Was 9 years old when his father was shot. Arrested after the Kirov murder, 1934, and sent to the Gulag. Second arrest, 1937. During World War II, like many other Gulag inmates, sent to the front until 1945.
In 1949, arrested again and sent to the camps. Released during the Khrushchev thaw, 1956. Highly respected specialist on Central Asian nomadic people.