ISSN: 0898-6827
of the Association for the Advancement of Central Asian Research,Inc.
Editor: H. B. PAKSOY Vol. IV No. 1, Spring 1991


Executive Council: Thomas Allsen (Trenton State College) (Ex- Officio; Secretary of the AACAR Monograph Series Editorial Board); Audrey L. Altstadt (U of Massachusetts-Amherst); Peter Golden (Rutgers U); H. B. Paksoy (U of Massachusetts-Amherst & Harvard U-CMES) (Ex-Officio; Editor, AACAR BULLETIN); Azade- Ayse Rorlich (U of Southern California); Uli Schamiloglu (U of Wisconsin-Madison); Maria Subtelny (U of Toronto)


-- HELSINKI WATCH Report: "Conflict in the Soviet Union--The Untold Story of the Clashes in Kazakhstan."
-- US COMMISSION ON SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (CSCE- Congress of the United States) Report: "Azerbaijan Elections."
-- SUMMARY of Discussions at the Conference "The Aral Sea Crisis: Environmental Issues in Central Asia" held at INDIANA UNIVERSITY, Bloomington, Indiana, July 14-18, 1990
(Chairman of the Moslem Religious Board for the Transcaucasus; People's Deputy of the USSR), to the Fourth International Conference on Central Asia, held at the UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON, September 27-30, 1990
-- Audrey L. Altstadt, BAKU 1991: ONE YEAR AFTER BLACK JANUARY
-- News of the Profession
-- Book Reviews

(Helsinki Watch is a member of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights. The following is reprinted from the Helsinki Watch releases)

17 October 1990

Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev
President of the Soviet Union
The Kremlin
Moscow, USSR

Dear President Gorbachev:

Helsinki Watch appeals to you, as head of the Soviet government, to end the long standing official policy of denying

access to foreigners, including journalists, to most of the territory of the Soviet Union. This policy seems to us to be out of step with the reform program you have initiated in Soviet life.

We are also concerned about the veil of officially imposed secrecy that has shrouded recent instances of unrest in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Foreign journalists have been denied access to those areas for several months (Alma-Ata, Sukhumi, Ferghana, Baku, Dushanbe, Osh, etc.) for several months after the violent incidents have ended. By the time these areas are open to journalists, it is hard to arrive at an accurate picture of the events that occurred. Journalists traditionally travel to places of unrest; surely they can judge the safety of a situation without government interference.

Local attempts --both official and unofficial-- to investigate incidents of violence have frequently been stymied by governmental interference at various levels. We hope that Soviet officials at all levels will now allow these investigations to proceed and will permit the publication of the results. Efforts at obfuscation do not serve the interests of the peoples of the Soviet Union.

Restrictions on freedom of internal movement, on journalists' access, and on investigations of local unrest by independent, non-governmental organizations also fly in the face of Soviet commitments under the Helsinki process. After all, the main aim of the Helsinki process is to promote openness not only between states but also between citizens and their governments.

In an effort to bridge the gaps in public knowledge about the disorders in Alma-Ata in December 1986, Helsinki Watch sent a mission to Kazakhstan in May 1990. We interviewed participants in the demonstrations and produced a report, CONFLICT IN THE SOVIET UNION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE CLASHES IN KAZAKHSTAN, We enclose a copy of this report and a Russian- language summary. Since our report is the first in-depth study of the Alma-Ata events of December 1986, we hope you will find it of interest.

We are also sending this report to President Nazarbaev, and to the Soviet and Kazakhstan press with the hope that they will publish our findings, thus taking a positive step in the interests of true glasnost.

Sincerely (Jeri Laber, Executive Director).

The following is excerpted from the above referenced report, 22-23:

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-- Beatings were probably the most frequent form of attack, primarily by the militia and soldiers, but also by demonstrators. One protestor described her efforts to save a young demonstrator from a severe beating:

I was badly beaten. I was warned by a soldier: "Leave on the orders of Moscow." I tried to help a young man who was being held by his hair; he was beaten and bleeding. So I took the soldier by the hair. It was three soldiers to one young man. Then they took my arm and pulled behind me. I started to scream and one soldier put my hat in my mouth. I was then taken away and later released. I saw many young women who were beaten, with blood on their hair and from their noses.

-- The beatings sometimes led to severe injuries or even death:

I saw a guy who was carried away by the students. A medical student measured his pulse. It was unclear if he was alive or dead or if he had been badly beaten. (Erlan Dekelbayev)

Initiation of Violence:

-- Witnesses gave Helsinki Watch conflicting reports on which side had initiated violence. Several sources indicated the armed forces reacted with force (hitting people with metal rods or sappers' spades, or beatings) to demonstrators throwing rocks (at the militia/military, at the tribunal , or state property such as fire engines or cars). A Man said the violence began when Kazakh protestors threw stones at the tribunal:

"Kazakhs began breaking off parts of the building and throwing stones at the tribunal. Then, fire trucks were summoned. One car was overturned, a second car escaped. The first car was burned and pushed toward the soldiers." Participant gave a somewhat different version of events, saying that violence began after demonstrators threw rocks at fire engines -- after they had been drenched with cold water on a winter night:

"About 8 pm that evening, fire engines were brought in to dampen the crowds. The demonstrators threw rocks at the fire engines. Also about 8 pm, at the two far ends of the square, two big military cars were blown up at the same time." Early on, the KGB student border guards started using sappers' shovels. A witness said his sources told him: "They then summoned students from the KGB border guard academy who carried short spades. These students fought with demonstrators. Authorities said they didn't hurt anyone with shovels, they just pushed people away. The kazakh say people were hit."

Copies of the 100 Pp. Report may be obtained by writing: Helsinki Watch, 485 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017; or,

5 AACAR BULLETIN VOL. IV, NO. 1 (Spring 1991)

Helsinki Watch, 1522 K Street, NW, Suite 910, Washington DC 20005.

The U.S. COMMISSION ON SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (CSCE; also referred to as the "US Helsinki Commission") by law monitors and encourages progress in implementing the provisions of the Helsinki human rights accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is made up of nine U.S. Senators, nine U.S. Representatives and one official each from the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce and Defense. The publications of the CSCE may be obtained by writing: Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Congress of the United States, 237 House Office Building Annex 2, Washington, DC 20515.

The following are excerpted from the "REPORT ON THE SUPREME SOVIET ELECTIONS IN AZERBAIJAN," prepared by the Staff of the U.S. Commission on CSCE, 25 October 1990. A copy of the full report is available from the above address.

-- On September 30, 1990, the first multi-party elections to the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan took place. There was never any doubt, given the circumstances of the election, that the communists would gain control of the legislature; the question was whether non-communist groups, many of whom had joined the "Democratic Azerbaijan" coalition, would win any seats. Though the final figures are not yet in, non-communist forces led by the Azerbaijan Popular Front have for the first time won some representation in parliament.

-- The elections took place in a state of emergency, which has been in effect since January 1990, when the Soviet military entered Baku in force. Non-Communist groups argued that holding free and fair elections under such conditions was impossible and claimed that the authorities maintained the state of emergency in order to facilitate rigging the election's outcome.

-- Colonel Valery Buniatov, the military commandant of Baku [who replaced Lt. General V. S. Dubiniak], closed the city from September 26 to October 2 to non-residents in an attempt to keep out election observers invited by non-communist groups. Soviet troops met would-be election monitors, including members of the Moscow and Leningrad city soviets, at the airport and sent them home. Nevertheless, Helsinki Commission staff and a representative of the US Embassy in Moscow were permitted to go to Baku. They encountered no difficulties in meeting with Communist Party and government officials, as well as with representatives of non-communist organizations.

-- (From P.12) AFP spokesmen and many others dismissed out of hand the notion that free elections could be held in a state of emergency, when the highest authority in the land reposed

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not in the elected representatives of the people but rather in a Soviet military commandant whose frequent public pronouncements stressed the primacy of order and warned of "extremist plots." The 1:00 AM - 5:00 AM curfew did not really impede campaigning but candidates complained about the commandant's refusal to permit election rallies and meetings and their lack of access to the media, despite the election law's provisions.

Opposition candidates also pointed to the presence of Soviet troops in the city and the overall atmosphere of intimidation, especially after the events of January 1990, as unconducive to the free expression of views. Unofficial groups did not always get permission to publish their newspapers, which were in any case subject to strict military censorship. The APF could not publish its weekly AZADLYG (Freedom) from January until May. After it resumed publication, according to Popular Front Representatives, some editions appeared with large sections crossed out or deleted. The APF also protested Colonel Buniatov's insistence that he approve the texts of pre- election statements of all candidates and that these statements not "insult" the CPA and President Mutalibov.

SUMMARY of Discussions at the Conference

"The Aral Sea Crisis: Environmental Issues in Central Asia"
INDIANA UNIVERSITY, Bloomington, Indiana, July 14-18, 1990

Discussions at the conference revealed a great variety of opinions concerning the nature of the environmental crisis affecting Soviet Central Asia, its origin and possible solutions. It was impossible to reach "final" conclusions on the subjects discussed, or adopt "unanimous" resolutions concerning recommended actions, unless such as resolution (like the proposed letter to Mr. Gorbachev and Mr. Bush) remains purely formal and symbolic. The organizers of the conference believe that solutions for the problems discussed should be worked out by the five republics of Soviet Central Asia themselves; they cannot be dictated to them by anyone else. However, we believe at the same time that our discussions helped clarify the problem and may help in choosing the course of future action. Therefore we have tried to summarize below some ideas brought up by the participants in the conference, which seem to us especially important and on which there was a broad consensus. We would like to emphasize that we do not seek to propose, let alone impose, any solutions of our own, and what follows below is only a faithful summary of opinions expressed in formal and informal discussions during the

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conference. It is up to appropriate bodies in the Soviet Union to take this summary into consideration.


The following primary causes can be indicated: the "command economy" and central planning, which not only proved to be bankrupt in the entire Soviet Union (and elsewhere in the world), but, more specifically, ignored the needs of Central Asia and sacrificed them in the name of some "higher" priorities; in particular, this was expressed in an inadequate investment by the central government in the Central Asian economy (both agriculture and industry), and in health care and education, and in measures dictated from Moscow with total disregard of their environmental and human costs in Central Asia (like the enforcement of cotton monoculture and the use of defoliants). The totalitarian political regime made impossible any correction of these policies based on independent study and public opinion.

One can hope that with the great changes that are taking place now in the Soviet Union the grave environmental situation in Central Asia can be corrected and the damage caused by the previous fallacious (and sometimes even criminal) policy can be repaired. It will require major efforts on the part of both governmental bodies and an informed public, and the economic cost of these efforts will be very high; however, the lack of action or a further delay in taking action may result in an ecological and economic catastrophe of an even greater scale.


1. The study of various aspects of the critical environmental situation in Central Asia has already continued in the Soviet Union for quite a while. Given the urgency of the cause, decision making cannot be delayed indefinitely under the pretext that "insufficient date" have been collected. An authoritative body should give its basic recommendations already NOW, that is, in the fall of 1990. For the situation with the Aral Sea, it should be, most probably, the Committee which will be convened in Nukus in early October. A similar committee may be URGENTLY formed to study other aspects and areas of ecological crisis in Central Asia and to give its recommendations.

2. The five republics of Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kirghizistan, Kazakhstan) should form a center coordinating their environmental and economic policies, whose decisions should be binding for their respective governments. Without such coordination one can hardly expect that any measures taken by a single republic unilaterally (especially in a case like the Aral Sea problem, which concerns all five republics) can bring success. This

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center should have immediate authority (a) to overrule all- union and republican agencies, many of which have impeded even the delivery of international humanitarian assistance to environmentally stricken areas and (b) to deal DIRECTLY with agencies, organizations and corporations outside the USSR which may offer technological and organizational assistance in addressing Central Asia's environmental problems.

3. The central government is expected to assist the Central Asian republics in solving their environmental problems, and not merely with expertise and technical help: after all, it was the policy of the central government which created the present catastrophic situation in Central Asia, and it should be expected that the central government will bear a major portion of the expenses to correct this situation. However, the branches and agencies of the central government, which are directly responsible for the fallacious policies (like Minvodkhoz, SANIIRI, etc.) and which, therefore, have a vested interest in "face saving" measures, should be prevented from imposing their solutions, and their role should remain purely consultative.

4. One should not place much hope on applying to other countries (USA, Japan, Western Europe) or international economic agencies for immediate financial help in order to deal with the Central Asian environmental problems; so far experience shows that these countries and agencies are reluctant to provide financial help as long as the Soviet Union has not introduced a COMPREHENSIVE AND WORKING system of market economy (i. e. a capitalist economy -- one should call things by their proper names), that is, until "perestroika" bears real fruit. Without this precondition such assistance would be, according to western ideas, "throwing good money after bad."


1. The most urgent measures concern the improvement of health conditions in Central Asia, including:

(a) Introducing local water purification systems.

(b) Building sewage disposal systems and water supply systems, first of all in the regions most severely affected by ecological crises (Karakalpak, Khorezm regions), providing especially hospitals, schools and kindergartens with clean water and disposal systems.

(c) Providing increased medical help (emergency hospitals, pharmacies, supplies of medicines) to the entire population of Central Asia, but especially to the population of the regions that are in the most critical environmental situation.

(d) Upgrading or introducing prenatal care, improved gynecological and pediatric clinics, monitoring of genetic problems, etc.

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(e) Proclaiming --and observing-- an immediate and total ban on the use of defoliants and introducing strict control on the use of pesticides.

(f) Closing the nuclear testing facility near Semipalatinsk.

2. Other immediate measures concern the economy insomuch as it has a direct effect upon the environmental situation:

(a) Abolition of cotton monoculture through an immediate termination of the system of mandatory state orders ("goszakaz") for agricultural products and establishing the right of farmers to choose what crops they cultivate; this should be combined with a mandatory reduction of cotton cultivation (especially in the areas close to population centers); cotton should be replaced by other crops, traditional in Central Asia, which require less water for irrigation.

(b) Termination of rice cultivation in most regions of Central Asia, where it was introduced in the 1960s and later.

(c) Introduction of user fees for irrigational water in major river basins (Amu-Darya, Syr-Darya, Zarafshan, etc.).

(d) Termination of reclamation of new lands for agriculture based on irrigation, and termination of the cultivation of all saline lands, which produce crops below allowable standards.

(e) Closing of industrial enterprises producing large amount of hazardous waste and located in major population centers (permanently, or temporarily --until the construction of appropriate filtering, treatment, etc. systems.).

3. Establishment of an inter-republican Central Asian agency with wide administrative authority to control the implementation of ecological measures agreed upon among five Central Asian republics.


1. Improvement of irrigation systems, especially covering the bed of ALL active canals with synthetic or other lining (priority should be for the Karakum canal, which is the most wasteful irrigation canal in the world).

2. Introduction of modern systems of purification of drainage water.

3. Introduction of a system of strict control over the use of water, with differentiated user fees and severe fines for waste of water.

4. Reconstruction of the system of water reservoirs in Central Asia, possibly with a great reduction of the number of these reservoirs.

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5. Renewal and restoration of stock-breeding, based on private ownership of herds and pastures and improved use of dry and irrigated pasture lands.

6. Increased investment in the development of the infrastructure, especially roads and communication systems, including the communication of Central Asia with outside world.

7. Increased investment in the construction of small industrial enterprises utilizing local raw material and human resources.

8. Increased investment in new housing in Central Asia.

Professor Randall Baker Professor Yuri Bregel

Sheik-ul-Islam al-Haj Allahsh k r Pashazade,
Chairman of the Moslem Religious Board for the Transcaucasus;
People's Deputy of the USSR

[The following is extracted from the presentation made by the Sheik-ul-Islam at the Fourth International Conference on Central Asia, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON (September 27-30, 1990). A copy of the English translation was provided by Mr. Pashazade.]

The tradition of Islam was already thirteen centuries old by the year 1920, a turning point for my land, when the invasion of the Red Army resulted in the overthrow of the legitimate government of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic and proclamation of Soviet power.

....We have to recognize that the idea of socialism, its promising slogans and declarations proved attractive for the masses of Azerbaijan. Primarily because they responded to their aspirations for social justice, a free and dignified life. Naturally, their hearts could not but respond to such declarations in the first post-revolutionary years as, for instance, the Soviet government's Appeal "To All Toilers of Russia and the East." It stated, among other things: "Henceforth, your beliefs and customs, your national and cultural traditions shall be declared free and inviolate. Arrange your national life freely and without hindrance. You have a right to this. Know that your rights, just like the rights of all peoples of Russia are protected by the entire might of the revolution and its organs..."

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What could be more convincing than those words signed by Lenin himself? A religion free of supervision, pressure and suspicion of power, and government free of anti-religious sanctions whose tolerance of religion promoted the unity of citizens of a multinational state. This could have been the ideal of society, the aim of its future development. But the tragedy of historical reality was that neither during that turning point nor in subsequent years could Communist power shed its ideological dogmas and thus assess objectively the sentiments of believers, their aspirations for a new life, the ideals of equality and justice.

In noting this, however, we should not fall into the trap of one-sidedness or lose sight of ambivalent positions of religious authorities. True, there were cases of open resistance of the clergy, including Moslems in Azerbaijan, to Soviet power and its principles of organizing a new society. But obviously, it was primarily ideological, political and practical considerations rather than the above-mentioned factors that determined the state's negative attitude toward religion and believers. Let us recall that in 1922 Lenin invoked economic need to justify appropriation of multimillion- ruble-worth of valuables that belonged to churches and monasteries, demanding the harshest penalty for resisting clerics.

So, on the one hand, there were declarations of religious tolerance, freedom of conscience, allegedly protected by law, and on the other, the rights of believers and the clergy were cynically trampled upon: they were subjected to violence and became outcasts in society.

Looking back at the events in those years we see: the more the government consolidated its position the more obvious its attitude toward religion became, inexorably bringing closer an open confrontation aimed at totally annihilating religion. A specific feature of Azerbaijan was that, unlike the country's central regions, there the Islamic clergy still retained their solid positions in the 1920s and continued to exert a substantial influence on the population. Any underestimation of that reality could not but aggravate the difficult situation of Soviet power, which determined its tactic of a temporary compromise. The influence of some local figures brought up in the spirit and traditions of the Moslem environment such as Nariman Narimanov, had also a certain role to play.

But the process of destruction could not bypass Azerbaijan. Moreover, it was particularly devastating here, as if it sought to make up for the time lost. The waqf lands whose income was used for religious needs were confiscated, sheriat courts were prohibited and religious educational establishments were shutdown.

In addition to "standard" accusations levelled against all Soviet people, Azerbaijan Moslems were charged with Pan-Turkism and Pan-Islamism. The charges were made even against those who

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resisted the transition from Arabic characters used for more than a millennium to Latin.

The cruel repressions against the clergy and believers were determined by the very slogan of the anti-religion movement: "The struggle against religion is the struggle for socialism!"

The blind fanaticism knew no limits: clerics and ordinary believers were repressed or shot, prayer buildings of the Moslem and other confessions were barbarically destroyed. Apart from the famous Bibi-Heibat mosque, a grandiose Russian Orthodox church, a Polish Roman Catholic church and other religious buildings that were valuable cultural monuments were torn down in Baku. The number of mosques in Azerbaijan declined sharply.

The religious structures lay in ruins before World War II. The space cleared of the annihilated religions was to be filled with the cult of Stalin, his deification. It was only the war that made the dictator change his religious policy. This was no reverence of repentance, but a forced necessity prompted, among other reasons, by the desire to please the war allies: the United States and Great Britain. 1943-1944 saw the appearance of four Moslem Religious Boards which covered the entire territory of the Soviet Union. Among them is the Board for the Transcaucasus of which I have been the head for the last decade.

Certainly, religion was totally dependent on the government which exercised unremitting control over activities of communities. It is an eloquent fact that heads of the Council for Religious Affairs were appointed from among the members of the NKVD, a punitive organization whose very name causes older people shudder.

Khrushchev's thaw which has a beneficial effect on society's life, did not, however, put an end to the old attitude toward religion and believers. Little was changed in subsequent years, albeit the wave of violence was abated. Until recently Moslems were excluded from social life, restricted by the walls of mosques that were in fact turned into reservations. Links to the external world and contacts with co-religionists abroad were allowed only within the framework of "the struggle against imperialism, for the triumph of peace throughout the world."

We fought for years to have a medrese opened in Baku to train clerics. But to no avail. It was only the holding of the representative international Islamic conference "Moslems in the Struggle for Peace" in Azerbaijan that helped to get things moving. For something had to be shown to the foreign guests to prevent any doubts they might have about the freedom of conscience in the USSR.

Yes, we should be grateful to the world public for even today much is being done with an eye on the external effect. Yes, major changes have taken place in the life of believers in recent years. Slowly and with difficulty new

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shoots sprout in relations between the state and religion. But it seems to me that the most important thing is the understanding and recognition of the fact that unscrupulous atheisation has had the most pernicious effect on society's morality.

The Islamic clergy has warmly welcomed the policy of perestrioka calling upon believers to use all means at their disposal to support the renewal of society and the efforts aimed at its democratization. For their part, Moslems are entitled to expect that the state will shed its suspicion of them and their faith and will see them as loyal citizens. For those who think that the Moslem religion prescribes enmity of Christians are mistaken, since the Holy Quran states: "...And nearest among them in Love to the Believers are those who say 'we are Christians'" (Quran, 5-82).

The recently heightened interest in religion, primarily from the cognitive perspective, is characteristic of the entire Soviet Union, all confessions; and Azerbaijan and Islam are no exception. This is also true of the opening of prayer houses, spiritual educational establishments, the expansion of publishing activity (though Azerbaijan lags considerably behind other republics in this respect).

Naturally, these beneficial changes are perceived by our Moslems as a result of democratization of Soviet society, legitimate realization of the freedom of conscience recorded in the Constitution.

It is regretted that the revival of religious life which is natural for the entire country is seen as a threat of "Islamic fundamentalism" in our case. I see no root-cause of this in the persistence of anti-Moslem stereotypes which artificially model a phenomenon out of individual facts, for certain political purposes.

By calling for reason, peace and good neighborliness in the midst of the hard interethnic conflict, both peoples, Moslems proved their unfailing commitment to the sacred ideals of Islam. We acted on the conviction that both Moslems and Christians believed in one Creator. And they must realize that the commitment to religious ideals admits no veneration or the fanning up of interethnic enmity. That it is the duty of preachers of all religions to prevent and overcome ethnic strife. But, to our profound regret, the calls of Moslems to unite the efforts of the two religions were unheeded. Yet, in spite of the very difficult situation, in our region and the country as a whole, we still hope for the better. We believe that what unites and bids us together as members of one human family is immeasurably more profound, solid and strong than that which separates us.

Let us not spare our efforts in the name of sacred ideals of Good, Justice and Brotherhood. May the Most High help us in our endeavors.

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by Iraj Bashiri [Acting Chair, Department of Russian and East European Studies, University of Minnesota]

In one of the sessions of the Fourth International Conference on Central Asia at the University of Wisconsin- Madison (September 27-30, 1990), it was suggested that we might have underestimated the intensity and the importance of the inter-ethnic rivalries and struggles current in the Moslem republics of the Soviet Union. What follows is an affirmation and illustration of that remark.

I arrived in Dushanbe on April 19, 1990 as a delegate to the International Symposium and Music Festival of East Peoples devoted to the 1400th anniversary of Borbad. I found Dushanbe to be a delightful city surrounded by the snow-topped elevations of Hisar. The authorities and the inhabitants were equally charming. I was to participate in the proceedings of the Symposium for the next ten days; I hoped to visit Samarkand and the Noble Bukhara before returning to Minneapolis. When at the Tajikistan hotel the authorities collected the passports as they handed the keys, all hopes for visiting other places were dashed. Upon expressing my concern to my friend and guide, however, I discovered that a trip to Samarkand had been scheduled as part of the program of the Symposium. This trip would be realized we were told, if the authorities in Samarkand kept their promise.

Meanwhile, I had realized that a trip to Bukhara was absolutely out of the question. Three things seemed to creep into my conversations with the Tajiks and with my colleagues familiar with the Soviet scene. One was the Tajiks' fear of the Uzbeks. The UZbeks, the Tajiks said, would gladly take over Dushanbe just as wrested Samarkand and Bukhara from them. The other was the Tajik's contention that both Samarkand and Bukhara, contrary to the Uzbeks' claims, are Tajik-speaking urban centers. In order to prevent the world from recognizing these cities as Tajik centers, the Tajiks claimed, the Uzbeks have restricted access to them. The Uzbeks, of course, deny this. Finally, a major stumbling block to a trip to Bukhara was, I was told, that the monuments of Bukhara, unlike those of Samarkand, were still not renovated to the scale of those of Samarkand and thus were not ready to be presented to an international body.

Fortunately, the Samarkandis came through and on the 27th, those who had been allowed to make the trip assembled in the lobby of the hotel. Buses were ready to take all to the airport. But 8:00 gave way to 9:00 and 10:00 and still no movement. It was rumored that the Samarkandis had, at the last moment, reneged on their promise to allow their neighbors' guests a visit to their republic. While these rumors were still

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circulating, however, we were asked to board the buses and soon after we headed for the airport.

On the plane, before take-off, the authorities checked every name and eventually asked the only two Afghans in the group to disembark. This we, the members of the Symposium, did not allow.

In Samarkand, the visitors were met by the usual offering of bread and flowers. A troop of musicians and dancers entertained the visitors. The guests danced and talked to the welcoming party for about ten minutes before heading for the buses waiting to take us to the monuments.

At the gate of the airport, the buses were stopped. After a few minutes, the drivers and group leaders went to the office at the gate to find out the reason for the delay. The Tajik and Uzbek authorities, they said when they returned, were deciding which language, Tajik or Uzbek, should be the main language for describing Samarkand to the guests. The Uzbeks felt, we were told, that the language of the Republic of Uzbekistan should be used. They offered to provide translators for Tajik. The Tajiks were adamant that since all guests knew Tajik there was no need for Uzbek at all. Meanwhile the clock was ticking towards 5:00 p.m. when the party was scheduled to return to the airport for take-off for Dushanbe.

This haggling went on for a while longer before the "elder brother," to use Stalin's interpretation, stepped in and resolved the problem. Both the Tajiks and the Uzbeks quickly pulled their horns in. Russian, it was decided, should be the language used to describe the sights and the monuments. The group leaders would then translate the Russian into Tajik or Uzbek as needed.

Once the dispute was over, the buses speeded through Samarkand and stopped in front of the Opera and Ballet Theater where the guests were entertained with the Tajik composer F. Bakhor's "Maqam-i Ishq" and the rest of the visit proceeded smoothly from there.

The seemingly simple incident at the gate, however, played a major role in bringing home to me the depth of the inter- ethnic tensions not only between the Tajiks and the Uzbeks but among the Tajiks, Uzbeks and Turkmens. I noted thereafter that in most speeches in Dushanbe there were distinct references to the recovery of the Tajik speaking cities of Bukhara and Samarkand. Indeed, the integrity of the Tajik language and efforts at keeping it safe from Russian, placed me in a tough spot in a bookstore in Dushanbe. When speaking Tajik, apparently I used ruble instead of sym [s m]. A tajik youth standing next to me protested vehemently. You should not use Russian equivalents, my guide explained. Either speak Russian or Tajik. Do not mix languages!

Language, of course, is a system of symbols. The use of these symbols invokes a different reaction by different people. But there were other symbols. While helping me buy several postcards at the hotel, my guide got into an argument with the

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hotel clerk who was a Russian. After we were alone I asked about the incident, he told me that the clerk was angry with him because he wore a beard. Further discussion made it clear that he was identified with a group of Dushanbe intellectuals who were anti-Russian and who wore beards as a sign of their protest.

by Audrey L. Altstadt

The use of Soviet armed forces in Baku last January solved none of the long-standing problems which plagued that republic -- economic disadvantage, ecological damage, political struggle, the threat to the NKAO or fighting along the border. Nor did it root out support for the democratic movement. Intervention allowed the communist party apparatus in Azerbaijan (AzCP) to reassert itself, but it was the power "from the barrel of a gun" not of public support. "They can kill us, but cannot make us bend..." wrote one newspaper.1 Before the arrival of the Soviet Armed forces last January, the (AzCP) was in the throes of a crisis. The AzCP (like CPs in many other republics) had always had to perform a "balancing act" between the demands of Moscow and those of the population of the republic. CP power depended on Moscow, but a party organization that lost all popular support and confidence would be useless as an instrument of central policies. As long as there was no organized "voice" to express popular will, the AzCP had little difficulty in dealing with isolated opposition and could retain its "balance." The growth of informal groups, the most influential of which was the Azerbaijan Popular Front (APF), changed that. The growth of the APF coincided with the tenure of Moscow appointee A. Vezirov as First Secretary. Under Vezirov, the AzCP had leaned too far to Moscow's side, ignoring both the popular will on vital issues of the day and refusing to recognize the "informal" groups who articulated it. By the end of 1989, the party had apparently lost authority in the popular mind and had lost control of several towns --Jalilabad, Lenkoran-- and several points of the republican borders.

Indeed, this loss of control appears to have been the main reason for Moscow's use of troops in Baku. Within the party, too, a split was evident. A stunning speech by party Secretary Hasan Hasanov was published in APF organs in early January 1990.2 Hasanov revealed that many decisions concerning the NKAO carried out by Moscow ostensibly after consultation with the AzCP had actually come as a surprise to Baku. Thus it appeared that while the party had been toeing Moscow's line, Moscow was ignoring the AzCP. The AzCP was not only not defending Azerbaijan's interests, its sovereignty and its territory, it was not even able to represent them in any

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meaningful way. With the military presence and the imposition of martial law, the AzCP struggled to regain its authority. As is usual in such crises, the First Secretary was immediately sacked and blamed for everything. His successor was a local engineer, Ayaz Niyazioglu Mutalibov. During February and March, the party waged a campaign to restore confidence in itself both internally and among the public. Apparently, the party realized it had to embrace popular demands to reestablish credibility and enforce its claim to leadership. The new AzCP platform, produced in May, was essentially the old APF platform couched at times in standard party rhetoric.3 The platform and Mutalibov's first speech as republican President4 called for economic and political solidarity, guarantees of territorial integrity, and security of borders. Among other points adopted from the opposition was the call for more equitable prices of commodities produced by Azerbaijan and reforming education to foster "greater national consciousness." The NKAO and Nakhjivan were affirmed as inalienable parts of Azerbaijan. In keeping with their autonomous positions, their rights to determine their own "economic and social development and cultural construction" was assured. But the party pledged "to carry out a decisive and uncompromising battle against any attempts at creation of unconstitutional organs of power..." in those regions. This was still the communist party program, and it affirmed its commitment to a "Leninist conception of socialism" and the development of a materialist world view. It claimed political leadership for the AzCP as guarantor of perestroika. Mutalibov welcomed "political pluralism" and pledged the AzCP to contend in elections with other parties using democratic methods, he warned that "unruliness" would not be permitted. We are all tired of extremism, he said. We can not separate democracy from law and order. The rhetoric and positions of the AzCP did not substantially change after May. It reflected that the party had been forced to abandon its traditional posture and adopt the demands of its opponents. It was a defeat for AzCP. The APF and other opposition groups meanwhile continued under the State of Emergency to protest Moscow's actions of January 1990: the use of troops; the failure of the Soviet government first to declare a state of emergency or establish a curfew which could have reduced civilian casualties; the use of live ammunition and heavy artillery against civilians; and for the resulting deaths of 200 or more civilians (ranging in age from under 12 to over 70 years of age) and the injury of hundreds, perhaps thousands. A report of July by "Shield," a group of military experts from the USSR military procurator's office in Moscow supported APF statements.5 "Shield" agreed that either Soviet "special forces" or the KGB had blown up the television-radio power station a few hours before the entry of troops, and that the populace was notified of a curfew only on the morning of 20 January after troops had control of Baku. The "Shield" report rejected the military's claims of "returning fire," noting

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there was no evidence that those manning barricades on roads leading into Baku had been armed. The report listed vehicle numbers of three ambulances crushed by tanks. "Shield" listed 120 civilian dead and more than 700 wounded, in contrast to the local military authorities' claim of 83 dead, including 14 military personnel. "Shield" concluded that the army had been used against the local population, not an external threat. The Baku press and the many meetings at the University and Academy of Sciences led, by the time of the September elections, to a new APF platform, the basis for a broad election bloc called "Democratic Azerbaijan." If the AzCP platform had usurped many of APF's original planks, the new APF platform reflected a significant evolution on fundamental issues. Furthermore, in the new platform, the Popular Front no longer defined itself with respect to the communist party or the old order, reflecting both political maturity and its decisive opposition to the regime in Moscow and the entire Soviet system. The first item of the program stated that the Red Army had occupied the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic on 28 April 1920 and that the creation of the Azerbaijan soviet government had been an illegal act. The platform further stated that relations between Azerbaijan and the Union must be changed in accord with Azerbaijan's constitution; provisions contrary to the interests of economic, political and cultural interests of the Azerbaijani people are to be eliminated; reciprocal agreements will be rejected if they restrict the people's "right to choose its own path;" the republic will maintain separate foreign policy and diplomacy. Regarding Domestic Policy the platform states the willingness to fight for sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of all citizens; the need for self-defense and internal security is affirmed; the platform argues the need for the development of a concept of independence [dovlet mustegilik] and creation of an independent state; the state, legal system and information structures should be "de-party-cized" and the civil society should be "de-ideologized;" freedom of speech, conscience and religion should be guaranteed; passport regime should be dismantled; the right to cultural development of all citizens regardless of their nationality should be protected; to protect the security of territory, NKAO should be dissolved. Development of a free market is called for and creation of conditions favoring foreign investment, foreign trade, tourism. The platform suggests reconsideration of the existing social welfare system and states the work of mothers raising children is equal to other social labor. Human rights are to be guaranteed and "democratic government (majority government)" is to be fought for; in litigation, the accused are to be presumed innocent; acts not prohibited by law are to be regarded as legal. Under the section on "culture and education," the exiting apparatus is to be destroyed and replaced; national-cultural wealth illegally taken from the republic is to be returned, the alphabet is to be "reformed" and religious buildings seized or

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damaged by state or party are to be restored. Finally, on ecological issues, the current Council of Ministers committee for environmental protection is to be dissolved and a comparable commission is to be created under the parliament [sic]; environmental protection measures are to be strengthened.6 It was perhaps clear that the proponents of this program stood for nothing less than the complete destruction of the Soviet system in Azerbaijan, and could therefore not be permitted to win any substantial representation. In the elections of 30 September amid widespread charges of impropriety, falsification, intimidation (two APF candidates were murdered days before the election) and outright fraud, the AzCP candidates won most seats and the APF about 26 of 350 seats. In several districts, run-offs were held two weeks later, on 14 October, but APF candidates did apparently not do much better. Aside from denouncing the illegal practices of the AzCP, there was little the APF could do. It continues to discuss the broad spectrum of issues that concerns the republic. The major issue (apart from ending the State of Emergency) that now confronts the political forces in Azerbaijan is the union treaty. Any treaty which is written by the center not the republics, proclaimed one commentary,7 will remain unsatisfactory. Power for protecting territorial integrity was given to the center in 1922 and how has Moscow fulfilled it --by giving bits of Azerbaijan to its neighbors over the last 70 years. (97,000 sq km in 1922, but 86,600 sq km today). Economic criticism8 has included the same statement that power must be given by the republics to the center (not the reserve), that the proposed union agreement relies too heavily on organs of coercion for implementation, and that it will not develop infrastructure in the republics "freezing" them at current relative levels (detrimental to Azerbaijan). The latest word from Baku is that if some guarantees of "territorial integrity" are included, Mutalibov is prepared to accepted the treaty as now written. The APF will not. Az Azerbaijan commemorates "Black January," there are few signs of hope in the Union. They see a replay of Baku's horrors in Lithuania and Latvia and hear plans for soldiers to patrol cities with the police. When Moscow is "liberal," Azerbaijan may still be crushed. When Moscow begins to talk about control, Azerbaijan begins to talk about 1937.


1. Azerbaijan (organ of the Karabagha Khalg Yardimi Komitesi), 24 February 1990.
2. Reported in the APF organ Azadlik 14 January 1990.
3. Bakinskii Rabochii (BR) 22 May 1990, pp. 1-2.
4. Edebiyyat ve Injesenet 25 May 1990, pp. 1-2. Mutalibov in speech noted that party program had been accepted by CC that morning.

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5. The commission "Shchit" ("Shield") examined evidence during 12-22 July 1990; its report was printed in Moskovskie novosti 12 August and reprinted in BR 17 August, p.3 with the title "Ianvar' v Baku." References are from BR.
6. Azadlik 8 September 1990
7. Azerbaijan, 4 May 1990 by Tofik Gandilov (Moscow).
8. Azadlik 22 November 1990, "Ittifag programy bize ne vad edir?" by Saleh Mammadov, doctor of economics.


During Spring 1990 AACAR By-Laws were drafted, and submitted to the membership at the end of June for comments. By September the By-Laws were accepted. Under its provisions, AACAR members were invited to submit candidates for the Executive Council elections. The Nominations Committee [Profs. John C. Street (U Wisconsin-Madison) (Chairman), Brian Spooner (U Pennsylvania) and Robert Jones (U Massachusetts-Amherst)] compiled the slate of fourteen names for five Executive Council positions from the responses received. After consultations with those nominated, to secure consent, the Ballot was prepared and mailed by Prof. John C. Street [incurring considerable personal cost, for which AACAR is grateful]. The Ballots were returned to the members of the AACAR Elections Committee [Profs. Iraj Bashiri (U Minnesota) (Chairman), Devin DeWeese (Indiana U) and Uli Schamiloglu (U Wisconsin-Madison)] by the date specified. Prof. Bashiri announced the winners: Audrey L. Altstadt (U of Massachusetts-Amherst); Peter Golden (Rutgers U); Azade-Ayse Rorlich (U of Southern California); Uli Schamiloglu (U of Wisconsin-Madison); Maria Subtelny (U of Toronto). The Ex- Officio Members (who were ineligible at this time for election to additional office, as stipulated by the By-Laws) of the EC are: Thomas Allsen (Trenton State College) (Secretary of the AACAR Monograph Series Editorial Board); H. B. Paksoy (U of Massachusetts-Amherst & Harvard U-CMES) (Editor, AACAR BULLETIN). Executive Council held its first meeting via conference call and elected AACAR Officers from among its members as required: Uli Schamiloglu (Treasurer) Azade-Ayse Rorlich (Secretary), Audrey L. Altstadt (President).

Muriel Atkin (George Washington U) has joined Thomas Allsen (Trenton State College), Peter Golden (Rutgers U), Thomas Noonan (U of Minnesota) and Omeljan Pritsak (Harvard U) as a member of the AACAR Monograph Series Editorial Board. The AACAR Monograph Series Editorial Board invites the submission of high quality manuscripts in the field of Central Asian Studies for publication. AACAR has negotiated contracts with a number of publishing houses for the purpose. Contact:

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Prof. Thomas Allsen, Secretary of the AACAR Monograph Series Editorial Board, History Department, Trenton State College, Trenton, NJ 08650.

Dr. Jeffery J. Roberts, Chairman of AACAR Panels Committee, request that AACAR membership contact him with proposals for AACAR panels. As each area studies organization, such as AAASS, AAS, MESA, require that proposals be made early, it is particularly important to act immediately for the 1992 round. Please forward your suggestions to Dr. Jeffery J. Roberts, AACAR Panels, Middle East Studies Center, Ohio State University, 308 Dulles Hall, 230 W. 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210.

AACAR Executive Council voted to hold the AACAR Membership Meeting in conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies annual convention, 22-25 November 1991 in Miami. The AACAR Meeting will be restricted to members in good standing. AACAR Members are requested to make reservations directly with the providers of convention facilities: Intercontinental & Hyatt Hotels, Miami, Florida; and register for the AAASS Convention.

The 34th Meeting of the PERMANENT INTERNATIONAL ALTAISTIC CONFERENCE (PIAC) will convene in Berlin-Germany, July 21 (arrival date) - 26 (departure date), 1991. The second circular giving details on accommodation, registration fee, transportation, visa requirements, etc, will be sent in February to all who request it from Prof. Denis Sinor, Secretary General, PIAC, Indiana University, 101 Goodbody Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405. Telefax: 812-855-7500.

Ingeborg Baldauf, Bert G. Fragner, Klaus Kreiser and Semih Tezcan announce that ESCAS IV, 4th EUROPEAN SEMINAR ON CENTRAL ASIAN STUDIES will be held at BAMBERG UNIVERSITY, Institute of Oriental Studies, from 8 to 12 October 1991. Six panels are envisioned, each covering a half-day session. There will be no parallel sessions. The number of papers in each panel may vary from four to six. Papers are expected to be short so as to allow maximum time for discussions. The final decision about panels, speakers and discussants will be announced in the second circular. Contact the above organizers at: ESCAS IV, Institut f r Orientalistik, Universitat Bamberg, Postfach 1549, D-8600 Bamberg, Germany.

Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies (RIFIAS), INDIANA UNIVERSITY announces Rockefeller Foundation Residency Fellowships aimed at exploring indigenous primary sources on the history and civilization of Inner Asia. The Fellowship program is intended to support the study of indigenous Inner Asian sources by specialists who are equipped with the necessary philological and disciplinary skills. The RIFIAS

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library, in addition to its general collections, and current journal subscriptions, also houses several special collections. The Tibetan collection, housed separately, consists of several hundred volumes of Tibetan texts reprinted in India, as well as 350 original Tibetan blockprints. The most recently developed special collection, the Central Asian Archives, comprises (1) a collection of microfilms and photocopies (obtained primarily from Soviet libraries) of out-of-print publications dealing with Central Asia (2) a collection of microfilms of Persian, Turkic and Arabic manuscripts containing historical, biographical and geographic works on Islamic Central Asia. This collection currently comprises nearly 750 microfilms of manuscripts and over 800 microfilms and photocopies of published works. Details may be obtained from Professor Yuri Bregel, Director, RIFIAS, Indiana University, Goodbody Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405. Phone: 812/855-1605.

The UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON announces the establishment of an annual summer workshop in Central Asian Studies consisting of the following courses for 1991:

Central Asian 503, Civilization of Central Asia (3 cr.) - Intensive 3-week course May 28-June 16. (Prerequisite: Junior Standing).

Pending funding, the following course will also be offered on the Madison campus:

First Year Kazakh I-II (8 cr. undergraduate/6 cr. graduate) - intensive 8-week course June 17-August 11. (No prerequisites).

Fellowship support may be available through a Social Science research Council "Grant for Summer Language Institutes for Soviet Languages Other than Russian." The University of Wisconsin-Madison will also offer other summer courses in Central Asian Studies, pending funding, including Intensive Kazan Tatar, Third Year Uzbek, Russian language. Other subjects may also be available. TO APPLY FOR ADMISSION AND FELLOWSHIPS: Summer Sessions Office, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706. Estimated summer 1991 tuition and fees for 6-9 cr. for undergraduate and special students is $530 for residents and 1736 for non residents. Estimated summer tuition and fees for 4-7 cr. for graduate students is $728 for residents and $2236 for non-residents. For the 8-week summer session estimated room is $431 double ($565 single) in Elizabeth Waters Hall and estimated board is $400. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Prof. Uli Schamiloglu, Department of Slavic Languages, 720 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706. Phone: 608/262-3498.

The Soviet Cultural Studies Group, Department of Anthropology, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY announces a symposium for students and

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interested scholars planning or conducting research on, in or related to the Soviet Union. The aim of the symposium is to allow scholars with an interest the cultural study of the Soviet Union to present their work, share ideas, develop areas of cooperation and keep up to date on latest changes and developments. Working sessions being considered include: (1) Coordinating Research Efforts: examining ways to foster cooperation and sharing of information among researchers working in different areas. Strategies for complementary data collection, textual standardization for ease in sharing, consistency in translation, communication in the field and after. (2) Issues in Nationalities Research: culture and discourses of ethnic/national identity; uses of history in nation building; culture creation in literature and art; the ethnographer as implicated observer. (3) Cultural study of Complex States: understanding and keeping up with Soviet "policy"; the bureaucratic legacy; the use and abuse of models under revolutionary circumstances. Inquiries and ideas for workshops should be sent to: Soviet Cultural Studies Group, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027. E-mail: dk2@cunixa.cc.columbia.edu. The Symposium, sponsored by the Nationality and Siberian Studies Program of the Harriman Institute for the Advanced Study of the Soviet Union, will be held: Friday April 19, 1990, at the 501 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University.

Suitland Reference Branch of the NATIONAL ARCHIVES has custody of the US Department of State's Foreign Service Posts records, covering the period from the mid 1930s to the mid 1950s. The Branch also has custody of the records of US Foreign Assistance Agencies for the 1948-1961 period. Contact: Dr. Greg Bradsher, Suitland Reference Branch (NNRR), NATIONAL ARCHIVES, Washington, DC 20409.

Center for Near Eastern and North African Studies at the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN announces two Rockefeller Foundation Residency Fellowships in the Humanities for 1991-1992, for the study of Middle Eastern literatures. The program is designed to enable writers and scholars of Middle Eastern literature to produce English translations and commentaries. For application package, contact Ernest N. McCarus, Director, Center for Near Eastern and North African Studies, The University of Michigan, 144 Lane Hall, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1290. Fax: 313-936-2948. KAZAKH/AMERICAN RESEARCH PROJECT is sponsoring a Travel and Research trip to Kazakhstan, May 20-June 30, 1991. For details, please contact Dr. Jeannine Davis-Kimball, Director, 2424 Spaulding Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94703. Phone: 415-549-3708.

Since 1984 THE MIDDLE EAST AND SOUTH ASIA FOLKLORE NEWSLETTER has been informing scholars about developments, conferences, publications and ongoing fieldwork relating to folklore of the

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Middle East and South Asia. Volume 7, No. 2 has recently been issued. The Newsletter is published at the Center for Comparative Studies in the Humanities at the OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY and appears tri-annually. Subscriptions: $6 for US residents; $10 for institutions and foreign subscribers. Contact: THE MIDDLE EAST AND SOUTH ASIA FOLKLORE NEWSLETTER, Center for Comparative Studies in the Humanities, 306 Dulles Hall, 230 West 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210.

CITIZEN EXCHANGE COUNCIL announces two joint programs, both involving visits to Moscow, Samarkand, Tashkent, Leningrad: (1) In association with the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT DAVIS. This program includes a three day conference hosted by the English language department of Samarkand State University; (2) In association with the FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY, Connecticut. Contact: Stephany Dickey, Citizen Exchange Council, 12 W. 31st Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY, 10001. Phone: 212-643-1985.

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, Program in Comparative Literature publishes ALUMNI NEWSLETTER. Spring-Summer 1990 issue is available from: 2070 Foreign Language Building, 707 South Mathews, Urbana, IL 68101.

EASTERN ART REPORT is published by the Centre for Near East, Asia and Africa Research (NEAR), covering the arts of Near & Middle East, South & Southeast Asia, China & Japan. Subscription infromation from: Eastern Art Report, P O Box 571, 172 Castelnau, London SW13 9DH, UK.

BIBLIOGRAPHY-- The following items were kindly provided by Prof. Geng Shimin of Beijing: Ji Xianlin, "Translation from the Tokharian Maitreyasamitinataka-- Two leaves (1.3, 1.9) of the Xingjiang Museum Version," Collection of Papers on the Studies of Dunhuang-Turfan Manuscripts. Vol. 2. Beijing, 1985.

Idem, "Translation from the Tokharian Maitreyasamitinataka-- the 39th Leaf of the Xingjiang Museum Version," Tocharian and Indo-European Studies. Vol. 1, Reykjavik.
Idem, "Translation from the Tokharian Maitreyasamitinataka-- the two leaves (1.15, 1.16) of the Xingjiang Museum Version," Studia Indo-Germanica et Slavica. Festgabe f r W. Thomas zum 65. Geburtstag. M nchen, 1988.
Idem, "Translation from the Tokharian Maitreyasamitinataka-- the two leaves (1.2, 1.4) of the Xingjiang Museum Version," Studies of Dunhuang LAnguages and Literatures. Beijing, 1988.
Idem, "Tokharian A and the Dvatrimsadvaralaksana," Languages of Nationalities. 1982. No. 4.
Idem, "On the Maitreyasamitininataka in Tokharian A of the Xingjiang Museum," Cultural Relics. 1983. No. 1.
Idem, "Maitreya and Mile," Social Sciences of China. 1990, No. 1.
Geng Shimin und Hans-Joachim Klimkeit, Das Zusammentreffen mit Maitreya--Die erst f nf Kapitel der Hami-Version des Maitrisimit, Teil I: Text, bersetzung und Kommentar, Teil II: Faksimilies und Indices.

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Wiesbaden, 1988.

Idem, "Fragmentary Manuscripts of Abhidharmanasasatra, Avatamsaka-Sutra," Languages of Nationalities, 1985, No, 1.; Bulletin of the Central Institute for Nationalities. 1987, No, 1.; Central Asiatic Journal. 1989, Vol. 33.
Geng Shimin, H. J. Klimkleit, P. Laut, "Manis Wettkampf mit dem Prinzen." Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft. Bd. 137, 1987.
Idem, "Die Geschichte der Prinzen--Weitere neue manichaisch-t rkische Fragmente aus Turfan." ZDMG. Bd. 139, 1989.
Jiang Zhongxin, "On the Remains of the Sanskrit Saddharmapundarika kept in the Museum of L snun (Port Arthur)," Researches on the Unearthed Manuscripts. Beijing, 1985.
Idem, "On the Transition of Suffix -am into -o in the Kashgar Version of the Sanskrit Saddharmapundarika." Studies on Southasia. 1986, No. 2.


Azade-Ayse Rorlich THE VOLGA TATARS: A PROFILE IN NATIONAL RESISTANCE. (Hoover Institution Press, 1986). XVI + 288 Pp. Appendix, glossary.

In the current era of rapid change within the Soviet Union any volume that sheds light on the traditions and culture of one of the non-Russian peoples of that country and elucidates its historical political roles and aspirations is important. This is especially true for Azade-Ayse Rorlich's THE VOLGA TATARS. The Volga Tatars are, perhaps, not as well known to the Western world as some other Turkic peoples of the USSR. But, as Rorlich informs us, it was precisely this people, which now occupies the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, that often took the lead in formulating and articulating, disseminating and implementing cultural and political programs not only for themselves, but for the extended Moslem population in the Russian empire and later the Soviet Union. To learn about the Volga Tatars is then to become better informed about a minority population contained in the various incarnations of the Russian state, about Russian policy toward it, and, importantly, something about the responses of that population to those policies, i.e., how it survived and developed within an alien political and cultural context.

In presenting their story, Rorlich divides the history of the Volga Tatars into three main sections. The first deals with the formation of a Kazan principality in the aftermath of the 13th-century Mongol invasion of the mid-Volga region, its transformation into the Kazan Khanate, and the conquest of the latter by the Russian state of Muscovy in 1552. Her coverage of this early period is relatively brief; it is also the weakest

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portion of the book. The information presented is largely derivative of other literature and, unfortunately, Rorlich reproduces some of the findings drawn from that literature in a confused and/or misleading manner.

But the author is on firmer ground and is much more authoritative in the remainder of the book. Her account there rests on her own research and analysis of an impressive array of sources, including primary materials in Russian, Turkish and Tatar languages, as well as secondary sources published in Western languages as well. Her linguistic skills alone enable Rorlich to provide unusual, if not unique, insights to an English-reading audience. It is on this foundation that she explores the Volga Tatars' development under the cultural influences and political pressures resulting from Russian political dominance during the Russian imperial period (section II) and the Soviet era (section III).

Sections II and III are organized primarily around major policy initiatives undertaken by the Russians and, secondarily, the Tatar responses to them. In conjunction with this schema Russian policy becomes the chief determinant of the events and time periods emphasized. There are resultant gaps in the narrative, between the time of the Russian conquest of 1552 and the era of Catherine the Great (late 18th century), for one example, and between 1932 and the post World War II era, for another. Questions do arise about the experience and development of Volga Tatar society during those periods of stability, between the historical pressure points, when the society was able to develop on its own momentum rather than reacting to external forces.

But by presenting her account in this fashion, Rorlich also offers important lessons to students of the history of Russia and the USSR as well as those of Moslem society. In designing their responses to Russian policy the Volga Tatars drew upon Islamic traditions and cultural factors intrinsic to a community that transcended political boundaries and spanned (in the 18th-19th centuries) the Ottoman Empire and Central Asia as well as territories politically within the Russian Empire. Volga Tatar society was also complex, and Rorlich demonstrates how diverse elements within it reacted to Russian influences differently, some adopting, others adapting, and yet others wholly rejecting aspects of Russian culture. In the process, some Tatars became estranged from their Moslem heritage, while others reinforced their commitment to it. Tatar society engaged in its own debates and internal conflicts as it attempted to cope with the challenges presented by the policies of their Russian rulers.

The result, however, was that by the 19th century the Tatars were developing their own reform movements and contributing to the transformation of the traditional Moslem community into a modern, secular society. These movements constitute the core of Rorlich's study. In section II she examines their different stages, principles, and leaders from

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the early 19th century to 1917. Her narrative spans a broad spectrum, ranging from religious reformers, whose concerns to revitalize Islam and make it more accessible to a broader Moslem public led them to challenge the scholastic religious authorities entrenched in theological capitals of Central Asia, to figures who represent various facets of the secular, political reform movement that was active by the 1905-1917 period. In the process she discusses programs and policies relating to an array of topics such as language, alphabets, education, and the press, and reveals how they defined and reflected broader social and political concerns.

The reform movements thus also contributed to a dynamic process within the larger Islamic community, as it juggled pressures of conservative religious scholastics with those emanating from proponents of pan-Turkism on the one hand and, on the other, from an exclusive nationalism that distinguished Volga TAtars from Russians and also from other Turks and Moslems. The dilemmas of the reformers of this period were complicated by their simultaneous and sometimes contradictory yearnings for the preservation of their unique national and/or religious identity as well as for secular knowledge and material progress, which logically encouraged the mastery and use of Russian language and emulation of Russian institutions, such as schools and cultural media.

The continuing evolution of Volga Tatar political movements during the revolutions of 1917 and the Soviet era is the subject of section III. In it Rorlich focuses on one of the most significant, from the perspective of creative cultural adaptation, Volga Tatar achievements --the Tatar national communist movement. Led by Mirsaid Sultangaliev and based on a perceived "compatibility of some of the basic fundamental precepts of MArxism and Islam" (p. 148), this movement sought a "Moslem road to communism" during the unsettled years following the Bolshevik revolution. Although its demand for autonomous political organs became incompatible with the centralized structures created by the Soviet authorities, who eventually crushed it, the movement reflected an attempt to merge foreign or Russian communist principles with indigenous traditions and provides an illustration of how the Volga Tatars were able to adapt an alien political ideology and creatively graft it to at least one branch of the reform movements that had emerged from their own multi-faceted society. It thus constitutes strong evidence for Rorlich's basic message: The Volga Tatars have been and remain a dynamic, resilient people with the capacity to adapt to and develop in changing conditions while retaining essential qualities, perspectives, values, and characteristics unique to their own culture, history, and traditions.

THE VOLGA TATARS is somewhat flawed by editorial carelessness (the birthdate of Abu-Nasr al-Kursavi, for example, is identified as 1776 and 1726 on page 49). But such inconsistencies in detail do not detract from the overall value of this study. On the contrary, Rorlich has not only brought to

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light the history and accomplishments of the Volga Tatars in particular; she has also sensitively focused attention on more universal social dilemmas arising from competition between pressures to preserve national identity and to assimilate, tendencies to modernize and to maintain national traditions, temptations to seek independence and remain within larger political units, i. e., dilemmas with which many minority peoples have grappled in the past and which continue to challenge multinational societies in the modern world.

Janet Martin
University of Miami-Coral Gables

Alexander R. Alexiev and S. Enders Wimbush (Eds.) (Westview Press, 1988).

This is an excellent introduction to the political and military issues surrounding the use of non-Russian ethnic groups in the Soviet military. It is also very timely, considering the current ferment in the non-Russian republics and the attempt by the military leadership to enforce the draft laws by force, if necessary. The different chapters in the book cover the historical background of Soviet policies toward the different ethnic groups in the military, current demographic trends and their possible effects on Soviet military policy and performance, and inter-ethnic relations in today's Red Army, a discussion that was based on extensive interviews with Soviet emigres. The basic theme of the book is that throughout the Soviet period, different regimes have employed non-Russian minorities for varying purposes in the military and that different nationalities were employed in different ways, based on the leadership's view of the political reliability and racial characteristics of each particular group. The nationalities of Central Asia have consistently been considered the least politically reliable and militarily capable of all, and thus have consistently received the lowest positions and the worst treatment.

Part one of this book, written by Susan L. Curran and Dmitry Ponomareff, deals with the historical background of the use of non-Russian nationalities in the military from the time of Ivan IV through the post-World War II period. The authors show the similarities in the attitude toward and treatment of different nationalities during the imperial and Soviet periods and point out that during the tsarist period, it was the Central Asian nationality groups who were considered to be the least politically reliable. The authors also discuss the ways that the Soviets utilized non-Russian nationalities during the Civil War in their campaign to recapture the non-Russian territories and during World WAr II, when the large scale use

29 AACAR BULLETIN VOL. IV, NO. 1 (Spring 1991)

of non-Russian troops alleviated military manpower shortages but also raised further doubts about the loyalty of non-Russian troops. Part two, written by Alexander R. Alexiev, is a companion study of German policies toward non-Russian nationalities in the occupied territories during World War II. Alexiev points out how widespread was the willingness of the nationalities to support the Germans and how short-sighted German policies led to the erosion of this support.

Part three is the most interesting section of the book. Written by the book's co-editors, this chapter is a discussion of the results of their interviews with Soviet emigres concerning the role and treatment of the non-Russian nationalities in the military and the inter-ethnic relations among the different groups. As a result of these interviews the authors have concluded that there probably continues to be a policy of strictly controlling the ethnic composition of combat units to ensure the dominance of Slavic elements and that non- Slavic troops are most heavily concentrated in non-combat units, such as construction battalions. It is also unsurprising that the Soviet officer corps is heavily Russian. Based on perceived reliability, intelligence, and language ability, there is an apparent hierarchy of ethnic groups in the military with the Russians, Ukrainians, and the Belorussians at the top and the peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia at the bottom. The authors also discuss the prevalence of tensions among different ethnic groups in military units, with the most frequent conflict occurring between Russian and non-Russian troops. The occurrence of conflict between non-Russian nationalities is apparently much lower. Based on the data they collected, the authors have concluded that there is potential for a lessening of Soviet military capability, given the reliability problems and inter-ethnic tensions and the growing percentage of non-Russian troops due to Soviet demographic trends. However, Gorbachev's stated goal of reducing the Soviet military establishment may help alleviate this problem, by allowing for the continued dominance of Slavic groups within a smaller force structure.

The last two chapters deal with demographic trends among the draft-age population and with the use of Muslim soldiers in Afghanistan. This book is well-written and documented throughout and should be read by anyone interested in Soviet nationality policies or with Soviet military policy and capabilities.

Philip Bayer
SRI International


Please send all questions and comments to Lynn H. Nelson
Professor Emeritus of History
University of Kansas
Lawrence Kansas 66045-2030