- May 2014
Is southern Central Asia actually going to have enough food and water to feed 90 million people (60 million Central Asians and 30 million Russians)?There were great movement of Russians to south since XVI century when Russian boundary lay along Oka-river.
This movement was continuing in XX century. Russian colonization of Middle Asia begun in the very end of XIX century. And it was very rapid northward of Tian-Shan in the land of nomadic tribes.
By 1917 there were many areas with russian majority here. ~30-40% of population inside borders of modern Kazakhstan were already Russian. In 1916 Kyrgyzs revolted, burned several dozens of russian villages and killed several thousands of Russians. In reply punitive forces expelled most of Kyrgyzs to China and whole cleaned land was intended for russian settlement.
Kyrgyzs were saved by Revolution in 1917. They were allowed to return. Later Bolsheviks banned settlement of Russian peasants to Middle Asia. And part of land of russian settlers was taken away and transmited to natives. This reduced growth of share of Russian population here. But later it resumed due to industrial resettlement to new plants and factories. Maximum of Russian's share were achieved ~1950. Due to 1959's census there were more than half of Russians (with Ukrainians and Belorussians) in Kazakhstan and more than third in Kyrgyzia.
Southward of Tian-Shan were lands of irrigated agriculture. Russian settlement was difficult here. Russian peasants werent acquainted with irrigation and there were no free suitable land here. Tsar's government plan was to dig new canals here and to attract russian workers for it. New irrigated lands had to be settled by russian peasants. The plan began to be implemented in Hungry Steppe. But Bolsheviks stopped it. Later they begun great irrigation in these places. But whole new lands was settled by natives. Now majority of population in Uzbekhistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenia living in these new irrigated lands.
So i think without Bolsheviks now majority of population of modern Kazakhstan (in russian terms it named simply "Steppe county") would be Russian. And half of population of Middle Asia would be Russian too. So accomplishing is simple - Russia without Bolsheviks.
You said about "south of Rostov". So we must exclude north and middle of Kazakhstan. Now population of South Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzia, Uzbekia, Tadjikia and Turkmenia is ~60 mln. So, i think without Revolution and Bolsheviks it would be 30 mln russians here... And modern Kazakhstan ("Steppe kraj") would be russian Texas. They have a lot of similar in fakt.
Would write about Russians southward of Caucasus later.
Also, where exactly can I read more about these irrigation plans? They do sound interesting--though did Afghanistan and Iran have any similar plans? After all, Afghanistan's and Iran's populations likewise exploded during the 20th century even though they weren't actually under Russian/Soviet rule for most of the 20th century.