This book attempts to analyze some of the major but striking aspects of the Mongolian Revolutions which occurred in the 20th century. In this context, it examines related problems of Mongolian independence. Until recently, these problems have not been evaluated, as the factual historical materials which have surfaced due to the dramatic changes of the early 1990s in Mongolia were not enough for such evaluation. The political activities of the former Soviet and Mongolian communists are no longer secret documents, and in fact are now widely regarded as reliable evidence for understanding the political developments in Mongolia.

Due to the discovery of these documents and materials of real historical value, our understanding of modern Mongolian history has changed, especially because these have helped to change our old, wrong and inaccurate notions of the nature of Mongolia’s past revolutions.

Unfortunately, we still have in Mongolia today some different and, at times, conflicting opinions on these issues. It is our common experience that some leaders of the MPRP /as the Mongolian Communist Party/ as well as some other conservative members have preferred to ignore any new opinions on the shaping of the modern history of Mongolia. New perceptions have started flowing more actively and with greater conviction only after the failure of the anti-democratic plot in the former USSR in August 1991. The position would be still clearer if we read with some attention the following articles: ‘Do not forget that we have two biggest neighbors!’ by Prof. Dr. Ch.Dalai and ‘Which one is better, humane or inhumane?’ by R. Narantuya.[1]

These articles were published specially on our anniversary days, the 25 June /the day of Mongolian Revolutionaries/; and 11 July /the day of the Revolution of 1921/. Dr. Ch.Dalai in his article criticized strongly the following views:

a/ A view, which is trying to discover some negative aspects of Soviet Mongolian Relations and also of Chinese- Mongolian Revolutions.

b/ A view, which is supporting closer relations with overseas countries other than the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.

The whole thrust of this article was to defend old and well established views on the contemporary history of the people of Mongolia, and also on the Mongolian Socialist Society. Another feature of this article was that it dealt with questions relating to the past history of Mongolia objectively; and the conclusions drawn were well founded on the basis of available records and manuscripts before the beginning of the democratization process in' Mongolia.

Another important article on this question was written by R.Narantuya which more clearly than others defended the old Mongolian Communist views on the nature and scope of past revolutions and their aftermath, especially in terms of their political and social implications for the Mongolian society. This article was more conservative than the first one, because it was published two weeks before the anti-democratic plot in the former Soviet Union in 1991.

After crucial changes in the former USSR, of course, particularly after its collapse, the Mongolian Communist has changed their views on modern Mongolian history and its important lessons. The more conservative among the communist theoreticians defended their unfruitful and orthodox opinions, which were lacking in objectivity. On the other hand, Mongolian neo-communist careerists were changing their views from the orthodox communist position to the other end of the scale represented by the orthodox Buddhist religious pundits on their view of modern Mongolian history. They officially announced their theoretical principles on society and history as the “Central road” theory of Nagarjuna.[2] In our opinion, the Mongolian neo­communist careerists changed their theoretical and ideological position after the election in 1992.

Mongolian democratic and liberal historians and scholars were actively changing their old time-worn ideas and understanding of the modern Mongolian history. They were expected to publish a new and objective history of Mongolia and its people. Of course, this great purpose was to be achieved by a deep study of the subject by every well-known scholar who was working on this subject. In this context, this small book may be found useful, but our main purpose of this writing has been to help readers to have a text in English language on modem Mongolian history. Till the present day they have felt handicapped due to shortage of objective studies on modem Mongolian history. Most books on modern Mongolian history in English were written under the strong influences of communist ideology in the East and also in the West. Unfortunately, that ideology usually ignored real historical forces at work and objective analyses which did not agree with the Marxist-Leninist theory of history.

In this book, we used mainly new source materials which had been kept in secret archives before the democratization process took a tangible shape in Mongolia. These documents did not figure as resource material in research books in Mongolian and English, because here for the first time new opinions were promoted on some important events of modern Mongolian history. One of them was the view on relations between the former Soviet Union and Mongolia.

Few people, including intellectuals and the young generation of Mongolia, understood the real nature of the relationship between the two countries. For a long time the former Soviet-Mongolian relations were explained only in terms of ideological motivation.

The former Soviet-Mongolian relationship was essentially a case of relations between a super power and a small country. It was an association between a protector country and its satellite. In fact, the former Soviet leaders were closely involved in shaping the Mongolian foreign and domestic policy through the whole historical period.

Unfortunately, the former Soviet and Mongolian ties were truly a case of an unhappy marriage between the two nations; as so often happens, however, that relationship had some useful aspects for the former Soviet Union as well as for Mongolia. That was the truth.

In the process, we came across some good examples of close traditional contacts between Russian and Mongolian people. In that sense, these two neighbor countries understood each other well; and they kept warm relationship with each other. In general, Mongols have been considerate towards Russians as a sensitive nation with clear mind. That understanding was based on humanitarian relations between the two nations, not about political relationship between the two countries and the two governments. Unfortunately, some people do not understand even now such different aspects of the relations between the two countries; and understanding of these aspects is a very important for the study of the modern Mongolian history. Only on the basis of a realistic understanding of the former Soviet leaders’ policy in Mongolia, can we explain some important facts which happened in the recent history of Mongolia.

For example, we can understand why Mongolian leaders were usually non-educated persons who did not possess a good and deep traditional Mongolian education. Now it is clear that because the former Soviet leaders especially had chosen political leaders for Mongolia by their own criteria.[3] For that task the former Soviet and also Mongolian pro-Soviet leaders prepared and trained several generations of Mongolian political leaders and important specialists such as Mongolian diplomats only in the former Soviet Union. Given the influence exercised by these Mongolian pro-Soviet leaders and politicians on Mongolian intelligentsia, it was inevitable that they should have displayed limited knowledge of traditional Mongolian life and society, and consequently every time they ignored views and ideas of Mongolian intelligentsia or specialists. Pro-Soviet Mongolian leaders never studied traditional Mongolian culture, history and social organization; they only studied in Russian, sometimes reading in other foreign languages as well, not in Mongolian. As a result, Mongolia experienced a shortage of specialists in various disciplines, and this had merited attention since the beginning of democratization process of the Mongolian society.

We hoped that Mongolia would find leaders and specialists in various subjects in the future. We also hoped that these leaders and new intellectuals of Mongolia would study more and more deeply the problems of Mongolian revolutions and independence, and then inter relationship with other world events.



[1]Prof. Dr. Ch.Dalai. Khoyor ikh khorshtei gedgee buu mart! /Do not forget that we have two biggest neighbors!/ Unen, 25 June, 1991. No. 88; R.Narantuya. Erenguigeer ni uu, elberelguigeer ni uu? /which one better: human or inhuman? / Unen, 11 July, 1991. No.92.

[2] See: Unen 25 January, 1992. No.10 Ulaanbaatar. /B. Dashyondon. MAKhN-yn uzel barimtialyn zarim asuudal/.

[3] See:    The Minutes of the Secret meeting of Comintern’s representatives in Mongolia. 25 November, 1928, Ulaanbaatar. II tobchoo 1-10 February, 1992. No.4. P.7, Ulaanbaatar.


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