Would a non-Communist Russia have been more successful at Russifying the "Near Abroad"?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#1
In real life, there was a significant Russian population in the various non-Russian parts of the Soviet Union at the time that the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991:



The chart above gives the Russian percentage for the various Soviet SSRs in 1989--which is when the last census took place in the Soviet Union (considering that the Soviet Union collapsed just two years later). During Soviet times, the ethnic Russian percentage in the various non-Russian SSRs of the Soviet Union often significantly increased. For instance, here it the ethnic Russian percentage in Ukraine in each oblast in 1959 and 1989:





As far as I can tell, the ethnic Russian percentage in every Ukrainian oblast other than Crimea Oblast and Lvov/Lviv Oblast (and the city of Kiev/Kyiv--which I don't think was technically an oblast) increased between 1959 and 1989. The same pattern was visible in the Baltic states, Belarus, and some of the other SSRs of the Soviet Union during the same time period (1959 to 1989).

In turn, this made me wonder: Do you think that a non-Communist Russia (either a Tsarist one or a post-Tsarist one) would have been more successful at Russifying the "Near Abroad" (the historically non-Russian parts of the Russian Empire) than the Soviet Union was in real life? Also, if so, how much more successful do you think that a non-Communist Russia would have been in regards to this?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#2
Here are some additional charts which pertain to this topic:







And here is a map of the ethnic Russian percentage in various parts of the Russian Empire in 1897: