Urkun (, exodus, ) is the Kyrgyz name for a 1916 revolt against Russian Tsarist forces and a mass flight to escape to China. The events occurred at the Bedel Pass border post near the Kyrgyz-Chinese border on July 30, 1916.
Accounts of the Kyrgyz death toll vary. Some claim that nearly half the Kyrgyz from the northern part of the country died during Urkun. Bruce Pannier put the death toll at more than 100,000 people. Russian sources admit that the revolt claimed the lives of up to 3,000 people.
History professor Tynchtykbek Tchoroev, author of a book on Urkun, believes the cause of the revolt to have been the call for conscription issued by Boris Stürmer:"Already forced off prime farming land by newcomers from Russia and Ukraine, the population finally revolted in 1916. The main reason was a call for men into Russia's Central Asian colonies to serve in the Tsarist army fighting in World War I under the Russian flag. The war in Europe was a strange and unnecessary conflict for the local nations. The uprising broke out across Central Asia and was brutally put down."
In the eastern part of Russian Turkestan, tens of thousands of surviving Kyrgyz and Kazakhs fled toward China. In the Tien-Shan Mountains they died by the thousands in mountain passes over 3000 meters high.