Vol 18, No 4 (2019): RUSSIA AND CHINA


In this issue

Datsyshen V.G.
RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):736-741
pages 736-741 views


Russian-Chinese families in the 20th century: Emergence and characteristics1

Datsyshen V.G., Kutilova L.A.


This may well be the first article about the history of mixed Russian-Chinese families in Russia and the USSR. The study is based on sources in federal, regional and local archives, mainly of Siberia and the Far East, statistics, and the press. It notes that the great gender imbalance in almost exclusively male Chinese migrant community meant that Chinese men chose Russian women as life partners. The decline of Russia’s male population during the First World War and the Civil War only exacerbated this trend. First recorded in the late nineteenth century, this phenomenon became widespread during the twentieth, not only in the Far East, but also in other areas with large populations of Chinese workers, such as Donbass. Wives in such marriages were mainly peasant women, although on occasion Cossack women and even noblewomen, often widows, took Chinese husbands. The brides were invariably younger than their spouses and tended to be housewives. However, some worked with their husbands in small businesses. These mixed couples tended to have fewer children than those that were fully Russian. The vagaries of Sino-Soviet relations during the twentieth century led to several waves of deportations of such families. Thus, in 1938 some were exiled from their places of residence to Xinjiang, Kazakhstan or the Amur region. While forced migrations considerably reduced the size of the Chinese community, they did not destroy it. The authors conclude that new Chinese immigration to Post-Soviet Russia follows the pattern set in the twentieth century’s first half, as do mixed marriages.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):742-757
pages 742-757 views

The activities of Russian public organizations in China in 1917 (on the example of the Russian colony in Manchuria and Xinjiang)

Nazemtseva E.N.


The article analyzes activities of Russian public organizations in China in 1917 after the Russian February Revolution of 1917. Previously unstudied archival sources demonstrate that during that period, a large Russian diaspora formed in the Republic of China. Its composition depended on the specifics of the region. Information about the events in Russia and the revolutionary agitators arriving in China sharply intensified political life in the Russian colonies. This tendency was most pronounced in Manchuria, where the Chinese Eastern Railway (CER) had a key influence on the life of the Russian diaspora. Beginning in March 1917, various public organizations and associations began to form here - executive committees, councils of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies, party cells of the RSDLP(b). Throughout the year, rallies, demonstrations, and meetings were held in Harbin in support of the revolution and against the Russian administration of the road; here the sentiment was caution and distrust towards the events in Russia. The destabilization of the political situation caused dissatisfaction of the Chinese authorities and the international community, as it violated the work of the CER and led to the introduction of Chinese troops in Harbin. While in Xinjiang public organizations were less active in 1917 they nevertheless aroused the Chinese leadership’s concern, as agitation could easily lead to serious ethnic conflicts, especially multinational East Turkestan had not yet recovered from the 1916 uprising. There were no such organizations in Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin. However, one of the main consequences of these events was the weakening of Russian positions in China, as well as in the Far East and Central Asia as a whole.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):758-778
pages 758-778 views

The Harbin Polytechnic Institute as a center of Russian science and education in China (1920-1950s)

Bocharova Z.S., Krotova M.V.


This article analyzes the activities of the largest university in China in the 1920 to 1940s - the Harbin Polytechnic Institute (HPI), established by Russian emigrants to maintain the Chinese Eastern railway (CER). The fates of CER and HPI were closely associated. The establishment of the Institute was initiated and supported by the railway administration, which provided a building in Harbin and offered substantial funds for the maintenance of HPI. In turn, the Institute trained personnel for the railways and construction projects in Manchuria. The article places the history of the Institute in the context of the history of Manchuria and Russian-Chinese relations. Over its history of nearly one hundred years the Institute repeatedly changed its name. The turns in the political situation in China also led to changes in the governing structure of the Institute, in its educational activities and its teaching personnel. The present research builds on a broad historiographical and source base, including memories of graduates of the Institute, items from the Harbin press, and unpublished archival documents. Documents of the Board of CER, reports, personal files of teachers shed light on issues including the Institute’s corporate academic culture, its student composition, the organization of the educational process, and its sources of funding, as well as the USSR’s pragmatic approach towards the Institute. Established in 1920, the Institute survived several crises. The present case study reveals the role of higher education in strengthening Russian-Chinese relations and cultural diversity of China. In conclusion, the HPI made an important contribution to the preservation of national identity among the Russian youth in China and supported their adaptation. At the same time, it is fair to say that the Institute, and hence Russian emigrés, made a significant contribution to the establishment of a system of higher education in China.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):779-803
pages 779-803 views

Russia and China in the 21st century: Strategic partnership in the context of civilizational globalization

Ershov V.F.


The central focus of author’s paper is the strategic partnership between Russia and China in the context of present-day globalization. The relevance of the study is shown by the increasing importance of Russian-Chinese cooperation in the formation of a new global power structure. The author illustrates the main elements of Russian-Chinese strategic partnership, including areas of cooperation, that were established in the 1990s, and areas which received a new impetus at the beginning of the 21st century. Furthermore, the author describes the policy of coordinating the actions of Russia and China in the international arena. In addition, the paper reviews the institutionalization of state institutes, economic, cultural and educational structures that make up the basis of Russia and China current strategic interaction in international affairs. In particular, the author pays attention to the issues of interbank and investment cooperation between Russia and China, including development of banking institutions through the BRICS system. The core argument of the paper is that that Russia and China, despite to the rapid development of globalization, have been able to retain the scale of their national economies and the specificity of cultures, demonstrating openness to a broad dialogue and constructive interaction within the framework of the global civilization. The author has come to the conclusion that the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership is based on compatible approaches to key issues of global development, political and economic pragmatism, and adherence to the basic principles of an equal dialogue of civilizations. This is an important factor to consider in the global development of the 21st century.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):804-827
pages 804-827 views

Russian-China relations - connectivity to Eurasia transformation

Vorkunova O.A., Kurylev K.P.


The article discusses Russian-Chinese relations and their impact on the state and development prospects of such an important international region as Eurasia. The authors pay special attention to the evolution of Russian-Chinese relations in historical retrospect, to the peculiarities of forming a strategic partnership between the two leading powers of Eurasia, and to the expansion of their political and economic cooperation. The article notes that the transformation of Eurasia into a significant political force in international relations was associated with qualitative changes in the global economic and political situation, with a new content of models of rivalry and cooperation. The article comprehensively examines the historical stages of the transformation of the Eurasian center of power, the processes of its elevation and fragmentation, and the place in this of Russia and China. Particular attention is paid to the specifics of Eurasian interdependence, the strengthening of innovation factors in the content and forms of the Eurasian transformation. In the analysis of the system of the Eurasian space, the authors focus on highlighting the main trends in the political sphere, strengthening the importance of the organizational forms of relations between the European Union and China, as well as on the features of Russian-Chinese relations in the post-Ukrainian period that influenced the consolidation of the Eurasian economic complex. The article analyzes the nature and nature of the relationship between the emerging Eurasian economy and the national economies of the countries included in the Eurasian space. At the same time, the authors explore the problem of organizing global and regional security spaces and forming the structure of a complex combination of horizontal and vertical ties.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):828-844
pages 828-844 views

Russian-Chinese cooperation in Central Asia in the context of ‘Belt and Road Initiative:’ Historical retrospective and economic prospects

Martynenko S.E., Parkhitko N.P.


This article examines Russo-Chinese investment cooperation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (originally the Silk Road Economic Belt). At the same time, it also studies bilateral agreements, as well as investment and mechanisms. Another focus is the impact of the BRI in Central Asian countries on Russian interests in the region. Research is based on an analysis of the history of joint Russian and Chinese initiatives for economic development to determine the feasibility of cooperation in the BRI. Meanwhile, the authors discuss the BRI’s impact on the economic and foreign policy of the two partners, as well as the risks and opportunities for Russia. The article is based on content and statistical analysis combined with a historical approach. It concludes that Russia and China are actively developing investment cooperation in the framework of the BRI, including the Silk Road Fund. The principal elements of the partnership involve the economy and processing and transporting energy resources. Its objective is to attain both regional economic stability as well as maximizing economic and political independence.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):845-864
pages 845-864 views

The role of museums in Russia’s and China’s cultural diplomacies

Fokin V.I., Elts E.E.


Russia and China have both shown increasing interest in the promotion their cultural achievements and have utilized culture as essential soft-power resource. Moreover, the concept of ‘soft power’ has gained popularity in Russia’s and China’s academic and political discourse. Russian-Chinese cultural cooperation is gaining momentum due to this exchange, and the scale and the depth of the cultural projects have expanded. At the moment, museums are involved in development of diplomatic relations, including within the framework of friendship societies, and through the development of the Russian-Chinese tourism. ‘Red tourism’ (it means visiting the monuments of the revolutionary history of Russia) in particular has expanded through the implementation of cultural seasons, Cross-Years of Culture, and the promotion of cultural exchanges of contemporary art. As shown in the case of Hermitage, Moscow Kremlin Museums, National Museum of China, Palace Museum ‘Gugong’ in Beijing, famous world museums have been carrying out the ambitious development programmes, scaling up their resource capacities, and since the beginning of the 21st century have begun to promote their brand. The article considers the potential for museums to participate in the development of bilateral relations, and in improving the foreign-policy image of both countries. The authors’ research reveals the features of museum diplomacy, areas of museums’ international activities that enhanced the efficiency of Russia’s and China’s soft power and identifies the common avenues for disseminating the neoliberal messages in museum sphere. Moreover, particular attention is paid by the authors’ to ‘soft power’ rankings and to lists of the most visited museums. Furthermore, new modalities of international museum cooperation are discussed by the authors, with a focus on areas of joint collaboration within the framework of SCO, BRICS, and the “One belt, one road” initiative. The authors conclude that there is a need to improve the legal framework for Russian-Chinese museum cooperation in response to the deepening interaction and transformation of the role of museums in both international and bilateral relations.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):865-882
pages 865-882 views


The image of Crimea among British travelers Edward Clarke and Reginald Heber at the turn of the 18th-19th centuries

Khrapunov N.I.


This paper analyses two books by British travellers offering accounts of Crimea in the first decades of the Russian period in its history. Crimea became a stage in Western Grand Tour, offering a possibility to view and discuss different phenomena: Mediterranean environment, cultural heritage sites, multiethnic populations confessing different religions, the change of Crimea’s political status, and the first results of Russia’s attempts of its integration. The comparison of these two travelogues with other sources and the materials supplied by current researches has uncovered who the British mind interpreted Crimean realities. The travellers created unified image of Crimea featuring its past, present, and future. The travelogues under analysis uncover the features of researchers’ thinking in the period of transition from the Enlightenment to the Romanticism. This way, the notion of ethnic processes actually restricted to the search for modern parallels of ancient ethnic names. The books under study reflect a complicated and controversial process of Crimea’s integration into the Russian Empire. Heber considered the future as economic progress and therefore thought it necessary to develop Crimean trade, infrastructure, and economy, building them into all-Russia and all-Europe network. Clarke’s opinion of Russia was distinctly negative, therefore he thought desirable to ‘return’ Crimea to the Ottomans. The travellers created several stereotypes, such as the ideas of ‘earthly paradise’ in Crimea, ‘Tatar laziness,’ ‘golden age’ of the Crimean khanate, or ‘barbarous destruction’ of cultural heritage monuments by Russians, still existing in Western mind.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):883-903
pages 883-903 views

Parochial schools in Yakutia’s intellectual landscape (the second half of 19th - early 20th century)

Boyakova S.I., Yurganova I.I.


The article deals with the activities of the parochial schools in the Yakut region in the second half 19th - early 20th century as the region’s main primary schools. The authors consider the effect of the climate and the local population’s living conditions to explain the slow growth of these schools. Among other, it also discusses disagreements between the region’s secular and spiritual authorities about education, as well as how the institutions were financed. It argues the teachers, as members of the intelligentsia, were Yakutia’s intellectual elites, which enabled them to influence public opinion. Their educational activities, involvement in academic research, journalism and art significantly enriched the region’s intellectual life. The authors conclude that parochial schools enabled the population to receive primary education, as well as the possibility of further study. Both secular and religious educators contributed to the formation of the intelligentsia nationally and the integration of the Yakut periphery into the empire.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):904-921
pages 904-921 views

Religious features of the ethnic tradition of the Ossetians in the conditions of social modernization of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, according to the folklore legend “The Tale of the Lonely”

Ktsoeva S.G.


The article analyzes transformation processes in the Ossetian ethnic tradition that resulted from the modernization of the Great Reforms era. While the article covers the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the changes in question stretched beyond these limits, being complex in nature and increasing gradually. As mountainous Ossetia was drawn into the orbit of Russian influence the ethnic isolation was ended, and certain aspects of the tradition changed. The period of Great Reforms contributed to the strengthening of capitalist development in the Russian Empire. This period provided significant changes not only in the economic but also in the socio-cultural life of the Ossetian highlanders. We observe a gradual modernization of the archaic tradition of the ethnos at that time. This transformation of the traditional ethnic worldview of the Ossetian highlanders is reflected in various narrative sources. In particular the folk legends recorded by representatives of the educated part of Ossetian society carry significant information. The bearers of oral folklore - the inhabitants of mountainous Ossetia - often introduced new realities into the narratives, elements that were atypical for the archaic consciousness. Folk legends therefore constitute an important source for studying the processes of modernization of the traditional consciousness. The present article studies these processes with the folklore legend The Tale of the Lonely recorded in the nineteenth century, which reflects ideological transformations characteristic of the ethnic consciousness in this period.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):922-937
pages 922-937 views


Ivan IV and Elizabeth I: The influence of the Tsar’s matrimonial endeavours on the development of Russo-English relations

Gross G.W.


Did Ivan the Terrible1 propose a marriage alliance with Elizabeth I of England? Did he ever seek an alternative English bride? Was the Tsar truly serious about an English match? Historians have long been divided on whether Ivan the Terrible ever formally sought out to marry the Queen of England - this article reveals that a marriage proposal may indeed have been proffered to Elizabeth I, but was not formally written down. The evidence for this is found by focussing on the contextual background of their relations, the long-term realpolitik of the Tsar with England, including his marriage attempts to a relation of the English Queen in the 1580s, and the work of the ambassador Anthony Jenkinson, as an intermediary between Ivan and Elizabeth. In investigating these points, the close diplomatic relations of the two countries in the late sixteenth century and the extraordinarily favourable trading terms offered by Ivan IV to English merchants in the form of the Muscovy Company will also be examined. In addition, the differences and similarities of the perceptions of the two monarchies will be touched upon2. Perhaps most intriguingly for the present, research in this period reveals a time in which the two countries experienced a ‘friendliness’ in diplomatic and trading relations that has never been repeated since and would seem unthinkable today.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):938-961
pages 938-961 views

Joseph Stalin and the development of Tank Forces of the Red Army in the 1930’s - early 1940’s

Kilichenkov A.A.


The author attempts to analyze the totality of ideas and opinions of I.V. Stalin on the development of tank weapons in the 1930s. Documents of RGASPI and RGVA archives were used as the sources. Influenced by a series of ‘military alarms,’ Stalin began to closely engage with issues of tank construction in the late 1920s, and initiated a large-scale program for equipping the Red Army with tanks. The program was to ensure the military-technical superiority of the USSR over its likely opponents, with the goal to compensate for the overall backlog. As the USSR was unable to create its own modern tanks, in 1930 the Soviet leadership purchased several dozen military vehicles abroad. Stalin personally controlled the procurement process, often intervening in the process; he also attended demonstrations of tests vehicles and decided on the number of tanks that were to be produced. At the same time he closely followed the technical innovations in foreign armies. The study of Stalin’s interest in tanks reveals that in the early 1930s, the Soviet leader thought of the tank weapon as an ‘asymmetrical alternative’ to overcome the broader gap in preparation for war. The present article analyses how Stalin read the documents that were sent to him; this analysis demonstrates that Stalin was more likely to seek confirmation for his existing views than to actually use the documents for coming to new conclusions. In general, Stalin’s ideas and opinions on tank issues were based on political, economic and logical considerations rather than on military expertise. One case in point is his support for M.N. Tukhachevskii when the latter called for the massive production of surrogate tanks based on tractors. In the mid-1930s, when the army had already received thousands of new tanks, Stalin shifted his emphasis from issues of equipment to the quality of the personnel, while at the same time demanding a simplification of machinery down to the level of a ‘crewman with skills that are just medium or even lower.’ But on the eve of the war, the Soviet leader again returned to the need for a qualitative and numerical growth of armored forces. Finally, Stalin analysed how tank forces were used during the Winter War against Finland and in the first years of war in Europe, but he remained unable to assess the strike potential of this weapon and its role in the future war with Nazi Germany.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):962-984
pages 962-984 views

Russian foreign policy: From ‘new thinking’ to multidirectional strategy

Sidorova N.P.


This article is devoted to the description and analysis of the Russian foreign policy as it has evolved from a more pro-Western line after 1991-1992 to a more balanced and nationalistic version by the mid-1990s. In addition, as a part of this article certain projections are made for the future of Russian relations with the West. The author argues that in many ways the foreign policy of the new Russia during the early 1990s was continuation of the Gorbachev’s ‘new thinking.’ Gorbachev had hoped to put the Soviet Union on the path of partnership with the Western alliance through clearing away the military and political baggage of Stalinism-Brezhnevism. This strategy enjoyed full support of the pro-western democratic movement headed by Yeltsin. The Russian democrats saw Western nations as their chief ideological and political allies, and a possible source of economic aid and a model for Russia’s economic development. However, over time, a number of internal and external factors started to influence the original Yeltsin’s strategy. Internally, the failure of ‘shock therapy’ led to the weakening of democrats and strengthening of the communists and nationalists. Furthermore, Yeltsin’s foreign policy became the target of intense criticism. Moreover, as a result of the internal and external influences and specifically the national debates, Russia’s foreign policy was gradually modified. Russia again puts an emphasis on security, and on the strength of its armed forces, and forging strategic partnerships in various parts of the world. In addition, nationalism would be expressed through the protection of the Russian diaspora, the glorification of Russia’s imperial past, and the scaling down the policy of repentance for the misdeeds of the Communist regime. Russia’s great power ambitions could be observed through Russia’s attempt to play pivotal role throughout the former Soviet Union, and a desire to show the Russian flag across the world. Moreover, ideology does not influence Kremlin’s relations with other states anymore, instead economic interests encourage Moscow to restore cooperation with many Third World nations. It can be expected that Russia will continue to compete for predominance with the West in the post-soviet republics and in the field of security and at the same time Russia will promote its partnership with China and other non-Western actors. However, despite these shifts, a multidirectional strategy will likely be preserved.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):985-1001
pages 985-1001 views


Peter Chaadayev and Michael Katkov: stereotypes and contradictions of images

Lubkov A.V.


This article discusses the complex dialectics between the conservative and the liberal trends in the development of Russia´s socio-political thinking; it does so by studying the worldviews of Peter Chaadaev and Michael Katkov. What makes this issue relevant is the circumstance that the present generations of Russians are searching for their national identity, an identity that has practically been lost in the current circumstances of cultural degradation, of decreasing cultural values in the society, and of shifting meanings. The author compares the conceptions of Russian thinkers and public figures and focuses on the main facts and factors that determined the search for the national identity of social thought in Russia in the 19th century. Considering the methodology of the issue, the author comes to conclusion that it is necessary to turn away from the dichotomy towards an integration, and towards an understanding of the complex and controversial world of an individual in the non-linear movement of history. The task that the present paper formulates is to understand the new logic of the development of socio-political thought in nineteenth-century Russia not on the basis of the traditional contradistinction of the conservative and liberal ideologies, but through the synthesis of their positive principles in the historical context. The author sees the link and succession of the conceptual provisions of Peter Chaadaev and Michael Katkov. The ideology unites various institutions and systems, the individual and the people into a whole, facing the challenges of the country´s modernization. As a result, the well-known formula - autocracy, Orthodoxy, populism (narodnost´) - makes a deep semantic meaning, in close linkage with the original spiritual tradition of collectivity (sobornost´) and spiritual and moral values.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):1002-1017
pages 1002-1017 views


Lyubichankovskiy, S.V. Politika akkul’turatsii sredstvami prosveshcheniya islamskikh poddannykh Rossiyskoy imperii: istoricheskiy opyt Orenburgskogo kraya (seredina XIX - nachalo XX vv.) [The policy of acculturation by means of enlightenment of Islamic subjects of the Russian Empire: the historical experience of the Orenburg Territory (the mid-19th - early 20th centuries)]. Orenburg: OGAU Publishing Center, 2018. 264 p

Kovalskaya S.I.



RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2019;18(4):1018-1022
pages 1018-1022 views

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies