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RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 1 from 2012 yr. >

The author deals with the Russian here and now and with the current political process. Our time may be characterized as the time of turbulence and ambiguity. Russia and the outer world are captured by ambiguity: the power is ambiguous but the opposition is ambiguous too. And the drama of disagreement with the glamour violence of the upper strata, the drama the people is experiencing right now is also ambiguous. Yet we have to provide an honest answer to the question: what is the price we have to pay for the current political instability? It is possible to appraise the current situation only from the position of ideals based on the genuine patriotism. And such patriotism is incompatible with the playing into the hands of forces that are interested in the political and military weakening of Russia.

Russia–Germany–Europe. From the Soviet Union to the Russian Federation: Our Diplomats in Berlin in 1990–1992 (the end)

Twenty years ago the USSR which used to be a genuine great power (an not only in military respect) found itself at the crossroad. Premonitions of fundamental changes prevailed in the society. The Soviet diplomats were not the exclusion. The party and government leadership headed by Gorbachev exhausted the limit of the people’s trust. The authority pf the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and its President Boris Eltsyn was gaining momentum rapidly. In addition, an image of a democrat and a protector of the weak was skillfully and successfully modeled for Eltsyn. Among the ordinary citizens and diplomats there was a growing expectation that it was precisely the Russian politicians who would ensure a fresh start of the nation being and attain a more equitable organization of the society. Everybody would like to believe that in the prospect there was not the state’s disintegration but the renewal of the state’s image. Domestic concerns and anxieties somehow brought an oblivion of the necessity to care about friends in the countries of the Socialist community that in good order and consolidated manner went over to the camp of new «winners». The «jaunty» 1990s that brought Russia on the verge of collapse were about to start.
The rapid growth of economy and population has made the issue of sustained water supply extremely urgent for India. Three main regional water routes — the Brahmaputra, the Indus and the Ganges — originate on the Tibetan Plateau controlled by China. The advantageous geographic position in the riverhead enables China not to reckon with India’s strategic interests and build a system of hydro-electric power stations on the Brahmaputra and divert a part of the river’s flow to its inland. China’s selfish water policy and its efforts to use water scarcity issue as a political leverage has seriously strained relations with India. Currently the frictions between the two regional powers have evolved into a full-scale rivalry for strategic water resources, making all basin states split into two competing camps.

Sevastopol’s Defense 1854−1856 in the Memory Space

The Crimean War (1853−1856) was a contradictory event in the eyes of its participants, contemporaries and eyewitnesses. However, in the Russian cultural memory the events of this war became the national Myths, the heroic triumph, the holy war for the faith. Sevastopol became the element of the national pride and glory, the symbol of the sanctity. The fallen soldiers and officers became the saints, the men of the God. This article shows the influence of the Christianity images on the heroic discourse of the Crimean war and Sevastopol siege. Author focuses attention on the evangelical stories and Easter subjects, and images of a soldier, a seaman, a mother, a commander.

Peoples of Spain: Ethnic Entities or Regional Ones?

By convention Spain is treated in our country as a multinational state where the largest people (Spaniards) whom we mean an ethnos, dominates historically over the national minorities, such as Basques, Catalans and Galicians. An author, on the ground of his data, asserts that such a pattern doesn’t coincide with reality. In Spain itself, in contrast with our country, cultural, historical and linguistic manifold of its population is traditionally comprehended not in ethnic but in local and hierarchical categories.

«Economic Rehabilitation of Russia as a Key to Europe’s Recovery». F.Nansen’s Help to Starving Russia (1921–1922) and International Community

In this article it is shown the interaction between the Famine High Commissioner F. Nansen with the soviet official circles and the world powers regarding the aid for the starving Russia in 1921−1922. There are also revealed strategies of combating scourge, various positions that existed among the world community, including those being in exile and the decision making officials of the Bolshevik society regard the famine, conditions, forms and methods of aid for the Soviet state.

The Russian Foreign Community, the Jewish Question… (from the 1920s to the 1940s)

The author elicits the diversity of the Russian émigré positions in respect of the Jewish question, considers factors that defined these positions and finds out what place this question occupied in the social and political life of the Russian community abroad. The dynamics of emigrants' opinions and attitudes is tracked in connection with the international climate and changes that were occurring in the USSR. Interactions of the German Nazis and the Russian extreme conservatives are characterized. The analysis is based on results of the recent studies and correspondence and political writings of F.I.Dan, B.I.Nikolaevski, M.V.Vishnyak, N.V.Volski (Valentinov) and other emigrants who touched this range of questions and, in particular, the attitude towards anti-Semitism, to the Bund’s fate and to the Zionist idea.

A Contribution to the History of the Judaism-Christian Relations in Russia in the 1st Half of the 18th Century

The Russian-Jewish relationships in the early modern times are considered as poorly studied. The evidence of the fact is an extensive body of devoted to the history the Jews in Russia. Nevertheless, archive documents allow making a series of important conclusions in respect of the initial period of the first Jewish communities' adaptation in the territory of the Russian Empire. The author examines record keeping documents related to appearance of the first Jewish communities in Smolensk region in the first half of the 18th century. These documents highlight the circumstances under which the famous «affair» of Boroch Leibov was formed.