The Korean Diaspora Project: Koreans in Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan

Korean immigrants first appeared in the Russian Far East in the 1850s and early 1860s as poor Korean peasants migrated across the border in search for land and livelihood.  Korean migrants who had moved to Russia referred to themselves as the Koryo Saram (literally means the people of Koryo).  The Korean immigration increased dramatically during the early 1920s, after the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905 and Japan’s subsequent establishment of a protectorate over Korea.  By the October Revolution of 1917, there were about 100,000 Koreans in Russia.  Starting around 1930, almost the entire Soviet population of ethnic Koreans (by then nearly 170,000) were forcefully moved from the Russian Far East to unpopulated and remote areas (now  countries of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan).  The official reason for the deportation was due to the fact that Koreans, at the time, were subjects of the Empire of Japan, which was hostile to Russia.  Fear of disobedience and Japanese threat together created a deep distrust of Asian minorities within Soviet Union including the Koreans because of their ties with the Japanese empire, though Stalin was well aware that Koreans too resisted and fought against Japanese expansion.  Deportees were forced on to cattle carts in terrible, cramped, disease infested, and horrid conditions with no water, heat or food.  According to present day scholars and historians, these Stalin’s deportation implementations constituted “genocide which includes aims of annihilating the [Korean] group not just physically but culturally.”  It is estimated that more than 40,000 deported Koreans died around that time due to starvation, exposure and difficulties adapting to their new environment.  Today, there are over 500,000 ethnic Koreans residing in the former Soviet Union including now-independent states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.


Korean Diaspora in Kazakhstan: Question of Topical Problems for Minorities in Post-Soviet Space

Identity formation of Korean Diaspora in the former USSR


Lost and Found in Uzbekistan: The Korean Story (by Victoria Kim)

An Identity In Limbo For Post-Soviet Koreans.

Koryo Saram – The “Unreliable People”

Arirang Prime-orean Russians of Central Asia have been continuing their Korean e

Arirang Prime-Korean Russians overcome adversities and succeed 좌절을 딛고 성공한 고려인

 Arirang Prime-Korean Russians′ life after the collapse of the Soviet Union 소비에

Arirang Prime-Ushtobe was the first stop over deported Korean Russians 강제 이주 열

Arirang Prime-Young Korean Russians learn Korean Language 한국어를 배우는 젊은 고려인 후손들