This article examines the discourses of water pollution and protection in the Soviet Union in the 1950s-1960s. It explores discursive practices which sprung up related to two paper and pulp plants, one located on the shore of Lake Baikal and another production unit in Svetogorsk on the border with Finland. These two discourses provide deep insight to pro-industry and nature protection claims which characterized Soviet water pollution and protection discourses in the 1950s-1960s. The paper contends that discussions about pulp production near Baikal were influencing the conditions in other, far located regions and stimulated engineering of water treatment facilities. The development of such facilities became a compromise between supporters and defenders of increasing pulp industry production, but in practice did not result in solving the problem of water pollution. In analyzing this issue, I consider discussions around the Baikal pulp plant and first attempts of introducing advanced water treatment in an industrial city of Svetogorsk and beyond, also discussing contacts with the West, in particular with Finland and their effects on Soviet water management.
The First Russian Revolution demonstrated that there was considerable interest in democracy in the Transbaikal, Amur, and Maritime Regions in 1905–1907, which was widely shared across the empire and in East Asia. Democracy was understood as economic welfare, social justice, civil liberties, popular representation, decentralization, and national self-determination. Like elsewhere in the empire, protests started with economic demands, but many trade and professional political unions, strike committees, and soviets developed political programs. In Vladivostok, unrests among soldiers and sailors erupted into major riots with numerous casualties in October 1905, despite the attempts of Military Doctor Mikhail Aleksandrovich Kudrzhinskii and other intellectuals to make the movement peaceful. In Blagoveshchensk, the Amur Cossack teacher Mikhail Nikitich Astaf’ev joined a group of intellectuals who attempted to turn the municipal duma into a provisional government. In Nikolsk-Ussuriysky, Doctor Nikolai Vasil’evich Kirilov presided over the founding congress of the Ussuri Peasant Union, which discussed the introduction of rural revolutionary self-government. In Chita, Social Democrats under Anton Antonovich Kostiushko-Voliuzhanich took over much of the Transbaikal Railway. Tsyben Zhamtsarano and other Buryat intellectuals assembled for congresses demanding indigenous self-government. The recognition of these territories as the Russian Far East had already begun, but the loosely united Transbaikal, Maritime, and Amur Regions remained part of Siberia or North Asia for contemporary observers. The unity of Siberia from the Urals to the Pacific was reinforced by Siberian Regionalism which attracted the support of regional liberals and moderate socialists and consolidated through joint activities of Siberian deputies.
In this article, author studies the history of the region of Galicia as part of Ukraine, the idea of Ukrainian national space, and ways in which various national projects were competing for this region. Maps were representative of these ideas, presenting the continuous Ukrainian territory from the Sjan to the Don Rivers, became crucial parts of these descriptions and most actively entered the popular Ukrainian discourse.
In the eighteenth century, Peter the Great and his successors invested a lot of energy and funding to make Russia a European country. This process included the transformation of political, economic and cultural life – the nature use system was defi nitely not an exception. The paper will discuss the ideological base for the project of modernization of marine harvesting in the Russian North, which took place in the eighteenth century. This region corresponds to the White and Barents Sea basin and was the only place where Russia had direct contact to the Oceanic environment in the seventeenth century. The Russians living there known as the Pomors (the people of the Sea in Russian) created original system of marine harvesting based on the exploitation of marine and coastal ecosystems.
The article examines the history of using wood and timber wastes and annual plants as well as in the Soviet Union from the 1950s to the1960s. In the middle of the twentieth century, century Soviet leadership, producers, and scientists expressed their anxiety about the lack of forests near pulp and paper plants, and started looking for alternative raw materials. Modernization during the same period witnessed a number of initiatives to use different sources for pulp production, ranging from wood and timber wastes to reed and annual plants. It included attempts to develop low-waste and non-waste industrial technologies. In most cases, however, this search did not transform the supply of raw materials. Instead, most factories continued manufacturing pulp and pulp-based products using wood, and thus kept cutting and exploring undisturbed forests, in particular those in Siberia. In this article, I investigate the attempted use of alternative resources in industrial operations and examine why employing these materials, was not successful in the Soviet Union in the 1950s-1960s. I am interested in the organizational and technological aspects of how forestry developed and used resources in the Soviet Union. I illustrate how technologies circulated not only within the country, but also between the USSR and Western countries. The article contends that new practices did not change wasteful wood-use practices, in large part because the industry continued to contend with infrastructural and organizational obstacles while attempting to introduce alternative resources
The article discusses power asymmetries and transcultural entanglements in the Baikal region on the border between the Russian and Qing empires. The Russian imperial authorities used transculturality, the diversity of the regional population and its transboundary connections, as a resource in their attempts to control parts of the former Qing Empire, but at the same time they tried to reduce it through Russification, Christianisation, and the homogenisation of social groups, which led to protest and instability instead of the anticipated results. Consolidation of Russian rule in some spheres undermined its control over others and led to an unexpected increase in cultural and political diversity.
Exploring the history of Koreans in the Russian Far East from the perspective of New Imperial History, the article demonstrated that political activism of Koreans and policies of the Russian (Soviet), Korean, and Japanese governments resulted in consolidation of two visions of their future. The first vision implied unity between the Koreans living in the Russian Far East with those who stayed in Korea, moved to Japan, or emigrated elsewhere and corresponded to the agenda of building a Korean nation. The second vision implied that the bilingual or Russified Koreans aspired to stay in the Russian Far East permanently, ensuring their own livelihood in the new regional frontier. The two currents interlaced in the project of Korean autonomy in a post-imperial state, first the Far Eastern Republic (FER) and later the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The project involved inclusion of Koreans into the global spread of revolution through the Communist International and left the issue of the duration of Korean presence in the Russian Far East opened. Its ultimate failure in 1926 left the Koreans partly excluded from the Soviet system without the institutional benefits of a national autonomy.
The paper is focused on the practical issues connected to the organization of Russian hunting expeditions to Spitsbergen in the 18th c. including some administrative regulation of Spitsbergen shipping. Using the wide range of archival materials, the authors study the social status and geographical origin of organizers and participants of Spitsbergen hunting. The hunting expeditions were organized by both private persons and institutions, and the town-dwellers were the most numerous group of the organizers. Among the institutions the monopolistic trade companies established under Peter the Great rule for the colonization of the region played a significant role. The organization of expedition required large investment and included a number of mandatory bureaucratic procedures. The core of the hunting teams consisted of professional hunters who mainly were born in several well-defined zones of the White Sea coastal area. The crew was usually recruited from the relatively small part of the population who for different reasons were excluded from the communal economy typical for the Pomor peasantry. From the archival sources it is calculated that the shipping to Spitsbergen was about only 1% of the total commercial shipping in the White and Barents Sea basins excluding foreign vessels.
The Far Eastern Republic is discussed as a post-imperial structure intended to accommodate the multiple loyalties of the population. The establishment of national autonomies (Buryat, Korean, Ukrainian, Jewish and Tatar) was one way of managing the diversity of its population. Though never fully implemented, the project contributed to a new form of governance in a multi-ethnic polity.
Three major factions in the Russian Civil War in the Far East engaged in nationalist mobilization coming up with different rhetorical tropes and images in the 1920-1922 period. The ultra-royalist faction led by Mikhail Konstantinovich Diterikhs, which in 1922 controlled the Provisional Priamur Government in Vladivostok, portrayed the Romanovs as redeemers who had ended the “dark age” of the Time of Troubles (1598–1613) and called for a new Zemskii Sobor to elect a Romanov Tsar for the sake of new redemption from the “foreign” Bolsheviks. The socialist faction of the Far Eastern Republic (FER), taken over by the Bolsheviks, focused on the grievances caused by the Romanovs’ policies and the clashes with Japan and stressed the future role of the Russians as the first nation of workers toilers to lead the global struggle for social justice. The popular monarchist faction, established by Grigorii Mikhailovich Semenov, tried to find a middle ground by emphasising the popular role in ending the Time of Troubles and agitating for an elected muzhik Tsar. The ultra-royalist and monarchist rhetoric failed to mobilize the people of the Far East who did not identify with the Eurocentric images of the past and rebuked the cooperation between the monarchists and Japan. The socialist claims that the Romanovs and the Japanese accounted for the degraded present proved more relevant in view of the regional historical narrative featuring a series of conflicts with East Asian states, while the economic rather than racial interpretation of the Japanese policies and the inclusive character of socialism did not alienate ethnic minorities from the socialist faction.
Jonathan D. Smele’s comprehensive account fits well into the prolonged centenary of the Russian imperial crisis marked by the Great War, the Russian Revolution of 1917, and the protracted conflict that the author calls the “‘Russian’ Civil Wars.” The book is a valuable addition to the new body of literature that will, hopefully, bring about a better understanding of one of the bloodiest civil wars in human history, provide convincing answers to some of the many remaining questions about its causes and consequences, and uncover new blind zones in the plethora of events that unfolded in Northern Eurasia between 1916 and 1926.
This book is a doctoral dissertation. It is devoted to technology transfer from the West (primarily from Finland) to the Soviet forestry industry during a period of rapid modernization under the rule of Nikita Khrushchev during the 1950s and 1960s.This dissertation examines the role that technology transfer from the other side of the Iron Curtain played in Soviet modernization from 1955 to 1964. How did technical cooperation with a Western country develop in the context of the Cold War? How and in what forms did Soviet institutions and engineers transfer technologies? How did they deal with more advanced machinery and new expertise? How did they apply the new technologies and how did Soviet domestic research develop? Did these technologies help renew machinery, launch new production and enhance the development of the industry, as expected? If not, why? And, in general, did these foreign technologies lead to technological modernization? In answering these questions, the dissertation sometimes refers to previous periods in order to trace continuities and change.