80+1 » Mongolia http://www.80plus1.org A Journey Around the World Thu, 25 Nov 2010 14:24:05 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.7.1 en hourly 1 Russia, Mongolia celebrate 1939 defeat of Japan http://www.80plus1.org/blog/russia-mongolia-celebrate-1939-defeat-of-japan http://www.80plus1.org/blog/russia-mongolia-celebrate-1939-defeat-of-japan#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2009 13:20:40 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=3940 Before leaving Mongolia yesterday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (pictured) and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj memorialized fallen soldiers who defeated the Japanese imperial forces at Khalkhyn Gol in 1939. This was the final battle between Soviet and Mongolian forces and Japan…

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Before leaving Mongolia yesterday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (pictured) and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj memorialized fallen soldiers who defeated the Japanese imperial forces at Khalkhyn Gol in 1939. This was the final battle between Soviet and Mongolian forces and Japan along their border in 1938 and 1939. This week marked the 70th anniversary of that battle.

“The Soviet and Mongolian soldiers fought for the right cause,” the Agence France Presse quoted Medvedev as saying.

The news agency also interviewed 100-year-old Mongolian veteran Damdinzhav Tsagaan, who said: “I believe that our two countries will be united forever.”

The two presidents met earlier this week to discuss development of minerals and other resources in Mongolia.

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Ulan Bator forges ahead with Russian investment http://www.80plus1.org/blog/ulan-bator-forges-ahead-with-russian-investment http://www.80plus1.org/blog/ulan-bator-forges-ahead-with-russian-investment#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2009 08:37:04 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=3702 Today, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with new Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj to discuss his country’s uranium fields and the possibility of upgrading the country’s rail networks.

Russia, which has had longstanding ties to Mongolia, had been concerned the the election…

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Today, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with new Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj to discuss his country’s uranium fields and the possibility of upgrading the country’s rail networks.

Russia, which has had longstanding ties to Mongolia, had been concerned the the election of Elbegdorj. He promised that Mongolians would benefit more from the country’s mineral wealth.

“There was speculation around the new president … But we have not felt any fundamental changes in the approach to strategic cooperation with Russia,” chief Kremlin foreign policy aide Sergei Prikhodko told Reuters on Sunday.

“We feel the new leadership of Mongolia is disposed to preserving everything that has been achieved in recent years.”

Earlier this year, Russian Railways, a state monopoly, signed a deal worth up to $7 billion to upgrade Mongolia’s railways and to bring railways to Mongolia’s mineral reserves in the Gobi desert.

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Austrian, Mongolian partner to unearth buried Buddhist artifacts http://www.80plus1.org/blog/austrian-mongolian-partner-to-unearth-buried-buddhist-artifacts http://www.80plus1.org/blog/austrian-mongolian-partner-to-unearth-buried-buddhist-artifacts#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2009 06:37:56 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2760 Last weekend, Austrian online media producer and amateur archeologist Michael Eisenriegler (above) and his Mongolian colleague, Zundoi Altangerel, uncovered two crates worth of irreplaceable artifacts, including manuscripts, Buddhist statues and clothing.

It was shown live and online last weekend at the Hauptplatz in…

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Last weekend, Austrian online media producer and amateur archeologist Michael Eisenriegler (above) and his Mongolian colleague, Zundoi Altangerel, uncovered two crates worth of irreplaceable artifacts, including manuscripts, Buddhist statues and clothing.

It was shown live and online last weekend at the Hauptplatz in Linz — full disclosure: 80+1 is a sponsor of the Gobi Treasure project.

The relics that were found were part of a larger collection that was once housed at Khamaryn monastery, 450 kilometers southeast of Ulan Bator. The Communist government in Mongolia destroyed and pillaged the monastery in 1937. Some boxes of the materials were saved by Tuduv, a monk at the monastery. He buried 64 boxes, and told his grandson Zundoi Altangerel the location of the buried treasure in the Gobi Desert.

When communism ended in Mongolia in 1990, Altangerel dug up around 20 of the boxes, leaving around 40 still buried in the desert.

More than half of the crates are still buried in the Mongolian Gobi.

Altangerel has not said when he will reveal the location of the remaining crates.

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Tsonjin Boldog boasts huge Genghis Khan statue http://www.80plus1.org/blog/tsonjin-boldog-boasts-huge-genghis-khan-statue http://www.80plus1.org/blog/tsonjin-boldog-boasts-huge-genghis-khan-statue#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2009 17:11:45 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2699 The New York Times has a new feature on the new statue of Mongolia’s most well-known historical figure, Genghis Khan. The 13th century emperor and conqueror of much of Asia and the Middle East has become a contemporary icon — Mongolians have…

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The New York Times has a new feature on the new statue of Mongolia’s most well-known historical figure, Genghis Khan. The 13th century emperor and conqueror of much of Asia and the Middle East has become a contemporary icon — Mongolians have put his name and or visage on the airport, currency and in a huge statue near the Parliament building.

The “Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex,” which opened last fall, is a huge area located in Tsonjin Boldog, about 50 kilometers outside the capital, Ulan Bator. The Genco Tour Bureau, a Mongolian tourism company found in 1997, spent $4.1 million on the statue, which towers in 40 meters of steel above the surrounding plain.

The Times reports on the activities available to tourists besides the huge statue itself:

Inside the two-story base of the statue, which opened last September, visitors can see a replica of Genghis Khan’s legendary golden whip, sample traditional cuisine — heavy on the horse meat and potatoes — and experience some decidedly un-nomadic customs, like billiards.

Although there is no evidence to back up its claim, the company contends that the site is where Genghis Khan found the whip, traditionally considered an auspicious omen, that inspired his future conquests. Like Genghis Khan, the company is intent on expanding its empire. Several miles away at a “13th-century national park,” the more adventuresome can milk horses, spin wool and watch a shaman ceremony. A spa, hotel and golf course are also in the works.

However, the newspaper notes that Mongolia has done very little to explore the complicated nature of Genghis Khan, who is considered by many to be a destructive, imperial force, particularly in Iraq, Iran, and the surrounding areas.

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Mongolian Neo-Nazis rise against China http://www.80plus1.org/blog/mongolian-neo-nazis-rise-against-china http://www.80plus1.org/blog/mongolian-neo-nazis-rise-against-china#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2009 08:44:15 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2537 Time magazine reports on the disturbing rise of nationalistic neo-Nazi groups in Mongolia, many of whom are vehemently anti-Chinese.

Mongolia, which just played host to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, may need to do something about this problem as it wants…

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Time magazine reports on the disturbing rise of nationalistic neo-Nazi groups in Mongolia, many of whom are vehemently anti-Chinese.

Mongolia, which just played host to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, may need to do something about this problem as it wants to develop its mining capabilities for its own future.

Time writes:

Fifty-year-old Zagas Erdenebileg is the leader of Dayar Mongol (All Mongolia), the most prominent of the neo-Nazi groups. “If our blood mixes with foreigners’, we’ll be destroyed immediately,” says Erdenebileg, who has run unsuccessfully for parliament four times. He loathes the Chinese — whom he accuses of involvement in prostitution and drug-trafficking — and reveres Genghis Khan, who he says influenced Adolf Hitler. I ask him if he considers his adoption of the beliefs of a regime that singled out and executed people with Mongol features from among Soviet prisoners of war to be in any way ironic. “It doesn’t matter,” he shrugs. “We share the same policies.”

While the magazine reports that there are now “several thousand” neo-Nazis in Mongolia, it’s important to remember that this is, at best probably somewhere around 1 out of every 500 Mongolians. In other words, not that many.

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President Elbegdorj could open Mongolia’s mines http://www.80plus1.org/blog/president-elbegdorj-could-open-mongolias-mines http://www.80plus1.org/blog/president-elbegdorj-could-open-mongolias-mines#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2009 21:27:03 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1786 New Mongolian president Tsakhia Elbegdorj was elected last month largely to help improve Mongolia’s economic problems.

One way that he might go about doing that, a recent UPI report suggests, is by opening up the countries vast mining reserves.

Mongolia has many…

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New Mongolian president Tsakhia Elbegdorj was elected last month largely to help improve Mongolia’s economic problems.

One way that he might go about doing that, a recent UPI report suggests, is by opening up the countries vast mining reserves.

Mongolia has many gold and copper deposits. According to the news service, Canadian mining company Ivanhoe, said that the Oyu Tolgoi mine alone contains “45.2 million ounces of gold and 78.9 billion pounds of copper.”

UPI adds:

Ivanhoe, which has worked to close the deal for five years, said its exploitation of the mineral field would result in a 34-percent increase for Mongolia’s gross domestic product.

That is growth Ulan Bator would seem to be excited to tap into since Mongolia is seeing economic pressure as commodity price falls have hurt its exports of gold, copper and coal, which had fueled growth of 9 percent a year from 2004-08, and its deficit has grown forcing unpopular budget cuts. Mongolia recently turned to the International Monetary Fund for help in the form of a $224 million package of loans.

Elbegdorj wants to make sure that Mongolia gets its fair share of the mining profits.

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