Archive sections: ‘Soviet Union’

It was on 10th June, 2008, that Kyrgyzstan lost one of its favourite sons and cultural icon, Chingiz Aitmatov. He was a man of many of many talents.  Born in 1928 in the the village of Sheker in the Talas region of Kyrgyzstan, near the border with Uzbekistan, he began working at the age of […]

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 at 06:00 Comments Off on A Day lasts how long?

Some time ago I was invited to an event in one of Bishkek’s many Universities, the one named in honour of Ishenaly Arabaev. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious Universities in the country – based on six sites located in the city center – the main one being adjacent to the main […]

Friday, June 6th, 2014 at 06:00 Comments Off on Ishenaly Arabaev

Arthur C. Clarke once wrote a short story tells of how a relatively unknown and insignificant scientist leading a humdrum and ordinary life during the Cold War is persuaded by a couple of strangers to change his name  … not in any major way, just by a single letter … and, they promise, his life […]

Thursday, May 1st, 2014 at 06:00 Comments Off on What a difference a letter makes

I have mentioned, several times, that there used to be a website which stated that “Kyrgyzstan is not particularly well endowed with festivals” … which, in my opinion, is grossly unfair.  They may not always be the best organized affairs, but there are a wide variety of festivals giving visitors the chance to see (and […]

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at 06:00 Comments Off on Alley of Statesmen

On 24th March, 1907, a new institution opened its doors for business for the first time: the Pishpek Mutual Credit Society – Bishkek’s first local bank.  (At the time, Bishkek was called Pishkek.) Things have changed a lot since those days … Actually, There were other financial institutions around, which is understandable as Kyrgyzstan lay on […]

Monday, March 24th, 2014 at 07:00 Comments Off on Banking on it.

Some years ago I went on a trip and one of the places where stayed was in a homestay.  On the television that particular evening there happened be a performance by one of the leading manaschi … and our hostess, shamefacedly lowered her voice and almost whispering told me a secret … “I don’t really […]

Friday, February 28th, 2014 at 07:00 Comments Off on Yevgeny Dmtrievich Polianov

Today would have marked the birthday of an interesting character in Kyrgyzstan’s history: Djumabekov Asankulovovich Asankulov, who served two terms as the head of the KGB in Kyrgyzstan, (from 1967-78 and 1989-1991). The KGB, (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti – Committee for State Security), was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 – when it […]

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 07:00 Comments Off on Djumabek Asankulov

Apart from the fact that it was in 1901, we don’t know exactly when Yusuf Abdakhmanovich Abdrahmanov was born, but we do know that he died on 18th February, 1938. Abdrahmanov was an important politician and statesman in the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic, rising to the position of Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars […]

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 at 07:00 Comments Off on Yusuf Abdrakhmanovich Abdrahmanov

For Thirteen days in 1918, nothing happened in Russia – nothing a all … nobody was born, nobody died, nobody got married or divorced … Well, that’s exactly true … but for all intents and purposes the first thirteen days of February just didn’t exist.  A Decree of the Council of People’s Commissars issued on […]

Friday, February 14th, 2014 at 07:00 Comments Off on Thirteen days in February

Seventy years ago, 27th January, 1944, saw the end of the great battles of the Second World War … the Siege of Leningrad. It was one of the the longest and most destructive and costly sieges in all human history, (according to some estimates there were as many as one and a half million casualties), […]

Monday, January 27th, 2014 at 07:00 Comments Off on The Siege of Leningrad