• Check out the new poll!

The Land of Tannu Tuva

Justin Oei, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






What if I told you there was once a country that bridged Mongolia and the Soviet Union that existed for only a few years in the interwar period? What if this country was reportedly one of the belligerents in the Second World War that we never talk about? This country was Tannu Tuva, and this week I’d like to share a bit of its history and culture (and yes, my new Gmail profile picture) with you.

Officially the Tuvan People’s Republic, Tannu Tuva only was recognized by two nations: the Soviet Union and Mongolia (a client state of the Soviet Union). Wedged between the subsequent coups of both the Chinese and Russian empires, Communist factions took the opportunity to seize independence during the Russian Revolution in 1921. Its capital was declared at Kyzyl (which is also the geographical center of Asia).  

Tannu Tuva ultimately ended up as a client state of the Soviet Union after its own coup in 1929, allowing students loyal to Joseph Stalin to assume high-ranking positions of the government and end both Buddhism’s practice as the state religion in favor of the Soviet’s atheism policy and the traditional career of herding. While loyalists to Stalin were successful on the first front, neither Buddhism nor cattle breeding or herding throughout the nation were never really eradicated.

And then came the Second World War. Apocryphal sources say that upon the invasion of Poland, Tannu Tuva too declared war on the Soviet Union. On the other hand, it has also been said that Tuvans went to assist the Soviet war effort, including their own infantry unit. However,  the nation’s days were numbered; in 1944, the Tuvan parliament requested to join the Soviet Union. Yet the lore of Tannu Tuva lives on, especially through the book Tuva or Bust, written about an American who tried (but never did) reach Tannu Tuva’s environs.

Photo Credit: Amazon and Wikimedia Commons

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

Any offensive, obscene, rude, threatening or distasteful comments will not be tolerated and will be promptly removed

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • The Land of Tannu Tuva

    OP Sports

    Golf Continues to Reign Supreme at OP

  • The Land of Tannu Tuva

    OP News

    Meet Your New VP: Chris Kraemer

  • The Land of Tannu Tuva

    OP Sports

    OP Baseball Team Off to Solid Start

  • The Land of Tannu Tuva

    OP News

    OP Men For Others Assembly

  • The Land of Tannu Tuva

    OP Sports

    Lacrosse Recap

  • The Land of Tannu Tuva

    Campus Ministry

    St. Philip Neri Club Update

  • The Land of Tannu Tuva

    OP Sports

    OP Tennis Preview

  • The Land of Tannu Tuva

    OP News

    OP’s Empty Bowls

  • The Land of Tannu Tuva

    OP News

    Mock Trial: A Season to Remember

  • The Land of Tannu Tuva

    OP Sports

    OP Swim Wraps Up Their Season

The Land of Tannu Tuva