Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Kalmyks and Chechens
Recently there has been a spate of violent clashes in Astrakhan between Chechens and Kalmyks. Stalin deported both of these nationalities in their entirety during World War II. The origins of the conflict appear recent. Kalmykia and Chechnya are a bit of a ways from each other. During their years in exile, the Kalmyks remained confined to Siberia and the Chechens to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. So they did not have much contact then either. At any rate the news has inspired me to do a short post on each of them. They both have a chapter in each of my books and they appear in some of my shorter writings. I am going to start with the Kalmyks since they are the lesser known of the two nationalities.