Idel-Ural State

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Idel-Ural State


Capital Kazan
Languages Tatar, Uralic
Religion Islam
Government Republic
President Sadrí Maqsudí Arsal
Historical era World War I, Russian Civil War
 •  Proclamation December 12, 1917
 •  Defeated by Red Army March 1918
 •  Disestablished March 28, 1918
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Russian Republic
Tatar ASSR
1918 flag of Idel-Ural State

The Idel-Ural State was a short-lived Tatar republic with its centre in Kazan that united Tatars, Bashkirs and the Chuvash in the turmoil of the Russian Civil War. Often viewed as an attempt to recreate the Khanate of Kazan, the republic was proclaimed on December 12, 1917, by a Congress of Muslims from Russia's interior and Siberia. "Idel-Ural" means "Volga-Ural" in the Tatar language.[citation needed]

On May 5, 1917 more than 800 non-Russian delegates representing Maris, Chuvashes, Udmurts, Mordvins (Mokshas and Erzyas), Komis, Komi-Permyaks, Kalmyks and Tatars held a general meeting in Kazan to create an independent Idel-Ural Republic in the Idel-Ural area in Russia.[citation needed] As a first concrete step, it was decided to create four professorships and two researchers' posts at Kazan University. The main idea was a loose League of Small Nations where all were free to strengthen their own cultural heritage.[citation needed] At first the Muslim Bashkirs declined to participate, but later in 1917 they and the Volga Germans joined the League of Idel-Ural.

Initially it comprised only Tatars and Bashkirs in the former Kazan and Ufa governorates, although other, non-Muslim and non-Turkic, nations of the area joined in a few months later: the Komi peoples, Mari, and Udmurts, who speak Uralic languages and practice either Orthodox Christianity or shamanism.[1] The republic, which in reality included only parts of Kazan, was defeated by the Red Army on 28 March 1918.[2][3][4]

The president of Idel-Ural, Sadrí Maqsudí Arsal, escaped to Finland in 1918. He was well received by the Finnish foreign minister, who remembered his valiant defence of the national self-determination and constitutional rights of Finland in the Russian Duma. The president-in-exile also met officials from Estonia before continuing in 1919 to Sweden, Germany and France, in a quest for Western support. Idel-Ural was listed among the "Captive Nations" in the Cold War-era public law (1959) of the United States.[5]

Present-day Tatar nationalists rely on the historic precedent of an independent Idel-Ural to justify the re-establishment of a Turkic state independent of the Russian Federation.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Staff writer (December 24, 2005 – January 6, 2006). "The dying fish swims in water". The Economist. pp. 73–74. 
  2. ^ The Trans Bulak Republic- view after 85 years
  3. ^ Commissar and Mullah: Soviet-Muslim Policy from 1917 to 1924, Glenn L. Roberts, Universal-Publishers, 2007, p.178
  4. ^ The New Central Asia: The Creation of Nations, Olivier Roy, I.B.Tauris, 2000, p.44
  5. ^ Campbell, John Coert (1965). American Policy Toward Communist Eastern Europe: the Choices Ahead. University of Minnesota Press. p. 116. ISBN 0-8166-0345-6. 

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