The great experiment of social engineering naturally had a heavy impact on the minds of the people and the Mongolian began to express their protest. Some fled, some rebelled, and some looked for outside help. The fight was the simplest form of protest. Starting from 1920 there was a nationwide flight across the borders of Mongolia. People of the Urianhai region, organized and led by the governor Chultem, took to flight north over the Altai Mountains, and this was the beginning of a great migration. In May 1930, the people of Davst Sum also left the country. The flight that started over the Altai spread to the southern border of Mongolia, and people from Altai, Ovorhangai, Omnogovi, Dornogov, and Dornod aimags started crossing the border in groups. That great flight continued for almost two years and, according to unofficial data, involved more than 30,000 people from 7,542 families.
It was not only the rich noblemen and feudal lamas who fled but also people who had lost their property, monks from monasteries which had been destroyed, right-wingers, party and youth union members, executives who had been under suspicion, and thousands of ordinary people who were tired of collective farms. There are historical accounts showing that some of these people sought revenge by turning back from across the border and engaging in acts of burning and rioting. In some cases, even whole monasteries were moved. The people were tired and afraid of the terrible communist hysteria, and in protest began to depart from the country in groups, guided by their natural instinct of self-preservation. The revolutionaries severely treated who moved away with great severity. In the spring of 1932, frontier troops fired into a group of over five hundred families who were crossing the border of Omnogov aimag, leaving many people and animals killed.
from Flight to Fight
The people who didn’t move away were so desperate that they rose up in rebellion, arming themselves with whatever was to hand. The rebellion was started by the Dorvod people of Chandman Uul aimag. On March 25, 1930, when more than forty monks from the Ttogsbuyant monastery rose in rebellion, seized the hoshuu administration and arrested the governor and other executives. Within five days, they had taken several sums of the hoshuu. The rebels, who numbered about three hundred, collected a large number of guns and bullets.
But the Central Committee and the government quickly formed an Emergency Commission to combat counter-revolutionaries, appointing the Chairman of the Internal Affairs Committee Eldev-Ochir to head the Commission. On March 30, the Fourth Cavalry of Hovd, armed with rifles and machine-guns, arrived at the Togsbuyant monastery. The fight between several lamas and ordinary people armed with bludgeons and the regular army headed by a Soviet instructor lasted less than a few hours. At the end of the fight, a soldier called Purev was killed and a commissary of the Hovd general military court, Buyandelger, and one soldier were wounded. One other man, the Soviet instructor Gusnyusky was slightly wounded.
The Emergency Commission had the power to carry out punishments on the spot. Two hundred and forty-seven people were immediately arrested and nineteen lamas, nine nobles and twenty ards (common people) were immediately shot. Of all those arrested, 138 were ards and 109 were monks. The number of people killed before the fighting started was not recorded. Thirty-three people were sentenced to up to ten years of imprisonment and the monastery’s remaining monks were deprived of their rank. But that was not the end of the great punishment. The monks of Ulaangom monastery were also preparing to revolt, but they could not agree on an exact date to start. On March 27, a few monks armed with sticks, awls and losses walked over to the hoshuu administration and later, reports of a rebellion by the monks of Ulaangom monasatery were heard. The field court worked swiftly and shot fourteen monks and five ards. Besides that, based on rumors that an uprising was going to take place at Budanch, several monks and other people were arrested who had attempted to escape. The military field court sentenced thirteen people to death and twelve people to imprisonment of up to twelve years.