The Kyrgyz people date back to at least 13 centuries and were one of the significant central Asian tribes . Their territory came to be controlled by Mongols, Kalmyks, Manchus, and Russians, among others. Relatively late (the mid-1600s) the Kyrgyzstan became Muslim although they soon came under Chinese domination. In 1868 the area became a Russian protectorate and, several years later, was incorporated into the greater Russian empire. The Communist Revolution was accompanied by chaos and confusion in the region by in 1936, it was made a formal Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union. Along with other of the former SSRs, Kyrgyzstan chose independence after the fall of communism, but it did join the Commonwealth of Independent States.