Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic

Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic


(Tatarstan Avtonomiyäle Sovet Sotsialistik Respublikasï), Tataria (Tatarstan), part of the RSFSR. Founded on May 27, 1920, the Tatar ASSR lies in the eastern part of the East European Plain, along the middle Volga River. Area, 68,000 sq km. Population, 3,299,000 (1975). The republic is divided into 37 raions and has 17 cities and 24 urban-type settlements. The capital is Kazan.

Constitution and government. The Tatar ASSR is a socialist state of all people expressing the aspirations of workers, peasants, and intelligentsia, irrespective of their nationality, and an autonomous Soviet socialist republic. Its present constitution was adopted on May 31, 1978, by the Ninth (Extraordinary) Session of the Supreme Soviet of the Ninth Convocation of the Tatar ASSR. The highest state bodies are the unicameral Supreme Soviet of the Tatar ASSR and its Presidium. Elections to the Supreme Soviet, comprising a total of 250 deputies who represent precincts of equal population size, are held every five years. The Supreme Soviet appoints the Council of Ministers, the republic’s executive and administrative body. The Tatar ASSR sends 11 deputies to the Soviet of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The local bodies of state power are the soviets of people’s deputies of cities, city districts, raions, settlements, and villages, elected by the population for 2½-year terms. The Supreme Soviet of the Tatar ASSR elects the members of the Supreme Court of the Tatar ASSR for five-year terms. The court consists of two judicial divisions (one for criminal and one for civil cases) and a presidium. The procurator of the Tatar ASSR is appointed for a five-year term by the procurator general of the USSR.

Natural features. The republic may be divided into three distinct topographic regions: the Cis-Volga Region (right bank of the Volga), the Cis-Kama Region (north of the Kama River), and the Trans-Kama Region (south and southeast of the Kama). Low-lying plains occupy about 90 percent of the republic’s territory. The highest elevations occur in the Bugul’ma-Belebei Elevation (rising to 343 m) and the Volga Upland on the right bank of the Volga. The Cis-Volga Region and the Viatka-Kama Watershed are crisscrossed by ravines. Part of the Volga-Ural Oil-Gas Region is located in the republic, whose largest petroleum deposits are at Romashkino, Novoelkhovka, Bavleny, and Shugurovo. Other resources include deposits of peat, bentonite, and various building materials, chiefly gypsum and gravel. The well-known health resort Izhevskie Mineral’nye Vody is located in the republic.

The climate is moderately continental, with average January temperatures ranging from – 13°C in the southwest to – 14.8°C in the northeast and July temperatures averaging 18.6°C in the north and 19.6°C in the south. The Cis-Kama and Cis-Volga regions receive 450 mm of precipitation annually, and the western part of the Trans-Kama Region, 400 mm. The growing season lasts about 170 days.

Bodies of water occupy 5.2 percent of the republic’s area. Four major rivers flow through Tataria: the Volga (for a distance of 177 km), the Kama (380 km), the Belaia (about 60 km), and the Viatka (about 50 km). In addition, there are about 120 small rivers. Nearly half of the Kuibyshev Reservoir lies within the Tatar republic.

Northern Tataria (Cis-Kama Region) lies in the forest zone and has soddy podzolic and gray forest soils. The southern part of the republic (Trans-Kama and Cis-Volga regions) lies in the forest-steppe zone, and its soils are chernozems. Alluvial soils are found in the river valleys. More than 16 percent of the republic’s territory is covered by forests, and deciduous forests account for 81 percent of the forested area. The largest tracts are in the Zai, Sheshma, and Cheremshan river basins and in the eastern part of the Cis-Kama Region.

Wild life includes wolves, foxes, elk, squirrels, Asiatic chipmunks (Eutamias), white and brown hares, marmots, capercaillies, hazel hens, and bustards. Among commercially important species are hares, foxes, martens, and ducks. The rivers abound in fish. The Volga-Kama Preserve was established in 1960.


Population. Tatars make up about half of the republic’s population, which in 1970, a census year, included 1,536,400 Tatars, 1,328,700 Russians, 153,500 Chuvashes, about 31,000 Mordovians, 24,500 Udmurts, and 16,700 Ukrainians.

Tataria had a population of 2,587,000 in 1926, 2,914,000 in 1939, and 2,850,000 in 1959. It is now the second most populous autonomous republic in the RSFSR, after Bashkiria. The average population density in 1975 was 48.5 persons per sq km, with the west and southwest being the most densely settled areas. Urban dwellers account for 59 percent of the total population. The largest cities in 1975 were Kazan (946,000), Naberezhnye Chelny (197,000), Al’met’evsk (100,000), Nizhnekamsk (96,000), Zele-nodol’sk (84,000), Bugul’ma (79,000), and Chistopol’ (65,000). About half of the republic’s cities were founded in the Soviet period. Industrial development has stimulated the rapid growth of such cities as Naberezhnye Chelny and Nizhnekamsk.


Historical survey. The first human settlements in the area now included in the Tatar ASSR appeared in the Early Paleolithic, about 100,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations have uncovered sites representing all phases of the Stone Age and the remains of three Bronze Age cultures—the Abashevo, the Timber-frame, and the Kazan. Centers of the Anan’ino and P’ianyi Bor cultures have also been discovered in Tataria. From the fourth to the seventh century A.D., tribes of the Imen’kovo culture inhabited the south, and Azelino tribes lived to the north.

In the sixth and seventh centuries Tataria’s contacts with the Turkic Kaganate were strengthened. Prior to the ninth century the territory was inhabited by Magyar (proto-Hungarian) tribes, who were forced to migrate to the Danube area by the Volga-Kama Bulgars. From the tenth to the 14th century all of Tataria was included in Bulgaria on the Volga, where feudal relations became firmly established in the second half of the tenth century. Handicrafts and metallurgy flourished in the cities, and an indigenous writing system, literature, and art developed. The highly developed rural and urban culture, agricultural methods, and handicrafts of the inhabitants of the Bulgar state were preserved by the Volga and Urals Tatars. Despite the heroic resistance of the Bulgars and other Volga peoples to the Mongol Tatars from 1223 to 1240, Bulgaria on the Volga became part of the Golden Horde in 1241.

In the 15th and 16th centuries the Kazan Tatars, also known as the Middle Volga and Ural Tatars, emerged as an ethnic group. As part of the Kazan Khanate, Tataria was incorporated into the Russian state after the Kazan campaigns of 1545–52. Several new cities were founded, among them Sviiazhsk (1551), Laishevo (1557), and Tetiushi (1578). In 1670–71, Tataria was engulfed by the peasant war led by S. T. Razin.

In the 18th and 19th centuries various industries were established, including cloth factories, tanneries, soap works, and copper smelters. Kazan Province was formed in 1708, its territory being somewhat reduced in 1775. The population of Tataria took part in the peasant war led by E. I. Pugachev in 1773–75.

In the mid-19th century some 1.6 million people were living in Tataria, 90 percent of them in the countryside. Tatars constituted one-third of the population. Along with industrial growth came cultural advancement, marked by the founding of the University of Kazan in 1804. The serf system, affecting Tatars, Russians, and peasants of other nationalities, became more oppressive in the middle of the century. A peasant uprising at Bezdna, supported by students from Kazan, broke out during the Peasant Reform of 1861. In 1863 the Narodniks (Populists), operating from Kazan, tried to organize a soldiers’ and peasants’ revolt in the Volga region.

The bourgeois reforms of the 1860’s paved the way for the development of capitalism and the emergence of a multinational proletariat. At the end of the 19th century as many as 60,000 Russian and Tatar workers were employed in various enterprises (by 1917 they numbered 100,000). The formation of a bourgeois Tatar nation was complete by the end of the 19th century, when the first Tatar scholars, educators, writers, and artists made their appearance. The first Marxist circles arose in Kazan in the 1880’s. After the Fedoseev circle was crushed in Kazan in 1889, the Social Democratic circles headed by A. M. Stopani and N. E. Bauman became active in the city. V. I. Lenin began his revolutionary activity in Kazan in 1887, while he was a student at the university of Kazan. Tataria’s first Social Democratic group, headed by E. P. Tabeikin, was organized in 1897, and a pro-Mra committee of the RSDLP, whose members included N. N. Nakoriakov and Kh. M. Iamashev, was established in 1903.

After the overthrow of the autocracy in 1917, important work was done in Kazan and elsewhere in Tataria by the Bolsheviks V. A. Tikhomirnov, Ia. S. Sheinkman, G. Ol’kenitskii, K. Iakubov, G. Gordeev, and M. Akhmetshin. Led by the Kazan Committee of the RSDLP, the revolutionary movement in Tataria gained ground rapidly. The committee began publishing the newspaper Rabochii (Worker) in March 1917. In view of the national characteristics of the region, the Bolsheviks cooperated with such national democratic organizations as the Muslim Socialist Committee, headed by M. Vakhitov, and the League of Soldiers’ Wives. After Soviet power was established in Kazan on Oct. 26 (Nov. 8), 1917, the Tatar working people and Russians worked together to carry out revolutionary measures.

White Guards occupied Tataria twice in 1918–19. The Red Army liberated Kazan in September 1918 during the Kazan Operation, and in early June 1919 the entire territory was finally cleared of White troops. Thousands of sons of the Tatar nation fought for Soviet power in the Civil War. The Tatar ASSR was founded as part of the RSFSR on May 27, 1920, by a decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR. The founding Congress of Soviets of the Tatar ASSR was held on Sept. 26–27,1920.

After the victorious conclusion of the Civil War, Tataria embarked on a period of socialist construction. Industrialization, the collectivization of agriculture, and the cultural revolution transformed the republic’s social and economic life. Tataria’s industrial growth rate exceeded the average growth rates for the RSFSR and USSR, and in 1940 its industrial output was 12 times that of 1913. The number of workers increased, and national cadres of trained personnel appeared. After the victory of the kolkhoz system in the 1930’s, agriculture was quickly mechanized. On Jan. 3,1934, Tataria was awarded the Order of Lenin for its many achievements.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), the working people of Tataria took part in the Soviet people’s struggle against the fascist German invaders, both on the battlefield and on the home front. Some 70,000 sons and daughters of Tataria were awarded orders and medals, and about 200 became Heroes of the Soviet Union, among them Major P. M. Gavrilov, the celebrated defender of the Brest Fortress, and the poet-patriot Musa Dzhalil’. The title of Hero of the Soviet Union was twice conferred on N. G. Stoliarov, a native of Kazan.

In the postwar years the republic’s oil and gas industry expanded rapidly. The construction of a huge complex of enterprises for the production of heavy-duty trucks began in Naberezhnye Chelny in 1970. On June 24, 1970, the Tatar ASSR was awarded the Order of the October Revolution to acknowledge its great economic and cultural achievements and to mark its 50th anniversary. On Dec. 29, 1972, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Soviet Union, Tataria was awarded the Order of Friendship of Peoples.

Economy. During the years of Soviet power, Tataria acquired a well-developed industry and a large-scale mechanized agriculture. The republic specializes in petroleum extraction and the manufacture of synthetic rubber, various products of organic synthesis, photographic materials for the motion-picture industry, medicinal preparations, and sophisticated machinery. Also important are light industry (leather, fur, and linen goods) and food processing. A promising new industrial sector that will serve the entire Soviet Union is the production of heavy trucks and diesel engines.

INDUSTRY. Tataria’s rate of industrial development is higher than the average rate for the country as a whole. Its gross industrial output increased by a factor of 37 between 1940 and 1974, as compared to a factor of 16 for the USSR as a whole. Industry’s share of the gross output of agriculture and industry exceeded 80

Table 1. Output of selected industrial products
Electricity (million kW-hrs)3318643,32114,56125,801
Petroleum equipment (tons)3249,84221,082
Centrifugal pumps (units)3,9314,035
Air compressors and gas-driven compressors (units)7271,1791,059
Household clocks and watches (units)157,0002,300,0003,100,0003,945,000
Household refrigerators (units)3,700179,000295,000
Plywood (cu m)43,30 044,70080,00095,10093,700
Building bricks (millions)73.390.4423.1503.7703.7
Reinforced-concrete structural members and parts (cu m)377,0001,151,0001,739,000
Linen cloth (million linear m)5.58.817.516.818.4
Leather footwear (million pairs)
Butter (tons)2,50 03,80011,10015,70021,500
Meat, including Category 1 by-products (tons)10,20016,60057,80085,000124,500

percent. At the end of 1974 the fuel industry accounted for 37.8 percent of the republic’s industrial fixed capital stock (including petroleum extraction, 36.2 percent), the chemical and petrochemical industry for 17.7 percent, machine building and metalworking for 18.5 percent, power engineering for 12.1 percent, light industry and the food industry for 6.1 percent, and the lumber and wood-products industries for 1.4 percent. The republic has more than 500 industrial enterprises. Three branches of industry are of country-wide importance: machine building and metalworking (contributing 25.4 percent of the republic’s gross industrial output in 1974), oil extraction (14.8 percent), and the chemical and petrochemical industries. Many sectors of light industry and the food and woodworking industries have been expanding rapidly. (See Table 1 for the output of selected industrial products.)

Table 2. Sown area (ha)
Grain crops2,404,0002,634,0002,441,000
Potatoes and vegetables38,000165,000178,000
Fodder crops8000290,0001,044,000

Of great importance for the economic development of Tataria was the discovery and rapid development of the Romashkino, Shugurovo, Bavleny, Novoe Elkhovo, Zainsk, and other oil fields, which together produced about 1.5 billion tons of petroleum between 1945 and 1975. Tataria’s share of the Soviet Union’s petroleum output has gradually declined (from 33 percent in 1965 to 23 percent in 1974) as new oil regions were opened up in Western Siberia. Gas, obtained as a by-product, is processed mainly at the Minnibaevo Casing-head Gasoline Works.

The per capita production and use of electric power is greater in Tataria than in the USSR as a whole. Large thermal electric power plants, fueled mainly by mazut and natural gas, have been built in Kazan, Zainsk, Urussu, Naberezhnye Chelny, and Nizhnekamsk. Construction of the Nizhniaia Kama Hydroelectric Power Plant near Naberezhnye Chelny began in 1975.

The main petrochemical center is Nizhnekamsk, where a tire plant and a petrochemical combine for the production of synthetic rubber and other products were under construction in 1975, Kazan is the site of organic-synthesis, synthetic-rubber, and pharmaceuticals plants, the V. V. Kuibyshev Chemical Plant (manufacturing motion-picture and still photographic film), and the M. Vakhitov Household Chemistry Plant. The Karpov Chemical Plant in Mendeleevsk, which produces phosphate fertilizers, is being modernized.

A major machine-building center, Kazan produces compressors, aircraft, vacuum machinery, petroleum-extraction equipment, transport machinery, medical instruments, various tools, and equipment for the gas industry. Bugul’ma also manufactures equipment for the petroleum industry. Elabuga produces industrial pipeline fittings; Chistopol’, clocks and watches; and Zelenodol’sk, refrigerators. Two other plants were under construction in 1975: the huge Kama Truck Plant (KamAZ) for the manufacture of heavy trucks at Naberezhnye Chelny and an auxiliary tire plant at Zainsk.

Light industry is represented by associated enterprises producing footwear, leather, and fur goods, a felt combine (Kazan), a flax-spinning combine, and garment and knitwear factories (Zelenodol’sk and Chistopol’). The republic is a leading producer of plywood (Zelenodol’sk). Food processing contributed 15 percent of the republic’s gross industrial output in 1974. There are meatpacking and dairy enterprises at Kazan and creameries and sugar refineries at Buinsk, Nurlat, and Zainsk.

AGRICULTURE. Tataria specializes in the production of grain and animal products. About 70 percent of its area is used for agricultural purposes, with arable land covering 3,868,000 hectares (ha), or more than four-fifths of the total farmland, and meadows and pastures occupying 792,000 ha. The rapid expansion of agricultural production has been accompanied by an increase in irrigated land from 1,000 ha in 1965 to 17,000 ha in 1970 and 104,000 ha in 1974. In 1974 the republic had 222 sovkhozes and 561 kolkhozes, all of them electrified. Between 1940 and 1974 the number of tractors (physical units) increased from 6,800 to 30,100, and the number of grain-harvesting combines from 3,300 to 12,400. Crop cultivation accounted for 47 percent of the value of the gross agricultural output in 1974. The sown area of various crops is given in Table 2.

The main grain crops are wheat (accounting for 36.8 percent of the sown area in 1974), rye (21.4 percent), and peas (19.4 percent). Oats, barley, buckwheat, and millet are also grown. The grain harvest averaged 3.4 million tons annually from 1966 to 1970 and 3.3 million tons from 1971 to 1974, a year in which 3.9 million tons were harvested. Sugar beets, occupying 52,000 ha in 1974, are the leading industrial crop. Fruit growing is thriving in many areas, particularly on the right bank of the Volga. In 1974, 242,000 ha were under orchards and berry plantings. The large cities are supplied with produce from suburban farms.

Livestock are raised for milk and meat. The growth of the livestock herds over the years is shown in Table 3. Livestock raising is increasingly tending toward specialization and concentration. About 80 large livestock breeding complexes and mechanized farms are under construction. Poultry farming, beekeeping, and fur farming are also important. The 1974 output of animal products included 211,000 tons of meat (dressed weight, compared to 48,000 tons in 1940), 1,316,000 tons of milk (373,000), 802 million eggs (187 million), and 5,244 tons of wool (2,944).

In 1974, state purchases of agricultural products amounted to 1,451,000 tons of grain, 732,000 tons of sugar beets, 229,000 tons of potatoes, 61,000 tons of vegetables, 197,000 tons of livestock and poultry (liveweight), 825,000 tons of milk, 4,824 tons of wool, and 339 million eggs.

Table 3. Livestock population1
1As of January 1
Sheep and goats1,757,0001,643,0001,976,0002,100,000

TRANSPORT. The republic’s rail network totaled 754 km in 1974. The main trunk line, linking Moscow, Kazan, and Sverdlovsk, has been converted to diesel traction. In the west, the Kazan-Volgograd line connects the republic with the entire Volga Region and with the southern parts of the country. In the east the Aktash-Krugloe Pole line serves the oil-producing areas and the Naberezhenye Chelny and Nizhnekamsk region. After the completion of the Nizhniaia Kama Hydroelectric Power Plant, the line will be extended to Argyz.

The republic’s share of shipping on the Volga, Kama, Viatka, and Belaia rivers accounts for more than 7 percent of the river transport in the USSR. In 1976 new ports were being built at Naberezhnye Chelny and Nizhnekamsk. There were 6,064 km of paved roads in 1974. Highways link Kazan with all of the republic’s cities and raion centers; a major highway connecting Kazan with Naberezhnye Chelny was under construction in 1976.

Southeastern Tataria, the point of origin of the Druzhba (Friendship) Pipeline, is a major center of pipeline transport; it is first in the republic in volume of material transported by pipeline. From Al’met’evsk, pipelines extend toward the Urals and Siberia and toward the northwest.

Air transport is extensively used for passenger travel.

Among the goods that the Tatar ASSR supplies to other parts of the USSR are machinery and equipment, oil, natural gas, clocks and watches, typewriters, and monitoring and regulating devices used in thermal power engineering. The republic is also a supplier of electric power, synthetic rubber, motion picture film, medications, plywood, catgut, fur products, clothing, felt and leather footwear, and polyethylene. In turn, it obtains from other parts of the country agricultural machinery, industrial equipment, ferrous and nonferrous metals, fuel, cement, timber, and various products of light industry.

INTERNAL DIFFERENCES. The Northwest is the economically most highly developed region of the republic. Most of the region’s manufacturing enterprises are located in Kazan and Zelenodol’sk. The main branches of industry are machine building, the production of chemicals and petrochemicals, woodworking, light industry, and food processing. Agriculture is oriented toward the production of such grain crops as rye, peas, and wheat. The region is also the leading producer of potatoes and other vegetables, fruit, and milk.

The Northern Kama Region is a rapidly growing industrial and agricultural area. The construction of the Kama Truck Plant and the Nizhnekamsk Petrochemical Combine will give the region a production capacity that significantly exceeds the industrial fixed capital stock of the Kazan-Zelenodol’sk Industrial Zone. The fastest growing cities are Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Elabuga, and Mendeleevsk.

The Eastern Trans-Kama Region is the republic’s main oil-producing region. Some wheat is grown here, and livestock are raised for meat and milk. The industrial centers are Bugul’ma, Al’met’evsk, and Leninogorsk.

The Southwest is the breadbasket of Tataria and the major producer of sugar beets. Cattle, hogs, and sheep are also raised. Machinery plants, construction enterprises, food-processing plants, and light industries are found in Chistopol’, Buinsk, and Tetiushi.

STANDARD OF LIVING. The population’s standard of living and cultural level have risen rapidly as a result of the republic’s economic achievements. Between 1970 and 1974 the average monthly earnings of industrial and office workers increased by 14.6 percent, and the wages of kolkhoz workers rose by 23.4 percent. Available housing increased by 7.4 million sq m in the same period and the volume of retail sales grew by 38 percent.


Public health. In 1913, Tataria had 98 hospitals, with 4,989 beds (2.4 beds per 1,000 inhabitants). It also had 13 outpatient clinics staffed by physicians, 46 feldsher stations, and 62 outpatient clinics attached to hospitals. There were 456 physicians (one per 30,000 inhabitants) and about 850 secondary medical personnel. The area lacked preventive-medicine services for women and children and facilities for specialized care. Various contagious diseases, among them trachoma, tuberculosis, and intestinal infections, were widespread.

Under Soviet power, trachoma and the most dangerous infections have been eliminated, and the incidence of tuberculosis and intestinal and other infections has been significantly reduced. In 1974 the republic was served by 293 hospitals, with 35,500 beds (10.8 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), compared to 10,500 beds (3.6 beds per 1,000 inhabitants) in 1940. There were 387 outpatient facilities and polyclinics, including 36 dispensaries, providing treatment for such diseases as tuberculosis, skin and venereal diseases, and psychoneurological disorders. The republic also had 163 polyclinics for children and 213 consultation clinics for women. There were 8,800 physicians, or one per 375 inhabitants (as compared to 1,800 physicians, or one per 1,610 inhabitants, in 1940), and more than 28,000 secondary medical personnel. Physicians are trained at the Kazan Medical Institute, and secondary medical personnel at nine medical schools. The republic also has an institute for the advanced training of physicians and three medical research institutes. The health resorts of Bakirovo and Izhevskie Mineral’nye Vody are located in the republic.

Education and cultural affairs. In the 1914–15 school year, Tataria had 1,835 general schools, with an enrollment of 117,200 pupils, nine specialized secondary schools, with 1,700 students, and three higher educational institutions, with 3,500 students. In the 1974–75 school year there were 2,754 general schools of all types, with 702,500 pupils, 88 vocational and technical schools, with 43,300 students, and 53 specialized secondary schools, with 53,200 students.

Eleven of the republic’s 12 higher educational institutions are in Kazan: the University of Kazan, the Kazan Aviation Institute, the Kazan Chemical-Technological Institute, a conservatory, and institutes of pedagogy, medicine, construction engineering, economics and finance, agriculture, veterinary medicine, and culture. There is a pedagogical institute at Elabuga. Advanced technical training is also given at the Kazan branch of the Moscow Power Engineering Institute and at the Leninogorsk and Al’met’evsk evening schools, both of which are branches of the Moscow Institute of the Petrochemical and Gas Industry. Enrollment at the schools of higher learning totaled 65,100 in 1974–75. That year, 151,000 children attended the republic’s 1,570 preschool institutions.

As of Jan. 1,1975, the republic had 1,811 public libraries (with 20,714,000 books and magazines) and 14 museums. There are V. I. Lenin house museums in Kazan and in the village of Lenino-Kokushkino. The State Museum of the Tatar ASSR in Kazan has two branches: the apartment museum of Sh. Kamal, the famous Tatar writer who lived in Kazan from 1928 to 1942, and an antireligion museum with a planetarium. Also in Kazan are the Tatar State Museum of Fine Arts (which runs the I. I. Shishkin House Museum in Elabuga, the artist’s birthplace) and the A. M. Gorky Literary Museum. There are fine museums of local lore in Bugul’ma (which has the house museum of J. Hašek, who worked in Bugul’ma during the Civil War), Tetiushi, Chistopol’, and Kuibyshev. The Velikie Bolgary historical and archaeological preserve has been established on the site of the remains of the city of Bolgary in Kuibyshev Raion. Among other cultural facilities are 2,527 clubs, 2,503 motion-picture projection units, and 84 extracurricular institutions. (See below: Music and Theater.)

Science and scientific institutions. Before 1917, scientific research flourished at the University of Kazan, one of the oldest universities in Russia (founded 1804), and at the Kazan Veterinary Institute (1873). The Kazan Physics and Mathematics Society was founded in 1880, and the Bacteriological Institute was established in 1901. In the first years of Soviet power, a number of research institutes were founded in Kazan: the Polytechnic Institute (1919), the State Institute for the Advanced Training of Physicians (1920), the Tatar Communist University (1922), the Institute for the Scientific Organization of Labor (1922), and the Trachoma Research Institute (1922), the country’s first such institute. Soon thereafter, three more research institutes were established: the Kazan Chemical-Technological Institute in 1930 (out of the chemistry departments of the University of Kazan and Polytechnic Institute), the Institute of Economics and Finance in 1931, and the Kazan Aviation Institute in 1932.

During the first five-year plans (1929–41) the republic’s scientists conducted fundamental research in physics, mathematics, medicine, and the social sciences. Applied research focused on technological problems relating to the aircraft and chemical industries. The University of Kazan organized a chemical research institute in 1929 and a research institute of mathematics and mechanics in 1935. A research institute for the study of language, literature, and history was established under the Council of People’s Commissars of the Tatar ASSR in 1939. A number of scientific schools arose in the 1930’s, based on N. G. Chetaev’s theory of dynamic stability, N. G. Chebotarev’s work in algebra, A. E. Arbuzov’s research on the chemistry of organic phosphorous compounds, and G. Kh. Kamai’s study of organoarsenic compounds. A major contribution to the medical sciences was made by V. M. Aristovskii, A. V. Vishnevskii, N. K. Goriaev, V. S. Gruzdev, S. S. Zimnitskii, E. M. Lepskii, R. A. Luriia, V. V. Miloslavskii, and A. G. Teregulov. K. G. Bol’ did important work in veterinary science.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) many institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR were evacuated to Kazan. A. E. Arbuzov, B. A. Arbuzov, V. I. Baranov, and N. A. Livanov helped mobilize the natural resources of the Middle Volga Region to meet the country’s defense needs and to develop industry and agriculture.

Large petroleum deposits were discovered in Tataria in conjunction with the development of the Volga-Ural oil-gas region. The first industrial oil, obtained in 1943, substantially increased the country’s fuel supply. Medical researchers worked on problems of military medicine, epidemiology, and immunology and improved various bacterial preparations (A.D. Ado, P. N. Kashkin, B. L. Mazur, F. G. Mukhamed’iarov, A. E. Ozol, M. N. Siniushkin, V. L. Troitskii). In 1944, E. K. Zavoiskii discovered electron paramagnetic resonance.

The Kazan Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, which existed from 1945 to 1964, promoted research in various fields. Under the auspices of this institution, research in mathematics and mechanics was conducted by M. I. Al’mukhamedov, B. M. Gagaev, B. L. Laptev, V. V. Morozov, Kh. M. Mushtari, A. P. Norden, M. T. Nuzhin, Iu. G. Odinokov, A. Z. Petrov, G. G. Tumashev, and P. A. Shirokov, and research in astronomy by A. D. Dubiago, I. A. Diukov, D. Ia. Martynov, A. A. Nefed’ev, and Sh. T. Khabibullin. Chemical research was done by A. E. Arbuzov, B. A. Arbuzov, A. M. Vasil’ev, G. Kh. Kamai, K. N. Mochalov, A. N. Pudovik, and A. I. Razumov. S. A. Al’tshuler and B. M. Kozyrev worked on radio spectroscopy. Research in petroleum geology was conducted by scientific workers at the University of Kazan and at the All-Union Research Institute of the Geology of Nonmetallic Mineral Resources, founded in 1954 and placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Geology of the USSR in 1963.

Between 1950 and the early 1970’s several other research institutions were established in Kazan, including the Technology and Design Research Institute of the Chemical-Photography Industry, the All-Union Research Institute of the Technology of Pump Machine Building, the Research and Design Institute for the Introduction of Computer Technology Into the Economy, the Research and Design Institute of Petroleum Machine Building, the All-Union Research Institute of Medical Instruments, and the Tatneft’ Association. A number of design organizations were also founded in Kazan, among them the Medfizpribor Special Design Office and a design office for compressor building. The Tatar Research and Design Institute of the Petroleum Industry was established in Bugul’ma, and various educational and research institutions were founded in Elabuga, Naberezhnye Chelny, and Nizhnekamsk.

Important work in petroleum geology was done by L. Miropol’skii, E. Tikhvinskaia, and A. Valikhanov, and techniques of oil and gas extraction were perfected. Intracontour waterflooding was used for the first time at the Tatneft’ oil fields (Lenin Prize, 1962). Advances were made in electronics, computer mathematics, cybernetics, physics, physical chemistry, the chemistry and technology of polymer materials, biophysics, biology, and pharmacology. At the Kazan Aviation Institute, problems of aerodynamics and gas dynamics were studied by G. S. Zhiritskii, V. I. Lokai, and Iu. G. Odinokov, and work in chemotronics was done by R. Sh. Nigmatullin.

Problems relating to crop cultivation, the mechanization of labor, and the economics of agricultural production have been studied at the M. Gorky Agricultural Institute in Kazan and at the Tatar Research Institute of Agriculture. New crops have been introduced, and improved methods of raising regional agricultural plants have been proposed by P. I. Tikhonov and P. I. Karelin. Among those working on plant selection and seed production are Kh. Kh. Baichurova, Sh. V. Valeev, P. S. Zubkov, G. I. Popov, and V. Z. Shakurov.

The Kazan Veterinary Institute is noted for its work on diagnostics and the prevention and treatment of dangerous infectious diseases. Its scientists are developing new vaccines and medical preparations and are studying the interaction between viruses and cells. Some of the research has been carried out under a plan adopted by the member countries of COMECON (the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance).

In medicine, the principal research fields are cardiovascular pathology (N. P. Medvedev and L. M. Rakhlin), the diagnosis and prevention of infectious diseases (A. F. Agafonov), effective methods for treating children’s diseases (K. A. Sviatkina, A. Kh. Khamidullina) and gynecological disorders (L. A. Kozlov, P. V. Manenkov, Z. N. Iakubova), and questions of physiological processes (I. N. Volkova, Kh. S. Khamitov).

In the social sciences, important work is being done by the historians Sh. F. Mukhamed’iarov, M. K. Mukhariamov, R. I. Nafikov, V. N. Smirnova, Kh. Kh. Khasanov, and A. S. Shofman, the philologists M. F. Zakiev, M. I. Makhmutov, D. G. Tumasheva, and M. Kh. Khasanov, and the archaeologists and ethographers E. P. Busygin and A. Kh. Khalikov.

The Kazan Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR was reestablished in 1973. It includes (1975) the A. E. Arbuzov Research Institute of Organic and Physical Chemistry, a physico-technical research institute, an institute for biological research, and the G. Ibragimov Research Institute of Language, Literature, and History. The academy’s scientists are synthesizing various types of organic compounds, primarily low-and high-molecular-weight phosphorus compounds, and they are studying the structure, reactivity, and mechanisms of reaction of organic compounds. Other research fields include petrochemistry, electrochemical methods of metalworking, magnetic radio spectroscopy, quantum acoustics, and coherent optics. A general nonlinear theory of plates and shells is being worked out, and the interaction of plates and shells with gases, liquids, and solids is under study. Improved methods of petroleum extraction are being developed. Research is under way on the regulatory mechanisms of the water and energy regimes of plants and on trace elements in soil. The Kazan Branch of the Academy of Sciences also sponsors research on man and the biosphere, socialist and communist construction in the Tatar ASSR, the history of the Tatar people from the earliest times to the present, and the history of Tatar philology and art. Its commissions coordinate the research of the republic’s various scientific institutions.


Press, radio, and television. In 1974, 478 book and pamphlet titles were published in the Tatar ASSR, totaling 6.4 million copies. That year the republic’s 129 newspapers had a combined circulation of more than 1 million. Three republic-level newspapers are issued in Tatar: Sotsialistik Tatarstan (Socialist Tataria, since 1918), the Komsomol newspaper Tatarstan yäsh’lëre (Youth of Tataria, since 1920), and the Pioneer newspaper Yäsh’ leninchï (Young Leninist, since 1924). The major Russian-language newspapers are Sovetskaia Tatariia (Soviet Tataria, since 1917) and Komsomolets Tatarii (Komsomol Member of Tataria, since 1919). Forty-seven magazines were published in 1974, with a combined circulation of more than 1.3 million.

Republic radio broadcasts, in Tatar and Russian, are on the air four hours a day, and the programs of All-Union Radio are relayed from Moscow. The first program from the Central Television Studio is relayed in full (12.9 hours a day). In addition, a local program, devoted to life in the republic, is televised 3.5 hours daily (0.9 hours in Tatar and 2.6 hours in Russian). There is a television studio in Kazan.

Literature. The sources of Tatar written literature lie in the distant past. Among the oldest surviving works are Gali’s romantic narrative poem Yusuf and Zulaikha (early 13th century), the anonymous religious and ethical poem Kisekbash, and the anonymous didactic work Admonition to the Righteous. Other extant works include the narrative poem Husrav and Shirin (1342) by Qutb, The Book of Love (1354) by Khorezmi, the didactic religious work Road to Paradise (1370) by Makhmud Bulgari, and the narrative poems of Mukhamed’yar (16th century).

The incorporation of the Kazan Khanate into Russia in 1552 ushered in a new period in the development of Tatar culture and literature. The Tatar and Russian working people’s common interest in resisting Russian autocracy and the landowners and in fighting foreign invaders is reflected in such Tatar folk songs and baits (epics) as The Song of Pugachev and The Epic of the War With the French.

Tatar written literature of the feudal period consists chiefly of didactic religious poetry inspired by Sufism. The most important Sufi poets were Mavlia Kuly (second half of the 17th century), Utyz Imiani (1754–1834), and Shamsetdin Zaki (1825–65). Gali Chokryi (1826–89) sang the praises of Kazan and its inhabitants—scholars, writers, physicians, and seamstresses. The leading poets of the first half of the 19th century were Abul’manikh Gabdessaliamov-Kargaly (1782–1828), known for his religious odes, stories, and letters, and Gabdelzhabbar Kandalyi (1797–1860), who contributed to the appearance of Tatar realist poetry in the mid-19th century. The realist trend was supported by the poets and educators Miftakhetdin Akmulla (1831–95) and Iakov Emel’ianov (1848–99).

In the early 19th century a rationalist trend that stood in opposition to Islamic scholasticism emerged in literature and social thought. The struggle begun by Abunnasyr Kursavi (1776–1818), who boldly proclaimed his antischolastic and antifeudal views, was continued by Shigabutdin Mardzhani (1813–89), the author of historical works and literary criticism. The last quarter of the 19th century was marked by the growth of democratic enlightenment. The literary and pedagogical writings of Kaium Nasyri (1825–1902) laid the foundation for the modern Tatar literary language. This period saw the appearance of the first national novels and plays. In the works of Akmulla, Zagir Bigeev (1870–1902), Gabdrakhman Il’iasi (1856–95), and Fatikh Khalidi (1850–1923) the clash between the old and the new in Tatar life was portrayed as a conflict between enlightened, humane people and ignorant, reactionary people.

The first exponents of 20th-century enlightened realism were Zakir Khadi (1863–1933) and Shakir Mukhamedov (1865–1923), whose works prefigured the revolutionary democratic literature of the Revolution of 1905–07. The early 20th century saw the appearance of Tatar-language newspapers and magazines, literary criticism, and revolutionary publicistic writing. Under the influence of Russian literary traditions, Tatar writers developed an aesthetic program of critical realism. Among writers who championed the national democratic movement were Gabdulla Tukai (1886–1913), Galimdzhan Ibragimov (1887–1938), Mazhit Gafuri (1880–1934), Galiaskar Kamal (1879–1933), Fatikh Amirkhan (1886–1926), and Sharif Kamal (1884–1942). Between the 1905 and 1917 revolutions, revolutionary democratic ideology diverged sharply from liberal bourgeois ideology. The founder of the Tatar-language proletarian literature was the writer and revolutionary Gafur Kulakhmetov (1881–1918).

In the first decades of the 20th century a romantic trend emerged in Tatar literature. One of its major exponents was the poet Sagit Ramiev (1880–1926), who extolled the individual’s revolt against “kings, gods, and laws.” A foreboding of humanity’s doom pervaded the verse of several romantic poets, among them Zakir Ramiev (1859–1921), who adopted the pen name of Dermend.

In the years of revolutionary upsurge that preceded the October Revolution, the poetry of Tukai and Gafuri resounded with social optimism and appeals to join the struggle. A group of new writers appeared on the literary scene: the poets Ziia Iarmaki (1887–1965) and Shaikhzada Babich (1895–1919), the prose writers Mukhamed Gali (1893–1952) and Faizi Valiev (1892–1914), and the playwrights Mirkhaidar Faizi (1891–1928) and Karim Tinchurin (1887–1947).

The Tatar revolutionaries and publicists Mullanur Vakhitov (1885–1918), Shagit Akhmadeev (1888–1930), and Ibragimov helped pave the way for the October Revolution of 1917. Many among the democratic intelligentsia, notably Gafuri, G. Kamal, Sh. Kamal, Amirkhan, Tinchurin, and M. Faizi, enthusiastically welcomed it. A new generation of writers confidently made its debut in the Tatar-language newspapers that were printed in army units during the Civil War (1918–20). Among them were Shamil Usmanov (1898–1937), Makhmud Maksud (1900–62), Kavi Nadzhmi (1901–57), Musa Dzhalil’ (1906–44), Khadi Taktash (1901–31), Afzal Shamov (born 1901), and Bari Rakhmat (1897–1957).

From the outset, Soviet Tatar literature reflected contemporary events. In his novella Red Flowers (1922) and his novel Deep Roots (1928), Ibragimov gave fine characterizations of modern men and women. Sh. Kamal’s novel At Dawn (1927) depicted Tatar society on the eve of the October Revolution, and Na-dzhmi’s novellas Bright Path (1930) and First Spring (1930) showed the first steps toward collectivization in Tataria. Taktash made a major contribution to the development of Soviet Tatar poetry in the 1920’s. His innovative works expressed the fervor of socialist construction and introduced a new lyric hero—the fighter for a new world. The works of Fatkhi Burnash (1898–1946) are imbued with the romanticism of struggle and creation. Portraying the new society on an epic scale, the poet Khasan Tufan (born 1900) introduced the theme of people at work and developed new forms of poetic expression.

The 1930’s were marked by the strengthening of socialist realism. Such topical themes as heroism of labor, the defense of the country, industrialization, and the collectivization of agriculture, requiring epic scope, were treated in the novels When the Beautiful Is Born (1937) by Sh. Kamal and Mukhadzhiry (1934) by Makhmud Galiau (1887–1938) and in the novellas Agidel’ (1936) by Mirsai Amir (born 1907), Unmailed Letters (1936) by Adel’ Kutui (1903–45), Sivash (1937) by Gumer Bashirov (born 1901), The Buoy-keeper’s Daughter (1938) by Garif Gubai (born 1907), and Katia Sorokina (1938) by Ibragim Gazi (1907–71). Fatikh Khusni (born 1908) and Shamov produced some fine short stories.

A new lyric hero, the builder of socialism, became firmly established in poetry. The narrative poems Seventh Furnace (1932) by Fatykh Karim (1909–45) and Song of the Concrete Workers (1932) by Shaikhi Mannur (born 1905) dealt with the reeducation of society. The changes in cultural and intellectual life were philosophically affirmed in the narrative poem Flutes (1933) by Akhmed Faizi (1903–58). International themes became popular in the mid-1930’s. Drama reached new heights in Tinchurin’s play On the Kandra River, performed in 1932, and the play Glorious Epoch (1934) by Tazi Gizzat (1895–1955). The spiritual growth that comes through socialist labor was depicted in Burnash’s play As’ma the Weaver (1932) and Sh. Kamal’s psychological drama In the Fog (1934). Another noteworthy play was A. Faizi’s historical and biographical drama Tukai (1938). Comedies were written by Tinchurin (There Were Three, 1935), Khusni (In the Forest, 1938), and Naki Isanbet (born 1899, The Zabulachnaia Republic, 1939).

During the Great Patriotic War many Tatar writers fought on the battlefield against the fascist invaders, and seven of them gave their lives for their country: M. Dzhalil’, F. Karim, Abdulla Alish (1908–44), Rakhman Il’ias (1908–43), Nur Baian (1905–45), A. Kutui, and Dem’ian Fatkhi (1906–43). The war years were chronicled in the patriotic verse of F. Karim, Mannur, Sibgat Khakim (born 1911), Mukhamed Sadri (born 1913), Zaki Nuri (born 1921), Sharaf Mudarris (1919–63), and Salikh Battal (born 1905), the short stories and essays of Nadzhmi, Bashirov, Gazi, Khatib Usmanov (born 1908), Khusni, Abdurakhman Absaliamov (born 1911), and Shamov, and the plays of Gizzat, Riza Ishmurat (born 1903), Isanbet, and Amir. The experiences of Musa Dzhalil’ have been immortalized in The Moabit Notebook.

After the war Tatar literature, portraying both military glory and labor heroism, began to move more confidently beyond the borders of the republic. The people’s creative peacetime labor and their efforts to build communism became central themes. The short story and novella genres were refined by the acknowledged masters Gazi, Khusni, and Shamov, and also by the newcomers Amirkhan Eniki (born 1909), Nurikhan Fattakh (born 1928), Rafail Tukhvatullin (born 1924), and Aiaz Giliazov (born 1928), all of whom began writing in the 1950’s. Literary works of epic scope gained prominence, among them the novels Spring Winds (1948) by Nadzhmi, Honor (1948) by Bashirov, Gazinur (1953) by Absaliamov, The Unforgettable Years (books 1–3, 1949–66) by Gazi, Pure Soul (parts 1–2, 1954–60) by Amir, and When Paths Diverge (1965) and The Path of Heroes (1972) by Atilla Rasikh. People from contemporary Soviet life are the protagonists of several outstanding novels and novellas: Unquenchable Fire (1958) and White Flowers (1965) by Absaliamov, Nabi, My Fellow Villager (1957) and My Star (1961) by Tukhvatullin, and The Kernel of the Nut (1971) by Garif Akhunov (born 1925).

A notable achievement of postwar Tatar drama was the creation of convincing positive heroes. Ishmurat’s Immortal Song (1956) and To Meet the Storm (1964), Isanbet’s Mullanur Vakhitov (1947) and Musa (1956), and Amir’s Freedom (1960) have been performed before Tatar, Russian, Bashkir, Chuvash, and Mari audiences. Young people of the 1950’s and 1960’s are portrayed in Zubaida, Child of Man (1965) by Sharif Khusainov (born 1929) and in First Love (1960) and When Fortune Smiles (1969) by Khai Vakhit (born 1918). The leading children’s writers are Alish, Rakhmat, Gubai, Usman Bakirov (born 1896), Sarvar Adgamov (born 1901), and Liabiba Ikhsanova (born 1923).

The 1960’s saw the literary debut of the poets Il’dar Iuzeev (born 1933), Shaukat Galiev (born 1928), Edip Malikov (born 1921), Sadzhida Suleimanova (born 1926), Ravil’ Faizullin (born 1943), and Rinat Kharisov (born 1941), the prose writers Gaziz Mukhametshin (1932–72) and Eduard Kasimov (born 1930), and the playwrights Iunus Aminov (born 1921), Saet Shakurov (born 1918), and Tufan Minullin (born 1935). With every year the number of translations of Russian and world classics is increasing, along with translations of contemporary Soviet and foreign writers. The works of more than 50 Tatar writers have been translated into other languages.

Literary criticism and scholarship in the Tatar language is developing. Monographs on various classical authors and Soviet writers have been published, as have several literary histories. The History of Soviet Tatar Literature appeared in 1965. The major literary critics and scholars are Khatib Usmanov (born 1908), Mukhamet Gainullin (born 1903), Gali Khalit (born 1915), Baian Gizzat (born 1918), Gazi Kashshaf (born 1907), Khasan Khairi (born 1910), Ibragim Nurullin (born 1923), Mansur Khasanov (born 1930), Robert Bikmukhametov (born 1928), Nil Iuzeev (born 1931), and Rafael’ Mustafin (born 1931).

The Writers’ Union of Tataria, founded in 1934 at the first writers’ congress, has held congresses in 1950, 1954, 1958, 1963, 1968, and 1974. A branch of the Writers’ Union has been established at Al’met’evsk.


Architecture and art. Among the most ancient art objects found in the Tatar ASSR are Neolithic flint figurines of birds and animals, Neolithic pottery with geometric designs, and Bronze Age vessels and ornaments. Excavations of the old Bulgar cities of Suvar, Biliar, and Bolgary (tenth to 13th centuries) have uncovered the remains of wooden defensive walls and rectangular dwellings, both log houses with gable roofs and pisé houses with flat roofs. The ruins of several pre-Mongol stone structures have also survived. During the ascendancy of the Golden Horde (beginning in the mid-13th century), brick and stone edifices stylistically related to Middle Asian architecture were built, including fortresses, palaces, mosques (the Black Hall in Bolgary), mausoleums, and baths (the Red Hall in Bolgary). The buildings were adorned with frescoes, colored pottery, and ornamental carving on stone and plaster.

After the unification of the Kazan Khanate with Russia, the architecture of Tataria generally conformed to Russian building styles, as illustrated by the 16th-century-Kazan kremlin. In the 18th century certain baroque features were assimilated, and in the 19th century Russian classicism held sway. A noteworthy example of the classical style is the University of Kazan (1825–1830’s), designed by the architects P. G. Piatnitskii and M. P. Korinfskii. Eclecticism prevailed in the latter part of the 19th and the early 20th centuries.

Typical of the folk architecture of the Kazan Tatars were log houses with five or six walls decorated with painted horizontal bands in two colors. The houses had numerous decorative details, chiefly columns and niches (lancet, keel-shaped, or semicircular), which were sometimes colorfully painted. The houses were usually set back from the street and enclosed by a fence. The outbuildings, arranged in clusters, stood apart from the main dwelling.

One of the most widely practiced forms of applied folk art was the making of ornaments, mainly of silver. The techniques used in silverwork were engraving, embossing, stamping, granulation, and, most often, filigree, either openwork, overlay, or the “knobby” work found exclusively among the Kazan Tatars. Silver ornaments were usually studded with large turquoise, carnelian, or jasper stones. Other highly developed crafts included gold satin-stitch needlework, multicolored tambour embroidery, applique work on cloth, leather, or felt, carving on stone (tombs) and wood (houses), and the making of pileless carpets and leather goods embellished with designs. Tatar ornamentation is distinguished by clear outlines, a free, often asymmetrical, composition, and bright contrasting colors. The high level achieved in the art of calligraphy (Arabic ornamental script with colored designs) may be seen in stone carvings of excerpts from the Koran (shamail’) and in the first printed books, which appeared in the late 18th century. The leading calligrapher of the mid-19th century was All Makhmudov.

Representational art had no chance to develop among the Tatars prior to the late 19th century because Islam forbade the depiction of living things. The paintings and graphics that were produced in the 19th century were the work of Russian artists living in Kazan, such as the portraitist L. D. Kruikov and V. S. Turin, a master of the cityscape. The painters P. P. Ben’kov and N. I. Feshin, who taught at the Kazan Art School (1895) in the first decades of the 20th century, steered Tataria’s fledgling professional art toward realism. The Tatar graphic artists and illustrators M. Galeev and G. Gumerov began their careers in the first decade of the 20th century.

After the October Revolution of 1917, the republic’s architecture developed within the mainstream of Soviet trends. Civic and industrial construction expanded greatly in conjunction with the modernization of old cities (Kazan, Bugul’ma, Chistopol’) and the building of new cities (Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Leninogorsk) and settlements (Aktanysh, Shapshi). In the 1920’s and 1930’s the dominant trend was constructivism, best exemplified in the House of the Press in Kazan (1933–37), designed by the architect S. S. Pen. From the latter half of the 1930’s classical architectural forms were employed more frequently, along with decorative techniques borrowed from Tatar folk art. The Musa Dzhalil’ Tatar Theater of Opera and Ballet (1933–56), designed by the architects N. A. Skvortsov and I. G. Gainutdinov, reflects these tendencies.

Since the second half of the 1950’s there has been a shift toward more rationalistic and laconic designs and spatial solutions. Industrial techniques are being widely used in construction. Major works include the Lenin Stadium (1960, architects P. A. Sanachin and A. A. Sporius), the river terminal (1962, architect I. G. Gainutdinov), the oblast party committee building (1962, architects G. I. Soldatov and P. A. Sanachin), the concert hall of the Conservatory (1967, principal architect M. Kh. Agishev), and the Circus (1967, architect G. M. Pichuev), all located in Kazan.

Of great importance for the history of art in Soviet Tataria was the founding of a branch of the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia in Kazan in 1923, headed by the realist artists P. P. Ben’kov, P. A. Radimov, N. M. Sokol’skii, and V. K. Timofeev. In the 1920’s and 1930’s national artists emerged, among them the painter, sculptor, and graphic artist B. I. Urmanche, the sculptor S. S. Akhun, the painter N. K. Valiullin, and the graphic artists B. M. Al’menov and F. Sh. Tagirov. The republic’s artists produced canvases depicting the revolutionary struggle, socialist construction, and the new way of life, as well as portraits and landscapes. In 1935 a committee was formed to organize an artists’ union, and the Union of Soviet Artists of the Tatar ASSR was founded four years later; in 1968 the organization was renamed the Artists’ Union of the Tatar ASSR. During the Great Patriotic War propaganda posters, the primary form of art, were produced by 1.1. Bobrovitskii and E. B. Gel’ms.

Since the 1950’s the republic’s painters have focused on themes from the history of the revolution and scenes from daily life. The leading painters are I. V. Rafikov, G. A. Rakhmankulova, L. A. Fattakhov, I. M. Khalilullov, and Kh. A. Iakupov. Excellent work has also been done in portraiture (V. I. Kudel’kin, S. A. Rotnitskii) and landscape painting (N. D. Kuznetsov, K. E. Maksimov). In sculpture, B. I. Urmanche has won recognition for his highly individualized portraits of prominent Tatar cultural figures. The sculptors N. I. Adylov, G. A. Ziablitsev, and R. Kh. Nigmatullina are known for their genre compositions and adaptations of fairy-tale motifs. V. M. Malikov excels in monumental sculpture. Outstanding prints and book illustrations have been produced by E. V. Kiseleva, I. K. Kolmogortseva, L. A. Potiagunin, and I. L. Iazynin, and the monumental decorative art of S. M. Bubennov is noteworthy. Such traditional forms of applied art as embroidery and the making of decorated leather footwear have survived. Folk ornamentation is widely used in the factory production of artistic objects.


Music. Until the Great October Socialist Revolution, Tatar music, consisting of monophonic songs without instrumental accompaniment, developed as part of the oral folk tradition. The main genre was a long lyric or lyric-epic song called ozyn koi. Such songs had an undulating melody (without large intervals) and a freely improvised melismatic treatment of the basic tones. They also tended to have a variable meter and asymmetric structure. Humorous and dance songs (kyska koi) were distinguished by precise metrical and rhythmic organization, a small melodic range, lack of ornamentation, and a quadratic structure. Among such songs were the takmaki (ditties on topical themes). Also popular were two-part lyric songs combining slow and lively tunes. The widespread country songs (avyl koe) and city songs (shekher koe) were melodious, rhythmically regular, and moderate in tempo. Old recitative narrative songs, called baits, were passed on from one generation to another. In the Soviet era, songs about contemporary life, enriched with new rhythms and intonations, have arisen through the influence of professional music and the folk music of other peoples. The modal basis of the Tatar song is the pentatonic scale. Modern singers generally perform to the accompaniment of an accordion or baian. Choral singing with elements of polyphony is also encountered. Folk instruments include the kurai, a wind instrument resembling an end-blown flute, the kubyz, a type of Jew’s harp, the accordion, the mandolin, the domra, and the gusli, a zither-like instrument.

Among the leading Tatar folk singers are People’s Artists of the Tatar ASSR G. N. Suleimanova and R. V. Vagapov, Honored Artist of the Tatar ASSR Z. Z. Basyrova, and Honored Artist of the RSFSR I. M. Shakirov. The best-known accordionists are People’s Artist of the Tatar ASSR F. K. Tuishev and Honored Artist of the Tatar ASSR F. F. Bikkenin.

Tatar songs were first written down in the late 19th century by G. Kh. Enikeev and A. I. Ovodov (1883–93), by G. G. Saifullin (1896–1926), and by S. G. Rybakov, who published his Music and Songs of the Ural Muslims With an Essay on Their Way of Life in 1897. In the Soviet era, especially after the organization of the Folklore Office by the Arts Administration of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Tatar ASSR (1937–41), Tatar folk songs were systematically collected, studied, and published. Anthologies were published by A. S. Kliucharev, V. I. Vinogradov, and M. Kh. Sadri in 1941, by Kliucharev in 1955, by M. A. Muzafarov, Iu. V. Vinogradov, and Z. Sh. Khairullina in 1964, by M. N. Nigmedzianov in 1970, and by Dzh. Kh. Faizi in 1971.

Although professional music appeared in Tataria in the early 20th century, a genuine professional musical culture evolved only in the period of socialist construction. From the 1920’s one of the centers of national musical culture was the Red October Tatar Theater (renamed the G. Kamal Tatar Theater in 1939), which presented plays incorporating the music of S. Z. Saidashev. Assisted by the chorus and orchestra of a Kazan music academy, the theater also staged the first Tatar operas, Saniia (1925) and Eshche (Worker, 1930) by G. S. Al’mukhametov, V. I. Vinogradov, and S. Kh. Gabashi. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Saidashev, Muzafarov, Faizi, Z. V. Khabibullin, F. Z. Irullin, and Kliucharev, drawing upon Russian songs, created the musical style of the Tatar mass and lyric song. In the late 1930’s a large group of Tatar composers, musicians, and singers returned from Moscow, where they had received their musical training. The G. Tukai Philharmonic Society, the Song and Dance Ensemble, and the House of Folk Art were founded in 1937, and two years later the Composers’ Union of the Tatar ASSR and the Tatar Theater of Opera and Ballet were established.

Operatic art has been developing intensively since the 1930’s. N. G. Zhiganov wrote eight operas, of which the most famous are Kachkyn (The Fugitive, 1939), Altynchach (The Golden-haired Girl, 1941), and Dzhalil’ (1956). In Samat (1956), Kh. V. Valiullin created a lyrical psychological opera on a topical theme. Muzafarov and Faizi also composed operas. F. Z. Iarullin’s Shurale, written in 1941 and first performed in 1945, paved the way for the development of the Tatar ballet. Faizi initiated the Tatar musical comedy with Bashmachki (1942).

Various types of symphonic works were composed by Zhiganov, best known for his tone poem Nafis (1952), his Suite on Tatar Themes (1949), and his Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth symphonies (1968–75). Other important works include Mu-zafarov’s symphony (1944) and tone poems and A. Z. Monasypov’s three symphonies (1963–74). Symphonic works have also been written by Kliucharev, A. G. Valiullin, F. A. Akhmetov, and B. G. Muliukov.

The Tatar instrumental concerto crystallized in the works of R. M. Iakhin (piano concerto, 1951), A. S. Leman (violin concerto, 1951; piano concerto, 1954), and Muzafarov (piano concerti, 1959 and 1960). Also working in this genre are such composers of the younger generation as M. Z. Iarullin (violin concerto, 1962), R. A. Enikeev (piano concerto, 1964), and R. N. Belialov (two piano concerti, 1967–70; concerto-symphony for violin and orchestra, 1974). The first Tatar oratorio, M. Z. Iarullin’s Man, was written in 1970. Iakhin is also known for his achievements in the composition of vocal chamber music. Since the 1960’s there has been a growing interest in instrumental chamber music, and many works for piano, violin, and other instruments, as well as ensembles, have been written by Enikeev, Monasypov, Akhmetov, and I. D. Iakubov.

Among the republic’s leading singers are People’s Artists of the Tatar ASSR Z. G. Bairasheva, A. S. Izmailova, and G. M. Kaibitskaia and Honored Artist of the Tatar ASSR S. G. Sady-kova. The title of People’s Artist of the RSFSR has been conferred on M. Z. Bulatova, F. Kh. Nasretdinov, M. M. Rakhmankulova, A. Z. Abbasov, Z. G. Khismatullina, and V. G. Sharipova. Other famous singers who perform in the republic include Honored Artist of the RSFSR V. N. Zharkov and People’s Artist of the Tatar ASSR I. D. Ishbulianov. The foremost conductors are Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR Kh. V. Fazlullin and Honored Art Worker of the Tatar ASSR Dzh. G. Sadrizhiganov.

In 1975 the republic’s principal music institutions were the M. Dzhalil’ Tatar Theater of Opera and Ballet, the G. Tukai Philharmonic Society, comprising a symphony orchestra and a song and dance ensemble, the Composers’ Union, the House of Folk Arts, and the arts section of the G. Ibragimov Research Institute of Language, Literature, and History, attached to the Kazan Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Musical training is given at the Conservatory (founded 1945), the music school of the pedagogical institute in Kazan (founded 1960), three music academies (Kazan, Al’met’evsk, and Nizhnekamsk), 55 music schools for children, and a special school affiliated with the Conservatory.

Theater. Among the Tatar people, the rudiments of theatrical art were contained in folk games and pageants. A genuine national theater began to emerge in the late 19th century and the early 20th, when the first amateur drama groups were founded by students and members of the intelligentsia.

A professional theater arose during the revolutionary upsurge of 1905–06. The first public dramatic performance in the Tatar language took place in Kazan in 1906. The next year the schoolteacher I. Kudashev-Ashkazarskii organized the Saiiar company in Orenburg; soon thereafter, the company came under the direction of G. Kariev. S. Gizzatullina-Volzhskaia formed the Nur company in Ufa in 1912, and V. Murtazin founded the Shirkat company in Orenburg in 1915. The leading performers in these companies were B. Bolgarskii, Z. Baiazitskii, K. Shamil’, G. Bolgarskaia, G. Mangushev, K. Tinchurin, Sh. Shamil’skii, G. Kazanskii, F. Samitova, and F. Il’skaia. From the outset the actors of the Saiiar company were noted for their true-to-life, psychological style of acting, whereas the Nur company cultivated a romantic style. As traveling companies, they were continually struggling against the reactionary forces that opposed the development of the burgeoning Tatar theater. Nevertheless, the companies gave performances throughout the Volga Region, the Urals, the Crimea, Siberia, Turkestan, and Transcaucasia.

After the October Revolution, great opportunities opened up for the Tatar theater. During the Civil War (1918–20), Tatar companies headed by G. Mangushev, N. Sakaev, V. Murtazin, G. Kazanskii, and S. Gizzatullina-Volzhskaia performed before Red Army units. In 1920 several Kazan drama groups merged to form the First Tatar State Performing Company, subsequently renamed the G. Kamal Tatar Theater. In the 1920’s and 1930’s the Tatar theater developed rapidly. There was a proliferation of village theaters, of which the best known was the Sabanchi Theater, organized by K. Shamil’ in 1920. The Theater of Worker Youth was founded in 1932 and the Eshche (Worker) Theater in 1933. The Republic Touring Theater was organized in 1933 as a kolkhoz and sovkhoz branch of the G. Kamal Theater, and the Menzelinskii Theater was established in 1935 to perform at kolkhozes and sovkhozes. The Theatrical Technicum was opened in Kazan in 1923.

Among the best productions of the 1920’s and 1930’s were K. Tinchurin’s The American (1925), Without Sails (1926), The Light Blue Shawl (1925), and On the Kandra River (1933), F. Burnash’s Old Man Kamali (1925), and T. Gizzat’s The Hireling (1928), The Spark (1936), and The Torrents (1937). The repertoire also included plays by A. Kutui, Kh. Taktash, and Sh. Kamal. World classics and contemporary Russian plays were staged, among them plays by N. V. Gogol, A. K. Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Schiller, Beaumarchais, B. A. Lavrenev, V. M. Kirshon, and A. N. Arbuzov. The best productions of these years owed much to the acting skill of Sh. Shamil’skii, N. Tadzharova, N. Arapova, K. Shamil’, Kh. Urazikov, M. Absaliamov, M. Sul’va, G. Kamskaia, and M. Mutin.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), a number of Tatar actors fought at the front, and those who stayed behind organized front-line performing groups and staged dramatic works in keeping with the times—plays by T. Gizzat, N. Isanbet, M. Amir, R. Ishmurat, and K. M. Simonov. The productions of Russian and world classics were on a high artistic level. In 1944 a new dramatic theater was opened in Al’met’evsk.

After the war, Tatar theaters sought new means of expression to dramatize contemporary themes and portray the modern hero. Works by such new national playwrights as Kh. Vakhitov, A. Giliazov, Sh. Khusainov, I. Iuzeev, D. Valeev, T. Minullin, and N. Fattakh were introduced on the stage in the 1950’s, and the plays of K. Tinchurin, T. Gizzat, and F. Burnash were revived. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s a new generation of directors entered the theater, among them M. Salimzhanov, P. Isanbet, R. Tumashev, and M. Mustafin. The Tatar theaters were joined by actors trained at the Tatar studio of the State Institute of Theatrical Art (1949), the Shchepkin Drama School (1961), and the Leningrad Institute of Theater, Music, and Cinematography (1973). Almost every year the theaters were reinforced by graduates of the Kazan Theatrical School, founded in 1961.

The Tatar theater has become more involved in the theatrical activities of such fraternal peoples as the Russians, Kazakhs, Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks, and Bashkirs. Reciprocal theatrical tours have been organized, and directors from other Soviet republics have been invited to work in the Tatar ASSR. Among the non-Tatar authors whose works have been successfully staged include I. Dvoretskii, Ch. Aitmatov, N. Dumbadze, and Dzh. Dzhabarly.

The V. I. Kachalov Bolshoi Dramatic Theater in Kazan, one of the oldest Russian theaters (founded 1791), has had a strong influence on the development of the Tatar theater. In addition to the G. Kamal Tatar Academic Theater, the republic has a young people’s theater, the Lenin Komsomol Theater, a puppet theater, and the Tatar Touring Dramatic Theater. Tataria’s most famous actors are People’s Artist of the USSR Kh. G. Abzhalilov and People’s Artists of the RSFSR G. F. Bulatova, F. S. Il’skaia, and Kamal III.

Prominent men and women of the theater include (1975) People’s Artist of the USSR F. I. Khalitov, People’s Artists of the RSFSR Sh. Kh. Biktimirov, V. M. Pavlova, and G. R. Shamukov, Honored Artists of the RSFSR R. A. Ziganshina and G. V. Ibragimova, and People’s Artists of the Tatar ASSR Sh. I. Asfandiiarova, D. G. Il’iasov, V. E. Minkina, G. I. Nadriukov, R. A. Tazetdinov, and E. A. Kuzin. Other important theatrical figures are Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR M. Kh. Salimzhanov, People’s Artist of the Tatar ASSR M. G. Sutiushev, and People’s Artist of the Tatar ASSR and Honored Artist of the RSFSR E. B. Gel’ms.



Istoriia Tatarskoi ASSR, vols. 1–2. Kazan, 1955–60.
Istoriia Tatarskoi ASSR (S drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei). Kazan, 1968. (Bibliography, pp. 681–700.)
Istoriia Tatarskoi ASSR. Kazan, 1973.
V. I. Lenin i Tatariia: Sb. dokumentov, materialov i vospominanii, 2nd ed. Kazan, 1970.
Ocherki istoriipartiinoi organizatsii Tatarii. Kazan, 1973.
Khalikov, A. Kh. Drevniaia istoriia Srednego Povolzh’ia. Moscow, 1969.
Alishev, S. Kh. Tatary Srednego Povolzh’ia v Pugachevskom vosstanii. Kazan, 1973.
Obshchestvenno-politicheskoe dvizhenie i klassovaia bor’ba na Srednei Volge (konets XIX-nachalo XX vv.). Kazan, 1972.
Nafigov, R. I. Formirovanie i razvitie peredovoi tatarskoi obshchestvenno-politicheskoi mysli (1895–1917). Kazan, 1964.
Khasanov, Kh. Kh. Revoliutsiia 1905–1907 v Tatarii. Moscow, 1965.
Ionenko, I. M., and I. R. Tagirov. Oktiabr’ v Kazani. Kazan, 1967.
Mukhariamov, M. K. Oktiabr’ i natsional’no-gosudarstvennoe stroitel’stvo v Tatarii (oktiabr’ 1917–1920). Moscow, 1969.
Saidasheva, M. A. V. I. Lenin i sotsialisticheskoe stroitel’stvo v Tatarii, 1918–1923. Moscow, 1969.
Mukhariamov, M. K. Grazhdanskaia voina v Tatarii (1918–1920). Kazan, 1969.
Klimov, I. M. Obrazovanie i razvitie Tatarskoi ASSR (1920–1926). [Kazan] 1960.
Khafizov, Sh. Razvitie sovetskoi gosudarstvennosti tatarskogo naroda. Kazan, 1966.
Leninskii kooperativnyi plan i ego osushchestvlenie v Tatarii. Kazan, 1970.
Istoriia Tatarskoi ASSR (S drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei): Ukazatel’sovetskoi literalury, 1917–1959. Kazan, 1960.
Istoriia Tatarskoi ASSR (S drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei): Ukazatel’ sovetskoi literatury, 1960–1967. Kazan, 1970.
Abramov, P. V., N. Kh. Kladiev, and F. G. Shagi-Mukhametov. Nash krai Tatarstan. Kazan, 1970.
Vysshee obrazovanie i nauka v Tatarii. Kazan, 1971.
Tabeev, F. A. Ekonomika Tatarii: itogi i perspektivy. Kazan, 1972.
Sovetskaia Tatariia v deviatoi piatiletke. Kazan, 1974.
Istoriia tatarskoi sovetskoi literatury. Moscow, 1965.
Ibragimov, G. Tatary v revoliutsii 1905 goda. Kazan, 1926.
Gainullin, M. Tatarskaia literatura i publitsistika nach. XX v. Kazan, 1966.
Khalit, G. Geroi, rozhdennye revoliutsiei. Kazan, 1967.
Tatar sovet ëdëbiyäti tarikhï. Kazan, 1960.
Khäyri, Kh. Tatar sovet ëdëbiyätïnda realizm mäs’äläläre. Kazan, 1960.
Iuzeev, N. Traditsiyälär yängarganda. Kazan, 1966.
Giniiatullina, A. Pisateli Sovetskogo Tatarstana: Biobibliograficheskii spravochnik. Kazan, 1970.
Dul’skii, P. M. Iskusstvo kazanskikh talar. Moscow, 1925.
Vorob’ev, N. I., and F. Kh. Valeev. Narodnoe prikladnoe iskusstvo tatar Povolzh’ia. Moscow, 1964.
Khudozhniki Tatarii. Leningrad, 1965. [Album, compiled and with an introduction by L. Ia. El’kovach.]
Muzykal’naia kul’tura Sovetskoi Tatarii: Sb. st. Moscow, 1959.
Abdullin, A. Kh. Tatarskie narodnyepesni. Moscow, 1963.
Nigmedzianov, M. N. “Narodnaia muzyka.” In Tatary Srednego Povolzh’ia i Primal’ia. Moscow, 1967.
Girshman, Ia. M. Pentatonika i ee razvitie v tatarskoi muzyke. Moscow, 1960.
Istoriia sovetskogo dramaticheskogo teatra, vols. 1–6. Moscow, 1966–71.
Tatarskii sovetskii dramaticheskii teatr. Kazan, 1975.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?