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

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,664
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
15,664
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:

 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,664
SoCal
#5
The Soviets were so successful at it because they forcibly deported people and brought in Russians to replace them. This was done to a lesser extent by the tsars.
Actually, there was the Circassian Genocide under the Russian Tsars.

Also, AFAIK, the major ethnic groups generally weren't deported in the Soviet Union. They were often harmed as a result of poor policies--such as famines as a result of forced collectivization--but it is worth noting that Russians were also harmed by these policies.
 
Likes: Nina Beria
Feb 2019
28
Planet Earth
#6
Well, "Russification policy" of the Soviet Union is an overstatement. If they had the ideological motivation they could have done it more effectively of course.
 
Apr 2017
983
U.S.A.
#7
Actually, there was the Circassian Genocide under the Russian Tsars.

Also, AFAIK, the major ethnic groups generally weren't deported in the Soviet Union. They were often harmed as a result of poor policies--such as famines as a result of forced collectivization--but it is worth noting that Russians were also harmed by these policies.
Yes, I meant the soviet policies were just a harsher version of tsarist russias.
The Baltic states rebelled against the soviets in the 50's and around a third of their populations were deported to Siberia and central asia. Russians were brought in to replace them, a legacy that lasts today.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,664
SoCal
#8
Yes, I meant the soviet policies were just a harsher version of tsarist russias.
The Baltic states rebelled against the soviets in the 50's and around a third of their populations were deported to Siberia and central asia. Russians were brought in to replace them, a legacy that lasts today.
Do you have a source for the third of the population of the Baltics being deported? That sounds way too high to me.

Well, "Russification policy" of the Soviet Union is an overstatement. If they had the ideological motivation they could have done it more effectively of course.
Well, the Soviets appear to have discouraged assimilation into the dominant Russian culture--but they did promote Russification by having Russians settle in various other parts of the Soviet Union in large numbers.
 
Likes: Nina Beria
Apr 2017
983
U.S.A.
#9
Do you have a source for the third of the population of the Baltics being deported? That sounds way too high to me.


Well, the Soviets appear to have discouraged assimilation into the dominant Russian culture--but they did promote Russification by having Russians settle in various other parts of the Soviet Union in large numbers.
My percentage was inaccurate, it was 10%. The numbers were much much higher in the Caucasus republics.
The Soviets pretended to be tolerant but in reality you had to be great Russian to reach important positions (Stalin being an exception).
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,664
SoCal
#10
My percentage was inaccurate, it was 10%. The numbers were much much higher in the Caucasus republics.
The Soviets pretended to be tolerant but in reality you had to be great Russian to reach important positions (Stalin being an exception).
10% sounds much more realistic. So, basically, most of the demographic changes in the Baltics were the result of mass Russian migration--not deportations of native Balts.

Also, were't there some prominent Ukrainians and Belarusians in the Soviet leadership? Pyotr Masherov, Andrei Gromyko, et cetera.