Kalmyk deportations of 1943

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The Kalmyk deportations of 1943, codename Operation Ulussy (Операция «Улусы»), was the deportation in December 1943 of most people of the Kalmyk nationality in the Soviet Union (USSR), as well as Russian women married to Kalmyks; Kalmyk women married to another nationality were exempted.

History[edit]

Under the USSR, the Kalmyks were forcibly settled from their nomadic lifestyle, and Kalmyk Buddhist monks and nuns were persecuted. Thus, during the Nazi invasion and occupation of Kalmykia in 1942, German forces found volunteers among the Kalmyks for the Kalmykian Voluntary Cavalry Corps, which killed many Soviet partisans. The occupying Germans and their puppet regime also destroyed much of the agriculture of the region and executed close to 20,000 people in Kalmykia.[1] Nevertheless, the vast majority of Kalmyks served with the Soviet Army rather than with the German army, with approximately 8,000 Kalmyks being awarded various orders and medals, including 21 Kalmyk men who were recognized as Heroes of the Soviet Union.[2]

In December 1943, NKVD agents entered the homes of Kalmyks, packed those they found into cargo wagons for transportation to various locations in SiberiaAltai Krai, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Omsk Oblast, and Novosibirsk Oblast — and registered the names of those absent for deportation later. Kalmyks loyal to the Soviet Union, even those who had served in the Soviet Army, were persecuted with no distinction along with their families. At the same time, the Kalmyk Autonomous Republic (ASSR) was abolished, with its territory given to neighboring republics. After the war, Kalmyks were one of the "punished peoples" who were officially accused of such acts as military collaborationism with the Nazi army against the Red Army during World War II, of providing the Germans with livestock, of dismantling kolkhozes and sovkhozes with the Germans, and of terrorizing the population. [3]

Around half of the 97-98,000 Kalmyk people deported to Siberia had died, [4] before a 1956 decree allowing Kalmyks to return and reestablish the ASSR was implemented.[1] On November 14, 1989 the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union (the supreme legislative body) declared that deportation of Kalmyks and other Soviet minorities was a "barbaric action of Stalin's regime" and an extremely grave crime.[5] Under the Law of the Russian Federation of April 26, 1991, "On the Rehabilitation of Repressed Peoples", repressions against Kalmyks and other peoples were qualified as an act of genocide. Article 4 of this law prohibited any propaganda impeding rehabilitation of peoples, and held persons responsible for such propaganda subject to prosecution.

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