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RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 5 from 2003 yr. >

Contrary to the opinion which is widely discussed in media and states that the current exacerbation of instability in Russia is attributed just to the active role played by «the Kremlin administrators» and representatives of some state-owned companies who are designing multi-move combinations to achieve their goals the author suppose that this exacerbation is a projection of the global contradictions on Russia. Participants of the Russian conflict are mere figures in the Big chess game. The peculiarity of the world situation consists in formation of a string coalition which includes opponents of President Bush from Europe, Islamic world and the Far Asia. This coalition has joined opponents of Bush in America. General anti-American attitudes and moods are being replaced with the trend to choose among the American political project the one which might be convenient for opponents of Bush. This project is globalization, the power of transnational elites, erosion of national states. (Islam is also in favor of globalization and offers the presumable «specific» project of globalization of its own). The goal and outcome of the coalition’s activities is destruction of the «Modern» project which implies development and making of every state. Anti-Bush forces are enormous and they enjoy a solid support in Russia. Chains of control of the current situation in Russia can be traced to the elites involved in this global process. The goal of the Russia project is to launch, initiate instability. Making of a Parliamentary republic in Russia may well be of interest for the anti-Bush alliance. This alliance does not need Putin who did not march against Bush.

The Social space or the world on both sides of the historical Big Bang

Fundamental, civilizational causes lie at the basis of the current global situation. The progress of history is the change of key situations, the change which has the inner meaning and teleology: the expansion of space for human freedom. The central revolution of the world history was the transition from traditional (pagan) systems to monotheism. The Christian outlook has become the supreme expression of monotheism. This outlook has generated the richness of the contemporary civilization. The Christian outlook has placed itself in the historical text in several cultural versions. Of these, the Protestant one has gained the dominance over the planet. In fact, this version has become the basis for the making of the modern world and its North Atlantic core. The 20th century was signified with social cultural revolution which set forth another version of the civilizational myth’s reading. Secularization which came forth as super-confessional form of the Christian outlook has created the cultural shell of global proportions and this paradigm has embraced not just Oikumene but the planet-wide Barbaristan too. The new age is characterized by completeness of spatial (communicative) space (this completeness has found its expression in globalization as well as by liberation a socially active personality from shackles of authoritarian structures (this second process has found its expression in the individuation, extreme condition of freedom a human being can attain on the earth. In result a social structure of global proportions is developed on the planet in parallel with its administrative and political embodiment, and this new social structure unites trans-boundary organized entities thus establishing the proactive and dynamic environment of the New world.

Postsoviet Transcaucasus in the Russian-Turkish Relations: from Confrontation to Partnership

The article analyses global and regional factors which determined post-Soviet Russia’s and Turkey’s policy toward Transcaucasia, on the one hand, and volatile reaction of the local high authorities thereto. As the author argues, the Kremlin’s strategy evolved from almost total detachment caused by weakness of the state lost in liberal reverie to the grasping of its own geopolitical interests in the Caucasus to be adequately translated into a much more assertive international behavior. As for Ankara’s policy in the region its evolution took place just in the opposite direction, i. e. from the euphoric desire to fill the Transcaucasian «power vacuum» to a sober reassessments of the viability of the course aimed at political and economic confrontation with Russia given her enormous military potential. This resulted in a formation of a blueprint for a long-term compromise capable to secure the framework for constructive partnership between Moscow and Ankara in Caucasian affairs.

The Ancient Russian Man in the Face of Death (to be continued)

The author attempts to reconstruct the basic elements if the death mythology which existed in the Muskovite state of the 15th-17th centuries and provides answers to a series of questions that normally are left out of this historians' view. What was the death in the medieval Russian culture? How did people explained the reasons of death and terms of its arrival? How did an ancient Russian imagine his/her transition to the other world and posthumous existence of the soul? How did he/she prepare for leaving the vale of tears? In the medieval time the world of the dead and the world of the alive were not tightly separated from each other. The dead' souls could appear to the alive to pray the alive for protection while the alive did not lose the hope to help their dead and believed in their ability to affect their lot beyond the grave. The Church taught the whole life of a human being, from the cradle to the gray hairs had to be subordinated to the thought about forthcoming death and devoted to the spiritual preparation for the end. However to deserve the salvation it was not enough to pass the life through righteously. On the very verge of death a person who could never known whether he had confessed in all sins and washed them away with repentance or not had to perform a series of «the transition rites»: to make a her confession, to take the last communion, to ask for pardon from his relatives and to bless them or monk fraternity which gathered at his/her death-bed. It was precisely why a sudden death (or an accidental death far from the people) was considered to be the true sign of the God’s wrath against the deceased and of the eternal torment that waited for the deceased beyond the grave. The author analyzes notions of death and the other world within the framework of an ancient Russian’s ideas of the Universe, the human nature and the Providence as the driving force of history.

Two Post Cards, Three Years of Silence and Letters Preserved for the Whole Life

The article is based on the authentic archive documents and is supplied with a commentary which demonstrates the exceptionally cautious and friendly attitude towards the letters' authors: Tseterteli, Bourghina and Nikolaevski. Anna Mikhailovna Bourghina left the Bolshevist Russia in 1922 and then served as the assistant of Boris Ivanovich Nikolaevski, a prominent member of the Russian Social Democratic movement, the researcher of the Russian and European political history. Nikolaevski was the founder of the Russian Social Democratic Party’s archive, an expert in and gatherer and publisher of archive documents. In the end of 1923 Nikolaevski sent Bourghina to Paris because he was afraid that the members of the Central Committee Bureau members' illegal letters delivered to her address in Berlin might somehow affect her relatives' fate. At Nikolaevski’s request Irali Georghievich Tsereteli, a prominent Russian politician and public figure, hired Bourghina as his secretary. Since the end of 1930s Bourghina was permanent assistant of Nikolaevski. It happened so that their archive heritage is dispersed all over many Russian and foreign archives in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Tbilisi, Paris, Amsterdam, Wien, New York, Stanford, Jerusalem. And only now, when the opportunity to gather them in a single place has appeared, we may discover previously unknown pages of their lives.

Overcoming the past: disputes on totalitarianism in Germany, Italy, and Russia

The author summarizes results of discussion on totalitarianism in Germany, Italy, and the USSR that developed in historical science of the past decades. The particular emphasis is made on attempt to revise the history. The author pays considerable attention to works of the Western historians, first of all, German and Italian ones who had elaborated new approaches to study Fascism and Nazism. The author analyzes concepts of revisionists (Ernst Nolte, Renzo de Felice and others) and response these historians evoked among representatives of other historical schools. The author offers a concise characterization of study of totalitarianism in the Russian historical science. Debates over possibilities of comparing three totalitarian regimes that existed in three countries are reflected. Finally the author draws the conclusion that further full-fledged discussion on overcoming blind alleys of the past and delivering the society from mutilations inflicted by the anti-humane 20th century.

The unpopular mentor and his faithful disciple: Correspondence between Vladimir Gerier and Vassily Rozanov

The article represents the correspondence between Vladimir Ivanovich Gerier, the professor of Moscow university and his student Vassily Vassil’evich Rozanov accumulated for 30 years (1886−1916). V.I.Gerier who was not an ordinary personality is unjustly cosigned to oblivion nowadays though his contribution to the science is indubitable. Gerier was the author of brilliant monographs on the Roman history, medieval history and modern history. His books have not become obsolete and are read with the most vivid interest. Gerier was a prominent figure of the public and pedagogic fields (he was the founder of the Higher female courses). V.V.Rozanov is more famous in the history of literature and philosophy of the late 19th — early 20th century. He was a leader of the «new religious conscience»? the founder of a new genre in literature («The fallen leaves») which had a great impact on the Russian writers. Nowadays Rozanov books are widely republished and his heritage has been investigated by scholars. Actuality of the correspondence is obvious: the possibility of spiritual communion between persons of different ages and social standings is demonstrated on the example of relationship between the faithful disciple and the responsive mentor.