A White Russian Account of the 1930s: Stepan Smigunov’s “Events in Xinjiang”


The purpose of this post, originally at least, was to share an interesting text on the events of the 1931–34 Muslim uprising in Xinjiang, told from the point of view of a White Russian émigré, Stepan Ivanovich Smigunov (1888–?). In preparing it, though, I looked a bit more closely into Smigunov, and have come to realise that his life story is worth some discussion in its own right. Here, by way of introduction, is what I’ve learned so far about this slightly unusual individual. His account of events in Xinjiang, transcribed from a manuscript in the Russian State Archive in Moscow, follows below. Continue reading