of the Tuva Republic, the Dalai Lama XIV, Head of the world's Buddhists, has announced that he intends to visit Russia in September this year and tour, in particular, Tuva, Kalmyk and Buryat Republics. The spiritual head of the world's Buddhists made the announcement in response to an invitation from Sherig-ool Oorzhak, the President of the Tuva Republic, and Kaadyr-ool Bicheldei, Chairman of the Supreme Hural. (TASS, June 8, 1998).
Aug 3, 1998 Residents of Kyzyl, the capital of Russia's Republic of Tuva, are to elect on Sunday ten deputies to the republic's parliament and 25 deputies to the city's legislature. In the first two rounds of the elections on April 5 and 26, this year, eleven constituencies of Kyzyl elected only one deputy to the republican parliament and five deputies to the city's legislature.
Jan 20, 1999 The proposed draft of Russia's budget assumes cutting subsidies to some of the Russian republics, including Tuva.
Mar 28, 1999 The fourth by-election of the Tuva parliament held on Sunday was invalidated due to lack of voters. (TASS, March 28, 1999)
Apr 25, 1999 The Tuva Republic held run-off elections to the republican parliament in four one-seat constituencies. (TASS, April 25, 1999)
May 22, 1999 A Tuvinian was selected to become a new Russian Emergencies Minister. (Copyright 1999 British Broadcasting Corporation BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union - Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, May 22)

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