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Russian Eurasianism: An Ideology of Empire

‘Eurasianism’ is a relatively new concept in Russian history, and not one that appeals beyond a fairly narrow circle. The argument goes back to the turn of the last century, when, looking for a Russian identity, one or two scholars, headed by a Prince Trubetskoy, discovered their Asiatic roots.

 

‘Eurasianism’ is a relatively new concept in Russian history, and not one that appeals beyond a fairly narrow circle. The argument goes back to the turn of the last century, when, looking for a Russian identity, one or two scholars, headed by a Prince Trubetskoy, discovered their Asiatic roots. Here lay temptation. Was Russia somehow a creation of Europe, of Germans especially? Peter the Great had famously set about the westernization of the place, and St Petersburg had been put up almost as a stage-set, “a combination of Wedgwood and cardboard”. By 1900, something of

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