Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: “9 January is a memorable date in the history of Kalmyk people

Only a few days separate one from the other two memorable dates for the Kalmyk people. On 28 December 2018, 75 years since the Kalmyks deportation, the Day of Memory and Sorrow was celebrated in Kalmykia. And it is followed by another date – 9 January. On this day in 1957, the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR called “On the formation of the Kalmyk Autonomous Oblast within the RSFSR” was issued. It officially allowed the Kalmyk people to return to their homeland.


For 14 long years, my people were in the hardest exile. And so it turns out that there are a little less than two weeks between two dates in the calendar and 14 years in the life of the nation. Dedicated to these two events, the monument “Exodus and Return” was created by a wonderful sculptor and my friend Ernst Neizvestny and installed in Elista in 1996.

Here are excerpts from a letter of the communist L. Kirsanov: “The first forerunner of a political thaw was the Kalmyk song “Tegryash” played on all-Union radio. Many Kalmyks remembered how happy they were to hear the announcer's words: “now listen to the Kalmyk folk song” and the voice of the Kalmyk singer Ulan Lidzhieva. However, the people tend to remember that another song was played – “Nyudlya”. This memory aberration is not accidental, because “Tegryash” is an old song about life with an unloved husband, while “Nyudlya” was written in 1943 by the front-line soldier about missing his girlfriend and his beloved steppe and the inevitability of return. The broadcast of a Kalmyk song meant that using of the word “Kalmyk” has been authorized by the system and returned to the official public discourse. Thus, Kalmyks were returned to the family of Soviet peoples.”
The great poet of Kalmykia, David Kugultinov, perfectly described the return of the Kalmyks from exile to home.