|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2006)|
(Tuvan: Куулар Дондук)
|First Prime Minister of Tannu Tuva|
|Succeeded by||Salchak Toka|
|Political party||Tuvan People's Revolutionary Party|
Donduk was originally a Lamaist monk. 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.
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. 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.