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The Russification of Siberia

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calvo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 Jun 2010 at 21:55
Russians had begun to settle in Siberia from the 1500s, after Yermak defeated the Siberian Khanate. The early Russians who colonised Siberia included runaway serfs, hunters, adventureres, Old Believers and escaped convicts. Some of them found vast extensions of fertile, virgin land which they cultivated as free peasants, some engaged in the fur trade, and others penetrated in the taiga forrests where they lived as hunters.
Early Russian communities in Siberia differed to the European counterparts in that there was no serfdom and repression by the Tsarist government was very limited, and as a result most of them enjoyed a better quality of life. Some of them intermixed with the native peoples such as Khanti-Mansi, Tungus, and Yakuts and fused some of the native pagan beliefs into the Orthodox Christianity.

These early communities, however, were dwarfed by the milliones of exiles and prisoners who were sent there from the 1800s onwards, first by the Tsar and then by the Soviet regime.

Nowadays, do most Siberian Russians descend from the early settlers or recent exiles and immigrants? Do Siberian Russians keep traditions and beliefs that are strictly Siberian? At least up until the Russian Civil War many Siberian Russians still maintained an independent spirit and many didn't even consider themselves part of the Russian state. Do these sentiments still exist?

 
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whalebreath View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whalebreath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2010 at 03:58
The BBC has an article up today about Germany sending their troublemaker juveniles to Siberia!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/10252405.stm?ls
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fantasus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2010 at 03:26
A  related question mayu be how a relatively quick russian expansion over such vast areas could succeed in the first place.
Geographical conditions may have played some role. The whole northwestern part of the russian empire was low land and relatively flat, with exception of modest mountains as the Uralians, and I think rather uniform over vast distances, so a radical change of "way of life" may not have been necessary. In particular it may have been a terrain favouring movements and warfare bfrom horseback, with swift cavalry movements. In addition it is in a favourable geographical position for continental movements, since the russian "heartland" is located closer to many of the other cultures of the eurasian continent than they are relative to each other (like China, Western Europe, India, Middle east and Central Asia.) The can perhaps be said aboutr the earlier nomadic empires of Centrral Asia. Then, this is more of a guess, perhaps the relatively far northern location favoured long distance campains in summer seasons, were days are longer than further south, perhaps permitting longer movements (the same may have been true for northwest european maritimne expansion).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2010 at 03:49
I remember Stolypin was working on a Russification program whereby Siberia would be colonized/settled by Russians before his death. Don't know how far he got though, and it's been a while since I looked at the sources.

-Akolouthos
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2010 at 04:42

The russian eexpansion involved non russians as well, from the empire as well as "imported" foreigners sometimes from Western Europe, though I am not sure about the extent and importance .

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2010 at 03:26
Khrushchev's Virgin Lands campaign had a big part to do with the Russification of southern Siberia and northern Kazakhstan.
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