Vol 21, No 1 (2022): Far Eastern Cross-Border of Russia


The Activities of Foreign Entrepreneurs in the Amur Region as Reflected in the Regional Press of the 1860s

Petrunina Z.V., Shusharina G.A.


The article studies how the economic life of the Amur region in the first half of the 1860s is reflected in contributions to the newspapers “Amur” and “Vostochnoe Pomorie,” with a focus on the newspaper coverage of foreign entrepreneurs' activities in the region. The authors analyze how the journalists tried to attract foreign capital to Russia, and how they interpreted the legal and cultural conditions that foreign traders encountered in the Amur region. Equally taken into consideration are the features and prospects of intercultural communication in the region, the respective publications’ attitudes towards the Russian annexation of the Amur region, and their perceptions of the factors that stood in the way of the comprehensive development of the region and of the attraction of foreign entrepreneurs. The article analyzes the image that the newspaper authors drew of life in the Russian Far Eastern peripheries; in particular, a number of articles were very critical in their discussion of how to remove obstacles to attracting foreigners to the region. At the same time this contribution argues that by their description of the nature and living conditions in the Amur region, the regional newspapers also contributed to the inflow of domestic and foreign investments into the Far Eastern region. It seems that this experience can be useful for the economic development of remote Russian territories also today, after a necessary adjustment.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):8-18
pages 8-18 views

The Russian Commercial Fleet in the Treaty Ports of China in the Second Half of the 19th Century

Hamzin I.R.


The article offers a comprehensive analysis of the activity of the Russian merchant fleet in China in the second half of the 19th century. This historical issue is particularly relevant in connection with the active development of modern foreign trade in China and the strengthening of Russian-Chinese trade and economic ties. The historical research is based on the materials of the central archives of Russian Federation (including the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire and the Russian State Historical Archive). The methodology is based on a comparative analysis of Russian shipping in China and similar activities of other foreigners, and a system analysis that allows us to study the issue in the context of the overall development of Russian-Chinese trade. An important component of the article is the statistical analysis of data on the development of maritime Russian-Chinese trade, foreign shipping in China, and freight rates. The article considers the development of the organization of maritime Russian-Chinese trade in Odessa and the Far East directions. On the example of several treaty ports (Hankou, Shanghai, and Chifu), the features of the development of Russian commercial navigation in Chinese waters and the accompanying complexities of this process are shown. As a result, the author comes to the conclusion that there is a direct correlation between the level of infrastructure development in the Russian Far East and the expansion of the presence of the Russian merchant fleet in the treaty ports of China at the end of the 19th century.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):19-33
pages 19-33 views

Acculturation Policies Targeting Siberia’s Muslim Communities in the Second Half of the 19th and in the Early 20th Centuries

Dashkovskiy P.K., Shershneva E.A.


The article examines the situation of Muslim communities in Siberia in the context of the acculturation policy pursued by the Russian Empire. Based on the analysis of archival sources, the article argues that the reforms carried out in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were aimed at including the Muslim population of the country into the socio-cultural space of the empire. Russian attempts to gradually introduce Russian culture and way of life into a foreign environment were supposed to support the interaction between the Muslim population of Siberia and Russian immigrants. The education system was one of the instruments of the acculturation policy towards the Muslim peoples of Siberia. Attempts to introduce Russian culture were also made through influencing the economic life of Muslim communities. The ongoing reforms caused a lot of discontent on the part of the Muslim population. Also failing were the policies of the Russian Orthodox Church to make Muslims change their identity; its measures to support the newly baptized did not contribute to a mass conversion to Orthodoxy.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):34-44
pages 34-44 views

The Provisional Government and “Chinese Question” in Russia in 1917

Khodjakov M.V., Yizhi S.


The article analyzes the changes that took place during the solution of the so-called ‘Chinese question’ on the basis of the journals of the Interdepartmental Consultation under the board of the Chinese Eastern Railway, which have been preserved in the Russian State Historical Archive. The peak of activity in this direction first of the tsarist government, and then of the Provisional government was from the second half of 1916 to the autumn of 1917. Documents show that the labor of recruited Chinese workers was used in many sectors of the economy. But the most important it received in the railway construction. Russia's military operations had slowed down the colonization of the Far East. Under these conditions, the arrival of tens of thousands of Chinese workers in the European part of the country became a peculiar reflection of the eastern direction of Russia's domestic and foreign policy. The attitude toward this phenomenon in social and political circles has changed since the formation of the Provisional Government. While pursuing the course of tsarism in solving the problem of the crisis of workers' hands, the Provisional Government simultaneously made a number of concessions to the Chinese mission in Petrograd. In particular, its representatives were given the opportunity to become acquainted with the working and living conditions of the Chinese workers. Rising unemployment and protest moods in Russian society eventually forced the Provisional Government, shortly before its fall, to abandon the transportation of foreign laborers to Russia.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):45-56
pages 45-56 views

The Chinese Population of Transbaikalia under the Conditions of the Stalinist System in the 1930s

Datsyshen V.G.


The article is devoted to the history of the Chinese population in the East Siberian border region with China, Transbaikal, in the 1930s. The particular position of this border region determined the specific formation of this Chinese population. The transfer of the Transbaikal region from the Far Eastern region back to the administrative unit of Siberia in the 1930s strengthened the Siberian regional features of the development of the Chinese community, and meant that the Far Eastern nationality policy was not applied to this community. The development of this community was influenced by the fact that in the 1930s, the state border with Manchuria was completely closed. The Manchukuo state, along with the Republic of China, had its official representatives in Chita. In the early 1930s the size of the Chinese population in Transbaikal reached a maximum, and in the Chita region its share in relation to the total population was equal to that in the Far Eastern regions. In the 1930s the working and living conditions of the majority of Chinese workers were difficult: they faced discrimination and were poorly adapted to the socio-political realities of Stalin's system. Initially the Bolsheviks carried out an active policy towards the Chinese that was aimed at their ideological and political re-education and the improving of their living and working conditions. In the second half of the 1930s, however, this policy changed, and political education and the development of a “Soviet Chinese” culture were no longer prominent. The Chinese began to be perceived as a national community disloyal to the Soviet regime, as real or potential agents of Japan and Kuomintang China. In 1936 began the “exposure” of Chinese spies, and in 1937-1939 the Soviet Chinese were fully subjected to the tyranny of the Soviet secret services and punitive agencies, and suffered greatly from political repression. By the late 1930s the number of Chinese in Transbaikal had decreased by almost a third; however, the situation was different from that in the border regions of the Far East in so far as there was no mass eviction of Chinese from the Transbaikal area.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):57-71
pages 57-71 views

Features of Political and Ideological Work among the Population of the Far East of the USSR in the 1930s

Isaev A.A.


The paper discusses the system of political and ideological work among the population of the Far East of the USSR in the 1930s. While various aspects have already been elucidated in the historical literature, many issues of a problematic nature have not yet received due attention from researchers. Archival documents reveal that the authorities sought to introduce certain political and ideological levers of influence and control in all spheres of society in order to achieve high labor productivity. The peculiarities of political and ideological work in the Far Eastern region were directly related to organizational, personnel and functional problems. They proceeded from the limited material and human resources, the frequent substitution of economic measures, as well as the formal attitude to it on the part of the party and economic leaders in the field. It is proved that many features of the development of this system in the Far Eastern region resulted from its neglect of the socio-economic, cultural and domestic needs and the demands of workers, and from the state tasks of socio-economic development. This, in turn, led to an underestimation of the importance of political and ideological work on the part of workers and employees, their weak coverage, a low degree of attendance at events of a political and ideological nature, and the development of an apolitical attitude.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):72-82
pages 72-82 views

At the BAM We Had Everything! Consumption Good Supplies for Workers of the All-Union Komsomol Сonstruction Project

Baikalov N.S.


The paper analyzes trade and supply services for the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway (BAM) builders during the years 1974-1989. It describes the distribution system of goods, the forms of consumer behavior as well as consumption practices among participants of the project. The sources used for this study include office documents and statistics of the Soviet Ministry for Transport Construction, of building companies and municipalities, as well as of party and public organizations, next to oral testimonies given by former BAM construction workers that the author recorded during fieldwork. The author analyzes the establishment of trade enterprises and their technical equipment. Important is that the BAM trade network was created in a short time, and was meant to be temporary. During the whole period the system was plagued by a shortage of retail and warehouse facilities, and by insufficient support. At the same time, a special supply regime was in place to attract labor to BAM, and also to contribute to the subsistence of the population in the new development areas. While personal testimonies described trade services exclusively as privileged, the documentary evidence shows that the supply system faced difficulties similar to problems in “ordinary” Soviet trade. As a privilege regime came in combination with systemic malfunctions in the trade industry, specific practices were developed for the distribution and consumption of goods. Many of these practices were continued by local residents in the post-Soviet period.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):83-94
pages 83-94 views


The Sanitary Service of the 431st Tikhvin Infantry Regiment during World War I

Bondareva V.V., Eilbart N.V.


The article analyzes the formation and development of the sanitary service in one particular regiment in the period from August 1914 to December 1916. The main body of sources con- sists of archival files of the respective military unit. The novelty of the present paper is seen in the fact that it is the first study devoted to the formation of the medical service of the regiment, starting with the militia squads. It is proved that in the squads the sanitary unit was not independent but relied on the zemstvo medical system of the cities and on the infirmaries of the garrisons. A focus is on the work of doctors in the 431st Tikhvin Regiment during their stay in Livonia from June 1915 to May 1916. Various areas of medical care of the regiment before participating in hostilities are studied in detail: the treatment of soldiers and prophylactic examinations, sanitary education, supervision of places of residence, as well as the prevention of infectious diseases. It is established that during the guard service of the regiment, the sanitary unit worked satisfactorily. The article zooms in on the expansion of the duties of the regiment's sanitary service at the front starting in the summer of 1916, and identifies how the medical personnel of the regiment was replenished. Special attention is paid to the difficult sanitary and hygienic situation at the front in Austria-Hungary, and the measures that were taken to combat the main epidemics that arose at the front, namely typhus, cholera, and dysentery. Equally discussed are the consequences of unsettled life and malnutrition.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):95-108
pages 95-108 views

The State of Military Medicine during the Russian Civil War

Morozova O.M., Troshina T.I.


Along with the analysis of military strategy and tactics and of the ideological component of the struggle, the history of the Russian Civil War can also be studied with regard to the “supporting” factors in the opposing camps. The present article is based on the study of sanitary-medical services of the Red Army and the armies of the White Movement. Under war conditions, the boundary between military and civil medicine was blurred, as we are talking about a domestic war that coincided with several major epidemics. The personnel as well as the organizational forms and practices of medical care went back to the experiences of World War I. At the outbreak of the war the armed formations competed with each other to attract specialists to their ranks. Members of the medical community thus had to decide which side to serve - a choice that some made consciously and others situationally. At the beginning of the war, the Whites had an advantage regarding medical personnel; by the end of the war, the Bolsheviks had managed to rectify this situation. The Whites adopted the experience of World War I, assigning public organizations a special role in supplying the army. The Reds, in contrast, sought to match the revolutionary spirit of the era by encouraging initiative. This they combined with a fairly tight control of their services, creating a centralized system from the outset. The analysis of how the warrying parties organized their military medical-sanitary services can thus add new insights to our understanding of why the Bolsheviks achieved victory in the Civil War.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):109-119
pages 109-119 views


The Port-Franco of Odessa of the North: Alexander Den’gin’s Development Project of the Mouth of the Pechora River in the 1820s to 1840s

Komleva E.V.


The article is devoted to a little-known episode in the history of the development of the Russian North, one that is associated with the name of the Vologda merchant Alexander Ivanovich Den’gin. The contribution brings together the available biographical information about A.I. Den’gin and characterizes his project concerning the economic development of the territory adjacent to the mouth of the Pechora River. This project he elaborated in the 1820s to 1840s; it aimed at the development of both the Pechora Region and Western Siberia by establishing regular water communication between the European and Asian parts of Russia. The article reviews the various stages in the drafting of this document, and traces its way through different instances. Filled with patriotic rhetoric, the source under consideration emphasizes not only Den’gin’s personal interest - to derive material benefits from the exploitation of the Pechora estuary - but also reflects that entrepreneurs were fully aware of the necessity to develop the northern territories in order to integrate these regions fully into the Russian Empire. A close cooperation between state authorities and representatives of private capital was considered an indispensable condition for achieving this goal. A.I. Den’gin’s note also reveals how the Russian merchant class of the pre-Reform period viewed the world. They had a very high opinion of their professional activities, which they thought were indispensable not only for the successful functioning of the economy but also for raising the general level of culture and education among the population. Commerce was seen as the most important means for achieving progress and common welfare.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):120-129
pages 120-129 views


Review of Tatary-kazakivsostaveOrenburgskogokazach'egovoiska (1748-1917 gg.) by R.R. Aminov. Kazan': Institut istorii im. Sh. Mardzhani AN RT, 2017. 348 p.

Godovova E.V., Lyubichankovskiy S.V.



RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):130-133
pages 130-133 views

Review of Rossiya na poroge informatsionnykh voin. Politika rossiiskogo pravitel'stva v sfere SMI v nachale XX veka by E.G. Kostrikova. St. Petersburg: Petroglif Publ., 2020. 352 p.

Shpakovskaya M.A.



RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(1):134-137
pages 134-137 views

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