On Monday, July 17, representatives of the Kalmyk diaspora in New York City came to a rally against the Russian Empire as part of the beginning of the Captive Nations Week. The Oirat-Kalmyks have been held captive by Russia for 253 years. In 1771, as a result of the policy of the Empire - colonization, trade embargo and the exclusion of the Kalmyk Khanate's territories - most of the Oirat-Kalmyks, not wanting to submit to the power of Moscow and be cannon fodder for its conquest aspirations, migrated to Dzungaria - another Oirat state that was deserted after the war with China. Those who remained on the Volga lost their freedom and independence, becoming subjects of Russia, and the territory of the steppe - an acquired colony.
No one put the situation more succinctly than Tsebek-Dorji tayishi, who addressed the zargo as follows:
"Look how your rights are being limited in all respects. Russian officials mistreat you and the government wants to make peasant out of you. The banks of the Yayik and Volga are now covered with cossack settlements, and the northern borders of your steppes are inhabited by Germans. In a little while, the Don, Terek and Kuma will also be colonized and you will be pushed to the waterless steppes and the only source of your existence, your herds, will perish. Ubashi's son has already been ordered given as hostage, and three hundred from among the noble Kalmyks are to reside in the Russian capital. You can now see your situation, and in the future you will have two options - either to carry the burden of slavery, or to leave Russia and thus to end all your misfortunes. Dalai Lama himself selected two years in which migration to Jungaria could be undertaken. These two years have arrived. So your present decision will determine your future."