Yusuf Abdrakhmanovich Abdrahmanov

February 18th, 2014 Sections: Soviet Union, Who's Who
Yusuf Abdrakhmanovich Abdrahmanov

Yusuf Abdrakhmanovich Abdrahmanov

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 – effectively the Prime Minister of the Republic – and is considered to be one of the fathers of the modern Kyrgyz state.

We do, however, know that he was born in the small village of Dzharkimbaevo near Karakol, into a wealthy manap (a sort of feudal nobility) family and that, he studied at the “Native” school in Sosnovke, (which is now called Ananyeva), on the Northern shore of Lake Issyk Kul.  Later he was to continue his studies at the High school in Karakol.

Like many of his generation, the events of 1916 were to play an important part in his life, with the family fleeing to China to escape the turmoil during and following the uprising against the Russian Empire.  His father, Abdrahman Balapanov was not only a member of the local nobility, he had served the Russians for three years as a Parish Steward, but that could not to protect him from typhus as the disturbances unfolded.

His mother and seven of his immediate family were killed in Naryn by Cossacks who had been ordered to suppress the uprising, leaving him orphaned at the age of fifteen, and with his seven year old brother as the sole surviving members of the family.

A year later, when the Bolsheviks came to power, he returned home he worked as a farm labourer, working for the garrison in Karakol and with them he traveled to Verney, (which is now called Almaty), in neighbouring Kazakhstan.  Then he joined the Red Army and served on the Semirechiye front in the Civil War.

As a young man he quickly became active in politics – joining the Kyrgyz Communist Youth League being elected to the Verney District Garrison, … joining the Communist Youth Organization, Komsomol, and serving on the local organizing committees, where he played a particular role in working with the “native youth” …  and attending the organization’s Third Congress in Moscow.  There he met and apparently held a long conversation with none other than Vladimir Lenin.  Indeed, he must have made a good impression because he was elected to the organization’s Presidium.  Later he went to work at the Central Committee of the Communist Party and over the next few years worked in a variety of capacities throughout the region.

The Kara-Kyrgyz oblast within the Turkestan Republic, created in 1922 and which he had helped to bring about, only included the Northern part of what is now Kyrgyzstan.  It was two years later that the areas of Batken, Djalal Abad and Osh were to be joined with this in the Kara-Kyrgyz Autonomous Oblast within the Russian Federation, RSFSR.  In 1924 he served as the fist First Secretary of the Communist Party in the Oblast.

It was in 1924 that the boundaries of the Central Asian Republics were established and Adbrahmanov, (together with other leading figures such as Sydykov and Arabaev who were going to play important roles in creating a distinctive Kyrgyz identity and statehood), promoted the idea of self-determination of the people and proposed the creation of a special “mountain region” in the Turkestan Republic.  It wasn’t the only such proposal that he worked on, there was also a project to build a Karakyrgyz-Karakalpakstan autonomous region which would have stretched from Issyk Kul to the Aral Sea, with a capital at Djalal Abad.

In 1925 the Kara-Kyrgyz Autonomous Oblast became the Kyrgyz Autonomous Oblast and then in 1926 the Kyrgyz Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic … Abdrahmanov playing an important role in each transformation and development.

In March 1927, when he was just 26 years old, he was appointed as Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Kyrgyz Socialist Soviet Republic – basically Prime Minister – a post he held until 1933.  This brought him additional roles in the all-Union party structure.

His term of office, as indeed his whole career, was marked by the unusually bold and independent line that he adopted – for example writing to Stalin defending the idea of creating transforming the Kyrgyz Autonomous Socialist Republic – within the Russian Federation – into a separate Republic.  In the course of time, this was to be condemned as Nationalism.

Indeed he seems to have been skeptical about many of Stalin’s measures which he saw as exacerbating the economic difficulties of the Republic.  He even refused to comply with quotas for grain procurement in the plan – a step which is credited with avoiding or minimizing the effect of the famines which affected many other parts of the Soviet Union in the 1930’s – and was able to take in refugees from other regions of the USSR; Kazakhstan, the Ukraine and the Volga.

He also made friends with a number of people who were known supporters of Leon Trotcky who had moved to Frunze, socializing with them, and apparently feeling “at home” in their company.


Such an approach was bound to lead to problems with Moscow and, sure enough, in September 1933 he was removed from office – and a month later expelled from the party.  He was transferred to work first in Samara and later in Orenburg.

Eventually, in April 1937 he was arrested and in November he charged with belonging to a terrorist organization working to overcome Soviet power, being transferred back to Frunze (Bishkek) to await trial.  Then, on 18th February, 1938, he was executed.

In 1958 he was granted Rehabilitation by the civil authorities, a decision which was confirmed by the Communist Party in 1989.

Here in Bishkek, not only is his bust in the alley of statesmen, one of the city’s main streets is named in his honour.



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