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On the preparation and conduct of the repression of Koreans in the 1930s Soviet Union.

STALIN'S REPRESSIONS in the Soviet Union are a topic of discussion not merely in Russia, but also abroad. (1) It is evident that their assessment changes with the political conjuncture, but no one denies that they took place. The ethnic repressions are among the most hotly debated in post-Soviet historiography. On the one hand, their occurrence contradicted the principles of internationalism and the equal rights of peoples, which had been proclaimed by the Soviet leadership already during the Civil War. (2) On the other hand, the echoes of those repressions are still heard today (as in the Chechen Wars, etc.). Both of these features clearly present themselves in the case of the first ethnic repression, that of the Soviet Koreans.

The aim of this essay is to give an overview of the specifics about the preparation of the Koreans' repression in the Soviet Union. I will analyse a number of aspects of this process on the basis of archival materials, the works of Soviet and Russian researchers, as well as oral surveys. I will also present my own opinion regarding the most intensively debated topics in terms of those persecutions.

Koreans lived in the territory of the contemporary Maritime District (Primorskii krai) until the arrival of Russian migrants there. (3) They therefore are the indigenous population of the south of Far-Eastern Russia, even if during the first half of the nineteenth century the Korean groups living in the southern Far-Eastern region were small. In the 1860s, because of the difficult economic circumstances on the Korean peninsula and Japanese expansionism, many inhabitants of the "Country of Morning Freshness" moved to the southern Far East. The Russian imperial government's attitude to this migration was contradictory. A part of the bureaucrats (chinovniki) opposed this migratory process, considering the Koreans together with the Chinese as part of a "Yellow Peril," but many higher officials, conversely, encouraged this settlement as a counterweight to the growth of the Chinese population in the area and aid to the development of agriculture.

In the years of the Civil War (1918-1922), the overwhelming majority of Koreans supported the Bolsheviks. (4) But soon after the Reds' victory, the status of the Soviet Koreans in the Far East became a topic of discussion. The consensus in Soviet and Russian historiography is that in the Far East the repressions only acquired an ethnic dimension in the second half of the 1930s, and that previously the topic of the banishment of the Koreans was not raised within the Soviet leadership. (5) But this is not true. Already in 1922, even before the end of the Civil War and foreign intervention in the Far East, several Soviet officials suggested the mass transfer of Koreans to the Khabarovsk Region. (6)

Apparently, there were two grounds for this. The first was an attempt to isolate Soviet Koreans from their Motherland, the Korean peninsula, in order to separate them from their historical roots and to assimilate them into the Soviet state. (7) Many Koreans fled to the Far East because of the Japanese occupation of the peninsula (in the early twentieth century). By the 1920s, Korea became not merely an occupied territory, but a Japanese colony. A number of these refugees joined partisan units that operated against the Japanese not only in the Country of Morning Freshness, but also in Manchuria. This caused a tense situation on the border. Soviet Russia neither wanted to be nor could be at war with Japan. The memory of tsarist Russia's defeat in the war of 1904-1905 was still fresh. (8) This was already expressed by V.I. Lenin (1870-1924), who wrote that "[w]e cannot wage war with Japan and we need to do everything not only to try to postpone a war with Japan, and, if possible, avoid one altogether, as this is obviously beyond our power at the moment. (9) Many Bolsheviks agreed with him.

The second reason was economic. Even today, the Khabarovsk region trails the neighboring Maritime region in terms of agricultural development. (10) For example, I visited Khabarovsk and had the opportunity to compare the price of potatoes, the most popular root vegetable in Russia. In Khabarovsk, Russian potatoes cost 60 rubles per kilogram on the market, whereas Chinese potatoes cost 30 rubles. In the Maritime region local potatoes cost 15 rubles per kilogram, and the local population complains about this price. The causes of this situation are the natural conditions of the Khabarovsk region, which is less conducive to agriculture, and the more advanced technology used in the Maritime region's agriculture in comparison to its northern neighbor.

Around 1900, the Koreans used on their plots the Korean-Chinese manner of horticulture by growing crops in beds, in which a rotation of sorts of crops was used. The beds stuck out of the ground and the crops were sown within them. (11) When Russian peasants at the beginning of the twentieth century arrived here, they were confronted with soil that sharply differed from that in central and western Russia and did not allow them to use successfully the methods to which they were accustomed. Several among them tried to borrow the manner of cultivation used by the Koreans, but, in the absence of any tradition in this regard and lack of support from the government, they were largely unsuccessful. Even today, the Russian population has not succeeded in fully taking over the Korean-Chinese methods.

In 1862, Prince Pyotr Alekseevich Kropotkin suggested agricultural improvements in the Ussuriisk region, but the administrators who were to implement these changes made a mess out of this undertaking. (12) The well-known traveler Nikolai Przheval'skii noticed on his travels in the late 1860s that despite the highly fertile soil of the Ussuriisk region, the seeds did not yield proper returns because of lack of knowledge about local conditions. (13) He gave much attention to the specifics of Korean farming. But his ideas, too, were rejected by the authorities. (14) Although many Russian peasants moved to the south of the Russian Far East during the second half of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century, still in the 1930s they could not grow sufficient vegetables for themselves. One should note in addition that the Far East avoided so-called "Military Communism" during the Civil War with its forced crop requisitioning. (15) Living circumstances were better here than in the west of the country in the early Soviet years. Even the Old Believers, who were most active in adopting local methods of agriculture in 1930s Manchuria, needed to purchase flour, rice, and vegetable oil from the Chinese and Koreans. (16)

In this manner, the Russian Empire's bureaucrats opposed the agricultural development in the Far East, but the Soviet leadership did not try to develop horticulture in the area either. This bespeaks on the one hand the inertia of both Russian and Soviet bureaucrats, while on the other hand it proved difficult for most peasants to adopt novel ideas. As a rule, peasant communities were to a great degree conservative. Apparently, then, a part of the Soviet leaders suggested that the resettlement of the Korean population to the Khabarovsk region might allow for the development of its economy and the like.

The plan to resettle the Korean population could not be executed for a number of reasons. In the first place, it contradicted Bolshevik policies, such as the principle of "internationalism" [the right of nations to self-determination, trans.], and the resettlement of the Koreans to regions where the conditions for agriculture were difficult could hardly be called a decoration for their support in the Civil War. Secondly, the Soviet Koreans resided in the extreme south of the Far East and they did not desire to move to the north. An unwilling Korean population in the area might jeopardize Soviet rule there. And, finally, a mass transfer of the Koreans would create great problems in the Maritime region, not in the least in economic terms.

The Soviet Koreans reaffirmed their position in the south of the Far East, which strengthened each year. This was due to the natural growth of the population, and the active role played by Korean leaders of the Communist Party in the Far Eastern region. For example, in the 1926 census 145,500 Koreans were counted, amounting to 25.5 per cent of the regional population, while in 1931 already 159,000 people lived there, representing almost twenty per cent of the population. (17) And the population grew thereafter at an accelerated pace. According to an enumeration that occurred in the Far Eastern region in 1935, 204,000 Koreans resided there. (18) Obviously, this growth was attained not merely because of natural growth, but also because of the immigration of Koreans from China and the Korean peninsula, who adopted Soviet citizenship. Concomitantly, the number of rural soviets grew: If in 1923 the region had 70 Korean and mixed rural soviets, this grew to 104 the next year, 122 in 1925, and 140 in 1926. (19)

Moreover, many Koreans who resided in the villages were not subjects of the Soviet state. They moved with the seasons between China and the Far Eastern parts of the USSR, or lived there without registering. The existence of a national Korean district created the option to organize an autonomous polity in the Soviet Maritime region. This was often a topic of discussion. (20) The Soviet leadership continuously rejected requests, but the proposals for an autonomous region hurt the relationship between Koreans and Russians in the Far East. (21)

The early 1930s saw an intense struggle between the population and the state in the Far East. Collectivization and "dekulakization" had a profound effect on life in the Soviet countryside. (22) The Korean population did not escape being subject to these policies. The persecution of the peasantry by the authorities caused a difficult situation in the countryside and led to protest and rebellion. However, different from the Russian population, which mainly protested verbally against the authorities, with some engaging in open insubordination and a few taking to arms, the Koreans went a different route: they left for abroad, which had significant economic repercussions on the area. (23) This led to a stop in the repression process. Although 200 Korean collective farms had been created, which housed well-nigh 80 per cent of all Korean peasant households, judging by the testimony of eyewitnesses, a part of them had to some degree only joined the collectives on paper. (24)

Moreover, this conduct influenced various groups among the rural population of the Far East. In the years from 1931 to 1933, Old Believers' rebellions raged that saw both open battles and partisan activity, which was directed against the collectivization and dekulakization policies imposed by the Soviet authorities. (25) Iurii Ufimstev notes how the largest revolt by the Old Believers occurred in the village of Kkhutsinka, (26) which they thoroughly prepared: The Old Believers created more than 200 places in the forests where they stocked victuals and arms, which included 263 rifles; some further hiding places, obviously, were not detected. (27) The secret police was forced to deploy significant forces in fighting the Old Believers, and included a foray with a platoon equipped with four machine guns, while two coast-guard vessels were assigned to the operation as well. More than 100 Old Believers were exiled, while a number were executed by firing squads. Ufimstev further notes another large revolt under the lead of the brothers Kuksenko from Shkotovo, who slaughtered their reindeer (a part of the Old Believers still herded reindeer), escaped into the taiga, and fought for two years with secret-police detachments. (28) A large number of the Old Believers abandoned their ancestral homes and escaped abroad, leaving many villages deserted.

The Koreans did not participate in this struggle, but many Old Believers enjoyed good relations with them. After the defeat of the main force of the rebels, the Old Believers began to follow the Korean example by crossing the border. From 1932 to 1935 most of them went to China, but several managed to relocate to Japan and a few even to Latin America. (29) Some returned to Russia only in 2010 and 2011. (30)

Those Old Believers who departed for Manchuria primarily followed the Korean lead, since they did not know either Chinese or Korean. The former Soviet Koreans were the intermediaries for them in communicating with the local population. The Old Believer groups were not large, but the fact that they left for China in the wake of the Koreans shows that other inhabitants of the region who disliked the Soviet authorities' policy might follow the Korean example. It was necessary to suppress such an example as quickly as possible for the Soviet regime, but the state could not accomplish this as it lacked the means to do so.

Even though the idea for the Koreans' deportation from the Maritime region had been conceived a while earlier, it was especially their comparatively successful struggle with the pressure exerted by the authorities on the villages during collectivization that became a key cause of their deportation to Central Asia. But in the light of what had occurred during the early 1930s, the state could not unleash its first forced deportation of a nationality without preparations. (31) Moreover, these preparations were multi-faceted and of considerable scale. And they entailed ideological and political elements.

Ideologically, the preparation resembled what is called an "information war" these days. In particular, articles were published in the press that stated that among the Koreans many Japanese spies could be found even if no evidence was brought to bear. (32) While the articles' authors had not encountered such Koreans, they noted that this information was told to them by (the supposedly fully reliable) higher authorities. During the deportation and afterwards, the virulent anti-Korean propaganda continued. The 1938 novel Muzhestvo [Courage, trans.] written by the Soviet writer Vera Ketlinskaia may serve as an example. (33) One of the main enemies of the Soviet state and people in this book is the Korean Pak. In those days, ridiculing of Korean customs and of the Korean national cuisine commenced as well, things that only disappeared in the 1990s.

Already during the 1930s, meanwhile, the long-term presence of Koreans in the Far Eastern region at any time was denied. During the nineteenth century, the Koreans had founded a great number of settlements in Far Eastern territory, but the names of many Korean villages were forgotten. Thus, the names of three Korean settlements that N.M. Przheval'skii had visited in his day, Tizinkhe, Ianchikhe and Sidimi, disappeared from memory in the second half of the twentieth century, although 1800 people had resided in them in 1869. (34) And it should of course be taken into account that the population of those villages increased before the deportations. (35) Another example is the large village Putsilovka in the Maritime region, of which only in 2011 it became known that it had once (before 1854) been founded by immigrants from the Country of Morning Freshness [Korea, trans.]. (36) This challenges another conventional wisdom propagated by Soviet and Russian historiography, that the first Koreans only appeared in the Far Eastern region during the 1860s. (37) The purpose of this historical falsification was to show that the Russians arrived in the Far East before the Koreans, which, since the Korean peninsula is the neighbor of the Maritime region, appears absurd. A similar contention was upheld regarding the presence of Chinese in the Far East: According to the official version, the first Chinese appeared only during the 1860s and 1870s.

Almost immediately after the Korean deportations, all former Korean villages were given Russian names. This work was conducted in such a thorough manner that it has not been an easy task to rediscover those original names. The Chinese were also deported from the Far East during the 1930s, but the Chinese names were somehow preserved longer, for even in the early 1990s the river Razdol'naia (one of the major rivers of the Maritime region) was often called its old Chinese name of Suifun. The same goes for the names of other rivers, thus the Mel'gunovka is still known as the Mo, the Ilistaia as the Lefu, and so on. It needs to be said that the fight against Chinese and other "non-Russian" names in the Far East was undertaken in 1972, three years after the Damanskii incident. (38)

But these measures primarily affected the Chinese names of villages and geographical locations. A small number of Korean names survived until 1972, since they were apparently thought to be Chinese. But the local population stubbornly continued to use the old Chinese names for a long time, that is, they were still in use more than two decades later. (39) One surmises that this had to do with the fact that the Soviet state conducted an active struggle against the history of the Koreans in the Far East, or, to be precise, the memory about it, while it did not do so in the case of the Chinese.

But to return to our main point, the state clearly prepared the population of central and western Russia through an ideological campaign for the beginning of the persecution of the Koreans. For the practical execution of the operation, one of the key measures taken by the NKVD was the dispatch of some of its most trusted and experienced officers to the Far East. (40) The majority of those who actively participated in the repressions had a proletarian [working-class, trans.] or similar background and tried as much as they could to show that they were worthy of the trust placed in them by the Soviet leaders in the highest echelons of power. This is why they made every effort to complete every task and order demanded from them, irrespective of their absurdity and the obvious damage that they brought to the inhabitants and the regions in which they resided. Many who were thus appointed placed their career above anything else. For example, such was the case with I.A. Grach (1898-1939), A.A. Arnol'dov, and G.S. Liushkov (1900-45). (41) They had been transferred from the western parts of the USSR to conduct intensive repressions in the Far East, among which were those against the Koreans. But in the course of preparing the repressions, Moscow's emissaries met with the active opposition of local NKVD branches. (42) The NKVD chief for the Far Eastern region, T.D. Deribas (1883-1938), who had occupied this post since 1929, did his utmost to prevent the Muscovites from orchestrating the mass purges among the population and preparing the ethnic repressions. (43) Deribas was actively supported in this matter by his deputy D.V. Zapadnyi, which is why the Muscovite NKVD officials wrote denunciatory reports about them. (44)

Deribas and his team had participated in implementing collectivization and de-kulakization in the Far East in 1930 and, more than likely, exactly understood what threatened deportation of the 200,000 or so Koreans from their area. Along with the likelihood of the disappearance of vegetables in the region this would cause (the overwhelming majority of Soviet Koreans were horticulturists), a serious decrease of the population of the Far Eastern Region loomed. On top of that, forays by Korean partisans into Manchuria and Korea yielded precious information about the condition of a future opponent (Japan). Moscow, however, had its own priorities.

Of course, Deribas had himself conducted repressions against the Far-Eastern population. Particularly, it had been Deribas who had sanctioned the arrest of the scientists allegedly implicated in the "Autonomous Kamchatka" case, as well as in other instances. (45) There is no doubt that on the orders of Deribas and his aides, people accused in a variety of cases were executed, while they also banished a greater number to areas outside of the region. (46) One might nonetheless propose that Deribas was not as bloodthirsty as many of Moscow's proteges who occupied themselves with the repressions in general. Thus, Deribas did not aim for massive-scale persecutions and was not in favor of ethnically based operations. In the end, that likely sealed his fate. Many of the suspects in the Far Eastern region were released as innocent after their arrest and sent home at first, but after the replacement of Deribas in 1937 the majority of those released once again were imprisoned. Many of them were shot.

Obviously, the state publicly pretended to be positively inclined to all ethnic groups. While in the west of the country anti-Korean propaganda was actively diffused, in the east all seemed peaceful. Despite the comparative secrecy of the preparations against the Soviet Koreans, though, some information about it spread nevertheless. For only in this manner can one explain some of the developments that apparently unfolded. According to a census conducted in 1935, some 204,000 Koreans lived in the Far Eastern region, but in 1937, when almost all Koreans residing in the same area were deported, only between 171,000 and 175,000 people were apprehended. (47) And this even though the repressions were conducted swiftly. Therefore, a part of the Soviet Koreans avoided falling victim to them.

One may suggest the existence of several channels that leaked information about the impending deportations. Koreans did not only work in government agencies, but also in the NKVD, even in well-placed positions that would have allowed them to find out about the plans. Thus, especially, the Korean NKVD official Pak Sen Khun had been one of the interrogators of the well-known Japanologist K.A. Kharnskii and of other well-known people. (48) Such cases were considered important and only the most trusted people were assigned to them. In the recollection of eyewitnesses, even after the deportations of their compatriots many Korean Chekists did not fall victim to the forcible transfer to Central Asia. This suggests, in the first place, that they occupied high positions in the regional NKVD. Secondly, despite the purges that Moscow's emissaries undertook, the regional NKVD was still powerful in the middle of the 1930s. This is confirmed by the pitched battle it fought with G.S. Liushkov, when he began to work for the Japanese. (49) Meanwhile, the army proved incapable of defending its Korean officers. The majority of them were dispatched to NKVD jails and shot. (50)

But this also suggests that the Koreans who served in the NKVD had access to important information within the secret police. It is quite likely that, through the Koreans who worked in the NKVD, information about the impending repressions reached the ears of the rest of the Korean population. But as likely is another possibility, that Korean unrest was provoked by western Soviet newspapers which contained attacks on the Koreans, once these publications reached the Far East.

Similarly, Koreans held senior positions in the Far Eastern regional executive committee of soviets [the official regional government, trans.]: N.N. Kim-Giriong, M.M. Tian, M.M. Kim, Kim Tovu, and others were in important posts. In January 1935, eleven new temporary staffers were hired for work with national minorities; two of them were Chinese, while the other nine were Koreans. (51) While this reflected the proportion of Chinese versus Korean populations in the region, this may have been a measure intended to strengthen vigilance among the Soviet Koreans.

Once the flight of the Koreans had begun, the NKVD was forced to hasten the deportations. This necessitated the authorities to find some sort of pretext to initiate them. In anticipation of this moment, Moscow steadily increased its emissaries in the region. Thus, on 23 April 1937 a team arrived in Khabarovsk headed by one of the highest chiefs of the NKVD, L.G. Mironov (1895-1938). (52) It prepared the special trains for the transport of the Koreans to Central Asia. Then the pretext was found in the Japanese invasion of north-east China that began on 7 July 1937. Immediately after the Japanese attack, a purge of the regional branch of the NKVD began which targeted those sympathetic to the Koreans or critical of the mass waves of repression that had commenced. Most notably was the dismissal in late July of the chief of the regional NKVD Deribas, followed by a mass purge of the leading organs of the Communist Party and Soviet state in the Far Eastern region, among which were the state-security organs from August 1937 onward. (53)

In this way the Moscow leadership made sure that its hands were free for the deportations and that any reluctant people were removed throughout the system. Having convinced himself that everything was in place, the NKVD People's Commissar Nikolai Ezhov (1895-1940) sent a directive to Liushkov on 24 August 1937 about the NKVD's tasks in preparing the banishment of the Koreans from the Far Eastern region. (54) The plan called for the deportation of the Korean population to Central Asia to be concluded by 1 January 1938. On the surface, the entire preparatory operation gives the impression that the exile of the Soviet Koreans followed a well-organized plan developed by the NKVD's leadership. But reality was rather different. A number of telling facts indicate how this painstakingly planned action was executed in great haste.

The NKVD began to deport the Koreans in massive fashion in September 1937. But when it did so, the deportees were not supplied in their places of exile with cattle or goods to replace those that the exiles had been forced to leave behind in the Far East. (55) This went against the guidelines of the Soviet leadership, which called for compensation to the deported population for the cattle and property that they had to leave behind. (56) Because of the overly hasty actions of the NKVD officials, tens of thousands of Koreans died in Central Asia during the first year of the deportations. (57) Even the very time of the banishment, autumn, did not allow the repressed people to engage somehow in agriculture in order to provide for themselves. After the forced migration a considerable part of the Korean peasants were sent to regions where agriculture was simply impossible. This situation later changed somewhat for the better. (58) A similar situation was faced by Korean fishermen. (59) The government's orders were ignored, in particular, too, the guideline "not to oppose Korean wishes to leave for abroad and cross the border and to allow for a simplified manner to cross the boundary." (60)

One might, of course, suggest that the speed of the operation was provoked by Japanese actions in neighboring Manchuria, which could have threatened the USSR. But such a suggestion is unconvincing when a number of circumstances are taken into account. Japan had started its advance into Manchuria already in the early 1930s, when the Soviet government did not make any move toward the deportation of the Korean population. Border clashes approximately began around that time, as they did on the Mongolian border. In addition, on 25 March 1935 the Soviet Union sold the Chinese Far-Eastern Railway to Manchukuo, the Japanese puppet state in Manchuria, and at a reduced price. (61)

In sum, we may conclude that the NKVD executed the deportations of the Soviet Koreans not only with excessive haste and with great errors, but also in violation of the government's guidelines about them. Ezhov, however, reported to Stalin that the operation was successfully conducted. (62) But was this the case?

Why were the deportations conducted in such a manner? A number of factors influenced this. Firstly, this was the first deportation conducted on ethnic grounds; during its unfolding, of course, many mistakes and tragic errors occurred just because of this fact alone. Secondly, the ethnic repressions were undermined by acts of sabotage from the local population and government, for which thousands were subsequently prosecuted. (63) Thirdly, there was the massive flight of Koreans to China before the repressions.

From February to May 2012, I traveled around the Maritime Region surveying the descendants of the repressed Koreans and received some interesting answers. Out of 93 respondents twenty noticed that their parents spoke very poor Russian even in the 1990s. It should be noted that after the deportations Korean schools did not exist for a long time in Central Asia and children attended Russian schools. Therefore, in settlements of Korean deportees the Russian language should have dominated. But at the same time it was common knowledge in the USSR that Koreans spoke Russian poorly. Even anecdotes existed about this topic. More than half of the forebears of those surveyed (60 people) had Korean names but spoke in a dialect that strongly differed from the language that was used by the Soviet Koreans of the Far East. This leads one to propose that many Koreans who had been deported during the 1930s differed from other Koreans who had long resided in the Far East (and who were also deported). That's why I suggest that a number of the repressed Koreans who spoke Russian poorly did not study in the Soviet schools of the Far East. More than likely, they hailed from North-Eastern China.

Every year I travel to the Ianbian'skii Korean autonomous region in Tszilin' province in the Chinese People's Republic. The Koreans of this region speak in two dialects, both similar to the languages of the Korean population of the Russian Far East. For this reason I suggest that NKVD units not only arrested Soviet Koreans who were citizens of the USSR, but also Koreans from China, who had crossed the border to engage in seasonal work on Soviet territory. This happened because the ethnic repression began in September, at the peak of agricultural activity, and this is particularly so in the agrarian areas of the Maritime region that are located along the border. The deportations of Koreans from other areas [further away from the borders, trans.] were conducted later, and Koreans from Vladivostok were the last ones. Naturally, such a sequence blocked the Chinese Koreans from returning home. Of course, a question arises from this: Why exactly did Koreans from China work in great numbers in the southern part of the Soviet Far East?

This had to do with the departure to China of many Soviet Koreans at the beginning of the 1930s to escape collectivization. A deficit of vegetables developed in the Maritime Region, since many Koreans were horticulturists. Because the Russian population could not provide itself with vegetables, the problem had to be resolved through the use of guest workers (gastarbaiter). During this period the Chinese of this part of the world engaged but little in agriculture and largely lived in towns, and that is why the problem was resolved through the labor of Chinese Koreans. Seasonal labor rather suited the latter, especially when from 1933 onwards the Japanese conducted military campaigns in North-Eastern China. But even without them China was then in a precarious situation. Factions of Chinese militarists literally tore China apart, and it was quite difficult for the population to engage in peaceful labor in that era. Despite Japanese declarations about their defence of the Koreans in Manchuria and their encouragement of Korean immigration to North-Eastern China, the economic circumstances of the Koreans in this region were deplorable. (64) This explains their attempts to live in the USSR, at a time when in the Soviet Far East the situation was completely different: The area was tranquil, not much crime occurred, and at the same time agriculture needed their labor. Chinese Koreans therefore grew accustomed to start working there in the spring and return quietly home in the autumn. Many of them lived in the Soviet Far East with their families, since it proved more convenient. They were not, however, citizens of the USSR.

The fall of 1937, however, ended tragically for them. The majority of them was dispatched to Central Asia as part of the Soviet-Korean deportations. The Soviet authorities thus deported foreign nationals together with their own subjects.

Did the NKVD-chiefs understand that they were doing this? They probably understood this very well. After all, even in the early 1920s the Soviet authorities knew about the seasonal movement of foreigners from one part to the next. In his report to the first Maritime guberniia conference of soviets the chairman of the guberniia military committee L.N. Bel'skii said: "We have not brought order in the matter of the foreigners who in large numbers visit our guberniia [and] we have therefore created plenipotentiaries for national minorities in our department." (65)

Evidently, the NKVD chiefs did not initially plan to deport foreign citizens to Central Asia. It appears as if this development was linked to a particular circumstance. According to the 1935 regional census, 204,000 Koreans lived in the Far-Eastern region. When the deportations began, however, it turned out that there were fewer Soviet Koreans than the 1935 count had enumerated. G.S. Liushkov and his assistants very well understood that they would be held accountable for a breakdown of the deportations. Stalin was not fond of such slips and any sort of penalty might be issued to them, including that of execution. It became necessary to find substitutes for the missing Soviet Koreans. This may very well explain why NKVD operatives began to arrest and deport those Koreans who were not USSR citizens.

Obviously, one might wonder whether this was not an overly risky operation and could lead to an international scandal. At the time, however, Liushkov's team did not take a very great risk. In 1931, Japan had begun its military actions in Manchuria and founded the pro-Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo in 1932. In 1935, Soviet forces occupied all of the Chinese islands in the Amur river. (66) Indeed, several of these islands were already conquered by the USSR in 1929. In those days, China was incapable of doing anything against such an expansionist neighbor. This is why in 1937 China felt obliged to conclude a non-aggression pact with the USSR, which was signed on 21 August of that year, less than a month before the deportation of the Koreans from the Far East began. (67)

Both parties (the USSR and the Chinese republic) agreed that, "if One of the High Contracting Parties sustains an attack by one or several [other] Powers, the other High Contracting Party is obliged to deny both direct and indirect aid to such a third Power or Powers throughout the conflict, as well as to abstain from any actions or agreements that might be used by the attacker or attackers to the disadvantage of the Party that has sustained the attack"; in reality, however, the USSR immediately violated this agreement. (68) Besides the repressions of Soviet Koreans who maintained commercial ties with China as well as of Korean partisans who operated from bases in the Soviet Far East against Japan, Chinese Koreans were also deported from Far Eastern territory. If one considers that Japan fought an armed conflict with China, the Korean deportations made things in fact easier for the Japanese authorities. Altogether this amounted to a violation of the agreement concluded a few weeks earlier.

Obviously, the Chinese government in the 1930s was without power to stop violent acts against Chinese citizens on Soviet territory. It is additionally not clear whether these Chinese Koreans were then citizens of China or Manchukuo. A part of them were undoubtedly Chinese citizens, but it is unknown how many exactly should have been counted as such. It is furthermore possible that a number of exiled Koreans had been born on the Korean peninsula (and, in other words, were therefore Japanese subjects).

But even after taking such drastic measures, the NKVD officials only succeeded in gathering slightly more than 170,000 people for deportation to Central Asia. This suggests that a considerable part of the Korean population had at that point left the Soviet Far East. Many had already departed between 1931 and 1934 (during the height of collectivization) and more fled from 1935 to 1937 (in the period between the census of 1935 and the 1937 deportations). It is most likely that they moved to north-eastern China. Those who remained in the Soviet Far East can be grouped into several categories.

In the first place, there were those who agreed with life in the Soviet and had grown accustomed to it. Their ancestors (or they themselves) had arrived in the nineteenth century and for them the Far-Eastern region had become their motherland, which they never considered leaving. Such an attitude could also be found among peasants who had a large farm or a large family. It was difficult for them to leave their homes and move to a region that was alien to them, where they had to begin anew. Nonetheless, according to several witnesses, several larger families in full or in part left for China.

The second group consisted of Party members and their relatives, those working in the government apparatus as well as those who had fought in the Red Army during the Russian civil war. Examples of them are people such as Afanasii Kim, Andrei Khan, Kim-Giriong, and others. They could not leave for China as they would immediately encounter a hostile attitude. On the one hand, they faced the White emigre community who hated the Reds and all of those linked to them, and, on the other hand, they faced the Japanese administration which was aggressively opposed to Soviet rule. Because of their work these people could not leave for other areas of the Soviet Union. They were thus condemned to stay put in the Soviet Far East and await whatever fate had in store for them.

The third category consists of Koreans from China who had arrived to perform seasonal labor. While they might have anticipated something, they could not do much in 1937 to avoid the deportations. One cannot estimate precisely how many of them were in the Far East, but one could surmise that their number was fairly large. The reason for such a proposition are the data of the survey among contemporary Russian Koreans regarding their ancestors which were rendered above.

We therefore see that in 1937 in the south of the Soviet Far East the Korean population mainly remained because it simply had nowhere to go. There were of course exceptions to this rule, but, as I propose, they were few. In this way, a paradoxical situation for the Korean population prevailed in the Soviet Far East in the second half of the 1930s. Groups of Soviet Koreans departed in great number to north-eastern China. They fled dekulakization and collectivization, but, possibly, a part of them subsequently returned home before the 1937 deportations began. Meanwhile, Chinese Koreans arrived in the Far Eastern region who knew Russian poorly, and did seasonal labor on the farms of the Soviet-Korean population that remained. A part of them permanently settled in the southern area of the Far East. In this way, in the border region of the USSR and China flowed two streams of people of one ethnicity albeit of two different citizenships, moving in different directions. Meanwhile many Koreans (both Soviet and Chinese) traveled through this border area to trade or barter. The 1937 deportations firmly ended these patterns, even when they had been earlier encouraged by the Soviet government's policy, which therefore sharply made an about-face.

One has to recognize that Ezhov's report to Stalin that the deportation of the Koreans was successfully completed was in fact a lie. The NKVD had far from succeeded in deporting all Soviet Koreans, since a number of them had gone abroad, while deporting Chinese Koreans who were not USSR citizens. It all amounted to the crudest violations of the Soviet government's directions. That can especially be argued about the decree regarding the permission to Koreans to freely leave the country. Furthermore, the local NKVD was subject to a severe bloodletting conducted by emissaries from Moscow. One should give credit to T.D. Deribas and his predecessors who had prepared their cadres so well that, despite the great losses sustained in the 1930s purges, they were able to combat successfully the white-emigrant and anti-Soviet operations conducted by G.S. Liushkov. (69) We cannot at this moment establish who misled whom regarding the conduct of the Korean population's deportations from the Soviet Far East: Was Stalin deceived by Ezhov, or Ezhov by Lushkov? Liushkov's flight to the Japanese side (which appears to have no clear cause) in 1938 leads one to conclude that, more likely than anything, it was he who lied to those above him. In any event, the deportations did not just cause the Soviet Koreans to suffer, but also devastated the economy of the Far East and led to a significant population loss there.

In essence, the Far East, like many regions of the Soviet Union, became a victim of the short-sighted policies of the Soviet state. The Korean population became for almost two decades a hostage in Central Asia of the repressive Soviet system. The agricultural problems in the Far East led to a sustained agricultural crisis, which was only resolved in the course of several decades. The poor condition of agriculture in the Far East caused the hasty foundation of two post-secondary agronomy institutes in the Far Eastern region, in 1950 in Blagoveshchensk and in 1957 in the city of Voroshilov. (70) In addition, the latter one was established in a period of great difficulty that tore apart the lives of thousands of people. (71)

(1.) "Stalin's repressions" ("Stalinskie repressii") or the "repressions" is the term used in the former Soviet Union for what in the West is usually called "The Great Terror," after Robert Conquest; the Russian term "repressions" will be used in this article, sometimes alternating with "persecutions" [trans.].

(2.) In fact, Lenin's government proclaimed the right to self-determination for all nationalities in the Russian Empire in October 1917 (Russian calendar), immediately after his Bolsheviks took power [trans.].

(3.) That is, along the Pacific coast [trans.].

(4.) See Alexander Kim, "The Repression of Soviet Koreans during the 1930s," The Historian 2, 2012: 267-85; see as well N.F. Bugai, L. Beriia-I. Stalinu: "Soglasno Vashemu ukazaniiu ..., Moscow: AIRO-XX, 1995, 18. The last stand of the White Armies ended in the Far East in 1923, while Japanese units only left northern Sakhalin in 1925.

(5.) See for example, E.N. Chernolutskaia, "Prinuditel'nye migratsii na sovetskom Dal'nem Vostoke v stalinskii period," Vestnik DVO RAN 6, 1995, 71-9: 74-5.

(6.) Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Rossiisskoi Federatsii [from here: GARF] fond 1318, 1922-1923, delo 670, list 64. [from here, similar archival sources will be indicated as follows: f. 1318, 1922-1923, d. 670, l. 64].

(7.) This idea was first expressed by the famous geographer N.M. Przheval'skii (1839-88) in the 1860s, but he proposed to resettle the Koreans in the central and northern parts of the Maritime region because they could engage in truck gardening and would more easily adjust to Russian culture, while being further removed from the Korean peninsula. He did not suggest the resettlement toward Khabarovsk, likely because it did not appear economically viable.

(8.) See, for example, A.D. Bogatyrov, ed., Sistemnaia istoriia mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii, 4 vols, vol. 1, Moscow: Moskovskii rabochii, 2000, 140.

(9.) V.I. Lenin, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, vol. 42, Moscow: Gosizdat politicheskoi literatury, 93.

(10.) The Khabarovsk region is the northern neighbor of the Maritime region.

(11.) E.N. Gnatovskaia, Istoriia agrarnikh otnoshenii, Ussuriisk: PGSKhA, 2006, 192-3.

(12.) S. Anisimov, Puteshestvie P.A. Kropotkina, Moscow-Leningrad: Izdatel'stvo AN SSSR, 1943. P.A. Kropotkin (1842-1921) was a Russian aristocrat, historian, geographer, traveler, and writer, and one of the leading theoreticians of anarchism; during the early years of Tsar Alexander II (r. 1855-81)'s reign, before he became opposed to the tsarist autocracy, he worked on preparing the abolition of Russian serfdom.

(13.) N.M. Przheval'skii, Puteshestvie v Ussuriiskom krae, 1867-1869 gg., Vladivostok: Dal'nevostochnoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1990, 25.

(14.) Przheval'skii, Puteshestvie, 26.

(15.) Under this system, armed detachments forced peasants to hand over their crops, with the foodstuffs being used to feed the Red Army and factory workers in territory under Bolshevik control [trans.]. In this part of the former tsarist empire, the Japanese occupied all of the urban areas and controlled most of the countryside from 1918 until 1922, and "Military Communism" was therefore never introduced [trans.].

(16.) Iu.V. Argudiaeva, "Russkoe staroobriadcheskoe naselenie v Man'chzhurii (1930-1940 gg.)," in Tikhookeanskaia Rossiia v istorii rossiiskoi i vostochnoaziatskikh tsivilizatsiiakh, 2 vols, Vladivostok: Dal'nauka, 2008, vol. 2, 191-6: 194. The Old Believers were an Orthodox sect that had split off from the Russian Orthodox Church in the seventeenth century [trans.].

(17.) E.N. Chernolutskaia, "Administrativnoe upravlenie koreiskom i kitaiskom naseleniem v Primor'e (konets xix v.-1930-e gg.)," in Dal'nii Vostok Rossii sisteme mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii v Aziatsko-Tikhookeanskom regione: istoriia, ekonomika, kul'tura, Vladivostok: Dal'nauka, 2008, 417-25: 417.

(18.) GARF f. 1235, opis' [from here; op.] 130, 1935, d. 3, ll. 20-1.

(19.) A soviet (lit. "council") formed the lowest administrative body of the Soviet government structure; each usually oversaw several villages and hamlets [trans.].

(20.) GARF f. 1318, 1922-1923, d. 670, l. 64.

(21.) N.F. Bugai, "Koreitsy v SSSR: iz istorii voprosa o natsional'noi gosudarstvennosti," Vostok 2, 1993, 151-67: 151-6.

(22.) "Dekulakization" meant the removal of the alleged richer peasants ("kulaks") from the villages, as supposed capitalist exploiters of their neighbors; "kulak" families were deported to remote areas, while their property was confiscated by the newly created collective farms; several 100,000 kulak families were thus deported to "special settlements" around 1930 [trans.]. See for more Lynne Viola, The Unknown Gulag: The Secret World of Stalin's Special Settlements, New York: Oxford UP, 2009.

(23.) Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi istoricheskii arkhiv Dal'nego Vostoka [from here: RGIA DV], f. 2458, op.1, d.216, 1.83; L.I. Proskurina, "Oktiabr'skaia revoliutsiia i ee vlianie na derevniu rossiiskogo Dal'nego Vostoka: kollektivizatsiia iee posledstviia," Rossiia i ATR 3, 2008, 22-30: 26-8; Kim, " Repression," 273-6.

(24.) Chernolutskaia, "Administrativnoe upravlenie," 420.

(25.) See note 16.

(26.) Kkhutsinka was renamed Maksimovka in 1972 and in those days was part of the Terneiskii and Ol'ginskii districts.

(27.) Iurii Ufimstev, "Kak starovery razvivali Primor'e," Konkurent 7, 2011 (available at:, accessed 29 August 2012).

(28.) Ibid.

(29.) Nakamura Esikatsu, "Romanovka--poselok staroverov v Man'chzhurii," in N.N. Pokrovskii, R.A. Morris, eds, Traditsionnaia dukhovnaia i material'naia kul'tura staroobriadcheskikh poselenii v stranakh Evropy, Azii i Ameriki, Novosibirsk: Nauka, 1992, 247-53; Iu.V. Argudiaeva, "Russkoe staroobriadcheskoe naselenie v Man'chzhurii (1930-1940-e gg.)," L.I. Galliamova, ed., Tikhookeanskaia Rossiia v istorii rossiskoi i vostochnoaziatskikh tsivilizatsiiakh, vol. 2, Vladivostok: Dal'nauka, 2008, 191-6: 192; Iu. V. Argudiaeva, "Staroobriatsy na Dal'nem Vostoke, Sakhaline i Khokkaido (vtoraia polovina xix-40-e gg. xxx vv.), in L.I. Galliamova, ed., Dal'nii Vostok Rossii v sisteme mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii v Aziatsko-Tikhookeanskom regione: istoriia, ekonomika, kul'tura, Valdivostok: Dal'nauka, 2008, 136-42: 139-40.

(30.) Valerii Kuz'min, "Staroobriadtsy zazhivut po-novomu?," Kommunar, 10 February 2010, 5.

(31.) In English, the term "nationality" is often used by historians of the Soviet Union for the Soviet-Russian term natsional'nost', meaning about the same as "ethno-cultural community."

(32.) Exampes are I. Volodin, "Inostrannyi sphionazh na sovetskom Dal'nem Vostoke," Pravda, 23 April 1937, 5; K. Kirillov, "Shpiony nekoi derzhavy," Izvestiia, 27 July 1937, 1; N. Rubin and Ia. Serebrov, O podryvnoi deiatel'nosti fashistskikh razvedok v SSSR i zadachakh bor'by s neiu, Moscow-Leningrad: Partizdat, 1937; Leonid Zakovskii, O nekotorykh metodakh i priemakh inostrannykh razvedyvatel'nykh organov i ikh trotskisto-bukharinskoi agentury, Leningrad: Partizdat, 1937. Zakovskii was chief of Leningrad's NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs) in 1937.

(33.) V.K. Ketlinskaia, Muzhestvo, Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1938. Vera Kazimirovna Ketlinskaia (1906-76) was a daughter of the tsarist rear-admiral K.F. Ketlinskii who was murdered in 1918 by Red sailors, according to one version. Ketlinskaia forged the myth that her father had gone over to the Red side and been killed by the Whites in the Civil War. Ketlinskaia became a writer of prose in the Socialist-Realist style, writing novels with an ideological slant. Her works received widespread recognition in the Soviet Union. When N.S. Khrushchev's "destalinization" unfolded, Ketlinskaia attempted to criticze the Stalinist repression of the 1930s (see V. Ketlinskaia, Inache zhit' ne stoit, Leningrad: Sovetskii pisatel', 1960).

(34.) Przhevalskii, Puteshestvie, 133 (see the editors' note on this page).

(35.) Some suggest that those villages may have survived under different names. The river Iantsikhe was renamed Tsukanovkoi in 1972, while the river Sidimi was redubbed the Narva (both are located in today's Khasan district of the Maritime region of the Russian Federation). [Many villages disappeared from the map in the course of the Soviet Union's history, and even since the fall of the Communist regime in 1991, because of various waves of amalgamation of smaller villages and of urbanization; that the fate of the three settlements is therefore uncertain is thus not as odd as seems at first, trans.]

(36.) "Koreiskoe proshloe Putsilovki," Kommunar, 3 February 2012, 11.

(37.) See for this "official" version for example Andrei Lan'kov, "Koreitsy SNG: stranitsy istorii," Seul'skii vestnik, 13 February 2002, available at:, accessed 30 August 2012.

(38.) In 1969 armed clashes erupted between Communist Chinese and Soviet troops over a dispute about the location of the border of the two countries. For the renaming, see the decrees of the Presidium of the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federation) of 26 December 1972 and Resolution no. 753 of the RSFSR's Council of Ministers of 29 December 1972 (SSSR Ministerstvo oborony, Gidrograficheskaia sluzhba Krasnoznamennogo Tikhookeanskogo flota, Izveshcheniia moreplavateliam 49, 134, 1 [3 July 1973], available at: online/renaming_of_place_names.pdf, accessed 3 September 2012).

(39.) Still today many inhabitants of the Maritime Region call the Mel'gunovka river the Mo.

(40.) NKVD: Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennykh Del or People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, the Soviet secret police's name in the late 1930 [trans.]

(41.) See E. Chernolutskaia, "Prikaz NKVD no. 00447 "Ob operatsii po repressirovaniiu ... antisovetskikh elementov". Dal'nii Vostok, 1937-1938 gg.," Rossiia i ATR 3, 2005, 55-65: 56. Liushkov fled abroad in June 1938, anticipating his own arrest [trans.].

(42.) About which I plan to say more in my forthcoming article, provisonally titled "Soprotivlenie stalinskim repressiiam na Dal'nem Vostoke v 1930-e gg." ["Resistance to Stalinist repressions in the Far East during the 1930s," trans.]

(43.) Terentii Dmitrievich Deribas was a revolutionary and Bol'shevik and a leading official of the Cheka [Chrezvychainaia komissiia or Extraordinary Commission, trans.], OGPU [Ob'edinennoe Gosudarstvennoe Politicheskoe Upravlenie, or United State Political Administration, trans.] and NKVD [i.e., the Soviet security police in its various guises] (see, among other sources, V.N. Khaustov, ed., Lubianka: Sovetskaia elita na Stalinskoi golgofe. 1937-1938, Moscow: MFD, 2011, 91, 221-2, 265-6, 447, 460 [in this publication, reports sent to Stalin detailing Deribas's confessions under interrogation in 1938 are rendered, trans.]). He had participated in the revolution of 1905-07, and worked during the 1920s in the secret department of the Soviet Union's OGPU. In 1931, he became a member of the collegium of the OGPU-NKVD [i.e., its highest leadership, trans.]. From October 1933 onward, he supervised the building of the Baikal-Amur railroad branchline, built with the help of forced laborers. He was elected a candidate member of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee in 1934. Deribas was appointed on 10 June 1934 as chief of the regional NKVD in the Far East and concomitantly as chief of the Special Department of the Red Army of the Far East. He was dismissed from all his posts on 31 July 1937, and arrested on 12 August 1937 on accusations "of espionage, sympathy for Trotskyism and of the organization of a number of conspiracies in the NKVD and the Red Army." He was then transported to Moscow to he interrogated. Deribas was sentenced to be executed by the Military Collegium of the Soviet Supreme Court on 18 July 1938. He was executed on the same day at the Kommunarka fields (where 10,000s of people were liquidated in the Great Terror). Deribas's case was reviewed in 1957 and on 31 December of that year he was posthumously rehabilitated and readmitted to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. His was a rare case, as very few of those who had participated in unleashing the Stalinist repressions in the 1930s were rehabilitated at that time.

(44.) S. Nikolaev, "Vystrely v spinu," Dal'nii Vostok 2, 1991, 140-8.

(45.) A.L. Posadskov, "Entsiklopediia Dal'nevostochnogo kraia: Sud'ba nesostoiavshegosia izdaniia (1930-e gg.)," Vestnik Dal'nevostochnoi gosudarstvennoi nauchnoi biblioteki 4, 2003, 70-8. It seems germane to explain that NKVD officials considered V.K. Arsen'ev (1872-1930), the well-known Russian traveler, scientist, and ex-tsarist officer, the head of this mythical organization [trans.: He is the protagonist of Akira Kurosawa's 1975 film Dersu Uzala]. Arsen'ev had passed away in 1930, that is several years before repressions were unleashed upon those allegedly involved in this organization. This, however, did not stop Deribas's men from organizing a judicial prosecution and arresting his widow. According to the Chekists' plot line, the Kamchatka organization aimed at separating the peninsula from the Soviet Union, although upon review it turned out that a considerable part of its alleged membership did not reside in Kamchatka. [Trans. note:] In 1933, Deribas was admonished for showing overbearing zeal and engaging in unauthorized actions, including the execution of alleged counterrevolutionaries (Iu. N. Afanas'ev et al., eds, Istoriia Stalinskogo Gulag, 7 vols, vol. 1. Moscow: Rosspen, 2004, 193).

(46.) As is evident, for example, from files in the secret-police's archives (see Arkhiv Pogranichnoe upravlenie Federal'noi sluzhby bezopasnosti, Arkhivno-sledstvennie dela P-14040 and P-33882).

(47.) GARF, f. 1235, op. 130 (1935), d.3, II. 20-1; N.F. Bugai, "Vyselenie sovetskikh koreitsev s Dal'nego Vostoka," Voprosy istorii 5, 1994, 141-8.

(48.) Pak Sen Khun, "Vospominaniia rabotnika NKVD," Tikhookeanskii komsomolets, 11 February 1989, 6-7.

(49.) More on this will be said in my forthcoming article "Soprotivlenie stalinskim repressiiam."

(50.) Lan'kov, "Koreitsy SNG."

(51.) RGIA DV, f. r-2413, op. 4, d. 1676, ll. 95a-96.

(52.) Chernolutskaia, "Prikaz," 56.

(53.) Deribas was arrested on 12 August and shot in July 1938; see Nikolaev, "Vystrely," 140-8.

(54.) Arkhiv Prezidenta Rossiiskoi Federatsii [from here: AP RF], f. 3, op. 58, d.139, ll. 1-2 (Protokol no. 52).

(55.) GARF f. 5446sch, op. 29, d. 48, ll. 63-4, 66; GARF f. 5446sch, op. 29, d. 51, l. 16.

(56.) GARF, f. 5446, op. 57, d. 52, l. 29.

(57.) Lan'kov, "Koreitsy SNG."

(58.) GARF, f. 5446sch, op. 29, d. 49, l. 35.

(59.) GARF, f. 5446sch, op. 29, d. 49, ll. 29-30.

(60.) AP RF, f. 3, op. 58, d. 139, ll. 1-2 (Protokol No. 52).

(61.) Bogatyrov, ed., Sistemnaia istoriia, vol. 1, 260-1; K.E. Cherevko, Serp i molot protiv samuraiskogo mecha, Moscow: Veche, 2003.

(62.) German Kim, Istoriia immigratsii koreitsev, vol. 1: Vtoraia polovina xix v.-1945, Almaty: Daik-Press, 1999.

(63.) I intend to further explore this question in a forthcoming article, "Soprotivlenie stalinskim repressiiam na Dal'nem Vostoke v 1930-egg." ["Opposition to the Stalinist repressions in the Far East during the 1930s"].

(64.) See for example, "Memorandum prem'er-ministra Iaponii generala Giiti Tanaka ot 25 iuilia 1927 g.," in Bogatyrov, ed., Sistema istoriia, vol. 2.

(65.) See Mestnye Sovety Primor'ia. Stranitsy istorii. Sbornik dokumentov, 1922-1985 gg., Vladivostok: Dal'nevostochnoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1990, 37. [Trans. note:] Before 1929, Soviet provinces (subsequently called krai or oblast') were called guberniia, following tsarist tradition.

(66.) Cherevko, Serp i molot. Some of the Amur islands were only returned to China in the 2000s. Such was the case with the island Tarabarov, half of the island of Bol'shoi Ussuriisk and a number of smaller islands in 2004. After extended further delineation as well as official procedures, the transfer of the islands occurred on 14 October 2008. The island Bol'shoi in the Argun' river was likewise handed over. Previously, in 1991, Russia gave China a number of islands back, including the Damanskii island because of which bloody battles had been waged between the USSR and the Chinese People's Republic in 1969.

(67.) "Dogovor o nenapadenii mezhdu SSSR i Kitaiskoi respublikoi, zakliuchennyi 21 avgusta 1937 g.," in Bogatyrov, ed., Sistema iztoriia, vol. 2.

(68.) Ibid.

(69.) We will further address this question in the article "Soprotivlenie stalinskim repressiiam na Dal'nem Vostoke v 1930-e gg."

(70.) V.G. Makarenko, "Vyshee obrazovanie na Dal'nem Vostoke SSSR v poslevoennye gody (1945-1950-e gody)," in Aziatsko-Tikhookeanskii region: Arkheologiia, Etnografiia, Istoriia, Vladivostok: Dal'nauka, 2008, 199-221: 204. The institute in Voroshilov was established by a USSR Council of Ministers decree of 19 August 1957 (no. 1040) and of the Soviet Ministry of Agriculture of 31 August 1957 (no. 306; see "Kratkaia istoricheskaia spravka no.1," Archive of the Primorskaia gosudarstvennaia sel'skokhoziaistvennaia akademiia). In the same year the town was renamed Ussuriisk, when K.E. Voroshilov (1881-1969) was attacked as a sympathizer of the "Anti-Party Group" that had intrigued against Communist party leader Nikita Khrushchev.

(71.) We will look further into this matter in my forthcoming article "Stanovlenie VYZov Primorskogo kraia v 1950-e gg. (na primere PSKhI)." ["The Establishment of Institutes of Higher Education in the Maritime Region in the 1950s (by way of the example of the Primorskaia gosudarstvennaia sel'skokhoziaistvennaia akademiia)"]

Alexander Kim is an Associate Professor at Primorye State Agricultural Academy, Institute of Humanitarian Education in the Department of History and Humanitarian Education. His recent publications include "Relations between Bohai and Silla from the seventh to the ninth century: a critical analysis." Acta Orientalia. Vol. 64 (3) (2011): 345-356, and "On the origin of the Jurchen People (a study based on Russian Sources)." Central Asiatic Journal. 55 (2011) 2:165-176. The author thanks Kees Boterbloem for translating this essay and Ben Sperduto, Derek Vande Velde, and Kees Boterbloem for editing the article for an English-language audience.
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