Vol 21, No 4 (2022): To the 100th Anniversary of the Formation of the USSR


Soviet Power Plus Rationalization of the Whole Country: Creating the Kingdom of Reason

Rusakova O.F., Rusakov V.M.


The correlation between the categories of rational and irrational in the philosophy of the Enlightenment and classical Marxism, which found its embodiment in Russia in the form of Bolshevism (Leninism), is studied. The authors identify that rationalism as a kind of "mythology of Reason" arose in the Enlightenment era and reached its apogee in the Great French Revolution and German classical philosophy. Despite the fact that in a number of works of classical Marxism heuristically valuable ideas were put forward to reformulate the problem of the essence and correlation of the categories of ration-al and irrational, rationalism prevailed in the understanding of reality and practices of the first years of the October Revolution. This found expression in the works of V.I. Lenin, in the socio-political and spiritual atmosphere of revolutionary Russia, which had far-reaching consequences for Soviet society. This phenomenon paved the way for the state-political mythology of Reason and its fetishization, the mystification of science (which, like magic, "can do anything"). These rationalist schematisms penetrated deeply into all forms of mass consciousness and gave rise to the cult of Reason, on the basis of which all spheres of life of Soviet society were supposed to be transformed.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):452-468
pages 452-468 views

Commonly Used Turkic Language in the Declaration and Treaty on the Formation of the USSR

Vasilyev A.D.


In the article, the author draws parallels between the content of the union treaty on the formation of the USSR and the Soviet language policy of the 1920-1930s. In particular, the “commonly used” Turkic language mentioned in the treaty is considered. The author examines it in the context of the social movement proclaimed by I. Gasprinsky in the late 19th - early 20th centuries for the unity of the Turkic Muslim peoples in their movement towards progress. The pioneers in the development and introduction of the Latin alphabet were representatives of the Azerbaijan SSR, who were among the first to propose such projects of the alphabet reform. Its important element was the unification of the alphabet. In this regard, the author considers the projects for creating a single unified alphabet for the Turkic peoples of the USSR; it was the Azerbaijani version of the Latinized alphabet that was supposed to be the basis for it. This situation gave the leaders of Soviet Azerbaijan the opportunity to lead the process of cultural transformation among the Turkic peoples of the USSR. The article also considers the organizational efforts of the initiators of the idea of latinization to create a unified structure for managing the process of latinization in the USSR, as well as some aspects of their struggle with supporters of a different direction of cultural reforms among the Turks who proposed simplifying the Arabic alphabet.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):469-483
pages 469-483 views

Formation and Development of School Education of the Autonomies of the Middle Volga Region, 1920-1930s

Mineeva E.K., Zykina A.P., Mineev A.I.


The study is devoted to the analysis of the process of formation of the Soviet system of school education in the 1920-1930s. The policy of the Soviet government in this area and its specific results are also considered. The authors find out that the experiments, carried out in the course of reforming education, were accompanied by both positive and negative paradigms. Of the positive results that were already observed by the end of the 1920s, the quantitative changes, marked by an increase in the number of educational institutions, as well as the number of teachers and students, stand out in particular. Of the positive results that were already observed by the end of the 1920s, there particularly stand out the quantitative changes marked by an increase in the number of educational institutions, as well as the number of teachers and students. Also progressive, although slower, was the strengthening of the material and technical base of schools. Large-scale transformations related to the destruction of the old Russian school and the construction of a new Soviet school took place against the backdrop of important historical events (the Civil War, famine, industrialization and collectivization, etc.), which influenced the course of the modernization processes. Along with objective factors, the development of the educational sphere was also affected by subjective reasons: the dissatisfaction of the population with certain measures in the field of schooling, the conservative views of the peasant population, etc. As a result, in the early 1930s, the course of the Soviet government with regard to the general education school was revised. In order to correct the mistakes made, the Soviet government had to return to the traditional class-and-lesson system. In the 1930s, there increased the budgetary financing of the school education system. The policy pursued allowed the Soviet state to achieve noticeable results in improving literacy of the population, quantitative expansion of primary and secondary education, qualitative improvement of the level of education in general.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):484-497
pages 484-497 views

The Prisoner Camp System in the Caspian Region of Kazakhstan in 1932-1940

Ivanova G.M.


In the study of the history of Soviet camps, there are still serious gaps; in particular, there are no works that reveal the history of the creation and functioning of the camp system in the Caspian region. This study fills the gap in historiography and provides answers to the topical issues of the location of some camp units, reasons, goals, objectives and conditions for the creation and operation of the camp com-plex in the Kazakhstan region of the Caspian Sea. The source base of the study is the documents from the fund of the Main Directorate of Camps and Places of Incarceration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR of the State Archive of the Russian Federation. The article shows that from the middle of 1932, in the course of solving the problem of creating their own supply base, the OGPU camps began to intensively develop the fishing industry. The GULAG got a new fishing area - Prorva located in the north-eastern part of the Caspian Sea. For catching and processing fish, there was created the Prorva labor camp which functioned from 1932 to 1940; it was initially subordinated to the GULAG OGPU and stationed in the Kazakh ASSR on the island of Prorva in the Caspian Sea. One of the largest units was the Guryev camp with the population of up to 2 thousand people; it was located in the area of the town of Guryev, Kazakh ASSR. The prisoners were engaged in fishing and provided them-selves with fish, the supply of which to the camps was cut off from 1932. The study reveals that the prisoners settled down in the Caspian fishing region of Kazakhstan in extremely difficult climatic, living and working conditions; they made a significant contribution to the provision of camps and colonies with food, since all products manufactured by the Prorva labor camp were sold in the GULAG system.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):498-508
pages 498-508 views

U.S. and ‘Turkestan’ Political Exiles during the Cold War: Information Policy of Radio Liberty in Soviet Central Asia

Antoshin A.V.


US policy in Central Asia is a topical issue that causes discussions among researchers. One can't help wondering about the origins of this policy, particularly during the Cold War era. This, in turn, leads scholars to question the U.S.'s role in the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the formation of independent states in the former territory of Soviet Central Asia. This article discusses the effectiveness of American propaganda services operating in Central Asia during the Cold War. The most prominent structure which tried to influence political sentiments of population of this region was Radio Liberty (RL). It consisted of former Nazi collaborators during World War II, and Soviet propaganda apparatus used this situation. RL used the concept of a united anti-communist Turkestan which was unacceptable for real situations in Soviet Central Asia. Jamming and the lack of feedback from listeners made great obstacles for activity of RL in this region. That is why the author attempts to prove that the effective-ness of this activity was not so great as its financial support. Using archives of Russian and American security services and documents of Central Asian archives, future scholars will have the possibility to clarify this conclusion.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):509-525
pages 509-525 views

USSR: From Emergence to Collapse of the Great Power

Egorov V.G.


The article presents the actual historiographical situation on the problem of determining the causes and factors of the death of the USSR. The presentation of a diverse palette of views on the causes and fac-tors of the USSR demise is accompanied by arguments and author's judgments on the correctness of the available assessments of historians and social scientists. At the same time, the aim of the article is to show the fundamental causes of the imbalance of the socio-economic system of real socialism. The fundamental reasons for the non-viability of the socio-economic system of real socialism, designed to eliminate the “flaws” of capitalism, was the level of development of productive forces insufficient to overcome the “rarity of goods.” Even today, humanity is at the very beginning of the path of achieving economic progress capable of ensuring universal satisfaction of needs. The lack of a sufficient material basis for overcoming the imperfection of distribution was the cause of another structural “ailment” - low motivation of social labor and increasing alienation of workers from public property. In turn, the replacement of market mechanisms with administrative and command principles of eco-nomic management caused a chronic shortage of consumption and manifested social apathy. Diverse political, ideological and other “man-made” factors only intensified the processes of systemic failure and gave the centrifugal forces that initiated secession an irreversible and total character.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):526-540
pages 526-540 views

Migration policy of Russia in the historical past and in the present

The Activities of the Iranian Consular Services in the Caucasus According to Iranian Sources (1905-1911)

Z.T. Plieva, B.V. Tuaeva, Z.V. Kanukova, Ali Kalirad .
RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):


Princess Anna Taishina, the First Ruler of the Stavropol Baptized Kalmyks, 1737-1742

Dzhundzhuzov S.V.


The involvement of Kalmyk princess Anna Taishina in the process of baptized Kalmyks fitting into the economic, political and administrative-legal space of Russia is examined. Based on extensive documentary data, the author notes that the formation of a separate Kalmyk principality on the Middle Volga was the consequence of the Russian policy of Christianization and purposeful settlement of baptized Kalmyks outside the Kalmyk Khanate. The transfer of territories with a special ad-ministrative status to a sole female administration, albeit being under strict government control, is the only example in the history of Tsarist Russia. In the chronicles of the mid-1720-1730s Anna Taishina was mentioned solely in connection with the active political activities of her husband, Pyotr Taishin, and the interest of the Russian authorities in his services. A. Taishina was granted authority not due to coincidence: it was not only the unexpected death of her husband and the absence of high-born off-spring among the baptized Kalmyks, but also the desire of the Russian government to settle baptized Kalmyks in the remote territory. Within the short period of A. Taishina's reign, there were laid the foundations of the administrative-territorial structure of the Kalmyk settlement, its power structure and order of administration, economic and social development. The high legal status of the Kalmyk princess was evidenced by the transfer of the Kalmyk settlement to the Collegium of Foreign Affairs. It is confirmed that all innovations supported by the government were carried out on the initiative of Anna Taishina, or the Stavropol commandant, but always considering her opinion. The conclusion is that the order that took shape during the life of Anna Taishina set the vector for the development of the Kalmyk settlement until its abolition in 1842.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):541-555
pages 541-555 views

Russian Exporters to Iran vs Transcaucasian Transit of European Goods in the Early 1880s

Kornoukhova G.G.


The problem of European goods transit from the Black Sea ports of Russia through Transcaucasia to the northern markets of Persia in the 19th century is considered. The author analyzes the history of its functioning, pays special attention to the process of Russian bureaucracy’s discussion of the issue of the expediency of preserving the Transcaucasian transit which was finally closed in 1883. The historiographic analysis reveals that the problem of the role of Russian entrepreneurs in the abolition of duty-free transportation of European goods through Transcaucasia to Iran has not yet been covered properly. The author discloses the position of entrepreneurs on the issue under consideration through the analysis of materials stored in the fund of the Moscow Exchange Committee of the Central State Archives of Moscow; there are considered the arguments in favor of abolishing the transit expressed by the entrepreneurs associated with export to Iran in the early 1880s; there are revealed the Russian entrepreneurs’ appeals to the government. The author comes to the conclusion that in the circles of the highest bureaucracy there was no unified position on this issue, which was due to the differences in the assessment of the role of commercial cargo from Europe to Iran for the development of the Russian economy. Whereas some officials, as well as representatives of the commercial and industrial circles, considered the preservation of transit to be an obstacle to the sale of their own products, for another part of the state bureaucracy it was a fiscal source of replenishment of the treasury. As a result, the pressure on the part of the commercial and industrial circles involved in the export trade with Iran led to the abolition of duty-free transit for European goods.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):556-567
pages 556-567 views

Activities of Iran’s Consular Services in the Caucasus in 1905-1911: According to Iranian Sources

Plieva Z.T., Tuaeva B.V., Kanukova Z.V., Kalirad A.


The authors analyze the activities of Iran's consular services in the Caucasus, their role in Russian-Caucasian diplomatic relations, in particular, in the processes of Iranian labor migrants’ adaptation to host societies. The authors aim to expand historical knowledge of Iranians’ staying in the Caucasus, to restore a complete picture of the history of migration processes in the region. There are revealed the features of Iranian-Caucasian diplomatic relations in the pre-Soviet period, the situation of migrants and their legal support, the activities of the consulates in preserving the Iranian cultural identity, internal and external problems in Iran’s consular services. There have been introduced into scientific use the documents of political and consular missions of Iran in the Caucasus for 1905-1911 stored in the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, materials of Iranian periodicals of the period under consideration, as well as the personal files of the vice-consuls stored in the Persian Table Foundation (f. 144) of the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire. They made it possible to determine the significant contribution of consular services to the development of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The conclusion is made about the greatest success of these relations in the Terek region, which is due to the favorable conditions of its developing economy for labor migrants and such subjective factors as the personal qualities of a number of vice-consuls, the level of their interaction with the Russian authorities. The activities of the vice-consuls successfully combined the promotion of the incorporation of migrants into the Russian economy and culture with the creation of conditions for the preservation of Iranian cultural identity.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):568-580
pages 568-580 views

Executed under the name of Antonov: Revolutionary Biography of Vladimir Sviridenko

Milevsky O.A.


The article reconstructs the “revolutionary biography” of populist Vladimir Antonovich Sviridenko who was previously practically unknown in the scientific community, using the methodological approaches inherent to the “personal history” direction. The source base of the article is both documents from the archives of Moscow (State Archive of the Russian Federation) that were not previously introduced into scientific use, and the existing memoir literature. The article examines and analyzes the process of Sviridenko's ideological evolution from a peaceful propagandist to an active member of the “Executive Committee of the Russian Social-Revolutionary Party” (“Southern Executive Committee”) who used the tactics of political terror against the representatives of the Russian ruling elite. In the process of studying the sources, including the documents of the Gendarme department, it was possible to establish that Sviridenko was a very prominent figure among the revolutionaries of the south of Russia in the late 1870s. The study of Sviridenko’s revolutionary biography revealed previously little-known moments of populist propaganda in Novorossiya (Odessa, Nikolaev) among military sailors. It was also established that at that time the revolutionaries decided to use dynamite to prepare for regicide. Special attention is paid to Sviridenko's activity in Kiev, in 1878-early 1879, in the ranks of the “Southern Executive Committee” created by V.A. Osinsky. There is analyzed the role played by Sviridenko in its work. There are also considered the negotiations of the representatives of the “Southern Executive Committee” with the liberals in Kiev at the end of 1878 in which he was directly involved. The analysis of Sviridenko’s ideological evolution allowed us not only to better understand the motives of his actions, but also made it possible to trace on his example the typical path of the transition of southern revolutionaries from propaganda to terror. On the basis of the material studied, the author comes to the conclusion that the reconstruction of V.A. Sviridenko's “revolutionary biography” is extremely important for clarifying the reasons for the evolution of revolutionary populism from peaceful propaganda to political terror.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):581-596
pages 581-596 views


Phenomenon of Sovietness in Russian Historiographical Tradition

Orlov I.B.


The author proposes a new historiographic approach which is based on the identification of the essential lines of the historiographic split without dividing the works according to the disciplinary principle. The author connects another historiographic turn in the study of the phenomenon of Sovietness with the expansion of the source base and, above all, with the appeal to mass personal sources, in particular, letters to the authorities, which, due to the representation of different social groups, make it possible to clarify the process of establishing new Soviet values and, accordingly, existing historiographic conclusions, as well as to verify the theoretical and methodological foundations of modern research. The analysis showed that with all the variety of theoretical and methodological approaches, the idea of the dual nature of the phenomenon of Sovietness and the appeal to “greater meanings” seems to be the most promising one, and mass sources contribute to the transition from the study of the abstract Soviet man to the study of “homo soveticus” in all the diversity of his life at different stages of history.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):597-607
pages 597-607 views

Review of Poststalinskii period v istorii sovetskogo Kazakhstana: chereda obrechennykh reform i nesostiyavshikhsia deklaratsii (1953-1991 gg.) [The post-Stalinist period in the history of Soviet Kazakhstan: a series of doomed reforms and failed declarations (1953-1991)] by Abylkhozhin, Zh.B. Almaty: KBTU Publ., 2019. 468 p.

Amanzholova D.A.



RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2022;21(4):608-613
pages 608-613 views

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