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RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 4 from 2010 yr. >

The interview is devoted to a wide range of the present day geopolitical problems that bear relation to domestic situation in Russia (accident at the Raspadskaya coal mine) as well as the sphere of Russia’s interaction with its nearest and «far away» neighbors. Situation in Kyrghyzia, interaction of Ukraine and Russia and issues of struggle against drug traffic and terrorism also become the subject of expert analysis. All these omens of our uneasy time are evidence of fragility and, sometimes, illusionary stability in the world might be. An indirect threat hides behind every event. And any explosion understood literally or as a metaphor may have unpredictable consequences. The correct political analysis serves as a reliable bearing for those who have to take balanced and efficient decisions in the contemporary circumstances.

The Fringe but not the Periphery. Stability of the International System

At the end of XVIII century England had acquired the colonies Canada, Australia, New Zealand. At the end of XIX century the countries became the settler’s colonies, passed wonderful evolution, transformed in the agrarian-industrial dominions, laboratories of social and political experiments. At the end of XX century the countries continued their evolutionary way, kept and developed all achievements. Today they are the great food states, large producers of raw materials, energy resources, high technology goods. In the contemporary international system these middle states are not leaders, but on the cause of the high level of development they played important stabilizing role.

The Post is Surrendered. The DDR’s Last Year. Extracts from Diaries of the Advisor-envoy of the USSR Embassy in Berlin (the continuation)

The crisis in the GDR had it own logic. After the opening of the Berlin Wall, the demand of the marchers to democratise the political life of the Republic were gradually replaced with the appeals to unite with FRG. The GDR population had an opportunity to see the living standards of West Germans, which were among the highest in the world, and they hoped that after joining the Deutsch Mark zone they would also be living like that. The issue of preserving the GDR independence was soon replaced with the terms of its surrender. Few were those who took the trouble to think of what would ultimately become of social safety nets, of an exemplary system of education, effective measures of support to families and mothers, and other achievements that GDR and its citizens were rightfully proud of.

1944–1945: The Red Army in East Europe (the end)

The second part of the article deals with attitude of populations of Roumania, Hungary and Trans-Carpathian region to the Red Army which entered these territories in 1944−1945. The author uses materials from the Russian archives, published documents and literature and describes difficulties of the subject investigation and necessity of specific historic investigation of Russophilia and Russophobia phenomena as well as the present day countries' and regions' attitude to the fact of their liberation by the Red Army. The author adduces materials concerning condition of the Soviet servicemen’s graves in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Roumania and on ways the West celebrates May 8−9, the day of victory over the Nazi Germany.

«Semigodness of Tver»: Grand Duchess Ekaterina as Leader of Conservative National-Aristocratic «Party»

Grand Duchess Сatherine (1788−1819), «Semigodness of Tver», the sister of Alexander I, played an outstanding role in the process of genesis of Russian conservatism as a political trend. She initiated a creation of Manifesto of Russian conservative thought — «The Memoir on Ancient and Modern Russia» by N.M.Karamzin. She proposed the leader of Russian conservative «Russian party» F.V.Rostopchin as a «dictator» of Moscow on the eve of the Patriotic war of 1812. Grand Duchess consequently fought against official liberalism of Alexander I. She was one of the personalities who managed to resign M.M.Speransky — the most important politician of official liberalism of that period.

Images of «National Heroes» of the War 1853–1856 in Cultural Memory

Despite the frustration the Crimean War caused its contemporaries, it did not become a forgotten war. On the contrary it inspired the creation of some of the Russian people’s most important patriotic symbols. From feelings of euphoria and expectations for victory after the Russian forces' initial success, the patriotic sentiments of early days of the war developed into a sense of mournful pride at the beginning of the twentieth century. It became increasingly important to remember the military and physical defeat, but not the moral one. This article shows the influence of the heroic tradition of past wars, in particular, the campaign of 1812 against Napoleon I, on the evolution of the memory of the Crimean War. This tradition gave the memory of the Crimean War its peculiar form; it also softened the image of the traumatic past by minimalizing the tragic nature of the war and increasingly emphasizing the heroic deeds of Russian soldiers. This article discusses the images of characters «from the people» formed in the narrative and included in the original pantheon of the war’s heroes in Crimea. The images were supposed to emphasize the popular character of the war, with much space being devoted to heroism, sacrifice, and moral superiority over the enemy. These characters change into the symbols that form part of the Sevastopol myth.

Babel’ and Voroshilov. Voroshilov’s Report to the Central Committee of RCP(b)

Present work is the first publication of the report on «Red Cavalry» by I.E.Babel’ from the archive of K.E.Voroshilov. It establishes the fact that the report written by the writer A.I.Tarasov-Rodionov had to become a culmination point of the annihilating campaign aimed at Babel and A.K.Voronsky, the editor-in-chief of the magazine «Krasnaya Nov». The publication allows readers to understand better the backstage literary life of the 1920s, and at the same time to follow the changes in the Bolshevick party policy towards the «poputchiki» in literature.

The British Spy’s Girl-friend

M.P.Golikova, a daughter of a peasant from Astrakhan region who had a large offspring, was a nurse in the N.V.Sklifosovski's Institute. From 1934 she was the permanent instrument nurse and the secretary of the famous surgeon the Academician S.S.Yudin. At dawn of December 23, 1948, Golikova was apprehended as a person involved in Yudin’s case (Yudin was denounced as the British spy). Golikova was forced to provide fictitious testimony against the Academician and 10 months later she was sentenced to 8 year imprisonment in the USSR Ministry of Interior Special regime camp. In spring of 1952, upon her denial of some evidence given earlier her sentence was reduced to 5 years and in May of 1953 she was released due to the amnesty. 4 years later all accusations against her were abrogated and she was exonerated. Yudin himself was exonerated in August, 1953. 10 months later he died of a heart disease. Having lost the most close to her heart man Golikova dedicated the rest of her life to preservation of Yudin’s archive and to publication of his works. For the first time in the history of Soviet medical science an editor-compiler of the Academician’s works was not a prominent professor but an unknown medical nurse.