Issue 4 (73)

Year 2021 Number 4(73)
Pages 88-96 Type scientific article
UDC 94(57)“19” BBK 63.3(2)
Authors Josephson Paul
Summary The paper deals with the strategies of colonization and assimilation of frontier in Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia in relation to, Siberia and the Far East. These frontier spaces were disturbing the Soviet leadership for they were both vulnerable for an external invasion and unsupportive of the new socialist order. Thus, countryside of Soviet Russia was also seen as frontier of its own kind. The conquest of frontier and its integration into the socialist, industrial economy was implemented by Stalinist leadership through the violent collectivization, which was accompanied by colonization in the periphery strengthened by the flow of exiles and labor camp prisoners from the collectivized western areas. From the point of view of Soviet leaders, the frontier territories were both resource pantry and “empty spaces” to settle. To stimulate colonization Soviet government was establishing the “corridors of modernization”, a network of infrastructure, connecting the newly constructed “company towns”, the outposts of frontier conquest. Such politics was simultaneously integrating indigenous peoples of frontier into the socialist economy and destroying their way of life. In spite of efforts of Soviet rulers from Stalin to Brezhnev, the assimilation of frontier did not succeed. However, in the 21st century Russian leadership continues to treat Arctic, Siberia and the Far East along the Soviet lines, as frontier spaces of economic and symbolic conquest and military-political contestation. Unlike the Soviet era, though, nowadays the concept of frontier had found its way into Russian historical and political thought.
Keywords frontier, modernization, Siberia, Arctic, Far East, large-scale projects, industrialization

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