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scientific journal
RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 2 from 2010 yr. >

Discussion of political figures cannot be reduced to private opinions, to talk about personal traits of a person. A politician is not just a person but he is a certain configuration of forces, a creature of some social groups. A politician promulgates certain interests. The sphere is a turf where “players” act. There are no victims here. Therefore either a politician achieves a success or fails but anyway a politician gets involved in this or that play. The lesson derived from Putin’s tenure of power consists in understanding that politician Putin personifies opposite tendencies: longing for stabilization and dependence on regress. And there is no Putin’s blame in that. However it seems that Putin cannot pursue the old line forever. The choice Putin has to make nowadays is the choice between what is desirable and what is proper. And unless the choice is made in favor of what is proper, the desirable will extinguish the country slowly. This is the principal collision of our time.

On the Modern Problems of Teaching and Studying of the North Caucasus History

This is an article on the teaching and studying of the controversial problems of the North Caucasus history. The author argues that this branch of Russian historiography is going through severe crisis partly due to the demise of Marxist paradigm to be followed by ideological vacuum. He sees the way to overcome it in the post-modernist overarching approach to the issues sensitive to non-Russian peoples on the one hand, and in ridding of powerful myths firmly established in nationalistic-oriented consciousness, on the other, to develop broader vision of the past.

«The Scrag of the developed Socialism»

The article is devoted to M.A.Suslov, one of the leading politicians of the USSR. The author undertakes the first attempt to offer an answer to the question why this man war so attractive for the first leaders of the party and the state and why I.V.Stalin, N.S.Kruschev and L.I.Brezhnev who regarded such Suslov’s purely human traits as excessive formality of communication and the absolute lack of predisposition to backslapping and to foul language perhaps critically and even disdainfully nevertheless appreciated Suslov’s extensive and retentive memory, ability to grasp complicated international and ideological issues, diligence and efficiency, lack of exorbitant ambitions that brought to ruin carriers of many other colleagues in the top Soviet leadership. The article also deals with the issue to what extent the fame that Suslov was the embodiment of the mean aspects of the regime which fostered Suslov who tried his best in serving to the regime with no fear or reproach (this fame was ascribed to Suslov by the efforts of the liberal intellectuals) corresponds to the reality.

The Russian History within the Framework of History of Technologies. What it was, what it is and what it will be?

It is indisputable that the 21st century as well as the preceding century is the period of rapid transformations in the world of technologies. It turns out that position of every country in the world stage is increasingly depending on an extent to which a country succeeds in adjustment to generational change of machines and forms of labor organization. Historical traditions and mentality of population and of national elite find expressions in this breathtaking competition. Types of social and productive relationships of the past epochs that seem to be moribund reemerge first as menacing shadows and then acquire flesh and in its renewed forms they feel quite comfortable among very sophisticated devices the very ideas of which only fantasts or scientists who normally direct their regard to the future could grasp just a decade ago. The concluding article casts the total to the historian’s reflections on chances of Russia in the technological race and on the burden of the historical heritage that impedes progress of Russia in this race.

Splitted Memory: Russia and the World War 2

The Great Patriotic War of 1941−1945 is the single and the only event of the past memory of which is shared by all the country and plays the paramount role in reconstruction of the national identity after collapse of the USSR. The author investigates reasons that caused changes of attitudes toward the war and veterans in different periods of the Soviet and post-Soviet history. Two different memories have been traced to the war experience. The first memory is the recollections of the war tragedy, of liberation of not the Motherland but of the whole Europe from Nazism, memory of the utmost effort made for the sake of universal ideals of freedom. The other memory is connected with the revival of the state might and with creation of the cult of victory in the years of Brezhnev’s rule. This cult was designed as a new source of legitimization, a source which had to replace ideals of the October revolution that had run dry by that time. According to the author dissemination of the totalitarianism concept in the present day society (this concept combines Stalinism and Nazism) also distorts the memory of war. Yet, despite the state cult of victory which is still dominant the memory which carries ideals of freedom is alive in the present day Russia.

The Old Patriotism «Reoriented to New Russia»: Eurasian conception of P.N.Savitski

The article and the attached letters P.N.Savitski exchanged with G.P.Struve and P.P.Suvchinski cover the principal guidelines of Savitski’s Eurasian conception that Savitski not only kept for 55 years but, after change of his mind, consistently applied to Soviet Russia. The author exposes the atmosphere of emigration in the late 1950s and the early 1960s. Renowned persons (M.Tsvetaeva, N.S.Trubetskoi, L.P.Karsavin etc.) are mentioned in the recollections. In an amazing way Savitski succeeded in combining an admiration for the Soviet Russia’s achievements with the impregnable faith in the Russian people’s religious feeling.

People from Footnotes. «…Dear Grisha Tovstoles». An Addendum to the Eurasian Movement’s History

Grigori Nickolaevich Tovstoles (1887−1957) is a figure of the Russian emigrant community who is virtually unknown in the present day Russia. G. Tovstoles fought in the White army during the Civil war and he was one of the earliest participants of the Eurasian movement in emigration and a member of several Masonic lodges. In 1946 Tovstoles who lived at that time in France accepted the Soviet citizenship. In 1951 Tovstoles was detained by the USSR Ministry of State security in the territory of East Germany. The article for the first time introduces into the scientific turnover materials of investigation against Tovstoles (these materials are kept in the Russian Federation Federal Security Service' archive).

The Varangian and Slavs: the Eternal Dispute

The article is a response to L.S.Klein's book «The Varangian dispute. The history of confrontation and arguments of the parties» published in 2009 in Saint-Petersburg by ‘Eurasia‘ publishing house. «The Norsemen problem» or «The Vrangian issue» is the topic connected with the origins of the Russian statehood and the role Norsemen played in the process. Relevancy of the topic is obvious in the early 21st century too. Research made by L.S.Klein is considered to be an important contribution to history of the Ancient Rus studies.