Donduk Kuular

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Donduk Kuular
(Tuvan: Куулар Дондук)
First Prime Minister of Tannu Tuva
In office
Preceded by none
Succeeded by Salchak Toka
Personal details
Born 1888
Died 1932 (aged 43–44)
Nationality Tuvan
Political party Tuvan People's Revolutionary Party

Donduk Kuular (1888–1932) was a Tuvan monk, politician, and first prime minister of the Tuvan People's Republic.

Donduk was originally a Lamaist monk.[1] As leader of a group of Russian-supported Bolsheviks, he proclaimed the independence of the People's Republic of Tannu Tuva in 1921. He subsequently switched his affiliation to the Tuvan People's Revolutionary Party. In 1924 Donduk was made head of state.

Aware of his young nation's vulnerability, Donduk sought to establish ties with the Mongolian People's Republic. His monastic background and theocratic inclinations gave him a close relationship with the country's lamas, whose interests he sought to advance in spite of Joseph Stalin's growing irritation. In 1926 he established Buddhism as the state religion of Tannu Tuva, which in November was renamed the Tuvinian People's Republic.[2]

Stalin found Donduk's separatist and theocratic tendencies obnoxious, and counter to communist principles of atheism and internationalism. In 1929 he was removed from power and arrested. Meanwhile, five Tuvan graduates of the Communist University of the Toilers of the East were appointed commissars extraordinary to Tuva. Their loyalty to Stalin ensured that they would pursue policies, such as collectivization, that Donduk had ignored. A coup was launched in 1929. One of these commissars, Salchak Toka, replaced Donduk as General Secretary of the Tuvan People’s Revolutionary Party. In the same year, Donduk was executed.[3]


  1. ^ Jonathan D. Smele: Historical Dictionary of the Russian Civil Wars, 1916-1926, 2015, Lanham (Maryland) 2015, p. 1197.
  2. ^ Frank Stocker: Als Vampire die Mark eroberten: Eine faszinierende Reise durch die rätselhafte Welt der Banknoten in 80 kurzen Geschichten, (online) 2015, p. 69.
  3. ^ Indjin Bayart: An Russland, das kein Russland ist, Hamburg 2014, p. 114.