Saturday, March 24, 2007

63 Years Since the Deportation of the Kalmyks from Rostov Oblast

The Stalin regime deported over 90,000 Kalmyks from the Kalmyk ASSR to Siberia on 28-29 December 1943. Significant Kalmyk communities, however, remained in Rostov and Stalingrad oblasts. In the spring and summer of 1944, the NKVD conducted a series of deportation operations to forcibly resettle these Kalmyks to Omsk Oblast and Sverdlovsk Oblast. The removal of those Kalmyks that had migrated west of the Kalmyk Steppe to live in Rostov Oblast took place first. On 11 March 1944, the SNK passed resolution no. 5475rs ordering that all the Kalmyks living in Rostov Oblast be deported to Omsk Oblast. Three days later on 14 March 1944, Beria issued NKVD decree no. 00276 providing instructions for the implementation of this operation. Eleven days later the Soviet security organs ruthlessly executed these orders. On 25 March 1944, the NKVD and NKGB rounded up and deported a recorded total of 2,684 Kalmyks from Rostov Oblast to Omsk Oblast. Hence they joined the vast majority of the Kalmyk population in Siberian exile. In early June a similar operation would remove the Kalmyks living in Stalingrad Oblast to Sverdlovsk Oblast in the Urals. The Soviet deportations unlike many other cases of ethnic cleansing sought the total removal of ethnically defined populations from their homelands.


N.F. Bugai, ed., Iosif Stalin – Lavrentiiu Berii. “Ikh nado deportirovat’,” Dokumenty, fakty, kommentarii (Moscow: Druzhba narodov, 1992), doc. 2 , p. 85, doc., 4, p. 86, doc. 8, p. 89 and doc. 15, pp. 93-95.

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