Indeed, Soviets created many artificial republics that didn't exist before - Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus and mentioned Asian republics. They also created Finland, which gave us Nokia and Linux. So I don't think that their "attempts" were laughable at all.
All of these countries were carved from Russia on grounds of ethnicity. However, I wouldn't say that it's only Soviet experiment, but rather Russian - they always tried to make ethnic groups within Empire content, same as they do now, and there are over 195 ethnic groups in Russia. They created few languages for those who had no written language (Latvians, for example, had no written language before joining the Empire), and invested into developing of languages that could be otherwise simply replaced by Russian.