Established in 1921 in the wake of the regional victory of the Red Army, the Tuvan People’s Republic (occasionally referred to as Tannu-Tuva) was formed out of the respective territorial claims of Mongolia, China and Tsarist Russia, becoming the third independent state to adopt Marxism-Leninism. Its ideological foundations are outlined in its first constitution: “For the past few decades, a revolutionary movement against . . . oppression and exploitation from the ruling classes has been developing in every country. . . . The most heroic example in this struggle is the great October Revolution, which freed Russia’s workers and peasants from the yoke of autocracy and domination by bourgeoisie and the land owners. The Tuvan People, subjugated and exploited for centuries by internal and external oppressors . . . established the power of the working people in the form of the national government in the year 1921.”
   Almost entirely feudal, nomadic, Buddhist and Shamanist, the state of 300,000 citizens was led by the Tuvan People’s Revolutionary Party, which sought “completion of the anti-feudal revolution, the actualisation of all democratic conversions and passage to the socialist stage of non-capitalistic development.” Always under the hegemony of the Soviet Union (evident in its economic policy, adopting the New Economic Policy between 1921 and 1929), Tuva became in 1944 an “autonomous region” of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Party Secretary Toka, relinquishing its de jure independence in what has been described as “dubious circumstances.” Soviet industrialization enabled a remarkable expansion of basic utilities to the most remote of villages and ensured rapid urbanization in several centers of population, with the capital, Kyzyl, eventually housing 100,000 citizens. Such industrialization engineered a division between rural, nomadic Tuvans, who retained their Turkic language and mysticism, and urban citizens, who, with the influx of immigrants from other Soviet territories, became Russified, favoring Russian dialects and secularism.
   Since 1993, Tuva has been a Republic of the Russian Federation with its own president, retaining a fifty-percent command economy and most Soviet bureaucracies. The successor party has recently introduced nominal market reforms against the wishes of most peasants and nomenklatura members, who remain powerful politically and populist and collectivist in sentiment. These reforms have aided the growth of the largely Russian middle class, who hold trade links with Russia, Turkey, China and other central Asian states.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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