Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: The fate of the Kalmyk people is inseparable from the fate of great Russia

In July 1920, the First All-Kalmyk Congress of Soviets was held in the village of Chilgir in the Yashkul region of Kalmykia. It adopted Declaration on the Kalmyk People’s Autonomy. This year, Kalmykia will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of its autonomy. What does this mean for all of us? The history provided an answer. Autonomy allowed the Kalmyks to save themselves as a people. Today, we remember and know the Kalmyk language, our folk dances, songs, traditions and legends. Our skills and crafts are still alive. We should not forget that the appeal to the Kalmyk people was signed by the first Chairman of the Sovnarkom Vladimir Lenin. This appeal guaranteed the Kalmyks’ rights to equality among the free peoples of Soviet Russia.


A gala concert was held on the main stage of the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on 10 March. The best performers of Kalmykia unfolded unforgettable pages of the Kalmyks’ history: the establishment of Soviet power, formation of autonomy, Second World War, deportation and return of the people to the ancestral lands and the revival of our republic.

It is with great gratitude that all Kalmyks read the message of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to the people of Kalmykia on the 100th anniversary of the autonomy of the Republic of Kalmykia. The message reads as follows: “I was fortunate enough to visit the Republic of Kalmykia three times, and I was delighted that, despite the difficult periods in the past, your people maintained a very strong faith in the Buddha’s Teaching.” I am proud that the largest Buddhist temple in Europe is in Kalmykia.
What would I like to wish my compatriots, residents of the Republic of Kalmykia, no matter what people they represent in our multinational family, on this very special date? First of all, the most important thing: the fate of the Kalmyk people is inseparable from the fate of great Russia. Many of our compatriots are scattered around the world, but their hearts remain here in Kalmykia. It was, it is and always will be our small homeland, an inexhaustible source of our common strength and faith. That’s how we draw confidence in ourselves and in tomorrow.
In the global world, the concept of nation, people and ethnic autonomy becomes less important. But in all corners of the Earth, people understand that they will lose their future once they lost their roots and forgot their history. That is why it is so important to be not a crowd, but a people!
I am sure that the Republic of Kalmykia will worthily mark the 100th anniversary of autonomy. We must convey the memory of the past and our faith to our descendants as the spiritual foundation of our strength. And most importantly, to convey the idea that only in friendship and inextricable unity with other peoples and nationalities of great Russia will we be able to realize the most ambitious plans for the comprehensive development of our native Kalmykia.