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A chronology of Tajikistan during the 1980s in the Land Under God timline.
January 10 - Following his monumental rise to the Oblast Committee of the regional Communist Party branch in the autonomous Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast only two years earlier, First Secretary Soibnazar Beknazarov announces plans for the expansion/construction of a RSFSR-controlled military base in the small town of Vhrang on the Tajik-Afghan border. The move is prompted by the expansion of government aid and subsidies to the remarkably poor region.
January 14 - The General Secretary for the Tajik Communist Party (KPT), Kakhar Makhkamov, met with the Soviet Colonel Aleksandr Shishlyannikov (speaking as a Moscow intermediary) during extended talks to expand the Soviet military presence in the Tajik SSR and bolster a defensive line along the Panj River. The talks came during a period of heightened Muhjihadeen activity along the river tributary, as well as increased casualties during the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
January 19 - Makhkamov and the Kremlin reach an agreement on the level of military build up within the Republic, the estimated 25,000 to 45,000 more soldiers requested by the Tajik leader needed to defend the USSR against Afghan reprisals and terrorist attacks being granted by government in Moscow.
January 23 - Following the Armenian Earthquake only one month prior, an earthquake measuring as a magnitude of six on the Richter scale (seven by the Soviet scale) rocked several small villages only 30km south-west of the nation's capital in Dushanbe. Official reports from Tass place the initial death toll as high as one thousand, with the small village of Sharora being reportedly buried under several meters of clay released during the landslides caused by the quake.
January 29 - Following an extensive and expensive clean-up operation of the more severely struck regions, official government reports place the earthquake death toll at around 300 (later amended to a grand total of 274). All documents relating to the number of homes destroyed or people displaced are not revealed for another year.
February 10 - An internal (intermittent) report issued by the Soviet Government to the Tajik Communist Party place the number of dead "drafted responders" (labourers forced by the Tajik local government to support the clean-up efforts in earthquake devastated towns) is placed at around thirty.
February 11 - In the Tajik Supreme Soviet (the highest 'national' authority in the Tajik SSR), the little known reformist People's Deputy Rastin Yermakov, a first generation descendant of Russian immigrants to the region, drunkly raised to his feet during a meeting of the Supreme Council to advance a notion of independence from the Soviet Union. Whilst he was forced to promptly resign his position shortly after the display as well as ridiculed in the official Tajik government newspaper Kūpruk, his display was lauded and admired in a number of non-government newspapers, especially those in the reformist underground.
February 14 - The independent underground newspaper Tuf Kardan releases the poem "My Brother in Nahrain" by poet and social critic Bozor Sobir to popular (albeit unorthodox) appeal. Using the pseudonym "Fayzulla Khodzhay", the poet published his work as a rallying cry against perceived Soviet aggression against the Tajik's "brothers" in Afghanistan.
February 16 - Following the complete withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan the previous day, the Chairman of the Tajik Supreme Soviet, Gaibnasar Pallayev, begins drafting plans for the defence of the Panj River against Islamic militants from the nation to their south. Along with several other members of the Communist Tajik nomenklatura and high ranking Soviet military men (all together forming the "Select Committee for Tajik Defense"), they began to plan for the eventual building of a defensive waterway structure that would allow to constant surveillance of the Tajik-Afghan border.
February 20 - Gennady Ubaydulloyev, a Communist with reformist ideals and a candidacy in the upcoming Soviet wide legislative election for a Tajik seat visits earthquake devastated regions in Tajikistan on the eve of a SSR-wide campaign to widespread popular support. Despite public dissatisfaction with the Communist party in the Kremlin, Ubaydulloyev (who is half-Tajik) gave the people renewed hope in Tajikistan for greater future representation in the Soviet government.
February 25 - Ubaydulloyev receives a crowd of over 10,000 whilst speaking in the city of Garm. Speaking from the city's small football stadium (that would usually only hold a maximum of 2,500 people), the Tajik candidate caled for the people to rally behind Soviet-wide, Gorbachev-led market and social reforms of Perestroika and Glasnost. As a result of tight police standards in the Tajik SSR compared to many other Republics in the union, over one hundred people deemed to have committed "violent and socially unacceptable behaviour" during the speech are arrested shortly after leaving the stadium.
February 27 - The Tajik branch of the national Pravda newspaper publishes official government results of the 1989 Soviet Census. In Tajikistan, the national adult literacy rates had grown significantly from just a decade before, jumping up almost five percent to a total of 98.2%. Language was also front-and-centre in the SSR, with 31% of the Republic's 62% Tajik population having reported to speak the Russian language "fluently", down from a its height of 38% fifteen years prior.
March 5 - Remaining unreported at the time, several Pamiri labourers in the rural village of Hahnkar within the Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast begin a silent two day protest against the Communist Government. Chaining themselves to a wooden pole at the centre of the several houses that composed of the town, they claimed they were fighting against the unjust Tajik majority ruling from Dushanbe before local law enforcement came and seized them.
Meanwhile, in a confidential meeting between the Communist Party candidates for the Tajik SSR in the legislative elections, a near unanimous vote saw the candidate for the Rasht Valley region, the young Ravshan Shadmanov, become the leader of the group for the upcoming elections and the "face" of their electoral campaign.
March 11 - Despite calls from the Tajik Supreme Soviet against the decision, thousands of rubles used to subsidize the SSR are pulled by the Kremlin in order to enhance defensive measures in the nation, especially with the calls of several Soviet-Tajik military generals to do so in the wake of the secret talks within the Select Committee for Tajik Defence. Five radical members of the Tajik Soviet were forced from the room during a meeting regarding the budget cuts after they called for the embargo of several areas of the SSR's production (primarily cotton) from the rest of the Union.
March 13 - During a live speech session in Qurghonteppa to the south the Republic's capital, Gennady Ubaydulloyev is physically assaulted as a group of Communist youths throw bricks and stones against him and his constituency. The event ultimately spiraled out of control as more supporters of either the Communist or the reformers clashed in the streets, several by-standers having to be taken to the hospital after being caught in the crossfire. After several minutes of fighting, law enforcement arrived and broke up the melee, having to tow Ubaydulloyev himself away after he became entangled in the brawl.
March 16 - Despite the legislation not being formally implemented until several days following the passage of legislation, hundreds of members of the Tajik "new rich" and the national nomenklatura line up to lease state-owned farms in the fertile regions of the Republic. A conservative member of the SSR's Supreme Soviet, Goudarz Kakharov, became the first in the Republic to receive the lifetime-long lease in Tajikistan after being granted the rights to a 20 hectare (0.20 km² or 50 acres) cotton farm.
March 19 - The Select Committee for Tajik Defence draws up their final suggested plans for the defensive line along the Tajik-Afghan border, posting them to the Kremlin and the heads of the Soviet military. The main proposals raised in the document advanced the idea of a 'native continent'; several purely Tajik division of Soviet military manning the defensive lines along the Panj River. Further proposals advanced by the committee called for the introduction of further military bases and air fields in Tajikistan, as well as increased subsidies towards industrial growth in the region at the expense of government aide towards the lucrative but outdated cotton and cereal cultivation that dominated the SSR.
March 22 - After resigning from his post as Chairman of the Union Committee of the collective farm in Dangara one year prior, the small time native Tajik poltician Imomali Rakhmonov announced his intention before the Communist Party to run in the upcoming caucus-election to decide who would take up the empty seat in the Tajik Supreme Council (the lower organ to the Republic's Supreme Soviet) left by Rastin Yermakov. Aged only 41, he had an intelligence unmatched by most in the SSR's government, but held fragile loyalties that swung between Communism and Nationalism, something noted during his time as the Chairman of the Union Committee.
March 24 - Following the publishing of "My Brother in Nahrain" in Tuf Kardan only a month prior, Bozor Sobir once again managed to published one of his works, this time his short story "The Land Below God" which he ensured would print in a number of the 'underground newspapers' that circulated during his time. Detailing the brutalising life sustained by the Central Asian people underneath the Soviet Union (or 'God' as it's referred to in the story) and calls upon Tajik readers to turn away from the USSR and towards an independent future, all whilst imploring them to never forget their cultural past. As a result of mass publication, the short story became a instant sensation amongst the quiet reformists and nationalists.
March 27 - In the 1989 Soviet legislative election in the Tajik SSR, the Communist Party (as they had done everywhere else in the USSR during the election) won an overwhelming majority in the newly formed pan-Soviet Union Congress of People's Deputies against far less mobilized independent candidates. With 50 seats in the Tajik SSR reserved for the Communists, they won a further thrity-two through the democratic process, with nine of the seventeen 'representative seats' going to the party, with another twenty-three being won from the pool of seats allocated to go towards the 'Soviet of Nationalities' (where there was an equal number of deputies for each of the fifteen Union Republics and Autonomous Regions; thirty-two for each republic and five for the autonomous oblasts). Gennady Ubaydulloyev was one of these winning Communist candidates, having won his district with a close 51.3% margin.
The independents on the other hand received their first seats in Soviet history as the people of the Tajik SSR democratically voted for their leaders for the first time in history. Despite only attaining 21.5% of the votes Republic-wide, the still managed to win a total of 22 seats, the now independent People's Deputies winning eight of the seventeen ballots for the 'representative seats' with fourteen going towards a position in the 'Soviet of Nationalities'. Interestingly, all four representatives coming from Pamiri majority regions of the eastern Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast were independent nationalists.
March 28 - In a shocking display of rising ethnic tensions between the eastern Pamiri and western Tajik peoples, a murder was carried out during the dusk in the city of Vanj by a Pamiri man against his Tajik victim. As a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, the offender used a bayonet he had been granted following his discharge from the military to stab the victim 27 times before leaving him on the streets to be discovered later that night. Following his arrest and prosecution (in which he received 30 years hard labour), he claimed he had carried out the murder as a "show for independence" against the Tajik government in the wake of the Communist's recent victory.
April 3 - Following the publication of the brutal murder of a Tajik in a number of the underground pro-independence and pro-Tajik newspapers in cities such as Karvograd, Dashtishur and Wakhio only days after the event occured, short-lived, yet fierce and deadly ethnic violence flared up in the Tajik SSR. Over the ensuring hours and days, citizens of non-Tajik ethnicity were attacked as ethnic tensions flared across the country, the majority of those brutalised being Pamiris (with a number of Uzbeks also facing a number of extreme, unprovoked attacks).
April 10 - In the wake of increasingly violent and unsolvable attacks, murders and other crimes targeting non-Tajik minorities, Kakhar Makhkamov agreed to a plan raised in the Tajik Supreme Soviet to further bolster the security of the state by implementing more lenient policies regarding law enforcement. From the normal police to the KBG, all government bodies that "executed the will of the people's laws" would be granted special rights in regards to questioning suspects and the search and seizure of property.
April 13 - After publishing Bozor Sobir "The Land Bellow God" in one of their more recent editions, the illegal underground newspaper Noranҷ is shut down by the KBG working in tandem with local Tajik law enforcement after the location of their Ayni-based operation was leaked to the latter law orginisation.
April 16 - In response to the raised laws, several moderate members of the SSR's Supreme Soviet and Supreme Council banded together to fight back. In a special committee meeting in which all members of the Tajik government were seated, fifteen men of the overarching government council proclaimed themselves to be 'Representatives of the People', furiously debating and filibustering the move as a means to destroy Perestroika and Glasnost. Following one particular incident in which one 'representative' slammed his fist down on the table so hard as to break it, the entire group of moderates were removed, effectively ending the debate.
April 17 - Only a week after being raised in the Supreme Soviet, the Tajik legislature passed the new security law during as ethnic tensions grew more and more intemperate by the day, several Tajiks in the Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast being killed in reprisal attacks in cities such as the capital Khorugh, as well as Kudara and Vir, going as far east as the city of Shaymak which saw one Tajik speaker lynched during the night. With one signature, First Secretary Kakhar Makhkamov placed his seal of approval on the new laws.
April 26 - After a week of relative peace in the wake of cooling internal ethnic conflict and the passage of new security laws, several smugglers from Afghanistan were captured attempting to swim north across the Panj River border. Apparently attempting to smuggle opium into the nation to sell or barter in one of the thousands of underground Tajik markets, the event sent shock waves through the high ranking members of the Communist Party. Due to the lack of border security, with the recommendations given by the Select Committee for Tajik Defence still being debated and muled over by the top brass in the Kremlin, the Supreme Soviet began to pressure their overarching Soviet government to grant them more power regarding the placement of troops within the Tajik border, as well as the building of military fortifications and bases.
April 30 - After defeating his opponents in the first round of inter-party voting, Imomali Rakhmonov moves on to the second round of voting in the election for a seat on the Supreme Council. With the support of the party behind him, he was going to be placing himself off against the independent Pamiri candidate, Tursun Bahksharov.
May 3 - Emergency funding promised by the Uzbek, Turkmen and Kyrgz SSR's in response to the January earthquake finally begins to arrive in short, small monetary packages. Originally promised by the the SSR's First Secretaries on a swift delivery of the medical and monetary aide for February, the failing economy forced them to stay their hands. As a result, the slow flow of the aid provided by the Tajiks neighbours and Union allies could not see its way into the nation in time for the major clean-up, and only supported them during the building of "temporary" shelters for the homeless.
May 6 - Following a short period of calm after the introduction of the new security laws, ethnic tensions began to once again simmer after the mysterious death of a high profile, land-leasing Tajik in the "Pamiri capital" of Khorugh. Short, yet violent reprisals begun to flare up again in Dushanbe which would ultimately continue, intermediately, throughout the rest of the year.
May 11 - Prompted by yet another Tajik death at the hands of ethnic violence and the growth of "home rule" in several other SSR's across the Soviet Union, primarily those in Central Asia, Kakhar Makhkamov moved quickly within the Supreme Soviet to pass legislation that would ensure that Tajik majority would not flare up in another violent display that would bring the eyes of the Kremlin down on his administration. Together with chairman of the Council of Ministers (head of the Supreme Council) Isatullo Khayoyev, he ensured the swift passage of legislation that would make the Tajik language official within the Republic.
May 17 - After the quick adoption of Tajik as the official language within Tajikistan, the Kremlin responded with authorisation to do so, further responding to the first a number of the recommendations raised by the Select Committee for Tajik Defence, agreeing that further defensive structures were needed along the Panj River, and asked a Tajik delegation to be sent to Moscow to ensure that official talks could begin to get under way.
May 20 - Large graffiti detailing the deaths of "Communist soldiers", as well as the resurrection of the early-20th century anti-revolutionary and anti-Bolshevik Basmachi movement, is found plastered across several buildings in downtime Dushanbe. Coming in the wake of several other days in which anti-Communist and pro-Islamic graffiti began to sprout up around the large cities, "hooligans" in the reform movement were beginning to be chased down by authorities with the backing of the Supreme Soviet in an effort to both deter the acts of graffiti and prosecute members of aforementioned movement.
May 21 - After the call for delegates from the Tajik SSR to meet in Moscow to discuss the proposed changes to defence in the nation, primarily along the Panj River border, the Supreme Soviet of the Republic sent their delegation team to meet with the Soviet military leaders in the Kremlin to broker a deal in regards to the proposed changes.
May 28 - After two months of preparation and recounts, the pan-Soviet Chamber of People's Deputies opens on live television across the USSR. From Estonia to Turkmenistan, men and women of the Soviet Union take days of school and work to see for the first time their elected officials in government, the Tajik people watching as the plethora of Communists and Independents they sent to Moscow took to their seats in history.
June 2 - After months of speculation, the people of the city of Obigarm and its surrounding villages met to decide whether or not Imomali Rakhmonov would take Rastin Yermakov's empty seat on the Supreme Council. With a overwhelming majority in favour (87.4% in fact), Rakhmonov had played his constituents fears over his Pamiri opponent so well that he successfully rose to a position of government in his nation to the support of thousands of Communists who came out to elect him into office.
June 9 - After months of preparation and production, First Secretary Soibnazar Beknazarov of the Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast oversaw the beginning of the building of the Russian-controlled Vhrang Military Base, with ten thousand makeshift tents being produced and brought into the town as a temporary residence of the relocating soldiers. Phase two of the building operation (the construction of concrete buildings, gates and other defensive architecture) was not scheduled to begin until around mid-year 1990.
June 14 - After months of remaining silent in the wake of the KGB/police raid on the Noranҷ newspaper headquarters, Bozor Sobir appears in public to speak to an audience for the first time. Reading out of a number of his works, he primarily read the first chapter of his most recent short story in an effort to stir opposition to the Communist Government.
June 19 - After the arrival of the Tajik delegation for Moscow, the government in the Kremlin and the military leaders who were in the process of reviewing the Tajik Defence recommendations returned the second document in regards to the actions they put forward. Primarily focusing on the increased military subsidization of the local Soviet-Tajik military, they rejected the notation reminding the Supreme Soviet in Dushanbe of the failing economic conditions across the entire USSR that left budgeting Moscow ever more tight.
June 23 - Following the publishing of the 1989 census coupled with all available economic documents, the Supreme Soviet and Supreme Council of Tajikistan handed around confidential records regarding the recent stagnation of the internal economy. With inflation rising ever father as the months wore on, the power of the Soviet Ruble had waned by mid-1989, the Tajik SSR itself sitting on a GDP overall of a little under 1500 rubles, by far the weakest of all the Soviet Republics.
June 29 - In response to internal publication of the economic documents, the Communist Party begun a series of meetings and reviews of the recent failure and utter stagnation of the internal Tajik economy. With no end to the downfall in sight, several prominent young politicians, Imomali Rakhmonov among them, brought forward the option of expanding the land-lease system heralded by the recent "success" of expansion in the Republics of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. After intensive debate in which conservatives, fearful of the fact that land-lease expansion would threaten their own private initiatives, refused to budge on the current system in the nation, First Secretary Makhkamov promised to look further into the suggestion in an attempt to bide his time with more debate whilst not antagonising the powerful right-wing of the party.
July 2 - Brought about by the rising housing crisis caused by the rapidly inflating economic conditions that saw the government unable to build, refurbish or repair many buildings and homes damaged in the January earthquake. After over one hundred citizens of the town of Hisor marched behind the democratic reformist Vedar Guseynov and the Islamic nationalist Iraj Nabibi in an effort to protest the Communist government's failure to provide adequate housing for the people how became homeless in the disaster's aftermath, the marches were "put down" after mass police intervention stifled their calls against Kakhar Makhkamov and his Supreme Soviet.
July 7 - Urged on by the rising tide of nationalism across the nation, especially in the wake of recent protest in Hisor, a number of the more radical Tajik nationalist and Islamic groups and organisations begin a Republic-wide pogrom against Armenians. Prompted by the fear and rumours spread around that the SSR's government was settling Armenians in public housing (ushered in following the anti-Armenian pogrom in Azerbaijan that forced the victims to flee to the Central Asian Republics), all whilst the average Tajik was not afforded the luxury of a home 'forced' the Tajik radicals rise up in a wave of violence that, over the ensuring weeks, saw several dozen Armenian families attacked and brutalised.
July 9 - After weeks of working within Soviet Chamber of People's Deputies, primarily operating the phone lines in an attempt to bolster his connections to a number of the moderate Tajik democratic orginisations in his home Republic, Gennady Ubaydulloyev made an unexpected return to his representative nation in order to go on a popular tour of support. In his first speech in the city of Kofarnikon on the tarmac of the airport, he announced to reporters, newspapers and the world that he was planning to create a "national democratic movement" together with moderate reformist members of the opposition to check the overwhelming power of the conservative Communists in power.
July 13 - Following a week of relative calm in the wake of the first anti-Armenian attacks, one young boy and his father are found dead in their family apartment in Qurghonteppa. Despite the best efforts of the local police enforcement to find a culprit to the attacks and bring them to justice for the victims, no indication of the murderers were ever found beside anti-Armenian graffiti that mocked those that were killed.
July 17 - Taking time to respond to the recent calls for a "united democratic movement" by Gennady Ubaydulloyev, the Central Committee for the Tajik Communist Party finally responded to the press through the shrewd Secretary Rashid Qutbuddinovich. Using a common attack employed by the Soviet Communist governments against agitators, he called for the internal party unity over Ubaydulloyev's 'factionalism' and decried the reformer's lack of experience in Tajik affairs, having spent the previous four months in Moscow with a further seven year absence from the Republic during the mid-1980's.
July 20 - Ethnic violence gripped the town of Kazidi as a group of Tajik youths (who's families emigrated to the town where their parents were transferred to work in the Gorno-Badakhshan mines) physically assaulted a young Pamiri female. After receiving the news of the violence, several families rose up in a swath of violence against the non-Pamiri minorities living within the region, precipitating brutal murders and beatings of primarily Tajiks in the eastern Oblast, go as far as to attack a number of Afghan refugees who had been settled into the town by the Tajik government.
July 27 - After being received well by large crowds in Kofarnikon and Nurek, Ubaydulloyev moves onto speak in the capital of Dushanbe for the first time in his life. Speaking in front of an audience of primarily young reformist minded men and women, the People's Deputy rallied the large group of around 5,000 behind his call for an "united movement" against the deeply entrenched power of the conservative Communists, all whilst attempting to divert attention away from claims that he "wasn't a true Tajik" as raised by Minister Qutbuddinovich. Instead, he claimed that his "blood was made of Tajik soil" and that the anti-reformist, anti-Glasnost Communists were planning to destroy any vestiges of nationalism from the people they administered.
July 29 - Continuing on from weeks' worth of discussion on the failing economic policies of the Communist Party, the Central Committee of the Supreme Soviet authorises the formation of a government sponsored "economic commission". Composed of several retired, "successful" ministers for finance from across a number of other SSRs and Oblasts in the USSR as well as members of the Tajik Supreme Soviet, it's primary goal was to debate economic policy (under the guidance of the government) and offer recommendations on methods of controlling the spiralling economy. Imomali Rakhmonov was, against the wishes of many conservatives in the Supreme Soviet and Supreme Council, placed on the commission by First Secretary Makhkamov to quell the growing vocals of the reformists in Tajik legislature.
August 5 - Anti-Armenian violence continued to plague a number of large Tajik cities as radical nationalist Tajiks began to march in numbers against the perceived Armenian enemy. During once incident in Qurghonteppa (the hotbed for Tajik nationalism and Islamic traditionalism), a young Tajik couple was dragged out of their after a crowd of several dozen mistakenly pointed them out as Armenian, after which they were brutally beaten and left on the streets in critical condition.
Meanwhile in Dushanbe, a small protest held by four Pamiri shopkeepers as a means to bring attention to the current ethnic conflict enveloping the nation was brought to a halt after they were driven away from the town centre in which they were marching and beaten by a group of Tajik youths who proceeded to shout ethno-religious slurs against the group of men (the majority of Pamiri people follow the Shitte of Islam whilst the majority of Tajiks follow Sunni).
August 6 - The promise made by the Kremlin on January 19 begins to be met as the first of the new ground troops sworn by Moscow to reinforce the Panj River border arrived in Tajikistan. Composed primarily of the 206th Motor Division which arrived from the Kazakh SSR, the final deal in regards to the level of Soviet subsidization of the reinforcements and their garrisoning in the Tajik Republic would continue for the next few months whilst the Tajik military delegation for Moscow continued to debate with the heads of the Soviet army.
August 10 - Isatullo Khayoyev fired back against the slowly growing popularity of Ubaydulloyev through the official Tajik government paper, Kūpruk. In the editorial, the Chairmen of the Supreme Council fired against the reformist's 'unorthodox' ideals, especially his pro-Glasnost beliefs and his willingness to go against the strength provided by "internal party unity". He finished his editorial by claiming that Ubaydulloyev was a dissenter who posed a legitimate threat against Communism and the Tajik central government.
August 15 - After proposing a new method of lend-lease (then supported by Mikhail Gorbachev in the USSR-wide Supreme Soviet) that would allow for the increase of the size of land grants along with a softening of restrictions on who could hold the grants, Imomali Rakhmonov is ejected from the economic commission only weeks after it formed. Due to the conservatives in the Tajik Supreme Soviet pressuring Chairman Gaibnasar Pallayev to drop him whilst they wrote up an alternative list of economic recommendations that challenged the reformist Perestroika policies of Moscow, the young People's Deputy remaining undeterred by the ejection as he begun to write his own suggestions for a new economic policy.
August 21 - Following a string of small scale violent attacks throughout the western regions of the Tajik SSR, the city of Kolkhozabad fell into looting and rioting after a Pamiri man retaliated against a Tajik aggressor who had threatened both him and his family. During the tide of violence, three ethnic Pamiris were murdered in broad daylight whilst the majority Tajik rioters marched through the town streets decrying the Tajik government's "weak" stance against minorities in the Republic whilst brutalising them on the streets. By the time the Militsiya arrived, the crowd of over a thousand had been already been dispersed with several more being apprehended over the following fortnight. In total, 80 citizens had been captured with over a dozen minority victims being brutalised in the display of violence.
August 24 - In the wake of the mass wave of ethnically fueled violence displayed by his citizens, Kakhar Makhkamov, alongside several other leading Central Committee Communists begin a nationwide tour of the Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast following on from a suggestion from the autonomous region's First Secretary Soibnazar Beknazarov. Planning out a number of high profile public displays and speeches in the region, the party believed that the tour would help smooth over sectarian and ethnically-fuelled conflict through the display of friendship.
August 29 - After going months without adequate pay, housing or food provisions, several dozen soldiers from the Kalot barracks rose up with a rallying cry against the government during a visit to their place of station by the Chairmen of the District Soviet in Gorno-Badakhshan, Yevgeny Tursunov. During the display, soldiers refused to back down when asked by their superiors to disperse and return to their barracks, marching in military order as they called for an increase in living conditions for soldiers across the entire autonomous oblast. Ultimately culminating after a group of soldiers began to chant the term "hudo" (or god in Tajik) as a derogitory slur in reference to Bozor Sobir's "The Land Below God", many returned to their position two days after the protest began, with continuing agitators being discharged.
August 31 - In a final public speech before returning to Moscow, Gennady Ubaydulloyev called out to the people of the Tajik SSR to embrace their cultural heritage in spite of the conservative Communists within the Central Committee and Dushnube, requesting that a popular movement for democracy should be pursued by the citizens of the Republic and that they must protect their freedoms granted to them by Glasnost and Perestroika, claiming that the Central Party Communists were "all too keen" to strip their rights away from them.
September 4 - Whilst ethnic tensions clawed their way through the major cities and population centres of the Republic, religious leaders began to make their appearances throughout the countryside in popular displays. Sayid Abdulloh Nuri, a popular Sunni figurehead of religious opposition to the Soviet government, rode on a wave of support shortly following his release from prison a year before to make a speech before the town of Shuroabad. In the speech, he requested that the people rediscover their faith in God and Islam, and peacefully protest their concerns against the Communist government, a position met with widespread appeal throughout the more religious southern regions of the SSR.
September 7 - Met with violence and opposition whilst marching through the streets of Leninabad, a Tajik nationalist is attacked by young members of the Communist party as he boastfully protested the Central Committee's failure to end to epidemic of homelessness and poverty throughout the country. In the display, he carried a burning Tajik flag throughout the city's main street whilst shouting down the government in Dushanbe before being driven away with rocks and bricks thrown by the pro-Communist population.
September 10 - Finally meeting with Soibnazar Beknazarov in Khorugh after half a month of public speeches in the cities of Rushan and Kalot, Makhkamov began talks with the Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast's First Secretary on matters regarding the defence of the autonomous region's border with the Afghan state, as well as internal policies regarding the enforcement of law during times of mass ethnic violence.
Meanwhile in Uroteppa in the north of the nation, the disgraced former First Secretary of the Tajik, SSR Rakhman Nabiyev (who had been forced from power after discovering his ties to the politically corrupt ministers in Kulob and Obigarm in 1985) was met with applause from the local populace after a year of relative silence. In his speech which attacked the growing popularity of reformers such as Gennady Ubaydulloyev to the growing poverty in the Republic and decried the Gorbachev reforms as an attack on the Soviet people as a whole. Despite being disgraced by his party publically, Nabiyev continued to be most popular in the Communist-majority north in towns such as Leninabad and Uroteppa.
September 14 - Following the continuing decline of the reformist-minded "Ru ba Ru" 'political club', intellectuals, popular reformists and members of the Tajik intelligentsia met in Dushanbe to discuss the possibility of an organised political party. In the conference hosted by Tohir Abdujabbor (an economist who had fell out with the Communists years earlier), Mirbobo Mirrahim (a democratic philosopher) and the poet Bozor Sobir, the 400 men in presence opted to found a new reformist-minded political party that focussed on the economic liberalisation of Perestroika and continued democratisation through the veil of Glasnost, as well as a platform of human rights, and equality for all citizens of Tajikistan regardless of ethnicity or religion. Named the "People’s Movement of Tajikistan in Support of Perestroika", it would soon be given a new name by the underground newspapers; "Rastokhez", or "Revival".
September 18 - The conservative members on the economic commission present their draft policy for economic reforms to the Chairman of the Supreme Council and interim-head of the Central Committee (whilst Makhkamov was in the east), Isatullo Khayoyev, as well as the Chairman Gaibnasar Pallayev. Both conservative Communists and members of the Tajik nomenklatura, both men sent the draft proposals through a simple "review" commission over a period of only a few days in an attempt to present the fiscal policy changes to the Supreme Soviet before the First Secretary arrived back in Dushanbe (who they believed wouldn't support their roll-back of economic reforms). Some of the major changes proposed by the commission were the tightening of land-lease procedure in which only others who were chosen by the Central Committee would be liable to lease the government-owned land, as well as plans to strengthen and grow the current agricultural sector through extensive use of Soviet subsidization.
September 21 - Eleven days after their first meeting in Khorugh, the First Secretaries of the Tajik SSR and Gorno-Badakhshan ASSR finally make a surprise appearance in a controlled public forum. The two men taking questions from the Pamiri people in the crowd, the session slowly turned against the two men as the more radical members of the city slowly built up around the building in which the population started chanting nationalist Pamiri slogans with some calls for the independence of the eastern region. Ultimately cultivating after one member of the crowd hurled a brick through the large glass window of the building that hosted the forum, the local militsiya moved quick to disperse the crowd before it grew out of hand.
September 25 - Finally reaching the conclusion that greater steps to public safety must be met with more defensive initiatives, the two First Secretaries agree to a joint-law enforcing pact that would allow both Republic's militsiya to use greater force in the dispersal of crowds that would be deemed "dangerous to public security and peace", as well as the greater sharing of natural resources by government law enforcement.
September 28 - Following weeks of discussion and review, the Supreme Soviet of the Tajik SSR meets in Dushanbe for one final round of debate between the members of the government in regards to the policies put forward by the conservative economic commission. During the extended discussion, moderates and supporters of Perestroika attacked the proposed plans to reel-back Soviet-wide reforms in the small Republic, all whilst claiming that only policies opening the economy with less reliance on Soviet aid could raise the nation out of its spiralling economic position.
September 29 - Continuing through to another day of debate in the Tajik government, People's Deputy Imomali Rakhmonov made a rousing speech before his peers on the Supreme Soviet and Supreme Council in a call to the moderates and reformists to oppose the economic commission and conservatives in the Communist party, claiming that their reliance on the Soviet (primarily the Russian SFSR) government was placing the Tajik SSR in a weaker position compared to its neighbours, and made an announcement that he and his allies across the nation (primarily those in the more moderate cities of Hisor, Nurek, Obigarm and Navabad) would do everything in their power to block Isatullo Khayoyev, Gaibnasar Pallayev and 'their' Central Committee from passing their proposal before Kakhar Makhkamov arrived back in the capital.
Meanwhile in Garm and Jirgatal', hundreds of protesters marched through the streets demanding the deportation of all Armenian citizens within the Tajik SSR, as well as the complete split of the Pamiri regions (primarily the Gorno-Badakhshan ASSR) from the Republic. During the radical display, members of the protesting crowd carried out violence against the relatively large (eight and thirteen percent in Garm and Jirgatal' respectively) Pamiri population in both cities, resulting in the deaths of six citizens over the weekend.
September 30 - On the third day of counting economic debate in government, the moderates and reformists in the Tajik Communist Party, including those that were placed on the Central Committee led a boycott of the numerous conservatives that controlled the Supreme Soviet, but not the Supreme Council. In their display of opposition to their government's reactionary positions, they refused to allow the conservative members of the Central Committee to leave the Soviet building (by forcing the doors to remain closed on the meeting room) until a compromise between the factions could be met whilst the First Secretary was returning to Dushanbe.
October 1 - After an entire night of being trapped within the capital building during the moderate's boycott, during which time small scale violence between People's Deputies broke out in the midst of the hostile debates, First Secretary Makhkamov finally touched down in his nation's capital after a month in the east. After making his way to the government building and being ushered inside along with the seventeen other People's Deputies that had travelled along with him, he found the Supreme Soviet to be in deadlock and the Central Committee fractured.
Despite receiving reports of the economic commissions conservative plans for the nation, as well as their intention to vote on the proposals in government, he had received assurances from that wing of the party that they would wait for his return to Dushanbe before holding the ballot. Furious at their betrayal of confidence, the First Secretary of the nation and General Secretary of the nation's Communist Party ultimately decided to side with the pro-Rakhmonov faction of moderates, forcing many who had been members of the conservative faction to bolt and join his side. After a complete review the economic policies raised by reactionaries in his party, he ultimately announced his intentions to block the conservatives from passing their agenda through national legislature, calling them "corrupt vestiges of the Rakhman Nabiyev government" that threatened to tear apart both his and the Soviet governments reforms.
As a result of his ideological shift towards the moderates, outright violence flared up in the Supreme Soviet as dozens of People's Deputies (including Rakhmonov) were forced into the centre of fighting in which a number of ministers were knocked unconcious or were left bleeding. It took over half an hour before the violence finally began to subside, the First Secretary finally allowing all ministers to take their leave after days of exhausting debate.
October 4 - Three days after the outbreak of violence in the Tajik Supreme Soviet, newspapers (both legal and underground) began to run stories detailing the events surrounding the internal party fight and the People's Deputies and ministers who partook in the violence. With several underground newspapers (moderate, reformist or nationalist) taking the side of the Rakhmonov-led opposition whilst Communist publications such as the Tajik branch of Pravda took the side of the conservatives, the events became a major rallying point for opposition to the perceived reactionary nature of the government (primarily Isatullo Khayoyev and Gaibnasar Pallayev).
October 6 - After the five day period of withdrawal from government, members of both the Supreme Soviet and Council converge again on the capital. Despite the moderates (along with their reformist and nationalist allies) the now largest faction within the Tajik government, the conservatives and reactionaries attempt one final push to deprive their opponents of power; an attemptive inter-party coup. During the middle of renewed economic debates, Gaibnasar Pallayev raised to his feet claiming that First Secretary Makhkamov was unable to run the nation due to the fact that he had severed the Communist party through factionalism in an attempt to froce him to region, launching himself into a last desperate attempt to win over those in the centre, he claimed that their leader was at the centre of corruption during the mid-1980's at that he had bribed his way into power. The attempt ultimately failed, the more numerous moderates, led by Makhkamov and Rakhmonov shouted down the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet, later closing the meeting down for the day with the conservatives in disarray and disgrace.
October 7 - Following on from the success of his "The Land Under God" short story, Bozor Sobir, with aide from his moderate supporters in Rastokhez publish another story throughout the nation in both the above, and underground newspapers. This time dealing with the complete history of the Tajik people, he puts forth arguments surrounding the faults and failures of the Communist Party and its failure to bring it's 'workers' paradise' in the seventy years of control it had had of the the nation. Ultimately, it would prove to be the old man's greatest and most well-known narrative, being printed in abundance throughout even the Communist-majority regions of the nation.
October 10 - Sectarianism rose in the town of Khovaling overnight as several groups of extreme nationalist Tajik men broke into the homes of suspected minorities to rob and beat the occupants. Officially owned by the Tajik SSR, the houses saw several pieces of valuable jewellery and other government supplies stolen from the dwellings as the less fortunate victims were attacks by the unknown assailants in an attempt to protect their property.
October 12 - Twelve days after the major fighting in the government and six after his attempt to win over centrists in his endeavour to force the First Secretary to resign, the Central Committee of the Tajik Communist Party, now thoroughly controlled by Kakhar Makhkamov, raised a notion in the Supreme Soviet to force it's Chairman Gaibnasar Pallayev to step down from his position. In a massive vote favouring the leading moderate government after little debate, the elderly Pallayev who had served his position as head of the Supreme Soviet for five years was forced to resign from his post. Chairman Isatullo Khayoyev on the other hand did not have a similar request raised about him in the Supreme Council, despite his support of the conservatives during the late-September debates after he put his full support behind the First Secretary's decision to drop Pallayev.
October 17 - Rising out of a number of recent popular speeches broadcast across the north of the nation, Rakhman Nabiyev made a vitriolic address to over 7,500 citizens in Leninabad decrying the recent events in Dushanbe regarding the conservative Communists in government, claiming that with Pallayev removed and Khayoyev weakened, the Supreme Soviet and the Party's Central Committee was free to pass any "damaging reform" that it now pleased, including the opening of the nation to the hated foreign ethnic groups such as Armenians and Uzbeks.
October 21 - Word from the Kremlin in regards to the proposals raised by the Select Committee for Tajik Defence and the SSR's military delegation to Moscow finally reached back to Dushanbe. After five months away from their home nation, the delegates claimed that the talks with Kremlin officials and leading Soviet military men were finally reaching a conclusion regarding the allocation of funds requested to defend the Panj River and bolster the internal growth of military industry and infrastructure. In their report, they claimed that whilst the RSFSR could not grant them intermediate funds to subsidize their plans for defence, they would be able to do so on a monthly basis, allowing for the slow growth of the internal military, even if the offered funds were far less than what was originally asked.
October 23 - Original plans for a large military parade in Dushanbe to commemorate the Great October Socialist Revolution are discarded in favour of a less expensive affair. Following on from housing protests in western cities such as Hisor and Tursunzade, as well as communities damaged by the January earthquake (many of the post-disaster houses promised by the government having not even begun the process of being built), the Central Committee and the government intelligentsia cut the more expensive programs from the parade in an attempt to appease the populace by funnelling the money into the housing projects (an often inefficient process).
October 28 - Following the pressure by his reformist-moderate faction towards the First Secretary Makhkamov, Imomali Rakhmonov was elected by the Tajik leader to the position of Deputy Minister for the Economy so he could serve on the Central Committee. Growing in popularity across the entire nation after his vocal opposition to the conservative faction only a month before, as well as his support of Perestroika (popular with many of the nation's younger generations living in the large cities), the young Rakhmonov's growing power would soon prove a problem for even his moderates on the Supreme Soviet and Council.
October 31 - Following the cooling of violence and deaths across the SSR, ethnic violence sprung up once again in the south-west of the nation, primarily in Kolkhozabad, Qurghonteppa and Kulob where thousands of citizens marched out onto the streets in opposition to the moderate government's perceived stance on minorities. Attacking Pamiris, Uzbeks and even Russians, the ethnic Tajik people who carried out the attack were swiftly dispersed or arrested by the militsiya in compliance with the defence pact signed by Makhkamov on September 25. However, the damage was done as the final 'official' death tally of the violent protests was placed at thirteen (a total that would have been much higher), which ultimately sent shock waves through the entire Republic serving to radicalise more citizens of the small SSR.
November 1 - After months of 'spreading the word' of God in an attempt to facilitate the growth of religious opposition to the Communist government, Sayid Abdulloh Nuri was attacked in the small town of Khonabad. Whilst walking the streets at night, several assailants stripped him of his clothes and beat him into unconsciousness in the process of stealing several pieces of jewellery he had with him at the time. Several days after the attack, Nuri would claim that those that brutalised him were a group of Communist youths.
November 3 - Despite the push against him by the Central Committee of the Tajik Communist Party earlier in the year, Gennady Ubaydulloyev received an unexpected endorsement of support by the recently appointed Central Committee member Imomali Rakhmonov. Speaking in the Supreme Soviet during a round of reformist debates, Rakhmonov claimed that the Tajik member for the Soviet Chamber of People's Deputies was one of the most honourable statesmen in the Republic's recent history, claiming that his call to push for more democracy shadowed his own. This statement sent a shock wave through the Central Committee members despite First Secretary Makhkamov's assurance that he would retain all the positions recently granted to him.
November 5 - For the third time in the year, a band of over a dozen Afghan drug runners were caught attempting to cross the Panj River into the Pamiri city of Ishkashim. The captures came at a time of rising sectarian-fuelled violence between the underground drug (primarily opium) traders and a local religious vigilante group termed the 'Fighters of the Soul' by the national newspapers, a group whose members conducted several illegal raids on the smuggler's compounds to the indignation of the local law enforcement.
Furthermore, moderates, reformists and nationalists in the city of Kulob came out in droves to protest recent restrictions of travel by the local Communist Secretary. In temporary measures officially meant to curb the recent trend of rising violence against the city's minorities, restrictions were placed on the time streetcars and trains could be caught, as well as a prohibition on travelling throughout the densely populated, Uzbek and Pamiri majority regions of Kulob. During the protest, several buildings were smashed as a single Tajik was taken to the hospital in critical condition after being falsely identified as a Pamiri.
November 6 - In one of the most egregious acts of violence that occured during the latter half of 1989, three elderly Armenian men in Kolkhozabad were murdered in broad daylight by a group of radical Tajik nationalists. Shortly after losing their own home to a recent storm, the five family members (as they were believed to have been) latched onto recent rumours that the government was increasing the rate of Armenian settlement in the Republic and sought revenge against the next group that they saw, murdering the three elderly men with planks of wood and bricks, soon being arrested by the militsiya.
November 7 - During the annual celebration of the Great October Socialist Revolution, held with a commemorative (albeit minor) military parade in Dushanbe, several small violent confrontations break out among the more isolated crowds in the city. Despite the militsiya, military and KGB carefully overlooking the multitude to ensure that no member of the large group stepped 'out of line' or usher in a protest, several members of more isolated groups in the city were attacked during the law enforcement's presence in the town centre. With dozens of Communists, moderates and nationalists facing the brunt of sectarian attacks over the course of the day, the watch force paid the violence no mind if only to ensure that it did not come anywhere near the primary, larger group of citizens attending the parade in the capital. During the march of soldiers, First Secretary Makhkamov made an appearance before his people to announce the recent allocation of housing funds that would go towards increasing build projects across the nation, a proclamation met with few cheers (due to the public's distrust of their Communist government).
November 8 - Coming out after days of rising ethnic violence (of which he had originally believed to have been ended with pacts and legislation he passed over the past year), Kakhar Makhkamov is greeted by over ten thousand citizens in Dushanbe. Speaking out against the growth of violence against minority ethnic groups (paying particular attention to Pamiris and Armenians), the First Secretary made a strong request to his nation to remain united in 'these troubled economic times', assuring his constituency that no special privilege was being given to any group (an assurance few would grow to believe).
Meanwhile in Navabad, after a month and a half of existence the over 500 inaugural members of Rastokhez met to discuss the internal affairs of the party, primarily the party leadership. Over the course of the four ballots between the founders Tohir Abdujabbor and Mirbobo Mirrahim, the former was elected the party's first leader on the basis of his prior political activities and his high profile nature. Bozor Sobir, while deciding to not run for the leadership position of his new-found party, choose to throw his support behind Abdujabbor whilst also announcing his candidacy for the upcoming February 1990 elections (in which he would run as an independent due to the fact that the Communist Party was the only 'legal' party in the nation).
November 9 - Whilst speaking before a crowd of thousands on the streets of Leninabad in the midst of the rising housing crisis, Rakhman Nabiyev was protested by a number of moderates and nationalists who opposed his call to returning the nation to his perceivably corrupt policies. During the movement of the reformists, several confrontations broke out between them and the Nabiyev supporters before the entire procession broke into open fighting in which even the former First Secretary was forced into. With the violence lasting well over an hour, Nabiyev returned to his stage to continue his speech after the militsiya had dispersed the protesters, a move that would receive a standing ovation from the crowd below.
November 10 - Internal tensions flared as Pamiri people clashed with local law enforcement in Vanj, the people of the city incensed at the growing violence of the Tajik people elsewhere in the nation. During their march down the town's main street, they shouted out anti-government, anti-Communist slogans in the midst of traditional Pamiri saying, their 'leader', a popular local member of the town council Humayon Mulkomonov, chanting that the Tajik people held unfair control over the Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast. Following a brief confrontation with the militsiya in which over 50 marchers were injured, Mulkomonov was taken into the law's custody.
Concurrently, after the report returned to Dushanbe following the extended defence talks in Moscow, the Committee for Tajik Defence (as well as the Tajik delegates to the Kremlin) finally announced that a breakthrough in diplomacy was being reached. Announcing that the Soviet government would be willing to increase military subsidies in the SSR if the Tajik government would be willing to increase private initiatives in regards to the industrial economy, the breakthrough came at a time in which the pay to many soldiers in the 202nd and 206th Motor Divisions were becoming less frequent.
November 12 - During an internal session of the Central Committee of the Tajik Communist Party, People's Deputy Rakhmonov was given the floor for the first time after only two weeks in the congress. During his speech before the party's highest ranking members, the Deputy Economic Minister called that the primary way to pull the nation out of economic spiral was the extension of the Kremlin's Perestroika policies, and 'perhaps even beyond them'. The presentation was met with applause by the reformists as Rakhmonov detailed the failures of the current closed-market system, primarily in pointing out the declining GDP per capita, which in 1989 stood at only 3,300 Soviet Rubles.
November 14 - During a housing march in the town of Hisor, members of the militsiya and KGB arrested several protesters after they retaliated against violence of three law enforcement officials. Having been attacked earlier in the day, several protesters surrounded the three members of the militsiya who had brutalised the marchers, beating them in a retaliatory attack that was later met with imprisonment and charges of assault.
November 15 - In the midst of continuing economic talks within the Central Committee sessions, the influential member of the Leninabad 'nomenklatura' and the then Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council, Usmon Ghanievich Usmonov, stood up in front of the over-one hundred members of the Tajik government that composed of the Committee to proclaim his support behind Rakhmonov and his plans to extend Perestroika. Coming as a shock to the remaining conservative members of the SSR's government due to Usmonov's history as a perceived kleptocrat who 'owned' a number of leased properties around the nation, the Deputy Chairman proclaimed that the "only way forward for the nation was reform".
November 18 - In one of the most shocking political events of the year, three days after the revelation that he would put his full support behind any reforms initiated by the Makhkamov government, Usmon Ghanievich Usmonov was found dead in his spacious Kulob apartment. Arriving home the previous day, an official government report detailing the death claimed that he had died from "self-inflected wounds" with an "abundance of medical chemicals" being found in his system, although Rakhmonov and his reformist/moderates expressed doubt in the validity of the story. Years later, a secretary of the Deputy Economic Minister would claim that Rakhmonov was paranoid that Makhkamov was eliminating those that would erode at his own power base, Usmonov included.
Meanwhile in Kalininabad and Dangara, Rakhman Nabiyev led a march of over a thousand anti-reformist, reactionary Communist members across the two towns. Chanting down the recent fall of support for the conservatives in the Tajik government as well as the economic and political reforms of Kakhar Makhkamov which they believed left the SSR far less safe in terms of homelessness, poverty, crime and general safety, 'Nabiyev's Men' as the newspapers had dubbed them were slowly growing more and more restless and reckless in their more recent marches, with dozens of nationalists and moderates being injured over the course of the demonstrations.
November 20 - Almost four months after the founding of the first "economic commission", the Central Committee advises the formation of a second, this time led wholly by the Ministry for Economy (Minister Qodi Soevich and his Deputy Rakhmonov) with oversight from the members of the Supreme Soviet and Central Committee. Being formed in the advent of Usmon Usmonov's recent death, an event that fractured the government conservatives even more so than the recent resignation of Gaibnasar Pallayev, the moderates and reformists formed the major leading members on the economic commission and vowed to their followers that they would "force through their policies".
November 21 - In the front of decreasing tensions throughout the capital over recent weeks, especially after the relatively calm Great October Socialist Revolution Day parade, graffiti was found covering the statue of Lenin in down town Dushanbe. Being one of the largest statues of the Communist leader in Central Asia, local law enforcement found it was covered in large nationalist slogans along with xenophobic mantras (including anti-Armenian and anti-Pamiri scribblings) which caused a backlash from the local right-wing of the Communist Party, the Chairman of the Dushanbe Council decrying the act as "spitting on the legacy of the greatest man in the past century".
November 23 - In the light of the recent strengthening of the moderates and reformists over the past two months, Interior Minister Sherali Makhkamov (not related to Kakhar Makhkamov) met an audience in Kulob to remember the death of his long-time friend Usmon Usmonov, as well as officially note his opposition to the reforms of his government, especially Imomali Rakhmonov's reformists. Attended also by the Propaganda Minister Rashid Qutbuddinovich as well as the Minister of Public Education Talbak Nazarov, all of whom saw their images soon printed across Pravada as anti-reformism was slowly becoming more palatable to more of the Tajik citizens, the three men rallied around the small but radical Communist support in the town to deliver their message of opposition nationwide.
November 24 - In a brief session of the Central Committee, First Secretary Makhkamov fired back against the three dissident members who had recently seen the applause of hundreds of Kulob citizens. Attacking their inability to face the changes needed to help reform and rebuild the economy and society of the SSR, he further went into detail on how he would be willing to support any extension of the land-lease policy as directed by recently formed Soevich-Rakhmonov economic commission, as well increase public privatisation to see the Kremlin's promised increase of military subsidies, all to the chagrin of the conservatives.
Meanwhile in Garm, the leading members of the Rastokhez party met in a local library to discuss the upcoming first party conference (set for December 14th), as well as publish a list of the over 100 inaugural members who they would be considering to run in the upcoming February elections. With Tohir Abdujabbor, Mirbobo Mirrahim and Bozor Sobir all included in the list of potential candidates (the latter having already announced his intention of running), the group had begun to plan a series of speeches and marches around the nation's east to drum up support behind nationalism and reform, including a protest in Dushanbe in late-December that had argued would bring over ten thousand 'young democrats', moderates and reformists, to help them in the lead up to the ballot as well as erode the support of the communists.
November 26 - Internal tensions flared as this time religious temperaments saw to an anti-Kyrgyz, anti-Sunni riot in the Pamiri-majority town of Murgab. With some assailants having attacked the Kyrgyz whilst they were leaving their Sunni Mosque just outside the small town, brutalising them with knives and stones, the attacks came during a period of rising religious tensions in the east, especially in regards to the influx of Sunni majority Kyrgyz people into Shi'ite Pamiri communities. All attackers were eventually caught by the local militsiya, although they could not stop over a dozen members of the minority group from being injured.
November 28 - Despite days of silence on the matter, Rakhman Nabiyev finally made his appearance before Leninabad to discuss the massive rise of reformism in the Tajik Supreme Soviet and Central Committee, as well the status of both Isatullo Khayoyev and Usmon Usmonov. Despite decrying their 'failure' to effectively oppose the efforts of the Deputy Economic Minister and First Secretary, as well as the 'weakening' of all conservatives in the government, he argued that the reformists had blinded the reactionaries into submission, as well as saying that despite his capitulation to Imomali Rakhmonov, Usmonov's death was one of the greatest blows to 'true Communism' in recent years.
Over 200km away in the city of Nurek, a housing protest slowly grew out of hand as homeless marchers met and fought a group of militsiya. Although it remains unknown on who started the confrontation, the small group of protesters numbering in the lower hundreds fought back violently against the law enforcement after they attempted to disperse of the group following a complaint by the local Communist members of the Nurek City Council and its Council Secretary. Ultimately sparking a short-lived riot in which five citizens saw their lives lost, the militsiya was able to successfully rein them in over a period of several hours, the time it took to capture the violent protesters later sparking more protests from locals.
November 29 - Following the raiding of another underground newspaper several nights previous in the city of Navavad, a number of reformist-moderate protesters marched out on the street of Dushanbe to decry the KGB and law enforcement for their "blatant infringement of the rights of Glasnost". Furthermore, they called out in numbers to the ever more popular Rakhmonov in an appeal to the politician to help aid in their push for a more open, more liberal government, something the Deputy Economic Minister was less willing to proceed with than his push for extending Perestroika.
November 30 - Although they were not usually known for their nationalistic violence, several Kyrgyz workers in the northern town of Isfara were brutally beaten by a group of conservative Communists. Having planned the attack for weeks, the group preparing the violent ambush against the 'foreigners' after they were convinced they were handed their jobs in the local steel factory by the government whilst believing that Tajiks wouldn't be granted the same opportunities, the Kyrgyz workers were left in critical states after being beaten with clubs and bricks.
December 2 - Following the call out by the conservative Communists in the Supreme Soviet and Central Committee to oppose government-led reforms, First Secretary Soibnazar Beknazarov of the Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast announced that he offer complete support to Makhkamov (for whom he had to thank for his current position, it being given to him due to a show of loyalty in the Supreme Council in 1987). Declaring that the all the 'far-right' Communists had to offer was sectarianism and division in the midst of troubled economic times, his words spoke to the moderates and pro-reformist population that served as the majority in his Oblast, further cementing his position after a year of increased economic support from the Soviet Union.
December 4 - The Tajik delegates originally sent to Moscow in May earlier in the year finally returned to their home nation with a full draft proposal drawn up by both themselves and members of the Defence Minister in the Kremlin. With the document granting the Tajik government the right to build several RSFSR-controlled military bases in towns across the Panj River border on a 20 year lease beginning in July 1990, the proposal also would allow for the increase of 'controlled military subsidies' (capped subsidies that would flow to the Tajik military every month) due for renewal every ten years. Furthermore, despite refusing to directly fund the increase of military industrial growth, the document did allow for the growth of private industry and the number of land-leased farms in exchange for the increase of industrial subsidies to government-owned farmland. The document was taken to the Minister of Defence Rahimov Saidovich and the Central Committee for debate and ratification.
December 6 - In an internal session of the Central Committee, First Secretary Makhkamov took to the floor to throw his full support behind the RSFSR-Tajik defence initiative after the introduction of the motion in the national legislature. Announcing that the motion would be the greatest compromise for all the factions within the fractured and sectionalised Communist Party, which would allow for the growth of the military industrial sector (something supported strongly by the conservatives in the Supreme Soviet and on the Central Committee), as well as allow for the growth of private industry (as a part of the moderate and reformist plans for the extension of Perestroika). The reactionaries in government, now 'led' by the Minister for Public Education Talbak Nazarov, announced that whilst they would not support the proposal without undue debate, they would not attempt to bare its passage through government.
December 7 - Following a violent private confrontation between the victims and the assailants, several stones are thrown through the window of an Armenian leased store in Qurghonteppa. Coming during a period of growing ethnic violence against minorities in the town in which Uzbeks, Armenians, Pamiris, Afghans and even Russians were attacked in several incidents across the SSR's southern regions, the action of December 5 prompted several influential and local minorities to draft and post a petition to Qurghonteppa's Communist city council requesting that they increase efforts to put an end to the nearly unceasing violence.
December 9 - On the first day of official debate regarding the joint Dushanbe-Moscow military and industrial proposal, the reactionaries and conservatives began to push back against the growing reformism in the Supreme Soviet with a united effort to shout down Deputy Economic Minister Imomali Rakhmonov during his speech in support of the Kremlin-backed initiative. Arguing that the radical increase of private land ownership would adversely affect those that already leased government-owned land, as well as decrease the availability of public assets that would otherwise be available to the government, the conservative leader Talbak Nazarov furthered his statement by stating that the Soviet government was also at fault by not "doing their duty" to protect the Panj River border without having forcing Gorbachev's reforms on the nation.
Meanwhile in towns and cities such as Navabad, Garm, Obigarm and Chidara, the Rastokhez party finally began their nationwide electoral campaign with several campaigns throughout locations such as the aforementioned cities. Appearing in front of thousands of citizens across the several localities, members such as Mirbobo Mirrahim and Bozor Sobir made their high profile emergence to the field of politics, both men reading from a series of speeches written by the latter. In the addresses, the various members who made their public appearances on this day announced that they would offer full support to the reformists in the Tajik government, open the economy, seek more autonomy for their nation and protect every citizen of the country, a message that was well received by the nation's youth.
December 10 - The first food riots begin as homeless citizens in areas affected by the January earthquake (as well as their supporters, the majority of which were conservative Communists) marched against the Central Committee and the Dushanbe Communists after food promised by the Makhkamov-government failed to arrive in both time or quantity assured to the populace. Chanting anti-government and anti-reformist slogans as they begged for support from the people of Hisor, Tursunzade and Yavan, the local governments (all loyal to the Central Committee in the capital) worked quickly to mobilize the militsiya in an attempt to disperse the crowds that began to form, effectively silencing them for the time being as they were moved back to the 'temporary' tent towns in which they lived.
December 11 - Continuing through the debates in the Supreme Soviet of the recent military proposals, the conservatives and anti-reformists carried on with their aggressive stance against further privatisation, First Secretary Makhkamov finally took to the floor during the time of vitriolic discussion, arguing that whilst the Tajik nation had to temper itself with privatisation and the land-lease system, the conservatives would finally be receiving the military spending increase that they had long fought for. The statement, whilst being taken by the most radical reformists in the Supreme Soviet and Central Committee as opposition to their plans to extend Perestroika, was ultimately supported by the moderate-reformist leader, Imomali Rakhmonov.
December 13 - Despite the increase of military spending (and therefore an increase of wage) being argued amongst the members of the Central Committee, hundreds of soldiers across military barracks on border towns such as Panj, Shuroabad, Kalaikhum and Kalot rise up against their superiors in displays of opposition to both the Soviet and Tajik governments. Being both young members of the 202nd and 206th Motor Divisions, those that grew into protest refused to follow even the most basic orders given by their leaders after many had to forgo pay for months. Indignation rose as some of the men even barricaded the gates leading to their compounds, sealing themselves off from replacements.
December 14 - After only three short months of existence, the Rastokhez party held their first nation congress in the city of Navabad in which over a thousand 'members' (unofficial due to the fact that there could be no other registered parties in the Tajik SSR besides the Communists) in attendance. Officially announcing a list of 185 candidates who would run in the upcoming elections as independents, the leader Tohir Abdujabbor made his first official appearance as leader of the party before a large audience, again stating the pro-reformist, pro-nationalist goals of Rastokhez whilst also attacking the 'weak and divided' Communists in an attack that received a standing ovation.
December 17 - After nearly a year of lack of food and the construction of new homes for those affected in the January earthquake, student protesters across the nation's central region, especially those attending Dushanbe universities, moved out onto the streets together to protest the government's inaction and failure to commit to the crisis' that gripped the nation in one unified, coordinated effort. Acting quickly in an attempt to silence the movement before it grew too out of control, the Makhkamov-government sent in troops of militsiya to put an end to the action (or at least disperse the majority of the groups that numbered into their hundreds), failing as the protesters fought back against the law enforcement.
December 18 - Continuing on from the day previous, the student protesters came out again in force, this backed up by protesters of the Rastokhez party who had originally been planning their marches since October. Again calling out against the government due to its failures to end the spiralling economic condition of both the country and the Tajik citizens, they bellowed slogans that attacked their government and First Secretary Makhkamov, announcing their support behind even more radical economic and social reforms. During the march, several members of the crowd were taken into militsiya custody, however, the arrests didn't deter the rest of the protesting community who continued to fight back.
Meanwhile in the military barracks across the south of the SSR, militsiya and draft replacements for the protesting soldiers began to meet in conflict as the demonstrating, a number of indignant soldiers continued to stand up against their generals and superiors, physically holding down the gates to their barracks or military compounds. In one incident in Kalot, one protesting soldier was shot to death in the process of throwing bricks at a replacement contingent that had just arrived, his comrades joining in the fight after his death resentful over his death, later sending a call out to newspapers and radio stations across the nation to continue to march against the "brutal oppression of the Communist government".
December 19 - Across the nation, protests began to turn more and more violent as student protesters, moderates and reformists among them, were attacked (and attacked) the law enforcement and militsiya who were sent to finally disperse them after two days of near constant rising tensions. Meeting the demonstrators in the streets of Dushanbe, Kofarnikon, Obigarm, Navabad and Kulob (just to name a few), the law enforcement attempted to first peacefully see the crowd return home, but after the revelation of the incident at the Kalot barracks during midday, the protesters began to become far more defensive against dispersal attempts. Despite members of Rastokhez (including Bozor Sobir) urging the dissenters to find a peaceful solution, the student demonstrators began to throw projectiles at government forces as tensions began to boil over, the nationalists joining the opposition in droves following the news of further soldier-led resistance in barracks across the SSR.
Meantime in the Central Committee, the absence of several key conservative and reactionary Communists from the legislature during the beginning of the protests finally allowed the government to vote on whether or not the draft proposals for defence would be accepted. Led by First Secretary Makhkamov, the Supreme Soviet, Council and members of the Central Committee voted on a near-unanimous ballot to agree to the Kremlin's proposals, although they declared that they would continue to strive for a raise in the level of capped-subsidies, stating that the extension of privatisation would do far more harm than good to the SSR's economy.
Later on that night, the First Secretary appeared before the state-run television to announce before the cameras of his intentions regarding the protesters, both student, soldier, reformist and nationalists. Beginning by claiming that all opposition members of the government that were involved in the protests were "disrupting hard fought peace" that his government had slowly built up after the corruption of the Nabiyev-era, he went onto claim that they were planning to throw the entire state into disarray and tear the SSR away from the Soviet Union (which he had informed of his situation earlier in the day). He finished his statement by claiming that violence against law enforcement had grown far too out of hand, and that the militsiya would need to employ force to defeat the destabilizing threat "by any means necessary".