Archive sections: ‘Soviet Union’

One Christmas, when I was in the sixth form at school – that would be in about 1969 or 1970, the senior pupils decided to go Carol Singing – collecting money for charity. This time, instead of going ‘door-to-door’ in a particular district, or attempting a ‘pub crawl’, we decided it would be fun to pay a […]

Monday, April 3rd, 2017 at 06:00 Comments Off on Little known regions

There’s a feature of the Social Security legislation here in Kyrgyzstan that always used to surprise me.  As well as Pensions, Health Care and Sickness Benefits, provisions for Invalids, parents of large families, there are special provisions for veterans – of the Great Patriotic War, (World War Two), the Afghan War and for those who participated […]

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Chernobyl

March 6th, 1958 … and the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic, (one of the 15 constituent republics of the USSR), got itself a new Prime Minister – although he wasn’t actually called that, rather he carried the title, Chairman of the Council of Ministers. The man who assumed the post on that occasion was Kazy Dikambaevich Dikambaev. […]

Sunday, March 6th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Kazy Dikambaevich Dikambaev

We take so many everyday things for granted … that, as a result, we forget what marvels they are and how they revolutionized daily life.  Some of them, of course, are major and complex innovations … like computers and the internet … but others are more basic – even so, they have had a significant […]

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 at 06:00 Comments Off on Spitchki – Matches

Uranium is a silvery-grey metallic chemical element which is generally known due to the fact that it is mildly radioactive and for is used in the nuclear industries – including for nuclear weapons. Uranium is mined in various places throughout the world and some sites in Kyrgyzstan were mined during the soviet period, but uranium mining […]

Friday, April 3rd, 2015 at 06:00 Comments Off on Uranium

Manas is the hero of the Kyrgyz Epic Saga … and many consider that is fundamental to understanding how the Kyrgyz see themselves. Some years ago I was told something about the epic by someone that I would call a “secular Kyrgyz”, (by which I mean a “Russified Kyrgyz”  … someone who had been born […]

Thursday, February 26th, 2015 at 06:00 Comments Off on When Manas was … persona non grata …

Josef Stalin is, perhaps, one of the most enigmatic characters in Soviet history … one man who was, at the same time, both a hero and a villain. Hero: The leader of the nation for thirty years, (from 1922 until his death in 1953), shaping the nation and bringing it into the modern world, leading […]

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 at 06:00 Comments Off on Uncle Joe – the Man of Steel

It is said that when the Founding Fathers of the United States were considering the position of Head of State, they deliberated long and hard over what to call him, (or her). Given their experience of rebellion against the British crown they wanted to avoid anything that hinted at monarchy … indeed, they wanted to […]

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 at 06:00 Comments Off on Turdakun Usubalievich Usubaliev

Abdykerim Sydykov is regarded as one of the founders of the Kyrgyz state – with a bust in the Alley of statesmen, with one of the streets in Central Bishkek, and a school named after him. Born on 26th October, 1889, into the aristocracy of the Solto tribe in, what is today, the Alemedin District. […]

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at 06:00 Comments Off on Abdykerim Sydykov – the father of Kyrgyz statehood

Sunday marked two Professional Holidays here in Kyrgyzstan: Fire Services Day and Water Resources Day. Water Resources Day is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June – and has been since 1995.  It replaced a Soviet “holiday”, the Day of the Meliorator, which had first been established in 1981.  It’s an occasion when attention […]

Monday, June 16th, 2014 at 06:00 Comments Off on Be-Cha-Ka