Kyzyl is introduced in the Brave New World expansion pack.
Musical Theme Inspiration: ?
Founded in 1914 AD as Belotsarsk by Tsarist Russia to serve as the capital of its Tuva Republic, Kyzyl lies on the confluence of two tributaries of the Yenisei River in the heart of Asia. In fact, the town claims to be built on the exact geographical center of Asia. Historically, the region was controlled by the Mongols until 1757 AD, when it was brought under Manchu rule until 1911. During the 1911 Chinese rebellion, Tsarist Russia proclaimed Tuva a protectorate, a claim China was in no position to challenge. Following the Russian Revolution, the city was occupied at times by both the White and Red armies; after a brief two years under Chinese control again, in August 1921 the local Bolsheviks established a Communist republic, with the city renamed Kyzyl (Turkic for "red") as its capital. The Soviet Union annexed Kyzyl, along with Tuva, outright in 1944.
Until the Russian Federation was formed in 1992 AD, Kyzyl was largely isolated from the world. This 50-year enforced isolation helped preserve the Turkic-Mongolian culture found nowhere else that characterized the town. Khuresh, a Tuvan form of wrestling, is extremely popular, and an annual competition is held in Kyzyl. Turkic music, notably Tuvan throat singing, is celebrated each year at the Naadym festival. Since the Soviet collapse, a concerted effort to preserve the region's rich oral tradition of epics, poems, riddles and tongue-twisters has been promoted.
Since 1992 the Tuvan Democratic Movement has sought to provide jobs and housing to the nomadic peoples of the republic, as well as promote the Tuvan language and crafts. Following a wave of attacks on Kyzyl's sizeable Russian population, which resulted in 88 deaths, many Russians relocated to other Federation cities. Kyzyl, although being promoted as a tourist venue, remains remote and difficult to reach.