Kyrgyzstan History: General Information
The territory of Central Asia, along with Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and Iran), Egypt, Greece and India is considered one of the oldest centers of civilization. The first people in Kyrgyzstan appeared in the stone age. On Mount Boz-Bormak had traces of the Neanderthals, and the cave carvings of the Ak-Chankur evidence that primitive hunter culture existed 5-10,000 years ago on the shores of Issyk-Kul Lake. In the Iron Age and during the period of antiquity the territories were occupied by nomadic Saka-Scythian tribes, who left behind a tremendous legacy in the form of burial mounds and petroglyphs.
The first state formations emerged on the territory of modern Kyrgyzstan in the 2nd century BC. The Wusun tribes of East Turkestan (Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region) moved to the territory of Kyrgyzstan in the 1st century AD. The 5th century BC marked the mass migration of the Ephtalites who formed the vast Central Asian state on the whole space.
In the 7th century the territory of Kyrgyzstan became a part of the Western Turkic Khanate, and after its collapse Kyrgyzstan entered the Karluk Khanate. In the 9th-12th centuries, there existed powerful political union Kyrgyz Khanate in the territory of Southern Siberia, upper reaches of the Irtysh River, East Turkistan, which used to be one of the strongest states in the region until the conquest of Mongols headed by Genghis khan.
In 1218 Genghis Khan conquered China, then moved to the state of Khwarezm shakhs, his most powerful enemy. Throughout his journey, he destroyed and ravaged the territory of Central Asia, one of which was the Kyrgyz land. After the final victory of Genghis Khan, the conquered lands were divided into ulus, headed by his sons. Since then Kyrgyz land and Transoxiana became parts of Chagatai Ulus.
After the formation of the Timurid state, the southern part of Kyrgyz lands became part of it, and the northern areas became a homeland of nomadic Kyrgyz. This separation of tribes remained until the colonial expansion of Tsarist Russia. At the beginning of the 19th century Kokand Khans tried to forcedly annex the territory of the Kyrgyz lands, and some leaders of the Kyrgyz tribes appealed to the Imperial Russia government and helped the Tsar's troops during the invasion to the Kokand khanate in exchange for Russian citizenship.
In 1855-1863 the nothern territory of Kyrgyzstan was conquered by Chernyaev’s troops and joined the Russian Empire. But not all Kyrgyz tribes were allies of the Russians and in 1876-77 the revolt headed by Pulatkhan broke out, which, despite its scale, ended with the defeat of the rebels.
After the conquest of the Kokand Khanate, the southern Kyrgyzstan in 1876 formed the part of the Russian Empire as Semirech’e province.
In the Soviet period, national-territorial demarcation policies resulted in the formation of the first Kara-Kyrgyz Autonomous Region (14 October 1924), which was later transformed into the Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (1 February 1926), and finally the area became known as the Kyrgyz SSR from 5 December 1936 on.
In the last years of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan saw the intensification of international conflicts that were fueled by the failure of the administrative-command system and the subsequent economic crisis. This formed the basis for the conflict in Osh in 1990. The Kyrgyz government decides to secede from the Soviet Union, and in August 1991, Kyrgyzstan has declared its independence, by choosing the path of democratic development.