Blog: Tannu Tuva

Recently a famous Siberian tribal singer passed away. He had been born in Tannu Tuva. Tannu Tuva is on the border of central Siberia and northwest Mongolia. From 1921 to 1944 it was an independent Republic, before it was absorbed into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Tannu Tuva had been created by the Soviet authorities as an ‘independent’ republic as one mechanism to by-pass economic sanctions and boycotts of the Soviet Union. A similar shorter-lived subterfuge was the Far Eastern Republic on the Pacific Ocean coast of eastern Siberia. As a youthful stamp collector, the stamps of Tannu Tuva were well known because of their large size and their beautiful and colorful design. Doubtless the premier US stamp collector, FDR, appreciated these attractive stamps. The Tannu Tuva stamps were another attempt of the Soviets to use culture to gain respectability and influence. During the Second World War, Communists and fellow-travelers would frequently call New York’s classical music station to request music of Soviet composers to claim that the USSR was at the forefront of artistic creativity.