Bandit. Term applied by the Soviets to their Muslim opponents active in Central Asia between the Russian revolution and the 1930s. Basmachis included disparate groups of people who did not operate as a unified movement and who did not refer to themselves by this pejorative. The Soviets were able to exploit Basmachi internal divisions to quell them fairly rapidly once the Red Army had consolidated power elsewhere in Russia and Central Asia. Legacy is that of opposition to foreign rule in Central Asia generally, but they were highly disorganized, deeply divided, and readily susceptible to manipulation by outside forces.
See also Central Asia, Islam in