KUZNETSOV O.V. The Cossacks of the South of Russia in R.A. Fadeev’s geopolitical plans

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2013.2.18

Kuznetsov Oleg Viktorovich

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Department of History of Russia,

Volgograd State University

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Prospect Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation


Abstract. The political project of a conservative writer of political essays of the second half of the XIX c. R.A. Fadeev (1824–1883), in which a key part is assigned to the attraction of the Cossacks of Southern Russia to solving the pressing foreign policy issues, is analyzed. A conclusion that the Cossacks could be used as a militant vanguard, i.e. military force (infantry, cavalry, reconnaissance) and an effective tool of the colonization of the suburbs of the Russian Empire – is drawn. The conditions under which R.A. Fadeev could implement his plans are revealed. The key condition is the preservation of the identity of the Cossacks as a class and as a sub-ethnos. The historical assessment of the R.A. Fadeev’s plans is given. According to the plans R.A. Fadeev, revived after the reforms of its military power, Russia should not only play a key role in international relations, but also strive for a first impact and then rule on its neighboring Asian and European territories. And in the perspective he saw the new world order, in which there would be two dominating superpowers, Russia and the United States. The Cossacks were assigned an important role in the implementation of these plans by the publicist.This geopolitical project, no matter how attractive it was not for the Russians at first glance, was a utopia. The publicist obviously overestimated the military and economic capabilities of contemporary Imperial Russia, the ability of the autocracy to the socio-economic and political renewal of the country corresponding to the demands of the times. Consequently, the Cossacks were not destined to play the role which was assigned to them by R.A. Fadeev. Althoughhe anticipated accurately the individual elements of the future world order established for several decades in the XX century.

Key words: the Cossacks, the Caucasus, geopolitics, colonization, conservative political journalism.

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