What do you think the ideal borders for the Russian Empire would have been?

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,010
#12
It will lose its most troublesome and problematic territories, though--specifically Poland and western Ukraine.
You mean the fellow Slavs that in SOME scenarios are the best prospect for forcible linguistic and cultural assimilation into a much extended Russian nation?

There's been those kinds of projects proposed, including outlawing languages etc., at times in history.

Especially since the unified Russian nation concept as such is also a construct to overcome what could otherwise become centrifugal regionalism that could break it apart.

I think the tricky bit with you question actually is that it presumes a certain kind of Russia nation that is sort of implicitly given, but where we know that historically those things have been quite a challenge to hammer out for most countries.

The Russians have been thrown a bunch of curve-balls historically over precisely what kind of state and nation Russia should, or could, be. And to an extent this is still unfinished business. Which also informs the OP on some level.
 
#13
You mean the fellow Slavs that in SOME scenarios are the best prospect for forcible linguistic and cultural assimilation into a much extended Russian nation?
Russification efforts in ethnically Polish territories were not successful at all though, they were even quite counter-productive.

Polish Pan-Slavists of the 1800s did not see Russians as "fellow Slavs", but as enemies/oppressors of the (other) Slavic peoples.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#15
Russification efforts in ethnically Polish territories were not successful at all though, they were even quite counter-productive.

Polish Pan-Slavists of the 1800s did not see Russians as "fellow Slavs", but as enemies/oppressors of the (other) Slavic peoples.
Yeah, Poles had a way too long and glorious history to be successfully Russified! :D
 
#17
10. Russia should keep eastern Ukraine, southern Ukraine, and Belarus. Nationalism there has not become widespread yet and thus all of these territories can probably be kept by Russia.
Western Belarus is not - and has never been - Pro-Russian. It also has a significant Polish minority. Even after the deportation of around 1/2 of Belarusian Poles to Poland in years 1944-1958, still a numerically significant Polish minority has remained there (and until today these people play an important role in Pro-European, Anti-Russian political factions in Belarus). This map is based on official data from the Soviet census of 1959 (in total the census reported 538,881 Poles in Belarus). The darkest shade is Polish majority, then 40-50%, then 30-40% (orange) and then 10-30% (yellow) and up to 10% (grey). Blue line is pre-1939 border:



11. Russia should keep the Baltic states for their living space. As for Finland, it would depend on how much ethnic Russians would want to move there. If few ethnic Russians will want to move to Finland, Russia should let Finland go. Else, Russia should keep Finland.
The Baltic states and Finland are vehemently Anti-Russian though.

But ethnic Polish minority in Lithuania is more Pro-Russian than Polish minority in Belarus.

Mainly because Lithuanian nationalists forced their Poles to ally themselves with Russians.
 
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#18
Western Belarus is not Orthodox (like Eastern Belarus), but instead it has a mix of Orthodox and Catholic population.

Research recently carried out by the Grodno University, shows that 83,3% of Roman Catholics in the Grodno Oblast identify as fully Polish (the rest of Roman Catholics there identify as both Poles and Belarusians or just Belarusians) and even more - 95% - declare Polish ancestry (including mixed Polish-Belarusian ancestry).

Source:



In another survey from 2003, 82% of Catholics in Belarus declared that they have Polish ancestry, including 66% with fully Polish ancestry and 16% from mixed families. In the westernmost Diocese of Grodno 95% of Catholics declared Polish ancestry, while in the easternmost Archdiocese of Minsk-Mogilev - 73%.

This 2003 survey found out that 80% of Catholics in the Diocese of Grodno identify as fully Poles - so slightly less than according to that 2000 research by the University of Grodno (which showed 83,3%). In other dioceses percentages of Roman Catholics who identify as fully Polish are 70% in the Diocese of Pinsk, 57% in the Diocese of Vitebsk and just 35% in the Archdiocese of Minsk-Mogilev (compared to 73% who declared Polish ancestry in the Archdiocese of Minsk-Mogilev).

In the nationwide scale (entire Belarus on average), 63% of Roman Catholics identify as fully Poles (2003 data), 66% declare fully Polish ancestry, and 16% declare mixed Polish-Belarusian or Polish-other ancestry (in total 82% declare Polish ancestry). Regional breakdowns above.

There are also Non-Catholic (Atheist, Orthodox, etc.) Poles in Belarus, because in some regions % of Poles is higher than % of Catholics.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#19
Western Belarus is not - and has never been - Pro-Russian. It also has a significant Polish minority. Even after the deportation of around 1/2 of Belarusian Poles to Poland in years 1944-1958, still a numerically significant Polish minority remained there (and until today these people play an important role among Pro-European, Anti-Russian political factions in Belarus). This map below is based on official data from the Soviet census of 1959 (in total they counted 538,881 Poles):

The darkest shade is Polish majority, then 40-50%, then 30-40% (orange) and then 10-30% (yellow) and up to 10% (grey):

This is an argument in favor of putting the Polish-heavy parts of western Belarus into Poland.

The Baltic states and Finland are vehemently Anti-Russian though.
I'm unsure that the Baltic states were vehemently anti-Russian back in 1917, though.

Also, in any case, I'd try flooding them--especially the Baltic states--with Eastern Slavic settlers. If it works and they become Slavic-majority, Russia will get to permanently keep them. Else, Russia can let them go.

But ethnic Polish minority in Lithuania is more Pro-Russian than Polish minority in Belarus.

Mainly because Lithuanian nationalists forced their Poles to ally themselves with Russians.
OK.

That said, though, they would have still preferred to live under Polish rule than under Russian rule, no?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#20
Western Belarus is not Orthodox (like Eastern Belarus), but instead it has a mix of Orthodox and Catholic population.

Research recently carried out by the Grodno University, shows that 83,3% of Roman Catholics in the Grodno Oblast identify as fully Polish (the rest of Roman Catholics there identify as both Poles and Belarusians or just Belarusians) and even more - 95% - declare Polish ancestry (including mixed Polish-Belarusian ancestry).

Source:



In another survey from 2003, 82% of Catholics in Belarus declared that they have Polish ancestry, including 66% with fully Polish ancestry and 16% from mixed families. In the westernmost Diocese of Grodno 95% of Catholics declared Polish ancestry, while in the easternmost Archdiocese of Minsk-Mogilev - 73%.

This 2003 survey found out that 80% of Catholics in the Diocese of Grodno identify as fully Poles - so slightly less than according to that 2000 research by the University of Grodno (which showed 83,3%). In other dioceses percentages of Roman Catholics who identify as fully Polish are 70% in the Diocese of Pinsk, 57% in the Diocese of Vitebsk and just 35% in the Archdiocese of Minsk-Mogilev (compared to 73% who declared Polish ancestry in the Archdiocese of Minsk-Mogilev).

In the nationwide scale (entire Belarus on average), 63% of Roman Catholics identify as fully Poles (2003 data), 66% declare fully Polish ancestry, and 16% declare mixed Polish-Belarusian or Polish-other ancestry (in total 82% declare Polish ancestry). Regional breakdowns above.

There are also Non-Catholic (Atheist, Orthodox, etc.) Poles in Belarus, because in some regions % of Poles is higher than % of Catholics.
So, how about holding a plebiscite in western Belarus?
 

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