Mongolians were not taking the “revolutionary work” seriously. In 1925, from the 4161 members of the Party, 384 were noblemen and 364 were lamas, while from 700 organizations only 400 were cooperating with the party. In 1928, from the 259 noblemen of the images and banners, 47 were taij, 88 were officials leftover from the Manchu and Autonomous Mongolia times, 103 tried to oppose the revolution and 4 were no longer members of the party. This was not only a disobeyal of orders to enact communist reforms but an act of mockery.
It was Magaev, the Buriad Comintern Representative who, on his own, had drafted a letter to the Comintern on behalf of the MPRP and had the Comintern pass a resolution on Mongolia’s development. In May 1927, Amgaev sent Dugarjav and Gulegsengee to Moscow to deliver this resolution as an official reply to the Central Committee. Gelegsengee was a member of the Special Commission on Religion but was later removed from the Commission for being too tolerant. The paper they brought to Moscow stated bluntly that the Party “was not a party of genuine industrial workers called proletariats. Members of this party are breeders of cattle, inheriting and owning small property”. The leaders of the MPRP denied that they were a Bolshevik party and admitted outright that they held bourgeois views.
When the Congress of the Comintern began its work, the Soviets, outraged at this bourgeois trend, placed the official representatives of Mongolia in the seats reserved for “guests”. The Comintern adopted a “divide and conquer” policy in regard to Mongolian leaders. The dividing line was to run between the urban and the rural party workers, between the aspiring youth and the old guard, and between the right and the left. These terms were actively introduced into the political vocabulary, looming large over the heads of Tserendorj, Amar a Dambadorj.
Provoking the Young
It was planned in Moscow to dub the stubborn. Mongolian leaders as “right-wing”. The Soviets set out actively to build opposition against the old guard. The opposition included mostly younger members of the Party, activists of the Revolutionary Youth Organization, the newcomers from rural regions, and young people who had been students in the USSR. Rural people such as Genden, the young man who had been serendipitously chosen as Chairman of the Baga Hural at the Third Congress, Jigjidjav, Badrah, Shijee, Eldev-Ochir, Laagan, Lhumbe, and Balgan were set against the old guards. They were assisted by a strike force consisting of the students of the KUTV (Communist University of the Working People of the Far East), students of the Military School in Tver, in the Soviet Union, and students of communism at the Party School in Ulaanbaatar. They were known as rural. Plenipotentiary Nikiforov had worked directly with them, especially the Baga Hural leader Genden.
Dismissing the Old Guard
In September 1928, a team of seven people from the Comintern landed unexpectedly in Ulaanbaatar. They called themselves a “Special Commission of the Comintern” but were, in reality, a gang of Stalin’s men who had come to Mongolia to carry out a coup d’etat. They organized a plenary meeting of the Central Committee and then convened the Seventh MPRP Congress, which lasted a record forty-seven days. This gang was behind each and every detail of the Congress, and the zealous youth did everything they were told to do. They drafted a paper entitled “The Aspiration of the Left”, had it signed by young zealots and proclaimed it to be the principal document to be used in the struggle against “the right-wing opportunists” and to be abided by in the future. The document was initially written in Russian and was entitled, “the Platform of the opposition in the MPRP on the Problems of the International and Domestic Situation of the MPR”. It was translated into Mongolian by Buriads and read aloud by members of the Union of Young Revolutionaries. During the Seventh Congress, the Politburo of the All-Union Communist Party met in Moscow and passed a final decision to remove Dambadorj and Jadamba immediately from the top positions. Before this final decision was passed, the Congress delegates in Ulaanbaatar argued for a long time about whom they were going to dismiss, who would be the new leader and members of the political bureau, and how to distribute portfolios.
After a long discussion, Moscow made the final decision and at once Laagan, Eldev-Ochir, Genden, Badrah, and Shijee were informed that they would be the leaders of the State. They were to be obedient from now on, and they were given the task of building socialism in Mongolia very quickly. It was considered less dangerous if three persons of equal rank were to lead the party simultaneously, and so Genden, Bdarah, and Eldev-Ochir were the first to start.
When someone suggested they learn from their experiment in Mongolia and make further plans, someone else names Konyev said “Congress went according to plan with much success. It can be even compared to the coup d’etat in Russia.
The territory of Mongolia is much bigger than the territories of Britain, Germany and France combined but its total population is just about eight hundred thousand.
We must take this fact into account. Our aim is to try, by all means, even unfair, to preserve our influence in Mongolia before it falls under the influence of imperialists and enemies of world revolution. This aim is more important than to build socialism in a country to eight hundred thousand herdsmen. If we manage to put this small nation, whose territory is more important than its population, on the road of noncapitalism development then we’ll be able to develop our movement in Mongolia into a class struggle of the working people… Comrades, we can cheaply obtain this large territory with only eight hundred thousand people…