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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2019 year, number 1

ACTIVITIES OF STEPAN VASILYEVICH VASILYEV, A YAKUT NATIONAL COMMUNIST, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CENTRAL AND REGIONAL POLITICAL ELITE RELATIONS

E.P. Antonov1, V.N. Antonova2
1Institute of Humanitarian Studies and Problems of Indigenous Peoples of the North of the SB RAS, 1. Petrovsky str., Yakutsk, 677027, Russian Federation
2North-Eastern Federal University, 2, Lenin str., Yakutsk, 677000, Russian Federation
Keywords: автономия, беспартийные конференции, буржуазный национализм, государственность, золотодобывающая промышленность, интеллигенция, комитет партийного контроля, комсомол, национал-коммунисты, профсоюзы, личные взаимоотношения, социальные сети, autonomy, non-party conference, bourgeois nationalism, nationhood, gold mining, intelligentsia, party control committee, komsomol, national communists, trade unions, personal relationships, social networks

Abstract

There is still no consensus among historians about the national communists - who they were - the imperial policy conductors, or defenders of interests of non-Russian peoples. The activity of Stepan Vasilyevich Vasilyev, a party-Soviet leader, was hushed up as a “bourgeois nationalist” for many decades, but in the post-Soviet period some publicists tried to evaluate him as an “apologist for Stalinism”, which distorted the truth as well. The article objective is to study Vasilyev’s activities to resolve “the national issue” to form the nationhood in the autonomy form, his role in economic and social development of the republic and the country in the context of network interrelations between central and regional political elites. The research is based on L. P. Repina’s method of cultural and intellectual history involved studying and understanding the historical process through a personal context. The authors conclude that the desire for knowledge, work capacity and organizational experience allowed Vasilyev to grow professionally from a Komsomol leader to a statesman of all-Union scale for a short period. His historical merit was economic and socio-cultural modernization, which led to economic, social and cultural leveling of Yakutia’s development with the center. This period was marked by the formation and development of the Yakut nation, national statehood, economic and socio-cultural revival, and growing intellectual potential. Stepan Vasilyevich stood at the origin of Yakutian gold mining industry. Moscow patrons, Yaroslavsky and Ordzhonikidze, helped him in his professional activities, but the repression of the 1930s destroyed the existing model of social networks between the central and regional elites.