Vol 22, No 3 (2023): Cities of the Russian Regions and Cross-Border Territories in the Historical Space


History of St. Petersburg’s Pavements

Morozan V.V.


Within the article, the author examines the history of everyday life of St. Petersburg through analyzing documents that have recorded the history of the city’s pavement replacement with various materials over a period of more than three hundred years. The study was mainly carried out on the basis of archival materials from the funds of the Central State Historical Archive of St. Petersburg and the Russian State Historical Archive. It is evident that this work is the first comprehensive study of the history of the pavements of the Russian Empire capital as a theme, a topic which has not yet been adequately reflected in either domestic or foreign historiography. It has been established that it took the city authorities a considerable time to pave the capital's roads during the imperial period. The paving of the city roads developed from the use of raw stone to natural asphalt. In the end, it took almost a century to bring the streets of the main part of the city to the proper condition; they have been previously been covered with mainly stone. Whereas in the XVIII century the main task of the central and city authorities was to pave as many streets as possible, then in the XIX - early XX centuries the city government instead concentrated on a way find an inexpensive but durable material for this purpose.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):342-353
pages 342-353 views

Russian City in Manchuria through the Eyes of the Minister of War: A.N. Kuropatkin’s Visit to Harbin in 1903

Avilov R.S.


The author considers the history of Russian Imperial Minister of War A.N. Kuropatkin’s visit to Harbin in 1903. The study is based on the Minister's diaries which he kept during the trip, a set of documents he built during the trip, as well as his official report written after the trip. The documents are stored in the Russian State Military Historical Archive (RGVIA) and have been used for the for the first time for historical research in this article. A. N. Kuropatkin visited the new Russian city which was under construction in Manchuria from 1898 as part of his trip to the Far East, and described in detail his inspection of the city, as well as its quay, military barracks, and civil facilities, as well as the maneuvers of the troops of the Harbin garrison and border guards. The study gives a description of the barracks accommodation of the troops in the city and the problems of organizing barracks construction at that time. It is noted that A.N. Kuropatkin considered Harbin as the most important commercial and strategic center of northern Manchuria. The article provides data on the number and national composition of the city population, as well as a description of the first time the Russian Minister of War negotiated with the Chinese governor-general of the Jilin province. The studied material illustrates A.N. Kuropatkin’s understanding of the impossibility of organizing the management of the non-Russian population of the region without preserving authority the Chinese local officials and therefore there was a need to establish close cooperation with them. It is also pointed out the Minister of War had hoped increase the coordination of representatives of the Russians at the local level including Russia’s local military, diplomatic, and financial departments. A.N. Kuropatkin’s in his conclusions shows his conviction of the relative ineffectiveness of exclusively peaceful penetration into Manchuria without support by military force, a discovery which prompted him to actively engage in the further development of Harbin’s military infrastructure.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):354-369
pages 354-369 views

Study of the Fuel Supply to Interior Cities in the Ivanovo and Vladimir Regions during the Great Patriotic War

Tryakhov I.S.


Through their research, the author has studied the process of providing the population of the Ivanovo and Vladimir regions with fuel during the Great Patriotic War. With an analysis of regional archival materials, the author reveals the both the importance as well as the future potential of such fuel resources as peat and firewood located in the region, as well as the main ways of their procurement for the needs of the national economy. Special attention is paid to the working conditions of procurement officers as well as the radical changes in the age and gender composition of workers employed in peat extraction and firewood cutting across the War. It is shown that during the war years the role of women increased considerably, which was caused by the mass mobilization of able-bodied men. The consequence of this was a significant decline in labor productivity, especially from 1942 to 1943. The location of firewood and peat resources at a considerable distance from cities with enterprises and institutions made it difficult to deliver them in a timely manner. These logistical difficulties often led to shutdown of plants and factories, as well as public institutions. The author comes to the conclusion that it was not possible to fully solve the problem of supply until the end of the war, although according to the available data, there were still fuel resources in various places for procurement. The sources also show large number of complaints of the population about the lack of heating in for their homes and the failure to provide assistance with the delivery of firewood, as well as the broader difficulties with the food supply.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):370-383
pages 370-383 views

Restoration of Housing and Communal services of Leningrad from 1942-1944: the Temporal Experience of the Besieged City

Amosova A.A.


In their article, the author analyzes a critical point for the Soviet culture of the 1940s. This study is based on published sources, including data from periodicals, and unpublished materials from the archives of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The purpose of it is to determine the features of the temporal characteristics of the restoration stages of Leningrad’s housing and communal services during the years of the siege. The research tools used including those investigating concrete-historical issues, problem-chronological methods, historical reconstruction, as well as linguo-culturological analysis. The identification and systematization of temporal concepts are implemented through three blocks (typological, structural, semiotic) in the paper, concepts which have contributed to the study of the relationship between material culture and the temporal dimensions of the era. There were two stages of the revival of Leningrad’s urban economy during the war years which should be singled out. The specific character of the first stage (January 1942 - January 1943) was the combination of restoration with continued emergency activities, and the second stage (January 1943 - January 1944), when the government began introducing, the restoration of housing and communal services, while taking into account the plans for the development of Leningrad in the post-war period. The temporal characteristics of the first period were colored by “siege time,” broad aspirations for the future largely marred due the establishment of unrealistic deadlines for the implementation of decisions and plans, as well as determination of restoration priorities in accordance with the seasonality of tasks. The second period was also characterized by acceleration in the pace of work carried out in the city due to a release of increased labor and funding, however, there was a discrepancy between real and assumed time in the perception of the Leningrad authorities, and understanding of time in terms of the realistic limits of under their control.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):384-392
pages 384-392 views

“We Created Ourselves and the city”: Women's Contribution to the Development of Magnitogorsk in the 1950-1960s

Pushkareva N.L., Zhidchenko A.V.


The everyday life of Soviet women during the years of the Khrushchev thaw is one of the insufficiently studied issues of Soviet women's history. This article is devoted to its study using the methods of gender anthropology and multi-focal ethnography of urban life. Its analysis is based on: heterogeneous empirical material - published memoirs of contemporaries, their oral stories (recorded by the authors of the article), materials from periodicals, neglected works of fiction, and visual sources. Magnitogorsk was chosen as the main research locus due to it being a large non-administrative industrial center that had appeared even before the war, and in which demographic gender imbalance persisted even after 1945. After analyzing the features of the women’s contribution to the formation of a new image of the city, the authors completed the picture of the lifestyles of urban women, showing several social types that changed the face of the industrial giant: architects, housewives, social activists, workers of the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works. The collected material showed the success of the Soviet Union’s new social policy, which was an innovative transition of the Soviet state from the harsh methods of management of the 1930s - early 1950s to Soviet democracy, including recognition of the importance of private life, including of Soviet women. However, everyday life of Soviet women from a half a century ago also revealed a number of issues such as: gender inequality and has the exposed the difficulties of organizing everyday women's domestic (family) and industrial life. By proving the importance of gender anthropology as an approach that expands the ability to analyze social idealism and hopes of the political thaw, this approach helps frame the period by showing how gender interacted with the shifting value-normative structures of Soviet thinking and the social image of the female builders of socialism.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):393-407
pages 393-407 views


Familial Relations of Russian Naval Officer N.V. Kopytov: based on Epistolary Sources of 1866-1897

Sinova I.V.


The author in their work analyzes familial relations, gender roles and gender equality issues based on Vice Admiral N.V. Kopytov’s letters to his wife, letters currently being stored in his personal fund stored at the Russian State Archive of Navy. The novelty of the scientific usefulness of the letters is determined by their use as a source base for further historical analysis. The introduction of N.V. Kopytov’s personal letters into scientific use for the first time has allowed the authors and further researchers to obtain information to analyze a wide range of issues: including interpersonal communications, gender relations, everyday life, and professional activities. In addition, this research has allowed the analysis of the influence of peculiarities of mentality, class affiliation, financial situation on the character and main priorities of relationships in N.V. Kopytov’s family. Recent research interest in personal letters as historical sources of private origin and the epistolary genre is currently associated with the ability to identify common and specific features of intra-family communications of people of a certain social stratum and social status, in this particular case, the noble family of the Vice-Admiral of Navy. The study of the letters allows us to conclude that the Kopytov family was not typical of Russian society and was more of an equal partnership, despite the prevailing gender inequality enshrined in the legislation and in the mentality of the population of time. The authors have examined the causes of family relations which were considered progressive for the period under consideration, based on the equal division of gender roles and the position of spouses in joint decision-making.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):408-420
pages 408-420 views

Problem of Sources in Researching V.N. Khitrovo’s Biography

Aksenova G.V.


Through their work, the author examines some of the problems of studying sources while researching the biography of famous Russian statesman V.N. Khitrovo (1834-1903), who played an important role in shaping the Middle East foreign policy of the Russian Empire. While in the region, he made a great contribution to the protection of Orthodoxy and Orthodox pilgrims in the Holy Land, including the development of education of the Arab population of Palestine and Syria, and promoting the spread of Orthodox education. In order to reconstruct the biography of V.N. Khitrovo, sources of various nature and origin were identified and classified. There has been conducted for the first-time analysis of materials from the private collection of V.N. Khitrovo stored in the Department of Manuscripts of the Russian State Library; on their basis, the role of V.N. Khitrovo as a specialist in the field of genealogy is revealed within the text. The materials on the history of the Khitrovo family collected by him make it possible to most fully present the history of the family and its role in the development of the future statesman and organizer of science. There was used a wide range of unpublished archival documents containing material important for the reconstruction of V.N. Khitrovo’s biography. Above all, it is the correspondence of widow S.D. Khitrovo with bibliographer and literary critic S.I. Ponomarev. In addition, for the first time, the authors have collected obituary materials, a large amount of reference literature published in Russia in the second half of the XIX - early XX centuries, published official sources and documents of private origin, which have allow the researchers to begin supplementing, clarifying and correcting the information and facts from V.N. Khitrovo’s biography.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):421-440
pages 421-440 views

Boris Sinani: 246 Days in the Life of a Participant in Revolutionary Events in Russia in 1917

Kheifets V.L., Kheifets L.S.


From the example of Russian officer Boris Semenovich Sinani’s fate, the authors have attempted to reconstruct the events of the first days of the February Revolution, including certain aspects of the work of the “military headquarters of the revolution” - the Military Commission, as well as the reasons for the creation and nature of the functioning of the Union of Republican Officers of the People's Army. Through their research, the authors have revealed the complexity of the relationship between the Provisional Committee of the State Duma and the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, as well as the attitude of the Russian officers to the revolutionary changes in the country. The authors note that the name Sinani was taken as a pseudonym by Georgy Borisovich Skalov, another participant in the revolution and the Civil War, and this choice played a tragic role in the fate of the latter. The study is based on the analysis of the documents of the Union of Socialists of the People's Army stored in the State Archive of the Russian Federation, memoirs, and their comparison with published scientific works. The authors have also attempted to reconstruct the main lines of interaction and contradictions between officer groups during the Great October Socialist Revolution.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):441-455
pages 441-455 views

Early Soviet Regional History in the Fates of Compatriots Through the Example of G.K. Ozhigov’s Biography

Bekhterev S.L., Bekhtereva L.N.


The early Soviet period in the life of Grigory Kondratievich Ozhigov (Ozhegov) (1878-1935) is reconstructed within the author’s paper. A native of a Vyatka peasant family, a worker at the Izhevsk defense factories, a Socialist-Revolutionary militant, as well as a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the first convocation, who was at party work in the Baltic States and Finland, Orzhigov had a varied career The authors through their work have introduced into scientific use new sources analyzed in the context of the theory of social adaptation, through anthropological approach as well as historical-biographical methodology. Of greatest interest are the materials of the: Revolutionary Civil Council of Izhevsk (1918), Soviet commissions on the affairs of former Red Guards and Red partisans (the 1930s), and the autobiography and memoirs of G.K. Ozhigov himself . The documents of the private origin fund of the Ozhigov family are stored in the Central State Archive of the Udmurt Republic, and are of a complex nature. The study of the biography of Ozhigov, who had turned out to be among the most revolutionary-minded citizens, as shown in other empirical material, does explain why he supported the left-wing radical societal project in Udmurtia. A region by the beginning of modern times which has been the largest agrarian and industrial region of Russia, while largely preserving its traditional way of life.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):456-469
pages 456-469 views


Defensive Social Practices in the History of Russia: the Early Formation of “Cancel Culture” or a Rare Event of the Past?

Mogilevskiy N.A., Skizhenok A.V., Chernikova T.V.


While the concept of “cancel culture” is already a given in contemporary culture; through this article, the authors propose to illustrate a comparable concept/term “defensive practice” in a broader historical retrospective. The authors emphasize that in general there were relative few examples of such “defensive practices” in Russian history, but analyzes the two earliest of them. The first is at the end of the XVII century, when a conflict broke out between the religious and political groups of “Latinisers” and “Graecophils.” Patriarch Joachim played an active role in resolving the conflict by unequivocally taking the side of the “Graecophils.” As a result, the writings of “latinising heretics” were banned, and they were either executed or condemned by the local council of the Russian Church. In the XVIII century manifestations of comparable defensive practice became even rarer, but already at the very end of the century, under Emperor Paul I, the highest authorities again re-used this technique. Fearing the spread of revolutionary “contagion,” Paul I set the goal of banning the spread of “French fashions” in Russia, individual French words, as well as writings by French authors (or those who sympathized with the events of the French Revolution). However, all these measures had no effect and were eventually ended under Alexander I. As a result, the authors come to the conclusion that at the initial stage of the Modern era and even in the XVIII century, practices comparable to modern cancel culture were not widespread in Russian life, and were an exception rather than socio-political practice.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):470-483
pages 470-483 views

Reorganization of Diplomatic missions of the Russian Empire in North-East China During the Early XX Century: based on Materials from the Foreign Policy Archive of the Russian Empire

Starovoytova E.O.


In their article, author considers previously little-studied aspects of the activities of Russian diplomatic missions in China in the late XIX - early XX century in order to explore the features of the daily life of the consular offices of the Russian Empire in China. The study is based on the copies of the answers of the Russian consular office employees in Manchuria to the questionnaire compiled by a special Commission for the Reorganization of the Foreign Service under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1907. These documents are stored in the Foreign Policy Archive of the Russian Empire of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and have been introduced used publicly for scientific use for the first time here. From the available material, it is apparent that in addition to the difficult living conditions in unusual climate, Foreign Ministry officials in China faced a large number of domestic difficulties, a lack of working materials, and funding. Disagreements over the delimitation of consular districts and the powers of diplomats led to inconsistency in the activities of Russian consuls in China. Nevertheless, despite the difficulties, under any circumstances Russian diplomats remained committed to their duty and did their best in the interests of their state, at the same time striving to establish friendly and equal relations with their Chinese counter-parts.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):484-495
pages 484-495 views

Nutritional Hygiene of Preschoolers in Russian Metropolitan Noble Families of the Intelligentsia in the late XIX - early XX Centuries

Veremenko V.A., Sutula J.V.


Through their article, the authors have conducted research on the suggested requirements for the nutrition of preschoolers which were established at the turn of the XX century in Russia, as well as on their implementation within noble intelligentsia families. The source base of the article includes the works of hygienists and nutritionists, reports of sanitary and pedagogical organizations, journalism, home economics guidelines, as well as ego documents. It is shown within these text that the idea of the importance of a proper diet for children as a way for them to obtain the necessary vitamins and minerals for the “building” of their body, and maintaining health had the greatest resonance with intelligent metropolitan female residents who had both the opportunity and desire to get acquainted with the latest scientific achievements in this field. The authors provide a conclusion that not only parents’ willingness to apply ideas from the guidelines instrumental in this process, but also guided the extreme difficulty of implementing them in practice, even in “responsible” families. The abundance and inconsistency of the recommendations combined with the difficulties of their implementation and additional financial and labor costs often forced women to adapt the ideas of nutritionists to the available opportunities of the time and their own ideas. As a result, even in “responsible” noble intelligent families, there could be bizarrely combined various, sometimes mutually exclusive, nutritional practices for preschoolers.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):496-509
pages 496-509 views

Activities of the gendarmerie police of the Russian Empire on the railways of the Grand Duchy of Finland during the First World War

Kolpakov P.A., Arslanov R.A.


The article analyzes the historical experience of organizing official activities of the gendarmerie police department of the Finnish Railways during the First World War. The study highlights the specifics of the Grand Duchy of Finland as national outskirts which largely influenced the work of the railway police of the Russian Empire in wartime. Based on the analysis of the body of archival documents, there are determined the main measures implemented by gendarmes to ensure the stable functioning of the railways of the Grand Duchy of Finland, to prevent damage and destruction of infrastructure facilities. Particular attention is paid to the prevention of subversive and espionage activities. There are shown the features of conducting counterintelligence activities by railway gendarmes at border stations and in the hinterlands of Finland. Some of the enemy's approaches to training and sending people to the Russian Empire in order to obtain military information are revealed. The consideration of the factors of the political situation in the Grand Duchy of Finland and the variety of tasks performed by railway gendarmes in wartime made it possible to conclude that their activities on the railroads of the national outskirts were of great strategic importance.

RUDN Journal of Russian History. 2023;22(3):510-524
pages 510-524 views

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