The events of 1916 in Semirechye are of interest to both professional historians and those who are interested in the history of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, the whole of Central Asia, Russia, as well as history in general.

A new collection of documents with a preface and an afterword dedicated to the drama of 1916 in the Semirechye region of the Turkestan General Government was released in the current year 2024 under the title:

“I have the honor to convey …” The Semirechye events of 1916 in the documents of the Verny search post. Collection of documents / Sanjarbek Daniyarov Foundation / [comp., author’s introduction. and afterword by V.I. Schwartz] — Bishkek: Sanjarbek Daniyarov Foundation, 2024. — 704 p., ill.

The readers can purchase this book in paper form in Bishkek in the RARITY chain stores and the NUSKA bookstore. Brief information about the book is published here: PUBLISHED IN 2024. “MAY I HAVE THE HONOR TO CONVEY” A COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS

Presentation of the book to readers was held on May 17 in the conference room of the M.V. Frunze Museum in Bishkek. We are sharing with you a report about this event.

The Frunze Museum was chosen as the venue for the event. The building is located in the very center of the city, adjacent to the Oak Park and the Old Square and is well known to historians and history lovers and residents of Bishkek.

We are extremely grateful to the director of the museum M.V. Frunze Keneshpek Almakuchukov for the offer to present the book at the museum site. The museum staff were very attentive to us and the guests, provided information support quickly and silently!

On the stairs leading from the lobby to the Assembly Hall of the museum, selected photographs from the book were presented, which the arriving participants got acquainted with. 72 people registered for the event in advance (the capacity of the hall is estimated at 70-80 people), but in practice there were more guests — a total of 83 people took part in addition to the organizers – Vladimir Shvarts and Assel Daniyarova, the director of the museum and staff.

Most of the audience consisted of professional historians, public figures, descendants of participants in the events, researchers on the topic of 1916, journalists, as well as history buffs and our loved ones. A scientist who has long been engaged in the topic of 1916, who released several collections of documents, Deputy director of the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan Shamek Tleubayev came from a neighboring state specifically to present the book. The respected historian was already familiar with the book and came to express his opinion to our audience.

16:30 – 17:00
Registration and gathering of participants
17:00 – 19:30
Greeting. The presenter is Asel Daniyarova · How and why the book was created. The compiler, author of the preface and afterword is Vladimir Schwartz · A few words to readers about the structure of the book. Asel Daniyarova · Opinion of the first readers: Shamek Tleubaev, Emilbek Kaptagaev, Gulnara Aitpaeva, Ayida Kubatova · Comments, questions and answers: Elmira Nogoibayeva, Ablabek Asankanov, Kanybek Imanaliev, Nasikat Dakenova
19:30 – 20:30
Buffet and free exchange of opinions
Speeches from the audience in Russian and Kyrgyz languages — at the choice of the speaker


The compiler of the collection, the author of the preface and afterword, Vladimir Shwartz, spoke about how the search for materials on the topic of 1916 was conducted, how the work with documents was carried out and shared photos of “travels” through the archives, as well as pictures from family albums of participants in these dramatic events. The presentation can be viewed at the end of this publication.

Then Asel Daniyarova spoke about the structure of the book, drawing the attention of the audience to the peculiarities of presenting documents in it with all resolutions and marginalia (marginal notes). The book is provided with Appendices, in particular, about 800 names are listed in the Name Index. “Look through the index, and maybe you’ll find the names of loved ones or even relatives.” It’s interesting that it turned out that way! One of the participants, Nasikat Dakenova, a researcher at the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, found one of her ancestors in the name index, which she told the audience about.

After the presentation of the book by the compiler and author of the preface and afterword by Vladimir Schwartz and comments by the editor Asel Daniyarova, participants who are already familiar with the book spoke.


Kazakh historian Shamek Tleubayev noted the clarity and logic of the presentation of materials, especially the historiographical part, the thoughtful selection of documents, their novelty and undoubted value for researchers, while drawing the author’s attention to the fact that the study of the uprising did not begin in 1926, but immediately in hot pursuit, as evidenced by publications in the Kazakh newspaper and others, starting in 1917.

The famous politician and statesman Emilbek Kaptagaev shared his analysis with the audience, noted the completeness of the disclosure of the topic, a new approach to its study, at the same time advised in the author’s speech not to use terms such as “Muslim uprising”, since the riots had no religious connotation, and in the documents of the colonial administration this term was used to denote the local population, unlike the Russian immigrants.

Gulnara Aitpaeva, head of the Aigine Cultural Research Center, which in 2016-2019 organized a project group of researchers from Central Asian countries to study the dramatic events of 1916, and published as an editor a collection of articles “Studying 1916: depoliticization and humanization of knowledge about the uprising in Central Asia” (link to the electronic version at the end of this note*) She shared her observations about how the documentary material included in the book was collected. The fact is that the work of the project team and the Sanzharbek Daniyarov Foundation was started approximately in the same period after the 100th anniversary of the uprising, and there was an exchange of views and discussions between the research groups at the Aigine site.

Next, Ayida Kubatova, a senior researcher at the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, who is known for her research on the Jadid movement in Kyrgyzstan, took the floor. She noted that she was particularly interested in getting acquainted with unknown documents in the book, and even quoted from the report of Captain V.F. Zheleznyakov. The historian was impressed by the position of a person from the state imperial system, who is able to understand and accept the point of view of the local population, to criticize the actions of the authorities.

The next speaker was the writer and public figure, politician Kanybek Imanaliev, who at the time of the presentation had not yet had the opportunity to familiarize himself with the book, but stressed the relevance and importance of the topic raised and called on the society to support research.

A well-known political scientist, researcher of socio-political and social processes, collector of oral histories, creator and head of the “Esimde” project Elmira Nogoibayeva expressed the opinion that at the moment, the point of view of the local population is generally insufficiently represented and studied in studies of the colonial period. In addition, it is very important to study not only archival documents, but also the oral histories of eyewitnesses and their descendants.

Professor Ablabek Asankanov, Director of the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, noted that the search for unconventional approaches to the study of events gives historians food for thought.

After that, historian Dakenova Nasikat said a few words, as we mentioned above.


The discussion continued in an informal setting at a buffet table. Many different opinions were expressed and questions were asked, which indicates great attention to the topic of the events of 1916 and at the same time the absence of a unified view on the cause and nature of what happened and the need for further publication of materials on this topic.


Presentation by Vladimir Shvartz:

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Presentation by Asel Daniyarova:

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More on the topic:

Briefly about the book and where one can buy it: PUBLISHED IN 2024. “MAY I HAVE THE HONOR TO CONVEY” A COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS


the year 1916 › 1916: our research › 1916: our papers

the year 1916 › 1916: our research › 1916: chronicles

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