The abduction of women is closely connected with traditional or primitive societies. Anthropologists tie it with alternative marriage arrangements, characteristic of those systems where marriages are arranged by parents; historians tend to view the abduction of women as part of early history of developed nations, mostly the Middle Ages. In Russia, recent historiographical discussion of abductions always starts with descriptions of customary practices in Siberia to highlight the steppe and frontier experiences in the framework of colonization and underline ‘savage’ or ‘backwardness’ of Siberian populations. However, scholars almost never talk about the abduction of women within the European part. In this article, female abductions are analyzed within the framework of citizenship and modernization of the Russian Empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It focuses on the notion of consent and how it contributed to the founding of a new social unit, that is the family, in which women and men acquired their rights and duties in relation to outside society and wider polity. The lack of consent jeopardized the legitimacy of such a union and compromized the citizenship status of its members. On its way to build the country as a modern empire, Russian authorities localized the abduction of women as a ‘customary’ practice of ‘backwards’ people to preserve the modern European core of the Empire.
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.
The article analyzes post-Soviet economic policy in the light of the previous periods of the Russian economic history. The authors find a striking similarity between the measures proposed by modern Russian economic liberals – as well as their consequences – and the actions taken by the Russian authorities during much earlier periods. They explain these similarities with the fact that “Western” terms can mean something very different in the context of a non-Western culture, phenomena and institutions with the same names in different types of societies can differ fundamentally and perform different functions. Furthermore, “Westernization” can be a purely superficial process intended more for show than for substance. By applying the methodology of substantivism which stresses the fundamental differences between economies based on gifts (reciprocity), redistribution, and exchange (market), they argue that Russia’s economy differs significantly from that of the countries of Western Europe and, in the typological sense, is closer to such European countries as Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, and Serbia. For this reason, similar measures of economic policy applied in Western Europe and Russia bring different results.
The case of Petr Saltykov, which stretched on between 1758 and 1765, with a surprising coda in 1796, is noteworthy in many respects. The material collected in connection with Saltykov’s crime is useful for an investigation into magic belief as such, offering parallels and supplementary information to the dozens of “magic trials” of the 18th century. However, what makes the Saltykov case unique is how the chancellor’s “superstition” managed so compellingly to bring together two cultures – traditional folk culture and the “Europeanized” culture of the imperial court. The case of Saltykov’s “sorcery” brought the diametrically opposed cultures of the court elite and the masses into confrontation. But even opposites can come together. As it turned out, the magic beliefs of the masses and medical practices of archaic traditional culture continued to attract adherents at court, getting along just fine in a high-culture, “Europeanized” environment. The chasm that lay between the culture of the aristocratic court elite and popular culture in the 18th century was not unbridgeable, although possible intersections of these two cultures sometimes took on rather strange configurations.
This article examines the nature of Soviet consumption and technological development through the history of milk and milk packaging between the 1950s and 1970s. Based on published and archival materials, the paper focuses on the role that milk played in Soviet nutrition and the role that packaging played in Soviet consumption. The article also examines the modernization of technology for making packaging as well as technology transfer from the West. It concludes that, as in many Western countries, both the Soviet state and Soviet specialists saw it as important to increase the consumption of milk after the war, but the meaning of milk changed. Milk, a basic staple for nutrition, became a matter of science and specialists sought to explain its positive effects. In addition, due to the development of the paper and chemical industries, new forms of milk packaging, more practical in their uses, were introduced in the West. Soviet leaders and specialists saw the new packaging as a desirable feature of modernity, but were unsuccessful in launching domestic technologies for manufacturing such packaging. While experimenting with domestic technology, Soviet producers also received foreign equipment for making milk packaging. Nevertheless, the capacity of such foreign equipment was not enough to satisfy growing demand and the consumption of “modern packaging” remained lower than in the West until the introduction of capitalism and, with it, foreign companies into the Russian market in the 1990s.
The article aims to demonstrate that while jurors' acquittal of the famous terrorist Vera Zasulich has often been interpreted in terms of sympathy for 'a desperate girl', previously underestimated legal and political claims also played an important role in the trial. The key legal experts at the trial – her defense attorney Aleksandrov and the president of the court Koni – interpreted Zasulich’s attempt on Trepov’s life as an act of societal self-defense: Zasulich was presented as a victim of a society which could no longer tolerate arbitrariness by authorities. The flogging of political prisoner Bogolyubov following Trepov's illegal order made Zasulich desperate to take revenge in order to alert Russian society of the humiliating arbitrariness and the unfairness of thepolitical and legal structures of late Imperial Russia.
Her victimization highlighted her “moral right” to act as a defendant of true law and legality in Russia. This idea of “moral right”, which empowered Zasulich to act in defense of society, was supported by Koni's conceptualization of law and state power as an embodiment of the people's will and responsibility. This conceptualization was elaborated in detail in his scholarly legal writings scholarship on the right to self-defense. The article brings together Koni's theory and his practical role in Zasulich's acquittal and demonstrates tensions between the Great Reforms and their political and social limitations.
The critique of Francis Thomson constitutes only part of Ostrowski’s book. The other
part, completely unrelated to the first one, is dedicated to a comparison of the in- tellectual development of the two halves of the Christian world in the Middle Ages.
Ostrowski’s assertion that the Byzantines did not include logic in their school cur- riculum is untrue. What seems to him to be the main difference between East and
West does not take root until the end of the 12th century. The West was drifting away from the common patterns of ancient Mediterranean civilization. The East largely remained the same. The Byzantines did not feel any special inclination toward the practical application of theoretical ideas. The people of Old Rus’, on the contrary, were quick at learning and innovating. Respect for tradition inevitably played a smaller role in a nascent culture than in a culture that had been born old.