Refugees, resettlement and revolutionary violence in Semirech’e after the 1916 revolt
in The Central Asian Revolt of 1916
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This chapter explores the outbreaks of vigilantist violence between settlers and Kyrgyz in Semirech’e, and the measures taken by the colonial authorities to confine the latter to upland regions and reserve more fertile lowland areas for Russian settlers and Cossacks. It shows that this process continued into 1917, as Kyrgyz refugees began to return from China but were refused permission to return to their land. The separation of the Russian and Kyrgyz populations continued despite the February Revolution, and the Provisional Government was powerless to prevent ongoing settler violence. These ongoing tensions, rather than revolutionary politics, help to explain the patterns of violence in Semirech’e that persisted into 1918 and beyond.

The Central Asian Revolt of 1916

A collapsing empire in the age of war and revolution

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