Stepan Vostrotin: a Siberian’s view from emigration

Abstract


This article is devoted to the little-known emigration period of life of Russian political and public figure S.V. Vostrotin (1864-1943), who was a businessman, owner of gold mines in Siberia, deputy of the III and IV State Duma. There are many archival documents, evidence of his active work in exile. There is used the anthropological approach which allowed the author to analyze the possibility of the Russian emigrants to influence the events in the Soviet Union, to reveal their attitude to the Soviet policy, to reconstruct their ideas of patriotism. Being in exile in Manchuria, and then in France, S.V. Vostrotin was convinced that he should preserve the ties with the Russian people in the Soviet Russia. In his opinion, the mission of his emigration consisted in rising above ideology, personal grievances and in protecting the national interests of Russia, even having no chance of returning to the motherland. Realizing his modest ability and the insignificant political weight of emigrants, nevertheless, through his articles, speeches, analysis of the international situation, he sought to draw attention to the problems of Siberia and the Russian Far East.Russian political emigrants were closely watching the events in the Soviet Russia. There was also the reverse process - the Soviet Union invested heavily in the study and control over emigrants. The analytical data of the Soviet intelligence show that the opinions and actions of emigrants were not only under close scrutiny of the secret services, but were also taken into account in making important political decisions, particularly in Manchuria. It was unlikely that Vostrotin believed that his voice would be heard abroad. However, the document from the Stalin archive gives us extra evidence that Russian political emigrants influenced the country of origin much more than it is generally thought.


About the authors

Mariia V Krotova

Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics

Author for correspondence.
Email: mary_krot@mail.ru
21 Sadovaya St., St. Petersburg, 191023, Russia

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