Kirsan Ilyumzhinov speaks on Kalmyk people’s tragic anniversary

28 December is a mournful date for Kalmyks. It is the Memorial Day for the victims of deportation of the Kalmyk people. The people of Kalmykia had to go through thirteen long years of suffering and deprivation; thousands of innocent lives were taken by forced exile to Siberia. There is not a single family in the republic that would not have suffered a loss in those terrible days full of incredible pain and torment.

Forced eviction, the elimination of statehood and other repressions of the Stalinist regime inflicted irreparable damage on the Kalmyk people. Hundreds of people will come to the memorial “Exodus and Return” in Elista to honour the memory of that terrible tragedy that befell the Kalmyk people.


People will remember everyone who forever remained in foreign lands. And memorial lamps will be lit in every Kalmyk family. On this day, the whole of Kalmykia recalls those who died and mourn with those whose life and fate were severely crippled. Forced eviction of Kalmyks is a political crime of the totalitarian regime, on whose conscience there are millions of broken lives.

During the years of Stalin's exile, the Kalmyk people lost almost half of their population. But, despite all the adversities, they managed to survive and maintain his national dignity and hope for justice.
Since then, several new generations have grown. For the sake of the future, we must remember the past, remember the victims of the Stalin genocide. Oblivion of history threatens to repeat it. Our duty is to preserve historical memory. We will never forget those who suffered from the cruelty of the Stalin regime, fell victim to the criminal deportation of the Kalmyk people. Blessed is the memory of the dead!