Academic journal article Review of European Studies

National Determinant in Activities of the Soviet Militia (1917-1941): Regional Level

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

National Determinant in Activities of the Soviet Militia (1917-1941): Regional Level

Article excerpt


The article substantiates the importance of taking into account the specific of national structure in the field of law enforcement, in its regulatory framework as a necessary condition for social stability in a multinational state. The basic directions of activity of militia are shown on the basis of the systematization of a large array of a multidimensional historical and legal material in the context of the implementation of a national policy of the state. Obvious successes, mistakes and failures of militia authorities were identified in the region, the practice training of national militia staff was considered and characterized by complex and contradictory role of the so-called indigenization in line with new historiographical traditions. The author made a critical review of previous evaluation of true extent and intensity of militia's struggle with illegal actions in the sphere of international relations, detecting their involvement in the repression in 1930s, religious discrimination of Mari people. A number of practical recommendations are made in the article.

Keywords: the Soviet militia, national factor, Mari ASSR, interethnic relations, confession, discrimination, national staff, national policy, repressions, police

1. Introduction

The scientific and practical value of the stated theme is determined, first of all, by the fact that the Soviet militia occupied a special place in the Russian State as a system of state executive authorities. It was created as an organ of the dictatorship of the proletariat, a significant political power instrument designed for the revolution defense, the maintenance of public order and stability in the country and the region. Multinational character of the Soviet militia became its significant feature and the world's largest multiethnic, multireligious society became its scope of work. Therefore, its historical experience (both positive and negative) is an essential component of improving of internal affairs legislation.

The stated theme is of a particular interest because the national factor has been aggravated in recent decades. Ethnic separatism, ethno-political and religious and political extremism and nationalism present a serious threat to the security almost everywhere. The law enforcement agencies of many countries face great difficulties in establishing international peace and harmony as the most important condition for ensuring the security of a state (The Washington Post, 2014). This work is often lack of sensitivity and sophistication in matters of recruitment of law enforcement agencies in terms of their national membership and national traditions of the people. The reason is a bias of some of their representatives towards national forms and modes of expression. In addition, there is a lack of legislation for strengthening society needs in civil unity and reducing an interethnic tension (Hickman, 2008). In these circumstances, the historical experience of law enforcement, knowledge and records of their strengths and weaknesses may become the guarantee for a successfully resisting the challenges and risks of the new millennium.

In addition to considerations of a practical nature, relevance of topics is dictated by the need to restore historical justice. Because of the known circumstances of whole areas of activity of the Soviet militia had been ignored for years, and its role in national history had been misrepresented. At the same time until the 1980s the authorities concealed the truth in the field of national relations. Crimes committed on national causes, were often classified as disorderly conduct, they were never considered and tracked.

The historiography of the chosen problem was created in two periods: 1) Soviet period (since the late 1917 until 1980s) and 2) Russian period (since 1990s). They are characterized by different intensity of research, their thematic focus and conceptual differences. The fundamental trend of its development is highly dependent on political considerations and was focused on fulfillment of the ruling party's order. …

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