The Great Friendship: Soviet Historians on the Non- Russian Nationalities

By Lowell Tillett | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13.
THE DEEPENING OF HISTORICAL TIES

"These backward, disintegrating, patriarchal-feudal Ossetian communities began to express their wishes to take Russian citizenship from the first days of the establishment of ties with Russia, that is, from the middle of the eighteenth century." M. S. Totoev, From The History of the Friendship of the Ossetian People with the Great Russian People ( 1st ed., Ordzhonikidze, 1954), p. 7.

"From Russian chronicles, as well as from archeological information, it is well known that the Alan-Ossetians from the tenth to the twelfth centuries were engaged in lively economic, political and cultural relations with the Russian population of southern Rus′." Ibid. (2nd "revised and enlarged edition," 1963), p. 7.1

The emphasis on the long historic relations of friendship between the Russian and non-Russian peoples, which is universal in the newer Soviet history, seems not to have stemmed from any precise moment. One cannot find, among the instructions in a Stalin speech, a Bol′shevik article, or a party directive, a specific suggestion that historians look into the earliest ties between peoples as proof of the historic friendship. But once the view was established that such friendship had existed long before the Revolution, the question of the chronological length of all kinds of ties became an important supporting proposition. During World War II editorial writers and speakers frequently mentioned, in support of

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1
M. S. Totoev, Iz istorii druzhby osetinskogo narodov s velikim russkim naroda ( 1st ed., Ordzhonikidze, 1954; 2nd ed., Ordzhonikidze, 1963).

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