The reconquest of East Bukhara: The struggle against the Basmachi as a prelude to Sovietization

Beatrice Penati

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


This article concerns the impact of the activity of Ibrahim Bek's bands on the population of Eastern Bukhara and the multifaceted Soviet reaction to it in the second half of the 1920s. Because the Soviet goal was not just the annihilation of the Basmachi, but a thorough reconquest of Eastern Bukhara, the Red Army was accompanied by civil authorities and 'irregular' troops, including former Basmachi bands fighting on the Soviet side, and village self-defence. Civil and joint civil-military commissions for struggle against the Basmachi offered an initial Soviet socialization for the local population. The mechanisms regulating amnesties and punishments served to disrupt local power networks, while internal and trans-border migrations were used not only to control the bands, but also to prepare agricultural transformations. The new Soviet power also had to compete with the authority exercised in the realm of food supply and famine relief.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Specialist publicationCentral Asian Survey
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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