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Initial comments[edit]

Yes, it is still Buddhist by default (Nyingmapa sect of Vajrayana, I think). However with 70 odd years of Soviet rule and roughly half of its residents being non-Kalmyk Russian citizens, it's not likely a traditional Buddhist Mongol society. The president Ilymzhinov (a Kalmyk)is a Russian mafia-type plutocrat, controlling oil wealth. He derived his prestige as the head of the world chess federation and he strives to become an "Asian Authoritarian" like his Singaporian, Korean, Chinese role models (even though his country is in Northern Caucasus). He built grandiose Catholic churches, Mosques and temples in his capital Elista, even though their are few ppl belonging to these religions, and even fewer would ever attend religious services. So, in the middle of a poverty stricken country, you literally have a city modeled after Disneyland.

It would be helpful if someone could translate information from the German page into this page, and vice versa.

Appeal supported, especially in the sense German > English. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:41, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

New poster: Just a comment to the person who changed Yugoslavian to Serb-Croatian. While it may be true today (and of course politically correct), the older Kalymks in Howell Twp, NJ, who speak the language, and my deceased in-laws were of that era, will tell you they're speaking Yugoslavian, which is still a valid dictionary word[1]. Thank you. (PS: Also, is the mention of the 18th century in the last paragraph correct? I thought it was earlier. My husband, a Kalmyk, always said it was "400 years ago" which would mean somewhere around the 16th century.)

The history section was really hopeless. For example:

Following a particularly bloody offensive by the Chinese emperor, who suspected that they might ally themselves with the Russians against him, they ...

This is totally wrong. The Manchu Emperor had not excersized his influence on the Oyirad yet. And we should be careful of the structure of the Manchu Empire. The Manchu Emperor was not just the emperor of China but played various roles.

For the history of the Oyirad, Miyawaki Junko did marvelous jobs that defied a lost of dominating Western theories [2]. --Nanshu 01:46, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

-actually, it is not that inappropriate to call Kalmyks Mongols.

-it is very inappropriate to call Kalmyks Mongols Calmouk 06:49, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

The history section is poorly written and inaccurate. For instance, paragraph 1 reads as follows:

What sets Kalmykia apart from its neighbors is the fact that it is the only Buddhist territory in Europe. Russians adopted the name Kalmyk from the Tatars in the 16th century. The Russians later learned about the name Oirat, which had come from the Mongols. There is a very common misunderstanding that the Kalmyks are "western Mongols". This is analogous to calling the English Germans just because both languages (English and German) belong to the Germanic language group. Kalmyks, in fact, are not Mongols. The two cultures have their own histories. At one time, the Kalmyks controlled a vast area known as Grand Tartary or the Kalmyk Empire to Westerners, which stretched from the Great Wall of China to the River Don, and from the Himalayas to Siberia.

The errors are as follows:

(1) Kalmykia is not a Krai (territory) but rather a Republic;

(2) The second sentence does not explain the origin of the name "Kalmyk" and how the Oirats of the lower Volga region became known as Kalmyks;

(3) Linguistically, there's no substantive difference between the Kalmyk and the Khalkha Mongolian languages; and

(4) The Kalmyk Khanate and the Dzungar Empire were two separate entities, each led by a different person. --Buzava 16:48, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

You are more than welcome to make those corrections yourself, providing that you can support them with sources.—Ëzhiki (ërinacëus amurënsis) 17:18, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

This is my reply to Buzava comment (sorry for my poor English :)

(1) Nobody mentioned Kalmykia as a Krai

(2) Kalmyk and Oirat are just two different names for the same people. It is very wrong assumption that only Oirats of the lower Volga region were known as Kalmyks. During 16-18 centuries Russians applied name Kalmyk (Calmouk) to ALL Oirats but never to Mongols. Take a guess what was a reason?

(3) Linguistically, difference between Kalmyk and Mongolian, probably, about the same as the difference between the Russian and the Ukranian languages. But there is no doubt that Kalmyks (Oirats) are different from Mongols. Remember "Four Oirats and Forty Mongols"? By the way, this formula has Mongolian origin.

(4) None of great Empires of the 16-18 centuries was monolitic in compare to modern countries. But Oirats of the lower Volga certainly were part of the Great Nomadic State. Law Code of 1640 worked well in the lower Volga too. All four divisions of Oirats - Torgut, Dorvud, Olut and Khoshut - were present (and still present) in the lower Volga too. During 16-18 centuries big and small groups of Oirats continiously migrated from Volga to Central Asia and vice versa.

It is very sad that even Kalmyk people do not want to understand one simple thing - history of Kalmyks has been artificially divided by political reasons.

First of all, when Kalmyks were deported by Stalin regime to Siberia, all research in Kalmyk history has been baned. Soviet Academics found "elegant" solution - they "invented" Oirats and Dzungars who has been proclamed to be "not Kalmyks". Do not forget that Zlatkin's "History of Dzungarian Khanate" was published just few years after Kalmyks were returned from Sibirean exile.

Second, development of independent Mongolia required to fill up that big inglorious gap between legendary 13 century and Mongolian independancy in 20 century. It is why bright History of Kalmyks was "annexed" by Mongols by calling us "Western Mongols"! We, Kalmyks, have never been called by such name in reality.

Calmouk 06:47, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Please visit Free Kalmykia Forum at

There is no Washington County in New Jersey but there is one in Pennsylvania.

there is a washington TOWNSHIP in NJ. The temple is located there.


By what definition is Kalmykia part of Europe? -- TheMightyQuill 05:51, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

It is a part of Russia and it is west of the Ural Mountains, hence it's in Europe.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 13:19, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

The article also says that no Kalmyks were sent to concentration camps and you just have to go to Howell, NJ to find that is totally incorrect. My daughters great grandfather and great grandmother were in concentration camps.

Your statement does not make any sense. What's your point? --Northside 732 17:29, 6 June 2007 (UTC)


Not all Kalmyks are Buddhist. Some of them are Christian. A lot of the Russians are Christians too. So I think since Kalmyks are just 53% of the population it would be better not to say that Kalmyk republic is a Buddhist region but instead that Buddhism and Christianity are main religions of the republic. I also think it is better to call Kalmyk a autonomous republic and not a country.

WWII / other: Factual errors abound.[edit]

My uncle actually helped to build the temple in Washington, NJ. I don't know about a county named Washington, but the town is named Washington.

Also, I am marking the WWII section up with source-citation, factual accuracy, and NPOV ... because ... the history I grew up learning is not the one presented ; and my family made no attempt to hide to whatever extent they were involved with the Nazi's, including service in the Nazi army. But I feel that the article, as it stands, consists of, maybe, a little slander as it does not recognize other factors in the conflict (which are widely known to experts in the field), or why and how they served in any capacity (and merely saying that the Nazi's were seen as liberators is to gloss over fact, with an attempt to include fiction).

According to my family, they never signed any particular kind of deal with the Nazis, they were treated as outlaws by both Hitler and Tito... there were far more pressing problems concerning both, at this point, for us to even be of the least of concerns for them. There was no Nazi order telling soldiers to hunt us and take us... we lived in the shadows, skipping from place to place. ... we dodged bombs, and we ran around from here, to there, without even knowing where we were, half the time. The servitude that my grandfather, or any other Kalmyk was subjected to, for that matter, was more like conscription, and most certainly an act of desperation (on the part of the Nazi's). My uncle actually tells a tale of being forced, at the age of 10, along with any other available youth, to load munitions for the air raids, getting up at 2 in the morning, without his parents' ability to protest.

... the Kalmyks of that era were especially keen as to the intentions of the Nazi's, and we knew we wouldn't have lasted long in any establishment that they set up, had they won. We weren't going for their kind of thing, we were going for survival.

Since I am, basically, the subject, I cannot edit the article, myself.

I'm simply asking that whomever has the time or opportunity, please take another look at your sources... if you have any real sources.

--Nathan 05:44, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Nathan, if you have any sources, you are quite welcome to edit the article yourself. As long as you provide the facts which can be attributed and write in a neutral tone, it should not matter much that you are basically writing about yourself. It would be better if you could write something instead of having a POVish and factually incorrect article sit there for who knows how much longer. I don't know much about the topic myself, so I can't really help you with the content, but if you need any other kind of assistance, you are more than welcome to contact me.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 15:20, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I believe Harry Potter is the Wiki-editor primarily responsible for the content in paragraph's two and three. I can't attest to the accuracy of this section, but I can say this:
(1) The article's scope should be limited to the Kalmyks living in the Kalmyk ASSR during this period.
(2) The history of the Kalmyk people living outside of the Soviet Union during this era should be in a separate article.

--Buzava 03:06, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I have put in the source for the material and deleted the lack of sources box. However I am not sure what the POV issue is. No doubt this section of the article could be inmproved. As Nathan would not be writing about himself, any contribution he could make would be greatly appreciated. Nathans comments seem disjointed "they were treated as outlaws by both Hitler and Tito" - does this relate to their role fighting the partisans towards the end of the War. "it does not recognize other factors in the conflict" - well what were these factors. It seems from Bezin's article that there were some Kalmyks who played a prominent part in collaborating with the Nazis, while for the bulk of the population the whole period was a further episode in suffering caught between two callous world powers fighting each other. Also the article talks about the arrival of the German Army and them being regarded as liberators at that point in time - even if they were subsequently treated badly by the German war machine (and in this context can be seen organsations like the Tiger Legion etc.)Harrypotter 22:23, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem here is that Alexander Berzin does not cite his sources. I think it's rediculous that Goebbels would have anything to do with any Kalmyk intellectual. It's not like the support of 135,000 Kalmyks would change the outcome of WW2. --Northside 732 00:02, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Btw, Kalmyks don't have a suicide ritual -- especially hari-kiri. So, it's unreasonable for Alexander Berzin to suggest that those dead Asian soldiers in Berlin were Kalmyks. If they were Kalmyk, I'm sure those soldiers would've chosen to die fighting the Soviets. But if any chose to commit suicide, than a revolver wouold suffice. --Northside 732 00:09, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

This article is very interesting but could use substantial cleaning-up from someone who knows the subject better than I. Examples:

- "By the mid-17th century, Kalmyks were increasingly disillusioned with Russian encroachment and interference in its internal affairs."  THis is described as AFTER "Ayuka Khan (1669 - 1724)" so clearly there's a wrong date in here somewhere.  Should "17th" be "18th"
- "[During and after the Russian Civil War, t]he Soviet authorities severely punished the Kalmyks who remained, executing 10,000.  On November 4, 1920, Kalmyk Autonomous Oblast was created. The Bolshevik regime executed about 10,000 Kalmyks at this time."  The repetition of 10,000 executions suggests maybe both sentences are talking about overlapping events, presumably since in both cases these occurred over a period of time, or that the 10,000 numbers are (understandably) very rough.  Dates (are these "executions" two distinct events or one?) and references would help a reader assess the credibility of these numbers.
- "Deprived of their civil rights, the Kalmyk community ceased to exist, thus completing the ethnic cleansing of the Kalmyk people."  "completing" is inaccurate or hyperbole.  If it were "complet[e]" there would be no more Kalmyk people.
- There is tension, if not disagreement, as well as redundancy between separate paras, between "The Kalmyks have also established communities in the United States, primarily in Pennsylvania and New Jersey." and "in Monmouth County, New Jersey, where the vast majority of American Kalmyks reside". The implication, though not the literal meaning, of the first statement is that PA and NJ are roughly comparable in numbers of Kalmyks with if anything more in PA.
- The order of the "miscellaneous" section is random & swirling around -- maybe put veriouss paragraphs about Kalmyks outside of Kalmykia together, various statements about Kalmyks in the US together as one of those paragraphs, the meaning and unknown etymology of the word "Kalmyk" in a more prominent place in the article, etc.
- The article goes into great detail in some places, and very little in others, for example 200 years of history before the Russian Revolution get 3 cursory paragraphs of generalizations, while WW2 is described practically day by day, with much attention to this group assembled by Goebbels, though its significance is hard to assess from the article.  Also the details about Buddhist institutions in NJ, while interesting to me, seem way into the weeds compared with other sections of the article (which is about a place other than New Jersey). 
- The article's structure of "diaspora I" and "diaspora II" seems very artificial (maybe those are common terms of Kalmyk scholarship, though I am guessing not) given the number of earlier and later diasporas in the history.  Maybe say 1920 diaspora and 1944 diaspora instead?

DB Sullivan, 7/6/7. 03:24, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Several sections of this article were copied from other websites whose authors failed to cite their sources. Some of it is propaganda. --Northside 732 16:59, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Article about Kalmykia[edit]

I thought I'd point out an article which would be handy to use for references: Weird world of chess-loving enclave - 26 Jul 2007 - NZ Herald: Travel News and Information from New Zealand and around the World Mathmo Talk 04:13, 31 July 2007 (UTC)


This article seems to be written with an anti-Soviet tinge, at parts almost seeming sympathetic to the Nazis. --KobaVanDerLubbe 20:19, 7 October 2007 (UTC)


This section reads like a brochure and not like an encyclopedia:

Tourists have started to visit Kalmykia, most travelling from Volgograd to Elista. Some accounts of their travels have been logged on YouTube and other internet sites. Kalmykia is regarded as a safe destination for foreign tourists with the country getting much publicity after holding the 1998 Chess Olympiad in Elista. Several visitors have commented on the number of camels in the countryside — indeed Kalmykia is the home to Europe's only indigenous camel. In the capital there is little traffic

I am deleting this section.DVoit 00:34, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Bolsheviks' attitude towards Kalmyks[edit]

So the Kalmyks gained absolutely nothing from the establishment of their republic by the Bolsheviks. It had absolutely no significance and was a pure act of propaganda and a tool to control the Kalmyks. All Kalmyks loved their rich men, chieftains and priests, contrary to Bolshevik propaganda. This is stated by "a Kalmyk school teacher turned anti-Soviet partisan fighter", whose text was published at the height of the Cold War in 1958, by the Institute for the Study of the USSR (maintained by the government of the Soviets' major opponent in the Cold War), in a volume specifically devoted to proving that the USSR engaged in genocide. Ooh, that must be a frigging neutral, unbiased, reliable source. How very typical.-- (talk) 12:40, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Yeah and I'm sure we can compel some Holocaust victims to admit that they realized some benefits, however minor, from the early years of Nazi rule.--Northside 732 (talk) 02:00, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely. You're completely right to point out that the first thing the Nazis did for the Jews was to establish an official Jewish republic inside of Germany. Hell, the Nazis have always advocated complete equality and solidarity between all nations, that's why they're called National-Socialists (meaning "Nation-Equality-ists"). And that's precisely the most evil thing about them and the reason why all good and decent people hate Nazism!-- (talk) 23:52, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
However, there is one omission in the article. The text forgets to mention that the present-day Kalmyk republic within Russia is also completely useless for the Kalmyk people. It's even harmful and a tool used for the genocide organized by Putin's bloodthirsty totalitarian regime. No true freedom and self-determination for the Kalmyk people is possible until permanent, liberty-loving U.S. military bases and nuclear missiles have been established in Kalmykia! -- (talk) 23:52, 23 May 2009 (UTC)


Nearly all of the information in the "Miscellaneous" section is about the Kalmyk people (even those who live outside the borders of Kalmykia), rather than about Kalmykia itself.Ordinary Person (talk) 08:02, 6 June 2012 (UTC)