History

Logunova I. V., Urodovskikh V. N. Dynamics of the peasant (private) farms development during the agrarian reform (1991–2001) in the Central Black-Earth Region // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №4. P. 65-86.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-4-65-86

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The article presents the results of the structural-dynamic analysis of the development of peasant (private) farms under the agricultural reform of 1991-2001 in the Central Black-Earth Region. The research is based on both published and unpublished sources—materials from the archives of the State Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation, data of the territorial statistical bodies, from statistical collections and regulatory legal acts. Statistical data is presented in tables and graphs. The study of the dynamics of the farms’ development in the period under study allowed the authors to identify general features of this process in the Central Black-Earth Region and its peculiarities in different areas of this region. The authors analyzed the number of farms, their average size, and the size of their land, and conclude that during the agrarian reform of 1991-2001, farmers of the Central Black-Earth Region were forced to fight for survival. Therefore, farms of extremely small size, in a poor financial situation and created by come-and-go people were eliminated; they made up a third of all farms. By 2001, the number of farmers had stabilized, there was a 1.5–2-fold increase in the area of farmers’ land and in the size of the average farm. Farmers who managed to pass the ‘test of strength’ found new opportunities for development.

Agrarian reform, farmers, peasant (farmer) economy, Central Black-Earth Region, number of farms, average size of farm, land area of farms.

Logunova Inna V., PhD (History), Associate Professor, Department of Management and General Humanities, Lipetsk Branch of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation; Internatsionalnaya St. 12B, 398000 Lipetsk.
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Urodovskikh Viktor N., PhD (Engineering), Associate Professor, Department of Accounting and Information Technologies in Business, Lipetsk Branch of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation; Internatsionalnaya St., 12B, 398000 Lipetsk.
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Posadskiy A. V. The issue of sources in the study of peasant uprisings (the case of the Rudnya settlement, 1918) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №4. P. 50-64.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-4-50-64

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The article considers a specific case of the peasant uprising in the large commercial settlement in the Kamyshinsky district of the Saratov Province at the initial stage of the Civil War in Russia. The author focuses on the investigative case against activists of the mass demonstration, and this source allowed to better identify the personal characteristics of the participants and activists of the uprising, describe their behavior during and after the outrage and defense strategies during the investigation. The personal features of the activists of the uprising, its course and development are considered based on the sources on the armed actions of the peasantry during the Civil War. The author argues that the most active participants of the armed struggle left their native places during uprisings. As a rule, there are no sources of biographical nature even in judicial and investigative materials, because personal data was poorly recorded by the representatives of political supervision. Therefore, the voice of activists is the most elusive, and the most active participants of peasant uprisings are poorly represented in the sources. Our ideas about the causes and dynamics of the peasant armed struggle are based mainly on the indirect and secondary evidence, which inevitably distorts the general picture and requires both archival and methodological searches.

Peasantry, historical source, Civil War, Saratov Province, armed protest, uprising.

Posadsky Anton V., DSc (History), Associate Professor, Department of History of State, Law and International Relations, Volga Institute of Management —a branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Moskovskaya St., 164, v/g 2, 140012 Saratov.
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Kondrashin V.V., Nikulin A.M. “If you are engaged in scientific research, you must have courage!” // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №3. P. 135-171.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-3-135-171

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The interview with the DSc (History), Professor V. V. Kondrashin presents the milestones of his biography in the historical context of the Russian science and politics in the 20th—21st century. This biographical reflection includes the events of childhood that awakened his interest in history, the difficulties in the academic career of a young man of the people, the historian’s survival under the social crisis of the 1990s. An important part of the interview is formed by Kondrashin’s memories of his teachers in school and university—V. V. Danilov and V. V. Kabanov, M. Levin and T. Shanin. Another significant part of the interview focuses on the most important issues of Kondrashin and his colleagues’ historical research, mainly the history of the Russian and Soviet countryside under revolutions and reforms of the 20th century (peasant wars, NEP, collectivization, World War II and the late Soviet period of agrarian history). The interview was not limited to the Russian historical context—Kondrashin mentions international scientific projects such as the study of the 1932-1933 famine in the USSR, and of the survival and development of the Soviet Union in the interaction with its close and distant neighboring countries. Kondrashin describes the cooperation of Russian scientists with their colleagues from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Eastern Europe, France, England, USA, Japan and Australia. A special part of the interview presents his reflections on the ‘historian and power’ issue. Due to his active social position, Kondrashin was engaged in various social-political activities, including his work as a Senator of the Federation Council. The interview ends with a discussion of his scientific plans for the year of his sixtieth anniversary. 

History, peasantry, revolution, reforms, NEP, collectivization, USSR.

Kondrashin Viktor V., DSc (History), Chief Researcher, Head of the Center for Economic History, Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences. 117292 Moscow, Dmitry Ulyanov St., 19. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Head of the Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp, 82.
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Gonina N.V., Pavlyukevich R.V. Collective-farm markets of Krasnoyarsk in 1955 — 1966 // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №3. P. 79-89.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-3-79-89

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The article considers the development of the collective-farm trade in Krasnoyarsk under the Khrushchev’s reforms. Collective-farm markets played an important role in the Soviet society by improving the living standards of both urban and rural population of the Krasnoyarsk Region. On the one hand, such markets provided the urban population with agricultural food products; on the other hand, they provided the rural population with industrial products. Collective-farm markets were a way of rural urbanization; therefore, local authorities supported and developed collectivefarm trade in Krasnoyarsk, while Khrushchev’s reforms in agriculture had an opposite result. Failures of the virgin campaign, mistakes in the fodder provision and new taxes led to a sharp decline in agricultural production. The main blow to the collective-farm trade was the decree of March 6, 1956 “On the Statute of Agricultural Artel and Further Development of Collective Farmers’ Initiative in the Organization of Collective-Farm Production and Management of Artels’ which was the start of the struggle against homestead farms. Thus, despite the efforts of local authorities, the collective-farm trade was decreasing: in 1955, its share in the commodity turnover was 14,9%, in 1957—9,8%, and in 1966, it decreased by half compared to 1955.

Collective-farm markets, market trade, urban consumption, standard of living, urban and rural population, Krasnoyarsk, Krasnoyarsk Region.

Gonina Natalia V., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Sector of Agrarian and Demographic History, Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 630090 Novosibirsk, Nikolaeva St., 8.
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Pavlyukevich Ruslan V., PhD (History), Associate Professor, Department of History and Political Science, Krasnoyarsk State Agrarian University. 660049, Krasnoyarsk, Lenina St., 117.
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Kuznetsov I.A. Stolypin agrarian reform and agricultural productivity of European Russia in the late 19th — early 20th century // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №3. P. 42-78.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-3-42-78

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The author considers the links between measures of the Stolypin agrarian reform and indicators of the Russian agricultural development based on various statistical data: statistics of yields (Central Statistical Committee), statistics of grain prices and land management (Main Directorate of Land Management and Agriculture), data of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on peasant exits from the community, data from the survey of farms and allotments conducted by the GUZiZ in 1913. The author also uses data on the income from non-grain crops and animal husbandry, and on the cost of commercial outputs per unit of agricultural land on the eve of the First World War. Based on the analysis of statistics, the author refutes the idea that agriculture had passed the peak of progressive shifts before the reform and that the growth of agricultural production slowed down under the reform. The author reveals mistakes in the 1913 survey of yields, which makes its data invalid for studying the ratio of yields by farm type; uses the moving average method to smooth out annual fluctuations in the CSC statistics of yields; compares the indicators of the best five years before the reform with the indicators of the best five years of the reform to minimize the influence of weather fluctuations on the measurement of the grain production dynamics; calculates the shifts in yields of major crops; with the correlation analysis, identifies the relationship between shifts in yields and productivity for the selected periods under the Stolypin reform in 47 provinces of European Russia; studies the links of the reform with other indicators of the agrarian development; proves the significant positive links (mainly of medium strength and weak) between the peasant activity in the individualization of land tenure (exits from the community) and land use (farms on the allotments) under the reform, and the negative links between economic indicators and the development of group land management within the communal land tenure. Thus, the author insists that the previous historiographic statements about the absence of links between the reform and yields, and about the negative links between the registration of peasant land ownership and the increase in yields on allotments were not confirmed. 

Stolypin agrarian reform, agrarian history of Russia, agricultural statistics, productivity, land management, peasant community.

Kuznetsov Igor A., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571 Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp., 82.
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Bululina E.V., Golovina E.L., Lysenko I.A. The sanitary-epidemic conditions of the Stalingrad Region and the work of the health authorities in 1941–1945 // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №2. P. 62-78.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-2-62-78

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The article considers the difficult epidemic situation in the Stalingrad Region during the Great Patriotic War and the work of the health authorities to combat dangerous infections. The war determined the restructuring of the entire sanitary-epidemiological service of the country. The appointment of one person in the administration of the USSR People’s Commissariat of Health and the State Defense Committee as responsible for the anti-epidemic work allowed to create a single control center for the main anti-epidemic measures and had positive results. The well-coordinated and controlled work of all medical services together with an emphasis on preventive measures to combat acute infectious diseases (mass immunization by vaccination, revaccination and phaging, strict measures to localize epidemic foci) allowed to successfully defeat epidemics in the army, local and evacuated population in the most difficult period for our country.

World War II, history of medicine, health care, epidemics, sanitaryepidemiological service, vaccination.

Bululina Elena V., DSc (History), Deputy Head of the Research and Development Department, Center for Documentation of the Contemporary History of the Volgograd Region; Senior Researcher, Center for the Study of the Battle of Stalingrad. 400005, Volgograd, Chuikova St., 45.
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Golovina Evgenia L., Chief Specialist, Center for Documentation of the Contemporary History of the Volgograd Region; Researcher, Center for the Study of the Battle of Stalingrad. 400005, Volgograd, Chuikova St., 45.
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Lysenko Irina A., PhD (Economics), Head of the Research and Development Department, Center for Documentation of the Contemporary History of the Volgograd Region; Deputy Head of the Center for the Study of the Battle of Stalingrad. 400005, Volgograd, Chuikova St., 45.
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Kabytov P.S. Issues of agrarian history in the scientific works of Grigory Alekseevich Gerasimenko // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №2. P. 45-61.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-2-45-61

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The article considers the scientific legacy of the outstanding Soviet and Russian historian, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, DSc (History), Head of the Department of History of the Presidential Academy of Public Administration, Grigory Alekseevich Gerasimenko who made a great contribution to the agrarian history of Russia during the Great Russian Revolution. The author provides a list of references which represent the milestones of Gerasimenko’s biography, and focuses on his research conducted and published in the Saratov (1954-1980) and Moscow (1980-2005) periods. Initially, in 1917, Gerasimenko studied the internal party struggle in the Soviets of the Saratov Region, and later his research expanded to the Lower Volga Region and the Volga Region. The author identifies factors that determined the changes in Gerasimenko’s research: when studying the history of the Soviets, he became interested in the activities of grassroot peasant organizations and in the peasant fight against farmers and fathers. In the Moscow period, Gerasimenko’s interests expanded again but were still related to his works published in the Saratov period. His monographs combine the macro- and micro-approaches and include the All-Russian, regional, provincial, district and rural levels in order to show the relationship between power and society. Gerasimenko developed new concepts and ideas about the place and role of public executive committees, the scale of the agrarian revolution of 1917 and the relations of people and power at turning points of the Russian history.

Grigory Alekseevich Gerasimenko, Saratov State University, Great Russian Revolution, Stolypin agrarian reform, grassroot peasant organizations, public executive committees, Soviets, internal party struggle, rural land community, agrarian revolution.

Kabytov Petr S., DSc (History), Honored Worker of Science of the Russian Federation, Head of the Department of Russian History, Samara National Research University. 443086, Samara, Moskovskoe shosse, 34.
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Nakhimovsky A.D. Oral history from below. Materials for the oral history of Russian peasants in the 20th century // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №1. P. 91-125.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-1-91-125

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The author analyzes the life stories of those Russian peasants who were old enough to remember collectivization. The large collection of such life stories recorded after 1990 is a rich source of materials for the oral history and other fields of study; however, this collection remains unsorted. Such scholars as the ethnographer Sergei Alymov, the sociologist Valery Vinogradsky, the linguist Leonid Kasatkin, and the historian Tatyana Shcheglova have done much work to collect these materials and to analyze them in different disciplinary perspectives. However, their descriptions remain completely isolated, and the author uses their publications to show the internal unity of their work and to explain that a single archive would be very useful for future research. After a brief introduction, the article turns into a chronological narrative of the Russian peasant history from 1918 to 1953, which consists of those key events/episodes in the lives of narrators that inevitably coincide with the key moments of history. In the comments to the narratives, the author describes the narrators’ psychological traits, their attitudes to the state, work and changes of fate, their connection with pre-revolutionary traditions, and their perception of the new reality.

 Civil war, NEP, collectivization, famines of 1932–1933 and 1946–1947, migration to the city, walking, court proceedings, infanticide, war, disabled veterans.

Nakhimovsky Alexander D., PhD, Associate Professor, Computer Science Department; Head of the Linguistics Program (retired), Colgate University. 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, New York, 13346 USA. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Il`inykh V.A. Siberian village during collectivization: Microhistory (Plotnikovo village in the Novosibirsk district of the Novosibirsk Region) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №1. P. 71-90.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-1-71-90

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The author reconstructs the history of the Plotnikovo village in the Novosibirsk district of the Novosibirsk Region in the late 1920s – 1930s. The research was conducted in the microhistoric format, which allows to consider the agrarian history of Russia in the everyday perspective of its direct actors – peasants united in their primary communities. The article aims at presenting the course of collectivization and its price for a certain rural settlement. In the Plotnikovo village, collectivization began at the end of 1929 with the creation of a giant commune which collapsed after the publication of Stalin’s article “Dizzy with Success”. The small collective farm “Zavety Ilyicha” was established on the basis of this commune. Collectivization resumed in 1931 and ended in the late 1930s. The author also considers anti-peasant repressions, de-kulakization, local famine in 1934-1935, state regulations of the size of the collective farmers’ smallholdings, behavioral strategies of peasants and rural officials. The author concludes that in the early 1940s the Plotnikovo village was at the same or even lower level of development than in the early 1920s. Thus, in general collectivization had a negative impact on the development of agricultural productive forces in the village under study, and the difficulties the villagers survived in the 1930s cannot be counted – only named by V.P. Danilov’s term ‘tragedy of the Soviet village’. 

 Peasantry, village, agrarian policy of the Soviet state, collectivization, collective farms, smallholdings, microhistory, Siberia, Т. Shanin, V.P. Danilov.

Il’inykh Vladimir A., DSc (History), Head of the Agrarian and Demographic History Sector, Institute of History, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 630090, Novosibirsk, Ac. Nikolaev St., 8.
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Merl S. Why the Soviet Union under Khrushchev and Brezhnev failed with the complex mechanization of agriculture: Internal aspects (1953–1986) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №1. P. 26-70.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-1-26-70

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The author focuses on internal aspects to answer the question why the complex mechanization of agriculture under Khrushchev and Brezhnev failed. The author argues that the command economy did not solve the basic task of ensuring animal production by large farms, because the high-quality equipment to reduce labor input and costs was not provided. Behind the facade of impressing reforms – from the virgin-land program and liquidation of the machine-tractor stations (MTS) to Brezhnev’s 1966 promise to speed up mechanization and the Non-Black-Earth program of 1974 – nothing really changed. The basic deficiencies named in 1955 still existed in 1969 and after the establishment of the Gosagroprom in 1986: nearly all Soviet machinery was not reliable and was badly done. Thus, the increase in the production of such machinery under Brezhnev was only a waste of resources. Less than 10% of Soviet machines met the world standards. Instead of increasing labor productivity, this machinery caused the farms (and the state) enormous losses. Due to the gaps in mechanization (primarily in transportation and collecting feed) the majority of the agricultural workforce (70% in 1982) was still engaged in manual work. In the late 1960s, the Ministry of Agriculture made alarming reports on the state of the USSR’s agriculture to the CC and CM and demanded – again in vain – urgent action and investment to modernize the agricultural machinery industry in order to ensure the world-standard inputs by 1975. The article considers challenges of developing animal husbandry, consequences of such campaigns as the virgin-land program, conversion of collective farms into state farms and liquidation of the MTS, successes and failures of the mass production of highly efficient machinery, proposed alternatives of organizing agricultural work and payment, and the state of agriculture in 1955, 1969 and 1986.

 Agricultural modernization, complex mechanization, agricultural machinery industry, efficiency of agrarian production, agricultural labor productivity, socialist competition, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Khudenko.

Merl Stephan, Dsc (History), Professor, Bielefeld University. Universitätsstr., 25, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany.
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