In This Issue

Sinitsyn F.L.



RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):292-297
pages 292-297 views

The Ethnic Aspect in Red Army Recruitment During the Great Patriotic War: A Historical and Statistical Review

Bezugolny A.Y.


Due to the multi-ethnic nature of our state, the ethnic factor has always been important in the recruitment, organization and combat use of the Russian armed forces. The deeper the ethnocultural, especially linguistic differences of the personnel, the more urgent was the need for a special organization of military service of the non-Russian contingent. The article is devoted to the analysis of ethnic processes in the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Much attention is given to the dynamics of the quantitative and specific representation of Soviet ethnic groups during the war, the reasons for the reduction or, on the contrary, the expansion of this representation. The research is based on normative and policy documents that regulated mobilization and conscription work, as well as office documents that reflect the execution of state decisions. Among the latter, the author has identified a set of accounting and statistical materials of the central organizational and mobilization institutions of the People's Commissariat of Defense of the USSR. The scientific novelty of the presented research is that for the first time the ethnonational aspect of the history of the red army during the Great Patriotic War was analyzed using quantitative research methods. This made it possible to significantly deepen the understanding of the ethnic processes taking place in the Soviet armed forces.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):298-319
pages 298-319 views

The Food Supply of Besieged Leningrad and the Evacuation of the Population by Using Aviation in the Autumn of 1941

Prigodich N.D.


The author examined how besieged Leningrad was provided with various cargoes in the period from September to December 1941. During this period, the Moscow and Northern special forces organized the transportation of food, equipment, weapons, and devices by air. The investigation centered on the establishment of the Khvoinaya-Leningrad line with aircraft of the Civil Air Fleet of the USSR, and on the locations of bases on the mainland and in the blocked city. Equally considered is the composition of the aviation groups, the total number of aircraft on the line by month, as well as statistics concerning repair and irrevocable losses. Based on materials from Moscow and St. Petersburg archives, statistical data are presented that characterize the entire process of the “air bridge”. Reports of the Civil Air Fleet, the Special Northern aviation group, and Leningrad airport, provide generalized data on the results of transport aviation activities in the autumn of 1941, including the number and composition of evacuated skilled workers and members of the civilian population from Leningrad. The analysis revealed the daily volume of goods delivered to the city, including the total amount of food, equipment, weapons, and devices received. Finally, the article reviews the reasons and consequences of the unexpected closure of the established airline and the relocation of the Douglas-type aircraft to Moscow.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):320-329
pages 320-329 views

Dynamics and Causes of Violations of Labor Discipline during the Great Patriotic War (on the Materials of the City of Kovrov)

Tryakhov I.S.


This article explores the causes of labor discipline violations and their dynamics during the Great Patriotic War by the example of a compact rear industrial center - the city of Kovrov, which became part of the Vladimir Region, which stood out from Ivanovo in 1944. Based on the analysis of the documents of the city committee of the city party, including the minutes of the city committee meetings, memoranda from party instructors, plans and reports on the work of industrial enterprises, the author concludes that there is some dynamics in the violation of harsh labor laws at the city enterprises. Studying the stated problem, it was possible not only to identify the causes of numerous violations of labor legislation by workers and employees, but also to find out the attitude and reaction of the Kovrov city committee of the CPSU (b) to these processes. In the course of the study, a fact was confirmed in many respects, which was repeatedly indicated in both domestic and foreign historiography about the continuity of processes in industrial enterprises of the prewar and war years. Moreover, it would hardly be worthwhile to reduce all complex life phenomena and contradictions exclusively to system errors and manifestations of Stalinism. In each specific case described in the sources, there was a human factor and, accordingly, the choice of officials. The revealed historical sources allow us to ascertain the presence of a certain dynamics in the number of violations of labor discipline at the level of the city and individual large enterprises, but which was not observed across the region. If large enterprises were characterized by wave-like dynamics of violations with a tendency to increase sharply at the beginning of the war, then small factories and artels showed a permanent decrease in such cases. An analysis of the labor practice of the war years forces, at least partially, to revise the thesis of Soviet historiography on the exceptional cohesion of the rear, but at the same time confirms the versatility and complexity of the daily lives of rear workers, emphasizes the harsh conditions in which workers and employees had to work during the war years and at the same time proves that the war years society was not monolithic.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):330-348
pages 330-348 views

The Military Routine of Polish Partisan Detachments Operating on the Territory of the Byelorussian SSR in 1943-1944: Morale and Political Propaganda

Blagov S.V.


There were five Polish national detachments within the Soviet partisan movement that officially operated on the territory of the Belorussian SSR during the Great Patriotic War. Their formation took place in 1943-1944. Each of them had their own special features, their own specific tasks; but they also had common characteristics. First of all, the partisans were associated with proSoviet political propaganda. In their actions, they were used as guides to the local population of Western Belarus, spreading ideas that had been elaborated by the Polish Communists. The author studies the impact of Soviet agitation on Polish partisan detachments, and investigates how much the Polish partisans were subjected to these ideas in their everyday life. Back in 1939-1941, a significant part of the Polish population of the western regions of the USSR had been subjected to repressions. Therefore, in the first months of the Great Patriotic war these people often supported the German occupiers. Why then would parts of the Polish population join the Soviet partisans? The Soviet command changed their attitude towards them, creating the opportunity for Polish partisans to keep their national traditions and to wear their military uniforms, in order to win the sympathy of the local Poles. They even accepted former “anti-Soviet elements” who had been put in prison in 1939-1941 but joined the “red” underground. Some of the formations were not totally covered by the “left” ideology and did not associate themselves with the Communists when agitating among the local population.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):349-360
pages 349-360 views

Organization of Oral Advertising and Agitation in the Years of the Great Patriotic War (On Materials of North Ossetia)

Bimbasov R.G.


This author examines the activities of Soviet party-state bodies in the field of propaganda among the population in the North Ossetian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (North Ossetia) during the Great Patriotic War. Propaganda is effective when its message is deeply rooted in the consciousness of the population group to which it is addressed. For this reason the media and the organizations of oral propaganda of North Ossetia sought to get the most accurate information on the particular group that was called upon to fulfill wartime tasks. The author used various types of sources, including documents from the Central State Archive of the Republic of North Ossetia that are here first introduced into scientific circulation. The paper identifies the directions of party-state bodies in organizing propaganda on the territory of the republic in 1941-1945, and it assesses the degree of their effectiveness. While the outbreak of the war led to an expansion of propaganda, there was an acute shortage of specialists in various fields of life, including in propaganda work among the civilian population. The paper reveals the main methods of forming the image of the enemy by propaganda bodies and the media. The author concludes that the activities of the propaganda apparatus in the republic during the War had a direct impact on public consciousness and contributed to the consolidation of the region's population in the fight against the enemy, and to overcoming the difficulties of the War years.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):361-373
pages 361-373 views

The 220th Anniversary of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in the Victorious 1945: A Scenario of Celebration in the Sociocultural Context of the Era

Korzun V.P., Gruzdinskaya V.S.


In June 1945, the 220th anniversary of the USSR Academy of Sciences was celebrated on a grand scale. An academic anniversary is a polysyllabic commemorative action that can be described in diverse contexts. The authors focused directly on the holiday scenario in the corporate-ritual dimension, as well as its communicative potentialities. The source of the research was published and unpublished clerical materials of the USSR Academy of Sciences, periodicals and popular science publications, ego-sources of participants in the “science festival”. The methodological optics of the article consisted of developments in the field of intellectual history, the social history of science, and the history of memory. In the festive scenario, the authors identified the following components: 1) actually scientific, 2) ritual and welcoming, 3) concert and entertainment, and 4) banquet. During the study, it was concluded that the scenario for celebrating the 220th anniversary of the USSR Academy of Sciences is multilayered and at the same time integral and indivisible. It organically combined heterogeneous social entities - power sharpened by rigid forms of social engineering and repressive regulation, scientists trying to remove themselves from excommunication from pre-revolutionary and world science, foreign guests who became “their own” for a short historical moment. The scenario of the anniversary correlates with the contextual background of the anniversary celebrations, which was distinguished by a special atmosphere of expectation of a new life after the Great Patriotic War. In the communicative plan, jubilee celebrations are considered as practices of intensive communication. The conclusion is made that the idea of a unified world science will be revived for a short moment.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):374-392
pages 374-392 views


The Evolution of Ethnic Tradition Transfer among Belorussian Peasant Settlers in Siberia and Russia’s Far East from 1850 to the Present

Fedorov R.Y.


This article examines how the transfer of ethnic traditions among Belorussian peasant settlers in Asian Russia to their descendants has evolved since 1850. Based on field data collected from different generations of Belorussian settlers born during the 20th century, the study indicates that the mechanism of this transfer went through three very distinct phases. From the second half of the 19th century until the 1920’s, the children of Belorussian settlers adopted the ethnic identity and traditions of their parents, much like their forefathers back home. During the Soviet era, i.e., from the early 1920’s until the late 1980’s, the state sought to replace Belorussian customs and conventions among the settlers’ children with its own homogenous, socialist modernity. After the USSR’s collapse in 1991, the growing influence of mass media and more contemporary socio-cultural processes began to influence how ethnic traditions were transferred to the young. All three periods left their imprint on the outlook of the descendants of Belorussian settlers today. This is largely the result of the fact that practical knowledge and skills change more rapidly than deeper values and beliefs.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):393-402
pages 393-402 views

The “Facing the Village” Policy as a Manifestation of NEP Contradictions in 1924-1926 (Based on Don and Kuban Materials)

Yakhutl’a Y.A., Kasyanova V.V.


The authors analyze one of the aspects of the New Economic Policy (NEP), which meant finding a compromise between the Bolshevik party-state power and the Russian peasantry. This policy course is studied with the example of the large agricultural regions of the Don and Kuban. Using new archival documents and published sources, the authors reveal causal relationships between trans formations and changes in the status of local Soviets on national level and in the southern region, and show the impact of reforms on the economic situation and political behavior of the peasantry in the South of Russia. The authors highlight the features of the implementation of the “Face to the Village” policy in the Don and Kuban, which combined class and estate tasks of civil reconciliation, a slower pace of land management while maintaining Cossack allotments, and an active attracting of Cossacks and middle peasants to cooperations and Soviets, among other things. The refusal to use administrative pressure and the provision of the voting right to “deprived people” (lishentsy) during the election campaign led to the victory of the Cossack opposition in a number of local Soviets and land societies in 1925-1926. The result was a dual power situation in which village councils (sel'skie sovety) stood opposite to party committees. The reforms of the NEP period in southern Russia brought well-to-do strata of the population the right to participate in cooperations and local authorities (Soviets); they also led to the introduction of long-term leasing of land, separated farmers from the peasant community, and started the elimination of the traditional land use order. Reforms consolidated the division of the rural population into Cossacks and “nonresidents”, which contradicted the goals of socialist construction in the countryside; the Bolsheviks saw themselves threatened by a loss of control over local authorities, and by a loss of support from the poor and “nonresidents”. As a result, in the south of Russia the Bolsheviks rejected the “Face to the Village” policy course much earlier and with more decisiveness than in the country as a whole.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):403-417
pages 403-417 views


The reaction of the Chinese Government to Soviet Diplomatic Efforts to Resolve the Taiwan Question, 1949-1985

Belchenko A.S., Novoselova M.G.


The article studies Beijing's reaction to the activities of Soviet diplomacy related to the Taiwan issue. The authors examine the dynamics of Sino-Soviet interaction in 1949-1985 within the context of this geopolitical problem. The article is based on historical sources (including proclama tions and speeches of Chinese and Soviet representatives at official meetings and within the framework of the General Assembly, as well as diplomatic correspondence) and on the Russian and foreign historiography. The paper covers the period of cooperation between Beijing and Moscow (1950s) and the time of high tension in bilateral relations (1960-1985). The PRC government's harsh criticism of Soviet diplomacy, together with its rigid position with regard to the establishment of official relations between the Soviet Union and Taiwan, lead to the conclusion that Beijing could have been deliberately delaying the solution of the issue, using the Taiwan question in its political interests. The authors make suggestions concerning what could have influenced such a position of Beijing towards the Taiwan issue. The real aims of Beijing concerning Taiwan were different from those that Beijing officially proclaimed.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):418-437
pages 418-437 views

The Idea of a “Greater Europe” in Russian Foreign Policy: Past and Present

Tsvyk A.V., Kurylev K.P.


This article examines the notion of a “Greater Europe” in Russian foreign policy from the 1990s to the present. The idea developed as the Russian government sought to establish its national and civilizational identy in the wake of the USSR’s dissolution. At the turn of the 21st century, Moscow embraced the idea of a rapprochement with the rest of Europe. Pursuing the notion of “Greater Europe,” to create a single continental economic, political and cultural space, became a major diplomatic objective as it developed a strategic partnership with the European Union. However, in more recent years its outlook on the world has changed. Furthermore, after relations with Brussels deteriorated in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis and the latter’s imposition of sanctions has also affected Russian foreign policy. This article considers the emergence and evolution of the idea of a “Greater Europe”, and examines possible ways to realize this ambition. It argues that a EAEU-EU “combination” could become a basis for implementing this concept. However, any potential rapprochement can only be possible when the political barriers the EU established in its relations with Russia and the EAEU are removed.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):438-447
pages 438-447 views


The Discussion about the Book “The People’s Will Party’s Journalism” by E.E. Kolosov in 1930-1932

Shemyakina O.V.


The article considers the discussion of the book “The People’s Will Party’s Journalism” by D. Kuzmin (E.E. Kolosov). Its key question was the role of N.K. Mikhailovskii and L.A. Tikhomirov in the journalism and ideology of the “People’s Will”. The discussion is of interest because it involved Marxist historians, old populists, and former Socialist Revolutionaries (Kolosov himself). The first part of the article focuses on the biography of Kolosov and analyses his book in the context of the historiography of populism of the 1920s. The article then scrutinizes the origins and content of the critical “Afterword” by V.N. Figner and the reasons of her negative reaction to “The People’s Will Party’s Journalism”. The author pays a special attention to the attitude of V.N. Figner and other old revolutionaries to Tikhomirov and his memoirs which were published in an abridged version in the 1920s. On the basis of published and archival sources the author analyses the opinions of old revolutionaries (A.P. Pribyleva-Korba, M.F. Frolenko, A.V. Yakimova, P.S. Ivanovskaia, N.S. Rusanov) and Marxist historians (I.A. Teodorovich, B.P. Koz’min, B.I. Gorev, P.I. Anatol’ev). Finally, the article reviews the final stage of the discussion, when Kolosov strove to prove his point, using the language of political accusations, characteristic to the Bolsheviks’ journalism of the early 1930s. On the basis of the materials of the discussion, the author attempts to discern different approaches to the study of the past of all abovementioned parties. Marxist historians paid a special attention to ideology and genealogy of the revolutionary movement. Figner and other old populists sought to preserve the memory of the revolutionary generation of the 1870s with their distinctive practical experience, psychology and ethics. Kolosov was eager to combine his political views and research interests, putting them in a highly volatile historiographical context of the 1930s. Unlike Figner, Kolosov could not be indifferent to the Marxist literature, so he was trying to find a place for his politics in contemporary context.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):448-467
pages 448-467 views

Transformation of Soviet Ideological Attitudes in the Works of A.N. Yakovlev in 1985-1991

Sivov A.N.


The present article studies the views of the “godfather of Glasnost,” CPSU Central Committee Secretary Alexander N. Yakovlev (1923-2005), and how they evolved during the Perestroika period in the second half of the 1980s. The author analyzes Yakovlev's positions on issues of Soviet ideology at the beginning of Perestroika, arguing that at that time his statements on the need for radical improvement of ideological work did not differ from the views of other party leaders. Yakovlev's personal biography shaped his interpretation of important events of twentieth-century Russian history; he had fought in the Great Patriotic war and participated in the work of the 20th Party Congress and in the Commission of the CPSU Central Committee for the rehabilitation of victims of political repression. Yakovlev became the target of critique from the leaders of the newly created Communist party of the RSFSR, as well as from conservative CPSU members, in particular during the XVIII Party Congress in the summer of 1990; they criticized Yakovlev's work in the Central Committee of the CPSU and the extent of his influence on M.S. Gorbachev. The article traces changes in Yakovlev's assessments of the socialist formation, of Marxism, and of the political and legal structure of the CPSU. The author identifies a direct link between the problems of social and political life in the Soviet Union and changes in Yakovlev's public statements. This analysis leads to the conclusion that Yakovlev's influence on the President of the USSR, M.S. Gorbachev, was not as big as sometimes assumed. Since the beginning of 1991, Yakovlev's influence was gradually declining, and on the eve of the August putsch it reached its lowest point. The article is based on Yakovlev's published articles and public speeches as well as on archival materials from his personal fund that is preserved in the State Archive of the Russian Federation.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):468-482
pages 468-482 views


Sahadeo, Jeff. Voices from the Soviet Edge: Southern Migrants in Leningrad and Moscow. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2019. 273 p.

Vladimirsky I.



RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):483-485
pages 483-485 views

Kanukova Z.V. Traditsiya v Sovremennom Osetinskom Obshchestve [Tradition in Modern Ossetian Society]. Vladikavkaz: Ir, 2018. 135 p.

Tuaeva B.V.



RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):486-489
pages 486-489 views

The Past for the Future: A History of the Russian Civil War in Narratives of the 1930s

Golubinov I.A., Porshneva O.S., Surzhikova N.V.



RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):490-502
pages 490-502 views


Russia in the World. The Phenomenon of Russian Abroad: Institutions and Personalities. International Scientific Conference. Moscow. September 26-27, 2019

Mironova E.M., Volodko A.V.



RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2020;19(2):503-509
pages 503-509 views

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