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Tatars of the Chelyabinsk region and the city of Magnitogorsk

Tatars of the Chelyabinsk region and the city of Magnitogorsk

Tatars of the Chelyabinsk region and the city of Magnitogorsk

October 01, 2018

The Chelyabinsk Region is a region of Russia where one of the most numerous Tatar communities live – according to the last census of 2010 – 180,913 people of Tatar nationality.

The beginning of the mass relocation of the Volga Tatars to the territory of the region was associated with the fall of the Kazan Khanate. The second stage of migration occurred in the 2nd third of the 18th century: during this period, the Tatars participated in the construction and protection of the abatis  marks of Chelyabinsk (1736), Chebarkulskaya (1736) and other fortresses, played a leading role in exchange trade with the peoples of Kazakhstan , Central Asia and East Turkestan. In the 1740s and 1760s, most of the Tatar settlers came from Kazan, Sviyazhsk and Simbirsk counties of Kazan province.

The next wave of migration of the Tatar population to the Southern Urals (mainly to Verkhneuralsky, Troitsky and Chelyabinsk counties of the Orenburg province) was caused by the intensive industrial development of the region in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many artisans from the Tatars (furriers, tanners, tailors, carpenters, jewelers) lived on a permanent basis or were engaged in seasonal work at the Kazakh auls (villages) and Cossack villages. Troitsk became one of the major centers of the cultural and economic life of the Tatars of Russia (7,803 people in 1897). Until 1917, 7 mosques functioned here (in 1883, at the initiative of Z. Rasulev, the madrasa ‹Rasulia was opened at the 5th cathedral mosque), 6 Muslim charity and cultural-educational societies. Large Tatar communities developed in Verkhneuralsk (in 1897 – 1077 Tatars, by 1917 – 3 mosques) and Chelyabinsk (respectively 719 Tatars and 2 mosques). After the October Revolution of 1917, the Tatar department of the People’s Commissariat of Education and the Muslim Commissariat were  formed in Troitsk, the newspapers Irek (1920), Kyzyl Ural (1920–1922), Kommunist (1931-1938) were published. In the years 1922-1960  Tatar Pedagogical College  worked.

The relocation of Tatars to the territory of the Chelyabinsk region in the Soviet period was mainly due to the construction of the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine and the foundation of the city of Magnitogorsk (1929). The Tatar-Bashkir school (1929-1932) operated here, the newspaper Magnet Eshchese (1931-1935) was published. In 1935, in Chelyabinsk, the Chelyabinsk regional mobile kolkhoz –sovkhoz Tatar theater (disbanded with the outbreak of World War II) was organized on the basis of the theatrical society «Music and Drama» (it worked since 1913). In 1941, the Troitzky  Amateur Tatar Theater began operating (closed at the turn of the 1970-1980s). In 1957, as a result of an accident at the Mayak Production Association, the northern part of the Chelyabinsk Region was subjected to radioactive contamination. Among the most affected settlements were Tatar  villages Muslyumovo and Tatar Karabolka.

At present, there are about 30 national-cultural associations in the region, the main of which is the Tatar Congress of the Chelyabinsk Region (since 1998, the chairman of the executive committee, L.R. Kolesnikova).

The public organization of the Congress of Tatars of the Chelyabinsk region is one of the largest national public organizations in the territory of the Southern Urals. Today, the Tatar Congress of the Chelyabinsk Region has its stable social status, it manifests itself in all spheres of social activity of the Chelyabinsk Region and the Urals Federal District, many projects in the field of culture, education and sports are initiated by the Congress.

The main focus of the Congress is the preservation of the Tatar language, national culture, traditions and customs of the Tatar people. Not only in the capital of the Southern Urals, but also in other cities of the Chelyabinsk region, free Tatar language courses for adults, schoolchildren and young people are working steadily. Schoolchildren of the Chelyabinsk region successfully participate in regional and All-Russian Olympiads in the Tatar language, holding  the first places. In  summer, children combine training and recreation in country camps, have the opportunity to make trips to Kazan.

The Tatar Congress of the Chelyabinsk region in the region of Sabantui, which attracts participants from different parts of the region, organizes competitions for the best reading of the works by Musa Jalil,  G. Tukay.

Since 2005, the Tatar «Rukh» newspaper has been published in the oblast with a circulation of 10 thousand copies. in the city of Magnitogorsk; since April 2010, the «Khazina»  newspaper has been published once a month in the Russian and Tatar languages, with a circulation of 10,000 copies; since March 2010, the program  «Khazina» has been broadcast on regional television; the local TV channel «Kunashak TV» has been broadcasting in the village of Kunashak. In the region there are 11 educational institutions with an ethnocultural (Tatar) component of the content of education and 27 Tatar artistic groups.

The Tatars Congress of the Chelyabinsk Region is the initiator and organizer of all major Tatar national regional cultural events, festivals, concerts, competitions.


Since 2010, a contest of beauty and talent “Tatar Kyzy” has been held in the Chelyabinsk region, its ideological inspirer  and chairman of the organizing committee is L.R. Kolesnikova.

The active and significant work of the Tatar Congress of the Chelyabinsk region became the basis for building fruitful relations with the government of the Republic of Tatarstan. All significant national projects of the Congress are carried out with the support of the government of the Republic of Tatarstan and the leadership of the Chelyabinsk region. Representatives of the Tatar public of the Chelyabinsk region regularly participate in all major events of the World Tatar Congress.

The number of Tatars in the city of Magnitogorsk in 2010 is 20,433 people (according to unofficial data from Tatar public organizations, about 40,000 Tatars live in the city today).

The first Tatars began to arrive in Magnitogorsk since the city was founded in 1929. Tatars also live in the urban areas of Novostroika and Novo-Severny. The mass emergence of Tatars from the Middle Volga and Ural regions in the city and its environs was associated with the construction of the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine, as well as with their arrival here as part of special settlers, mainly from the number of dispossessed peasants during the policy of mass collectivization of agriculture.

Now living Tatars – a generation of Tatars, dispossessed in 1931, who were  sent to the construction of “Magnitogorsk”. In 1931, by the autumn, about 12,000 Tatars  Muslims and about 800 baptized Tatars had already been sent to Magnitogorsk. By the end of 1931, the number increased to 34,000 inhabitants from Tatarstan, since the republic was attached to “Magnitostroy” and hardworking people were required. Among the repressed were mostly well-to-do peasants and religious figures who lived in barracks under unbearable conditions.


In 1929-1932, the Tatar-Bashkir school operated, in 1931-1935 the newspaper «Magnit Echesche» was published, in 1971-1996 the Tatar-Bashkir song and dance ensemble «Yashlek»  functioned.

Among the natives: Major General A. Kh. Bichurin; Honored Metallurgists of the Russian Federation Sh.A. Aglemzyanov and F.G.  Timurshin, Honored Metallurgist of the Russian Federation, R.S. Takhautdinov,  laureate of the Award of the Government of the Russian Federation, Honored Worker of Transport of the Russian Federation F.G. Shaydullin;  doctors of sciences medical   A.Abyzov,  V.V. Khammatov, physicists  and mathematicians, R.F. Khairutdinov; composer, honored art worker of the Republic of Tatarstan  R. M. Bakirov, choral conductor, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation L.G. Kustabaeva.

The Tatars who took part in the construction of Magnitogorsk were a kind of national “elite” gathered from all regions of Tatarstan, which included the most successful people with high labor activity — well-to-do peasants, merchants, artisans, clergymen. They were carriers of Tatar culture.

Life and activity are connected with Magnitogorsk: Hero of the Soviet Union Kh. A. Neatbakov; Chevalier of the Order of Glory of the 2nd and 3rd degrees of F.Shamsutdinov; Honored Workers of Culture of the RSFSR R.G. Rakhmatullin and Ash. Shakirov, Honored Builders of the Russian Federation M.M. Muzafarov and F. A. Mukhametzyanov, Honored Power Engineer of the Russian Federation R.А. Ganeev; steelworker, laureate of the State Prize of the USSR, honorary citizen of Magnitogorsk M. Zinurov and many others.

From 1931 until the end of the war, the Tatars lived mainly in 4 special settlements of the city (Central, Northern, Novotukovy and Izvestkovy). Despite their active participation in the construction of the city and the factory, their life in the settlements had a predominantly communal-rural character. Tatars continued to preserve their customs and traditions, religion and their national language. The preservation of the language was facilitated by the fact that for the first 15 years Tatar schools were created in special villages.

The Tatar Cultural Center in the city of Magnitogorsk was first organized in 1989. Safin Adegam Makhubovich, a veteran of the war, became the main organizer and first chairman of the Center. With the efforts of Adegam Makhubovich at the Tatar Cultural Center, urban Sunday schools were opened to study the Tatar language and Arabic graphics, a Tatar group in kindergarten No. 22, a class at school No. 43, a Sunday school at the children’s club Ural Samotzvety (Gems).

In 1991, the newspaper in the newspaper «Fiker» (Thought) was published, as an appendix to the newspaper «Magnit». March 22, 1991 on the local radio for the first time sounded the broadcast “Vatan.”

After the death of Adegam Makhubovich, the Center’s Chairman since 1994 was Honored Art Worker of the Republic of Tatarstan Rafail Mullanurovich Bakirov, Professor of the Magnitogorsk State Conservatory, founder (1971) and head (until 1996) of the «Yashlek» Tatar-Bashkir Song and Dance Ensemble at the House of culture  named after D .N Mamina-Sibiryak, organizer and leader since 1989 of the folk music ensemble “Aygul”, created at the conservatory.

From 1998 to 2009, the Center was headed by a former deputy of the city council, Yarulin Nurgali Akhatovich. Under the leadership of N.A. Yarulin 2000-2006, the Tatar «Tep Yort»  cultural and social center was opened.




Under the leadership of N.A.  Yarulin, the number of events held  has increased: “Memorial Day”, “Sumbel”, “Igrai  Garmon’ “, “Day of the Tatar Theater”, “Kurban Bayram”, the contest of Tatar folk art “Tatar zhany”, the festival of Tatar folk song “Khater “, contest” Tatar family”, memorial of R. Nezhmetdinov on  chess,”Friendship Cup “, open championships in chess and checkers, Islamic children’s camps.

At the cultural center in 2000 the Tatar Public Library was organized (the fund numbers about 6 thousand books). In July 2004, at the initiative of the center, one of the streets of the right-bank district was named in honor of the famous Tatar leader Shigabutdin Mardzhani. On April 21, 2006 the Tatar national cultural autonomy “Tatar Rukhi” was registered and the publication of the newspaper “Tatar Ruki” began. Due to the growing popularity of the «Tatar Rukhi» newspaper among the residents of Magnitogorsk and the southern regions of the Chelyabinsk Region and, accordingly, an increase in reader demand for them, the editors of the «Tatar Rukhi» newspaper decided to increase the circulation from 10,000 to 15,000 issues  from June 2018.

In 2009, Tagirov Kadiminur Malsalikhovich was elected chairman of the Center, who continues the work of Nurgali Akhatovich and brings new projects and ideas to the work of Tatar cultural autonomy. One of them is the local history club “Tatarika”. At the club meetings, a variety of issues of Tatar and Russian history are considered. The club of philanthropists which deals with the financial issues of autonomy is open. In May 2014, a branch of the Sh. Mardzhani Institute of History was opened in Magnitogorsk.

Since 1996, the activity of a public organization has been inextricably linked with the work of the Magnitogorsk House of Friendship of Peoples. The first head of the Tatar culture department of the HFP is the architect of the cathedral mosque, labor veteran, Magnitka veteran Nasim Galimzyanovich Sayakhov. In 1998, the department was headed by Iskhakova Kaderia Rafisovna. The following creative groups work in the Tatar department: “Sybebik”, a female vocal ensemble (headed by K. Iskhakova), which received the name of a folk band, “Symbel”, a female vocal ensemble (headed by I. Gafarova), a youth vocal ensemble “Yoldyz” ( headed by  L.Gabdrakhmanova), exemplary group of children’s vocal ensemble “Raushan” (directed by S. Malyukova), children’s vocal ensemble “Duslar”, dance ensemble “Dulkyn” (directed by T. Suyarko). As well as classes on the study of the Tatar language and Arabic graphics (teachers A. Gubaidullina and A. Gafarova). Three years in the department of the women’s club “Khanym” (led. L. Ahmetzyanova) is working. Through tireless work and perseverance of the leaders of the collectives of the departments over the years of its  work, they  have   managed to achieve great success in the development of Tatar culture in the city.

The festival of the Tatar song art “Hüter”, the international vocal competition named after G. Rakhimkulov are held annually. Since 2015, the holiday of the Tatar pie  (“Tatar beleshlyalare baiyryame”) . Since 2013, the contest “Super-abi” (Super-grandmother) are held. The same department organizes Tatar national festivals “Sumbel”, “Sabantuy”; a program of holidays is organized for children, for example: a holiday of Tatar folk games, children’s Sabantuy, a competition “Kyzlar-yoldyzlar”.

Of the eight employees of the department, three have the title of Honored Worker of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan and one  Honored Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Tatar creative teams of the city take an active part in various competitions and receive the title of laureates and diploma winners of city, regional,  international competitions and festivals.

Information on the participation of representatives of the Tatar public of the Chelyabinsk region and the city of Magnitogorsk in the events of the World Tatar Congress in 2017, 2018  is the following:

  • The V World Forum of Tatar Women – 2017;
  • theXII Forum “Business Partners of Tatarstan” – 2017;
  •  the  VI Congress of the World Congress of Tatars – 2017;

Seminar “Methods and technology of the organization and holding of the national holiday” Sabantuy “- 2017;

-VI, VII All-Russian Assembly of Successful Entrepreneurs from Tatar villages of the regions of the Russian Federation – 2017, 2018;

– VIII, IX All-Russian Forum of Tatar Religious Figures “National Identity and Religion” – 2017, 2018;

–  I, II All-Russian Forum of Tatar ethnographers – 2017, 2018;

– XVII, XIX Federal Sabantuy – 2017, 2018;

VIII, IX All-Russian Rural Sabantui – 2017, 2018;

All-Russian beauty contest and talent “Tatar kyzy-2017, 2018”

  • VII World Tatar Youth Forum – 2018;
  • VII Extraordinary Congress of the World Congress of Tatars – 2018













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