Siberia: From a Penal Colony to a Modern Region

London Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Sciences
Volume | Issue | Compilation
Authored by Emmanuel Oladipo Ojo , NA
Classification: FOR Code: 120599
Keywords: siberia, soviet union, russia, penal colony, revolution, resources, development.
Language: English

This paper examines three phases in the history of Siberia within the larger context of Russian history. It points out that following its conquest and annexation by Russia during the reign of Ivan IV (the Terrible), Siberia became a penal colony for criminal elements, book radicals, revolutionaries and other sundry offenders. The sustained attempt by Russian Tsars to keep ‘unwanted elements’ out of circulation in European Russia did not only result in a heavy human traffic to Siberia; it led to the planting of ‘seeds of cities’ there and inadvertently became ‘a rite of passage’ for the men and women who turned it into a ‘gigantic laboratory of revolution’ and kindled the revolutionary flame that so fatally consumed tsarism and autocracy in Russia. The paper contends that Siberia became an open graveyard under Stalin and examines some striking opposites and trajectories in the history of the region. 

               

Siberia: From a Penal Colony to a Modern Region

Emmanuel Oladipo Ojo

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  1. ABSTRACT

This paper examines three phases in the history of Siberia within the larger context of Russian history. It points out that following its conquest and annexation by Russia during the reign of Ivan IV (the Terrible), Siberia became a penal colony for criminal elements, book radicals, revolutionaries and other sundry offenders. The sustained attempt by Russian Tsars to keep ‘unwanted elements’ out of circulation in European Russia did not only result in a heavy human traffic to Siberia; it led to the planting of ‘seeds of cities’ there and inadvertently became ‘a rite of passage’ for the men and women who turned it into a ‘gigantic laboratory of revolution’ and kindled the revolutionary flame that so fatally consumed tsarism and autocracy in Russia. The paper contends that Siberia became an open graveyard under Stalin and examines some striking opposites and trajectories in the history of the region. The study concludes that despite its harsh and inclement weather, Siberia has transited from a penal colony to a modern region.  

Keywords: Siberia, Soviet Union, Russia, penal colony, revolution, resources, development.

Author: Emmanuel Oladipo Ojo (PhD), is an Associate Professor in the Department of History & International Studies, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria.  He is currently (2018) a visiting scholar in the Department of General History, Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

  1. INTRODUCTION – SIBERIA: DELINEATION AND CONQUEST BY IMPERIAL RUSSIA

There are two Siberias – geographic and metaphoric. While the former is an enormous swathe of contemporary Russia covering the whole of northern part of the Asian continent; the latter exists in the realm of mental consciousness and is known virtually all over the world. The use to which the former was put – a penal colony – as well as its inclement climate informed the latter. Thus, the mention of Siberia often evokes fear and horror even in the sub consciousness of people who probably never visited geographic Siberia and are probably in continents far away from it. Indeed, just as the Battle of Waterloo of 18 June 1815 has since popularised Waterloo and carved at universal and imperishable phrase out of it; metaphoric Siberia is known world-wide thereby making Siberia one of the three ‘phrase-places’ that attract world-wide recognition.[1] The fame of metaphoric Siberia may have informed Nikolay Rerikh’s submission that “it would be odd to talk about the meaning of Siberia for the world. It is known to every schoolgirl”.[2] Till date, the metaphor, ‘send him to Siberia’ is almost a death sentence, or at best, a sentence to a horrendous, insufferable life. This is because many of the individuals despatched to Siberia never returned while those who did had their lives severely uttered for ill. Indeed, an individual who demonstrates unusual physical strength and ruggedness must have come from Siberia because “Siberians are capable of enduring almost any imaginary hardship”.[3] As Britts has pointed out, ‘Siberia’ has become ‘embedded in our language that it’s become a by-word for other things: a terrible seat in a restaurant might be referred to by waiters as “Siberia”. “Siberia” can be a social condition, too, when someone is ostracized’.[4] In the same vein, Frazier opined that to most people Siberia is not the place itself but a figure of speech. According to him; “in fashionable restaurants in New York and Los Angeles, Siberia is the section of less desirable tables given to customers when [sic] the maître d’ does not especially like”[5] De Windt, one of the earliest writer–visitors to Siberia, wrote:

The name “Siberia” has a far more terrible significance in England than in Russia. The word is suggestive, to the majority of Englishmen, of misery, cruelty, and death. It conjures up vogue visions of dark dungeons and deadly mines; men dying under the knout; and ravishing of young and innocent women by guards and prison officials[6] 

The focus of this study is the transformation of Siberia from a penal colony to a modern industrial region; thus, other than locating the region, this study does not have the intention of veering into any detailed ethnographical and geographical description of Siberia.[7] There seems to be no consensus among Russian historians and ethnographers on the origins of the name ‘Siberia’. The first mention of the name may however probably have been in the Chinese chronicle Yuan–Chao–Mi–Shi in about 1206. In effect, the word ‘Sibif’’ which probably meant ‘Western Borderland’ may have had a Chinese origin.[8] Arab travellers and traders of the 13th to the 15th centuries called the region now known as Siberia different names: while Rashid–ad–Din called it ‘Ibis–Shibir’; Mesalek–al–Absor called it ‘Sibir–i–Abir’ and Ibn–Arab–Shakh referred to it as ‘Abir–i–Sabir’.[9] The seemingly contradictory names notwithstanding, all these early travellers and traders were unanimous in their location of Ibis–Shibir, Sibir–i–Abir or Abir–i–Sabir in the north-east of the Kirghiz country, upper valley of the River Irtysh. This indicates very clearly that these names refer to the region now known as Siberia, because, among other proofs, of the seven railway bridges that span the Irtysh River, all are in Siberia and Kazakhstan. The earliest references to ‘Siberia’ in European accounts occurred in about 1375. For example, the Catalan Atlas[10] of the world gave the name ‘Sebur’ to the country east of the River Volga, a famous river in present-day Russia because eleven of the twenty largest cities in the country, including the capital, Moscow, are located in the Volga’s watershed. Also, in his Map, Fra Mauro delineated a considerable tract of land lying north-east of the Volga as ‘Provincia Sibir’.[11] 

Available evidence seems to suggest that ‘Siberia’ is a name of Tartar origin and possibly came from 13th century Mongol usage.[12] The term has been known since when the Mongols conquered the area. Also, following its ‘discovery’ and conquest by Russia, the name was retained as Sibirskaia zemlista.[13] Although, Beer opines that Siberia has “no binding ethnic identity”;[14] ethnically, Siberia belongs to the Mongoloid race but linguistically, it is divided onto six language groups: Tuckic, Mongolian, Tangus–Manchu, Samodi, Yugrian and Palaeoasiatic.[15] Siberia has natural borders – in the west, the Ural Mountains; in the north, the Arctic Ocean; in the east, the Pacific Ocean and the south, Kazakh and Mongolia. There seems to be no doubt that the region now known as Siberia has a fairly long and rich history but it was after its ‘discovery’, conquest and annexation by the Russian Empire that the region became famous and reached a watershed. By the middle of the 16th century, the colonial expansion of European states was steadily on course. Tempted and attracted by lofty dreams of unlimited opportunities of trade and commerce, the merchant-adventurers of Western Europe had set out to explore ‘unknown’ parts of the world. Imperial Russia, using similar means of expansion, conquest and colonisation participated in the European expansionist policy and scramble for colonies by conquering the largest continuous territory of any known empire – the whole of northern Asia which came to be called Siberia.[16] However, as Forsyth has pointed out, the only basic difference between the manner and method of Russia’s conquest of Siberia and those of Western European states was that unlike the latter, the former’s acquisition was “not dependent upon fleets of sailing–ships plying long distances across the ocean, but on as advance overland (or rather, by river) into ‘unexplored’ regions of the same Eurasia continent. Otherwise, the Russian explorer-conquerors shared with their West European contemporaries the developments in state and military organisation and technology – above all firearms – which gave them a powerful advantage over the less ‘advanced’ native inhabitants of the lands they seized”.[17] 

Up till 1552, the Tartar Khans considered the grand princes of Moscow as their vassals and indeed subjected them to frequent raids. Also, the Kazan Tartars controlled the middle Volga thereby frustrating Russia’s sustained trading and economic ambitions in the east. Consequently, in a determined attempt to liquidate the security threat the Tartars posed to Russia while at the same time lifting the economic and trading ‘embargo’ placed on her interests in the east, Ivan IV (the Terrible) sent a large army against the Kazan Tartars and supported Stroganov who spearheaded Russia’s eastward expansion. In the late 1570s, the Stroganovs recruited Cossack fighters who eventually succeeded in defeating the Khanate of Sibir. By October 1582, Yermak and his soldiers engaged the Tatars at Qashliq in a battle that turned the tides against the Tartars and marked the beginning of effective penetration and conquest of Siberia by Russia. Yermak remained in Siberia and continued his struggle against the Tatars until 1584, when a raid organized by Kuchum Khan ambushed and killed him and his party.[18] This foothold was subsequently reinforced by the military successes of Ermak Timofeevich over the Sibir Tartars near present-day Tobolsk. Russia's conquest of the Tartar khanate was completed in 1598 and in the 17th century, the whole of Western Siberia was annexed by Russia such that one of the titles of Aleksey Mikhailovich, second Russian Romanov tsar (1645-1676), was ‘Tsar of Siberia’. Between 1803 and 1821, the entire Siberia was under the authority of a single governor-general based in Irkutsk but 1822, Siberia was sub-divided into two principal administrative territories – western and eastern – with the governors-general based at Omsk and Irkutsk respectively.[19]

It must be stressed however that, as in most cases, commerce preceded conquest in Siberia. As early as the 13th century, traders from Novgorod had crossed the Urals to trade extensively in furs with the native tribes.[20] As a colony of the Russian Empire, Siberia was administered by the Colonial Office in Moscow and St. Petersburg after 1703.[21] Be that as it may, the conquest and eventual annexation of Siberia, like similar endeavours elsewhere, was costly and long-drawn. However, that singular penetration and conquest enabled Russia to rise among the great powers of the world and has, till date, helped Russia to sustain that position – Siberia, which, for all intents and purposes, is the pride of Russia, makes up about 77 percent of the territory of the Russian Federation and encompasses eight of its eleven time zones; it provides Russia with a sixth of world’s gold and silver; a fifth of its platinum and a third of its iron. A quarter of the world’s timber grows within Siberia with abundant supply of coal, oil and gas.[22] Bobrick has clearly underlined the importance of Siberia to Russia (particularly post Soviet). Writing on the eve of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, he opined that “the future of the country, with its collapsing aggregate of states, was unclear. But her hopes – in a material sense, at least – seemed to lie to the east, in Siberia, with its vast repertories of oil, gas, coal, timber, diamonds, and precious metals of all kinds”.[23] Undoubtedly, a resource base of this size and richness confers immense power on its owner

  1. SIBERIA: A PENAL COLONY

Before it became the treasure and resource base of Russia, Siberia was a penal colony: snow-covered ‘white hell’ across which exiles shuffled in felt shoes and chains. In 1582, Ivan IV issued a supplement to his 1550 Law Code (Sudebnik) identifying exile (ssylka) as part of the state’s punitive arsenal. For lodging false complaints in court and sowing sedition among minor-boyars (deti-boiary), the tsar replaced execution with exile to such ‘border cities’ (ukrainnye goroda) as Sevsk and Kursk. This supplement marks the first legal recognition of exile’s existence in Russia.[24] As Kennan, who was granted almost unrestricted access to officials and documents of Tsarist Russia’s exile system pointed out in his two-volume book; rather than outright imprisonment, exile in Siberia was initially considered a cheaper means of putting ‘undesirable elements’ out of circulation.[25] However, the system later became rather unwieldy and so many extraneous people got caught up in its web. In the course of the 19th century, the scale and intensity of Siberian exile increased so much that it surpassed the exile systems of the British and French Empires. For example, while the former transferred about 160,000 convicts to Australia between 1787 and 1868 and the latter had a penal population of about 5,500 in its overseas colonies between 1860 and 1900; more than one million tsarist subjects were transported to Siberia between 1801 and 1917.[26] It is therefore absolutely and practically impossible to give a blow-by-blow account of despatches of exiles to Siberia; therefore what is attempted in this section is a brief analysis of the circumstances that led to the despatches of some famous exiles to Siberia.

Windt opines that banishment to Siberia dates from about the middle of the 17th century, when, during the reign of Alexis Michailovitch, father of Peter the Great, the first convoy of prisoners crossed the Urals into Asia.[27] However, the Uglich incidence of 1591 suggests that banishment to Siberia predated the reign of Alexis Michailovitch; thus, Kriukelytė’s view that “the push into Siberia...began at the end of the sixteenth century” is far more plausible.[28] Boris Godunov (the de facto regent of Tsardom of Russia between 1585 and 1598), the first non–Rurikid Tsar of Russia, reigned between 1598 and 1605, some four decades before the accession of Alexis Michailovitch to the throne. It would be recalled that following the death of Ivan the Terrible, Tsarevich Dmitri, his last son and his mother, Maria Nagaya, were sent to exile in Uglich in 1584. On 15 May 1591, nine-year-old Dmitri was found dead in Uglich with his throat slit. While some accounts claim that he was murdered by the agents of Boris Godunov so as to prevent him from claiming the throne; others opine that Dmitri might have slit his throat while holding a knife during an epileptic seizure. Be that as it may, convinced that Dmitri was murdered by the agents of Godunov, the Uglicians formed a mob, went on rampage and murdered the perceived assassins and an official from Moscow.[29] Beer recounts the brutal retribution that followed thus:

Godunov ordered forces to Uglich to quash the rebellion, and the following spring, he dispensed justice. He had some 200 townspeople executed and others imprisoned; about 100 were flogged and had their nostrils torn out; the more eloquent lost their tongues as well. Scourged and mutilated, the rebels were banished to Siberia[30]

Furthermore, the town bell that announced the incident and summoned the mob was not only publicly whipped and had its tongue removed; it was banished to Tobolsk (Siberia) where it was registered as the first inanimate exile.[31] However, in 1891, Tsar Alexander III granted the request of a group of Russian merchants who pleaded for the return of the bell to its native town. Thus,  the 300-year exile of the 300-kilogramme copper bell  ended and it returned to a “ceremonial homecoming” in Uglich.[32] 

Many of the Decembrists – a group of Russian revolutionaries who staged an unsuccessful revolt against Tsar Nicola I in December 1825 – were also exiled to Siberia. Following the death of Alexander I, Nicholas I ascended to the throne and in line with the established traditional and military practice, members of the military class were expected to take the oath of allegiance, not only to show their acceptance of Nicolas as the new Tsar but also to pledge their unalloyed loyalty and unflinching support to him. However, rather than show their acceptance of Nicolas; the Decembrist, numbering about 3,000, mutinied and revolted. A number of factors were responsible for the rebellion. One, the Decemberists felt that Constantine Pavlovich, rather than Nicolas, was next in line to the throne. The former was probably preferred by a section of the Russian society because of his perceived liberal views and general openness towards enlightenment ideas and the prospect of a freer Russian state under him. However, after the death of Alexander I, it was discovered that Constantine had been removed from the order of succession three years earlier because of his 1822 marriage to Joanna Grudzinska, a Polish lady who had no royalties or blood.[33] Constantine was said to have relinquished the right of succession to the throne to Nicolas his younger brother but the Decemberists doubted this claim. The situation was complicated by the fact that the heir apparent nominated by their father, Alexander I, was not made public until after his death. Thus, there were doubts regarding the legality and authenticity of the claim that Nicolas was next in the line of succession.[34] Moreover, many of the rebels had been very active in the revolutionary movements that swept across Western Europe. For example, many of them participated in the Russian occupation of France after the Napoleonic Wars and had served elsewhere in Western Europe. The Napoleonic Wars, the American War of Independence as well as the the writings of thinkers and philosophes like Jean Jacque Rousseau, François-Marie Voltaire and Charles- Louis Montesquieu  had greatly promoted the concepts of freedom, equality, representation, constitutionalism and egalitarianism all of which contradicted the most visible features of the Russian sate – autocracy and serfdom. Be that as it may, two key leaders of the rebels, Prince Trubetskoy and his second-in-command, Colonel Bulatov, developed last minute cold feet and backed out of the mutiny. Thus plagued by lack of organised leadership and overwhelmed by 9,000 loyal troops, the Movement was doomed.

Following the failure of his peace moves and initial hesitation, Nicolas I firmly and fatally crushed the insurrection – about seventy of the Decembrists were killed in the course of confrontation with troops loyal to the Tsar; five were hanged[35] while the rest were exiled to Siberia, Kazakhstan and the Far East.[36] Only a few of these men lived long enough to be pardoned by Nicolas’ successor, Alexander II, thirty years later. It would be recalled that in August 1856, Tsar Alexander II granted general amnesty to nine thousand people including political prisoners such as “surviving Decemberists, Petrashevtsy, and participants in the Polish insurrection of 1831”.[37] However, not all surviving Decembrists returned to European Russia either on account of financial inhibitions, not having families to return to or old age. Consequently, Siberia became permanent home for these categories of people and their descendants.[38] Although, the December 1825 insurrection was fatally crushed, it had two profound immediate effects on the Russian society – it strengthened autocracy particularly secret police terror and promoted the spread of revolutionary activities and ideas among members of the educated class. It must be pointed out however, without any fear of contradiction that the insurrection, among other factors, convinced Alexander II of the need for reforms. Ironically, he, like Mikhail Gorbachev, to varying degrees, got consumed by liberalisation and reform. Tsar Alexander II was killed in the streets of St. Petersburg on 13 March 1881 by a bomb thrown by a member of the radical People’s Will on the very day he signed a proclamation (the so-called Loris-Melikov constitution) that would have created two legislative commissions made up of indirectly elected representatives. On the other hand, Gorbachev’s ‘glasnost’ and ‘perestroika’ consumed his presidency and the Soviet Union. The tragic fate of these two reformers is the thesis of Kate Lipman’s study. As will be shown as this article progresses, the exile of some of the Decembrists to Siberia marked a watershed in the history of the region as it led to a permanent implantation of an intelligentsia there. For the first time, a socio-cultural, intellectual and political elite settled in Siberia as permanent residents; these alongside the natives, made enormous contribution to its development and transformation.[39]   

Russia’s famous author, Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky[40] and his young intellectual colleagues in the Petrashevsky Circle[41] were also part of the motley human traffic to Siberia. Some of the formal charges brought against Dostoevsky were that he listened to a story that criticized the army; had in his possession an illegal printing press; read an open letter to the Circle from Belinsky to Gogol “which was full of insolent expressions against the Orthodox Church and the Supreme Power” and participating in a regicide plot although Fyodor Mikhailovich vehemently denied the last charge.[42] Since the Petrashevsky Circle, which was infiltrated by a member of the secret police, was illegal in the climate of mid-19th century Tsarist Russia; on 23 April 1849, members of the Circle were arrested and charged with subversion. While 123 people were investigated, 22 faced a military tribunal and all but one were sentenced to death by firing squad. In a carefully stage-managed mock-execution on 22 December 1849, Dostoyevsky and the rest of the group were taken to a regimental parade ground, where scaffolds had been erected and decorated with black crepe. Their crimes and sentence were read out and an Orthodox priest asked them to repent. Three of the members of the group were tied to stakes in readiness for execution. At the last moment however, the Tsar decided to spare their lives – there was a roll of drums and the firing squad lowered its rifles.[43] The mock-execution ceremony was apparently part of the punishment as one of the convicts went insane on the spot and remained permanently insane. On the other hand, in a rare demonstration of fortitude akin to that of Obafemi Awolowo some twelve decades later,[44] Dostoyevsky gave his now famous ‘I am not dejected speech’ aimed at encouraging his colleagues during what seemed their last moments on earth which also succoured them on their way to dark Siberia. He said, inter-alia

Brother, I am not dejected or crestfallen. Life, life is everywhere, life is in us ourselves, not outside. Near me will be people, and to be a person among persons and stay him forever, to not be cast down or despondent no matter what the misfortunes are – therein lies life, therein lies its purpose. I realized that. This idea entered my flesh and blood. Yes! It’s true! The head that created and got accustomed to the higher demands of the spirit, that head is cut off from my shoulders. What’s left are the memories and images created and not reified by me. They will ulcerate me, indeed! What I have left is my heart and the same flesh and blood, which can love, suffer, pity, and remember, and this is life, after all...[45]

However, the Tsar commuted the death sentences to exile in Siberia - Dostoyevsky earned a stern eight-year sentence (later commuted to four by the Tsar) of hard labour in Siberia. Seen as a ‘dangerous criminal’ he was shackled at the hands and feet for the entire period in the camps.[46] Dostoyevsky described life in a typical Siberian exile camp as ‘inexpressible, unending suffering’. Indeed his first novel, The House of the Dead (1862), a semi-autobiographical work was inspired by the brutal realities of Siberia’s inhuman exile system and the tragic fates of those who endured it. The journey to Siberia, comparable to the extremely cruel ‘Middle Passage’[47] millions of Africans endured during the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, was as horrendous and horrifying as life in the penal colony itself. The insufferable life in a typical Siberian prison can hardly be described in few words; notwithstanding the following fairly lengthy quotation provides some glimpses into the journey by ordeal to Siberia as well as some of the permanent features of penal life

The convoys continued walking all year round and with never more than a day’s rest, forced ever onwards by the soldiers who guarded them... they had both their hands and feet manacled, and were chained in pairs to a pole... In the intense heat of summer, they were choked by dust clouds raised by hundreds of tramping feet. In autumn the rains transformed the roads into quagmires through which they squelched knee-deep, before September brought the first searing frosts. At minus 20c, the breath froze onto the men’s beards, forming chunks of ice; at minus 30c, the freezing air burned the lungs... Receiving only a meagre daily allowance to buy food, they were frequently starving... In all, the passage through Siberia was one of unrelenting misery for the prisoners, made worse by fears about the suffering in their final place of exile... All the floors were rotting through and we slept on bare planks and shivered all night. ‘There were fleas, lice and cockroaches by the bushel and we were not allowed to leave the barracks to relieve ourselves from dusk till dawn because they were locked... starving convicts resorted to cannibalism when their bread rations were cut off as punishment for failing to meet crippling workloads... Other common punishments in Siberia included chaining convicts to the wall of a cell or even to a wheelbarrow for up to ten years at a time. One man recalled his revulsion at being yoked to what he called his ‘wheelbarrow wife’ for five years... stripping to the waist and passing between two lines of soldiers, who delivered him stinging blows with birch rods. Sometimes there were as many as 500 men on each side and offenders were made to stagger past them up to six times, suffering a pulverising 6,000 blows in all[48]

It must be admitted that, generally, the Tsarist Russian criminal code was incredibly cruel and savage. Men were impaled on sharp stakes, hanged and beheaded while lesser offenders were flogged with the knut and bastinado, branded with hot iron, mutilated by amputation of one or more limbs, deprived of their tongues, and suspended in the air by hooks passed under two of their ribs until they died a lingering and miserable death.[49] Following his visits to the penal island of Sakhalin and the political prison and mines of the Trans-Baikal District, Eastern Siberia in 1895, De Windt described some of the prisons as “veritable infernos” and the sufferings of the inmates of Siberian penal system as “equalled, if they did not surpass, the tortures of those immured in the famous ‘Oubliettes’ of the Bastille”.[50] Indeed, when Russia hosted the Fourth International Penal and Prison Congress in 1890, delegates from the United States expressed serious reservations about “alleged cases of cruel treatment of criminals and politicals [sic]” and condemned, in very strong terms, Russia’s inhuman method of transporting convicts to Siberia, which they described as “inexcusable”.[51] 

Russian prisons and more especially, the Siberian exile system, once again stood condemned during the  Eighth International Penal and Penitentiary Congress held in Washington on 2 and 8 October 1910. This criticism was championed by the American press which dismissed the Siberian exile system as thoroughly inhuman. Although Etiennede Khrouleff, head of the Russian prison system, thought that the criticisms were unfair; A. S. Goldenweiser, Russia’s unofficial delegate at the Congress, dismissed the Siberian exile system as evil and justified the criticisms against it. Indeed, copies of a scratching critique of the Siberian exile system which he had written were distributed to delegates at the Congress.[52] Isabelle Barrows (US delegate) made the following submission in relation to the Siberian exile system and the need for reform:

Mr. de Khrouleff is not ignorant of Russian conditions. He has served in many parts of that vast empire, and made visits to the penal settlements to Siberia. He has seen European and American institutions and p. 681 marked their results, and if in his great field he does not adopt the best means of treating criminals he will sin against the light. He has it also in his power to lessen the sufferings of political offenders, and will "command the gratitude of civilized countries if he takes advantage of his power and undoubted ability to lighten the hardships of prisoners of every kind. Such work is needed in Russia[53]

Ironically, the brain behind the idea of the International Penal Congress was a Russian, Count Wladimir Sollohub, Director of the Moscow prison, who had suggested that an international forum be put in place to discuss penal and penitentiary matters. This resulted in the holding of eleven Penal Congresses beginning with London Congress (1872); Stockholm (1878); Rome (1885); St. Petersburg (1890); Paris (1895); Brussels (1900); Budapest (1905); Washington (1910); London (1925); Prague (1930) and Berlin (1935). It must be conceded however that the imperial Russian carried out a number of penal reforms during the half century before the Revolution of 1917. Indeed, Bruce Adams Adams opines that Russia’s penal system has been unfairly denigrated, and that conditions of both prison inmates and exiles actually improved and were comparatively good in the late Imperial period.[54] In the same vein, Schrader’s has attempted a detailed examination of the several attempts made, beginning from Catherine the Great, at reforming Russia’s penal laws and policies which culminated in the 1863 law that abolished corporal punishment for all subjects except male peasants and criminals (both sexes) who were convicted of another crime after having been sent to exile in Siberia.[55] 

Bruce Lincoln has described Siberia as a land of “endless array of contradictions and opposites”.[56] This is exactly what Siberia is. As shall be pointed out later, out of the excruciating labour pains borne by millions penal colonists emerged modern Siberia. Thus, like the erstwhile British Empire upon which the sun supposedly ‘never set’; hands never stopped toiling in penal Siberia. Part of the contradictions and opposites is the fact that many of the personalities who would in future set Tsarism and autocracy ablaze through revolutionary fervour were, at one point or another, exiled there. Indeed, as John-Thor rightly put it “for many of the founding fathers of communism, exile under the Romanovs was a badge of honor”.[57] One or two examples will suffice. Following the execution of his brother on 8 May 1887 for plotting to assassinate Czar Alexander II,[58] Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) took increasingly active part in the revolutionary cause. In 1893, he joined a Marxist organization, moved to St. Petersburg and became an active revolutionary. In 1895, he took active part in the organisation of the “Union for the Struggle for the Liberation of the Working Class” which attempted to enlist workers to the Marxist cause. Consequently, in December of that year, he and the other leaders of the Union were arrested. Lenin spent 14 months at the House of Preliminary Detention in Shpalernaya Street, refused bail and, in February 1897, sentenced to three year exile in Siberia without trial. Although, as Payne has pointed out, while in Siberia, Lenin lived “comfortably, quietly in the seclusion necessary for his work; he was never physically assaulted, and was permitted to carry a gun”.[59] While in exile, he married his wife Nadezhda Krupskaya in a brief church service on 10 July 1898.

Stalin,[60] who was to later promote exile, torture and execution far beyond the limits ever known in the annals of Russia history, was exiled to Siberia numerous times, although he often escaped. In 1903, as a result of his increasing revolutionary inclinations, Russia’s Justice Minister recommended Stalin for banishment to Siberia for three years.[61] In 1913 he was again arrested (the sixth time) and exiled to the grim Turukhansk region of Siberia, above the Arctic Circle and, for the first time, failed to escape. In March 1917, however, the revolution led by Alexander Kerensky freed all political prisoners, and Stalin returned to St. Petersburg. Thus, Siberia became “a rite of passage for the men and women who would one day rule Russia”.[62] In its determined and sustained effort to rid European Russia of politically dangerous and explosive elements who clearly had the wherewithal to spread radical and revolutionary ideas; the tsars inadvertently helped to form a congregation of rebels, dissidents and revolutionaries in Siberia. For instance, upon Stalin’s arrival in Navaya Uda in 1903, “he met many other exiled leftist intellectuals in the town...drinking alcohol with the petty criminals that had been exiled there”.[63] These revolutionaries-in-exile kindled the fire that later so fatally consumed tsarism. Thus, rather than being a house of reformation;[64] Siberia became “a gigantic laboratory of revolution”.[65] 

When revolution eventually erupted in Russia, these radical exiles transformed Siberian towns and villages into crucibles of violent struggle against autocracy, erected scaffolds in the courtyards of Siberian prisons and freely assassinated warders in the streets. In effect, Siberia ceased being “quarantine against the contagious of revolution” and became “a source of the infection”.[66]  The 1917 Revolution had kindled a new hope of a more humane and liberal system of government and society. However the humanistic aspect of the Revolution was not substantially realised during the short period of Lenin’s administration. This hope was totally shattered during the much longer Stalin’s rule. Indeed, when Stalin ascended the stage as Soviet Leader, Siberia did not only become unprecedentedly red with the blood of fellow soviet citizens; the Siberian furnace – the Gulag, – became a slaughter’s slab and a bottomless pit through which millions of soviet citizens were despatched to gruesome and gory deaths. Marshak, one of the radical authors who survived Stalin’s terror told Kaul that “we were living in daily terror of a knock at our door at night, summoning us to exile in Siberia without rhythm or reason. But we took it stoically and used to keep our small bundle of clothes ready to take with us into exile at any time”.[67] Thus, as Kriukelytė has pointed out “anyone could be banished to Siberia at any moment, regardless of their privileges”.[68] Stalin, who dismissed Ivan the Terrible as “too liberal”[69], brought into being the harshest methods of torture ever invented by man through which millions of soviet citizens were turned into “physical and mental wrecks”.[70] Thus, far beyond the limits of the bestiality of Tsarist Russia’s penal system; Stalin presided  over a penal “system that saw the innocent and guilty lumped together and transported into a frightening other world”[71] which was probably seven-fold the land of the living dead than it was under the tsars. The callousness, cruelty and savagery of that era will probably remain unmatched in the annals of Russian and soviet history.

In his account of the categories of people that were banished to Siberia, Cottrell argued that “the far greater part consists of persons living in a state of vagabondage belonging to no one, without a home, or the means of gaining a honest livelihood”.[72] Of course, like any other society, the fact and reality of criminal elements and social deviants in the Russian society was indubitable owing in part to what a scholar calls “enormous homeless population virtually ignored by the government”.[73] For example, rapists constituted 2 percent of those sentenced to penal labour in Siberia between 1835 and 1846 with the following age groups distribution: 11-15 (1.6%); 16-20 (11.7%); 21-30 (44%); 31-41 (18.2%); 41-50 (15.1%); 51-60 (7.8%) and over 60 (1.6%).[74] In the same vein, 250 men were sentenced to penal labour in Siberia between 1835 and 1846 for wife-killing while 416 women were sentenced for husband-killing during the same period.[75] This should however not be taken to imply that more women were sent to Siberia than men – of the 6,837 people in Irkutsk prisons in 1913, just over 2% (152) were women.[76] Before 1905, penalists sent to eastern Siberia largely consisted individuals convicted of serious, usually violent crime. This changed significantly after the 1905 revolution, when the proportion of those sent for political activities increased substantially. Between 1882 and 1898, 148,032 people were sent to exile in Siberian and of these, only 4,794 (6%) were sent for political offences.[77] After 1905, however, the proportion of Siberian exiles sent for political offences increased dramatically to well over a third of the annual Siberian exile intake.[78] In 1910, more than 60% of the Siberian penalists were convicted and exiled for serious violent crimes including murder, rape and aggravated robbery and a third for political crimes of various kinds.[79] No human society is completely free of criminals and social deviants. Even the Soviet society, with its command structure, was, “in the 1960s and 1970s...riddled with crime— people committed murders and assaults, they stole from one another, they drove while intoxicated, they brewed moonshine, they embezzled money or property from their workplace, and they  violated the law in a variety of other ways”.[80] While it is true that murderers, serial robbers, rapists, arsonists and other criminal elements social deviants constituted a large part of those sent to Siberia; Cottrell’s assertion that the majority of them were living in a state of vagabondage may not be entirely correct for all periods and phases. For instance, from about 1906, large numbers of urban workers, soldiers and sailors were sent to Siberia.[81] In an address to the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party on 6 February 1953, Nikita Khrushchev accused his predecessor (Stalin) of brutal violence, mass execution, oppression, annihilation, barbaric tortures and the banishment of both the innocent and the guilty to Siberia and other places where Stalin’s torture machine ran non-stop.[82] 

With particular reference to the Streplag labour camp in the Karaganda region of Kazakhstan, Alexander Dolgum described Gulag inmates as “faces of death”.[83] Barnes summarised the Gulag thus:

The Gulag was a massive phenomenon. Understood here in its broadest sense as the entire Soviet forced labour detention system, the Gulag destroyed the lives of a large percentage of the Soviet population. The overall detained population in the camps, colonies, prisons and internal exile reached a maximum in the early 1950s well in excess of 5 million people. Throughout the Stalin era, some 18 million people passed through the prisons and camps of the Gulag, and another 6 pr 7 million were subject to internal exile. From 1921 to 1953...some 800,000 people were sentenced to death by the Soviet secret police organs alone. Furthermore, no fewer than 1.6 million died in the appalling conditions of the Gulag camps.[84]

However, as Hardy has shown in his study, Soviet’s penal system was re-focused and reformed following Stalin's death. The penal reform in the 1950s made marked effort at re-inventing and transforming the Gulag from“a source of  labor power” into a humane institution for the purposes of re-educating criminals and transforming them into honest Soviet citizens.[85] 

  1. THE EMERGENCE AND DEVELOPMENT OF MODERN SIBERIA

Siberia is a region of endless opposites. Thus, a study of the emergence of modern Siberia is necessarily a study of trajectories and opposites: modern Siberia emerged from the brutalities that characterised the penal systems of Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union; however, the land was as rich as its leaders were as brutal. This section examines some of the factors that aided the development of Siberia. As pointed out above, Russian tsars were firm and resolute in their decision and desire to perpetually put political prisoners, book radicals, revolutionaries and criminal elements out of circulation putting them as far away as possible from the centers of power and population. The endless banishments resulted in unprecedented and sustained massive human traffic into Siberia. This and the penal system that subsequently evolved played a major role in the demographic changes that occurred in several parts of the region. Beer estimates that between the beginning of the nineteenth century and the Russian Revolution, the tsars exiled more than one million prisoners and their families to        Siberia.[86] The penal system played a central role in the development of Siberia as towns grew around penal forts to house officials and security personnel. Indeed, there was rarely any Siberian village that was left untouched by the exiles who either officially settled every district in every Siberian province or unofficially roamed through them as itinerant labourers, thieves and beggars.[87] The ubiquitousness of officials, convicts or ex-convicts with particular reference to the penal Island of Sakhalin, Eastern Siberia, was underscored by De Windt who expressed the view that one may take it as a general rule that if a man was not an official, he was or had been a convict.[88] The above may have influenced the view that the tsars “planted the seeds of cities in Siberia”.[89] Indeed, permanent exile to Siberia almost completely replaced several forms of capital punishment. As Alan Wood has pointed out, exile in fact became established as the tsarist government’s most common form of punishment for a wide variety of criminal offences and acts of political, civil and religious disobedience.[90] 

The 1822 Prison Reforms marked a watershed in Russia’s exile system and deployment of more hands to toil for the development of Siberia. Following the appointment of Mikhail Speransky as governor-general of Siberia on 31 March 1819, there was a marked attempt at improving the economy of the region so as to develop and modernise it. This led to the creation of two general-governorships: western and eastern Siberia, each with subordinate provinces – in the West, Tobolsk and Tomsk provinces and Omsk region; in the East, Yenisei and Irkutsk provinces and the Yakut region with the maritime administrations of Okhotsk and Kamchatka.[91] In 1822, administrative exile as a way of swelling the population of Siberia ceased and was replaced by forced-labour exile. The Bureau of Exiles which was subsequently created assigned convicts to one of the following five categories depending on offence, requisite punishment and physical ability: forced labor in the mines; work in the chain gangs on the highways; agricultural settlement; workhouses and those who were incapable of productive work.[92] The 1822 penal law imposed maximum of twenty years of servitude on exiles who were thereafter free to settle near the factory or mine where they had served their penal sentence to engage in agriculture under police surveillance. Between 1823 and 1887, a total of 772,979 exiles and penal colonists were sent to Siberia[93] while 16,198 were exiled in 1894.[94] Thus, the 1822 reform which institutionalised exile labour provided manpower for the economic development of Siberia. In other words, the sustained demographical push to Siberia ensured fairly steady growth in its population: the population grew from some 270,000 indigenous settlers at the end of the 17th century to over a million by 1795 and over 2 million by 1830.[95] Between the 19th and early 20th centuries, well over 3 million peasants and others crossed the Urals; thus by 1914, the population of Siberia had reached over 10 million and had more than doubled the last figure by 1960 ostensibly because of the Gulag which was “essentially a slave labour system”.[96] Today, the population of Siberia is more than 30 million.[97] 

Siberia has another striking opposite that is closely related to the above: the region is “people poor” but “peoples rich” – the former because it constitutes about 77 percent of Russia’s territory and the latter for being home to a paltry 22 percent of Russia’s population with several nations struggling to stake claims to its various territories.[98] In the early years of Siberia’s conquest, this vast empty land and its enormous natural riches had to be secured and settled to deter others from seizing or laying claim to it. This is the principle of ‘effective occupation’. Although, the principle of effective occupation became ‘formalised’ only in the last decades of the 19th century with respect to European countries’ overseas possessions particularly in Africa; Russia was not oblivious of the fact that other neighbouring states would not only cast their eyes on Siberia but would almost certainly desire to annex its vast territories. The ownership and control of several important Siberian territories has always been a dominant issue in Russia’s relations with her Asian neighbours, particularly China and Japan. For example, in 1689 China’s armies drove several Russian settlers out of parts of Siberia. Indeed, the southeast corner of Siberia south of the Stanovoy Range was twice an issue of intense contention and confrontation between the two countries. The same is true of Japan. Indeed, scholars have linked several Russo-Japanese tensions and the 1904-05 war between the duo as fallouts of Russia’s attempt to securely occupy Siberia, particularly the construction of the Trans Siberian Railway.[99] The above consideration must have informed Dragoș’ description of the Siberian end of Sino-Russian border as a “potential hotbed of tensions”.[100] 

On the part of Russia therefore, the most potent and viable singular proof of ownership and claim over Siberia was to effectively occupy or ‘Russianise’ it. This sort of effective occupation was what Article 35 of the Berlin Conference Act later advocated and articulated in the final years of the 19th century in an attempt to prevent European countries from going to war with themselves over conflicting claims to colonial territories in Africa. Thus, Russia took several steps to populate and effectively occupy Siberia. According to Morrison “in 1914, the Pereselencheskoe Upravlenie published a three- volume work called Aziantskaya Rossiya which was intended both to celebrate past achievements and to lay out a bright future for Russian Asian. This would include independent peasant farming, technological innovation (railways and canals) and, above all, relentless obrusenie (russification) of the land”.[101] Russia’s attempt to effectively occupy Siberia and its Far East resulted into what Mostashari and Morris respectively referred to as ‘contiguous colonialism’ and ‘explosive colonialism’. While the former helped Russian to extend her “homogenizing legal and administrative codes to these peripheral                          regions”[102]; the latter led to a “near-extermination of its [Siberia’s] indigenous peoples”.[103] Called any name and labelled anyhow, the exile system, apart from uprooting political opponents, book radicals and criminal elements, enabled Russia to settle and secure her vast Empire and its almost limitless borderlands.[104] This was particularly so since most prisoners and exiles were not permitted to return to European Russia after serving out their terms but were rather compelled to stay and settle in Siberia often with their ‘volunteers’. This meant availability of more hands to till the land, build railways and roads, construct canals, work in mines, develop and expand infrastructures, etc. Apparently, the Trans-Siberian Railway, described by Wolmar as “one of the great engineering wonders of the world” which was stimulated in part by “imperial ambition” also contributed to the population growth in Siberia with its attendant upsurge in socio-economic activities.[105]

Beginning in 1930, the development of Siberia trekked firmer grounds and experienced a watershed due to the provision of manpower through what has since then been referred to as ‘Stalin’s Gulag’ (a network of labour camps and penal colonies run by the Soviet security organizations within which millions laboured and perished). Since there are several excellent studies on the political economy of the Gulag, there is no need interrogating it here.[106] Suffice it to state that through the instrumentality of the unprecedented forced labour provided by Gulag inmates, Siberia experienced marked development. For example, between 1948 and 1952, well over 200,000 Gulag convicts and penalists laboured to build the Volga-Canal, one of the grandiose projects meant to expand and enhance water transportation in the post war years.[107] Within a span of slightly more than two decades, some 18 to 20 million Gulag inmates built towns and cities; developed factories and farms; facilitated the exploitation of timber and mineral resources; developed coalfields and built oil reservoirs and provided the means of producing heat and generating electricity on a large scale in some of the harshest and most forbidding places on earth. All of these, particularly the generation of heat and electricity, made mass settlement of Siberia possible. However, the above was at incalculable physical and psychological costs as the Gulags were places of “unimaginable suffering, where millions perished and many more became invalids at a period of their lives when they should have been strong and healthy”.[108]

Following the death of Stalin on 5 March 1953 and the appointment of Lavrenty Beria as Minister of Internal Affairs and State Security (MVD); several inmates of the Gulag were granted amnesty and released.[109] This was the beginning of the end of the Gulag system. However, this did not significantly stall or reverse the development of Siberia owing to the fact that by the late 1950s, Siberia had become the treasure base of the Soviet Union. Indeed, by the 1970s and early 1980s, Soviet development programmes focused on Siberia, the Russian Far East and the Russian North. Given its almost inexhaustible deposits of oil and natural gas, West Siberia became the largest energy-producing region in the Soviet Union. Consequently, Soviet leaders planned and launched grandiose long-term industrial and construction projects for the whole of Siberia amongst these were the world’s largest aluminum plant, huge dams, power plants and the world’s longest freight railway line. This publicised and made Siberia attractive to several workers and other categories of people who streamed into region so as derive some personal economic benefits from the boom. However, the pervasive economic slowdown experienced by the Soviet Union in the late 1970s which led to the indefinite postponement of several construction projects and economic ventures compelled a break in Siberia’s massive development. Most of these projects were never revamped; indeed because of its impossible weather and harsh climate, by the late 1980s, in spite of the Soviet’s continued dependence on Siberia’s natural resources and especially its energy supplies, the government of the Soviet Union had begun to see the enormous financial investments in Siberia as a mistake.[110]

Closely related to the above – in terms of definite contribution to the development of Siberia and abrupt termination – was the Euro-Siberian Gas Pipeline Project. The project, officially known as ‘Rossiya No. 6’ in the Soviet Union and ‘Russia No. 6’ in the West, was intended to supply some Western European countries with about 40 billion m3 natural gas per year.[111] The 5,500 km-long pipeline project, estimated to cost $15 billion, was a large-capacity, long-distance network from the natural gas fields of the Taz Peninsula, Western Siberian.[112] Its Enabling Agreement and Operational Schedule provided for supply of Siberian oil and natural gas to seven member countries of the European Economic                    Community[113] while Western Europe was to provide technology and equipment to the Soviet Union on very generous credit terms. For about a decade, the Soviet Union became a major exporter of oil and gas while it earned several billion dollars below market credit facilities to purchase Western technology and equipment.[114] The project attracted more development to Siberia both in terms of industries, expansion of physical infrastructure and population growth. However, the American government opposed the project on three grounds: one, because “it would make Europe dangerously dependent on Soviet energy supplies”; two. “it would provide the Kremlin with much needed hard currency that could be spent on extra weaponry”; and three, it was illogical to give “aid to the enemy”.[115] Consequently, the Reagan government sabotaged the project which, according to The New York Times of 30 May 1982 several European countries had counted on to help them bolster their dwindling economic fortunes and reverse staggering job losses. The American opposition sounded the death knell of the project; notwithstanding, Western Siberia continued to be Russia‘s major energy producing region, accounting for 71 percent of oil output and 92 percent of gas output. Indeed, West Siberia‘s resource wealth funded much of the fatally unsuccessful projects embarked upon by the Soviet Union to catch up with developments in the global economy during the command era.[116] 

On 18 December 1940, Adolf Hitler signed the now (in)famous Directive 21 – code-named Operation Barbarossa – which approved German invasion of the Soviet Union (commenced in June 1941). Much of Soviet industry was endangered by the German advance, and so the Soviet Union had to dismantle and relocate several factories to safer sectors in Siberia and the Caucasus which were more strategically redoubt, defensibly deep in the interior and far away from European territories historically vulnerable to invasions from the West. Fassbender estimates that some 1,300 factories were packed up from the northern industrial sectors and carried east by train into the Urals and Siberia. According to him, this number only reflects large facilities and that when all factories, even small ones no larger than simple workshops are considered, as many as 50,000 may have been transported east.[117] Consequently, large pockets of industries sprang up in Siberia particularly along the path of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Thus, the German invasion of the USSR which led to the relocation of several important heavy industries to Siberia aided the growth and transformation of the region and made Siberia to experience what a scholar calls its “second industrial revolution in ten years”.[118] Even in the post war period, the political imperative to control its vast Siberian hinterland and develop its energy and resource wealth provided a strong incentive to continue the expansion of the military-industrial complex in Siberia. By the 1980s, Siberia was home to a significant portion of Soviet ground forces, the air force, the navy and the requisite infrastructure to support them. Indeed, on the eve of the demise of the Soviet Union, about 20 percent of Russia‘s military forces were in Siberia and the Russian Far East.[119]

V.    CONCLUSION

This article attempted to show the phases and roles of Siberia within the larger context of Russian history - its conquest by imperial Russia and its status as a penal colony; as a mass graveyard during Stalin’s era as well as the treasure base of Russia. The paper pointed out that rather than being a house of reformation the tsars intended it to be, Siberia became home to revolutionaries and radicals and ultimately a hotbed of revolution. While metaphoric Siberia still convokes some ‘dreadness’ particularly because of its harsh, inclement weather; geographic Siberia is no longer a penal colony – it is now a modern region and ‘sustainer’ of Russia’s economy. Being what the niger delta region is to Nigeria’s economy, Siberia has played irreplaceable  role in underpinning the Russian economy. Furs from the forestlands across the Ural Mountains, along with salt and minerals, bolstered the economy of Muscovy and the early Russian empire from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Siberia’s mineral resources fueled the industrialization of the Russian empire in the nineteenth century and the Soviet Union. From the 1960s, West Siberian oil became the mainstay of the Soviet Union’s economy and remains so till date. However, being a region of striking opposites, Siberia’s status as Russia’s prime source of wealth; “massive store house of land and raw materials”; “a resource frontier”[120] and “Russia’s treasure chest”[121] sharply contradicts its level of development apparently because of natural impediments. This is what Hill and Gaddy call the “Siberian Curse”[122] a categorization criticised by another scholar.[123] Evidently, in spite of its enormous resources, Siberia’s impossible climate has significantly hindered its development. This validates the description of Siberia as “rich and impoverished” and a region in which “nature and history have juxtaposed an endless array of contradictions and opposites”.[124] However,  viewed from any angle and catalogued anyhow, one fact seems indubitable: Siberia has transited from a penal colony and gulag labour camps  to a modern region.

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[1] Since the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte there, all over the world, ‘Waterloo’ has figuratively come to imply decisive, final defeat or setback. In the same vein, since Julius Caesar crossed the river Rubicon in 49 BC; the phrase ‘crossing the Rubicon’ has figuratively meant ‘passing the point of no return’.  

[2] Quoted from A.J. Haywood, kk: A Cultural History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, p. xi.

[3] Victor L. Mote, Siberia: Worlds Apart, New York: Boulder, 1998, p. 1.

[4] Ransom Riggs, “Siberia: What’s in a Name? Mental Floss, 18 May 2011, p. 10.

[5] Ian Frazier, Travels in Siberia, New York, Farrar, Strans & Girous, 2010, p. 3.

[6] Harry De Windt, Siberia as it is, London: Chapman & Hall, 1892, p. 258.

[7] For detailed examination of the ethnographical and geographical (including climate, vegetation, fauma and fuma, etc) of Siberia, see, among others, David Anderson & Dmitry V. Arzyutov, ‘The Construction of Soviet Ethnography and “The Peoples of Siberia”’ Journal of History and Anthropology, Vol. 27, Issue 2, 2016, pp. 183 – 209; Helen Hundley, Siberia: A History of the People, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2015; David Greene, Midnight in Siberia, New York & London: Norton & Company, 2014; Olga Ulturgasheva, Narrating the Future in Siberia, New York: Burghahn Books, 2012; George Kennan, Tent Life in Siberia, New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2007; Igor V. Naumov, The History of Siberia , New York: Routledge, 2006, particularly, pp. 1–10;  Michael Khodarlovsky, Russia’s Steppe Frontier. The Making of a Colonial Empire 1500–1800, Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2004; Colin Thubron, In Siberia, New York: Perennial Publishers, 1999 and Karlo Stajner, Seventy Thousand Days in Siberia (translated by Joel Agee), Farrar: Straus & Giroux Inc, 1988. 

[8] Anatole V. Balkaloff, ‘Notes on the Origin of the Name “Siberia”’ The Slavic and Eastern Review, Vol. 29, No. 72, December 1950, p. 287.

[9] Ibid

[10] The Atlas, commissioned by King Charles V of France, was drawn by Abraham Cresques. It contained ‘the latest information on Asia and China’ and was often referred to as ‘the most complete picture of geographical knowledge as it stood in the later Middle Ages’. The Atlas was titled Mappamundi, that is to say, image of the world and the regions which are in the earth and the various kinds of peoples which inhabit it   See Raymond C. Beazley, The Dawn of Modern Geography, Vol. 3, London: J. Murray, 1897, pp. 525–26; G.R. Crone, Maps and Their Makers, London & New York, Hutchinson University Library, 1953, pp. 39–50 and Ronald V. Tooley & Charles Bricker, Landmarks of Mapmaking, Phaidon Press, 1977, p. 48.   

[11] The Map, drawn by Fra Mauro, an Italian Monk and his assistant sailor–cartographer, Andrea Bianco, was commissioned by King Alfonso V of Portugal. It was produced between 1457 and 1459. See Schulz Juergen, “Maps as Metaphors: Mural Maps, Cycles of the Italian Renaissance” in David Woodward (ed.), Art and Cartography. Six Historical Essays, Chicago & London: Chicago University Press, 1987, p. 101, Figure 3.13

[12] A.J. Haywood, Siberia: A Cultural History, p. 1. For details of the origin, culture and early civilisation of Siberia, see pp. 1–6.  

[13] Igor V. Naumov, The History of Siberia, p. 3.

[14] David Beer, The House of the Dead. Siberian Exile Under the Tsars, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016, p. 5.

[15] Ibid, p. 4.

[16] Russia’s conquest of Siberia enabled the former to build the modern world’s largest empire. On the eve of the First World War, the single Siberian province of Iakutsk encompassed more land than the combined territories of all the European combatants in the War except Russia. Indeed, on the eve of the War, Siberia was so large that almost two million square miles of space would be left over if the entire contiguous continent of the United States were placed into its centre. See Bruce Lincoln, The Conquest of a Continent. Siberia and the Russians, New York: Cornell University Press, 1993, p. xxi.  

[17] James Forsyth, A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia’s North Asian Colony, 1581–1990, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 1. See also Robert Kermer, The Urge to the Sea: The Course of Russian History – The Role of Rivers, Portages, Ostrogs, Monasteries, and Furs, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1942.      

[18] Scholars have examined all the twists and turns in Russia’s conquest of Siberia. See, among others, Benson Bobrick, East of the Sun. The Epic Conquest and Tragic History of Siberia, New York: Poseidon Press, 2014 and his Fearful Majesty: The Life and Reign of Ivan the Terrible, New York: G.P. Putman, 1987; James Forsyth, A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia’s North Asian Colony, 1581–1990 and Janet M. Hartley, Siberia: A History of the People Yale: Yale University Press, 2014.  

[19] David Beer, The House of the Dead. Siberian Exile Under the Tsar, p. xxii. See “Administration of Siberia” in ibid for a detailed examination of Siberia’s administrative structure up till 1917.

[20] For a detailed examination of the nature, organisation, course and outcome of the fur trade, see Oleg V. Bychkov, “Russian Hunters in Eastern Siberia in the 17th Century- Lifestyle and Economy” (translated by Mina A Jacobs), Fort Ross Conservancy Library, n.d. pp. 2–10.

[21] For a detailed account of Russia’s administration in Siberia, see, George V. Lantzeff, Siberia in the Seventeenth Century: A Study of the Colonial Administration, Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1943.  

[22] Janet M. Hartley, Siberia: A History of the People, p. xiii and Bruce Lincoln, The Conquest of a Continent. Siberia and the Russians, p. xxi.   

[23] Benson Bobrick, East of the Sun. The Epic Conquest and Tragic History of Siberia, ‘Foreword’, p. vi.

[24]Andrew A. Gentes, Exile to Siberia, 1590–1822, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, p. 35

[25] George Kennan, Siberia and the Exile System, London: James R. Osgood, Mcilvaine & Co. 1891, particularly pp. 168ff.  

[26] David Beer, The House of the Dead. Siberian Exile Under the Tsars, p. 6.  

[27] Harry De Windt, Siberia as it is, p. 260.

[28] Erika Kriukelytė, “The Creation of Modern Prisons in the Russian Empire”, International Institute of Social History, IISH-Research Paper 48, 2012, p. 4.

[29] David Beer, p. 3.

[30] Ibid.

[31]Ibid

[32] Ibid.

[33] Nicholas V. Riasanovsky, Nicholas I and Official Nationality in Russia, 1825-1855, Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 31.

[34] Ibid, p. 32.

[35] These were Kondraty Ryleyev, Sergei Muravyon-Apostol, Peter Kakhvsky, Mikhail Bestuzhev-Ryumin and Pavel Pestel.

[36] Norman Stone, Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Russian and the Soviet Union, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982, p. 99.

[37] Kate V. Lipman, “Alexander II and Gorbachev: The Doomed Reformers of Russia”, UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 158, The University of Vermont, 2017, p. 21.  

[38] See Anatole G. Mazour, The First Russian Revolution 1825, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1937, p. 259 

[39] Ibid, pp. 256–260

[40] Zanon described Dostoyevsky as “a titan of the world literature, a schizophrenic, a gambler, a true believer, a sufferer, a humanitarian, an epileptic, a Russian, a philosopher, a St. Petersburger”, Ksenia Zanon, Fyodor Dostoyevsky”, retrieved from  http://www.executedtoday. com/tag/petrashevshy-circle on 15 November 2017.

[41] The Petrashevsky Circle, which opened in early 1840s, was a Russian literary discussion group, attended by officials, officers, and progressive-minded intelligentsia in St. Petersburg. It was organized by Mikhail Petrashevsky, a student of Charles Fourier, the anti-capitalist, French utopian philosopher who proposed a romantic solution to social problems. Although, members did not hold absolutely uniform views on socio-political issues, they were all strongly opposed the absolute monarchy and serfdom. See N. Troyan “The Philosophical Opinions of the Petrashevsky Circle”, Journal of Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 6, No. 3, March 1946, pp. 363-380

[42] “Nabokov on Dostoyevsky”, The New York Times, 23 August 1981.

[43] “Biography: Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky, 1821-1881” retrieved from http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/ dostoevskybio.html. See also See also “Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1821-1881“, theguardian (London), 22 July 2008.

[44] Chief Obafemi Awolowo, arguably Nigeria’s greatest philosopher-leader, was the National President and Leader of the Action Group, first Premier of the Western Region and Opposition Leader in the Federal Parliament. Following a fatal internal schism in his party in 1962, he was arrested, tried and found guilty of subversion and felony. On 11 September 1963, before the final pronouncement by the trial judge, Awolowo gave what has since been referred to as the ‘Allocutus’ in Nigeria’s political history. In a fairly lengthy speech (unprepared), he said, inter alia, “It isn’t life that matters but the courage you bring to it...Blessed be your verdict; and I say in advance, blessed be the sentence which your Lordship may pass on me”. He subsequently earned a 10-year jail sentence. For the ‘Allocutus’, see Obafemi Awolowo, Adventures in Power Book One: My March through Prison, Ibadan: Macmillan Nigeria Publishers, 1985,  pp. 198-200. However, following the collapse of the democratic experiment in Nigeria in 1966, the Federal Military Government, via, Government Notice (Edict) No. 1207/1966 of 2 August 1966 ordered Awolowo’s release from prison. The Edict read in part “By His Excellency Lieutenant Colonel Yakubu Gowon, Head of the National   Military Government, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Nigeria. WHEREAS Chief Obafemi Awolowo, having been duly convicted of the offences of treasonable felony, conspiracy to commit felony and conspiracy to effect an unlawful purpose, and sentenced to imprisonment for ten, five and two years respectively on all three counts: ...NOW THEREFORE, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 101 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic and of all other power enabling it in that behalf, the Supreme Military Council do hereby remit unexpired portion of the sentence imposed on the aforesaid Chief Obafemi Awolowo and grant him a full pardon. GIVEN UNDER my hand and the Public Seal of the Republic of Nigeria at Lagos this 2nd day of August, one thousand nine hundred and sixty-six”.

[45] Quoted from Ksenia Zanon

[46] Gentes has categorised Siberian exiles into three (according to the general nature of their offences): political, religious and criminal. According to him, ‘political exiles’ included notables perceived by the sovereign as threatening; prisoners-of-war (i.e. Litva); and participants in popular uprisings. ‘Religious exiles’ included clerics deemed to have violated church or state law, as well as non-clerics charged with violating church law. The final category of ‘criminal exiles’ included those who broke state laws as well as all those who did not conveniently fit into the first two categories.  

Gentes A. Andrew, Exile to Siberia, 1590–1822, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, p. 38.

[47] Estevan Hernańdez estimates that approximately 1.2 – 2.4 million Africans died in the ‘Middle Passage’. See his “The Colonial Underdevelopment of Africa by Europe and the United States”, Liberation, 30 November 2014 retrieved from http://www.liberationnews.org on 12 January 2015. British sailors coined this innocuous phrase the ‘Middle Passage’ to describe the ‘middle leg’ of a triangular journey first from England to Africa, then from Africa to Americas, and finally from the Americas back to England. On the first leg of their trip, slave traders delivered goods from European ports to Africa. On the ‘middle’ leg, ship captains such as John Newton, loaded their then-empty holds with slaves and transported them to the Americas and the Caribbean. A typical Atlantic crossing took 60-90 days but some lasted up to four months. Upon arrival, captains sold the slaves and purchased raw materials which they took back to Europe on the last leg of the trip. See Darlene Clark Hine et. al., The African-American Odyssey, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2003, particularly chapter two entitled ‘Middle Passage’, pp. 24-45

[48] Quoted from David Leafe, “Horrific punishments dreamt up by the Tsars who sent millions to Siberia and treated them as savagely as Stalin”, The Daily Mail, 13 August 2016. 

[49] Spartacus Educational, “Prison Camps in Siberia”, retrieved from http://www.spartacus-educational.com/ RUSsiberia.htm on 21 October 2017.

[50] Harry De Windt, The New Siberia, London: Chapman and Hall, 1896, pp. 15 & 102.

[51] Lewis H. Siegelbaum and Laslie P. Moch, Broad is My Native Land: Repertories and Regimes of Migration in Russia’s Twentieth Century, Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 2014, p. 278.  

[52] Negley K. Teeters, “The International Penal and Penitentiary Congress (1910) and the Indeterminable Sentence”, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Volume 39, Issue 5, 1949, p. 620.

[53] Quoted from ibid, pp. 620-621.

[54] Bruce F. Adams, The Politics of Punishment: Prison Reforms in Russia, 1863-1917, Dekalh: Northern Illinois University Press, 1996, pp. 9–11.

[55] Abby M. Schrader, Languages of the Lash: Corporal Punishment and Identity in Imperial Russia, DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2002. 

[56] Bruce Lincoln, The Conquest of a Continent. Siberia and the Russians, p. xxii.  

[57] John-Thor Dahlburg, “Off to Siberia? No Longer in New Russia”, Los Angeles Times, 19 February 1993.

[58] Aleksandr Ulyanov was Lenin’s elder brother. Although, he was not one of those designated to throw the bomb at the Tsar, he manufactured the nitroglycerine used in making it. Ulyanov refused to ask for imperial clemency, refused to be represented by counsel and carried out his own defence. In company of Vasily Generalov, Pokhomiy Andreyushkin, Vasily Osipanov and Petr Shevyrov; Ulyanov was sentenced to death by hanging. In his final address to the court Ulyanov said “terror.... is the only form of defence by which a minority strong only in its spiritual strength and the consciousness of its righteousness can combat the of the majority... Among the Russian people there will always be found many people who are so devoted to their ideas and who feel so bitterly the unhappiness of their country that it will not be a sacrifice for them to offer their lives...my purpose was to aid in the liberation of the unhappy Russian people. Under a system which permits no freedom of expression and crushes every attempt to work for their welfare and enlightenment by legal means, the only instrument that remains is terror. We cannot fight this regime in open battle, because it is too firmly entrenched and commands enormous powers of repression. Therefore, any individual sensitive to injustice must resort to terror. Terror is our answer to the violence of the state. It is the only way to force a despotic regime to grant political freedom to the people” and concluded that “there is no death more honourable than death for the common good”. Helen Rappaport, Conspirator: Lenin in Exile. The Making of a Revolutionary, London: Windmill Books, 2010, pp. xxiv-xxv   

[59] Robert Payne, The Life and Death of Lenin, New York: Endeavour Press Ltd., 2015, p. 1.  See also, Helen Rappaport, p. xxiv-xxv; Louis Fischer, The Life of Lenin, New York: Harper & Row, 1964, p. 31; Rice Christopher, Lenin: Portrait of a Professional Revolutionary, London: Cassell, 1990, pp. 52-55; Robert Service, Lenin: A Biography, London: Macmillan, 2000, pp. 109-111 and James White, Lenin: The Practice and Theory of Revolution, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001, pp. 37-47.    

[60] Montefiore describes Stalin as “super-intelligent and gifted politician...a nervy intellectual who manically read history and literature, and a fidgety hypochondriac suffering from chronic tonsillitis, psoriasis, rheumatic aches from his deformed arm and the iciness of his Siberian exile. Garrulous, sociable and fine singer, this lonely and unhappy man ruined every love relationship and friendship in his life by sacrificing happiness for political necessity and cannibalistic paranoia. Damaged by his childhood and abnormally cold in temperament...he was obsessed with executions...He was a self-creation. A man who invent[ed] his name, birthday, nationality, education and his entire past”. Simon S. Montefiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, New York: Vintage Books, 2003, p. 6. On the other hand, Kaul described Stalin as “a man who respected no rules or ethics”. T.N. Kaul, Stalin to Gorbachev and Beyond, New Delhi: Lancer International, 1991, p. xvi.       

[61] Robert Conquest, Stalin Breaker of Nations, New York: Viking-Penguin, 1991, p. 29.  

[62] David Beer, The House of the Dead. Siberian Exile Under the Tsars, p. 6.  

[63] S.S. Montefiore, p. 113.

[64] Rather than being reformed, most inmates of Siberian penal system ended up “morally and physically ruined by the terrible experiences” they were made to undergo. Harry De Windt, The New Siberia, p. 26.

[65] Beer, p. 6.

[66] Ibid

[67] T.N. Kaul, Stalin to Gorbachev and Beyond, p. xvi.   

[68] Erika Kriukelytė, “The Creation of Modern Prisons in the Russian Empire”, p. 4.

[69] Ibid.

[70] Ibid, p. 3. 

[71] A.J. Haywood, Siberia: A Cultural History, p. xvii.  

[72] Charles Herbert Cottrell, Recollections of Siberia in the Years 1840 and 1841, London: John W. Parker, 1842, p. 2.

[73] Andrew Gentes, “Katorga: Penal Labor and Tsarist Siberia” in Eva-Maria Stolberg (ed.), The Siberian Saga: A History of Russia’s Wild East, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2005, p. 75.

[74] Stephen P. Frank, Crime, Cultural Conflict and Justice in Rural Russia, 1856-1914, Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1999, p. 164.

[75] Marianna G. Muravyewa, Between Law and Morality: Violence against Women in Nineteenth- Century Russia, Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2013, p. 45.

[76] Sarah Badcock,  “From Villains to Victims: Experiencing Illness in Siberian Exile”, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 65, No. 9, 2013, p. 1720.

[77] Ibid, p. 1719.

[78] Ibid

[79] Ibid, p. 1720. 

[80] Jeffrey S. Hardy, The Gulag after Stalin: Redefining Punishment in Khrushchev’s Soviet Union, 1953-1964, New York: Cornell University Press, 2016, p. 201.

[81] Sarah Badcock, p. 1720.

[82] Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization, Vol. C: Since 1789, 10th edn, Boston: Cengage Learning, 2015, p. 878.  

[83] Cited in Steve A. Barnes, Death and Redemption: The Gulag and the Shaping of Soviet Society, Princeton & London: Princeton University Press, 2011, p. 2

[84] Quoted in ibid.

[85] Jeffrey S. Hardy, The Gulag after Stalin: Redefining Punishment in Khrushchev’s Soviet Union, 1953-1964, pp. 126 & 201.  

[86] David Beer, The House of the Dead. Siberian Exile Under the Tsars, p. 4

[87] Ibid.  

[88] De Windt, The New Siberia, p. 55. 

[89] Clifford G. Gaddy and Fiona Hill, “The Siberian Curse: Does Russia’s Geography Doom its Chances for Market Reform?” Brookings Institution, 1 September 2003, p. 1. Russian expeditions led to the building of forts in Siberia, which later evolved into large cities: Tyumen (1586); Tomsk (1604); Novokuznetsk (1618); Krasnoyarsk (1628); Barnaul (1730) and Kemerovo (1918) among others

[90] Alan Wood, “Russia’s ‘Wild East’: Exile, Vagrancy and Crime in Nineteenth century Siberia” in A. Wood (ed.), The History of Siberia: From Russian Conquest to Revolution, London, Routledge, 1991, p. 119

[91] H. Seton-Watson, The Russian Empire 1801-1917, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967, p. 159.

[92] The Bureau of Exile Administration was established in Tobolsk but later moved to Tyumen. All persons condemned to banishment, colonisation or penal servitude in Siberia passed through this city. The Bureau had two main duties: it sorted and classified all exiles upon their arrival in Tyumen and kept a full and accurate record of them; and it monitored and controlled, through six subordinate bureaus (in Kazan, Perm, Tobolsk, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Irkutsk), their transportation and settlement throughout Siberia. See Kriukelytė, p. 16, fn. 35.  

[93] Ibid, p. 16. Lewis and Laslie estimate that between 1882 and 1885, nearly 73,000 exiles were counted, about 30 per cent of them women and children who accompanied their husbands/fathers to Siberia: Lewis H. Siegelbaum and Laslie P. Moch, Broad is My Native Land: Repertories and Regimes of Migration in Russia’s Twentieth Century, p. 278. Badcock estimates that between 1892 and 1898, 81,043 people followed exiles to Siberia and of these, 24,584 were women while 56,459 were children: Sarah Badcock, p. 1720.

[94] Of this figure, 935 were hard labour convicts; 2,300 penal colonists; 1,111 vagrants; 2674 were exiled by village commune; 427 were exiled by judicial sentence or administrative order; 1,979 were refused recentry to their commune and 6,772 ‘voluntaries’: James Simpson, Side-Lights on Siberia: Some Accounts of the Great Siberian Railroad, the Prisons and Exile System, Edinburgh & London: W. Blackwood, 1898, pp. 198-199.  

[95] Gentes’ estimates that there were 230,000 indigenes speaking 120 distinct languages in Siberia when the Russians arrived there in the late sixteenth century. Andrew A. Gentes, Exile to Siberia, 1590 – 1822, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, p. 17.  

[96] David J. Dallin & Boris I. Nicolaevsky, Forced Labour in Soviet Russia, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1947, p. ix. 

[97] Janet M. Hartley, Siberia: A History of the People Yale: Yale University Press, 2014, p. xiii.  Siberia’s nine largest cities are: Novosibirsk, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Tyumen, Barnaul, Irkutsk, Tomsk, Novokuznetsk and Kemerovo.  

[98] Victor L. Mote, Siberia: Worlds Apart, p. 1. See also, “7 parts of Russia that other countries could call theirs”,  Global Post, 27 March 2014. 

[99] For this view, see, Christian Wolmar, To the Edge of the World. The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World Greatest Railroad, New York: Public Affairs, 2013, pp. xvi & xviii; Zack Beauchamp, “The Trans-Siberian Railway Reshaped World History” retrieved from  https://www.vox. com/world/2016/10/5/13167966/100th-anniversary-trans-siberian-railway-google-doodle on 10 December 2017 and Daniel Zylberkan, “The Causes of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05. Geopolitics, Orientalism and Russian Far Eastern Policy”, retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/4070238 on 12 December 2017

[100] Dragoș Tîrnoveanu, “Russia, China and the Far East Question”, The Diplomat, 20 January, 2016.

[101] Alexander Morrison, “Russian Settler Colonialism” in Edward Cavanagh and Lorenzo Veracini (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism, London & New York, 2017, p. 318. The Pereselencheskoe Upravlenie (Resettlement Administration) created in 1896 as part of the Ministry of Interior to supervise the migration of peasants beyond the Urals For a detailed examination of the background to the formation of the Pereselencheskoe Upravlenie and its activities, see Alberto Masoero, “Territorial Colonization in Late Imperial Russia: Stages in the Development of a Concept”, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter, 2013, pp. 59-91.       

[102] Firouzeh Mostashari, On the Religious Frontier. Tsarist Russia and Islam in the Caucasus, London & New York: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2006, p. 2.

[103] Alexander Morrison, “Peasant Settlers and the ‘Civilizing Mission’ in Russian Turkestan, 1865-1917”, Journal of Imperial & Commonwealth History, Vol. 43, No. 3, 2015, p. 398.

[104] Lewis H. Siegelbaum and Laslie P. Moch, Broad is My Native Land: Repertories and Regimes of Migration in Russia’s Twentieth Century, Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 2014, p. 277.

[105] Christian Wolmar, To the Edge of the World. The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World Greatest Railroad, p. xv.

[106] Founded in 1930 under the administration of the OGPU (Unified State Political Administration) and later NKVD (People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs), “GULag” was the bureaucracy in charge of running what became a vast network of prison camps and colonies and, for a time, the extensive network of special settlements, places of peasant exile. Some studies on the Gulag are: Golfo Alexopoulos, Illness and Inhumanity in Stalin’s Gulag, Yale: Yale University Press, 2017; Tomasz Kinzny, GULAG: Life and Death Inside the Soviet Concentration Camps, Firefly Books Ltd., 2004; Anne Applebaum, GULAG:A History of the Soviet Camps, New York & London: Doubleday, 2003; Paul R. Gregory and Valery Lazarev (eds.), The Economics of Forced Labour: The Soviet Gulag, Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 2003; Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Achipelago, 1918-1956 (Translated by Thomas P. Whitney), Colorado: Westview Press, 1998 and Wilson T. Bell, “The Gulag and Society in Western Siberia, 1929-1953”, PhD Thesis, Graduate Department of History, University of Toronto, 2011.   

[107] Lewis H. Siegelbaum and Laslie P. Moch, Broad is My Native Land: Repertories and Regimes of Migration in Russia’s Twentieth Century, p. 256.

[108] Wilson T. Bell, “The Gulag and Society in Western Siberia, 1929-1953”, p. 4.

[109] Aleksei Tikhonov, “The End of the Gulag” in Paul R. Gregory and Valery Lazarev (eds.), The Economics of Forced Labour: The Soviet Gulag, p. 67.

[110] Fiona Hill, “Siberia: Russia’s Economic Heartland and Daunting Dilemma”, Brooking Institution, 1 October 2004, p. 325.

[111] B. Fritz, “Natural Gas: A Political Weapon for the Soviet Union”, International Defense Review, Vol. 15, No. 1. 1982, p. 30.

[112] For a detailed examination of the cost of the project as well as the causes and consequences of America’s opposition to it, see B. Fritz, “Natural Gas: A Political Weapon for the Soviet Union”; Patrizio Merciai, “The Euro-Siberian Gas Pipeline Dispute - A Compelling Case for the Adoption of Jurisdictional Codes of Conduct”, Maryland Journal of International Law, Volume 8, Issue 1, 1984, pp. 1-52.

[113] West Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland.

[114] Anthony J. Blinken, Ally Versus Ally: America, Europe and the Siberian Pipeline Crisis, New York: Praeger, 1987, pp. 3-7.  

[115] Patrizio Merciai, “The Euro-Siberian Gas Pipeline Dispute - A Compelling Case for the Adoption of Jurisdictional Codes of Conduct”, p. 7.  

[116] Judith A. Thornton, “Institutional Change and Economic Development in Siberia and the Russian Far East”, p. 10.

[117] Michael Fassbender “The Transfer of Soviet Factories During World War II”, retrieved from http:// michaeltfassbender.com/nonfiction/the-world-wars/big-picture/the-transfer-of-soviet-factories-during-world-war-ii/ on 13 December 2017.

[118] Mark Harrison “The Soviet Defense Industry Complex in World War II” in Jun Sakudo and Takao Shiba (eds.), World War II and the Transformation of Business Systems, Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1994, p. 240.

[119] Judith A. Thornton, p. 8.  

[120] Victor L. Mote, Siberia: Worlds Apart, p. 10.  

[121] Fiona Hill, “Siberia: Russia’s Economic Heartland and Daunting Dilemma”, p. 324.

[122] Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy, The Siberian Curse, Washington DC: The Brookings Institution, 2003.

[123] Nicolai Rozov, “Not a Curse but a Challenge – An Alternative Strategy for the Development of Siberia”, Problems of Economic Transition, Vol. 49, No. 9, 2007, pp. 75-82. 

[124]  Bruce Lincoln, The Conquest of a Continent. Siberia and the Russians, p. xxii.



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