Russian State Officials Featured As Epic Heroes

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Oct. 1 – Sergei Shoigu, a Moscow region governor and ex emergency situations minister, together with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, have been featured as epic heroes in modern Tuva epos “About Buga Tur Shoigu.”

The epic, composed by PhD Candidate and Tyvan university scholar Aibek Soskal, casts Shoigu as Sergek, an immortal hero whose name translates as “cheerful.” The names given to Medvedev and Putin translate into “bear” and “snake which rules the world,” respectively.

The folk tale “About Buga Tur Shoigu” glorifying the exploits Sergei Shoigu, who worked as emergency situations minister for 18 years until his appointment as Moscow region governor in May, RBC reported.

In one episode, the former minister appears in the guise of an eagle to advise Putin and Medvedev on how to save the Russian people from disaster.

Explaining his choice of genre, Soskal said the epic tradition was closely interwoven with the culture of the Tuvan people (Tuva Republic located in Russian South Siberia bordering with Mongolia) and that composing such works was a dying art.

“It is crucial for us to save the epic writing tradition. My epos is based on Tyvan heroic legends and folk tales, as well as on Tengeri philosophy of ancient Turks and Mongols,” Aibek Soskal said to the state-run paper Rossiiskay Gazeta.

The author described Shoigu, a native of the Tyvan Republic, as “flesh and blood, but also as a hero of Tuva, all Russian regions, and foreign countries, where his rescuers have saved thousands of lives.”

Meanwhile, the real Sergey Shoigu, not an epic hero, will face his first test run as a Moscow region governor in the middle of October.

On October 14, citizens of five main Moscow region towns will elect their new mayors. There are as many as 21 mayor candidates in Pushkino, 16 in Khimki, and 14 in Voskresensk, Russian business daily Kommersant reports.

The Moscow Region, together with the city of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the energy-rich Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area (Yugra), Tyumen Region and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, account for almost half of the Russia’s GDP, according RIA Rating 2011 survey of the social and economic position of regions.

In contrast to this, Tuva (Tyva) Republic is the most undeveloped region of Russia according to the latest available statistics. Tuva’s economic dependence upon Moscow remains the most powerful card in the federalists’ hands. Some 90 percent of Tuva’s budget comes from federal funds.

With an area of 170,000 square kilometers and a population of a little over 309,000 Tyva is a rugged and bleak region between the Sayan, Tannu-Ola and Altai mountain ranges. It is situated in the central part of the Asian continent bounded by Eastern Siberia on the north, Mongolia on the south and east, Irkutsk Region on the northeast, the Buryat Republic on the east, and the Altai Republic on the west.

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