Kseniya Y. Sukhomlinova, “Regulations for trade between Cossacks and highlanders in the first half of the 19th century

The resettlement of Kuban Cossacks and the exploration of new territories in the late 18th and early 19th centuries were fraught with difficulties. While the Cossacks’ main function was the establishment of a cordon line and the protection of the Russian Empire’s borders, they were also given the opportunity to build new and mutually beneficial trade relations with the population groups of the near-by Caucasus. The establishment of exchange trade yards on the border required regulations and documentation. The article discusses the functioning of the exchange trade yards in the Kuban region in the 19th century, as well as the main measures taken by the government of the Russian Empire and the administration of the Black Sea Cossack Host for developing trade between the Cossacks and the Caucasian population. The author analyzes the history of the trade yards from their foundation in the early 19th century to their abolition in the 1850s; equally discussed are the problems which the Cossacks and Caucasians faced in the process of exchanging goods, and the measures taken by officials to solve these problems. The focus is on a number of archival documents which regulated the process of trading, in particular tariffs on basic goods and rules for bartering with highlanders.

Lyudmila S. Gatagova, “The ethnic matrix of the Civil war in the North Caucasus

In post-Soviet years, the North Caucasus gained the reputation of a politically unstable, conflict-generating region, with specific problems rooted in the distant past. To better understand the essence of today’s problems, it is necessary to study the complex vicissitudes of North Caucasus regional history at crucial moments. The article aims to clarify the role of the ethnic factor at the early stage of the Civil War in the North Caucasus (1917−1918). It traces the dynamics of interethnic confrontation in the very complicated poly-ethnic and multi-confessional region and the impact of this dynamics on the struggle between the opposing political forces. How did the Bolsheviks and their opponents use the ethnic factor for their own interests? Understanding the impact of ethnic identities on the conflict is of broader relevance; it is through an ethnic matrix that unresolved social problems turn into irreconcilable interethnic contradictions. This case study from the revolutionary era is based on hitherto unstudied archival material from the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History.

Irina M. Fedina, Kuban farmers’ attitudes toward Soviet agrarian transformations in the 1920s

How did the residents of Kuban region perceive the agrarian transformations that the Soviet authorities carried out in the post-revolutionary period? The archival sources studied in this paper reveal the attitude of the villagers to the land and tax policies of the Soviet state, their sentiments towards Soviet modernisation, as well as the relationship between Cossacks and non-residents during the land management campaign. While the history of the Kuban villages in the 1920s has attracted the interest of many researchers and regional historians, the sentiments and attitudes of the population towards the agrarian reforms by the Soviet authorities have so far received little attention. The measures of the Soviet state contributed not only to the eradication of the traditional Cossack culture but also radically altered the socio-economic and cultural profile of the Kuban villages, leading to the loss of Cossack identity. The article analyses the role of the Soviet authorities in the imposition of a socialist order. In the 1920s, their aim was the dissemination of pro-Soviet sentiments among the Kuban grain farmers. To this end, party and state authorities used various means and methods. Therefore, the study of the sentiments and attitude towards the Soviet authorities’ actions has become an important channel for obtaining information. The Soviet organs attempted to investigate the attitudes of the farmers and took these data in account for adjusting their policies. The documents produced in this process have been a central source for the present article. In the 1920s the authorities launched a large-scale ideological project to make the Kuban population accept the Soviet worldview and embrace an archetypical Soviet mentality. In particular the poor and the non-urban population became pillars of social support for the new regime. The mechanisms that the Soviets applied for studying the sentiments of the Kuban grain farmers, together with other instruments of control and coercion, allowed the authorities to conduct a fairly successful Sovietisation campaign in the region, and to attract new proselytes to their side.


Movla  K. Osmaev, “Labour mobilisation in the Chechen-Ingush ASSR during the Great Patriotic War

The labour mobilisation in Checheno-Ingushetia during the Great Patriotic War is connected to the evacuation of the industrial enterprises from the republic and their subsequent restoration, as well as to the establishment of a complex system of defensive lines. The article elaborates the essential characteristics of the mobilisation measures, their general patterns as well as their specific local features. The study is based on archival documents of the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI) concerning the history of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic during the Great Patriotic War, mostly obtained from the electronic database of the Archives Department of the Government of the Chechen Republic (AHRC); equally used were materials from the periodical press of Checheno-Ingushetia from the period under consideration. Labour mobilisation was important for making the most effective use of the available human resources to carry out the work that the state prioritized. The dismantling of industrial enterprises for evacuation to places removed from the front line was carried out twice − in the autumn of 1941 and in the summer and autumn of 1942. Each evacuation campaign was accompanied by new mobilisation measures to provide workforce for the reassembling of the industrial plants. The need to concentrate skilled labour in the dismantling and restoration of the oil industry caused serious difficulties in other, related industries. The most massive labour mobilisations were carried out to provide for the construction of defensive lines; in the autumn and winter of 1942, the majority of the able-bodied population of the republic was involved in this program. At the same time, labourers from Checheno-Ingushetia also worked outside the republic. The war-related labour mobilisation affected all social categories of the population, regardless of their nationality; the indigenous population, however, provided the largest part of the unskilled labour. There is no evidence of any mass movement of evading labour mobilization in the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. In 1944, the mobilisation measures were reduced significantly, which must be attributed to the deportation of the Chechens and Ingushs; the loss of about 500.000 deported people made it necessary to bring labour force from outside to the newly formed Grozny region.

Vardan E. Bagdasaryan, and Sergey I. Resnyansky, “The civilizational role of Russian people in the development of the Russia’s southern regions through the prism of ethno-demographic dynamics

The article examines the share of the Russian ethnos in the ethno-demographic structure of the south of Russia for a period of 300 years, and investigates changes in the relative proportion of Russians and representatives of the titular peoples in the respective administrative units over time. The geographical scope of the study covers the North Caucasus region as well as some adjacent territories, taking into consideration the changes that occurred in Russia’s administrative division. In particular, the article is based on the materials of audits and population censuses in the Russian Empire (1897) and the USSR (1926, 1939, 1959, 1970, 1979, 1989) as well as in the Russian Federation (2002, 2010). Methodologically, the present study correlates civilizational approach theory with an empirical study of ethno-demographic processes. The authors advance the theory that civilizational ups and downs correlate with the dynamics of migration by the civilization-forming people, and with their settling in the ethnic periphery. The article argues that in the regional ethnic make-up, the share of Russians, as the civilization-forming people, reflects the region’s degree of integration in the Russian civilizational system. In particular, a clear correlation is visible between the descending phase of the Soviet project and the decrease of representatives of the Russian ethnos in the national and administrative entities of the region. Given that over centuries Russia developed as a multi-national state – as a state-civilization kept together by the Russian people at its center – the authors emphasize the need to strengthen Russia’s statehood.


Andrey A. Kuznetsov, “Ethno-political situation in the Oka estuary region on the eve of the Mongol invasion

The article is devoted to the ethno-political situation in the region of the Oka estuary up to 1238. In 1221 Nizhny Novgorod was founded in this region. The forthcoming 800th anniversary of the city lends particular social and cultural relevance to the present study; these aspects of the history of Eastern Europe and North-Eastern Russia are considered here for the first time. The research is based on the study of chronicles and narratives from the 17th to 19th centuries, as well as of toponyms. The source corpus is represented here by the Lavrentyevskaya chronicle, the Ipatyevskaya chronicle, the Simeonovskaya chronicle, the Tolkovaya Paleya, as well as the “Slovo o pogibeli russkoi zemli” (“The word about the death of the Russian land”), in addition to results of archaeological and toponymic research. The author offers a novel interpretation of the Cheremis-Meshcher group in the region of the Oka estuary, by demonstrating that these Cheremis lived between the rivers Volga, Oka and Klyazma; these Cheremis has no direct relation to the Mari. The article presents arguments in favor of the hypothesis that before 1221 there had been no Slavic population in the Oka estuary. The assumption that Brodniks were living in this region cannot be confirmed. There are not enough representative sources to interpret the occurrence of the term Purgasova Rus. The Mordvins lived far from the Oka estuary. Polovtsy (Cumans), however, were present in the region. This territory remained beyond the political influence zone of Volga Bolgaria. Accordingly, it must be accepted that Nizhny Novgorod was founded on an uninhabited place. The area around Nizhny Novgorod was a frontier zone where the interests of Volga Bolgaria clashed with those of the Vladimir Principality. The foundation of Nizhny Novgorod changed the nature of the conflict in this frontier. The Cheremis were blocked, and a military-diplomatic offensive was launched on the Mordvins. The Polovtsy (Cumans) acted as allies of the Vladimir Principality, and the latter was victorious in the Russian-Bolgarian war of 1223−1230. The reconstruction of the complex ethno-political situation in the region of the Oka estuary enables us to study the imperial practices of the princes of Vladimir before the Mongol invasion.


Оlga V. Erokhina, and Ekaterina L. Furman, “The organization of labour immigrants from Czechoslovakia in Frolov district of the Lower-Volga region in the 1920 and 1930s

Based on unpublished archival sources, this article considers the history and development of industrial organizations of labour immigrants from Czechoslovakia on the territory of the Lower Volga region in the 1920 and 1930s. The activities of the "Agricultural commune of Czechoslovak emigres" and the handicraft "Association of Czechoslovak Emigrants" illustrate how Soviet legislation was applied to labour immigration, how party authorities and economic bodies related to the two immigrant units, and how foreign workers adapted to the conditions in the USSR. Despite the many difficulties that labour immigrants had to overcome, their activities on the territory of Stalingrad province constitute a successful example of international workers’ cooperation in the USSR. The authors demonstrate that the production associations of labour immigrants from Czechoslovakia made a significant contribution to the strengthening and development of the economic complex of Frolov district in the Lower Volga region during the period under review. Through the efforts of the Czechoslovak citizens, shoe production and tanning were organized for the first time on industrial level. Later a metal plant emerged on the basis of the "Krasny Vagranschik" artel created by immigrants from Czechoslovakia. The experience of state regulation on labour immigration in the USSR can be successfully used in modern Russia’s practice of international cooperation.

Rustam Z. Almaev, “Finding teachers for schools in the Southern Urals: training and cadre assignment policies after the Great Patriotic War (1945−1956)

The article deals with the state’s educational strategy after the Great Patriotic War. These are actual problems for both domestic and foreign historiography. The author draws on archival and historiographic sources that shed light on how schools were provided with staff in the RSFSR, and particularly in the Southern Urals, during late Stalinism and Khrushchev’s “Thaw”. The paper analyzes the main measures taken by the administrative apparatus of the region to restore the network of higher and specialized secondary educational institutions, and to solve the problem of the lack of teachers. As a result of the comprehensive measures during the first decade after the Great Patriotic War, and with the help of graduates from pedagogical educational institutions, the quality of teachers changed for the better. Many teachers who lacked appropriate education and did not wish to improve their qualification were replaced. The article furthermore studies the reasons for the large turnover rate among teachers. Pedagogical institutes and secondary educational institutions in the Bashkir ASSR as well as in the Kurgan, Orenburg and Chelyabinsk Regions were transformed in accordance with the ongoing social, political and economic changes. The author identifies the factors that influenced the reorganization of the teacher training institutes and the optimization of pedagogical schools in the broader region. The article reconstructs how the Party and State administrative apparatus in charge of Russia’s educational system functioned, and determines the degree of its efficiency. Special attention is paid to the ambiguous demographic processes leading to partial or complete “hidden” unemployment among teachers in 1953−1957. The author concludes that under “regulated bureaucratic pluralism”, the supreme bodies of state and educational administration were unable to rationally use the reserve of teachers in the face of an expected demographic decline.