Soviet Union Table of Contents
National discontent in Soviet Central Asia erupted during the mid-1980s. The discontent began over the removal for corruption of the native CPSU first secretaries in the Kirgiz, Tadzhik, and Turkmen republics. When the CPSU first secretary of the Kazakh Republic was also ousted and replaced with an ethnic Russian in December 1986, however, an unprecedented two days of rioting followed, with a large number of casualties. The riots demonstrated the local population's resentment against Russians' occupying the most prestigious jobs in the republic, a grievance that was shared by the native populations of the other Central Asian republics. Other commonly held grievances of Central Asian nationalities included resentment against the government's decision to drop the diversion of Siberian rivers, which would have brought badly needed water to the area, and the continuous distortion of their national history by pro-Russian historians.
Data as of May 1989